It’s Never Too Late for Love

It’s Never Too Late for Love

Fifty years ago, at Loyola University, Jeanne Gustavson met a man she believes would have made the perfect husband. But her family objected, because his skin was not White. So, she broke up with Steve Watts – but she never forgot about him. And more than four decades later, Jeanne found him again.

Steve Hartman / CBS Sunday Morning

be kind . be grace . be there for each other


A Father’s Final Wish

A Father’s Final Wish

Nurse arranges for a plane to fly a dying father to see his son play football one last time.

By Kelsie Smith / CNN

Scott Sullivan of Somerset, Kentucky, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after being admitted to the hospital for abnormal lab results in early August. Sullivan was diagnosed leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a complication of cancer in which the disease spreads to the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. According to the National Institutes of Health, even with treatment, overall survival is approximately two to four months.

The doctors gave the 50-year-old Sullivan only a few weeks to live and discharged him to hospice care.

As he continued to battle his illness at home, all he wanted was to live long enough see his son’s first football game of his sophomore year at Pulaski County High School. So, he asked his nurse, Jerree Humphrey of Hospice of Lake Cumberland, if it would be possible.

Sullivan and Humphrey developed a friendship quickly — both had children around the same age who played sports at rival schools. But she could not recommend his request. The first game of the season was an away game in Belfry, a three-and-a-half hour drive away, and not suitable for a hospice patient.

“I thought you know you’re talking seven or eight hours in the car and I said I don’t know how safe that would be or how realistic,” said Humphrey.

But the nurse figured out a way to make it happen. She reached out to a nearby airport and within days a local dentist, Dr. Denny Brummett, offered to fly Sullivan to the game on his personal plane.

Sullivan was overcome with emotion by the news.

“Words could not be put into sentences or phrases to describe how I felt at that time,” he said. “I was just so happy to see my son.”

On September 11, Humphrey, Brummett, Sullivan and Sullivan’s girlfriend boarded the plane for game day. Instead of sitting in the stands, they sat on a hill away from all the fans as an extra precaution.

When Cade Sullivan saw his father, he ran up the hill and hugged him with all his might. The elder Sullivan says it was a magical moment because they created a memory that his son will always be able to remember when he’s gone.

“You could just not help but cry,” Humphrey said. “He just embraced him so hard and was just so thankful for him to be there.”

 Sullivan hopes he will have the chance to make it to his son’s next football game on Saturday.

Be Peace . Give Peace . Show Peace

Above and Beyond: A Teacher’s Devotion

Above and Beyond: A Teacher’s Devotion

Connecticut teacher cares for student’s baby brother as family recovers from coronavirus

NBC News / By Suzanne Ciechalski

When Luciana Lira, an elementary school teacher in Stamford, Connecticut, received a phone call on April 1 from the mother of a student asking for help, she didn’t think twice.

Zully, whose son, Junior, is in Lira’s first grade class, was eight months pregnant and in the hospital.

“I can hardly talk because I’m having a very hard time breathing, but I wanted to let you know that I need your help,” Zully said, according to Lira. “Please call my husband.”

Zully, 30, needed an emergency C-section. She had also tested positive for coronavirus.

“I did not think twice about it. … When that mom called me asking for help, it did not even come across my mind not to say ‘yes,’” Lira, who teaches English as a second language at Hart Magnet Elementary, told NBC News.

Baby Neysel was just 5 pounds, 10 ounces when he was born.

Lira asked that the last name of the family be withheld due to privacy concerns.

Lira, 42, only knew Zully and her husband, Marvin, from parent teacher conferences and occasional phone calls about Junior’s performance in school.

Initially, Lira was serving as a liaison and translator between doctors and Zully’s family. She was also working to get the family baby supplies, like bottles and a car seat, fully expecting Neysel would go home with his father eventually. But right before Neysel was supposed to go home, it struck Lira that Marvin might also have COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus.

“How are we going to release this baby to this father? There’s a chance he could be COVID positive,” she said. “What are we doing here?”

Marvin shared the concern, according to Lira, telling her: “I am desperate. I don’t want to kill my baby. If I’m COVID positive, he’s probably not going to make it.”

“I said, ‘You know what, if you want, I know you don’t know me and I don’t know you, and I think I’m crazy for doing this … until you get tested, I can keep the baby with me for one or two days,’” Lira told him.

She told Marvin that if he did test positive, he couldn’t be around her because she’s asthmatic and at higher risk.

“He said, ‘Oh my god, Ms. Lira, I don’t know you but I know I can trust you… and I’m going to trust you with my baby’s life,'” according to Lira.

Both Marvin and his son tested positive for the coronavirus a couple days later.

“All we could do was cry and be thankful that I had the baby with me and the father didn’t have any contact with the baby,” she said.

Zully remained hospitalized after giving birth. She’d been in critical condition, on a ventilator, with doctors worried that she would not survive. Finally, on April 25, she was discharged from the hospital, but still testing positive for COVID-19.

“During this we cried a lot together,” Lira said. “There were days we would tell each other, ‘Let’s pray, because that’s it.’”

It’s been more than a month since that first phone call and Lira is still caring for baby Neysel, while also juggling teaching full time and caring for her own 11-year-old son.

“I’ve been getting help from all over and that makes all the difference,” she said.

Lira emphasized that everyone, from her colleagues to some nonprofits, have pitched in to help her navigate this new life.

“She was asked to care for a newborn baby during a pandemic when she herself was concerned for the welfare of her own child and family,” Hart Magnet Principal Linda Darling told NBC News. “In a split second, Ms. Lira said yes, and totally committed her time and efforts to seeing that this baby was nurtured emotionally and cared for as one of her own.”

Lira said Marvin and Junior are awaiting new coronavirus test results to see if they are negative. Zully will also be tested again on Friday. She’s hoping Neysel will finally meet his mother soon.

“It is what it is, right?” Lira said. “At least we’re saving his life.”

Best Mother’s Day Ever!

Best Mother’s Day Ever!

‘Best Mother’s Day ever’: Mom meets daughter after coming out of coma from COVID-19

Eyewitness News / ABC 7 NY

HACKENSACK, New Jersey (WABC) — A woman in New Jersey met her baby for the very first time Thursday after going into a coma while battling COVID-19.

Donna Molina first met her baby girl more than a month after she was born.

Harley was born April 2 and Thursday was their first meeting face to face because Molina had to battle and overcome coronavirus first.

Four days before she gave birth, Molina spiked a 103-degree fever and was rushed to Hackensack University Medical Center.

“I was in an induced coma for 11 days, I was intubated and on a ventilator,” Molina said.

Harley wasn’t due until June 10, but the virus demanded otherwise and she had to come immediately.

Molina had an emergency C-section and that is the last thing she remembers.

After Molina recovered, she had to wait until she tested negative for the virus twice before she could meet her baby girl.

“It’s just so amazing how someone so small can pull through and survive,” she said.

Harley is now thriving. She was 3 pounds at birth, but she is now 5 pounds, 3.8 ounces.

Molina is forever grateful to the doctors and nurses who pulled off two miracles as far as her family is concerned.

Harley will be allowed to go home in about two weeks.

“The hospital was amazing, they worked on me, they didn’t give up, they took care of me in the ICU, they saved her life which was most important to me, and here we are together, two survivors,” Molina said.”The best Mother’s Day ever.”

Learning From Love

Learning From Love

As a dog lover and a life-long supporter of all rescue animals this story truly touched my heart.  The beautiful work being done by the T.A.I.L.S (Teaching Animals & Inmates Life Skills) program is a reminder that PEACE realized through trust, encouragement, and the belief in the power of change can not only save lives but change the world.

Matches Made in Heaven (and Jail):  Look at the Troubled Dogs Saved From Euthanasia by Doting Inmates
By  Ryan Morris / Good News Network
Photos By Adam Goldberg / AGold Photo


In Florida, this program is pairing abused dogs with incarcerated men – and it is offering hope and promising futures for both.

The TAILS, or Teaching Animals and Inmate Life Skills program, focuses their rehabilitation efforts on dogs plagued by abusive backgrounds. Since their behavioral issues keep the pups from being adopted, they are at risk of euthanization if they aren’t properly trained.

Each dog is cared for by two inmates, one trainer, and one handler. The inmates are responsible for engaging the dogs with training exercises, play, and plenty of affection. The program lasts two to three months, and is recognized by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, which offers inmates considerable work-related experience.

What is perhaps even more significant than the qualifications that the inmates receive from the program is the sensation of receiving unconditional love – one that is foreign to many of the convicts.

Similarly to the dogs they train, these prisoners have seldom known the luxury of a supportive environment, and for many, the relationships they form with the dogs are the first to offer them empathy, affection, and love.

Adam Goldberg, a photographer who was recently granted permission to observe and photograph the training process inside the prison, told Good News Network: “Seeing the inmates in their living quarters, with the rescue dogs, was an amazing experience. The dogs were so well cared for and so attentive to their inmate handler and trainer.”

Over the course of the last three years, TAILS has saved over 500 dogs with their unique training method, and they are continuing to seek out new rescues who can have pawsitive impacts on their human counterparts.

“It was very evident that the dogs rely on the inmates just as much as the inmates rely on the dogs,” Goldberg added.


Please check out the Pit Sisters and T.A.I.L.S website to learn more and see how you can support their efforts.

All Photography by AGold Pet Photography


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