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(E) Book review "A Single Step" written by Heather Mills McCartney
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  12/1/2002 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
(E) Book review "A Single Step" written by Heather Mills McCartney


Heather Mills McCartney

Heather Mills McCartney was known in Britain as a model who turned a terrible 
accident into a crusade to help amputees. Her own left leg was amputated 
just below the knee in an accident in London with a police motorcycle in 
1993. Her relationship with musician ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, brought her to 
worldwide attention. It also put her cause center stage. She tells her life 
story in her book "A Single Step". All of the author's net proceeds will be 
donated to "Adopt-A-Minefield".

Heather describes her traumatic childhood in Britain with a violent and 
abusive father. When she was nine, her mother left her father. Without any 
money, her mother did not take along her three children. Years of setbacks 
and traumas have given Heather the drive and determination needed to cope 
with one disaster after another. Before she turned sixteen she had been 
arrested for stealing, run away from a broken home, lived on the streets and 
refused to go to school. 

Working in a succession of menial jobs, she travailed her way to modeling. 
Heather flew to Slovenia for a skiing vacation near Bled in 1990. Skiing 
there was so playful and so much fun, especially after she met a Slovenian 
ski instructor. She moved to Slovenia, learned the language and described her 
life there as the happiest. She loved skiing so much she was getting her 
license to teach, while also modeling. From Slovenia she drove to vacation to 
the Croatian Adriatic coast. She even taught aerobics in one of the Croatian 
hotels on a small island. Due to chronic shortage of money in Slovenia to 
meet their basic needs, her relationship with Milos, the ski instructor, was 
not working out despite their tremendous feelings of love. In great details, 
Heather describes in her book how she was learning the history of the region 
the hard way, when in June of 1991 the Yugoslav army of mostly Serbs attacked 
Slovenia. From Ljubljana, Heather and Milos barely escaped while the tank gun 
was trained on them. 

When she reached London, first thing she wanted to do was help Slovenians and 
soon Croatians. Immediately she started to organize and was baffled that so 
little attention was given in the media. Branded as civil war in former 
Yugoslavia, Heather knew firsthand what was happening via her telephone calls 
with her friend Renata from Slavonia. Deeply distressed, she flew to Croatia 
several times, risking her life, to collect evidence of Serb atrocities. She 
saw it first hand, dead bodies, burnet homes, shootings and spoke to refugees 
who were raped. 

All her attempts to help bring the evidence to the worldwide media backfired 
repeatedly when Croatian border guards completely confiscated her cameras, 
films and prints. During meetings with Croatian politicians they would rave 
and rant to Heather how nobody cares and no one is helping, but then they 
themselves did not follow through in their own jobs of providing the 
necessary documentation for Heather to deliver help. Deeply committed, 
Heather was adamant to find a way. After her own amputation, she organized a 
convoy of two thirty-eight-ton trucks laden with nearly five thousand 
artificial limbs, five hundred wheelchairs, and hundreds of pairs of 
crutches. With a group of volunteers, Heather set off on the 
twelve-hundred-mile journey to Zagreb despite the snail-like pace of Croatian 
bureaucracy. When she arrived in Zagreb, she was told "Nothing doing. We are 
closed for All Saints Day". 

Read this moving and inspirational book by extraordinary woman of how she 
overcame her accident and made it through the darkest hours. 

Heather Mills McCartney is committed to Adopt-A-Minefield which raises 
awareness and funds to clear land mines and rehabilitate land-mine survivors. 
It offers everyone an opportunity to give people in mine-affected countries 
back their lives, return land to productive use, and provide assistance to 
those who have been injured in land-mine explosions. It only costs about $1 
to $2 to clear a square meter of land, $30 to help a child walk again. If you 
would like to find out what you can do to help, or to learn more about 
Adopt-A-Minefield, contact:

Adopt-A-Minefield UNA-USA 801 Second Avenue, New York, New York 10017 Telephone (212) 907-1305  or 

P.s. As of today, the "Sloboda" or "Freedom" munitions factory in southwest 
Serbia has been churning out land mines, anti-aircraft artillery shells, 
smokeless gunpowder and other equipment. At the present time, production is 
for Iraq. 

The Ottawa convention on land mines had been drawn up with the aim to get all 
governments to agree to ban the use of land mines in all future wars. Many 
countries, including Britain, had signed it. America and several others are 
still refusing to do so. 

United States campaign to ban landmines in care of Physicians for Human 
Rights 100 Boylston Street, Suite 702, Boston, MA 02116 Telephone (617) 

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