The passing of our activistic American: Don Harkins, September 19, 2009

In Memory of my husband, Don Harkins, founder and editor of The Idaho Observer

by Ingri Cassel-Harkins

The following is my attempt to answer your questions concerning Donís illness and untimely death. Here is a summary of what transpired from mid-August until Donís passing on September 19, 2009.

Don Harkins

After a strenuous hiking trip to a remote location in Idaho where we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary, we came back to work on August 20 and spent the day catching up on work. The next day, Don woke up ill, with swollen glands and a fever, opting to lay on the couch and read. Later he told me that he had been experiencing swollen glands prior to our trip but hadnít said anything, not wanting to ďruin a party.Ē A close friend was staying with us that weekend. We both thought Don had a bad case of a cold/flu and needed to detoxify a bit. When she left Monday morning, he wasnít much better, but he didnít seem to be worse. She had offered him a powerful remedy that knocked out colds in countless others in record time. Don didnít seem to have the same reaction, however. When Donís glands in his neck became progressively more swollen we wondered if he had mono or mumps. I made a decoction for him and encouraged him to drink it.

On August 27, six days later, Don had not improved enough to take a trip to Kalispell, Montana where we had a speaking engagement. I left him to be looked in on by close family and friends. On August 29, I packed up and raced home to Don. I asked him if he was using our Hulda Clark zapper. He said ďnoĒ since he thought something was broken in it. The two quarts of a green drink and carrot juice were still in the fridge untouched and he was not much better. By August 30 he was beginning to have chronic diarrhea and I was concerned about hydration and electrolytes. I called my friend Mary the next day and she gave me a lot of suggestions - continuous zapping, parasite cleansing, castor oil packs, etc. On September 3, I asked her to come over because whatever was wrong was beyond my ability to deal with. Mary picked up on a peculiar odor in Donís breath and after speaking to her sister, a very experienced RN, all three of us went to the ER at a local hospital in Spokane, Wash. We waited for twoand- a-half hours before being seen by a nurse who immediately detected a swollen liver and dehydration. While attempting to insert an IV, she missed and had to use the other arm. They ran tests and it took an extremely long time to get the results back. It was 1:00 AM and Mary needed to leave. At around 2:30 AM a doctor arrived with the news that Don was suffering from leukemia, detected by an elevated white blood cell (WBC) count. Don was clearly in denial about the diagnosis. I remembered Don telling me that his pH was around 6.5 when I was gone to Kalispell. He insisted on leaving instead of being given a room where a parade of specialists would be seeing him. I backed him up. In our marriage, Don has always been the leader and I do my best to serve him as his wife, so we left.

We got home at 4 AM and after two hours of sleep I was up, the beginning of three weeks of intense sleep deprivation. I was determined to help Don recover but was still puzzled over what was wrong with him, also not wanting to believe the diagnosis. He appeared to be better so I made herbal teas and attempted to get some highly assimilable nutrition into him. He zapped most of the day, and in the afternoon a friend came over with more suggestions, garden veggies and supplements, prayed with Don and left. He was still experiencing diarrhea, not responding to a powerful herbal remedy that usually worked like a charm. I went to bed and slept like a rock, only to wake up to a nightmare of Don having soiled several pairs of underwear, sheets, and towels, with signs of blood in his stool.

I was in a mental fog as I began robotically washing and mopping, and then called Mary. At 9:45 AM, we raced to the hospital, but this time, we went to the one in Coeur díAlene, Idaho. We checked into the ER at 11 AM. I told them there were medical records for Don at Sacred Heart from 36 hours ago. They still took their time gathering urine, stool and blood for testing. When the oncologist on-call fi nally came to see Don around 3 PM, he affi rmed the diagnosis but was more specific Ė acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In 36 hours his WBC count went from 79,600 to 196,100 with 88% ďblastsĒ and he was in critical condition. He would need to be put into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Mary made sure he received the Medical Power of Attorney (POA) paper Don had signed so he knew that he would need to work with us regarding medical decisions and communicating all medications he planned to administer to Don. He was angry and told us we were free to leave and seek care elsewhere but, if we stayed, he wanted to be in charge of making medical decisions in order to save his life. We felt like we were stuck due to Donís critical condition so we adjusted the POA to refl ect our need to access his medical records. Although Don was very sick, I managed to get his signature and spent the night with him in ICU. They hooked him up to several Ivs; three rotating antibiotics for chronic infections and sepsis, and electrolytes. The following morning, I called my sister and she offered their home to me while Don was in crisis. I asked her husband to be with Don while we drove home so I could gather some items for the week. We were there for an hour when the phone rang and the hospital asked me for permission to put a tube down his throat for respiration. I said, ďwell, yes, if it is necessary to save his life.Ē Then I was transferred to a witness and I panicked with the reality that Don was now on ďlife support,Ē something we had both agreed not to do for each other. I raced to the hospital. Donís situation escalated from there, with both of us feeling totally disempowered due to lack of communication and crisis management of his care. They put an IV Picc in him on Sept. 6 and started chemotherapy with two rotating drugs that are known for dangerous side effects. The following day I questioned the doctor on the wisdom of putting one of them in Don without supplemental nutrition and the doctor again became angry as though I was questioning his expertise. Most of the rest of our hospital ordeal is memorialized in daily updates I sent out to Donís fans and supporters via the internet and are now posted at www.DonHarkins.org

It is difficult for me to revisit the intensity of seeing my partner and love of my life hooked up to two IV Picc lines, other IVs, an artificial respirator, a catheter, and a feces tube. Don was eventually taken off of life support on Sept. 11 and was moved to the oncology wing of the hospital on Sept. 13. He had a near death experience while he was in ICU and looked so wonderful when I saw him in his own private room with a door we could close. He was happy to see me but also anxious to be able to go home. He choked up with tears as he shared with me briefly about his experience with our Creator and the reason he chose to come back to his weak and poisoned body. God had shown him the errors of his ways and he was ashamed and repentant. God also showed him how much I loved him and why I was his true partner for fulfilling Godís purpose for him Ė and for us, as a couple, in the not too distant future - and he told me how much he loved me.

Continental flag

On Sept. 14 we told the hospital that his friends and family would be providing all of his food; but Don also decided to refuse all blood products at the same time. On Sept. 15 Don refused all IVs and I found myself anxious since his vitals were not good, and his WBC was 40; in other words, he had no immune system. He also was not the easiest patient in terms of getting him to take chlorophyll, carrot/beet juice or the quantities of anything necessary to replace what he had been receiving intravenously. On top of this, Dr. Bill Deagle had sent several essential products for his recovery but many had not arrived yet. Still, Don insisted on coming home on Sept. 16. He wanted me to pick him up at 9:30 AM. I told him I would do it on the condition that the first stop was to our naturopath for an overall assessment. My sister and our friend were with Don when he checked out of the hospital against medical advice. His eyes continually filled with tears over his experience, his love for me and his appreciation for his life. He felt he was given a second chance and promised to follow a program to recover. Don did well at home until Sept. 18. People prayed with him to help him stick to such a strict program. That night I went to bed at 10 PM and was awakened by his attendant at 11:50 PM. She was panicking Ė Don had collapsed getting out of the bathtub. We carried him to the bed and stayed up praying with him as he appeared on the edge of death, continually giving him chlorophyll and mineralized water through a straw. By 3 AM I needed to lie down. At 4:44 AM I woke with a start and found Don dead in his bed.

How did Don get AML?

Don was a professional janitor and carpet cleaner for fi fteen years prior to becoming an investigative journalist. Benzene is a chemical used in cleaning products that is strongly associated with this form of cancer. Don took his seemingly robust health for granted, having nearly perfect dental health despite being formula fed and vaccinated as a child. He ate according to his taste buds, shunning cancer preventative foods such as beets, cruciferous vegetables and greens. He did not supplement his diet with vitamins and our business was becoming more and more stressful for him. The problems with bulk mailing; the continuing injustices internationally, nationally, and locally; and the preplanned H1N1 flu pandemic were wearing on him.

Do I believe that there was foul play in Donís sudden diagnosis and death?

Actually, I do. Mycoplasma infections, also used as biological weaponry, are associated with this particular type of leukemia. AML is also known to be resistant to chemotherapy. I believe it was a miracle that Don got out of the hospital alive. The power of hundreds of people praying for Don, energetic machines focused on him and the strength of our love brought him back to us. Don wanted to live Ė he had the strongest spirit of any man I have ever known. Several people have detected that Don was under energetic attack and others picked up on Don being exposed to high levels of radiation despite our remote location and lack of cellphones or nearby celltowers. He simply was not on deathís door on Friday Ė weak but recovering. His body purged a lot of the chemo and toxins on Sept. 17 and his color had improved by Friday afternoon. Yes, the technology is there for focusing a radiation beam on anyone who is effective in halting the plans of those seeking to rule the planet.

Lessons learned.

Do not ever take your health for granted. Assess your lifestyle and past exposures to chemicals, vaccines, adulterated food and radiation. Pray for God to give you wisdom and direction in fi nding a health program for detoxifi cation and optimal health. Pray for direction in fulfilling Godís unique mission for you. Trust God, have faith and show love and appreciation to everyone in your life... before it is too late. After Donís near death experience he so much wanted to communicate to his son and fatherís family several items close to his heart, but didnít live long enough to do so.