Feature

Racquetball champ defies doctor's prognosis, and more

Yelandi Rivero, now 36, was paralyzed from the waist down after an all-terrain-vehicle accident, and was told by doctors he’d never walk again, let alone play racquetball.

Racquetball champ defies doctor's prognosisYelandi Rivero and his racquetball partner recently finished second in a statewide racquetball tournament in Florida. The reason this is noteworthy is that four years ago, Rivero, now 36, was paralyzed from the waist down after an all-terrain-vehicle accident, and was told by doctors he’d never walk again, let alone play racquetball. But Rivero, a truck driver, shrugged off the prognosis, and after a year and a half, was back on the court, hitting balls while holding on to his walker. He never quit, slowly regaining mobility and strength. “To look back and to see where I am now, I am very thankful,” he said.

Cat saves owner from two pit bullsWhen Cherry Woods was attacked by two large pit bulls outside her home in Pearland, Texas, she had an unlikely savior: her cat, Lima. Cherry’s husband, Harold, came running over from the house, but was unable to fight off the dogs. Lima, though, was fearless, clawing and hissing at the two 80- to 100-pound dogs long enough for Harold to drag his wife to safety with only minor injuries. “She’s the most reclusive, timid animal I’ve ever seen,” Harold said of Lima. “But when it came down to my wife getting hurt, she jumped right in. It’s amazing.”

Massachusetts mom saves children from runaway busA fast-acting Massachusetts mother saved a sidewalk full of children from a runaway bus. Lorie Aliano of Methuen, Mass., had just dropped off her son at an elementary school for a trip to the zoo when she looked up and saw an empty bus rolling down a driveway. “I just said, ‘Someone needs to stop that bus,’” said Aliano, a Navy reservist. She jumped into the driver’s seat, grabbed the wheel, and stepped on the middle pedal, praying it was the right one. The bus came to a stop against a curb, along a sidewalk where kids were gathering. “She is a hero,” said school principal Richard Beshara. “I don’t think the average person would do what she did.”

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