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Tampa Woman Who Survived Brain-eating Amoeba in 1993 Offers Hope to Teen Facing Same Disease




Decades after she survived a brain-eating disease, a Florida woman is sending support to a teen fighting a similar battle, and she has a heartfelt message for the patient’s family.

Pictures of Aimee Rossiter in a hospital hallway and her room, her head bandaged, always bring her to tears.

“It was a scary time, very scary time, not knowing if I was going to make it,” she said.

The year was 1993, and Rossiter was just 12 years old. She said her face was swelling, she had a fever, and her symptoms were worsening.

Doctors eventually diagnosed her with a rare and often deadly brain-eating amoeba.

“They did tell my parents that they didn’t think I would be able to ever walk, talk or that I was going to possibly be blind,” she said.

After several years and several surgeries, Rossiter made a full recovery. Now, nearly 30 years later, the Tampa resident has a family of her own.

“I feel very fortunate,” she said.

Rossiter said all those emotions came flooding back when she saw Caleb Ziegelbauer’s story.

The 13-year-old boy has been fighting a brain-eating amoeba for two months. He contracted the parasite while swimming at Port Charlotte Beach, north of Fort Myers.

“I know what he’s going through. Like, I know he doesn’t know what’s happening right now, and his family, either,” she said.

Ziegelbauer and his family flew from Tampa to Chicago on Wednesday for specialized treatment.

“Every finger twitch we see makes us excited for what’s to come and hopeful,” his mother told reporters at a news conference.

The boy’s loved ones remain hopeful that the teen will beat the odds.

Brain-eating amoebas are extremely rare but almost always fatal. There have been 155 cases recorded in the U.S.

All but four of these cases were deadly, but not Aimee’s.

“That’s why I tell them, Caleb’s family, not to give up. He’ll make it through. It makes me emotional,” she said as she fought back tears.

Through these tears, this survivor has this message for Ziegelbauer and his family.

“Don’t give up, have faith, keep hope,” she said.

Rossiter said her case was so rare at the time that it was written about in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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California Gets More Rain and Snow, but Dry Days Are Ahead




LOS ANGELES (AP) — More rain and snow fell during the weekend in storm-battered California, making travel dangerous and prompting evacuation warnings over flooding concerns along a swollen river near Sacramento.

Bands of gusty thunderstorms started Saturday in the north and spread south, with yet another atmospheric river storm following close behind Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

Up to two inches (5 cm) of rain was predicted for the saturated Sacramento Valley, where residents of semi-rural Wilton and surrounding communities were warned to prepare to leave if the Cosumnes River continued to rise. The warning was downgraded from an evacuation order Sunday afternoon.

Gusts and up to 3 feet (91 cm) of snow were expected in the Sierra Nevada, where the weather service warned of hazardous driving conditions. Interstate 80, a key highway from the San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe ski resorts, reopened after being closed most of Saturday because of slick roads and snow.

The University of California Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted Sunday morning that it received 21.5 inches (54 centimeters) of snow in 24 hours. Its snowpack of about 10 feet (3 meters) was expected to grow several more feet by Monday.

A backcountry avalanche warning was issued for the central Sierra, including the greater Lake Tahoe area, through Monday.

The California Highway Patrol rescued three people whose car slid off a rain-slicked road and ended up teetering at the edge of a cliff in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Friday. The occupants of the car “were scared for their lives and were in disbelief” when they were pulled safely from the car as the vehicle’s front end hung precariously over the cliff’s edge, the highway patrol said in a statement.

“We cannot stress this enough. Please ONLY drive if it’s necessary,” the statement said.

Just to the south in Santa Cruz County, the tiny community of Felton Grove along the San Lorenzo River was under an evacuation warning.

The swollen Salinas River swamped farmland in Monterey County. To the east, flood warnings were in effect for Merced County in the agricultural Central Valley, where Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Saturday to take stock of problems and warn of still more possible danger.

“We’re not done,” Newsom said. He urged people to be vigilant about safety for a few more days, when the last of a parade of nine atmospheric rivers was expected to move through.

Several roads, including State Route 99, were closed because of flooding Sunday in San Joaquin County.

In Southern California, winter storm warnings and advisories were in place for mountain areas, where many roads remained impassable because of mud and rock slides. Two northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Castaic in northern Los Angeles County were closed indefinitely after a hillside collapsed.

Downtown Los Angeles set a rainfall record Saturday with 1.82 inches (4.6 cm), the weather service said.

The series of storms has dumped rain and snow on California since late December, cutting power to thousands, swamping roads, unleashing debris flows, and triggering landslides.

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state and ordered federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts in affected areas.

At least 19 storm-related deaths have occurred, and a 5-year-old boy remained missing after being swept out of his mother’s car by floodwaters in San Luis Obispo County.

Dry days are in this week’s forecast for California starting on Tuesday.

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After Dallas Zoo Leopard Escape, Cut Found in Monkey Habitat




DALLAS (AP) — Police investigating after a clouded leopard escaped her enclosure at the Dallas Zoo say a cutting tool was used to intentionally make an opening in the fence of the small cat’s habitat, and a similar cut was found at a habitat for small monkeys.

Dallas police said Saturday evening that they did not know if the two incidents were related. None of the langur monkeys escaped and none appeared to be harmed.

On Friday, arriving zoo workers discovered that a clouded leopard named Nova was missing from her habitat. A daylong search ensued, during which the zoo was closed while staff and police combed the 100-acre (40-hectare) grounds. She was discovered by late afternoon near her habitat.

After it was determined that Nova wasn’t injured, the zoo said that she spent Saturday with her sister, Luna, in their habitat, “perched up on a high branch while oh-so-many guests stopped by to wish her well.”

Police and zoo officials have said they have reviewed surveillance footage but would not say what it showed or whether there were potential suspects.

Animals have escaped enclosures from the Dallas Zoo before. Most notably was in 2004, when a 340-pound (154-kilogram) gorilla named Jabari jumped over a wall and went on a 40-minute rampage that injured three people before police shot and killed the animal.


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Davie Honors MLK’s Legacy With Poetry Readings, Live Performances




A South Florida community came together to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Town of Davie hosted its annual celebration at the Pine Island Multipurpose Center’s gymnasium, Sunday afternoon.

The ceremony featured a poetry contest, live performances and refreshments.

Town of Davie Mayor Judy Paul and town councilmembers also spoke at the event.

Sunday would have been King’s 94th birthday.


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