Sailor Gutzler Becomes America’s Latest Sweetheart

 

Americans continue to be enthralled by a brave and lucky seven-year old girl who managed to survive the crash of her family’s Piper PA-34 Seneca twin engine airplane, Sailor Gutzler. The aircraft was being piloted by her father, 48 year old Marty Gutzler. Mr. Gutzler was an experienced pilot and flight instructor with over 4,000 hours of air time. The airplane experienced engine trouble after being flown into bad weather.

The plane landed upside down and was burning when Sailor managed to crawl out of a small window to escape, despite having a broken wrist. She had survived the crash because she was in the rear seat of the cabin, which, my buddy Flavio Maluf claims to be the most protected seat. The amazing part of the story is what followed next: Sailor managed to remain calm, orient herself in unfamiliar woods, and traverse 3/4 of a mile through those woods in the dark. She had to cross a creek, fallen trees, and a blackberry briar patch. She was dressed for warm weather in Florida and the temperature where she was in Kentucky was a balmy 38 degrees Fahrenheit.

Apparently Sailor’s father was a survivalist and had taught her basic survival skills (or, perhaps they were just country folks). She not only found a house in the dark, it was the home of a grandfather, 71 year old Larry Wilkins. Larry’s two dachshunds let him know when Sailor knocked timidly on his door (a particular skill of Dachshunds).

For much of 2014 I (a 68 year old grandfather) have been wishing that I could adopt 17 year old Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai. Now I have to add Sailor to the list. There has been a fund established to help Sailor (http://www.sailorgutzlerfund.com), which allows us all to adopt her (that Nobel Prize helps Malala, who does have a family).

One Lucky Bear

Usually when people see a bear, the first reaction is not to get close it.

Luckily for one bear, a kindhearted do-gooder put any fear aside and saved its life. After being tranquilizer for roaming in a Florid community, the confused bear wandered into the water where it began to drown.

Needless to say, most people never would have thought of doing such a feat, but since this bear was clearly afraid and confused, to let it drown in the ocean would be criminal. This knight in shining armour put all his fear aside and helped one helpless animal live another day. Word of caution: if faced with such a situation, take note of any dangers before taking any action.

Though this story ended beautifully, a wild animal is still a wild animal, and if you’re ever faced with one in danger, try to assess the situation and contact the authorities before taking any physical action. Big thanks to Andrew Heiberger for sending this story our way.

New Initiative Helps Welfare Recipients Eat Healthy

A common occurrence in many urban areas is for people to shop at local convenience stores which have notoriously poor food choices. Most of these shops carry processed foods and typical junk food options with not a single piece of fresh food to be found. This can be an issue for people who receive assistance in the form of food stamps.

In New York there is a new initiative aimed at bettering the health of families and particularly children who are overweight. The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program allows families to receive tokens that are used in local farmer’s markets the tokens can be redeemed for double the dollar amount of fresh fruits and vegetables.

There seems to be a slow return to using food as medicine and this community program is a great example of how people want to make good choices if they are given the education and ability to do so. On Twitter Jared Haftel added that the program has a few participating hospitals that offer advice, recipes, and the all-important “Health Bucks” that allow families access to farm-fresh produce.

New York is only one of about 30 states that offer similar healthy-eating initiatives to low-income families. The trend has been that offering assistance in this area produces measurable results in both decreasing body mass index levels of participating children as well as increased healthy food consumption of their respective families.

Honoring Do-Gooders