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Remember this viral Hurricane Katrina photo? Finally, these two reunited.

"When she wrapped me up with that hug, I just melted, and the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders."

Remember this viral Hurricane Katrina photo? Finally, these two reunited.

About 10 years ago, in the days following Hurricane Katrina, this photo was taken.


It changed Michael Maroney's life.

Air Force Master Sgt. Michael Maroney, seen on the left above, saved over 140 people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, one of the most devastating natural disasters in U.S. history. But one rescue in particular stood out.


He helped save then-3-year-old LeShay Brown, and the joyous moment was caught on camera by the Airman 1st Class Veronica Pierce. The picture, taken amid overwhelming heartache, reflects a pivotal moment for Maroney.

"When she wrapped me up with that hug, I just melted, and the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders," Maroney told ABC News. "Everything in the world just stopped, and I wasn't in New Orleans or in the devastation, I was just being hugged by a beautiful little girl."

But Maroney — who said he was especially "drawn to her" because he had two boys about her age — hadn't caught Brown's name at the time.

He spent the past decade wondering who and where she was.

In March 2015, Maroney launched a social media campaign to find the girl who changed his life.

He created the hashtag #FindKatrinaGirl in hopes that it'd eventually lead him to Brown.

And, thankfully, it did.

One of Brown's friends contacted Maroney's son on Instagram, according to ABC News, and the connection led to their meeting during an episode of BET's "The Real" talk show, which aired Sept. 16, 2015.

A photo posted by The Real Talk Show (@therealdaytime) on


It was a reunion they'll both remember forever.

Maroney finally met Brown, who now lives in Mississippi and is "a straight-A student with dreams of becoming a lawyer," according to Loni Love of "The Real."

The tear-filled experience was an emotional one — especially for Maroney.

"If I can explain to you how important your hug was ... that small gesture — it helped me through bad days and dark days."

GIFs via "The Real."

Watch the moving clip of their reunion below:

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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