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.
Living With Weight
Savannah had never been a slim person. Her entire life involved reactions and problems associated with her weight. Social teasing and awkward interactions were a common issue, and Savannah knew it was because of her size. Socially, life in the U.S. had no place for overweight people yet, ironically, plus size was becoming more and more common decade after decade. But that didn’t do much good for Savannah. Regardless of her skills and knowledge, she regularly had to fend off the first reaction to her appearance. It was practically expected and automatic, even in her career world.
Stuck on a Flight
Travel by plane was always Savannah’s last choice. She would drive when possible, but it was more than occasionally not practical. And that meant she had to struggle with the typical tight aircraft seat that was never designed for her as a passenger. Where possible, she compensated by finding seats towards the back or flying at times with less passengers, i.e. off hours. The whole point was to avoid confrontation and being packed in next to someone who would react to her size.
Not Always Lucky
On one particular flight the worst-case scenario happened. Her flight was at full capacity. As Savannah reach the flight gate the horrible feeling of being cramped was already tingling up her neck. There was not going to be any options for separate seating. Savannah was guaranteed to be sitting next to someone on the flight. She tried to finagle some kind of exception, practically begging the flight attendant at the gate with her eyes, but there wasn’t going to be a decent flight this time. And Savannah was already starting to feel some of the other passengers looking at her.
Just Get Through It
Savannah buckled herself down mentally to just get through the flight. The sooner she got on the plane, got through the flight and off, the sooner she would be on the ground and away from the confinement. She got on the plane, found her seat, and tried to settle in. But the whole time her anxiety was getting the better of her. It wasn’t unfounded. The older man who had to get up to let her have the window seat was already showing physical discomfort with her presence. He made a louder than normal sigh at being put out with Savannah sitting in his row.
Everyone Was Watching
The older man was clearly the type that Savannah hated to be around. These were people who always went a step further with their dislike of plus size people, making their opinions know as if entitled. While Savannah tried to focus on settling in, she noted the man was working on his phone. He had adjusted the settings to improve the clarity, and the font was increased to large size. The phone was also tilted at an angle that it would be impossible for Savannah to miss it. She realized, shockingly, he was using the phone this way on purpose. Savannah was already cringing, but what the man didn’t know was that his audience was more than just Savannah.
What Are You Doing
Finally Savannah put the man on the spot and asked him what he was doing. The man feigned innocence. He mumbled something about his eyesight and needing to zoom in to see what he was writing to a friend. She knew immediately the old man was lying, but it didn’t matter. He kept tapping away, and the message was visible to Savannah. The words might as well have been a fork in his hand stabbing her arm. She immediately tried to lean away and look out the plane window, but it didn’t matter. The old man already achieved what he wanted.
A Real Life Bully
The attempts to increase his phone screen size and tilting of his phone was blatant and obvious now. The message was clear, visible and meant for her as much as for whoever he was typing and sending it to. The words he typed were, “sitting next to a smelly fatty”, and the “fatty” was obviously Savannah. Every nightmare, insult, teasing, and bullying she ever suffered in her younger life came back to Savannah in that moment. The bully was smirking. However, it wasn’t going to last long. Suddenly, Savannah heard another voice. The old man was tapped on the shoulder. “I need to speak to you, now.”
A Helpful Hand When Needed
The old man was startled by the interruption. This was not how he thought his little joke was going to go. The man who tapped the old man on the shoulder, Chase Irwin, made it clear he was not negotiating or asking for a favor. “We’re switching seats. Now.” The old was caught off guard and spinning backwards mentally; he agreed immediately and complied. Chase put himself in the seat next to Savannah and started to speak to her while she was crying from the mental attack she had just suffered.
As the plane trip continued, Savannah continued a conversation with Chase. Savannah was so thankful someone stood up for her, and it was obvious Chase was just doing the right thing. In the talk that lasted the flight Savannah learned about Chase’s background, his job, and his kids too. By the time they were on the ground again, Savannah felt like she had just experienced a total life turnaround. And she needed to tell folks she knew about it. Unfortunately, Chase was gone after debarking, so all she had was social media.
Posting on Facebook
The post that spread like wildfire as soon as Savannah put it up started off simple enough. “”I am only sharing this story of what happened to me today in hopes that the person who stuck up for me will somehow be recognized…” Her story continued…”We sat on the runway waiting for the OK to take off for about 10 minutes – I sat there unable to stop silently crying. I was scrunching myself up against the wall as far as I could. The guy next to me takes out his headphones. Someone behind us says, ‘We are switching seats. Now.’ The guy next to me said, “OK- why?” And I hear someone say (removing curse words), “You are texting about her, and I’m not putting up with that.”
The Post Rang Around the World
Savannah’s story didn’t take long to get virtual legs and run. It was shared and reposted again and again repeatedly. Many users didn’t just stop with their disgust with the old man and his pettiness. They also made a point to reinforce Savannah had nothing to be ashamed about. They were also very appreciative of Chase and his actions.
Finding the Man
The Internet is an amazing thing when it crowdsources thousands of brainpower points. Chase Irwin was located very quickly as a result. He was found by his occupation, working as a manager at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row restaurant, neatly parked in Nashville, TN. Both the restaurant and Chase started realize the power of a viral movement. Their website was overwhelmed with well-wishers, and the local media picked up on the story fairly quick.
When he was interviewed, Chase made it clear getting his name on TV was never the intent of his actions. Instead, something inside him as a person said he needed to act when he saw the words the old man was writing on his phone. Originally, Chase thought he was just going to make a point after the flight was over. However, when he saw the old man was making fun of Savannah, Chase felt he had to act. Her crying put him over the top.
Watching the Whole Time
Chase was immediately aware of the problem Savannah was dealing with as soon as she arrived at her seat. He practically had a front row audience spot, watching the behavior of the old man and how it was visibly affecting her. Then he saw the phone texting and the vicious message the man thought he could get away with. As he saw Savannah lean away, Chase knew it was time to do something.
Pettiness in Digital Form
The old man’s message wasn’t just one sentence. He was pouring out the hate as he typed his text in full view of Savannah. “Hey babe, sitting next to a smelly fatty. She’s overflowing over my armrest. I think I’m going to be sick!” Chase could also see Savannah being crushed and starting to tear up.
The old man wasn’t the only one who was on his phone. Chase was as well, video-recording the man and what he had done. ‘This guy, prob mid-50s just text his wife that he is sitting next to a smelly fatty and was about to vomit. I watched her read his text and is now looking sad.” Chase literally documented the decision he had to make in that moment as well. “Should I… just say something when landing?” It didn’t take long for him to react.
Savannah and Chase never met again, but in her own interview Savannah did make a point that she forgave the hate from the old man on the plane. She also never really tried to maintain any connection with Chase, only knowing him as the man who helped on that plane ride when it seemed like trip from hell. But posting the story she did want everyone to know what he did and how standing up for others can mean so much. Between them both, their story has added more to why body-shaming is so wrong, and increased people’s awareness as a result.
The Man Who Saved Hundreds of Dogs in a Hurricane
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.
Couple Lets Dad and Kids Confined To High Rise Apartment, Vacation At Their Beach House
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.
Saskatoon Dog Lost In Blizzard Reunited With Family
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.
A Team of Surgeons In London Have Successfully Separated Conjoined Twins
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.
Guam Rehabs Beautiful Sea Turtle in Touching Story of Man and Nature Working Together
Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western section of the Pacific Ocean. Guam is an environmentally diverse island that ranks as the largest island in Micronesia and the largest of the Mariana Islands. While this geographically complex territory is fascinating in its own right, our interests lead us to a sea turtle named Shelly who found herself in undesirable circumstances off the waters of Gab Gab Beach adjoining Naval Base Guam at Apra Harbor.
Let’s bring our story back in time a little bit so that we can understand how Shelly came to be where she was as well as what the Guam Department of Agriculture Division of Aquatic Wildlife Resources (DWAR) did to save the beautiful animal.
First and foremost, our story starts at the United States Naval Base in Guam, located off the Apra Harbor. This base was combined with the Andersen Air Force Base in 2009 to create what is known as the Joint Region Marianas. Shelly was in the waters right off Gab Gab Beach in Guam when she began to experience troubles. According to a biologist at DWAR, Shelly weighed in at 50 pounds and is estimated as between 15 and 20 years-old.
The first signs of a potential problem with Shelly came as a result of the Environmental Division of the Navy Base. Ann Colt, a resource specialist inside of the division stated, ‘We will be able to track her movements and learn about where she goes to feed and to reproduce.” This type of tracking technology is incredibly important both from an academic standpoint as well as a safety standpoint. By being able to track the turtle, Colt and the rest of the team at DWAR will be able to learn about the animal, track for potential problems, and develop potential solutions in the future using their scientific data.
Shelly was originally acquired for rehabilitating after a blockage within her intestinal system was found. The team at Underwater World would be tasked with helping Shelly to rehabilitate to return to nature. They would provide the massive turtle with a type of mineral oil to get rid of the blockage. From that point forward, UnderWater World’s Rafael Calderon, a Senior Aquarist with the company, focused largely on feeding and rehabilitating the turtle until she was able to accomplish both tasks for herself.
Calderon grew quite close to Shelly during their ten months of rehabilitating together. Calderon stated that he would see her every day for the full ten months that she was under his care. His focus the entire time was on returning the turtle to nature so that it could return to its habitat and focus on repopulating. Calderon admitted that he would be sad to see the creature go, though he understood the importance of the work he was doing as a conservationist and researcher.
If you ever see a sea turtle in the wild, you will probably be advised to leave it alone. Turtles must be returned to the place that they were picked up and any interference could bother or otherwise distress the animal. If you do see a turtle in distress, on the beach or in the water, contact the local authorities to have them take care of the animal.
At just 20-years-old, Shelly was returned to the wild while still in her youth. While few sea turtles survive and thrive all the way to old age, their natural lifespan is estimated to sit somewhere between 50 and 100 years old.
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