BAGPIPES, BITCOIN AND BROKEN DREAMS
By: F. Daniel Somrack
High on the green rolling hills of Ohio, the sad, pastoral sounds of “Amazing Grace” emanated upward from the bagpipes of a lone, kilted figure to the wings of angels that carried the sad melodies all the way to heaven.
For a thousand years, a bagpipe eulogy has been granted only to the bravest and the best among us and yet today, its ethereal sounds laid to rest an innocent young soul whose pure heart qualified him to be among them. God knew him and loved him, and it was time to bring him home.
This day ended a seven and a half year journey that began when Mr. Phil Vollman and his wife Linda made the decision to adopt a severely handicapped young boy and bring him into their home to love him as one of their own.
Little Daniel was abandoned at the hospital and given little chance of survival after oxygen deficiency during childbirth left him with brain damage and cerebral palsy. Their courageous decision to adopt Danny changed their lives and the life of this precious little boy.
During the entirety of his short life, Daniel was never able to get out of bed, utter a word, play with a toy or even experience the joy of laughter. Linda Vollman did everything humanly possible to make his life as comfortable and dignified as possible. This required her to dedicate herself to 24/7 care that lasted over seven years.
Phil added a private room onto their house for Daniel’s special needs. They even purchased a van and modified it with a wheelchair lift so Daniel could be transported back and forth to the hospital on a weekly basis.
On a yearly basis, Daniel would be hospitalized and on the verge of death with pneumonia for weeks at a time. He also required a tracheostomy for a feeding tube and back surgery to ease the pain of a damaged spine. It was non-stop, constant care required of the Vollman’s, especially Linda.
And, this wasn't the first time the Vollman's reached out to rescue an unwanted child. Although Phil and Linda had three healthy, biological children of the own, they had chosen to adopt another unwanted child six months earlier and christened her Katie Joy.
Katie was a victim of one of the most overlooked and misunderstood conditions that plagues thousands of children each year known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or (FAS). FAS limits the normal cognitive development of a child and renders them physically and mentally impaired their entire lives.
FAS results from a fetus being exposed to alcohol abuse by the mother during her pregnancy. Some of the symptoms are hyperactive behavior, short attention span, poor memory, as well as the physical defects such as lower bodyweight and abnormal facial features.
Katie was adopted twenty-seven years ago when she was only four days old. The Vollman’s dedicated the best years of their lives for a little girl nobody wanted. In addition to the time and sacrifice of raising their own three children, they generously incurred the time and expenses to give Katie as normal a life as possible.
Due to her special needs, Katie was home schooled and raised with the other Vollman children throughout her life and treated as part of the family. It wasn’t until Katie reached her early teens that FAS’s psychological characteristics began to manifest. This required intensified daily supervision and support.
Today at twenty-seven, due to the Vollman’s help and financial backing, Katie is now able to live in her own apartment, work a simple job that allows her to earn a small income and as well as enjoy limited independence. Considering Katie’s condition, this is an amazing achievement.
Phil and Linda Vollman have dedicated their lives sacrificing for others. Upon graduation from high school, Phil served his country in the United States Marine Corps. during the Vietnam era. Honorably discharged two years later, Phil married Linda, his high school sweetheart, and settled down to raise a family.
Having difficulty transitioning into civilian life, Phil was temporarily hospitalized with stress disorder and alcohol related problems. Through a life changing experience during a local church service, Phil transitioned into the person he is today.
Since then, Phil and Linda have made it their life’s mission to serve their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and help others. Seven years after that fateful day in church, Phil would be ordained as a Pastor, start his own church, and assemble a congregation with over three-hundred members at its peak.
For the next sixteen years, Phil did the Lord’s work including travelling the country with Operation Rescue saving unborn children from abortion. During this time, Phil and Linda became involved in the adoption process, caring for unwanted children on a temporary basis until they could be placed with an adopting family.
The Vollman’s began offering temporary care for four unwanted babies. After bonding with the children for weeks at a time, the agency would invariably call to place the child to long-tern adoptive families. This became a heart breaking routine for Phil and Linda.
Two of the four children the Vollman’s had cared for were damaged and the agency had difficulty placing them. They made the courageous decision to adopt Katie and Daniel as their own. This lead Phil and Linda to the next important chapter in their lives.
By realizing there is no safety net for families dealing with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome across the country, Phil and Linda have hopes of starting the non-profit KATIE’S JOY, a foundation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. KATIE’S JOY would bring awareness to the heartbreaking syndrome as well as offer hope and support to other families dealing with the same experience.
KATIE’S JOY will work to provide information and bring awareness to families dealing with the same issues they have been dealing with for the last three decades. Although the funding for the Vollman’s noble venture was stolen through Internet fraud, they haven’t stopped praying and believing they’re dream will still become a reality.
Beginning in 2013, Phil began an intensive study in the newly introduced “crypto currency” called Bitcoin. The more he explored the crypto marketplace, the more he was convinced that Bitcoin was here to stay.
Working two jobs to earn a little extra money to invest in Bitcoin, Phil was able to allocate a few dollars each week to his crypto coin portfolio. Over the course of five years, Phil was able to create a fund that would guarantee the welfare of his daughter the rest of her life.
On August 1, 2018, Phil logged into his account and found that it was hacked and his entire portfolio for the KATIE’S JOY foundation had been stolen. On the day the fraud occurred, Phil’s account was valued at close to “six-figures,” with the upside potential of reaching millions of dollars. Gone were his entire life savings as well as the security of Katie’s future.
For Phil and Linda, who have dedicated their lives to the service of others, they ask of you but one thing: “If you pray, if you still believe that God answers prayer, as they do -- Please Pray for Them!”
The Vollman’s believe in the sovereignty of GOD. They believe that He is sovereign over all things including the Blockchain, and as such, they refuse to let their life be defined by the theft they were victims of - and proof of this came as the sun rose in the eastern sky on the morning of August 2, 2018.
Life goes on.
Lessons are learned.
Bitterness is banished with the only thing that matters: “Semper Fidelis” the Marine Corp motto admonishing “Always Faithful”
PLEASE help restore the 14.2 BTC stolen from Phil and his family.
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