Manitoba

Maria Mitousis says don't let 'fear or hate overcome you'

Despite being seriously injured after a mail bomb that was sent to her office exploded, Winnipeg lawyer Maria Mitousis says "this terrible thing that has happened has not dampened my spirits."

'This terrible thing that has happened has not dampened my spirits,' Mitousis says in Facebook post

Despite being seriously injured after a mail bomb that was sent to her office exploded, Winnipeg lawyer Maria Mitousis is now at home recovering and says "this terrible thing that has happened has not dampened my spirits."
Maria Mitousis posted this photo, along with an update on how she is doing, to her Facebook page Friday, July 17, 2015. (Maria Mitousis)

Mitousis, 38, lost one hand, injured her face, chest, thighs and her other hand during one of three blasts in Winnipeg in early July.

"This event will shape my future and impact all of you on some level. But take comfort in that we can control how. Do not let thoughts of anger, fear or hate overcome you. I have not," Mitousis said in a post to her Facebook page Friday.

"From the moment I awoke after surgery I was filled with feelings of gratitude, love and support. I am so eager to get back to what I do, back to the small firm that I have grown to love, and to the legal community that has shown such solidarity and support, not only to me but to my family and my family at Petersen King."

Guido Amsel, 49, has been charged in connection with the bombing that injured Mitousis at the Petersen King law offices on July 3, as well as two other explosions successfully contained by the police bomb unit in the following two days. Guido Amsel's former lawyer, his ex-wife Iris Amsel and Mitousis (her divorce lawyer) were all targeted, police said.

Far from deterring her, Mitousis said the traumatic experience has actually strengthened her resolve and that she hopes the same will one day be true for others affected by the explosion.
Maria Mitousis, 38, suffered injuries to her neck and chest when she opened a package at her law firm Friday, July 3, 2015. (Twitter)

"I have always believed in the inherent goodness of people. That belief has not been shaken in the least, in fact, it has been strengthened by these events. If I have shown any bravery or strength throughout this ordeal it is a direct result of the bravery and strength displayed to me by others," said Mitousis, adding she is thankful to her coworkers, family, medical personnel and everyone else in the community who has shown their support.

"It is in times of crisis and during horrific events that people come together. I'm so proud of how we've all come together."

As of July 17, a GoFundMe page created by Mitousis' colleagues in the legal community had raised more than $82,500. 

Mitousis said she plans to keep people posted on social media during her recovery.

"If nothing else, this experience has reinforced my practice of gratitude — and I just have so much to be grateful for."

Amsel has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault and several charges relating to the possession of explosives. He is currently looking for a lawyer out of province.

He remains in police custody.

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