Horse rider struck down by mysterious illness saved by her love for a Polish cop
First bonding over their mutual love for horses, an American equestrian has revealed the inspiring story of how she found happiness and reclaimed her life following a whirlwind romance with her Polish husband-to-be.
Meeting in 2014 at the stables in which their horses were boarded, Californian Kasia Bukowska has told The Epoch Times how she was swept off her feet by police officer Kamil Bukowski.
However, their nascent relationship soon faced the ultimate challenge when Kasia was struck down by a mysterious illness that left her bed-bound and crippled with intense pain.
Flaring up just three months after she had met Kamil, Kasia was left with severely swollen joints and unable to do the most basic tasks.
Having previously led an intensely active lifestyle, Kasia became, in her words, “a swollen vegetable”.Over the course of nine-months, she visited twenty doctors and four hospitals in two countries before her condition was finally diagnosed as lupus and fibromyalgia.
Up until that point, doctors has maintained that Kasia was healthy with some even going as far to suggest that she was faking her symptoms.
One doctor, in fact, went as far as recommending her father crush up pills to hide in her food to deal with her emotional instability.
Kamil, however, steadfastly stood by her side in spite of Kasia’s acute embarrassment.
“I was so embarrassed that the guy I had been only dating for three months was spoon-feeding me, brushing my hair, washing me in the shower, and changing my clothes.
“At three months you want to show your best… he fell for an active, happy-go-lucky, competitive, motivated, and ambitious girl. I felt like I had nothing to offer him, only burden and turmoil.”
Ignoring her cries for him to break-off the relationship, such was Kamil’s determination to support Kasia that hospital staff once threatened to remove him by calling the police. “But I am the police,” he answered.
Describing Kamil as her “knight in shining armour”, Kasia’s eventual diagnosis offered a rare ray of light. “I was so excited,” says Kasia. “Now that I knew the diagnosis, we could treat and cure it, right?”
Unfortunately, this could not have been further from the truth. “My doctor sat there with a concerned look on his face and explained to me what it was,” she continues. “I broke down crying – there was no cure.”
More heartbreak followed when different doctors told her that she would never ride her beloved horses again as the tendons in her hands had shrunk to such an extent that any quick movement from a horse could result in critical injury.
Falling into a deep depression, it is Kamil that she credits for pulling her out of her state of despond.
Having first met at the same stable as used by Warsaw’s police force, the pair noticed each other on account of the time each would spend lavishing attention on their respective horses.
Plucking up the courage to leave a chocolate and accompanying note on her car windscreen, it took Kasia – who could not speak Polish at the time – a week to decipher his message. Thereafter, the pair became “inseparable” with Kamil not hesitating to become Kasia’s full-time carer at the height of her suffering.
Easing her suicidal feelings, it was Kamil’s comforting words that helped raise her spirits with the two soon dreaming of owning their own barn.
“He told me how we would build a barn in his hometown and would describe it in detail,” says Kasia. “I listened like a child listening to a bedtime fairy tale.”
Ultimately, says Kasia, it was these words of encouragement from her soulmate that led her to realise she still had much to live for.
Marrying in 2016, their ambitions for their own barn were also realised, and the couple currently care for five horses.
Moreover, Kasia has found new ways to express her love for animals by becoming an artist specialising in painting pets – especially horses.
First picking up the brush after her mother had bought her some, Kasia found painting to be the perfect outlet and soon found her mental and physical health soaring.
“I felt more and more empowered,” she says. “Once I saved up to buy my dream horse – a shire that I’ve called Lily – my physical state left doctors speechless.”
Stopping medication entirely – from painkillers to anti-depressants – Kasia also found a way to train horses from her wheelchair.
Now living happily with Kamil, today Kasia is proud to have turned her life around.
“My lupus flare-up brought so many good things into my life,” she says. “I realised how lucky I actually was. Furthermore, I learned that the saying, ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’, really was true.”
And, of course, she found the man she calls her “rock”, the devoted officer that never left her side.