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Friday, April 16, 2021

Midmorning With Aundrea - August 26, 2020 (Part 1)

Credit: WCBI
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Midmorning With Aundrea - August 26, 2020 (Part 1)
Midmorning With Aundrea - August 26, 2020 (Part 1)

(Part 1 of 2) A 64 year old man who almost died from complications due to COVID-19 bounces back in a seemingly miraculous recovery!

And slowly but surely zoos are starting to reopen after the lockdown in March.

The year 2020 seems to keep throwing bombshells.

For one starkville family it started before the coronavirus pandemic when they learned their then unborn son, might not survive.

Fast forward to june 20..wilder williamson arrives and today continues to get stronger.

Wcbi's scott martin shares how the williamson family and a group of friends and strangers are staying wilder strong.

Little wilder williamson was born with a mass on his right lung.

Doctors first made the scary discovery back in january, six months before his due date// after a few visits with different doctors, blake and charlee williamson were told news no parent wants to hear.

"it was really grim they were like there's a good chance this baby won't make it to term or that it could be a stillborn.

The mass had started out so big they were afraid of cardiac arrest."

The mass was keeping his other lung from developing.

The williamson's were referred to a hospital in houston, texas.

By the time charlee was 32 weeks along, houston would become their temporary home.

"their majo concern was he was not going to survive if he was born in mississippi.

Like at umc.

They didn't have the technology or surgeons to be able to perform the surgery he would probably need at birth."

Wilder was born at 39 weeks.

Immediately after birth he was put on a heart lung bypass machine.

He also underwent surgery where doctors removed the lower and middle lobes of his right lung.

Wilder was five weeks old the first time he was held by his mom and dad.

"we didn't see hi eyes open for almost a month.

It was like the first week of july.

It was another miracle just to see your childs eyes open for the first time."

After 63 days on a ventilator, doctors were finally able to remove it giving the williamson's another glimpse of hope.

Though the road to recovery is still long, one thing wilder has proven so far, is he's a fighter.

"he's a living breathing, testimony of the power hope, the will to survive, and the power of prayer."

Ch charlee says so many people were asking for updates so she gives daily updates on facebook.

They're still in texas and will be for several weeks to come.

Coming up tomorrow the williamson's share what the journey has been like during the middle of a global pandemic and how their hometown has been their rock// you may have hear the story about a new york city man who is recovering from the coronavirus.

64-year-old larry kelly was admitted to a hospital in march when his health rapidly declined after testing positive.

At one point, his family was called to the hospital to say goodbye.

But after more than 120 days, kelly was finally discharged.

Dr. tara narula reports from new york.

Nats they call him "miracle larry."

Devoted husband of 42 years to wife dawn... a doting father and grandfather... and a covid-19 survivor...he's finally coming home after 128 days of fighting the virus.

It's overwhelming.

I look-- my wife saved my life.

She wouldn't let them pull the plug.

Thank you, honey-- back in march... 64- year-old larry, a retired assistant principal, had been feeling sick and rundown.

That's when he and his daughter jackie got tested.

They were both positive.

While jackie recovered quickly...larry spiraled and the family ended up needing an ambulance.

Nat siren when he got to the hospital, the last text he sent you, dawn, before he was intubated, he said, "i promis i'll never stop fighting."

What did that mean to you?

I knew he w-- he's a man of his word.

New york became the u.s. epicenter of the disease.

At its peak more than 500 people died a day due to covid in this city, larry kelly fought...and his family prayed.

51 days on a ventilator...infecti ons...pneumonia...b rain hemmorrhages.

His wife was told to say goodbye.

'cause you just couldn't imagine someone like him going through this.

It's just-- and he-- --someone being so immobilized and, you know, not-- not conscious.

And, you know, their-- their, like, love of life is not being shown anymore.

Finally on easter sunday... 26 days after entering the hospital&larry kelly opened his eyes.

Larry, what do you think about the nickname "miracle larry"?

I'm very blessed.

I just-- and-- it was-- it was because of all these people and-- so many more.

Prayer&miracles&l ove& all part of the joy that greeted larry as he returned to one of his favorite places in the world.

What did it mean to know that so many people were in your corner praying for you, cheering you on?

// i was never a true believer.

But i-- i'm really changed now because i was so overwhelmed by how many prayers and thoughts.

And i know that that had a part of it.

-nats- "whoooo, welcom home" "larry's home!

Whoo miracle larry is in high spirits and looks forward to celebrating his 65th birthday next month.

Larry and his family also urged others to not take the disease lightly and follow all of the recommended safety precautions.

Dr. tara narula cbs news new york.

There hasn't been much to look at for all the animals at city zoos.

But visitors are finally coming back.

The story ahead on mid slowly, but surely the zoos are re- opening in cities around the country.

But for months, the animals had only each other and a few staff members to keep other company.

That's until conor knighton showed up.

"this is a typicall high season for us, with lots of guests coming through; really it's incredible to see it without guests right now," said paul baribault, the ceo of san diego zoo global, the non- profit that manages san diego's 1,800-acre safari park and 100- acre zoo, the most visited zoo in the entire country.

Both locations closed to the public on march 16.

Baribault said the zoo, which has been in operation for more than a century, has never experienced a closure of this magnitude before: "the most the sa diego zoo has ever been closed is a single day, and that's only happened five days in the organization's history," he said in the midst of historic covid- related closures happening across the country, zoos face a special set of challenges.

Shut a bookstore down and the books inside are fine.

But when a zoo closes, what happens to all of the animals?

"nothing is bein skipped, nothing is being changed," said wildlife care specialist bree barney.

"their da is going to be the same."

Barney is in charge of san diego's kangaroos.

While the zoo has furloughed ticket- takers and concession-stand workers, employees involved with animal care have been deemed "essential.

Barney's work continues as usual, with a few small modifications - she now wears a mask when hanging out with the marsupials, who may not now recognize her.

"they look at yo potentially a little bit differently," sh laughed.

"sometimes you'l kind of get the kangaroo, the wallaby, to kind of cock their head a little like, 'who are you.

And what are you doing?'" once news broke that lions and tigers at the bronx zoo had caught covid-19 from a staff member, procedures changed at zoos across the country.

Now, mealtime means mask time.

But of course, all of that food is expensive.

And with everything from the "zootique" the "roar store currently closed, zoos are hemorrhaging money.

"the minute th front gate closed, unfortunately we stopped making money," said mat thompson, the chief zoological officer at the memphis zoo.

"an our expenses really didn't change.

The animals still have to be cared for."

The memphis zoo has a much smaller budget, and smaller financial safety net, than san diego's.

Thompson said, "march throug june is when we make 60% of our revenue, so recovering from this honestly is going to be very, very difficult."

With the expense of ongoing animal care, thompson is predicting a $10 million loss for the year.

And yet, the zoo has still managed to sign up some new members, even at a time when members can't visit.

The memphis zoo has been churning out hours of educational content to keep fans engaged, such as a virtual encounter with crookshanks, a ball python and also some less educational content: in their popular "zoolympics videos, they've capitalized on the current lack of sports programing, and have been awarding medals in everything from the tortoise 100 meter sprint to the pelican fish catch .

Zoos have had to get creative with their programming.

The florida aquarium has launched a series of "se span" videos with behind-the-scenes look at operations the denver zoo invited fans to vote on the name of its new baby rhino .

"joona" ultimate won out.

Back in san diego, spring births are in full swing.

"lif at the zoo continues," sai baribault.

"w continue to have births."

Newborn penguin chicks are learning to swim.

An andean bear cub is taking its first steps.

For the animals, this is a year just like any other year.

But since normal visitation still looks to be a long way off, san diego's congressional representatives have written a letter to speaker nancy pelosi asking to direct a billion dollars of funding to the institute of funding to the institute of museum and library services that would help keep zoos across the country afloat.

In the meantime, empty parking lots have been serving a new purpose.

From pittsburgh to knoxville to the bronx, zoos have become covid-19 testing locations for humans.

There's a new addition at the cincinnati zoo.

A healthy baby eastern black rhinoceros was born friday, august 21st.

The calf and mom are bonding in the barn while their keepers are sending videos of the two.

Eastern black rhinos are considered a critically endangered species.

The gestation period is 16 months, making population growth a slow process.

Imagine finding a buried chest filled with treasure.

Some israeli teenagers have done just that.

Hundreds of gold coins were hidden away in a clay vessel for more than a millennium.

The kids were volunteering at a dig site.

Archeologists believe the coins were buried more than 11 hundred years ago.

And they think the owner planned on coming back to get his money because it was secured in place with a nail.

It was secured in place with a nail.

Dating back to the 9th century, the 425 24-carat pure gold coins would have been a significant amount of money in those days.

Imagine giving someone a gift that would change their life.

One ohio man has done just that.

Most college campuses are back in business.

Class is face to face or virtual.

But for many students, just getting to school is a challenge.

That's why an incredible act of generosity changed lives in toledo, ohio.

Steve hartman has that story.

Who would have thought - chris rowland packing for college?

Certainly not chris rowland.

Bite chris "it jus happened so quick and turned everything around.

Steve: on a dime.

Chris: exactly, this past year my life has changed so quickly."

It all started at a school assembly in toledo, ohio.

As we first reported in january& nat &the kids had no idea why they'd been called here&when up walked a wealthy businessman named pete kadens.

Nat pete at podium "right now, thi next minute, is the most important moment of my life."

Pete had been thinking a lot about social injustice - and how to fix it.

Bite pete "and so i you want to make a big difference, you go to the epicenter of inequity.

And to me, scott high school is the epicenter of inequity in this community."

Scott high school has some of the most disadvantaged students in the state.

But the school is still rich with dreams - kids like chris rowland who always wanted to go to college, but couldn't afford it - especially after what happened last fall.

That's when chris' mom, abena, lost her job, and his died in a house fire.

Bite chris and abena "chris: m dad was the closest person i had in my life.

Abena: he was such an awesome father.

He's still gonna make him proud, i know he is.

Steve: just gotta figure out a path.

Chris: yep."

Fortunately, that path to a brighter future was about to find him.

Nat pete at podium "if you're sittin here in this room today, as a soon to be graduating senior, tuition, room and board, books and fees will be paid for you will go to college for free."

Nat cheering and crying after we first told this story - about 75 kids - 3/4ths of the graduating class - accepted pete's generous offer.

Including chris - who will be studying criminal justice at lourdes university in toledo.

He wants to be a police officer.

Bite chris "steve have you been watching the news lately?

Chris: oh, yea.

Steve: that change your mind?

Chris: no, that's the whole point of me wanting to be a police officer - to make a change."

Back in january, before the country tore apart, pete kadens had already imagined a fix.

Nat pete "and thi is how we change the world."

And i'm guessing that's why, if you would have looked up through the gym ceiling that day, as chris did, you would have seen a dad, beaming with pride and gratitude.

Steve hartman, on the road, in toledo, ohio.

It seems there is art everywhere - if you just look close enough.

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