ZGAZAR firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2005-09-12 published
Boy's killing stuns neighbours
Canadian Press, Monday, September 12, 2005, Page A2
St. Catharines, Ontario -- Stunned residents of an apartment building where a child was killed on the weekend believe the boy was hit by a stray bullet that came through the ceiling from the apartment unit above.
Niagara Regional Police identified the victim as Jordan SMITH, 8, who lived with his mother on the second floor of the apartment complex.
Police spokesman Constable Sal BASILONE said an autopsy conducted at Hamilton General Hospital confirmed the boy died of a gunshot to the back.
Police were searching for a St. Catharines man, Brian Stephen DANIEL, 29, who is considered armed and dangerous.
He is wanted on one count of criminal negligence causing death.
The apartment where the boy lived and the unit directly above have been cordoned off and both were being maintained as a crime scene.
"Everyone was startled and absolutely shocked by this," said Jan ZGAZAR, 33, another resident of the non-profit housing project known as Moonstone Cooperative Homes.
"This is a quiet place. Nothing like this has happened before. This is very abnormal. People have been up all night. They were crying and hugging each other."
A group of women gathered in the courtyard of the complex said police have told them little.
"She was a very good mother. She never went anywhere without that boy," said one neighbour, referring to Jordan's mother.
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ZGAZAR email@example.com_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-09-11 published
Stray bullet kills sleeping boy, 8,
Shot fired from apartment above, neighbours say
By Morgan CAMPBELL, Staff Reporter
St. Catharines -- An 8-year-old boy is dead after he was shot while sleeping in his apartment bedroom and neighbours believe the bullet was fired from a unit directly above him.
Police and paramedics arrived at the low-rise co-op complex around 12: 50 a.m. yesterday and found a bleeding Jordan SMITH being cradled by his mother. He was taken to St. Catharines General hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Niagara police confirmed yesterday afternoon that their investigation is focused on the SMITHs' apartment -- on Roehampton Ave. near Welland Ave. just north of the Queen Elizabeth Way -- and the one directly above it.
Several neighbours said Jordan and his mother had lived in the building for about two years. They said a young man living upstairs was playing with a gun when it went off.
Last night, police said a 29-year-old St. Catharines man is being sought on a count of criminal negligence causing death.
The shooting is Niagara's 10th homicide of the year.
Vladimir ZGAZAR, who lives next door to the SMITHs, was getting ready for bed when he heard what he thought was a gunshot. "We were looking out the window and we could still hear the echo," ZGAZAR said. "It makes me sick. If you want to shoot a gun, why not take it somewhere else where innocent people won't get hurt? Why not go to a shooting range?"
Yesterday, people in this 130-unit complex returned to the courtyard like they do most sunny Saturday mornings. Children played on a jungle gym while parents sat on benches and talked. One man erected a small flagpole on a picnic table, then raised a Canadian flag halfway.
Neighbours said a family of four -- two parents, a teenage girl and a young man -- live upstairs from the SMITHs.
ZGAZAR's brother, Patrik ZGAZAR, whose 10-year-old son was one of Jordan's playmates, was outside the building minutes before the police arrived. He didn't know anything was wrong, but he saw the young man who lived above the SMITHs run from the complex with two Friends.
Another neighbour, Liz AUDETTE, saw the man's three other family members taken away in cruisers just before 3 a.m.
Lynda ZIMMERMAN, who taught Jordan music and drama in Grades 1 and 2 at Carleton Elementary before she moved to a new school this year, was shocked at the news, when contacted by the Toronto Star. She described Jordan as friendly and athletic. "You couldn't have asked for a nicer kid."
A post-mortem conducted in Hamilton confirmed Jordan died as the result of gunshot wound to the back.
Police are looking for Brian Stephen DANIEL, 29, of St. Catharines.
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ZGODSINSKI firstname.lastname@example.org_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-09-05 published
A crusader for organ donation
Liz MAXWELL never forgot gift of life she received
Always positive vigorous dynamo forever on the go
By Catherine DUNPHY, Obituary Writer
A few years ago, Liz MAXWELL and her husband, Mike TRUSZ, sat down and made a list of things they wanted to do. Although MAXWELL always referred to it as a work in progress, they came up with 30 items, most of which were pretty adventurous: See the Yukon, the Galapagos, hit the South Pacific, sail the Greek Islands, sail their own boat to the Bahamas.
They did quite a lot on that list -- and many other things that weren't on it -- before MAXWELL died of internal hemorrhaging at Mount Sinai Hospital on July 30, two days after she had laughingly dragged TRUSZ down the main street of Collingwood during that town's annual Elvis festival, one day after becoming suddenly and seriously ill.
She was only 56, a dynamo, a vigorous, athletic, fit woman who jogged, skied, played tennis, and rode her bike 20 or 30 kilometres several times a week on the Trans Canada Trail outside her home. She volunteered with families of victims of violence and her local association for community living, and crusaded for the environment.
What many of her shocked neighbours and Friends in Fenelon Falls had forgotten was that MAXWELL had been living on what amounted to borrowed time since December 22, 1992, when she received a liver transplant.
MAXWELL never did forget.
Every year she wrote to the family who had authorized the donation of their loved one's liver to let them know their gift was being well used.
Two weeks before MAXWELL died, her article about competing in the 1997 World Transplant Games on the Olympic site in Sydney, Australia, appeared in The Globe and Mail, timed to promote the upcoming 2005 Games in London, Ontario
In it she relived her liver failure, the transplant, the long year before she could walk, run and work again. She described standing on the starting line massaging her transplant incision that connected her always with her donor, and how her tears began with the starter's gun.
It is a polished gem of a story, written with skill and heart.
"She couldn't express her gratitude enough," said her youngest son, Cameron WEBSTER, 19. "She would have written a whole book if she could."
And MAXWELL had been working on an anthology of interviews with transplant recipients and donors, one of several writing projects she shared with her writing group. For two years, she drove to Toronto every two weeks to meet with them.
"She wanted to be a good writer; it was so important to her," said Gwenlyn SETTERFIELD. She wrote about living in the country, her prom dresses and travels with her father, a naval commander, but most of all she wrote about her transplant.
"She'd warn us: 'It's another transplant piece,'" Rose ZGODSINSKI recalled. "It was definitely her main message."
In 2002, MAXWELL wrote about attending the funeral of a son's favourite sailing instructor whose family had donated his organs to others: "These gifts contribute to the collective unconscious the certainty that there is in the world, in the purest sense, charity and love."
She was always willing to speak at schools and meetings about the organ donor program.
"She was a big advocate," said Dr. Les LILLY, a surgeon with the transplant program at Toronto General Hospital, where MAXWELL was one of 65 people who received new livers in 1992.
With one of the largest liver transplant programs in Canada, the hospital now performs more than 300 adult transplants a year with increasingly better results. In 1992, only about 70 per cent of recipients were expected to live more than a year. It's now about 90 per cent.
"The only thing holding us back is getting more donors," said LILLY. Canada has one of the worst rates of organ donations in the western world. And Toronto has the lowest rate of any Canadian city. "The fact that one-third of liver transplants use living donors shows you how desperate we're getting."
People like MAXWELL who promote the donor program are crucial to its success, he said.
"We have patients pushing 20 years. We expect indeterminate longevity," said Dr. Greg PAUL, who operated on MAXWELL. " Liver transplants are one of the most successful transplant procedures. Liz MAXWELL would be a testament to that."
She always lived full out. An athlete in high school and at Queen's University, she began her teaching career as a physical education instructor and was aware of nutrition and the benefits of jogging long before either became fashionable, according to TRUSZ, a retired high school principal.
Raised in Ottawa, she moved to Fenelon Falls with her first husband, Jim WEBSTER, 28 years ago.
When she and TRUSZ were starting to become involved, MAXWELL told him that she had a serious liver problem and that there would be no hard feelings should he want to leave. He stayed and they sailed together in the British Virgin Islands two years running and took what TRUSZ calls "a trip of a lifetime" to Newfoundland in 1991.
But early in 1992, her liver failed and she was in a coma for five days. "There were medical people who thought she wouldn't survive," said TRUSZ. She was put on the transplant list, taken off it and put back on when she had a setback that September. On December 21, she was making gingerbread houses with sons Graham, Jamie and Cameron when the phone rang
TRUSZ remembers it vividly. He was frozen on the stairs knowing it was a call from Risa CASHMORE, then the transplant co-ordinator at Toronto General Hospital.
An hour later they were driving to Toronto; 10 hours later, MAXWELL was being wheeled into the operating room. "It was amazing to see her progression after the transplant," said TRUSZ. " She struggled to walk to the washroom, but she set goals. Walk to the mailbox, then walk two blocks and back. She was very disciplined."
A year later she and TRUSZ married, she was back teaching and riding the trail bike TRUSZ had given her for Christmas. The family skied every winter; summers they sailed Georgian Bay in the Resolute, the 27-foot sailboat TRUSZ built. They travelled to Portugal and took the two youngest boys out of school to spend almost three months in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, when she won a silver medal in the three-mile race at the World Transplant Games.
Back home, she attacked life every day, taking her medication load twice daily but always living well, making sure her life was rich, balanced and complete, but never cutting herself any slack. "She'd always pick up her own tennis balls," Cameron said, recalling the time shortly after her transplant when a nurse was looking after her at home as her middle son, Jamie, began to choke on a sandwich.
"My mom was one month out of the hospital with a transplant, but she was up so fast and had him in the Heimlich manoeuvre. It was her nature. She was always there for us."
When a neighbour and fellow teacher also needed a liver transplant almost a year ago, MAXWELL counselled him on what to expect. "The only thing Liz had difficulty talking with me about were the dark moments," said Rowland BAXENDALE. "It was indicative of how she lived her life. Liz's days didn't have dark moments. She was a very positive person."
He never knew until her funeral that MAXWELL had visited him in intensive care right after his transplant, but he was always aware that she was showing him how to live by her own example.
"She is still teaching me a lot," he said. "I'm constantly reminding myself to deal with matters more enjoyably, to relish every moment as they happen."
MAXWELL lived up to her credo. Two years ago, she wrote each member of her family a note "expressing feelings that aren't often enough expressed," said TRUSZ. " She didn't take her good fortune lightly or for granted."
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ZGUDZIAK email@example.com_county.toronto.toronto_star 2005-11-04 published
LAING, Marjorie Eudora (née GRAY/GREY)
(September 8, 1925-November 1, 2005)
Passed away peacefully, at Brampton Extendicare, on November 1, 2005. Loving mother of daughters Heather and husband John SANDERSON, Wendy and husband Andy ZGUDZIAK, special grandmother to Kyle ZGUDZIAK, and loving companion and life partner of Ron STREET. Predeceased by parents James and Minnie GRAY/GREY, and brother Jack GRAY/GREY. Remembered lovingly by sister-in-law Jacqueline GRAY/GREY, and nephew David GRAY/GREY. Marjorie will be remembered for her generosity and her real and genuine concern for others that was without measure. She was a dedicated teacher with the Peel Board for many years. Her legacy lives on in the memories of the hundreds of students whose lives she touched. The family will receive Friends at the Ward Funeral Home "Brampton Chapel," 52 Main Street South (Hwy. 10), Brampton, on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. Service to follow in the Chapel at 4 p.m. Donations in Marjorie's memory, may be made to the Peel Literacy Guild, 150 Central Park Drive, Suite 316, Brampton, Ontario L6P 2T9. Condolences to the family may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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