Wednesday, Sep. 27, 2006
Donna Burt was an Idaho State University senior majoring in elementary education 16 years ago when her life, as she knew, changed forever.
Burt, then 25, was a passenger in a Greyhound bus and was heading home to Amberson, Pa., for the holidays when tragedy struck on Interstate 80 in Emery, Utah, on Dec. 18, 1990.
According a Dec. 19, 1990, Caledonian-Record article, the bus Burt was riding on was struck by a tractor-trailer carrying frozen hams during a blizzard. The tractor-trailer slid across the divided highway and plowed into the bus and another truck loaded with sand. Of the 43 passengers on the bus, which was headed to Chicago from Salt Lake City, seven were killed.
Burt was listed as one of the dead. She was put in a body bag and her right hand and left foot were tagged when she was found with no pulse. Later, when rescuers discovered she was still alive, she was transported from the scene to Evanston, Wyo., with severe head injuries. Burt said she later was airlifted to the University of Utah Medical Center.
For seven years, she spent time in hospitals and rehabilitation centers trying to put her life back together. She had to learn how to speak and walk again.
Gone were her dreams of marriage and having a family – or so she thought.
Burt went through long days of therapy, including speech, physical, cognitive and occupational.
She learned to walk again by riding horses. The horse’s movement mimics a person walking, Burt said.
One day, while in a rehabilitation center van, she and the others in the vehicle came upon a crash scene.
“We drove around for hours until we were OK,” Burt said. “You have blocks. You don’t know how to get by them, but as you are exposed to things, you get by the blocks.”
She said her parents were very involved in her therapy. They would have her do puzzles as a way to help her recover.
After the first seven years of rehab, Burt began to put her life back together again. But she did not believe she was going to be able to have what she always wanted, a husband and family – until she met Paul Corbeil in August 2004.
Burt was visiting her grandmother, Margaret Burt in Dalton, N.H. She met Corbeil at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Lyndon, where he was teaching a class.
“It was sort of like a Cinderella story,” she said Sunday sitting on a couch in her St. Johnsbury home. “He had not been dating for seven years. We met each other and things started happening. I thought time had run out. I thought by the time I found someone, I would be past the child-bearing age.”
What really affected Burt was when she was listening to Corbeil talking about his daughter from a previous marriage and how he had put his own needs aside to take her and a friend of hers on a trip.
“He wanted to make her happy,” she said. “I thought for someone to think of his child so much he would literally put everything he wanted on hold, was touching.”
Corbeil said that after class, she came up to him and asked him if she could write to him after she went back to New Jersey. At that point, he knew they would be dating.
“I almost did not go out with him,” she said. “When he wanted to go out with me, I said, ÔNow what will I do? Maybe he will take advantage of me. Maybe he is not as nice as he seems.'”
After all, she had not been on a date from before the crash in 1990 and the day she met him in 2004.
“That was a really scary experience,” she said. “Come to find out, there was nothing to be afraid of. I almost threw the opportunity away.”
Burt and Corbeil married in December 2004 and baby Richard was born Sept. 14 after 31 hours of labor, less than two weeks ago. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 91/2 ounces.
Paul Corbeil said it is kind of neat holding a little one again, even at the age of 51.
“That was something she definitely wanted, and I agreed,” he said. “I am happy to see Donna happy. He definitely is a miracle.”
If someone had told Donna Corbeil during the years of rehabilitation when she was learning how to talk and walk again she would be married and have what she calls their miracle baby, she may not have believed it.
Donna said a lot of people don’t think they have a chance to have a family when they are in their 40s. They think it is too late or they cannot afford it.
“Happiness is not something based on money,” as she gazed down lovingly at Richard in her arms. “Happiness comes from being satisfied with being where you are. Happiness is not based on things. Happiness is in love. One of the reasons I wanted to have a child was because a child is the expression of love between a husband and a wife.”
Monday, Sep. 25, 2006
A US veteran is being reunited with his daughter after more than 20 years apart, all thanks to a German reality television show. Glenn Godau hasn’t seen his daughter for many years, but it’s not because he didn’t want to.
Glenn Godau, being reunited with daughter: “Of course this is the only picture I’ve ever got of her.”
His daughter’s mother sent Godau a picture right before the young girl was put up for adoption. It was a child he never knew, one who was born after serving in the military in Germany more than 20 years ago.
Glenn Godau: “I’ve thought about her every day, not a day has gone by when I haven’t thought about her.”
His search ended with a letter.
Glenn Godau: “Well, at first I thought it was bogus, in today’s world stuff just doesn’t happen like that.”
The German television show called “All You Need is Love” said they found his long-lost child. The TV show is aimed at reuniting loved ones.
Glenn Godau: “When I first got the letter, I think I cried for about almost four hours straight, because it was all of a sudden, here it is.”
Godau is anxious to put his arms around his daughter for the first time in years.
Glenn Godau: “Just to hold her again, it’s paramount, it’s like a big hole in my life, the chance to hold your child once, two days after she was born.”
Godau is set to leave for Germany in early October. He says the show is giving him and his daughter a chance to make up for the years they spent apart.
Friday, Sep. 22, 2006
A Nottingham man says his pet dog’s penchant for ladies’ underwear left the animal needing emergency surgery.
Cliff Hall of Stapleford said his pedigree Bull Mastiff Deefer has eaten around 10 pairs of knickers in the past 12 months.
But the latest two pairs, belonging to Mr Hall’s daughter Stacey, 15, became lodged in the dog’s small intestine.
The dog could not drink, eat or move properly and a vet had to remove the blockage at a cost of more than £1,000.
Mr Hall, said: “He’s had a bit of a penchant for them in the past, this isn’t the first time he’s eaten a pair.
“If people have left them on the bathroom floor when they have had a bath he will typically wander in afterwards and steal them.
“Normally they go straight through him but on this occasion it agitated his intestine and left him in a bit of a state.”
He said that the dog’s strange habits had prompted the family to take out pet insurance, which covered the cost of the operation.
The dog had to stay at the vets for several days but has now been given a full bill of health.
Mr Hall added: “We’ve got a new house rule that underwear goes into the washing machine where Deefer can’t get at it.”
LEISURE centre staff have been warned to improve safety after a drowning child had to be rescued by a member of the public.
Fairfield Pool and Leisure Centre, Lowfield Street, Dartford, was reported to Dartford Council’s health and safety department after the incident.
Mother-of-two Karen O’Brien reported the incident after her six-year-old daughter got into difficulty during a swimming lesson.
Mrs O’Brien, of Howard Road, Dartford, was watching her daughter swim to the deep end of the pool from the viewing gallery.
The 39-year-old said she saw her daughter begin to panic and go under the water.
Mrs O’Brien said: “I was watching her start to drown but her instructor couldn’t see her as she was helping a lifeguard move lane partitions.
“I ran down to the pool and started screaming at the lifeguards to help her but they had not been watching and did not know were she was.”
She added: “I was just about to jump in when a member of the public rescued her.
“I was devastated by the fact she nearly drowned and nobody had taken any notice.”
Following the incident Mrs O’Brien has stopped her two daughters continuing their swimming lessons at the pool.
The housewife sent two letters to the pool demanding the £84 she had pre-paid for lessons to be refunded to her.
Fairfield Pool and Leisure Centre replied offering to refund any further lessons taken at the complex.
A spokesman for Dartford Council’s health and safety department said: “We have investigated the claim and have written to both Mrs O’Brien and Fairfield Pool.
“We have advised the pool to reinforce its safety rules and make sure staff are aware of them.”
Fairfield Pool and Leisure Centre declined to comment.
Thursday, Sep. 21, 2006
A youngster who has raised millions of pounds for charity has celebrated her 11th birthday – seven years after being told she had just weeks to live.
Kirsty Howard, who lives in Greater Manchester, has raised almost £5m for the Kirsty’s Appeal charity.
The youngster, born with a terminal heart defect, raises funds for the Manchester-based Francis House Hospice for children in Manchester.
During fundraising she became friends with David and Victoria Beckham.
She began campaigning for the Francis House Hospice, where she was being cared for, in 1999.
Doctors had told her she only had up to six weeks to live as a result of being born with a back to front heart.
As the England team mascot for the World Cup qualifying match against Greece in October 2001, she held David Beckham’s hand on the pitch at Old Trafford.
Nine months later she handed the baton to the Queen at the opening ceremony of the Manchester Commonwealth Games, again with Beckham at her side.
In the past she has also been invited to open the Harrods sale with Victoria Beckham.
Wednesday, Sep. 20, 2006
One couple has much more love to give
We often hear of angels – but usually never see them. Until now.
A Midland County couple are Angels in Adoption – an award given to someone who’s made contributions towards the lives of so many children.
It started with one child, and for the Streu’s that’s all it took to get hooked.
“We extended our license so that teens wouldn’t have to leave our house,” explained Randy Streu, a foster/adoptive parent. “Then we extended to have more children and we’ve been falling in love with them ever since.”
Pam and Randy Streu were honored today at the Midland County Courthouse for being an angel in adoption.
Rep. Dave Camp nominated the couple for their commitment and love to kids. “You hear the life story of this family,” said Camp. “The love and hope they’ve brought to so many children, 49, it really is a special day.”
“I can think of so many families out there that do so much more than we do and they picked us,” said Pam. “It is so indescribable.”
Pam and Randy have also adopted seven and have a total of 10 children, including a son serving in Iraq, and three grandchildren.
Those who have known and worked with the Streus for the last 12 years say once a child is in their care, that child is loved, has faith and given hope.
“All it takes is a loving heart,” Randy said. “We don’t need a lot of knowledge. You just need to open your heart and your home; that’s all the kids want.”
GOLD Coast grandfather Graham Flint could be Queens-land’s greatest good Samaritan.
The former property developer is spending $1.1 million on a dedicated facility for children with autism.
The centre, being built and due to open by 2007, will be the first of its kind on the Gold Coast.
It comes as the State Government has been accused of leaving gaping holes in the city’s disability services.
“It’s a lot of money but there’s nothing better I could spend it on,” said Mr Flint, 74.
“If you wait for the Government, you don’t get anywhere, so I decided to build it myself.”
Families of children with autism described Mr Flint as a hero yesterday, but the former consultant turned property developer from Arundel said he was only doing the right thing.
“I’m very, very ordinary,” he said.
“(The hero tag) doesn’t sit very comfortably with me at all.
“What can I say? I like kids.”
Mr Flint said he experienced autism first hand when his grandson Ben, 11, was diagnosed at age two.
Mr Flint’s daughter, Robyn Hawkins, who will run the centre, said her motivation was to give other children suffering the neurobiological disease a chance at a normal life.
“It’s ridiculous how inadequate services are on the Gold Coast,” said Mrs Hawkins.
“Parents are really struggling, they are doing it tough and they need some help.
“If we waited for the Government, it could take 10 years and we might still not get any funding.
“There’s always so much red tape and basically they don’t want to know about it.”
The proposed centre, at the corner of Napper Road and Allied Drive at Arundel, will focus on intervention for autistic children aged two to five.
“There’s just nothing like this on the Gold Coast and the tragic thing is, there needs to be, because early intervention can make such a huge difference,” said Mrs Hawkins.
“My son Ben made such an improvement and it’s something that should be available to all parents.”
Autism Gold Coast president Tony Maher praised Mr Flint and he urged the Government and the community to support the project.
Tasha and John Riddle’s Oregon home is filled with babies today. But they had tried to have children for years only to see each pregnancy end in a miscarriage within weeks.
“I don’t even know how to explain it,” Tasha told The Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman. “It was very hurtful. We’d have a healthy baby, at eight, nine, ten weeks. We’d have an ultrasound every week and you see a heartbeat. You see little arms forming and legs moving. We were so excited. Then, the next ultrasound, there was no heartbeat.”
“It was heartbreaking,” John said.
In all, they endured 11 miscarriages.
“I felt bad for John because I knew he’d be such a great father. And for him possibly not to experience that was hard for me,” Tasha said. “So, at times, I did blame myself.”
In desperation, Tasha turned to her lifelong friend, Raquel Mitola — the two had been inseparable since the fifth grade — and asked Raquel to carry her babies for her.
“She actually started crying ’cause she was so honored that she’d carry our baby for us,” Tasha said. “And then of course, I started crying. So it was an emotional phone call for both of us.”
Raquel said it was difficult to see her friend suffer because she had always hoped they would raise their children together.
“Mine were getting older and she still wasn’t able to have a baby, so it was hard watching her and John go through it,” she said.
Using in vitro fertilization, doctors implanted Tasha and John’s embryos in Raquel.
“When we found out Raquel was pregnant, that was the, the ultimate at that point,” John said.
Raquel turned out to be pregnant with twins but then the even bigger news came: Tasha was also carrying twins. In a last effort, she had been implanted with embryos on the same day as Raquel, who said she never allowed herself to get attached to the children she was carrying.
“I was never worried. I know my family and friends were worried about that but I didn’t get too attached,” she said. “I knew I was going to be a part of their life.”
The two sets of twins — three girls and one boy — were delivered eight days apart.
“Just looking at them for the first time, I just, we both started crying,” Tasha said. “It was just little miracles.”
“Yeah, they’re so beautiful and they were so healthy,” John said.
After that experience, Raquel and Tasha grew even closer. Raquel drives two and a half hours through the country to deliver breast milk and to help out.
“I couldn’t imagine being pregnant without her,” Tasha said.
Today, the Riddles have to endure an endless cycle of diaper changing, laundry, fluffing and folding, feeding and burping four babies — it’s never quiet. Friends and neighbors help with the babies during the day but Tasha and John are on their own at night when the action is nonstop.
“Tasha made the comment the other day, you know. I know you were just joking, but she’s like, ‘It would be boring to have only one baby,’ ” John said.
Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2006
They wheeled Kelly Jo Blosser into the labor and delivery room.
They lifted her legs for her. They propped up her body.
Then, as tears welled in their eyes, the doctors and nurses helped the quadriplegic deliver her baby.
Kelly Jo Blosser and 5-pound, 7-ounce baby Chad Allen Stanford are miracles, the medical professionals say.
In a split second on a winding Arkansas road last March, Blosser’s life shattered.
That Blosser and Chad Allen are here at all is a tribute to the commitment from the doctors, nurses and staff at Good Samaritan Hospital who took her in as a patient when facilities in Tennessee and West Virginia said the pregnancy and delivery were too risky.
“She’s a miracle mother,” said Dr. Kim Brady, the director of obstetrics at Good Samaritan.
Neither mother nor baby was expected to make it on that sunny March Monday morning when Blosser was driving her 7-year-old daughter, Kaitlin Nicole, to school.
After rounding a curve, Blosser’s car slammed into the rear of a garbage truck stopped in the road.
“It was too late for her to swerve,” said Robin Blosser, Kelly Jo’s mother.
The impact sheared the top off the car and killed Kaitlin Nicole.
A single mother, Blosser, who had just discovered she was pregnant when the March 14 crash happened, has been hospitalized ever since. She has never been well enough to go back to Arkansas and visit her daughter’s grave.
A CONSTANT CHORE
The crash broke Blosser’s neck in three places and severed her spinal cord. The injuries have seriously affected her central nervous system. Stabilizing her blood pressure is a constant chore.
Blosser, 25, will never walk again, doctors say. She will never be able to pick up Chad Allen or her other two children, Destiney Lynn, 4, and Gunner Todd, 2.
After the crash, both Blosser and Kaitlin Nicole were flown to Nashville, Tenn.
The little girl, although technically dead, was kept on a ventilator until Robin Blosser arrived to say goodbye. Kaitlin Nicole’s heart, liver and kidneys were harvested for transplant into four different people.
Kelly Jo Blosser’s doctors predicted she would die in a matter of hours. The fetus in her womb was expected to spontaneously abort.
Blosser and Chad Allen proved those Tennessee doctors wrong.
“I think this is what has kept her going,” Robin Blosser said.
Blosser faces a lot of obstacles.
She has not accepted Kaitlin Nicole’s death.
“I can’t do this anymore,” a tearful Blosser said Thursday as her mother explained the accident.
Still, Blosser never gave up her fight to survive and be a mother again.
On Thursday, Robin Blosser carefully placed Chad Allen onto Kelly Jo Blosser’s chest.
Blosser, paralyzed from the upper chest down, crooked her head toward Chad Allen and kissed his temple.
“I was so scared,” she said of his vaginal birth at 10:08 a.m. Wednesday.
“She didn’t know if she was going to make it or if the baby was going to make it,” Robin Blosser said.
As Blosser and her son spent a quiet moment together Thursday, tears filled the eyes of the two hospital employees in the room.
NEW HOME ON HORIZON
Early this morning, Blosser is expected to say goodbye to Cincinnati, a city – save for two brief visits outside the hospital doors – she has only seen through her window or from TV images since she arrived here in July.
She’ll be going to her mother’s home in Spencer, W.Va. Her other children will join them.
“We got used to her around here,” said Good Samaritan nurse Lori Holland, who joined other nurses two weeks ago and threw Kelly Jo a baby shower. “If she hated the world and had had that attitude, she would never have made it this far. She really taught us a thing or two.”
Life will change radically for Robin Blosser, too.
The 41-year-old grandmother now has a quadriplegic daughter, that daughter’s three children, and her own 12-year-old son to care for. She quit her job as a cashier the day of the accident to be with her daughter.
“She’s going to need 24-hour care,” Robin Blosser said.
Robin Blosser, who is also a single mom, knows her life back in West Virginia will be a struggle, but she says it is nothing compared to what Kelly Jo has gone through.
She doesn’t know how she’ll do it. She just knows she’ll never stop being a mom.
“All I can do is take it a day at a time,” she said. “I know I’ll never be able to go back to work, because she will be 24/7. But I’ll be there for her; and I’ll be there to help those babies grow up.”
“In this part of my blog, I’m going to tell you how I use modern day technology in my daily life. Well, first off, I begin my day by waking up, thanks to my alarm clock.”
That’s how one of Ben Goodman’s Cimarron Springs Elementary students started off an online journal known as a blog.
Goodman, a technology teacher, sees each class only twice a year, for three weeks at a time. He has to help students internalize what he teaches so it isn’t forgotten.
“I try to have them write about what they’re learning about,” said Goodman, who has been teaching in the Dysart Unified School District for 30 years. “The concept here is if you really internalize the concept, then you should be able to explain it to someone else.”
So Goodman combined teaching with technology to accomplish that goal.
“In my experience, when someone is writing and they know someone else will read it, they write better,” Goodman said.
The Web logs, or blogs, are posted on the Internet so that students can log on to read each other’s entries and make comments.
Goodman’s efforts in the classroom recently earned him the TeachersFirst Class Blogs Award from TeachersFirst.com, a Web resource for K-12 teachers.
“As the inaugural recipient of this honor, (Ben) Goodman is being recognized for actively using a classroom blog with students to facilitate student understanding, encourage writing expression and promote good writing skills,” said Candace Hackett Shively, director of K-12 at NITV, the parent company of TeachersFirst, in a statement.
But Goodman’s efforts don’t stop in the classroom – now he’s helping other teachers learn how to use the blogs so that they can continue with what he has taught their students.
“Quite a number of teachers . . . have formed their own blogs, and that’s what’s going to really change things,” Goodman said.
And students enjoy it, he said. It’s a real application of what they’re learning.
“I do think it helps,” he said. “You have a real audience. You stay a little sharper.”
And Goodman has to stay sharp as well, in a field that is always changing. He subscribes to newsletters and magazines to keep up on technology’s cutting edge. These new trends include wikis, collaborative, interactive Web sites, and podcasting, which is a way of distributing audio or video files over the Internet to mobile devices and personal computers.
Goodman adapts those cutting-edge ideas and brings them into the classroom.
“I think the job of technology . . . is to transform the way you teach, not to make little minor changes,” he said.
It takes a special principal to hush 2,000 teenagers in an echoey gymnasium — especially without being there.
Doherty High School’s Jill Martin walked into a silent gym Monday morning where students, colleagues, family and friends surprised her with news that she has been named the 2007 National High School Principal of the Year.
Martin had been lured away from the school for a business breakfast as hundreds of people, including school band members, packed the gym.
When she returned, her secretary told her there was an emergency in the gym involving scoreboard equipment. Martin didn’t take the bait, so the story was embellished: A student had fallen in the gym.
Instead of paramedics, she was greeted by cameras and cheers.
“This is one of the few times in my life where I honestly have to say I don’t know what to say,” she told the crowd.
Principal at Doherty since 1999, Martin was selected from among hundreds by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and MetLife, which together coordinate and fund the award. She received a $5,000 grant for the school or for professional training.
Martin was honored for a lengthy list of accomplishments, from improving student attendance and decreasing the dropout rate to implementing several programs.
Principals were judged on their leadership, academics and people skills. State winners were chosen this year, and a national judging panel selected and interviewed three finalists.
Martin has a reputation among students as being a good listener. “She’s like one of us,” said sophomore Gloria Angel. “She’s secretly a student.”
Sarah-Rose Gundel, a senior, attended middle school in New York before coming to Doherty. She went from feeling like a number to a person, she said. “I was tearing up in the bleachers when I saw her walk out,” Gundel said.
Martin spoke to The Gazette last week about her status as one of three national finalists, not knowing she was the winner. She said she was honored to have gotten so far when she considered the competition. “I’ve been around long enough to know how many good high school principals there are,” she said.
She also happens to live with one of them. Her husband, Paul, is principal at Cheyenne Mountain High School and was Wyoming’s principal of the year in 1984 — a time when there wasn’t a national competition for state winners.
Her husband is her mentor, Martin said. She bounces ideas off him at home.
The journey to becoming National High School Principal of the Year began last school year when she was nominated for the Colorado award.
Maybe it began further back than that, Martin mused. She said she ran “schools” in her backyard as a youngster, charging 25 cents to conduct activities for younger kids, which she now realizes parents saw as cheap baby-sitting.
She said she didn’t have plans to be a teacher at that point.
That came later, when she watched her brother — who has gone on to a successful career in television — drop out of school. She wanted to find out what made him dislike school, which she loved.
She became an English teacher 37 years ago and said she’s “getting there” when it comes to answering the question about why some kids don’t want to go to school.
In her doctoral dissertation, she found that truant students wanted to be successful at school but didn’t think it was possible.
They were the same students who didn’t necessarily qualify for special programs at school to help them be successful, she said.
That’s driven her mission to start new programs, including one in which students periodically meet with teachers or advisers to set goals, review their academic progress and draft improvement plans.
Another program, Spartan Connection, provides groups of 30 students with a chance to meet weekly with two adults to talk about anything on their minds.
“The goal there is to personalize our school,” Martin said.
All students should feel they have at least one adult who is an advocate for them at school, she said. That adult may be a teacher, the custodian or Martin, who has a group that meets during Spartan Connection time.
About 130 Doherty students take elective classes that teach skills to make them more successful in college in a program initiated by Martin.
Teachers and counselors say Martin’s focus on the students never seems to waver, and she fosters a team environment where teachers talk regularly about students and learning and how to improve them.
“She’s always there to recognize when students do well,” said Doherty band director David Williams.
Monday, Sep. 18, 2006
DOUG Andrews was just a teenager when his older brother was killed in a wartime plane crash – and now, more than 60 years later, he finally has a treasured keepsake to remember him by.
Mr Andrews, of The Street, Bawdsey, near Woodbridge, has been presented with the watch that went missing when his brother died after a bombing mission over Germany.
His brother, Victor, was only 19 when he died in a RAF Halifax heavy bomber. The plane was returning to Snaith airfield, near York, on March 14, 1945, when it overshot the runway.
The plane crashed into a railway embankment and Flt Sgt Andrews, of Alderton, near Woodbridge, and the seven other crew were killed.
This was the crew’s 24th and final operation together and the tragedy for their families and the rest of the 51 Squadron was especially difficult to bear coming just before the end of the war.
Mr Andrews, 17 months younger than his brother, was working in the fields in east Suffolk when he was told of his brother’s death.
His brother’s watch was found soon after the crash and kept for safekeeping by a family. Thanks to the intervention of aviation historians it has now been handed over to Mr Andrews.
He attended a special ceremony at Snaith and was presented with the watch.
Mr Andrews, 79, said: ”The watch means a lot to me and it is a very treasured possession. It is by my bedside and that is where it will stay. I will not put it on because I do not want to lose it.
”It keeps very good time. It has a very small winder and I do not wind it very regularly because I need to be careful with it.”
His mother, Bessie Andrews, had written to the RAF on several occasions to try to get the watch returned to the family, but this never proved possible.
When he attended the ceremony to receive the watch Mr Andrews was so overcome by emotion that he found it difficult to thank the people involved.
”I could not speak. I had gone there thinking I could thank everybody but I could not speak,” he recalled.
The watch was discovered by Frederick Hardgrave, a farm worker, soon after the crash site had been cleared.
He handed it down his family with the wish that one day it would be returned to the owner’s family.
The RAF was told about the find but the Hardgraves were advised not to pursue the matter because it could upset Mr Andrews’s family.
But Peter Gulliver, a 60-year-old aviation historian, visited the crash site with another historian and he was told that a watch had been found. Mr Gulliver then visited the Hardgrave family.
Mr Gulliver said: ”They kept the watch until I went to see them at the tail end of last year.
“They were more than pleased to give it to me and I took it to a jewellers and had it repaired. They cleaned the watch and it worked straightaway.
”At the ceremony I presented the watch to Douglas. It was very emotional for both of us, we were in tears.”
Mr Andrews is buried at Alderton and his grave is visited by his brother every fortnight.
Friday, Sep. 15, 2006
Doing what came naturally to him almost cost Joseph Edward Michael “Mikey” Evans his life.
The 13-year-old seventh-grader at West Hernando Middle School was hiding behind a palmetto bush in Royal Highlands with his friend, 10-year-old Dustin Wright, eluding two boys who were chasing them.
Mikey felt a “sting” on his right ankle, just above his sneaker. He knew it was snake.
Mikey hoisted Dustin onto his back so the younger boy wouldn’t be bitten. He carried his friend 60 to 70 feet out of the woods, said Mikey’s dad, Joe Evans, before coming to a house and asking the residents there to call 911.
By the time Joe Evans and his wife, Lorrie, arrived at the scene, at about 8:30 p.m. July 27, paramedics had also arrived and Mikey was already hallucinating, convulsing and acting combative.
The exertion from carrying his friend pumped the venom more quickly through his body.
“He made a bad situation worse,” his dad said.
At Oak Hill Hospital, Mikey received four vials of antivenin serum to treat what were determined to be four snake bites, probably from two adult and two baby rattlesnakes.
The baby snake bites are the most poisonous.
Mikey was then taken by BayFlight to All Children’s Hospital, where, over three weeks, he received 68 more vials of antivenin.
“We had more than one doctor tell us we could lose him,” his mother said.
Ultimately, Mikey’s leg needed surgery.
“It was like a can of biscuits dough,” said Joe Evans. It burst right open.
“How fast it got bad,” he marveled, “but it started healing up fast, too.”
Since bringing Mikey home, the Evans family has made adjustments to their lives and in their home to care for him. He uses a walker indoors and a wheelchair for longer excursions.
Joe Evans took off four weeks from his job as a merchandiser for various local firms.
While the Evans family, including daughter, Emily, 10, was able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House near All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg while Mikey was a patient, they had to pay for 12 nights in a motel while their home was being retrofitted with ramps and other accommodations for Mikey’s limited mobility.
The teen is being homeschooled.
Moose Lodge 1767 on Wiscon Road, south of Brooksville, where Joe Evans is a member, will stage a fundraising all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast 9 a.m. to noon Saturday to help the family with unexpected expenses. The price is $4 per person. Lodge members are hoping for 50 hungry diners.
Also, Guy-n-Deanna’s Elbow Room, along with Eagles Lodge 4497, will sponsor benefit dining at the Elbow Room from 3 p.m. Oct. 7. The restaurant is at 1365 Kass Circle in Spring Hill.
Benefits will help to cover the family’s out-of-pocket expenses and future expenses for Mikey’s care and convalescence.
With the help of two construction workers and an EMS dispatcher, a Calgary couple delivered a baby at the side of the road.
Yesterday, Andrew and Janelle Baldwin met with emergency workers to thank them for their help in saving their baby girl’s life.
Janelle believed she had at least five hours before delivery when she and Andrew hopped into their car Aug. 12 and left for the hospital.
But within minutes she knew Kayla, their third child, would make her way into the world faster than anticipated.
Andrew pulled over to the side of the road at 194 Street and Macleod Trail S.E. and as he ran over to his wife’s side of the car, he immediately flagged down two passing construction workers.
“Janelle started pulling down her pants and I handed them my cellphone with EMS on the line,” he said yesterday.
“When I turned back, the baby was born.”
Andrew said Kayla was blue and not breathing and he quickly began blowing gently into her mouth, as one construction worker relayed the advice from EMS dispatcher Tyler Thomas.
“They told me to make sure she was covered and the construction worker handed me a jacket to cover her while I kept blowing into her mouth,” said Andrew.
Andrew said Kayla opened her eyes but quickly paled again and stopped breathing.
“I saw the ambulance coming and it was the best sight I have ever seen,” said Andrew.
The baby was still bluish when paramedics Teresa Roberts and Craig Munro arrived. They warmed Kayla up and helped her breathing, and she was in good shape when she arrived at the hospital.
Thursday, Sep. 14, 2006
WHEN Dutch lorry driver Fred Kolenbrander was trapped beneath his 20-tonne lorry and feeling his life slip away, the last thing on his mind was making a new friend – but that is just what he got.
For 40-year-old Oldhamer Bob Wild rushed to the rescue, stopped the lorry from crushing Fred to death, and kept him calm before help arrived.
There is little doubt that Bob’s quick thinking kept Fred alive, and following the near-death experience the two lorry drivers have gone on to become the best of mates.
“I had a lucky escape from death and I got a great friend out of it,” Fred told the Advertiser this week.
The 43-year-old suffered serious head and leg injuries in the accident in May, with surgeons at Leeds General having to transplant stomach muscle into his leg. Fred remained in hospital for two weeks and was very thankful to have life-saver Bob popping in to encourage him.
“The first night I couldn’t sleep,” Bob said. “I have seen some horrendous accidents before but have never been so involved. Every time I closed my eyes I saw it.
“I went to see Fred. He was very thankful but he didn’t owe me anything. I did it as an act of humanity.”
Bob, a lorry driver for 15 years, had been at a roadside cafe on the fateful hot summer’s day when Fred’s nightmare unfolded. He was alerted to the fact that someone was trapped under a lorry nearby and didn’t hesitate.
“I was really shocked,” he said. “I ran over and when I saw Fred my heart went from calm to frantic in a split second. He was squashed from the waist down by the truck. I was horrified. There was blood everywhere.”
Fred had pulled over to sleep in a layby near Halifax after delivering flowers to Huddersfield market. Because it was a hot day he needed to adjust the air conditioning from beneath the lorry.
He said: “I forgot to put the handbrake on and the lorry rolled back over my leg. I was trapped between the two wheels. There was blood everywhere. It was very painful. I banged my head and that was bleeding as well. I was screaming for help for some time.”
Thankfully, Bob was just the help he needed. The father-of-three leapt into the truck, put on the handbrake, switched off the engine and pumped the breaks, so releasing the mounting pressure from Fred’s body.
“I would not take my foot off the brakes. I had a job to do, Fred’s life was on the line,” said Bob. “We waited for the emergency services.
“A few minutes felt like an eternity. I kept him talking and trying to make him laugh to relax him. When you are confronted with life-or-death situations you just do what you have to do.”
Amazingly, Fred is now on the way to making a full recovery at home with his wife and three children in Spykenisse, Holland. In fact, he is doing so well he even hopes to start up his 25-year driving career again in 2007.
But the 43 year old is looking forward to something even more than that – next month he will be reunited with his new pal.
Bob says that the strong bond they have formed was initially due to the horror of their shared experience, but after visiting Fred in hospital in Leeds he realised that they had a lot in common.
Ever since, Bob and Fred have stayed in touch via phone and email, and they plan to introduce their families in the near future.
Bob said: “I never want to be involved in anything like that again, but if I was I’d do the same again. Fred’s an absolutely brilliant guy.”