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County woman finally gets her double lung transplant

Amy Sutten-Schattenkerk will not be able to make it to her fundraiser on Sunday, but she’s OK with that. She’s going to be breathing a lot easier, because the Douglas County woman finally has a pair of new lungs.

After some false alarms, she had the long-awaited double lung transplant on May 31, about 15 months after after she had been diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension and was told by her doctors that new lungs would be critical for her survival.

During that time she was called four times and headed for the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, only to be told the lungs that were available were not going to work.

The last time she was called, she was actually in the hospital and sedated when the procedure was canceled.

“I was on the operating table for a couple of hours, but the lungs weren’t good enough, so they called it off,” Amy Sutten-Schattenkerk said.

Sutten-Schattenkerk has a rare blood type, so the lungs have to be just the right type in addition to being the right size and condition. But this time doctors were able to find a good match, and on May 29, Sutten-Schattenkerk was called for the last time.

“It was a 9-hour operation and it was pretty grueling,” said her husband, Ron Sutten-Schattenkerk. “But the operation went fine and the surgeon was extremely pleased with the lungs and the surgery itself.”

Amy Sutten-Schattenkerk has been recuperating very well and according to her husband, there have been no major complications and she’s already on physical therapy and has been up and walking around.

After so many false alarms, the couple wasn’t sure if they should get excited or not, especially because it didn’t sound as urgent as the previous calls.

“We had time on this one, and it was almost surreal,” Ron Sutten-Schattenkerk said, “Especially after the dry runs prior to this. We were kind of dubious as to whether it was actually going to be a go, but everything worked out beautifully.”

He said Amy Sutten-Schattenkerk wants everyone to know how much she appreciates all of the support she’s received from family and friends and the community.

“She wants to convey her extreme gratitude and wants everybody to know how extremely grateful and thankful she is,” he said.

The costs are piling up for her trips to Seattle, so friends, family, and other supporters had already planned a fundraiser for this Sunday, June 10, at 5 p.m. at the Riversdale Grange to raise money to help the family with expenses. And while Amy Sutten-Schattenkerk won’t be able to attend, that’s a good thing. Instead, she will likely stay in the hospital in Seattle for a couple of weeks.

The event will go on and will be a spaghetti dinner and variety show called Magic and Mayhem with the Magical Performers Guild.

Tickets are $15 and available at While Away Books on Harvard Avenue next to Grocery Outlet in Roseburg.

Donations may also be sent to the National Foundation for Transplants Oregon Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119, “in honor of Amy Sutten-Schattenkerk.”

The money may be used for transplant-related expenses for items like travel, lodging, gas, medications or vitamins.

For information on the fundraiser call 541-530-0578.

Yoncalla man accused of sex abuse, incest

A Yoncalla man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly sexually abusing a young family member for six years, according to court documents filed in Douglas County Circuit Court.

Law enforcement officers were first made aware of the allegations after a family member reported that the man, Thomas Elwood Morin, 52, was storing child pornography on his computer. The family member said Morin had movie files on his computer titled, “mom and lil daughter,” “Bond’s Baby,” and a web address for “Celebrity Babies 2017.”

Deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office interviewed the family member and soon learned that Morin had allegedly sexually abused a young female relative while she was between the ages of 4 and 10.

The victim, who was interviewed by police, said that Morin sexually abused her on different occasions, according to court documents.

On May 24, detectives set up a call between the victim and Morin. During the call, the female victim asked Morin what he remembered about the abuse and what had happened, according to court documents.

Morin paused for several seconds before saying he didn’t remember but asked if she was mad at him, according to court documents.

Morin said he didn’t want to go to jail and asked if the abuse could be put behind them. Later, Morin said he was probably going to be banned from seeing his family and asked whether that was punishment enough.

The victim responded, saying Morin had already lost his family.

“You know why,” she asked.

“Because I’m a monster, OK,” Morin responded.

“Yep, you are a monster,” the victim said, according to court documents.

Morin was arrested on suspicion of two counts of first-degree sodomy, two counts of first-degree sexual penetration, first-degree sex abuse, incest, and third-degree encouraging child sexual abuse.

New Roseburg Library director to start in July

Newly hired Roseburg Library Director Kris Wiley has a unique challenge ahead of her. She’s about to take on a library that was shut down by the county a year ago, then taken over by the city. It’s set to reopen in October with a skeleton crew and help from the Douglas Education Service District.

Wiley, who is currently the director of a small-town Minnesota library, is slated to begin her new job here July 2. It seems she’s embracing the challenge.

“I really thought when I saw this position that it was an exciting and unique opportunity,” she told The News-Review Thursday. Wiley said she’s also looking forward to living in a different part of the country and finds the Roseburg area a beautiful place.

“I really just can’t wait to get to know the community and what its vision is for the library. I’m looking forward to helping establish a really vibrant city library,” she said.

Wiley has been the director of the New Ulm Public Library for the past four years. She first joined the library in 2009 as its assistant director. New Ulm is a city with a population of 13,522, the county seat of Brown County, Minnesota. Its library’s comparatively modest 16-person staff dwarfs the one Wiley will oversee here. One of her first tasks will be to hire the two part-time employees who will serve as her paid staff in Roseburg. Wiley will be the only full-time library employee.

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners shut their countywide library system down in May 2017 for lack of funds. The move followed voters’ November 2016 rejection of a library district and tax. The Roseburg Library was at that time the central branch of an 11-library countywide system.

The city of Roseburg acquired it in December and created a new city library department with a $355,535 operating budget for fiscal year 2018-19.

Between now and October, the building will be renovated to accommodate the Douglas Education Service District. The ESD plans to move its management offices there and will provide IT and interlibrary courier services for the library in lieu of rent.

Wiley said it’s important for libraries to find these kinds of partnerships.

“If you can match your missions or find common ground, that’s so important. It really expands the services that you’re able to provide to the community,” she said.

She also said strong community support for the library is key to its success.

“It’s important for the library to be recognized and work on communicating that we’re a gathering place for the community, that we’re essential to being part of a vibrant community,” she said.

A library is a hub where people with a passion for reading, literacy and information can come together, she said.

Roseburg Human Resources Director John Van Winkle said the city conducted a nationwide search for a library director, and about 20 people applied. He said Wiley rose to the top of the list due to her experience at a small town library and her willingness to jump in and handle all aspects of the job. And she’s shown she can find creative ways to work with a small staff and limited funds, he said.

“She had a lot of the qualities and experiences we were looking for,” Van Winkle said.

Prior to her nine years at the New Ulm library, Wiley had a varied career. She is a former sports copy editor and a former nurse, who went back to school to obtain a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Iowa. Her first job after that was as a reference librarian in Douglas, Georgia.

She said working as a librarian has been her best fit.

Not surprisingly, Wiley likes to pick up a good book in her spare time. She describes herself as an “omnivorous reader.”

“I really enjoy books with great character development, and I also love a good mystery with a strong sense of place. I love to read about contemporary current affairs and history. I really run the gamut,” she said.