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Chicago Business Owner Uses Pandemic Scheduling to Fly At-Risk Animals to Safety!

When the coronavirus pandemic first truly hit the United States, nobody knew how things would shake out. Flash forward nearly an entire year later and we still aren’t sure exactly what the future may hold. With that being said, the past eight months haven’t been wasted entirely. Some people like Eduard Seitan, a restaurateur from Chicago, used their pandemic downtime to help those most at risk and vulnerable, including sick and injured animals. Before we dive into that aspect of the story, let’s first introduce you to Eduard Seitan.

Seitan would find his way to the United States at a young age after having immigrated from Romania when he was only 19-years-old. Fresh-faced and completely at a loss concerning the English language, Eduard knew that he was facing an uphill challenge in his new country. In fact, Eduard couldn’t speak a single word of English. Despite his linguistic limitations, Eduard knew that he could turn his fortune around by working hard.

After working for a few months at a construction job site, Eduard would find his way to a popular Italian restaurant named Club Lucky, due to his own Italian background. Eduard would work as a food runner until he was eventually promoted to the position of head server. A few short years later, Eduard would partner with a friend to establish the One Off Hospitality Group, leading to the Michelin-starred Blackbird and more than 10 other spots throughout Chicago.

Now one of the most prominent self-made restaurateurs in Chicago, Eduard Seitan isn’t letting his position hold him back during the pandemic. When life essentially shut down in March, Seitan and his team would quit drawing salaries to preserve as many employees as possible. Still, two restaurants would end up being shut down. Seitan said, “It was so hard for us.” More than 100,000 restaurants throughout Chicago have already closed on a long-term basis at the time of this writing.

As winter approaches, Eduard knows that dining outdoors will be all but impossible. While his businesses continue to fight against the ongoing pandemic, Eduard has taken to the air to continue making an impact of his own. Seitan flies as a member of the Pilots N Paws program, a nonprofit network of volunteers that pilot at-risk dogs and cats to no-kill organizations around the country. Additionally, Pilots N Paws will literally take animals off of the euthanization list to bring them to forever homes throughout the nation.

For his own part, Seitan has helped to save over 40 pets that were to be euthanized at their local Chicago shelter. Seitan has frequently spoken out against animal abuse and how the very description can fill him with rage. As a result, Seitan knew that he wanted to truly give new opportunities to animals so that they could live fulfilling lives in homes brimming with love and affection. Along the way, Seitan points out that the dogs enjoy the ride and ‘do really well’ once the plane gets into the air.

Seitan has long called the air his ‘happy place’ and now he is returning there frequently with the pandemic opening up his schedule. October 14th saw Seitan fly Frank, a German pointer, and Hero, a mixed-breed, to Ohio where they would join a prison-dog program. The animals would be introduced to individuals serving their time, in return, the dogs will be trained and treated to love and affection.

Eduard Seitan has a pair of rescue dogs of his own and he frequently volunteers alongside the team at Chicago Animal Care and Control.



The Man Who Saved Hundreds of Dogs in a Hurricane

Kevin Wells



Ricardo Pimentel never expected to be compared to Noah, or a pied-piper, or a dog-whisperer. However, his role in life may have very well been fated for what he was about to do ahead of a big storm that was coming towards his region.

Hurricane Delta was expected to hit the Mexican Yucatan with full force. The area was familiar with tropical storms, but heavy-stage hurricanes were rare. One of the last times a major hurricane hit the area, it ended up leaving major city areas buried waste deep in ocean water pushed inland. Knowing full well what another hurricane could do, Ricardo decided to do his best for the animals nobody else was going to do anything about. As a result, one man managed to save over 300 dogs, more than a handful of chickens, a hedgehog, and even rabbits. And even sheep ended up finding some shelter under his patio roof.

The wind and rain howled against Ricardo’s house, but it was going to stand and make it to another day. And for the animals he saved, they too were going to make it and live longer a well. The conditions afterwards were less than ideal. There was a tremendous amount of cleanup and removal of broken items that were needed. That said, the animals all seemed to understand what was going on and none of them attacked each other during the entire affair. They all made it through the hurricane safe, alive, and healthy.

For his neighbors and family, Ricardo’s actions were no big surprise, however. The home and surrounding area were already well-known for being an animal sanctuary, a saving place for those creatures that either were not wanted, lost, too old to be adopted or similar. The sanctuary had managed to operate for at least a decade now, located 20 miles to the south of Cancun.

Ricardo needed help, however, during the hurricane. So, with his home computer and a basic Internet connection, he asked for help. Ricardo didn’t need to say much; the photo of his room and house looked like a real-life version of a dog farm running free inside a house.

The storm passed, like they all do, but Ricardo still had 300 dogs plus the rest of the barn to take care of, feed, clean up after and relocate. Fortunately, unknown to Ricardo, his social media plea had gone into sharing mode at hyper speed. The photos and his request went viral, and everyone, thousands he never knew or will ever meet, began to help. In addition, his own neighbors chipped in and arrived to help Ricardo clean up the sanctuary as well.

In the big picture, Ricardo hopes the help can go farther and actually produce permanent homes for many of the animals he takes in, making room and allowing him to save additional new arrivals that always come in. It would be wonderful if the hurricane’s outcome and attention translated into more, but Ricardo is definitely grateful for what was provided. He saved hundreds of lives among the animals he cared for. And, Ricardo even found a way to adopt one of the dogs he saved for himself as well.

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Couple Lets Dad and Kids Confined To High Rise Apartment, Vacation At Their Beach House

Renee Yates



Not many people get to say they experience the kindness of Santa at Christmas, and even worse, before the holidays.

Well, the Gifter came in the form of a kind and loving couple who saw the plight of a father and his two children and felt the need to do something about it.

The couple gave the family their vacation home to enjoy for several days. What could have prompted that act of kindness?

Ever since the pandemic, Sam Smith has been cooped up on the 15th floor of their apartment building on the Eastside of London. He was not alone. His children Zenduel and Lysander, ages three and six respectively, have been stuck in the apartment with him all these months.

Additionally, the apartment is very cramped; therefore, three people moving around almost every day can be discouraging. Not being able to go to the parks or playgrounds in the apartment’s vicinity due to closure heightened the children’s frustration. Going outdoors for a maximum of an hour some days was now a luxury to this family.

The children passed the time many days by drawing images on the walls of the apartment. It had officially become a graffiti space.

Being in a one-bedroom apartment with two children as a single parent is no easy feat, especially noting the various studies that reveal the general problems that already come through single-parenting.

The family’s situation was brought to the BBC’s attention, thorough investigations, and research about the pandemic’s effects on families. BBC producers then invited Sam and his two children as guests on the breakfast show.

As Sam explained his living situation on the breakfast program, Ken and Sheila Sims happened to be watching, and the family’s story drew their compassion.

They were quarantined at their home, located on the Devon Coast, watching the program as they usually did.

The husband, Ken, could empathize because he too spent a large part of his youth in a high-rise apartment building. He became disheartened about the family’s plight and decided to speak with his wife about an idea he had that would bring some semblance of relief to the family.

Ken knew that the best thing he could do for them was to get them out of the apartment for a while. He, therefore, offered his cottage to the Smith family to enjoy a sun-kissed beach vacation.

Excitedly, Sam and his children were receptive to the idea and began packing. It was a vacation like no other as the children played in the sand and splashed in the water each day.

The children now drew in the sand instead of on the walls, and they even tried to catch fish in a little stream. They had a whale of a time.

Sam was initially speechless. He just let the boys capitalize on the space around them and have all the fun in the world.

Ken and Sheila also beamed with pride, knowing they could do something that Ken would have appreciated when he was a child.

Sam says he will be forever grateful.

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Saskatoon Dog Lost In Blizzard Reunited With Family

Renee Yates



A dog is back into the warmth of it’s home and the loving arms of its owners after spending three days lost in a blizzard, which many feared had killed him.

Despite the worries, efforts to find the Golden Retriever never ceased, and the outpouring of social media support showed that humankind is still helpful and sympathetic.

A cross-country skier returned the year and a half old Golden Retriever after finding him with only minor injuries despite three days in a snowstorm.

It all began in Saskatoon last Sunday when the dog’s owner Julia Neufeldt agreed to let Louie hit the Furdale Dog Park to have some outdoor fun. A close friend had asked to walk the dog they decided to let him go.

However, the fun dog walk led to terror as Louie had wandered off, and they could not find him anywhere. Julia, who was devastated by the news, had become consumed with thoughts of all the possibilities, especially with the vast expanse that they had to search for the Retriever. She added that it felt as though a family member had gone missing, and it was overwhelming.

As desperation kicked in, Julia took to Facebook to share her pain with friends and family, but what happened next blew her mind. It’s like the whole town heard about what happened, and the show of support kept rolling in, and so many searched for the missing pet dog.

Bolster From Social media

Julia said she expected a few dozen friends to share the information if anyone came across the dog. However, the post went viral, and not only friends but total strangers were sharing it and reaching out to the family to lend their support. Julia has a seven-month-old son so venturing out into the snowstorm to search for the dog was not possible.

However, scores of volunteers kept up the search and kept her updated by sending images whenever they spotted the dog. It was hurtful that Louie could be seen but was not accessible. They then lost sight of him, but on Wednesday, everyone decided to make a last-ditch effort to find the dog and get him home.

Julia had joined the search at this point, armed with a blanket and a glimmer of hope that finding Louie was still a possibility. Then the best phone call they could receive came in from the Saskatoon Animal Control Agency. They told her someone had seen Louie.

The cross-country skier was brought to Louie by his dog Banjo, amid their trip. The Animal Control team then linked the skier to Julia, who was delighted and thankful.

She had a mixture of emotions from shock to relief at getting back the dog safely. According to Julia, Louie has lost a few pounds but is poised to recover. He has a torn ACL but will get a surgery done soon.

She has since shared the great news with newfound friends on Facebook, and the encouragement and complimentary messages continued to flow.

Julia says her family is still in astonishment at how people rallied around despite not knowing them. She says this act of kindness outshines any negative news.

In the meantime, Louie will have to stay put for a while, but he is being fed, pampered, and showered with love. Julia adds that the little things that would bug her, like Louie wanting to run in and out of the house continually, are now minuscule after what they just endured.

She says the empty nest feeling has dissipated, and they are happy to have him in the warmth of the house again.

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A Team of Surgeons In London Have Successfully Separated Conjoined Twins

Kelly Taylor



Marwa and Safa, two conjoined twins, have returned home after a thriving separation surgery. The surgery was done in London at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Three major surgeries have been performed on the beautiful girl twins. It took about 50 to 60 hours for the doctors to complete the whole procedure.

As informed by the doctors, conjoined twins are rare and happen only one out of 60k births. Conjoined twins are also referred to as craniopagus twins. A large majority of conjoined twins usually die after 7 or 8 years of age.

Thanks to the doctors that they have managed to succeed in the operation. A group of 100 people in Great Ormond Street Hospital, including nurses and other staff, took care of the twins.

The surgery was carried out in February 2019. All the medical expenses were paid by a Private donor, Murtaza Lakhani. He is a wealthy and kind businessman from Pakistan and extended his helping hands to save the girls.

The two girls, Marwa and Safa, have been taking regular physical therapy to boost the mobility after the operation. Since the completion of the surgery in 2019, both the girls and their mother have been living with their uncle in London to conduct the post-surgery treatments. The girls, now aged three, have some learning difficulties, as told by their physiotherapist.

However, the girl’s mother, Zainab Biwi, is very optimistic about her children. “God in the face of the doctors have saved my children,” said by her in an interview. She also added that the doctors had tried so much to make the operation a successful one, and she can’t thank them enough regarding that.

When asked the lead surgeon, Owase Jeelani, about the operation, he said that he and his entire team is delighted to bring the smile back on the mother’s face. However, he also mentioned some of his uncertainties regarding the conjoined twins. He stated, “I think Marwa has done well and carries on making progress. When I look at my family, I feel that maybe it was the right thing to do, but for Safa, as a single person, I am a bit unsure.”

By answering how much he got scared before the surgery, Dr Jeelani made us learn that he is still troubled by his choices in the operation theatre. The girl twins had a common blood vessel connecting their brains, and only one of them could receive the critical blood corpuscles. Doctors gave them to Marwa, who was weaker than Safa. But as a result, Safa suffered a stroke, and now she has permanent damage in the brain. Dr. Jeelani feared she might not be able to walk ever.

He also said that both girls’ outcomes would have probably been better if they were separated earlier. But it took several months to raise the fees of the surgery.

In January, the same surgical team has operated on another pair of conjoined twins from Turkey and were successful. The twin boys, named Yigit and Derman Evrensel, have responded to the treatments better than the twin girls.

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The Incredible Way One Man Saves a Woman from Being Body-Shamed…

Kevin Wells



As a working mother and wife, Savannah Phillips had her share of challenges, but she overcame them to produce a viable career and contribute to her family’s wellbeing. Unfortunately, she also had her own limitations that were all to vivid in her mind, especially as she found herself traveling more and more due to her work. The simple fact was, Savannah was a larger woman. And while in most cases that was not an issue, the condition created particular issues for her when flying. Because of her size, Savannah regular chose seats without people next to her, but it wasn’t always available.

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