A 'Tree Man,' Pruned: 5 Brilliant Stories This Week
Plus, a boy who grew out his hair for an awesome reason
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2017 5:17 AM CST
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Abul Bajandar.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – A viral video that's literally uplifting makes this week's list of the top five feel-good stories:

  • Boy Grows Hair for 2 Years for Best Reason: Tyler Boone, 10, has been friends for years with 12-year-old Gabby Ruiz, and when the two kids first started playing together, Tyler was curious why Gabby always wore head coverings. His parents filled him in on her condition: alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. Gabby had gone through myriad treatments to spur hair growth, but none of them had worked, which got Tyler thinking about how he could help his friend. What he came up with is pretty awesome.
  • Community Steps Up After Dad Fired for Attending Son's Birth: A month ago, Lamar Austin was hired by a security company for a 90-day trial period that involved him being on call 24/7. On New Year's Day, Austin's son was born. Austin ended up missing shifts so he could attend the birth, and on the same day, he got a text notifying him he'd been terminated from the job. Austin's story made headlines; since then, people have been stepping up to help the 30-year-old military veteran and father of four—big-time.

  • Hero Toddler Pushes Fallen Dresser Off Twin: You just want to look away when the dresser falls on 2-year-old Brock Shoff in a now-viral video on YouTube—but it's what happens afterward that makes this video literally uplifting. The parents of Brock and his heroic twin brother, Bowdy, who came to his rescue, were "a little hesitant" to post the video on social media, but did so anyway for a really good reason.
  • 'Tree Man' Gets Pruned, Has Shot at Normal Life: It's a new beginning for the man formerly known as "tree man." Abul Bajandar, whose hands and feet were covered in giant warts that looked like tree bark, underwent his first surgery to remove the growths last February. Now—nearly a year and at least 16 operations later—the 27-year-old Bangladeshi man's hands and feet are "almost fine." There's one thing in particular he's really excited he can finally use his hands for.
  • Iceland's First Baby of 1980 Pulls Off 2017 Longshot: Cities and countries around the world take note of the first baby born in each year, but Iceland's 2017 case is rather exceptional. The country's first baby of the year was born at three minutes after midnight on Sunday to mother Katrín Guðjónsdóttir, who has the same birthday as her newborn ... and an even bigger coincidence.
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