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His Heart's in the Right Place

January 07, 1986|JENNINGS PARROTT

--When Felipe Garza Jr. learned that his girlfriend needed a heart transplant, he told his mother three weeks ago: "I'm going to die, and I'm going to give my heart to my girlfriend." Felipe, 15, had a premonition of his own death. The boy, who had seemed to be in perfect health, died Saturday after a blood vessel burst in his head. His family followed his wishes. Donna Ashlock, 14, also lives in the farming community of Patterson, Calif., where Felipe and his family worked. She had just learned that she had an enlarged heart and needed a transplant at the time when Felipe mentioned he would die to his half-brother, John Sanchez, 20. "I guess they were pretty close," Sanchez said of Felipe and Donna. He said his brother complained of a pain on the left side of his head when he woke up Saturday. He was taken to a hospital in Modesto, where he was pronounced brain dead; a respirator was used to keep him alive. "We didn't want to see him suffer any more, and what else could we do?" Sanchez asked. Felipe's kidneys and eyes were saved for others, and Donna got his heart Sunday afternoon in an operation in San Francisco.

--Guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, invited to Nepal by local disciples, says he wasn't hounded out of the United States, "I was hounding America." He said he plans to settle in a small residence, not a commune, in the Himalayas, either in India or Nepal. "If the (Nepalese) king is happy for me to have a hut in Nepal, I'm absolutely willing," the 54-year-old guru said. "I will love to be in a hut. It will be a palace for me."

--It was surely one of the world's wildest and zaniest New Year's parties. The guests at Ulrike von Mengden's Colonial-style bungalow in a Jakarta, Indonesia, suburb hurled food, wrestled and gobbled mounds of tropical fruit. For the 20 invitees were orangutans, and most of the revelries took place on a large climbing frame of logs bedecked with streamers and tinsel. Von Mengden, who looked on maternally as the apes ran amok, runs an orphanage for the endangered species at her home on the grounds of the Jakarta zoo, and for the last seven years she has hosted an Ape New Year. Holding a 6-month-old orangutan born at her house, she said: "They're all my children. It's their big treat." As she spoke, the mild-tempered orangs burst brightly colored balloons and unwrapped gifts of peanuts and waffles. Von Mengden takes in orangs that have been confiscated or found sick in the jungle and brings them up in her garden where they roam at liberty. When they get too big, they are transferred to zoos around the world.

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