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A Black woman came out of surgery with more braids than before. Here's why that matters.
India Marshall

A woman's story of how a surgeon handled her braids during a head surgery has gone viral, not just for the thoughtful actions of the doctor, but for what it shows about the importance of representation in medicine.

India Marshall posted her heartwarming story on Twitter:

"So y'all know how I said I woke up from surgery w/more braids in my head than I came in w/and I thought it was the black nurses? I found out today at my post op appt that the surgeon (he's black) did it," she wrote. "He said he has 3 little girls & they have wash day... I almost cried."


"While removing my staples he said, 'Your braids look better than mine, I hope I didn't do too bad,' and I was like excuse me??? YOU did my hair???..." she continued. "You could tell he was so proud to tell me too lol."

"He also said he used staples to close my incisions instead of stitches to avoid cutting my hair when removing stitches," she added.

Marshall explained that she'd had a rare condition of bone growths in her forehead region and the surgery to have them removed meant three incisions behind her hairline. "The surgeon parted and braided my hair to create clean incisions without shaving," she wrote.

On her way home from surgery.India Marshall

"Thinking about this black man braiding my hair to prepare to cut my head open is hilarious and endearing at the same time," she added. "Also the fact that he's that active in helping his wife with their girls, I love it. Moral of the story: find black doctors."

People loved the story—the consideration of the surgeon, the image of him doing his own daughters' hair, and the difference it makes to have a doctor who has personal experience with a patient's culture.

As one person pointed out, "THIS is among the millions upon millions of reasons why we need diversity in medicine. There is a level of care that only people who have walked in your shoes... even just a little bit... can provide."

"This is why the world needs more Black & Brown folks at every level," wrote another person. "Reminds me of Peruvian Indigenous women who showed scientists how they do a specific weave unique to them that taught the medical AI how to stitch skin so that the patient has a quicker recovery time." [The person clarified in a later tweet it was Bolivian, not Peruvian Indigenous women.]

"This experience was meaningful to me because this simple gesture showed I was being cared for by a surgeon that saw me," Marshall told Upworthy. "He saw me as a black woman that would appreciate extra precaution taken with her hair. Not only did he understand this as a black man, but he had the ability and took the time to braid my hair himself."

India Marshall

Marshall added that since she's the oldest of four girls herself, it was extra special to hear that he did the same for his own daughters.

This is why diversity in medicine, as well as other fields, matters. It isn't just about equal opportunity or making a nod to inclusive values. Representation can make a direct, marked difference in people's experiences, and the value of being seen and having a need understood—without having to explicitly explain it—is priceless.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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