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Hometown Welcome Is Good Medicine for Schroeder

August 05, 1985|ANN HEROLD

--William J. Schroeder returned to the cheers of thousands of his Jasper, Ind., neighbors, his first visit home since he became the world's second artificial heart recipient. Schroeder, 53, visited with friends and family for about two hours Sunday before returning to his specially equipped van to lead the town's annual Strassenfest parade. About 12,000 persons lined the parade route to cheer his return. Schroeder, who has suffered two strokes since the operation Nov. 25, appeared tired and disoriented at the end of the 90-mile trip from Humana Hospital Audubon in Louisville, Ky., but Dr. William C. DeVries said his patient's spirits were buoyed by the trip home. "It was perfect," DeVries said. "This will raise his spirits tremendously."

--A Seattle businessman with a penchant for adventure leaves today on the final leg of a 10-year odyssey--tracing by foot, jeep, yak and camel the route Marco Polo took across China. Harry Rutstein, 55, will be the first person on record, if he succeeds, to make the trip since Polo did it 700 years ago. Rutstein and a crew of 11 will travel for 2 1/2 months from the rugged and mountainous Pakistan border in the west, across vast expanses of desert previously closed to Westerners, and on to Xanadu and Peking in the east. The expedition will mark the completion of the final 4,000 miles of a 13,000-mile adventure Rutstein began in 1975 with a three-month trip that took him from Polo's home of Venice, Italy, through Israel, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. "Many people thought I was crazy to do this," Rutstein said. "And many times I've thought to myself, 'What the hell am I doing?' But I've always tried to do things that were different, unique, and have always tried to stand out in some way."

--A Salem, Ore., man whose wife just left the hospital won more than $2.3 million in the Oregon State Lottery. Albert Young, one of 10 finalists, spun the 100-slot wheel to win the jackpot. Young, 72, a retired Oregon Department of Forestry employee from Klamath Falls, said he will use some of the money to pay medical bills from his wife Freta's recent back surgery. And, he said: "My wife wants a new place to live."

--The owner of a shelter that refuses to kill unwanted animals says that 1,096 dogs, cats and rabbits are threatened unless the Lithonia, Ga., shelter can raise $65,000 to pay off its debts. "If a miracle doesn't happen right away, we're going into bankruptcy," said Ann Fields, who, with her husband, Jerry, operates Life for God's Stray Animals. She said that if the shelter closes, she fears the animals will be "put to sleep" by animal control officials.

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