This morning I was directed to a story on the Peter Sommer Travels website by a wonderful archaeologist I know, who’s working here on Crete. I won’t mention names here, for some of my amazing friends are quite shy and prefer science over fame. The subject of the story I read, Professor Helena Tomas, compelled me to ask you for help on her behalf.
Dr. Helena Tomas is one of the world’s best-known archaeologists, an expert focused on the Bronze Age and on ancient languages such as the as yet undeciphered Linear A. Helena has received many accolades because of her tireless work. The Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Zagreb, Croatia. Helena won her Ph.D. at Oxford and has gone on to earn fellowships in Germany, Greece, and the United States. She is considered one of the world’s leading researchers of Aegean archaeology and Mycenaean epigraphy. As a way of introducing Helene to you, here is a talk she conducted for Moses Znaimer’s ideacity.
Over the past few years, Helena has spent summers as a specialist guide on archaeological tours in Croatia and Greece with Peter Sommer Travels. Tireless in her quest to uncover the secrets of the past, she’s also been active orchestrating her own archaeological digs. It’s fair to say that very few people possess the combination of knowledge backed by passion and energy, that Helena does. But this story is not really about a famous archaeologist. It’s about a wonderful, fun-loving, and special human being who’s fighting the fight for her life.
In 2019, at the age of 43, and at the height of her academic career, Helena suffered a life-threatening aneurism followed by two strokes, which resulted in very serious physical difficulties. Since these horrible events, Helena has undergone extensive surgery (including a recent twelve-hour operation to repair two further aneurysms), and intense ongoing rehabilitation.
It goes without saying, that the tragedy that befell Helena comes with a catastrophic financial cost. From the stories of Helena I’ve read, she is a fighter and has a joy of living that will certainly carry her through. But like many of us, she can use all the love, encouragement, and help she can get.
I am told that Helena is anxious to overcome these hurdles so that she can get back to work deciphering the language of the mysterious Minoans, Linear A. Dr. Helena Tomas is a special person, so special that three people who were guests on her expert tours decided to start a GoFundMe campaign to help her pay some of these unbearable medical costs.
This fundraiser is to assist Helena by helping to provide funding for her ongoing physiotherapy and to meet the cost of further medical treatment. Please, if you can help, go to Helena’s GoFunMe campaign and do whatever you can.
I know these are difficult times for everyone reading this. We are blessed and cursed to live in an unprecedented era where the world has become a community, a community of people now forced apart by a horrendous pandemic. If you cannot help Helena financially, please hit a knee at night, and if you can send her your best wishes.