The Dolphins’ Greatest Fan

When Susanna first came to WildQuest, her life and heart were in a mess.

“I was shut down, I’d built up such an armour in my job to keep going, but it was killing me,” she muses, remembering the time in 2011 when she was working as a lead psychologist in a New York City psyche ward.

“I really thought if I could make others happy, it would make me happy,” Susanna reflects on the ‘eureka’ moment she knew she’d have to turn her life around.

With a doctorate in psychology and twenty-five year’s experience in the field, Susanna has also been living with a serious life-threatening disease for fifteen years. Although she was managing to keep the illness at bay with drugs, when she ended up in the hospital for surgery, the vulnerability and knowing that life could end any second, spurred Susanna to live for now. She’d been getting messages from the dolphins and she would just cry thinking about them.

“ ‘What was I waiting for?’ I kept asking myself,” she explains about this ‘dark night of the soul’ period of her life. Then she stumbled on the WildQuest website. And booked her first trip six weeks later.

“The first time I saw the dolphins in the Bimini waters, I could hardly swim, but my heart burst open,” Susanna smiles. “I was just in pure joy and it was like getting back in touch with the real me that I had lost”.

The dolphins came to scan and sonar Susanna three times on that first swim. The click, click of their sonar felt very personal to her, as if they knew she needed healing as if they knew she was desperate to come back home to her own heart. “You’re not broken, they kept telling me,” Susanna explains of how the dolphins helped her accept herself, and each and every moment, as is. “I heard them saying, ‘we see you and you’re perfect’. I decided to believe them,” she laughs.

Laugh, hard and long is exactly how Susanna’s first encounter turned out. She was thrilled at how transformed and healed she felt after her first week. Not just dissolving old beliefs, but most importantly helping her deal with the difficulties of living with her disease. On her second trip back, for the first time, she told her story. All the guests in the WildQuest pod accepted her without question. “It was transformational to be seen, to be accepted, to not be judged. By the people and the dolphins.”

Since that first trip in 2011, Susanna has been a regular visitor every year at WildQuest, at least three times a year. That’s a bit crazy we suggested during the interview. “So what, who cares,” she laughs. “I’ve found something that works, that has helped me restore my health. I’m feeling really good these days,” Susanna exclaims.

Why still come, we asked? “Every time I meet the dolphins, it’s still as powerful as it ever was. They dolphins see me, and give me unconditional love.”

It’s all about the flow of love at the end of the day. These days, Susanna is part of the extended WildQuest family. She has friends from WildQuest all over the world. She’s turned into a great swimmer and found a team to practice with. Her health is great.

“I love laughing and dancing and enjoying life now”, she explains. 

Susanna with dolphins

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WhaleAnne Gordon de Barrigon