Advertisement

She Really Puts His Heart Into It

--Donna Ashlock is a perky, small-town teen-ager who has met President Reagan and Michael Jackson because a friend’s heart beats in her chest. The 15-year-old from the central California farming town of Patterson had only weeks to live when she received the transplant Jan. 5 from Felipe Garza Jr., 15, a high school admirer who died of a brain hemorrhage after he told his parents he wanted Donna to have his heart. Donna’s parents rejected a home-study program suggested by her school, and she returned to regular classes six weeks after the surgery. The Ashlocks’ goal now is to resume a normal life, said Patterson City Manager Harry Hesling, a friend of the family--but living a normal life is easier said than done. Donna and her congressman, Rep. Tony Coelho (D-Merced), rode together last weekend as guests of honor in the annual apricot festival parade. She met Reagan before attending a Valentine’s Day ball as a special guest of the American Heart Assn., and was invited to the home of pop idol Jackson after he heard that she liked his recordings. Afterward, the soft-spoken girl said it was more fun visiting Jackson at his Southern California house than seeing the President in Washington. Out of the spotlight, Donna recently joined an outing to a water slide resort for overnight camping. “I didn’t sanction that one,” said Dr. Andrew Fryer, her cardiologist. “She’s a little tiger. You have to watch her.” Meanwhile, an agreement on the rights to Donna’s story is being negotiated for a TV movie planned for next spring.

--Lee A. Iacocca’s new home has personal as well as historical significance to the Chrysler Corp. chairman. The seven-bedroom, Georgian-style house in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., once belonged to Henry Ford II, who fired Iacocca in 1978, reportedly with the words: “I just don’t like you.” Ford and his wife still own a house in the area, but spend most of their time in England. Ford’s father, Edsel Ford, bought the house for him in 1940, and he and his wife lived there for seven years. The price Iacocca paid for the property was not disclosed, but was estimated at between $800,000 and $1.5 million.

--Cable TV tycoon Ted Turner says he plans to make a television movie promoting the idea of disarmament, and will ask Robert Redford to star in it. “I plan to make a movie showing us getting out of the arms race,” Turner told a conference of 1,000 people in Snowmass Village, Colo. “You can’t get rid of all the arms overnight, but you can get rid of nuclear arms overnight.” Turner, owner of Cable News Network and WTBS-TV in Atlanta, made his remarks at the Windstar Institute’s “Choices for the Future” symposium, hosted by singer John Denver.


Advertisement
Advertisement