Joy Break: Crooning Vet, a Mother’s Perseverance and Other Stories to Make You Smile

By Nancy Flory Published on May 23, 2017

When we turn on our television or smart phones we are bombarded with news that brings us down.  It becomes easy to wonder where all the good news has gone. Those stories are still there. Here are a few we hope will brighten your day.

Hometown Hero Graduates From College

On August 21, 2015, Anthony Sadler was traveling with two childhood buddies on a train from Amsterdam to Paris. They spotted a man with a gun moving through the train. Instantly, they reacted. Within seconds, the three men tackled and tied up a would-be terrorist. Countless lives were saved. The trio was hailed as heroes the world over. French President Francois Holland even awarded the men with nation’s highest honor: the French Legion of Honor medal.

The aftermath of his experience delayed Sadler’s education. But this weekend, Sadler graduated from Sacramento State and is all smiles.

“With everything that happened, it made today just that much more worth it,” said Sadler at his college graduation. “That I not only overcame school but also everything else that was going on with me at the same time.”

The son of a Baptist preacher, Sadler received his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in physical education. His graduation took place one year after he’d originally planned. He took a year to speak and work on a movie with Clint Eastwood about the men’s experience on the train. 

As for what he’s doing next, Sadler said he isn’t sure. “My life has just been so crazy that I’m not trying to really dive in or commit to anything at the moment. I really just want to weigh my options and just see what’s best for me.”

Albert the Lovable Turkey

Meet Albert, a turkey who loves to cuddle with his human, TV producer Brant Pinvidic. He’s also a little jealous, getting testy when London the Shepard tries to share Pinvidic’s affection!


Albert the Turkey is so famous he has his own Facebook page where you can see more. 

A Mother’s Perseverance

In 1988, doctors in Hubei province of China told Zou Hongyan that because of a medical accident, her child would be disabled. Son Ding was going to be born with cerebral palsy. They told her to give up the baby. They told her it was “worthless trying to rescue him as he would grow up either disabled or with low intelligence.”

Even her husband said that the boy would be a burden for the family his entire life. But Zou didn’t give up. “I will give birth to this baby,” she said, “His little feet have kicked my belly so hard, and his little heart is rhythmic with my heart.” Her husband told her she was stubborn. Since she wouldn’t listen to the doctor’s advice, he told her she could raise the baby herself.

The couple divorced and Zou took several jobs to support her family and care for Ding. She took him to rehabilitation sessions, massaged his muscles and played games and puzzles with him. She worked with him to teach him how to hold chopsticks because his motor skills were weak. She taught him how to hold a pen by first working with a thick paint brush. She worked from the brush to a fine pen. He was finally able to do it. 

“I didn’t want him to feel ashamed about this physical problems,” she said. “Because he had inferior abilities in many areas, I was quite strict on him to work hard to catch up where he had difficulties.”

In 2011 Ding graduated from Peking University’s school of engineering with a degree in environmental science. He also enrolled in the university’s International Law School. After working for two years, in 2016 Ding was accepted into Harvard Law School. 

“I never dared to dream of applying to Harvard,” Ding said. “It was my mother who never stopped encouraging me to give it a try. Whenever I had any doubts, she would guide me forward.” 

Ding and his mother Zou working on his motor skills.

Ding and his mother Zou working on his motor skills.

Ding and his mother Zou. Ding graduated from Peking University with his master's degree in 2015.

Ding and his mother Zou. Ding graduated from Peking University with his master’s degree in 2015.


Singing Vet

Dr. Ross Henderson, a veterinarian at Fox Hollow Animal Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado, knows how to calm his patients before surgery. He plays the guitar and sings. The 28-year-old vet sang to one of his patients recently before she was spayed. His crooning of an Elvis Presley classic calmed her and calms the other animals, too. It may also make hearts pitter patter. 

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