Good News Americans #5

A day that fate and faith intervened. The date was October 30, 2021. The place was Newark, New Jersey. Seventy-one-year-old devout Christian Bill Sumiel finished his dialysis treatment for the day and had called for an Uber driver to take him home.  Luck of the draw, that driver happened to be 33-year-year-old Tim Letts.  Within friendship-inspired conversation, during the half-hour drive to Bill Sumiel’s home, Tim Letts learned that his passenger had been in desperate need of a kidney replacement for over three years. Tim would say toward the end of their trip: “I think God must have put you (Sumiel) in my car.”

By the time they had reached their destination, Tim Letts had volunteered to donate one of his kidneys to his brand new friend, if lab tests proved the two to be compatible.  What were the chances, in this seemingly fairy-tale story, but the tests did prove that Army veteran Tim Letts was indeed a match!  Said he later: “I was inspired by how genuine this man was. I didn’t want to look in the mirror later down the road and think, wow, I could have done something, but I didn’t. Good people need good people to stand by them.”  The surgery happened and was completely successful for both donor and recipient.

Tim Letts has since relocated to Stuttgart, Germany, but still stays in regular touch with his now life-long friend.  Said Bill Sumiel some two years later: “Giving a kidney is the gift of life and I feel so fortunate to have that gift.  I can almost live my life back to normal.” Thinking back, Tim Letts, too, expressed his feelings: “I don’t think that politics or background really define whether two souls can be friends or not. I saw somebody that I felt a connection to, somebody that I felt I could make a difference for.”  So, then, we had a younger man who saw that he could make a difference, a big one, by giving more years of life to an older gentleman, who likely would not have survived much longer without this amazing, chance meeting, and kidney donation.

And just one more key item to mention about this life-saving gift and the start of an understandable life-time friendship, all of which began with a chance Uber ride.  You see 33-year-old Tim Letts, the donor, is white, while 77-year-old Bill Sumiel, the recipient, is black.  A chance, miracle meeting, with a wonderful cross-cultural result.  Repeating what Tim had prophetically said earlier to Bill: “God must have put you in my car.”

A Lafayette, Indiana 25-year-old, Nicholas Bostic was out working as a pizza delivery driver when he noticed a fire on the front side of a house. He quickly parked his vehicle and yelled a warning to any occupants.  When he heard nothing back, he made his way into the house and discovered four children.  He led all four outside to safety.  When the kids told him that a six-year-old girl was still inside, “he re-entered the house through the backdoor, ran up the stairs, and frantically searched the second floor bedrooms as conditions deteriorated rapidly after an explosion on the porch.”  Despite heat and smoke, he was able to locate that remaining child.  The two exited, hopefully by then with first-responder assistance, through a second-floor window, which Mr. Bostic “was able to shatter with his fist”!  As you might imagine, as a result of his amazing rescue, he sustained smoke-inhalation, first-and-second-degree burns, and “a complex laceration to his right forearm.”  Quite understandable, and thankfully, the childrens’ family set up a GoFundMe page to help with his medical expenses, raising over $640,000.

An exceptionally heroic individual, exiting not only with the four children he found initially, but then to re-enter that burning home in a desperate search for the fifth child, which was above and beyond for most individuals, ultimately successfully rescuing them all. Incredibly courageous, 25-year-old Nicholas Bostic, was awarded the prestigious Carnegie Medal, presented exclusively “to civilians who risk death or serious injury to an extraordinary degree saving or attempting to save the lives of others.” We certainly hope that heroic Nick Bostic’s recovery is now, or soon will be, complete.

Eight-year-old Kayzen Hunter (male) enjoys eating with his family at a Waffle House in Little Rock, Arkansas.  There he met an adult server, Devonte Gardner, who was especially friendly to young Kayzen and his family. Said Devonte: “I come (to work) with a positive attitude.  I love to see everybody smile.” Reportedly, when Kayzern learned through conversation with him that Mr. Hunter, his wife and two children, had spent the last eight-months living in a motel due to “unsafe living conditions at their previous home,” he resolved to help his friend. So, he set up a fundraiser to help him buy a car, so that he didn’t have to walk to work.  Originally shooting for a goal of $5,000, by the evening of March 4th (2023), the figure raised topped $88,000 (and it likely went even higher)!  This will allow Mr. Gardner to not only buy a car, but find an apartment for his family, and, as he indicated, put any remaining toward the education of his children.  Said he: “It’s just a blessing. Thanks for anything anybody gives me.  This almost made me cry.”  What a key family-assisting treat for Mr. Gardner, and the chance to make a real difference in a good man’s life for young Kayzen Hunter!  There’s no question that this gesture of goodness will long be remembered by both individuals.

When Eufaula, Arizona Assistant Police Chief David Bryning got the radio call regarding a three-month-old child in need of CPR assistance, fortunately he knew that rescue procedure and he knew, also, that he could get to the stated location faster than EMS personnel. Officer Bryning arrived on scene to find the infant had already turned blue and was limp. He immediately began CPR. He continued with the lifesaving procedure until the child began breathing again on its own. Reportedly, the infant came through the recovery experience in fine shape. Responded Officer Bryning later: “And I thank God, you know, because he put me there. He gave me the training, but ultimately, it’s up to Him.”  Assistant Chief Bryning was presented with the American Red Cross’s Lifesaving Award, along with congratulations from his department.  Thanks to another fine American police officer who rapidly put himself in the right place, at the right time, with the necessary training to save the life of an infant.

And a fitting conclusion to recent law enforcement heroics.  That would have to be, of course, the Nashville (Tennessee) police officers who raced to the scene of what became tragic multiple murders (3 children + three adults) by a deranged individual at an area Christian school.  The nation is thankful for the outstanding courage and instincts of those well-trained officers who, without regard for their own safety, sprinted through the school’s hallways until facing the well-armed suspect and taking him down, permanently.  While we mourn the loss of those children and adult school personnel, sincere thanks and praise go to those Nashville Police Department officers whose rapid action and expertise most certainly saved the lives of countless others at the school that day.  And, so, to our dear, unacceptably-passive, thus crime-encouraging, Progressive municipal leaders around the nation, with this and so many other examples of law enforcement heroism, this question: Does defunding our police departments still sound to you like such a swell idea?

Oh, and this well-timed tag. Earlier this year, several San Francisco police officers met for lunch at an area pizza shop. To their surprise, since they had eaten there before on several occasions, an employee told them that “they were not welcome in the restaurant.”  The officers left.  The police union was advised and contacted the restaurant.  Thoroughly embarrassed, the pizza shop owners quickly apologized and promised to “make this unfortunate situation right.” True to their word, they did.  The offending employee, a trainee, was reprimanded, and fired. Without law enforcement officers on the job, what’s left of our civil society would rapidly evaporate into disorder and unstoppable human harm.

And, for this edition, then, these final three ‘good news’ nuggets.  Believe it or not, Captain Green-Energy-Uber-Allis has actually approved, by executive order, a northern Alaska drilling project “forecasted to create thousands of jobs and 600-million barrels of oil over its 30-year lifespan.” Climate activists were furious.  Who cares.

On March 20, 1854, in Ripon, Wisconsin, the Republican Party was “forged from a coalition of political forces to oppose the advance of slavery in the American west.”  May this proud and, today, so badly needed, anti-Slavery party gain the strength, candidates, and voter support required to excel and win across America in 2024!

“Older Workers Are in Demand When Bosses Want Work Ethic,” is the title of a very recent Wall Street Journal article. Reportedly, “people 55 and older are the fastest-growing segment of the work force, according to federal data.” One employer, as with likely many others, indicated that he had “grown weary” of younger employees who arrive late, call out often, and, when there, spend time looking at their phones, “instead of chatting with customers (and clients).” Concluding with the thoughts of one administrator interviewed at length: “Instead of trying to convince younger generations to be something different, some companies are saying “Why don’t we just go hire people who are naturally predisposed to work harder?”  That’s great news for resilient 55+ers seeking a new work opportunity today!


(Fact Sources:  Uber driver donates kidney via, Andrew Court, 3-31-23; Rescue of five children from a burning home via, Michael Foster, 3-28-23; Young boy helps a friendly Waffle House server via, Michael Foster, 3-5-23; Senior police officer saves the life of an infant via, Amy Furr, 3-17-23; Nashville police officers react to save even more school children and staff via, Michael Letts, 3-30-23; San Francisco police officers and a pizza shop via, Louis Casiano, 1-31-23; Alaska drilling project given go-ahead via, Thomas Catenacci, 3-11-23; Republican Party founded via, Kerry J. Byrne, 3-20-23; Seeking older workers via The Wall Street Journal, Callum Borchers, 4-6-23).