19th March 2000
By Yvonne Gulanhussein
It was a night of fashion and fun as the country's top designers and fashion boutiques strutted their stuff on the catwalk and ladies of every age kept their 'eyes wide shut', on the lookout for the catch of the day.
The Fashion Fiesta 2000 presented by the Lion Ladies of District 306C was an exciting combination of day and evening wear by some of the leading fashion boutiques such as ODEL and Shilpika. The ODEL creations centred on a selection of practical and chic day and office wear, while the evening wear section displayed a number of sexy dresses.
Shilpika put on a fantastic show of evening sarees which had the ladies oohing and aahing over the intricate work and the innovative designs of saree blouses.
Guys too weren't forgotten as they modelled blazers and jackets and smart office wear as well as a few 'hot' items in the evening wear section.
The highlight of the evening was however the bridal wear category, by top designers Lou Ching Wong, Ramani Fernando, Ramzi Rahman, Nayana Karunaratne, Johanne Peries, Sitara Fernandopulle, Chryshanthi Fernandopulle, Michael Wijesuriya, Janaki Kurukulasuriya and Harris Wijesinghe.
The brides were all gorgeous in heavily worked sarees and a mixture of delicate but flouncy dreams of white and ivory. The Millennium bridal ensemble designed by Lou Ching Wong featured a silver dress with a hint of mauve, with a bustle of mauve flowers at the back, complemented by a cap of flowers.
Pix by Mettasena.
It happened forty years ago. My sister was nineteen. She had just had her first baby, a big 8 1/2 pound boy. For a first baby he was too big, they said, but she had no problem with the delivery. Everything went smoothly - the birth was so easy, she made no sound. But five hours later, the ordeal started. My sister began to have convulsions. It was a case of Ecclampsia, the doctor said, which was very rare.
My sister lay unconscious. She looked like a 'workshop' - there were so many tubes and gadgets attached to her body. We were not allowed to be near her very much, but those were the days of caring and very dedicated nursing staff, so we knew that they did their best for her.
We, her family and friends, prayed and prayed. The doctors held out little hope. After she had two convulsions, (they did not tell us that until later) they thought that she would pass away but she survived a third and a fourth! The doctors told my mother that my sister had a very strong constitution. We could do nothing but watch and wait and pray. My mother had a lot of faith in God. She kept saying that God would not turn His face from us.
The doctor could not understand how my sister 'hung on'. She survived nine convulsions over three days! The doctors were baffled. They had expected her to die within hours of the first attack. They also told us that even if she survived, after so many convulsions, she was sure to have some sort of brain damage.
Then, the convulsions stopped and my sister opened her eyes and asked for a drink. She spoke quite normally. We could not believe what we were seeing. The nurse who was in the room at that time, asked her, "Do you know my name?" and when my sister replied correctly, we were amazed. She did not seem to be aware of the terrible ordeal she had gone through. She said she felt as if she had woken up from a long sleep. She only complained of a pain in her back, which the doctor said was due to the 'lumbar puncture' she had.
A few hours later she was able to sit up, and a few days later she was ready to go home. We did not stop praying - our prayers of thanksgiving.
It was only after my sister was home with her baby that my mother told us that the convulsions had stopped after a drop of Lourdes water had been placed in my sister's mouth. My mother had been standing outside the room with the bottle from Lourdes in her hands. She knew that nothing was being fed to my sister orally, she only had the drip. A kind nurse had noticed her with the bottle in her hands and without my mother asking her, had taken a drop into a spoon, and put it on my sister's lips. And that's how the miracle happened.
When my sister walked out of that hospital, the nurses said that they had never seen a patient who had Ecclampsia, survive so many attacks, and most of all, no one had been able to walk away.
We believe that faith can move mountains. For forty years every one in our family turns to God for help - always.
Oh, when the Saints go marching by! The Saints were out in full force last week as Josephians, young and old took to the streets for their Millennium Walk 2000. While the young ones had plenty of fun, water bottles, flags and all, the seniors got up to some tall stuff on stilts. Larger than life cartoon characters too had their part in entertaining the walkers, while even 'Jumbo Junior' showed his excitement by raising his trunk in what seem to be a lusty trumpet. Pix by Dunstan Wickremaratne
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