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Search for kidney donor yields surprise match

A Lehigh woman turned to advertising and social media to find a kidney donor. Her plea, in fact, reads #ShareYourSpare.

Dozens of people have gone in to get tested to determine whether they’re a match. But as it turned out, she didn’t have to go far.

When it all began six months ago, Kelly Johnson was just a 34-year-old who unexpectedly fell ill. “I started coughing up a little bit of blood and they’re testing me for crazy stuff,” she said.

“I went into respiratory failure and a coma for 10 days.”

She was found to be suffering with Goodpasture Syndrome, an anti-immune disorder in which antibodies attack membranes in the lungs and kidneys – leading to bleeding from the lungs and kidney failure.

The illness impacts roughly one of every 1 million people.

“Even the nurses were like ‘What’s that?’ and I’m like ‘You tell me.’ They don’t really know much about treating yet they haven’t had many cases of it.”

What she does know is that she needs a new kidney.

Because hers are failing.

“I have had a lot of people that have offered, and then they backed out,” she said. “I know it’s scary. It is. It’s scary. Now I’ve gotten like 10 people with decals on their car. Strangers, people I don’t know.”

Someone she does know became her hero today.

Johnson’s close friend of 15 years went in to get tested for compatibility, found out she could be a donor – and then surprised Johnson with the news tonight during an interview.

They’ll go in for more tests, meet the surgeon, and if everything goes as planned, they’ll have the procedure done by February. With a new kidney, Johnson can expect to live at least 20 more healthy years.

She is still trying to figure out how to pay for the operation, so, if you’d like to help, got to ABC-7.com and click on Get More.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Search for kidney donor yields surprise match

A Lehigh Acres woman turned to advertising and social media to find a kidney donor. Her plea, in fact, reads #ShareYourSpare.

Dozens of people have gone in to get tested to determine whether they’re a match. But as it turned out, she didn’t have to go far.

USING OUR APP? WATCH VIDEO HERE.

When it all began six months ago, Kelly Johnson was just a 34-year-old who unexpectedly fell ill. “I started coughing up a little bit of blood and they’re testing me for crazy stuff,” she said.

“I went into respiratory failure and a coma for 10 days.”

She was found to be suffering with Goodpasture Syndrome, an anti-immune disorder in which antibodies attack membranes in the lungs and kidneys – leading to bleeding from the lungs and kidney failure.

The illness impacts roughly one of every 1 million people.

“Even the nurses were like ‘What’s that?’ and I’m like ‘You tell me.’ They don’t really know much about treating yet they haven’t had many cases of it.”

What she does know is that she needs a new kidney because hers are failing.

“I have had a lot of people that have offered, and then they backed out,” she said. “I know it’s scary. It is. It’s scary. Now I’ve gotten like 10 people with decals on their car. Strangers, people I don’t know.”

Someone she does know became her hero today.

Johnson’s close friend of 15 years went in to get tested for compatibility, found out she could be a donor – and then surprised Johnson with the news tonight during an NBC2 interview.

They’ll go in for more tests, meet the surgeon, and if everything goes as planned, they’ll have the procedure done by February. With a new kidney, Johnson can expect to live at least 20 more healthy years.

She is still trying to figure out how to pay for the operation. If you’d like to help, click here.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Clinton emails: Gefilte fish, TV shows and redactions

WASHINGTON — Initial reads of 7,000 more of Hillary Clinton’s emails released Monday night by the State Department show more of the mundane political notes, scheduling requests and attention to media coverage that have made up earlier releases.

That’s despite 125 of those emails — which weren’t classified at the time — being retroactively classified before they were released. All or portions of some unclassified emails are redacted, too.

The emails include requests for updates on Israel and other regions from top aide Jake Sullivan.

But they also include requests for the times that the television shows like NBCs “Parks and Recreation and CBS’ “The Good Wife” air, and for skim milk for her tea.

There are notes from Anne-Marie Slaughter, then the State Department’s director of policy planning, about the struggles of balancing a career and a family — particularly for mothers. In one, to aide Huma Abedin but directed at Clinton, Slaughter encourages her go forward with plans to start a winter vacation on December 21.

“I would urge you to — for your own sake. The pace is absolutely killing and you deserve it. But it will also mean that a lot of folks who would like to take some time off with their family before Xmas (e.g. moms like me who are necessary to make Xmas happen) would feel much freer to do so,” Slaughter wrote.

There are other odds and ends. When the health care law was close to passing, Clinton wrote to Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski that it’s time to “wrap this up in the Senate and go drink something unhealthy!”

One email from Clinton contains the subject line “Gefilte fish.” The entire content of the email: “Where are we on this?”

It’s related to nine containers of the Passover favorite that were supposed to be shipped from Illinois to Israel but had become embroiled in a trade dispute.

In 2010, Clinton offered some praise for one of her current Democratic presidential campaign rivals — then-Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

The Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential race has faced five months of criticism for using her personal email address — connected to her own private server, limiting the government’s access to those emails — during her four years as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

The latest round of emails were released at about 9 p.m. Monday. Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Monday that some of the emails had been retroactively classified.

Toner said retroactive classification “certainly does not speak to whether (the information) was classified at the time it was sent or handled or however forwarded or received.”

“And we’ve always been very clear that nothing that we’ve seen so far was ever marked classified,” he said.

Toner would not say whether information from foreign government communications should have been classified at the time they were sent.

Classification is “not often a black-and-white process,” he said. “Our clear focus is on clearing these emails, redacting them as necessary in order to safeguard anything that we’ve deemed now should be upgraded in classification.”

The State Department is under a federal judge’s order to regularly process and release emails that Clinton has turned over, which means a new batch typically comes at the end of each month.

Clinton has turned her server over to the FBI amid an investigation into her emails, as intelligence agencies comb through to determine whether classified information was mishandled. Her campaign has said that the innocuous emails released so far show that she wasn’t putting closely guarded secrets at risk.

The-CNN-Wire: By Eric Bradner, Elise Labott and Laura Koran
™ & © 2015 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Overweight pup gets second chance at life

Obese, unhealthy and mourning the loss of his owner, Vincent was surrendered to a county animal shelter in Houston two weeks ago. His prospects didn’t look good.

He weighed in at 38 pounds, double the healthy weight for a 7-year-old dachshund. He had high cholesterol and his back dipped from the extra weight, putting him at risk of nerve damage. Mary Tipton, the intake coordinator for K-9 Angels Rescue, and a member of the board of directors for Harris County Animal Shelter, happened to be at the shelter for a meeting when she spotted him.

“Vincent was just enormous,” Tipton said. She took a picture and posted it on Facebook to find him a foster parent. Within 15 minutes, dachshund rescuer Melissa Anderson volunteered to take Vincent in.

Vincent’s case is extreme, but obesity affects a lot of pets. In 2014, an estimated 52.7% of U.S. dogs were overweight or obese, according to the National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey.

Now Anderson is slowly bringing Vincent back to health.

The first week wasn’t easy for either Vincent or his foster parent. When leaving the vet with such a large dog, Anderson said she felt fat-shamed by someone walking on the sidewalk.

“They told me, ‘Now that’s just abuse,’ and acted like they had to go out of their way to walk around Vincent,” said Anderson. “Some people just don’t know other people’s story. They just make assumptions by their appearances.”

When she took him home, Vincent got sick, both vomiting and upset bowels, when he ate the healthy dog foods she gave him. Anderson could tell he was despondent.

“I am not sure what the previous owner fed him, but I think it was all fast food. He was literally detoxing the first week,” she said.

Anderson said when she went to a Starbucks drive-thru one day, Vincent got really excited by the sound of the intercom. “He jumped on my lap and stuck his nose outside the window, just sniffing away.”

But after just two weeks, Anderson said Vincent is well on his way to a healthier lifestyle.

Vincent eats a special dog food; Anderson offers him green beans or carrots as “treats” but he hasn’t really gone for those yet.

He’s on a pretty rigorous exercise regime, participating in water aerobics five times a week and playing with her others dogs in the yard. The water aerobics help take pressure off Vincent’s strained joints. Plus, with the 100-degree weather in Texas, it offers a nice cool-down for both Vincent and Anderson.

At first, Vincent would just float in his life jacket. But his endurance is growing. Vincent can now paddle in the pool for about 15-20 minutes, five days a week. Before, he could only waddle around the yard with the other dogs. Now he is able to jog.

“He is really happier now then he was,” said Anderson. She said he keeps a positive attitude and seems to know they are trying to help him.

K-9 Angles Rescue is hoping to get him to a healthy weight so he can be ready for adoption, but they aren’t opposed to him being adopted in his current condition.

“We take adoptions case by case. If there was a perfect home that wanted to take over his weight loss journey we may take that into consideration,” said Tipton. “We are in no hurry to get rid of him but there are other dogs at the shelter that are ready to be saved.”

Now, Fat Vincent is on his way to become Skinny Vinnie. He was 38-pounds and two weeks later weighs in at 35.2. His weight loss will be a slow process but with the help of K-9 Angles Rescue he is on his way to his new life.

The-CNN-Wire: By Amanda Jackson (Special to CNN)
™ & © 2015 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

4 vehicles shot on I-10 in Phoenix

Somebody has shot four moving vehicles on I-10 in Phoenix in the last three days, Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead said Monday.

“The best we know right now it’s random,” Milstead said, asking members of the public to call if they have information.

Two shootings occurred about 11 a.m. Saturday, one about 10:15 p.m. Saturday and one about 4:25 a.m. Monday, he said.

A 13-year-old girl suffered a cut to her right ear Saturday morning when a bullet pierced the windshield of the SUV in which she was riding, the DPS said in a press release. She was treated at the scene and didn’t need hospitalization.

The other bullets hit the sides of the vehicles and a headlight.

Milstead said some of the motorists didn’t immediately realize their cars had been shot, thinking the loud noise they heard was an object on the highway that struck their vehicle.

“A man driving a work truck heard a loud bang and thought that a rock struck the company truck,” the press release said of the Monday shooting. “When he and other passengers arrived at their work site, an inspection of the company truck revealed the driver side front headlamp” had been hit by a bullet.

The-CNN-Wire: By Ralph Ellis
™ & © 2015 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

No injuries in Marco Island house fire

Everyone made it out unscathed Monday night from a fully involved house fire at 1278 Orange Court in Marco Island.

Marco Island Fire Rescue personnel arrived on scene shortly after 9 p.m. and the fire out just after 10.

USING OUR APP? WATCH VIDEO HERE.

The homeowner had just returned from a week-long trip and noticed that there were problems with the home’s electricity. She began switching on fuses that appeared to be out, heard a noise and noticed smoke, retrieved her cat, ran outside and called 911.

Fire personnel from Isle of Capri and Naples assisted the responding firefighters, and five trucks had arrived by the time the fire was out.

Investigators are trying to determine precisely what happened.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Cape leaders say palm trees must move

The battle over palm trees in Cape Coral appears to be over, but not without some controversy.

The city council approved plans at a Monday night meeting to build sidewalks along Sands Boulevard, without getting rid of the royal palms that line the road.

USING OUR APP? WATCH VIDEO HERE.

But homeowners will be footing the bill for them to stay.

The approval means trees will be transplanted into a new six-foot right of way between the roadway and the sidewalks. The city estimates that the move will cost about $1,000 per tree.

The city contended that the sidewalks have been part of the master plan for years, and those homeowners who planted trees in the right of way were aware of the risk that they might have to go. There are 72 total palm trees in the area, but the city thinks only around 30 have to be transplanted.

City planners expect sidewalk construction to begin on time in October.

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NBC-2 | WBBH

NAACP weighs in on school’s Confederate flag flap

Several North Fort Myers High School students have taken concerns about the Confederate flag to the next level.

They’ve reached out to the NAACP about the school’s recent decision to allow a student to fly the stars and bars on the back of a pickup truck.

USING OUR APP? WATCH VIDEO HERE.

Student Sky Hunter arrived on the first day of school with two flags flying from her truck. She was briefly sent home, before receiving a telephone apology from the school’s vice principal and being allowed to return.

Hunter claimed heritage, not hate, was her reason for embracing the flags – a view that’s shared by North Fort Myers resident Jamie Ford.

“It’s Southern,” Ford said.

“I was born and raised in Florida. It’s part of the heritage. Lee County is named after General Lee. It’s part of this area.”

Another student, Marley Rockwood, is aware the flag means something special to many people in the area, but she views it far differently and wants it gone from school grounds.

She was surprised and disappointed by the school’s decision to allow Hunter to return to campus with the flags.

“The fact is they allowed something that represents hate to be parked right on their property,” Rockwood said, “and it’s not acceptable.”

Rockwood and others asked the NAACP for help, and they plan to formally bring their concerns to the school district next week.

NAACP President James Mwakkil says not only does he support the group regarding the flags, but he’s still advocating changes to General Robert E. Lee’s portrait in the county commission chambers.

NFM student Michaela Burton is hoping to be taken seriously.

“It’s just uncomfortable,” she said. “And it makes me feel and see people who are trying to disagree with us, basically telling me that I have no right to feel the way I’m feeling about this flag.

“They might take us a little more seriously if they know we’re serious about it. That was one of the problems as well, people saw a group of teenage girls and thought what are we going to do.”

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NBC-2 | WBBH

Health Matters: Tendon surgery: On the razor’s edge

As a professional chef, Scott Boyd lives on the razor’s edge.

“I can get paper thin slices every time,” says Boyd.

A slip of the knife almost cost him his career.

He was using a knife tip to cut the wrapper from a bottle and stabbed himself in the hand.

“You take your eyes off of what you’re doing for one second; that’s all it takes,” says Boyd.

“He had a tendon laceration, the tendon that allows you to flex the digit at the very tip,” says Dr. Denis Sagini, who is an orthopedic hand surgeon on medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

The wound was about an inch deep. Scott couldn’t bend the top of his finger, critical for chopping. He needed surgery.

“When a tendon is cut, if caught early enough, we can take those two ends and bring them close together and suture them using non-absorbable sutures. We typically use a non-absorbable suture because we need that strength of the suture to allow for immediate therapy after the repair,” says Dr. Sagini.

A sharp knife caused the injury, but it was also the knife that aided the surgery. A smooth, sharp cut leads to better results in tendon repair. In a small area like the hand, it is an extremely delicate operation.

“The tendon glides within a sheath and there are areas that are thickened in that sheath and there are areas that are relatively thin. And during the tendon repair it’s very important to avoid damage to the structures that allow the tendon to glide appropriately,” says Dr. Sagini.

Scott was braced for 80% function post-surgery, but here he is 8 months later.

There is absolutely no loss in range of motion at all.

“So the fact that I actually have complete, total movement back in my hand with zero pain is pretty incredible,” says Boyd.

Thanks to the chef-like precision of his surgeon.

Amy Oshier Health Reporter is on facebook

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Wayward bear returns to Estero stomping grounds

The bear is back in Bella Terra. At least for now.

Residents of the gated Estero community reached out Monday morning after spotting a 300-pound bear standing just yards away from nearby schoolchildren. So ABC7 took a look at what’s causing the number of sightings to spike – and what can be done about it.

“It was crazy,” said Bella Terra resident Jamie Lampitt. “I was getting ready for work and I get a phone call from my neighbor, she said ‘Don’t go outside!’ Just to see his big paws hit the ground and just nonchalantly walking through like, you know, like it was his job.”

Another resident, Peter Leblanc, thinks he spotted the same bear running through his yard a few months ago.

“The first time I ever saw him was this past Easter,” he said.

There were 11 bear sightings reported in the Bella Terra community all last year. Already in 2015, there have been 13. And experts say it’s not the rain that’s bringing them out of the woods, but the trash.

Biologists say this is the time of the year that bears begin to fatten up for the winter, which means residents either need to keep trash inside – or in a secure container. In the meantime, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is hoping its traps, complete with the lure of marshmallows, will allow residents to sleep easier.

FWC officials said if the bear is trapped, it’ll be put down because of the danger it poses to humans.

“At this point,” Lampitt said, “it’s either someone’s dog, someone’s kid or an adult who could get hurt.”