It wasn't all bad...

The week's good news: August 1, 2019

Catherine Garcia
A triceratops.
Anna Logunova/iStock


Woman overcomes her fear of reading aloud by providing magical storytimes for sick kids

Dressed in a Snow White costume and carrying her favorite storybooks, Rachel Oehlert is bringing magic to children in the hospital. The 24-year-old from Thornton, Colorado, has dyslexia, and as a student, dreaded reading to the class. When she couldn't shake her fear of reading aloud, she decided to step outside of her comfort zone and start reading to sick kids. Three years ago, she bought a Belle from Beauty and the Beast costume, and visited her first children's hospital. She found she wasn't nervous, and with her confidence boosted, started her own nonprofit, Truly Make Believe. The organization now has a team of 15 volunteers who visit hospitals dressed like princesses and superheroes. "Doing this has made me a more compassionate human," Oehlert told The Washington Post. "What started as a simple idea to help me overcome a fear has become a big part of who I am." [The Washington Post]


Nurse saves the life of driver whose car crashed into her house

When Carmen Roman heard a loud crash outside her house in Kissimmee, Florida, on Thursday, she never expected to discover that a man had swerved off the road and smashed his car into her bathroom wall. After taking a closer look, Roman determined the driver was unresponsive, with no pulse. A nurse, her instincts kicked into high gear, and she started to perform chest compressions. "If I'm in the moment and I can do something, I will react," she told Fox 35 Orlando. About 30 compressions later, the man was revived, and by the time paramedics arrived, he was up and walking. Roman is grateful no one was in the bathroom when the car came flying in, and that the driver survived. "It feels awesome" to have helped save his life, she said. "My kids are so proud, they're like, 'Mama's a hero!'" [Fox 35 Orlando]


Indiana police department lets people pay off parking tickets with donations to animal shelter

For a few days in July, cash wasn't welcome at the clerk's office in Muncie, Indiana. When officers from the Muncie Police Department visited the Muncie Animal Care and Services Shelter earlier in the summer, they found that the facility was close to running out of supplies for the more than 350 cats and kittens waiting to be adopted. That sparked an idea: Instead of having people pay for parking tickets with cash, why not let them pay in donations of cat food and litter? Parking tickets are $25, and violators were asked to drop off up to $25 worth of cat food or supplies. This offer ran from July 15 through 19, and the police department said donations came flooding in, many from people who didn't even have a ticket. Ashley Honeycutt, the shelter's office manager, told CNN she is "incredibly grateful" to the police department and community for their "overwhelming" response. [CNN]


Cleveland mechanic's love of medicine inspires him to become a doctor at 47

Carl Allamby went from diagnosing cars to diagnosing people, making a career switch he never thought possible. Allamby, 47, just graduated from medical school, after spending several decades running his own auto repair business. At 40, he decided to earn his business degree, but to graduate, Allamby had to take a biology course. "After the first hour of class, I was like, 'This is what I want to do. I have to go into medicine,'" he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "It was like a light switched on." After finishing his business degree, he started tackling his science requirements, and ultimately earned degrees from Cleveland State University and the Northeast Ohio Medical University. The married father of four is now a resident at the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital in the emergency medicine department. Allamby said he didn't grow up knowing any black male doctors, and hopes he inspires young people to enter the field. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]


College student uncovers 65-million-year-old triceratops skull in North Dakota

It was the discovery he'd always dreamed of making. In June, 23-year-old University of California Merced student Harrison Duran was working at a dig site in the North Dakota Badlands when, out of the corner of his eye, he thought he saw a piece of petrified wood. He was there with Prof. Michael Kjelland, an excavator, and together they started digging. What Duran initially thought was a piece of wood turned out to be a 65-million-year-old dinosaur fossil. Duran had discovered the partial skull of a triceratops, which took about a week to dig up and has been named Alice after the woman who owned the land where it was found. "It's almost like dinosaurs have a mythos about them," Duran told the Los Angeles Times. "They're seen as mythological beasts, so it's amazing to actually discover one, to remember that they were living, breathing animals at one point." [Los Angeles Times]