This baby was all alone in the hospital. Her nurse adopted her and changed their lives.

"Who's this beautiful angel?" Those were the first words that Liz Smith, the director of Nursing at Franciscan Children's Hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts spoke to a blue-eyed baby she'd never met before. She was on her way to the elevator and expected to say nothing but a quick hello to a tiny hospital resident she didn't recognize.

The "beautiful angel," it turned out, was an eight-month-old named Gisele. She was a ward of the state, and she'd already spent more than five months at the hospital being treated for conditions stemming from a premature birth and her mother's drug use during pregnancy.


What was most heartbreaking was that Gisele had had no visitors during the entire time she'd been at the hospital, not even her parents, who were granted visitation, but weren't able to take advantage of it. And while social workers were trying to place her with a family, they'd been having some trouble.

As Smith drove home from the hospital that night, The Washington Post reports, all she could think of was Gisele.

The nursing director had always wanted to be a mother, but there had been complications — including her insurance refusing to cover in vitro fertilization.

"I never imagined becoming a mum would be a challenge," she told WaPo. "It's a desire you can try to push away and fill with other distractions, but it never goes away." She'd never considered adoption, she said, but Gisele changed all that.

So Smith started making plans. She put in a request to foster Gisele. She sat in Gisele's room every day after work ensuring that the baby felt loved and cared for. And when Gisele turned 9 months old, she was allowed to come home with Smith.

It was a leap of faith, and one that came with uncertain conditions. The state had only allowed Smith to take Gisele home if she agreed that every effort would be made to reunite the child with her birth parents.

"I was excited but nervous, realising that I was committing everything I had to this child who might not be in my life forever," Smith said.

Despite that, she wanted to ensure that Gisele, who suffered from a myriad of health problems, could enjoy life outside of the hospital. For Smith, Gisele's health and happiness were all that mattered. Even if it meant that Gisele might not be her permanent child.

Even when it became clear that Gisele would be staying with Smith forever (or at least until she moves out for college), the news was bittersweet. While Smith was overjoyed that Gisele would be staying, she was also heartbroken for the baby's biological parents, whose parents rights had been terminated. All she wanted was for Gisele to have love in her life.

But today, she has that and more. The Smiths not only share a home and last name, but an unbreakable bond that has seen them through good times and the bad.

Though Gisele still struggles with her health, she's also gained weight and met every developmental milestone, growing into a loving, energetic child who loves nothing more than to burst into song.

This story is just more proof of something we all know: Having someone in your life who will care for you, root for you, and love you unconditionally can make all the difference. For Smith, that love is creating a future she'd long thought was only a dream.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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