The goodness of America.Teen Donates kidney
Eighteen-year-old Briana Delcampo of Tucson, Arizona, had the special privilege of giving the gift of life to a toddler suffering from kidney failure, reports the online Huffington Post.
Baby Isaiah, just 18 months old, was born with end-stage kidney failure and has spent most of his life in and out of the hospital. His parents had conducted a desperate search for a kidney donor, as they became aware that he would need to begin dialysis without it.
"He needs a kidney transplant because being on dialysis is very hard on the body, especially for a baby," said Isaiah's mother, Terri Hernandez.
Delcampo is a friend of the Hernandez family and could riot bear to see them suffer. Immediately upon learning that Isaiah required a kidney transplant, she volunteered her own. "The first thing that came to mind was: I would love to be tested," she said. Fortunately she was a perfect match.
Delcampo remained resolved in her decision to donate her kidney, even as family and friends attempted to dissuade her.
Delcampo's mother, Lynette Torrez said, "I knew I wanted her to do it, but at the same time I was afraid for her to go through with it. I guess as a mother I kind of felt selfish because I didn't want to lose her."
But Delcampo bravely and unselfishly put another's needs before her own. "I told them that I wanted to do it. Nobody was going to change my mind," said Delcampo. "I've lived 18 years and I've got to do things. I've got to travel and do things that people wish they could do and I just want him to grow up and be able to do the things I did. You know, live a normal life."
And Isaiah's mother was naturally thrilled to learn that her son had a donor, particularly one that was so close to her heart.
"She's doing something brave for a teenager. Most teenagers don't do things like this. I asked her many times if she wanted to back out then I wouldn't hold it against her. She said she wanted to do it," said Terri.
Delcampo donated her kidney to baby Isaiah on May 29, and doctors report that both surgeries were successful.
Occasionally people find themselves in a position wherein they are called upon to help others. Some find themselves in that position more than once, sometimes in the same week! Gus Hertz, a Virginia resident vacationing in Tampa Bay, Florida, is one such person.
On June 13, Hertz pulled a man out of the Gulf of Mexico after the man's BMW veered off the road near the Isla Key Bridge in St. Petersburg, Florida. The driver of the vehicle had reportedly gone into diabetic shock while driving. Fortunately for the driver, Hertz happened to witness the entire incident from his nearby condo. He and Kevin Daly, a St. Petersburg resident who also witnessed the accident, rushed to the scene. Daly used rope to tie the car to a concrete post under the bridge to keep the vehicle from floating away, and Daly and Hertz then pulled the driver from the vehicle.
The next day, Hertz was fishing and witnessed an ultralight aircraft flip over and crash into the Gulf of Mexico. Immediately, Hertz called 911 and used his fishing boat to reach the pilot, Rodney Tyoe, and the passenger of the aircraft. He pulled the victims to safety in his fishing boat.
"I pulled people out of the water. I gave them a boat ride," he told the Tampa Bay Times. "I was in the right place at the right time. ... It was luck. Pure coincidence."
Lieutenant Joel Granata of the St. Petersburg Fire Rescue told the Times that Hertz was very happy to be of assistance.
"He said he's just glad to help, he's down here on vacation for the summer, he barely took a thank you and just went ahead and left."
"Bless his heart. He seems to be in the right place at the right time," said Tyoe's daughter, Juanita Baker "Tell him, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.'"
Man Saves Four from Drowning
Even in the midst of tragedy, heroism manages to add a silver lining. In June, a man who was swimming drowned off the coast of Bald Head Island, North Carolina, reported WECT local news, but eyewitnesses say it could have been much worse. Four other swimmers were struggling to stay afloat at the time the fifth man was drowning. Fortunately, one onlooker sprang into action and rescued the four struggling swimmers.
"My mind was in go mode," said Ian Tordella-Williams. "I wasn't thinking; I was just doing."
Williams was visiting the beach for a monthly "Howl at the Moon" party, where hundreds of people were gathered. It was at the party that he spotted the struggling swimmers. Reports indicate that the swimmers had walked into shallow water but were caught up in a fast-moving tide that rolled in.
An experienced swimmer himself, Williams immediately grabbed a raft and swam out. He reached a female swimmer first. "Her arms were in the air." he said. "She was going up and down in the water. She told me after I got her on the raft that she had been swallowing salt water and she thought she was going to die."
After he brought her safely to shore, he went back for the others. "There were three more people who were out there and didn't know how to swim and they were really panicked," he said. "They said their legs were cramped."
Too tired to swim to shore, the three swimmers simply held on to the raft until a rescue boat arrived.
It was not until Ian reached the shore again that he had learned there was a fifth swimmer who did not make it. There is reason to believe that the drowned man, Kevin Roberts, had swam out to save the others.
Devastated to learn that a man had drowned despite his efforts, Williams wants to be sure that other potential swimmers are aware of the dangers of the shoals on the East Coast.
"It is one of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast but you don't want to walk out on that point." he said. "The lesson is don't walk farther than knee or waist deep on this point. It seems like it is safe but the tide comes up and will lift you off your feet."