Friday, January 31, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Dr. Zenko Hrynkiw was at Brookwood Medical Center Tuesday morning when he was needed for emergency brain surgery at Trinity Medical Center.
The problem was the sudden snowstorm had locked down traffic, and the neurosurgeon didn't get farther than a few blocks.
"The cell service was bad so we were fading in and out," said Steve Davis, charge nurse in the neuro intensive care unit at Trinity. "At one point, I heard him say, 'I'm walking.'"
Davis had alerted authorities, and they were looking for him. There were supposed sightings, but no one could find him.
"The police were looking for him," Davis said.
Hours had gone by since the initial contact in the morning.
"He finally called me and said where's the patient? What's the status?" Davis said. "He spoke to the family and went off to surgery."
It was an emergency surgery for a traumatic brain injury. Hrynkiw is Trinity's only brain surgeon, Davis said.
"Without the surgery, the patient would have most likely died," Davis said. "But he is doing well."
Davis said he and colleagues at Trinity were estimating the hike to the Montclair Road hospital at about eight miles, although Google Maps puts it at about six. The extreme weather Tuesday has been blamed for five deaths statewide and it stranded untold thousands away from their homes.
"This just speaks volumes to the dedication of the man," Davis said.
Davis said Hrynkiw takes good care of himself and frequently walks for exercise.
at 7:10 AM
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Jorge Mata returns 78-year-old's missing bank envelope with cash & ID inside and he gets a surprise reward in return...
It's not every day a bank envelope full of money is left on the ground.
Inside, $60 in cash and an elderly woman's Texas ID card.
Jorge Mata couldn't believe she dropped it Tuesday in the parking lot of a San Benito restaurant.
"It reminded me of my mom and I said well if it was my mom I would have wanted somebody to return the envelope to my mom as well.... So I went to look for the lady," he explained.
Jorge checked first with the staff at Vicky's, the restaurant where the envelope was found outside.
Then he drove to the address listed on the ID.
"But it took me into an empty lot," Jorge said.
With nothing but dead ends, he turned to social media.
The Brownsville man posted a picture of Zeferina Ramirez's ID with her personal information blocked out and listed his phone number to see if anyone recognized her.
"I thought I was going to get a hit pretty soon, but I had to post it in different groups and stuff," he explained. "So after a while some other gentleman posted on his page and that's when it took off."
Joe De Leon remembers getting the call about his grandmother.
"Yesterday morning, I was just getting ready for work and one of my aunt's called me and said, 'Joe there's a picture of your grandma on Facebook,'" he said.
Zeferina says she didn't even realize that the envelope was missing until her grandson inquired about it.
"When I found out it was gone, I though what can I do, it was terrible," she explained.
That's because the 78-year-old lives on a fixed income.
It made Jorge's efforts personally rewarding to him to know that he helped someone in need.
at 7:41 AM
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
In a recovery being described as a “miracle,” a Texas teen was being transferred out of intensive care on Tuesday after surviving a Saturday skydiving accident that caused her to plummet 3,500 feet and slam into the ground.
Mackenzie Wethington, 16, will remain hospitalized in Oklahoma for a lacerated liver and kidney, a broken tooth and broken bones throughout her body — but at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, hospital officials said she’s in good condition.
“Amazingly enough, she required no surgery for any of those injuries,” said Dr. Jeffrey Bender, the OU Medical Center trauma surgeon who oversaw Mackenzie’s care on Saturday night. “I have no idea how she survived.”
Mackenzie desperately wanted to go skydiving, so her father Joe Wethington arranged a trip with her as a present for her 16th birthday. Her mother, Holly Wethington, didn’t want the trip to happen, though. At Tuesday’s press conference, Holly said she resisted signing the necessary release forms until she was assured that Mackenzie would be doing a tandem jump, riding on an experienced skydiver’s back.
at 7:29 AM
Dad with cancer, Garth Callaghan, writes his daughter Emma 826 napkin notes to last long after he's gone....
Courtesy Garth Callaghan
Garth Callaghan started slipping notes into his daughter Emma’s lunchbox when she was in kindergarten. She could barely read at the time, so he kept the napkin notes simple with easy words, sometimes using drawings or symbols.
Today, Callaghan's eighth-grade daughter has come to depend on those brief missives as a daily source of inspiration — and a reminder to never take her dad for granted.
Callaghan, 44, has battled kidney cancer twice over the last several years and currently lives with prostate cancer, a slow-growing disease. Recent blood work shows “no evidence” of kidney cancer these days, but Callaghan said his oncologist has bluntly told him that people with his medical history only have an eight percent change of surviving the next five years.
"This isn’t a story about cancer, because any parent at any time could be hit by a car or have a heart attack," he said, explaining to TODAY.com about why he continues to write "napkin notes" to his daughter. "This is really about leaving a legacy so that she can understand some of my life philosophies and how much I love her.”
Courtesy of Garth Callaghan
Callaghan is now striving to reach a goal of writing 826 napkin notes, one for each school day his daughter has left until her high school graduation. He came up with the goal after reading an article about “because I said I would,” a non-profit group that stresses the importance of keeping promises.
“That’s when I thought, I can write out napkin notes ahead of time, and have them ready if I can’t fulfill my own promise if something bad happens,” he said.
Callaghan has only about 40 notes left to write — the finished ones are sitting in a cabinet in his home office in Glen Allen, just outside the Virginia capital of Richmond. But he hasn’t slipped any of the notes he's banked into Emma's lunchbox yet — he's leaving those for his “just in case” pile. Every morning, he writes a brand-new note for his daughter.
at 7:17 AM
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
10 year old Keegan Keppner who has terminal brain cancer feeds the homeless - "its what makes me feel good"
Keegan Keppner is only 10 years old, but he knows what it's like to struggle. His parents are both unemployed and he has been fighting a rare and terminal form of brain cancer that has required multiple rounds of chemotherapy.
But this week, he is not worried about himself. He wants to make sure the city of Eugene takes care of the homeless, who are being shuffled out of a tent community called Whoville camp.
"It's sad to see them suffer," Keegan, fourth grade math whiz, told ABCNews.com. "There are a lot of nice people down there."
On Jan. 15, the city replaced "no camping" signs with "no trespassing" signs, which, if violated, could result in arrests, according to the local television station, WVAL.
So Keegan and his stepfather, Steven Macgray, decided to cook up a pot of rice and beans and take it down to the 18 or so homeless people. Magray said Keegan had been worried about the city's homeless population since last December.
"It's on his bucket list," said Macgray, 36.
"He would see a lot of homeless guys on the street and give them dollar bills here and there," he told ABCNews.com. "It's been controversial here – the homeless are getting pushed out of the city. One guy named Ken was crying on TV and it really struck Keegan. He looked at me and said, 'We really need to do something.'"
"He wants everyone to know that the homeless are just like you and me," said Macgray. "He understands some are there by choice and others are not there by choice."
Keegan told his parents he wanted to give up Christmas dinner to feed everyone. "I kind of put it off to the side and said, 'Let's hold off on that," said he stepfather. "'We're not in the best position ourselves.'"
at 8:02 AM
Monday, January 27, 2014
In the biggest game of his young life Spencer Wilson gets a huge assist from his friend Josh Rominger....
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Just outside Greensboro, N.C., Bishop McGuinness boys' basketball team is coming off what may be the most remarkable game in school history.
"I still can't believe that even happened," one player says.
"I felt like there was no one who could stop us," says another."I will remember this game for the rest of my life," a third player says.
The game was against their archrivals, Mount Airy High School, but to fully appreciate what happened here, you first need to know how Coach Josh Thompson prepared them for this night.
It all started a few days earlier with an old ball and a gold Sharpie. Coach Thompson told each player to pick someone to dedicate the game to -- could be an uncle, a grandpa, one kid picked his parents. They all joined the exercise, but safe to say no one took it more seriously than junior guard Spencer Wilson. He picked his friend Josh Rominger."Josh's passion for life really drew me towards him," Spencer says.
Spencer and Josh were two great friends with one lousy thing in common: they both had cancer. The difference was Spencer beat his, and Josh didn’t. He died nine months ago.
Before the game, Spencer wrote a letter to Josh's mom, explaining what they were doing and why he would be playing for Josh.
"His joy illuminated the room, and it was always apparent to me that he was special," Spencer wrote. "Just wanted to let you know the impact your son has on my life still to this day. I will never forget him. Play for Josh."
"I read it and cried," says Josh's mom, Denna Rominger. "They just had that bond. Nobody else knew how Josh felt except for Spencer."
Sunday, January 26, 2014
When the power went out in Don's house, he found a way to keep his family warm by walking several miles each day and picking up firewood from abandoned buildings in Detroit. When word caught on about Don's plight, the locals turned his small fire into a bright light.
Don, who asked that his last name be withheld, has been trekking miles through the snow each day looking for wood so that he and his four children could stay warm throughout the cold winter days and nights. The 53-year-old father was formerly employed as a butcher and commercial roofer, but recently lost his job and was unable to pay his utility bills.
A local news station took note of Don's efforts and brought his story into the spotlight on Wednesday. By Thursday afternoon, the community and one particularly generous Good Samaritan came together to give Don the money he needed to restore his power.
"An anonymous donor relieved the entire bill," Don tells the Good News blog. "I'm speechless."
Don says he owed around $5,000, yet that wasn't the only donation. FOX 2 Detroit notes there was an "outpouring" of support following the story's airing, and during our own conversation with him, a cyclist on the street approached Don and gave him $20, moving the needy father to tears.
"All I say to myself is that it's going to be alright and things are going to get better. I just can't stop," Don remarks. "Nothing comes to a sleeper, but a dream. If you don't do anything about your situation, you'll never achieve that point when you'll be successful… I've always been an individual who's been optimistic."
As inspiration, Don says his four children provide the encouragement he needs to tackle his obstacles. They range in age from 10 to 20, and while he admits they sometimes complain, he says they are learning about the world through their hardship.
"My thing is to prepare them for life," he comments. "They know there's no control over anything at this time, but they keep their noses to the grind."
Don says his goal is to regain the type of employment he's had in the past. He donates his plasma twice a week for money, but with the power soon restored, he will be able to dedicate his time to looking for work.
With life looking up, Don seems grateful he can dedicate his hours to getting things back in order, and being with his children.
"I guess I am a survivor," he remarks. "And I'm teaching my loved ones how to survive too."
at 3:28 PM
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Despite Cancer, Best Friends Zac Gossage, Six and Vincent Butterfield Seven, Strengthen Their Bond...
When Zac Gossage, 6, lost his hair to chemotherapy treatments for leukemia, he cried to his mother that he didn't want to go to school.
Luckily, he has a friend in 7-year-old Vincent Butterfield.
When Vincent's first grade teacher told their class at Central Elementary School in Union, Mo. that Zac had leukemia, Vincent told his dad he wanted to shave his head.
“I didn’t want him to feel like the only one without hair,” said Vincent.
Vincent’s mom, Karen Butterfield, said she was shocked back in November when her son and husband both shaved their heads. But she wasn’t surprised to learn why.
“Vincent is like that. He’s a compassionate little boy. When he sets his mind to it, he does it,” said Butterfield.
Zac's mother, Stacy Tooley, said that her son's worries about his own bald head went away after Vincent shaved his brown hair.
Courtesy of: Karen Butterfield
“I’m grateful that he has such an amazing friend,” said Tooley. Zac and Vincent have been best friends since kindergarten.
Zac says his BFF shaving his head did make him feel less alone.
“It made me feel awesome because I wouldn’t be the only one with no hair,” said Zac.
Courtesy of: Karen Butterfield
Not only did Vincent shave his head for Zac, but in December he and his mother made scarves to sell as a fundraiser for his friend’s family. He set a goal to sell 10 scarves on Facebook and raise $100. Within five hours, he sold 20 scarves and was able to donate $200 to Zac’s family.
“I sold them so the doctors can fix him,” said Vincent.
These days, Zac’s dad said his son is doing well. He was diagnosed on June 17, and has more chemo ahead of him, but he is still going to school and only misses days when he has to go to the doctor for a spinal tap.
Vincent’s mother believes watching his best friend go through so much has taught him an important lesson about having a fighting spirit: “Zac has helped Vincent as much as Vincent has helped Zac."
at 4:20 AM
Friday, January 24, 2014
at 8:45 AM