The week's good news: June 22, 2017
It wasn't all bad!
Inmates save guard's life after he collapses
When the deputy overseeing their work detail passed out last week, six Georgia inmates rushed to save his life. They were outside doing lawn maintenance at a cemetery in hot weather — it was 76 degrees with 100 percent humidity — when he collapsed. The inmates immediately opened his shirt, took off his bulletproof vest, then began CPR and used his phone to call 911. "When that happened, in my opinion, it wasn't about who is in jail and who wasn't," inmate Greg Williams told WXIA. "It was about a man going down and we had to help him." The officer was unconscious for about a minute, then started breathing again. "They really stepped up in a time of crisis and show that they care about my officers," Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats said. "That really speaks a lot about my officers, too, how they treat these inmates. They treat them like people. Like family."
Volunteer vets provide free health care for pets belonging to the homeless
Los Angeles County has an estimated 58,000 homeless people, and it's believed that 20 percent have a pet of some kind. Many of those dogs, cats, and other animals have never seen a vet before, but on Wednesday, volunteer veterinarians and technicians set up a pop-up clinic at the Frank Rice Access Center in downtown L.A. and offered their services free of charge. "It's amazing to see," one volunteer told ABC 7. "You know, a lot of these people would rather feed their dogs than feed themselves." Edward Irvine came to the clinic with his dogs Apollo, Cherry, and Precious, and said he couldn't imagine life without them. "They keep you calm," he said. "You have responsibilities, you know they're around, they know when you're feeling sad. It's just wonderful support. You know they love me no matter what."
9-year-old's superhero dreams come true
Like every superhero, Christian Clark has two identities — sometimes he's a 9-year-old third grader, and then in an instant, he's transformed into Super Black. Last week, the Chicago resident put on his Super Black mask and cape and saved the day, with the help of Make a Wish Illinois. Clark was born with a life-threatening congenital heart problem, and has had to undergo several open heart surgeries. His wish was to be a superhero for the day, and the city delivered; the Chicago Police Department drove him in a motorcade to different places around town, where he defeated such villains as Bane and Mr. Freeze. People watched the young crimefighter from apartment buildings, restaurants, and rooftops, and cheered him on. It was a special moment, Clark's mother said, because "some nights, I didn't think he would make it this far, and that's why it's so important," she told CBS Chicago.
Couple makes historic $100 million donation to California hospital
With their latest gift of $32 million to Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California, Richard and Melanie Lundquist have given more than $100 million total over the last several years. The philanthropists believe in the strength of community hospitals and their ability to provide excellent care to local residents, and through this latest donation, two new institutes will be created — one for orthopedics, the other for neuroscience. "It's really important that people across the country recognize if you live in the wrong ZIP code, you might be DOA," Melanie Lundquist said. She served as a volunteer at the hospital in the 1980s, and after having this behind-the-scenes look at the medical center, was inspired to give back in a different way. In a statement, the hospital, founded in 1925, said that $100 million is the largest known contribution from one donor to a non-teaching/non-research hospital in the United States.
92-year-old gets high school diploma nearly 75 years after internment
A 92-year-old from Washington state has finally graduated from her old high school. Mary Matsuda Gruenewald was an honors student at Vashon Island High School in 1942 when, like some 120,000 other Japanese-Americans during World War II, she was sent to an internment camp. Matsuda Gruenewald graduated from the camp's makeshift school and went on to become a nurse. But she always wanted her diploma from Vashon. When the school's principal heard her story recently, he invited her to walk in the class of 2017's commencement. "This eliminates all the heartaches," she says.