Editors note:

We seek prayers for one Save the Confluence family member in her battle against a Coronavirus infection.

Rita Bilagody, a Tuba City resident, led the fight against Phoenix developers, who proposed to develop a tourist resort at Grand Canyon East Rim, in an effort to save the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers. Rita often referred to the development proposal as “The Monster.” The Navajo Nation Council killed the idea in 2017.

This is Bilagody’s description of the powerful infection.

Rita Bilagody displays an anti Escalade protest sign in October 2017 during the Western Navajo Fair in Tuba City.

Good morning from my hospital room at TCRHCC…I wanted to let you know that I’m getting stronger and better each day as I’m undergoing treatment.

Today is good, in fact, every day is good now after I’ve been fighting for my life and I’m infinitely better than when my daughter called the ambulance last Wednesday.

I want to be very clear on one thing: I unknowingly caught this virus from another who didn’t know they had it either. I was not out traipsing around, violating curfew. (If you know me at all, you know I dislike going into Tuba City anyway!)

This virus is very vicious and deadly and it’s silent until it wraps your body in its unrelenting grasp and it won’t let go. I remember that when I was fighting the escalade,  I used to call it a Monster. Now we have a much larger, invisible, and deadly Monster in our midst. You have NO idea who has been exposed and that person can be standing right next to you or talking to you.

When I was admitted,  my Mantra, of sorts was ” Please don’t send me home again. Please help me. Please don’t let me die.”

I don’t scare easily but I was terrified of losing my life. Now, my Mantra is “I’m much better,  I’m being treated and I WILL LIVE!”

Make no mistake abt assuming you’re safe…the Virus is an equal opportunity illness.

It’s very painful, it attacks your body with a sudden viciousness and you can die. There’s a measure of envy of all of you who are healthy,  a measure of sadness for my in-laws, who have lost many family members, and great sadness at the loss of our Dine’ who have succumbed to this virus. I would like to encourage you all to protect yourselves, your children, your Elders  by following medical protocol.

I surely appreciate all of your well wishes, Prayers and directing Positive Energy towards me. I could literally feel it and helped me to focus on living.

It’s a very introspective time for me.

I will be here in the hospital for a bit of time.

I certainly view this beautiful day as a Gift from Creator.

Take care…..Rita Bilagody

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