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    Kelsey Rae Zwick has been overwhelmed the past few years.  She and her husband have twin daughters, Lucy and Eva, who had complications at birth and were born at 29 weeks, Yahoo News reported. The infants spent their first few months in the neonatal intensive care unit, followed by months of treatments. Lucy and Eva suffer chronic lung disease from the intubation period. Because she had other complications, Lucy had also started treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Zwick was on an American Airlines flight from Orlando to Philadelphia on Thursday with Lucy, who was yelling and yakking away, when a flight attendant came over and told her a man in first class wanted to switch seats with her, Yahoo News reported. Zwick was stunned. She was not able to thank the stranger when they arrived, so she posted on social media, hoping to pay the act of kindness forward. “I guess it was his birthday, and he did reach out to us,” Zwick told Yahoo News. “He was thanking me for a birthday to remember. It was the best day. He said it made him and his wife cry, and he said, ‘I am so glad we were on the same flight.’” Zwick appreciated not only the additional space for Lucy’s oxygen machine and the first class accoutrements, like the cheese plate, but also the gesture. “Sooo... thank you. Not just for the seat itself but for noticing. For seeing us and realizing that maybe things are not always easy,” she wrote. “For deciding you wanted to show a random act of kindness to US. It reminded me how much good there is in this world. I can’t wait to tell Lucy someday. In the meantime... we will pay it forward.”
  • A young woman is alive thanks to quick-thinking workers at a local YMCA. Stacie Logan was going about her normal workout routine when the unexpected happened. >> Read more trending news  Logan had been running on the treadmill when she suddenly went into cardiac arrest. As she collapsed, the treadmill, which kept running, sent her flying onto the floor. 'I guess I collapsed on the treadmill, and the treadmill actually shot me off of it, and I hit my face on some kind of workout equipment, and nobody really knew what was wrong with me until someone flipped me over and saw I was unconscious,' said Logan. Logan says a few workers at the gym rushed over to help her, along with a couple of bystanders who knew CPR. She tells Boston 25 News she was out for about six minutes and had to be shocked back to life twice with an automated external defibrillator. Logan's father says they were shocked to get the call about their daughter's episode, saying she's a healthy 29-year-old woman who has six marathons under her belt, including one in New York just a few weeks ago. 'That was the furthest thing from our minds,' said Tom Logan.  Doctors say they still don't know exactly how this happened, but they did find scarring on one of the chambers of her heart, which could be a genetic condition. 'It was just kinda like a freak thing that happened,' said Stacie Logan. 'And it was just one of the circuits of my heart bounced off the scarring and caused it to short circuit.' She spent a week in the hospital, undergoing two surgeries to insert a pacemaker and a defibrillator in her chest. According to her doctors, this was an extremely close call. 'They said if I was home I would have been dead. If I was by myself, or they said if I was somewhere else and they didn’t have an AED or somebody didn’t know CPR, I would have been dead,' said Stacie Logan. Now, the family says they are forever thankful for the strangers who jumped in to help Stacie Logan. They also hope her story will inspire others to get trained in these lifesaving skills. 'If it means people learning about CPR and how to use AEDs, that’s our mission is to get it out there. We will both become certified immediately so that we can pass that on,' said Tom Logan. The Logan family now wants to find the other people who helped Stacie Logan that day in the YMCA so they can thank them in person.
  • Chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, Nick Ayers, is headed back to Atlanta soon after he declined Sunday to take the job as President Donald Trump’s chief of staff. >> Read more trending news  Ayers, 36, was long rumored to be Trump’s top choice to replace outgoing chief of staff John Kelly, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general who the president said will leave the job by year’s end, but the two couldn’t agree on a time frame for the job, with Ayers unwilling to commit to the role deep into next year, according to an Ayers’ associate familiar with the talks. Ayers did not return messages seeking comment, but said in a Sunday tweet that he will be departing his job with the administration at the end of the year but will work with the Trump campaign “to advance the cause.” He ended the tweet with a Georgia hashtag. It’s not clear now who will take Kelly’s job as the top West Wing adviser as Trump prepares for his 2020 re-election bid at a precarious time. >> Related: John Kelly expected to resign as White House chief of staff, reports say  Whoever takes the job will have to contend with an intensifying probe into Russian election interference and emboldened Democrats who will take control of the U.S. House in January. Kelly’s successor will also have to grapple with a mercurial president loath to take counsel from his advisers. “Nick has three little kids and that chief of staff job is a nightmare - no matter who the president is,” said Alec Poitevint, a longtime Ayers confidant and influential Georgia GOP donor. It’s not immediately certain what Ayers will do next in Georgia, but he will have plenty of options. >> Related: Who is in President Trump's cabinet? He and his former boss, Sonny Perdue, were the driving forces behind Trump’s surprise endorsement of Brian Kemp, and Ayers helped organize Pence and Trump’s recent visits to Georgia. And he’s built a reputation as a wealthy and well-connected strategist after getting his start in Perdue’s 2002 campaign. He was still a student at Kennesaw State University then, where he went to school with dreams of being a banker, but got swept up in Perdue’s underdog bid to become the first Republican governor in Georgia since Reconstruction. “I had no interest in joining the campaign. I had my career planned out. I truly did not believe Governor Roy Barnes could be beat at the time, ” Ayers said at the time. “After 10 minutes of talking to Sonny, I was one hundred percent confident he was the right person to run this state.” >> Related: Who is Gen. John Kelly, President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff? He soon became the Republican’s right-hand man – part assistant, part adviser, part protégé – and got hooked on politics. He also became a part of the family: He married Perdue’s second-cousin, Jamie, in May 2005 and the couple are now raising 6-year-old triplets in metro Atlanta. Four years after his upset victory, Perdue tapped Ayers to serve as his campaign manager for re-election against Democrat Mark Taylor. Ayers went on to become the youngest-ever head of the Republican Governors Association during a period of rapid state-level expansion for the GOP. In that role, he and then-Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour helped transform the organization from a bit player to an influential political network. He later built a consulting business that successfully boosted Republican candidates and made him fabulously wealthy: His federal financial disclosure pegged his worth between $12 million and $54 million. But they also raised questions about how he amassed his fortune in a short period of time, including recent complaints of running afoul of ethics laws. >> Related: Trump to nominate William Barr to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general  Trump’s rapid rise in the Republican world opened up new opportunities for Ayers. He became a top Pence counselor during the presidential campaign and, last year, briefly flirted with a run for Georgia governor. But he abruptly ruled out that bid moments before news broke that Pence offered him the chance to be his top staffer. Since arriving in Washington, Ayers won Trump’s admiration for insulating Mike Pence from the chaos that’s frequently engulfed the West Wing and cultivated the support of key Trump family members, including Don Jr. and Ivanka Trump. He’ll surely lean on those connections with national figures, as well as his ties to a universe of wealthy GOP donors, as he builds his next venture. >> Related: Who is William Pelham Barr: 5 things to know Brandon Phillips, a Georgia GOP consultant who was Trump’s state campaign chair, called him a “role model for political operatives who think nice guys can’t finish first.” “His future in Georgia and national politics is only limited by his imagination,” said Phillips.
  • Familiar with the phrase “cough up a lung”? It’s not actually possible, but one man stunned doctors when he coughed up a blood clot in the shape of one. >> Read more trending news   Researchers published the shocking findings in the New England Journal of Medicine recently. In the report, they shared the story of a 36-year-old man admitted to an intensive-care unit with aggressive end-stage heart failure.  The patient’s heart was immediately connected to a pump designed to help blood flow through the body, co-author Georg Wieselthaler described in the assessment. However, the machine can cause coagulation, so they used heparin, a blood thinner medication, to prevent them from forming.  The heparin created another issue though. Thicker blood is needed to prevent blood vessels from developing tiny tears that can cause internal bleeding. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to the patient. >> Related: Study: This common household chore is as damaging as smoking 20 cigarettes a day Blood leaked from his pulmonary network into his right lung then into his bronchial tree. He began coughing up smaller clots and eventually coughed up a large, oddly shaped, folded one. When doctors unfurled the glob, it was in the exact shape of the right bronchial tree.  “We were astonished,” Wieselthaler told The Atlantic. “It’s a curiosity you can’t imagine—I mean, this is very, very, very rare.” Few similar cases have been documented, including a 34-year-old woman who coughed up a large piece of membrane in the 1920s and a 25-year-old pregnant woman who hacked up a smaller bronchial tree cast in 2005. So why don’t the casts break apart? >> Related: Risks of smoking-related lung disease lowered by fruits As for Wieselthaler’s patient, he believes the answer is related to fibrinogen, a protein in the blood plasma that causes cell fragments to form a mass. The patient’s infection and heart failure possibly led to a very high concentration of fibrinogen, which made his blood rubbery and capable of staying intact as he coughed.  “Because it was so large, he was able to generate enough force from an entire right side of his thorax to push this up and out,” co-author Gavitt Woodard added. If the pieces were smaller, she said, “he might not have been able to generate the force.” Although the patient felt immediately better after the clot was out of his system, he died about a week later from complications of heart failure.  >> Related: Apples, tomatoes could help ex-smokers repair their lungs Despite the grim ending, the doctors wanted to show a part of the human body. Woodard said, “recognizing the beautiful anatomy of the human body is the main point of it.”
  • A Texas teen shot herself in the leg Tuesday with a gun that was stolen from a home hours earlier, investigators said. >> Read more trending news  A 17-year-old girl was with another 17-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy when she accidentally shot herself in the foot with an AK-47, KTRK reported. The girl who was shot was taken to a hospital, where she is in critical condition, according to Constable Mark Herman, of Harris County Precinct 4.  She and the teen boy are being charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon and burglary of a habitation, ABC News reported. The sheriff also filed charges against the teen boy for tampering with evidence because the gun was thrown down a storm drain, ABC News reported. “There were two females. The other one, we're still investigating that aspect of it. But if she was involved in the burglary, she'll get filed on, too, eventually,” Herman told KTRK.
  • The world’s tallest land mammals may be slipping toward extinction, with three of the nine subspecies of giraffes now in serious trouble and considered “critically endangered.” >> Read more trending news  That’s according to a new report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature. While giraffe populations in southern Africa are doing fine, the animal “is under severe pressure in some of its core ranges across East, Central and West Africa,” according to Dr. Julian Fennessy, co-chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. Fennessy said even some conservationists were surprised by the declining number of giraffes in some areas in Africa. “I am absolutely amazed that no one has a clue,” Fennessy told the Telegraph.  “This silent extinction. Some populations less than 400. That is more endangered than any gorilla, or almost any large mammal in the world.” The report also detailed a conservation success story. Two giraffe subspecies (the West African and Rothchild’s giraffe) that were previously considered endangered have rebounded with efforts from African governments and conservation groups and have been downgraded to “vulnerable” and “near threatened,” respectively. “This is a conservation success story and highlights the value of making proactive giraffe conservation management efforts in critical populations across the continent,” Arthu Muneza, the East Africa Coordinator of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, said. >> Trending: Mother giraffe dies 4 days after her calf The IUCN said the northern giraffe and the reticulated giraffe are two of the most threatened species with fewer than 5,200 and 15,785, respectively, remaining in the wild. The threats facing giraffes include illegal hunting and civil unrest in parts of Africa and habitat loss due to mining and agriculture.
  • For Betty Banks, crocheting has been a lifetime pleasure. So when a persistent friend continued to ask her to crochet for newborn babies at Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, Ohio, Banks decided to give it a try. >> Read more trending news  Twenty-eight years later, Banks has reached a personal goal of creating 6,000 baby hats and 50 afghans for local newborns.  Banks takes her volunteer work seriously, knowing the families enjoy receiving homemade gifts for their infants. Once a month, she comes to the volunteer office at the hospital to turn in her baby hats as well as pick up a few skeins of yarn for the next batch. Banks has been crocheting for 72 years — since the age of 16 — and said she loves every minute of it. “I love giving a baby its first bath and hand picking just the right hat,” said Amy Rader, a registered nurse at Atrium Medical Center. “The families love receiving a hat that was made with care by one of our beloved volunteers.” >> Related: Atrium adds home birth experience in hospital setting  Banks has volunteered at the hospital for almost 30 years and is one of more than 200 volunteers who work with the hospital. 
  • A man was arrested in connection with the recent porch package thefts in Green Township. >> Read more trending news  Andrew Felix, 27, of Miami Township in Hamilton County, was arrested Saturday around 9:30 p.m., according to the Green Township Police Department’s Facebook page. Felix reportedly stole kidney testing supplies from the porch of a potential donor for a West Carrollton woman in need of a kidney transplant. “It’s hard enough to recruit potential donors. It’s even harder when they have their supplies stolen from inside their screen door on their porch,” said Emily Kraft, who needs the transplant. Green Township police in Hamilton County started investigating after a suspect stole packages off porches of multiple homes on Dec. 6 and 7. Kraft said her cousin, who lives in Green Township, was a potential match and was going through the testing process. The testing supplies were sent to his home from the University of Cincinnati after initial prescreenings were done, she said. In the video provided by Kraft from her family’s security camera, Felix is seen taking a package that Kraft said contains the kidney testing supplies. “It’s like a slap in the face. We’re trying to take steps to save my life, but this guy is working against us,” said Kraft. Kraft said she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in September and said her condition is worsening. The holidays bring an increase in porch package thefts. One out of five homeowners were targeted by porch thieves in 2017, according to the FBI.
  • Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland, a farmer from northern Minnesota who was tasked with selling President Jimmy Carter's unpopular Soviet Union grain embargo to other farmers, died Sunday. He was 90. Bergland died at a nursing home in his hometown of Roseau, near the U.S.-Canadian border, his daughter Linda Vatnsdal said. As agriculture secretary, Bergland had the difficult job of defending to Midwest farmers Carter's unpopular 1980 decision to embargo grain sales to the Soviet Union after the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Walter Mondale, who was vice president when Carter was in the White House, recalled Sunday that both he and Bergland did not like the grain embargo. 'I don't think it was good policy,' Mondale told The Associated Press. 'This is going to mean Russians are going to buy their grain somewhere else. ... I urged the president not to do it. He felt he had to do it.' Carter lost his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan, and Bergland's term as agriculture secretary ended with the Carter administration in 1981. Mondale said Bergland was a 'nice guy, also a very confident guy.' 'Carter felt very positive about him. He was very successful in that position. Farmers liked him. That's a tough job. People in agriculture respected him, and he was always doing very well there,' Mondale added. Bergland, a Democrat, was a U.S. House member from 1971 to 1977 before becoming agriculture secretary under Carter. While heading the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bergland commissioned a major report on the structure of American agriculture, 'A Time to Choose,' and also a USDA study on organic farming. He later served as vice president and general manager of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and as a regent at the University of Minnesota. U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota said he was sorry to hear about Bergland's death and sends condolences to his family. 'Bob served the Seventh District of Minnesota exceptionally before taking his farmer's experience and work ethic to USDA to make sure that crop insurance, rural development, conservation and research programs worked better for farmers and ranchers across the country,' Peterson, the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, who's expected to become chairman next year, said in a statement. 'I was fortunate to have visited with him back in August and am proud to continue in his footsteps in serving the residents of the 7th District.' Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chairman Ken Martin called Bergland 'a champion of American farmers and consumers.' 'Growing up poor in the farmlands of Western Minnesota, Bob understood the difficulties and obstacles that face family farmers as well as anyone,' Martin said in his statement. 'After losing his farm to foreclosure as a young man, Bob dedicated his life to elevating the standard of living for hard-working family farmers while at the same time safeguarding the interests of American consumers.' A funeral for Bergland is planned for Saturday in Roseau.
  • The Grinch appears to be chipping in to help clear up some winter weather. >> Read more trending news  WSOC reported that video from JoAnna Wayt  in Boone, N.C., shows someone in a Grinch mask plowing snow, which piled up from a winter storm over the weekend. Watch the video below: