A History-Changing Bad Grade: 5 Brilliant Stories This Week
Plus, a very inspiring toddler model, and more
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2017 5:21 AM CDT
27th amendment.   (Wikimedia)

(Newser) – A man who survived a fall that should have been fatal and a woman who beat a terminal diagnosis make this week's list of uplifting stories:

  • Surprise Help to the Rescue During Southwest Emergency: Retired Air Force Col. Tom McCay fell unconscious as he and his wife were flying home to Texas, and the last thing he remembers before passing out was his frightened wife, Maggie, asking if he was OK. She started yelling for assistance, and Texas oral surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Aycock was one of the first to respond—followed by about 20 other doctors. The situation ended up fulfilling a "fantasy" for McCay, in reverse.
  • How a Student's Bad Grade Changed the Constitution: When Gregory Watson first described his theory on how the 27th Amendment to the US Constitution—proposed in 1789 but still unratified in 1982—might finally be passed in a 1982 course paper, both his teaching assistant and professor at the University of Texas were unimpressed. He got a C-, and he made it his mission to "get that thing ratified." What he did ended up changing his grade, decades later.

  • She Was Given Weeks to Live—9 Years Ago: Ashley Hallford was 32 weeks pregnant when the diagnosis came. A hard lump on her neck wasn't caused by an infection in the salivary gland as doctors had suspected. Rather, it was "a rare and very aggressive" form of cancer. Doctors soon told Hallford she had stage 4 cancer with tumors all over her body, and the tumors kept multiplying until there were too many for doctors to count. But amazingly, she's still here—and that's not the only miracle.
  • He Fell 47 Stories and Lived—and He Still Isn't Sure How: Some say the window washing platform surfed the air. Others, including a rep for the New York City Fire Department, suspect "a higher hand was in control." Even Alcides Moreno isn't sure how he survived a 47-story fall on Dec. 7, 2007—but he thinks his son may have something to do with it.
  • Clothing Retailer Uses Toddler With Down Syndrome as Model: Lily Beddall's picture is hanging on the walls of 217 Matalan locations across the the UK. Her mother, Vicki Beddall, took the toddler, who has Down syndrome, to see her picture in one of the stores and says she's "proud of Lily and proud of what she has achieved." She adds, "no limits for our little girl." The ad is adorable.
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