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Mysteries From Ancient Times That Still Defy Explanation

The devices we use every day would baffle people who lived just 100 years ago, as technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in the modern age. One of the most amazing inventions is the computer, and it has taken over our lives in every area, from our phones to our cars to our kitchen appliances. Anyone can look at a phone to find out almost anything now. Why, then, are there still mysteries from the past? As archaeologists uncover more artifacts and scientists apply modern techniques to their finds, there are more mysteries instead of fewer ones.

Stonehenge

Perhaps the most famous of all the ancient mysteries, Stonehenge is a popular tourist destination for many tourists who visit Great Britain. We know the monument we call Stonehenge was built around 4,000 years ago, but little else. How were the people in ancient times able to move such heavy stones? Why are they lined up the way they are? There are theories ranging from aliens from outer space to pagans using the site for holy rites. 

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The Loch Ness Monster

There have been tales of a dinosaur in a loch in Scotland as far back as the 7th century. How have so many people seen such a strange creature? What is it? People continue to flock to see the Loch Ness Monster still today.


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The Shroud of Turin

While it seems to simply be a length of cloth, it appears to have the face of a man, and some people believe the Shroud of Turin depicts Jesus and that the shroud is actually his burial shroud. Experts have studied it but not found any definitive answers.


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The Hidden City of Petra

This once bustling city was believed to have been settled as early as 9,000 BC, becoming the seat of the Nabataean Kingdom in the 4th century BC. Now abandoned, it has become a World Heritage Site destination and people try to learn from the remains.


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The Lost Ark of the Covenant

A wooden chest which is purported to hold the Ten Commandments, the Ark of the Covenant is an object of reverence to many in the Christian Religion. Stories from around the world make claims that the Ark has been found in many locations, and transported secretly from place to place. The Ark continues to be a subject of intrigue and is sometimes the subject of books or movies.


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 The Fountain of Youth

This spring is supposed to restore the youth of anyone who bathes in it, and there are stories from around the world where people claim to have finally been the ones to find the real Fountain of Youth. Spanish explorer  Ponce de León was supposedly told by Native Americans that the Fountain was in a place called Bimini, and there is a park in St. Augustine, Florida, which claims to have been the place where the famous explorer landed.


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Roman Dodecahedrons 

There are more than 100 of these odd 12 sided devices, some of which have been found on sunken ships. Originally thought to be a navigational device of some sort, no one could figure out how they work. One theory is that they are related to religious ceremonies.


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Laos’ Plain of Jars

In northern Laos, there are many mysterious jars which are over 2,000 years old. There are possibly 90 different plains which contain the jars, with varying numbers, including one plain containing as many as 400 jars. They are similar enough that they seem to have been created for the same purpose, but there is no way to find out what that purpose was at this time.


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The Bog Bodies of Northern Europe

People have been finding very well preserved cadavers throughout Northern Europe since the 18th century, but the bodies themselves have been dated back as far as 8,000 BCE. One of the bodies was in such good shape that it was possible to examine his stomach contents. The most mysterious thing, though, is that all of the bodies seem to have been the victim of executions, after which they were placed in the bogs.


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The Antikythera Mechanism

Known as the world’s first computer, this ancient device was able to use a wind-up system to keep track of astronomical events, like eclipses, the phases of the moon, and where the planets were at different times.


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The Venus Figurines

So far there have been over 200 Venus figurines found, with different female characteristics on each. Some seem to be pregnant or to have large breasts, while most are missing their hands and feet.  Even the name Venus is controversial, as no one knows if the dolls represent women or goddesses.


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Baghdad Batteries

A German archeologist, William Konig, made an odd find in the Middle East in 1838. In the area now known as Iraq, he and his team dug up some clay jars that dated to around 200 BCE. The strange thing was what was inside the jars; each of the jars held an iron rod that was wrapped in a copper cylinder. Based on the materials and design, Konig figured out that the contraptions could be used as batteries. A college professor tried it out and the jars successfully conducted electricity. What was the purpose of these ancient batteries?


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Ancient Animal Traps

There is another mystery in the Middle East, where there is a chain of low stone walls crossing across the deserts in Jordan, Egypt, Israel, and other countries. Some of them are up to 40 miles long, and they appear to date as far back as 300 B.C. Long abandoned, there is no one left who can explain who made these formations or why they were abandoned. There is a theory that suggests hunters used the lines of rock as funnels to force their prey into a pit, where they could be dispatched more easily. 


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Sumerian King List

There is a very old cuneiform clay tablet which seems to be a list of all of the ancient Sumer kings, all the way back to the third millenium BCE. The Sumerian King List would be a very good indicator of some of the most powerful men of that time if the information is legitimate. However, the tablet includes the lengths of time of each king’s reign. Some held power for hundreds or even thousands of years. Why does the Sumerian Kings List hold such unusual information — did other men take over one king’s reign so that the people would believe in the divinity of the kings?


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The Devil’s Bible

The origins of the book are unknown, but the claim behind the name is that an ancient monk made a deal with the devil in order to meet a deadline. The monk in question was threatened with a terrible death, where he would be walled up alive and left to starve. He agreed to write a single book containing all the knowledge in the world to get out of his punishment, so he made a deal with the Devil himself. This 13th-century book was over 300 pages and has the same handwriting throughout. The book still exists and is so heavy it takes two men to lift it.


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Japan’s Atlantis

Just off the coast of Yonaguni Jima, Japan, there exist the ruins of an ancient city believed to be 5,000 years old. Some scientists believe the ruins are simply a natural phenomenon while others believe the site is the city where the Jomon culture was found. Of course, most people think of Atlantis when they hear of a lost underwater city, but the ruins are probably the result of rising sea levels that simply overtook the city in time. The ruins were only discovered in 1995, noting arched entryways and stone staircases.


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Rongorongo Tablet

Everyone has seen the giant stone heads on Easter Island, but there is a greater mystery there. The Rongorongo Tablet was first discovered in 1864 but dates back to around 1200. Instead of letters, there is a series of glyphs which seem to have been carved into wooden planks using a shark tooth. No one has yet been able to translate the language, which is particularly intriguing because it is a language that developed without outside influences.


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Saksaywaman Fortress Walls

This fortress is so old it predates the Incan empire, although it has not been definitively dated. The stones weigh more than 200 tons and fit together perfectly, as though constructed with modern machinery. The people in the area, which is in Cuzco, Peru, have a legend explaining how the work was done, using a native plant to make the stones lighter and easier to manipulate. The area was probably used as a temple.


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The Stone Spheres of Costa Rica

In the Diquis Delta of Costa Rica, ancient stone carvers carved hundreds of giant almost perfectly round spheres. Made of a type of igneous rock, some of the stones weigh as much as 16 tons and span over two meters in diameter. The spheres were lined up toward the home of the current chief, but nobody knows what the purpose of the rocks was. Wealthy landowners keep them in their gardens now, making it impossible to study them.


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Nasca Lines

Found in the dry desert plains of southern Peru, there are many giant images and symbols carved into the hard-packed earth. Called geoglyphs, these were probably made by the Nasca Culture between 500 BCE and 500 CE. There are some designs that look like they could be runways for planes, while others are birds, fish, or even humans. Why were these symbols clearly made to be seen from someone high above long before air travel was even a possibility?


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The Hellenikon Pyramid

Like the Egyptian pyramids, the Hellenikon Pyramid in Argolis, Greece, is largely a mystery. When was it built? And why? And who built it? Investigators have run across a reference to the Hellenikon Pyramid claiming that it was used as a tomb for soldiers fighting over Argos, but no proof was found to back that up. It may have been built around 2721 BCE, making it older than the Egyptian pyramids.


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The Sajama Lines

The Sajama Lines are etched into the earth, much like the Nasca Lines. The Sajama Lines appear in western Bolivia and appear to intersect each other when seen from far above. Only discovered in 1832, the lines cover 8,700 square miles and are three to ten feet deep. Each line may go for miles. The lines appear to be over 3,000 years old and to have been made by ancient people living by the volcano, but there is no explanation as to why the lines were carved.

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Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni

The only remaining intact example of an underground labyrinth construction in all of Europe, the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni in Malta was only discovered in 1902. This puzzling labyrinth is believed by experts to have been used from 4000 to 2500 BCE. Though this labyrinth — carved right out of the rock surrounding it — is made up of three levels, one level stands out. One level, which has been labeled as the Oracle Chamber, is an indication that the carvers of this labyrinth actually had advanced knowledge of acoustics. If you were to stand in this chamber and speak at a normal volume, your voice would be amplified a hundred times and reverberate through the entire chamber.


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Gobekli Tepe

Although Gobekli Tepe in Turkey is thought to be the oldest temple complex ever built by man, dated at 11,000 BCE (an astounding 6,000+ years older than Stonehenge in England), it is also one of the newest finds in the archaeological world; Gobekli Tepe was found in just 2008 by Klaus Schmidt. This temple complex is made up of enormous cared-stone structures, and it helps give scientists a better idea of how societies evolved and how ancient people lived. This find also alludes to the fact that there are even more ancient places and artifacts that are, as of yet, undiscovered and just waiting to be stumbled upon.


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Dashka Stone

Found in the town of Bashkorostan, Russia, which is located in the Ural Mountains, the Dashka Stone is a large stone tablet, which weighs more than a ton. The persons who unearthed this large stone tablet first believed that the cracks and lines on the tablet were formed naturally; however, they then discovered that the cracks and lines were meaningful: they created a topographical map of the surrounding area. More puzzling, though, was the fact that the perspective of the map shows the region from above. The tablet has been aged between 3,000 and 120 million years old.


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Paracas Candelabra

The Paracas Candelabra is also called. the “Candelabra of the Andes.” This mysterious glyph is located on the face of the Paracas Peninsula in Peru and is over 600 feet high. Despite its common name, archaeologists do not really believe that this geoglyph was created to resemble a candelabra. The three-pronged design of this geoglyph more likely resembles a trident — to pay homage to Viracocha, the trident-wielding Incan creator god — or Jimson weed — a hallucinogenic, which was commonly used in religious rituals. Because of other nearby archaeological finds, the Paracas Candelabra is believed to be dated back to around 200 BCE.


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Dogu

Dogu are little clay figurines that depict human-animal hybrids, wearing what looks like helmets with goggles on them. They date back to Japan’s Neolithic Jomon period, which means that these clay figurines can be between 2,300 and 10,000 years old. To date, there have been approximately 15,000 of these clay figurines found in Japan. Even though there are so many dogu that have been found, there is no exact explanation for them. 

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The Big Circles

These huge circles range from 720 to 1,490 feet and are made from stone. Located mainly in Syria, nobody knows the purpose of these 2,000-year-old structures.


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Mount Owen Moa Claw

First discovered in 1986, this ancient claw still has flesh on it and was at first thought to be a dinosaur. It turned out to be a Moa bird, a species extinct for over 3,000 years. How was the claw in such good shape?


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Longyou Caves

These caves appear to have been deliberately carved in sandstone over 2,200 years ago, with some over 100 feet tall. There are carved bridges, pillars, etc throughout the extensive cave system. How was it built, and why?


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Lady of the Spiked Throne

Dating back to 2700 BC, this strange artifact looks like a boat with the head of a bull and 15 passengers. Nothing like it has been found.


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Panxian Cave

These caves are 5,000 feet above sea level and there is evidence people lived in them. The mystery is that there are also bones of very large animals like stegodons and rhinoceros. How did they get up there?


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White Shaman Rock

In the southwestern part of Texas lived the ancient Huichol tribe of Native Americans. The Huichol engaged in cave and canyon drawing and, due to their remote location, were able to evade the Europeans, who were settling other areas of the Sierra Madre Mountains, for longer than most other tribes. However, when the Europeans did finally come upon the Huichol tribe, they were astonished at what they saw. Despite never interacting with the previous groups of European settlers, the Huichol created what is known as White Shaman Rock: a rock with a drawing depicting a 24-foot tall white person. This drawing, which was found in the Lower Pecos River Canyon, is estimated to be at least 4,000 years old, which means that is was created long before these white Europeans became known to the people of the Huichol tribe. 


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Phaistos Disc

The Phaistos Disc has been surrounded by debate ever since it was first discovered in 1908. The Phaistos Disc is an artifact dating back to some time between 1850 and 1600 BC, which puts it into the time period of the middle to late Minoan Bronze Age. This artifact, a round clay disc, was unearthed on the Greek island of Crete in a Minoan palace called Phaistos. The Phaistos Disc has 241 symbols pressed into it, in a spiral pattern. However, the symbols have not been linked to any written language, and the meaning of the symbols are still unknown. 


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Dropa Stones

Archeologist Chi Pu Tei and his team discovered the Dropa Stones in the Bayan-Kara-Ula Mountains of China in 1938. They are in fact hundreds of stone discs that look a lot like modern records which play music. They even have a hole in the center and a spiral groove. When examined more closely under a microscope, researchers also saw symbols in the grooves that looked like hieroglyphs. While we may never know what they say, it is believed that these 12,000-year-old artifacts contain information.


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Allyson Felix Creates Nursery for Athlete Moms at Paris 2024 Olympics

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Allyson Felix, the most decorated track and field athlete in history, knows firsthand the challenges faced by athlete moms. Now retired and a mother of two, Felix is working to support Olympic moms at the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics. Drawing from her own experiences, she has teamed up with Pampers to establish the first-ever Pampers Nursery in the Athletes Village.

This nursery will provide a space where Olympic moms can bond with, nurse, and play with their babies, helping to ease some of the pressures they face during the competition. “I just knew how difficult it was to compete at the top level after I had my daughter, and some practical things were really hard,” Felix said. “So when I joined the Athletes Commission of the IOC, I really wanted to be that voice for athlete moms, and just take away one less thing for them to worry about in the pressure of competition.”

The Pampers Nursery will be located in the Athlete Village Plaza, the living area for athletes during the games. It will offer a private retreat for moms to spend time with their children. Felix believes this initiative sends a powerful message: “I think it really tells women that you can choose motherhood and also be at the top of your game and not have to miss a beat.”

Felix also expressed her excitement about a $20 million grant from the Melinda French Gates Foundation aimed at supporting Black maternal health. She felt both shocked and humbled upon learning about the grant, especially knowing that French Gates had been following her advocacy efforts. “I’m so humbled to receive it, and I’m excited to put the money to good work,” Felix said.

Although Felix will attend the Paris Olympics in a different role, she looks forward to this new chapter with mixed emotions. While there is a sense of loss from not competing, she is excited about attending the games with her family and experiencing them with less pressure. “I’m bringing my whole family, and we will be able to take in the games and watch them with a lot less nerves. So I’m looking forward to that as well,” she shared.

For first-time Olympians, Felix offered simple but heartfelt advice: “Embrace it. This is a moment that does not come around, it’s not guaranteed. You have so much pride to represent your country and just really to take it all in and give it your absolute best.”

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Young Cree Artist’s Starry Night Mural Wows at Graduation

Kelly Taylor

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A young artist from the Star Blanket Cree Nation in Saskatchewan is thinking about a career in art after his graduation mural received high praise.

Students at Bert Fox Community High School in Fort Qu’Appelle, Sask., northeast of Regina, chose Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night as the theme for their graduation. Sekota McArthur, a talented student, painted a mural with a local twist on the famous painting.

McArthur initially didn’t plan to join the project but changed his mind when he saw no one else was stepping up.

“I heard no one else was taking it up; I might as well take the offer,” McArthur said.

He was hesitant at first due to a three-week deadline and his schoolwork, but he managed to complete it in time.

“It was a major relief that I was able to get it done in time,” he said.

McArthur has always been interested in art, inspired by his grandfather Floyd Kinequon. He enjoys doing small paintings, sketches, skull dipping, and costume design.

Bailey Antonishyn, head of the art department at the school, explained that the grads chose Starry Night for its color scheme and its connection to the land and the Qu’Appelle Valley.

“We wanted it to be relatable for our students and where they’re from. It’s really important that it reflects them and where they’ve grown up,” Antonishyn said.

While Antonishyn was preparing the 1.4 meter high by 3.7 meter long canvas, McArthur took over and freehanded the entire design with the help of a few classmates.

“We know he’s a talented artist,” Antonishyn said. “He took the brushes from my hand and said, ‘It’s OK, miss.'”

This project was McArthur’s first large-scale work, and he usually works on a smaller scale.

Antonishyn noted that the mural was one of the first things people saw when entering the school.

“A lot of people stopped to take photos and were really impressed by it,” she said. “He did a really good job on that project.”

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McArthur’s sister, Sasha Keewatin, attended his graduation and was surprised to learn he painted the mural.

“We noticed it from the artwork he would bring home from school,” she said. Keewatin posted a picture of the mural on social media, and soon people were reaching out with positive comments.

“His artwork has touched all across Turtle Island, even in New Mexico. I haven’t even been to New Mexico,” she said. “So for it to go that far is really, really outstanding. I’m so proud of him, and his work truly deserves it.”

McArthur said the experience has motivated him to pursue a Fine Arts degree, and he is considering applying to the First Nations University of Canada in Regina.

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Baby Wildcats Born in Scottish Park: A Big Step for Saving the Species

Kelly Taylor

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Some exciting news has come from the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland. Baby wildcats have been born there, and it’s a really big deal!

Last summer, 19 wildcats were released into the park. These cats had been raised in a wildlife park. Now, for the first time in over five years, wildcat kittens have been born in the wild.

Wildcats in Scotland were almost gone forever. People had cut down their forest homes and hunted them. Also, wildcats were having babies with house cats, which was changing their wildcat genes.

A team of scientists has been watching the wildcats. They use special cameras and GPS collars to keep track of them. Recently, they saw two kittens playing with their mom on video.

Dr. Keri Langridge, who works with the wildcats, was very happy. She said, “We didn’t dare to dream that we would have wildcat kittens in the first year of releases.”

The scientists are learning a lot about how wildcats live. They’ve found out what the cats like to eat and where they make their homes.

One challenge is keeping wildcats away from house cats. The scientists want to make sure the wildcats stay wild and don’t mix with other cats.

The team hopes to have at least 40 wildcats living in the park by 2026. Their big dream is to have wildcats all over Scotland again, like there used to be long ago.

This is just the beginning, but these new kittens are a really good sign. It shows that wildcats can live and have babies in the wild again.

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Ice Cream Hero Saves the Day on Jammed Highway

Kevin Wells

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Imagine being stuck in a huge traffic jam on a hot day. Now imagine an ice cream truck showing up to serve cool treats! That’s exactly what happened on a busy road in England.

On Saturday, June 22, cars were backed up for seven miles on the M62 highway. An ice cream truck driver saw an opportunity to help and started selling ice cream to the stranded drivers and passengers.

Someone took a picture of people lining up at the ice cream truck and shared it online. The post said: “What a legend this man is. Seven mile tailback on the M62 yesterday, so this ice cream van starts selling ice creams to all them trapped in the traffic.”

In the photo, you can see cars bumper-to-bumper for miles. About 12 people are waiting in line for ice cream. More people are walking along the side of the road to get to the truck.

Many people online thought the ice cream seller was awesome. They called him “brilliant” and a “genius.” One person wrote, “Good for him! Keeping folks cool, hydrated and amused.” Another said, “That’s how you make money in an unexpected situation.”

Some people weren’t happy about it, though. They thought the ice cream seller was trying to make money from other people’s bad luck.

But most agreed that on a hot day in a traffic jam, ice cream is a pretty sweet surprise!

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Beating the Odds: Father of Six Walks Again After Complex Surgery

Shannon Jackson

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Richard Monti, a 64-year-old father of six from Long Island, is celebrating a Father’s Day unlike any other. This year, he’s not just celebrating fatherhood, but also the gift of mobility – a gift he almost lost.

Monti’s journey began with a diagnosis of metastatic kidney cancer in 2018. While challenging, he faced it head-on. However, a seemingly routine surgery to repair a fractured shin bone, weakened by years of cancer treatment, took an unexpected turn. Sepsis set in, threatening both his life and his leg.

“Cancer patients are more susceptible to fractures,” explained Dr. Nicola Fabbri, Chief of Orthopedic Oncology at NYU Langone Orthopedics, who treated Monti. “These fractures can be major complications.”

Monti’s condition worsened. He spent weeks in a coma, undergoing multiple surgeries to fight the infection and restore his bones. Doctors prepared his wife for the worst. “They basically told her to prepare for amputation,” Monti shared.

Devastated, facing the prospect of losing his leg, Monti felt his spirit plummet. “That was my lowest point. I couldn’t imagine not being able to be active,” he said.

Determined to fight for his mobility, Monti sought a second opinion from Dr. Fabbri, known for his expertise in limb salvage. “When I met him, his words were like music to my ears: ‘We don’t just cut legs off,'” Monti recalled.

Hope rekindled, Monti underwent extensive evaluation. Dr. Fabbri, impressed by Monti’s resilience, told him, “We’re going back to the drawing board,” a nod to Monti’s background in real estate development.

Monti’s case was complex – a combination of a lingering fracture, tissue damage from sepsis, and bone weakness caused by radiation. Dr. Fabbri suspected the sepsis stemmed from a weakened immune system due to cancer treatment.

After a period of healing, Monti was deemed strong enough for a grueling 11-hour surgery in October 2023. Dr. Fabbri performed a limb-preserving surgery, reconstructing both Monti’s knee and tibia. During the procedure, he corrected the fracture deformity and replaced damaged bone with metal implants.

The surgery was a success. Today, Monti is not only pain-free but also back to work and walking without assistance. “That doctor and his team are miracle workers,” Monti expressed with gratitude.

Monti’s remarkable recovery is a testament to both Dr. Fabbri’s skill and Monti’s unwavering spirit. While he continues to manage his cancer with medication, his tumors are shrinking. Though he can’t run, Dr. Fabbri assures him he has “no substantial limitations” in his daily life.

Monti’s journey has not only been about physical recovery but also about rediscovering the simple joys of life. “Every step used to be a reminder of the cancer,” he shared. “Now, I don’t even think about it. I’m living a normal life again.”

This experience has also had a profound impact on his family. Inspired by her father’s strength, one of Monti’s daughters has decided to pursue a career in nursing. “She wants to help others the way they helped Dad,” Monti said, filled with pride.

Monti’s story is an inspiring reminder of the power of perseverance and the remarkable advancements in medical care. It’s a testament to the human spirit’s ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.sharemore_vert

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