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'A Great Debt of Thanks'



In the winter of 1860, dozens of wounded and frightened Indians made their way to the ranch of William and Ann West on Elk River. These people were survivors of the series of massacres that included the one on Indian Island. The Wests turned their ranch into a hospital and sanctuary, caring for the massacre victims and protecting them from further attack. Ann West was seven months pregnant, but in a dire time of great need, she and her husband did everything they could to help. For decades thereafter people abided in Humboldt County who would not have been alive had it not been for the Wests.

One-hundred-and-sixty years later, faced with another catastrophic event, Dr. Teresa Frankovich has unselfishly and unfailingly led another effort to protect and care for another group of endangered people — the citizens of Humboldt County — who have encountered the greatest threat that they have ever faced ("We Thank You, Doctor," Sept. 10). And again, for many years into the future, we will see people, perhaps family and friends, who would not be there had it not been for Dr. Frankovich. We all owe her a great debt of thanks, and some of us owe her more than that — our lives.

Jerry Rohde, Eureka

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