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The Seludo Story Project

The Seludo Story Project - writing a family memoir – marks our journey to document,

Dad & Mom in New York 1978

understand and emotionally heal from a series of tragic events that drastically affected our family.  It began on September 13, 1989 when our 46 year old father, Dr. Manolito T. Seludo, took one sip of water and his life fell apart.  The drinking water in his duplex townhouse in Napoleonville, LA was laced with a highly toxic and fatal chemical, potassium cyanide. Someone tried to kill him. He faced death but was revived in the ambulance and remained lifeless while in a coma at the hospital.  He went from seeing patients to being a patient for the rest of his life. He lived in misery and discomfort, bed-ridden and unable to walk and talk.  Our father was poisoned, our lives were shattered.  

In August of 1991, two years after our father’s poisoning, our 49 year old mother was in a near-fatal car accident while driving on a narrow two-way road in the bayou town of Raceland, LA. She was struck by a drunk driver in a head-on collision leaving her sandwiched in the car. Realizing that every wasted second could compromise her life, the emergency response team used the “jaws of life” to pry the vehicle open to remove her trapped body from car. With her life threatening injuries, she was transported to the nearest hospital by helicopter.  She survived the accident but she was never the same.

We were 15 and 13 years old when our father was poisoned. We were just beginning to enjoy our adolescent years but were forced to make an overnight transition from teenage life to adulthood.  We found ourselves faced with overwhelming responsibilities of assuring that our parents get through rehabilitation, surgeries, making medical decisions and multiple medical appointments while trying to remain in school.  With two hospitalized parents and not understanding what it meant to have financial obligations, our cars and home were eventually taken from  us.  In 1991, at 17 and 15, we were forced to separate just to find a place to live.  Totally unprepared, we were left alone to figure out this thing called “life”.

It is now 22 years later since our father was poisoned.  As teenagers, we were only capable of reacting instead of comprehending what happened to us and our parents.  As adults, we want to understand and process what happened and we are prepared to peel back the  layers of our lives as we explore our parents’ medical and legal records and talk with people who knew our  parents. For purposes of self-healing and keeping our parents’ legacy alive for our future generations, we are finally ready to chronicle “The Seludo Story” from the eyes of the “Seludo Girls”.

* We invite you to stay informed by subscribing to our blog and engage with us by leaving comments to our posts or posting on our Guest Book with a memory you shared with our family.

30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. What a heartbreaking story. Did they ever catch whoever tried to poison your father? How awful, and your mom too. I will definitely try to come by more often to read your story. Very powerful stuff, indeed!

    I’m your first follower! YAY :-)
    DP
    Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy, and Babies

    • Thanks for the comment DP. The story is a LONG story. But yes they caught him. A post will be coming out soon re: the outcome of the criminal case, which was not to our satisfaction. Thanks for following!

  2. I’m sorry to hear about this tragic story. Thanks for following me! I’m following you back!

  3. How tragic. I’m so sorry for your family’s obstacles, both parents incapacitated so early in your lives. You do have the makings of an amazing memoir.

    I’m a fellow Momblogger. I’ll click on follow after I submit my comment, and it’d be great if you follow back at:
    Karen Cioffi Writing for Children and More

    • Karen, thanks for stopping by. I’m just visited your site and the info will be a valuable resource as I write the memoir. I’m following you now. ~Alfie

  4. Hi, I’m here from MBC and so glad to read your blog. I’m so sorry to read of the problems you faced early on and I’m sure it has made such a strong woman. I’ll be looking to read more of your story.
    Chris
    http://shmily1-lovingdisney.blogspot.com

    • Chris, thanks for stopping by. I don’t post as much on this site but do it as thoughts are triggered as I write the memoir. I’m off to check out your site. We go to Disneyland this Sept so I’ll be looking to your blog as a resource. ~Alfie

  5. I am so sorry to hear about your father. Thank you for stopping by my blog and following. I am following you also….

  6. Alfie, I will stay tuned to your story. Thank you for sharing it.:) And thank you for visiting my blog.
    Madison
    My Meddling Mind

  7. Hi Alfie
    My eyes are wet while reading your story….I can feel what you went through…..praying for a very happy & fulfilled life for you…I am your new follower from MBC.

  8. Wow, amazing and sad story. You write beautifully! Thank you for stopping by ohmadremia.com! I am now following you too!

  9. I am so sorry! You truly are an inspiration and a strong person.

    Thank you for following us back! I look forward to reading more!

  10. My heart goes to you and to your family. I cant find the right words to say but I know you became tough, strong, brave, beautiful inside out. Yours is a story to tell. I hope your other sibling is also doing good and I wish you happiness and joy that you truly deserve.

  11. Oh honey. I wish I could hug you.

  12. I can recall the time the shocking news of Dr. Seludo hit home. My family was devasted & deeply hurt as were the people who had the honor of knowing Manolito. I can remember the frustration & concern on my fathers face when he first heard news of his friend, his confidant & brother in business had fallen ill by the hands of a killer.
    My times with the Seludo family were always such a pleasure. They welcomed me with open arms & were always hospitable & gracious hosts. They even saw fit to play a little live music every now & then on some of my visits..Ha..They were such a blessed, intelligent & talented family. They were funloving, down to earth, hard working & involved in the advancment & wellness of the people & the community. My father simply LOVED Dr. Seludo & trusted his intellect, advice & wisdom. My father was an exceptional judge of character & through him I came to know Doc on a more personal level. I can recall my first physical. Man was I nervous!! but…Dr. Manolito Seludo knew precisely what to say to make me feel comfortable. He had something special, something earned, something only a man with determination & the desire to be great could possess. His sometimes confusing in depth medical terminolgy soon became perfectly understood as his gift of gab layed it out for the lamen & common folk. He had strong warm hands & a soft look about him that made him easy to talk to. I didnt enjoy the Dr. until I met him….It was hard to see such an amazing human being stand so tall & confident to be confined to a wheelchair & incapable of simple conversation..It scarred my memory but his greatness prevails in my mind. My memories of him, his wife, daughters & family are cherished & wholehearted…Thank you for the memories Doc…thank you for being real. Thank you for lighting up my fathers life and the lives of everyone you encountered..The beauty of you, your lovely wife and family live on in all that were blessed to know you….with love and respect..
    Dax.

    • Dax, thanks for sharing the memories and your experience with our family! So glad we reconnected after several years since you “last came by our house to play.” I look forward to seeing you on our next trip to New Orleans! Love ya! ~Alfie

  13. Dax,

    Thank you for your memories and kind words of our family, especially the stories of our dad as a doctor. I know that he loved your family very much!!!!

    Much love to you!
    ~Alta

  14. Having to navigate the world without the guidance of your parents is beyond tragic. I can only imagine how strong that has made you both. I look forward to buying your book!

    • Hi Megan! Great to see you here! Our book writing journey is amazing! I’m sure you’re experiencing the same thing. Thanks for your support!

  15. Alfie,

    What a journey life has been for you. It can be very cathartic to write it all out. I am glad you and your sister are doing so.

  16. Amazing! Your story is powerful and moving! I can’t wait to come back and read the next segment! Thank you for following me, I am now following you back!

  17. Wow, your story is both tragic and inspiring. Wishing you all the best.

  18. Peace and Blessing to you as you memorialize your parents through your story. Not only are you honoring your parents, I am sure you are helping countless amounts of people.

  19. What an incredible story. And what an incredible responsibility you must feel to tell it — good for you. Your family must be very proud.

  20. Rubi singayao russell

    Hi Alfie & Alta..My father and mother were friends with your parents when we were living in Brooklyn, New York. There were other families along with ours that use to get together quite a bit. The Vinluans and the Guintos were the ones that introduced my family, the Singayao, to yours. You girls were practically babies! But I remember how my parents loved those gatherings…and so did my sisters and me. My father is a retired Physician and my mother is retired RN. I remember how they liked to play mahjong…sometimes making it an all nighter! My mother told me how she remembers your father being so outgoing and loved to make everyone laugh. And how your parents loved to laugh. The last our families got together was in Louisiana in early 80′s. I will try to find some pictures and email them to you. I told my father about this tribute and how to contact you girls. And I hope you will be able to collect some good memories from him.
    This is a beautiful thing you girls are doing and I know your parents are looking from above and honored and proud as you honor them. My family means a great deal to me also and as an adult you appreciate the Background of your roots. I tell my daughter all the time..” Family doesnt always mean where you came from, but who you will always be a part of…” God Bless you girls and may the good Lord see you thru your journey and give you strength.

    • Rubi, thanks for sharing! We were so young when we were still in New York but we know our parents had such a vibrant life in New York. We would love to see old photos of our families together. This is a huge project for us but it has so much meaning and while the events in our life have posed its challenges, it has made us stronger individuals. Our dad made his mark in the community and we know what his purpose was – to heal people and bring life, music and laughter into people’s hearts. We look forward to hearing more about you and your family’s experiences with our parents. Thanks for the post!

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