TV station surprises little boy, invention helping kids walk, mock fire drill proposal, dog found under mudslide rubble
UNDATED (KTHV) - From a TV station's star treatment of a 3-year-old to the miraculous rescue of a dog, there are plenty of positive stories from the past week that are definitely on the 'brighter side'.
An adorable 3-year-old boy received the surprise of his life on Wednesday. Will Markwell has been teaching his mom and dad since the day he was born. During a routine procedure a few weeks ago, doctors found a hole in the middle of his heart. On Friday, he'll undergo open heart surgery. The days leading up to surgery have been painful to his parents, but not for Will. He's been busy being captivated by 11Alive's weather forecast. No matter what Will is doing, when 11Alive's weather and Chesley McNeil come on, he stops and starts watching. He especially loves the WIZometer. This Wednesday, Will had an unforgettable encounter at 11Alive. He met Chesley and saw the WIZometer in person. He also received his very own MINI Cooper, courtesy of Toys"R"Us, as well as other surprises from Chick-fil-A, the Georgia Aquarium, the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Tech.
A mother who invented a device to help her child walk is sharing her innovation on a grand scale -- by putting her creation on the market. The Firefly Upsee will be available for sale on April 7, a service rep for the manufacturer, Leckey, told The Huffington Post Tuesday. Debby Elnatan said the strain of walking her son, Rotem, who has cerebral palsy, inspired her to design a harness that could enhance his mobility. "Out of my pain and desperation came the idea for the Upsee and I'm delighted to see it come to fruition," the Israeli mother said in a press release. The nearly $500 device works somewhat on the principle of how parents often teach children to dance. But instead of young ones placing their feet on top of someone's shoes, the Upsee places kids' feet beside the grown-ups' feet with specially designed sandals. The children stand facing forward and move as the grown-ups move.
Fire drills at schools are an important way to make sure kids are prepared for an actual emergency. But one school in Greentown, Ohio actually faked a drill for a very worthy cause. School counselor Megan Zahorec thought her firefighter boyfriend Justin Deireling was helping with the fire drill, until she saw a sign asking "Will You Marry Me." While hundreds of excited kids watched on, Justin dropped to one knee and popped the question. She said yes! The elaborate proposal took place exactly six months after the couple met and in the same spot.
The search for survivors in a mudslide in Washington state is now in day four. The mudslide engulfed one square mile of Snohomish County north of Seattle Saturday. At least 14 people are dead and more than 100 unaccounted for. The Kuntz family came home to Darrington to find their muddy mangled house 150 feet from its base. They missed the deadly slide to attend their son's ball game, leaving their dog and cat inside. All that's left is the ruins of their house. The family had given up hope on finding their chocolate lab Buddy until they returned to the wreckage. Buddy's owner Quinton Kuntz said, "We were looking through all the rubble and heard the dog whining." Covered in dirt and a few gashes, Buddy came through. Quinton said, "I just broke down crying really happy that my dog was alright...I'm just shocked how well he did against my whole house falling on him."