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This father-daughter story starts with a surgery and ends with an epic tattoo.

This dad found an awesome way to make his daughter feel a little less self-conscious about her cochlear implants.

This father-daughter story starts with a surgery and ends with an epic tattoo.

For the Campbells, hearing loss is part of their family story.

Meet the Campbell family! Image via Anita Campbell, used with permission.


Anita Campbell's mother had a cochlear implant, and her 8-year-old son Lewis wears hearing aids. She wasn't too surprised when her youngest child Charlotte was diagnosed as hearing impaired. As she grew older, Charlotte's hearing became progressively worse, which, in turn, made her painfully shy. In 2013, 4-year-old Charlotte Campbell underwent surgery to install a cochlear implant.

What's a cochlear implant you say? Well, I'm glad you asked!

A cochlear implant is a medical device that can help some deaf and hard of hearing people hear.

Image by Bjorn Knetsch/Wikipedia Commons.

For some people who are profoundly deaf or have severe hearing loss, the cochlear implant can provide a sense of sound and help them better understand speech. Now notice I said "some people" and "can provide" — that's because cochlear implants don't work for everyone. And there are even members of the deaf community who are anti-cochlear implant because they feel their disability doesn't need "fixing." While the device isn't for everyone (either by choice or by design), for some, it's an important part of being able to function in and communicate with the world around them. For Charlotte, her surgery was the key to bringing her out of her shell. According to her mom, Charlotte did a complete 180, from church mouse to "social butterfly."

In 2015, Charlotte had a second cochlear implant installed to help improve her hearing. Her dad came up with a genius way to show his support.

Even though Charlotte already had one implant, going under the knife a second time (especially at such a young age) was pretty scary. When it came time for her second cochlear surgery, her dad Alistair came up with a genius idea: dedicate his very first tattoo to his brave little girl.

They match! Image by Anita Campbell, used with permission.

Raise your hand if you're bawling. Oh, just me? Suuure.

One shaved head and 45 minutes later, Alistair showed off his brand new cochlear implant tattoo on Facebook. Of course, it didn't take long for the photo to go viral. Eventually, the local New Zealand Herald picked up the story, which is where I first found this adorable family.

Every kid has to deal with feeling different, but a family's love can make all the difference.

Even though Charlotte's a little young to understand how tattoos work, she still thinks her dad's ink is cool. Whether it's getting a tattoo, shaving your head, (or both), sometimes you have to get creative to offer support to the people you love. Feeling different or out of place can really suck, and that's where our friends and family are essential.

Maybe you aren't ready to shave your head and go under the needle for one of your loved ones (some of us don't have perfectly-shaped heads), but there are tons of creative ways you can show solidarity and support when the going gets tough. Maybe it's funny matching T-shirts, a charity dance party, or stuffing someone's room with balloons.

Alistair is a perfect reminder that going the extra mile when our friends and family need it can make those difficult times a little easier.

If you were moved by Charlotte and Alistair's story, you can make a donation to Hear 4 Kids Trust, which helps kids with hearing disabilities.

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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