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iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- Thanks to a revolutionary procedure, a woman who was blind for 16 years is now able to see.

Carmen Torres, of South Florida, is the first recipient of a bionic eye. At 18, she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, in which the vision declines over a period of time, according to ABC News affiliate WPLG-TV.

“You have to move forward with your life," Torres, 45, said of her condition at a news conference Friday.

Through an implant on the eye, the patient wears special glasses containing a video camera. An image is processed through a tiny computer affixed to a purse or belt. A signal is sent into the glasses that then transmits the image to the implant.

According to Torres, she can now see sidewalks and buildings as well as find windows and doors.

"It's very emotional,” she told reporters. “But I am very strong and I didn't cry. I was happy and just laughing like crazy."

Copyright à © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Thinkstock(DESTIN, Fla.) -- A heroic act to save a drowning girl last Saturday left a Special Forces soldier paralyzed.

Sgt. First Class Tim Brumit was responding to screams that a girl was drowning in the waters of Crab Island in Destin, Florida, amid a storm. As he later recalled, he felt his neck break immediately upon hitting the water. He was pulled out of the water by another soldier, according to ABC News affiliate WEAR-TV.

"They said 'don't go in the water it's storming,' I dove,” he said. "My misjudgment was that the wave moved out of the way and turned into a foot of water probably, and soon as I went, I'm 6'4, so I went in the water, hit my head first, and I'm like, ‘Oh, I'm done.’"

A member of the 7th Special Forces group who had been deployed 11 times in 12 years, Brumit was taken to Baptist Hospital paralyzed from the neck down. He suffered a damaged spinal cord and two broken cervical vertebrae.

Still, Brumit expressed optimism and said: "I've been through tougher. This is not going to set me back." He said he would still go back into the water again.

The drowning girl was rescued by a person on a boat.

Copyright à © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center (MCASAC)(DERWOOD, Md.) -- A Maryland animal shelter is hoping that a heartfelt letter written by Susie the cat's previous owner before her death, will help the feline's chances of finding a forever home.

"I'm sure that when she wrote it, she wrote it just to the intent of getting it to the adopter," said Katherine Zenzano, community outreach coordinator of Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center in Derwood, Maryland. "But we realized Susie was wasn't going anywhere. Some cats are really great at selling themselves and Susie wasn’t selling herself.

"If this letter can in any way help Susie, or any other cats in the same situation, we are happy to get it out there because we think it can touch a lot of people."

Zenzano told ABC News that Susie, a 5-year-old domestic short-hair orange tabby, was brought into MCASAC on May 15 by her owner's son, who said he was no longer able to care for his mother's cat following her death.

"He had said that he could not have the cat where he lived," she added. "We assume his mother knew this was going to happen because she wrote a letter to the person that was going to adopt Susie. He gave it to our intake counselor, so that's now in a file waiting for whoever comes to adopt her, and it will be passed onto them."

"It [the letter] was very touching," she added. "The adoption counselor had tears in her years. She couldn’t bring herself to read it, but she though it could serve a purpose."

Susie's owner's note read, in part:

Dear Friend, Thank you for adopting my friend, Susie. She was one of three cats in a litter. November 15, 2010 is her approximate birthdate. She moved in with me on December 1, 2010.

Susie is unusual but I enjoy her company.

She is a good snuggler but she likes to be the boss. She spends much of her time on my bed but I always seems [sic] to know where I am. I hope you enjoy Susie as much as I have.

Zenzano said it's not often the shelter learns this much about an animal, but thinks sharing the letter could help make Susie a desirable pet for potential owners.

"It's just a sweet history of their life together," she added. "Every cat has a story. Every animal that comes here has a story and we are left to guess so much. We piece together a lot of the story for them, but with Susie we have a lot to go on."

While Susie was at first a bit skittish coming to the shelter, Zenzano said she's warmed up to the staff and has been profiled as a "love bug."

She added that there have been some families that have expressed interest in adopting Susie, but there have yet to be any serious inquiries.

Copyright à © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Tomwang112/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) -- Officials in both Iran and Iraq declared a mandatory holiday this month after temperatures soared far into the triple digits.

In Iraq, temperatures reached a sweltering 126 degrees and officials declared a mandatory holiday to try and protect people from succumbing to the heat. In Iran, the country faced possible record-breaking temperatures and high humidity that will leave residents feeling they are in temperatures as high as 151.2 degrees Fahrenheit, or 66.2 degrees Celsius.

The hottest temperature ever recorded was 56.7 degrees Celsius in Death Valley, but that did not account for humidity.

Such severe temperatures can be incredibly taxing on the body with people more at risk for serious complications including heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

While the old and young are most susceptible to scorching temperatures, such severe heat can be dangerous to anyone spending time out doors.

We asked experts to explain how heat affects the body.

Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke and can be a sign to get indoors and cooled down fast. While it may seem easy to figure out if someone is getting overheated, experts say that's not always the case. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a list of key symptoms for both heat exhaustion and heat stroke that is included below.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  •     Heavy sweating
  •     Weakness
  •     Clammy skin
  •     Fainting
  •     Fast, weak pulse
  •     nausea/vomiting

Heat stroke symptoms can include:

  •     Disorientation
  •     Body temperature above 103-104
  •     Fast, strong pulse.
  •     Hot, red dry or moist skin
  •     Unconsciousness

Dr. Edmundo Mandac, director of the Emergency Medicine Clinical Operations, University Hospital Case Medical Center, said that it can be especially difficult to tell if older people are overheating because their body can lose the ability to react to extreme heat.

"They’re in a hot environment and there temperature awareness is not very good," said Mandac. "They don’t have warning signs of sweating."

He said people are usually determined to reach heat stroke if their body temperature reaches about 104 degrees Fahrenheit, but that for older people it may be lower. He explained that as the body has multiple ways of trying to lower the internal temperature.

"The interesting thing is the body has to release the heat somehow, the blood vessels dilate and open up and allow more blood to flow through," said Mandac. "The body thinks it can dissipate the heat…[but]their blood pressure drops."

As a result people can be more at risk for fainting with extreme heat. Heat exhaustion is also just a precursor to heat stroke, a potentially deadly complication as the body's temperature rises.
Mandac explained that heat stroke can be so bad that the body will just stop sweating.

"Things start clamping down [you're] losing fluids and your body says 'I don’t have enough fluids in my central system,'" said Mandac. He explained at this point the patient could be in a dire condition because the body has lost the ability to regulate the internal temperature.

Without any fluids to cool the body, Mandac said this is where things get "bad."

"It...can cause heart failure and cause kidneys to fail and when that happens basically those are the major systems," said Mandac, explaining the fatal risk of heat stroke. He said treatment includes putting icepacks in the underarms, neck and groin to lower the body temperature. In rare cases fluid is pumped into the stomach to lower internal temperature even faster.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Skinny, as he is now appropriately called, was found abandoned in a Dallas suburb back in 2012. The cat weighed a whopping 41-pounds and had a hard time walking more than five steps.

But all that changed when he was adopted by veterinarian Dr. Brittney Barton, of HEAL Veterinary Hospital, in 2013.

Barton started Skinny on a workout regimen including sit ups, underwater treadmill walking and playtime.

But when it came to walking on land, the feline still needed a bit of extra encouragement. In the beginning, the vet would place treats on the treadmill as inspiration to get moving, but Skinny has now learned to hop on the treadmill with the simple sound of treats shaking around.

“The secret is basically the same secret for all of us,” Barton explained of Skinny’s 22-pound weight loss on ABC News' Good Morning America Friday. “It’s about calorie intake and calories burned. It’s not just about the diets that we used, but trying to figure out ways to get them moving.”

Barton recommends giving pets “green beans and blueberries in lieu of the commercialized [foods].”

Most importantly, she adds, “Try not to love them with food but try to love them with your attention and your time.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.





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