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UCF students to give free bionic arms to children with missing limbs

A non-profit started by UCF students is helping children across the U.S. with missing limbs.

The central Florida-based group known as Limbitless will help launch the first U.S. clinical trial of bionic arms for children made on 3D printers. The group, which is based the University of Central Florida, is partnering with Oregon Health & Science University.

“We are so excited to feature some of the new work and talk about how it's going to have a huge effect on families all around the country,” Limbitless president Albert Manero told WFTV’s Ty Russell.

Watch: Wednesday sun turns to storms

The clinical trial will recruit 20 children, primarily from the southeastern U.S. and Pacific Northwest, to be fitted with Limbitless' custom-designed bionic arms. Over the course of a year, the children will learn how to use the arms through occupational therapy.

>> Read more trending news 

The results of the clinical trial will help the Food & Drug Administration decide whether to approve the arm to be covered by insurance.

Watch: Affordable 3-D-printed prosthetic arms go to kids across the country

The announcement puts Limbitless closer to its goal of creating 5,000 bionic arms by 2020 for free, which could save each family as much as $100,000.

“We are watching this new version of the arm and the different progress it has made, and ultimately reflecting how kids use it in their daily lives,” Manero said.

In March, UCF students in the program unveiled a video game in which children use a special controller on their limb to build up their muscle to help control the bionic arms. 

Watch: UCF students design video game for children without limbs

“For us, it's phenomenal to see kids using the arms outside the laboratory and being able to see that tangible impact on your community,” Manero said.

Dog saves canine companion from pool

A dog didn’t hesitate to save its canine companion after the dog fell into a pool. 

Smokey and Remus play by the pool frequently Laurie Becerra told KNXV.

But this time things didn’t happen as usual. Smokey fell in and couldn’t get out. 

>> Read more trending news 

So Remus did what any person would have done in the situation and jumped in to save his doggie brother, pushing him out of the pool, KNXV reported.

The rescue was caught on security camera and was later uploaded to Facebook where it has gone viral.

Becerra said that Smokey can’t swim well, but this was the first time there was a problem.

Smokey is learning to swim now and the family has bought a life vest for the pup, KNXV reported.

Waitress surprised with truck driver’s $2,000 tip

A waitress in Roland, Arkansas got a Mother’s Day tip that she’ll always remember. 

Brenda Pearson was working at the 4 Star Diner when a truck driver ordered a cheeseburger to go, KFSM reported

Despite a mistake, the burger had only one patty instead of the normal two, they fixed it and got the driver on his way.

But not before he gave his waitress a large tip.

>> Read more trending news 

David Platt thought Pearson could use some cash, so he tipped her $1,000, KFSM reported

“It was late and there wasn’t really anybody around so I got talking to her a little bit,” Platt told KFSM. “We talked about the Lord and about her life and her children. I got the impression that she was having a hard time of it, so I thought I’d just help her out a little bit.”

The story of Platt’s good deed could end there.

But an hour later, he paid a second visit for pie. 

He left a second $1,000 tip.

Platt said that the $2,000 in tips wasn’t planned but it was the right thing to do, KFSM reported.

“Money is just paper or numbers on a screen,” Platt told KFSM. “Self-gratification only goes so far. So, when you’re helping another person, you’re adding something to the world. It’s an investment and people, people are what’s important.”

Pearson has two stepdaughters and hopes to use the windfall to help them and their families, KFSM reported.

7-year-old surprises mom with perfect Mother’s Day breakfast

What would you call a meal of four strawberries, a tube of Go-Gurt, a slightly peeled kiwi and a bowl of cereal? How about the perfect Mother’s Day breakfast made by your 7-year-old?

Arizona mom Samantha posted her Mother’s Day surprise on Reddit

She said it all started when her son woke her up at 6:15 a.m. this weekend with a very important question -- did she like Go-Gurts, KTTV reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Then he had to find what he called the “grown up bowls” and then attempted to peel the kiwi with a child-safe butter knife, but he didn’t get too far.

Once he was able to get all the ingredients to the perfect breakfast and delivered it to Samantha, she said that he sat and watched her eat every last bite, KTTV reported

4-year-old girl severely burned by hot grease has special 'graduation' ceremony

A 4-year-old Georgia girl left in a coma after a house fire is back home. 

>> Watch the news report here

Caliyah Ross went home Tuesday after spending weeks at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and staff held an extra-special ceremony for the 4-year-old before her discharge.

>> Read more trending news 

Ross had been looking forward to her pre-K graduation ceremony. She had taken pictures in her cap and gown.

Then, she was burned in a house fire.

Ross suffered third-degree burns to her face and arms after her uncle was discarding a pan of hot fish grease.

It caught fire, and the flames tore into the 4-year-old.

“It was a fire, you know, it was a fire that happened,” said her mother Latoya Heyward.

MORE ON WSBTV.COM:

>> Zoo Atlanta giraffe dies in freak accident>> Woman breaks down before pleading guilty to stabbing teen cousin to death>> Fourth-grade teacher killed in Georgia crash

The pain was so intense doctors placed her in a medically induced coma. Then she began to get better.

“She just looked like she was in pain but some days I would go to the ICU and ask her if she was in pain and she would shake her head and say, ‘No,’” Heyward said.

After rigorous speech and physical therapy, WSB-TV’s Tom Jones was there when Ross recovered enough to be discharged.

Her family said a higher power made it happen.

“She's been in here for about a month and he literally restored her back to health,” Heyward said.

Before she left on Tuesday, the hospital arranged a special graduation ceremony since Caliyah couldn't make her own.

>> Watch the clip here

The scars remain on her body.

Celebrity painter Antoine Donte painted a mural to remind Ross how beautiful she was and is. He included a scripture.

“It says, ‘For I will restore health to you and I will heal your wounds says the Lord,’” Heyward said.

Ross still has a long road to recovery.

She can't be out in the direct sunlight, so she will have to stay inside this summer.

You can donate to the family here.

12-year-old fan stuns Pink as she sings at Vancouver show

A 12-year-old fan who campaigned to sing on stage at Pink’s Vancouver, British Columbia, concert didn’t quite get her wish, but still managed to showcase her talent.

>> Read more trending news 

Billboard reported that Victoria Anthony posted a video on Twitter May 1, writing, “please let me sing on stage with you in #Vancouver May 12. I’ll be ready!” 

At the May 12 show at Rogers Arena, Pink recognized Victoria in the crowd. The aspiring singer’s story had been picked up by Canadian outlets, including Global News, weeks before. 

“Are you who I read about on the news?” Pink asked Victoria at the show, according to Global News. “Do you want to come sing something?”

Pink handed her the mic, and the fan quickly impressed her. As she sang Pink’s 2010 song “Perfect,” the crowd erupted in applause.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

“Wow. Now I don’t want to sing anymore,” Pink joked. “You’re amazing. Thank you,” Pink said as she gave Victoria a hug.

“How do you follow that?” she said as she returned to the stage.

Victoria told Global News she felt incredible after the performance.

“I’m still kind of in shock,” she said. “What I’m taking away from this, and what everyone should take away, is that when you want something, like, nothing is impossible. You can always achieve something; (it) is just about the amount of effort you put in.”

Son of officer killed in the line of duty gets full police escort to school

An Indiana boy had to take what was probably one of the most difficult trips to school, but he didn’t go alone: His father’s brothers in blue were with him every step of the way.

Dakota Pitts, 5,  is the son of Rob Pitts, a police officer from Terre Haute, Indiana, who was recently killed in the line of duty.

Dakota’s mom asked the police department if someone would escort him to school, but never imagined that not one, not 10, but 70 officers and other supporters lined the sidewalk Monday to welcome Dakota back to his school, WTHI reported.

>> Read more trending news 

“It’s a brotherhood. It’s not like any other job you’re going to have. Guys are close. You form bonds that you wouldn’t form in a different profession. When somebody’s in need, we go, especially for a fallen officer and his kid,” Detective Less Hamm told WNDU.

The SWAT team gave Dakota his own SWAT shirt and badge.

“He will definitely know his dad was a hero. Blood doesn’t always make family and I think the blue family went above and beyond,” Dakota’s aunt, and his father’s sister, Kelly Jones, told WTHI.

Friends bring prom to Illinois girl burned in fire pit explosion

An Illinois teenager thought she was going to miss her prom after suffering severe burns in a backyard fire pit explosion last month. But her friends brought the prom to her, WLS reported.

>> Read more trending news

Korryn Bachner, 15, a sophomore at Glenbard East High School in Lombard, was among a dozen teens injured last month when a boy poured gasoline on a bonfire during a weekend party.

Bachner suffered serious burns to her face and hands and was not going to attend her prom on Saturday. Her date, however, decorated the Bachners’ basement, and friends dropped in to visit before the actual prom started, WLS reported.

"There were tears," Korryn’s father, Bob Bachner, told WLS.

“Overwhelming doesn't seem like the right word anymore," said Korryn’s mother, Ellen Bachner.

While doctors expect Korryn to make a full recovery, it will take months, WLS reported.

"Having all my friends’ support, it helps a lot,” Korryn told WLS. “It takes my mind off things.”

Double amputee from China, 69, conquers Mount Everest

It took five tries, but a 69-year-old double-amputee from China reached the summit of Mount Everest on Monday morning.

>> Read more trending news

Xia Boyu reached the top of the world’s highest mountain from the Nepal side at 8:26 a.m. Monday, according to a post by his son, Cloud Xia, on WeChat, a Chinese messaging platform, Time reported.

“My Dad reached Everest at 8:26 Nepal time!!! Has realized his 40 years dream!!!” Cloud Xia wrote.

Xia realized a dream that begin in 1975. On his first attempt to scale Everest, he lost his legs after lending a fellow member of the Chinese Mountaineering Team his sleeping bag. He suffered frostbite and had both legs amputated below the knee, Time reported.

Xia also tried to reach the summit four times in the past four years, Time reported. In 2014, climbing season was canceled due to an avalanche. A 7.8 earthquake that shook Nepal and causes more avalanches thwarted Xia’s attempt in 2015. In 2016, Xia came within 300 feet of reaching the summit when a blizzard forced him to abort the mission, Time reported.

“I love the mountain,” Xia told Time before his latest climb. “I will fight for it my entire life.”

Mark Inglis, of New Zealand, was the first double-amputee to reach Everest’s summit from the Tibet side in 2006, Time reported. 

WATCH: Fiona the hippo gives mom hugs and kisses at Cincinnati Zoo

Fiona — the Cincinnati Zoo’s celebrity hippo — was recently spotted giving her mom hugs and kisses.

>> Hippo photo bombs engagement proposal

Videos from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden show Fiona interacting with her mom, Bibi.

>> Click here to watch

Fiona was born premature in January 2017 and received around-the-clock care. She weighed 29 pounds, which zoo officials said is well below a baby hippo’s typical weight. Hippos can grow to be 3,000 pounds.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

When Fiona became dehydrated, specialists from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center helped give her an IV.

>> Read more trending news 

Henry, Fiona’s father, was euthanized in October. Henry had been struggling for several months with health issues and had lost hundreds of pounds, the zoo said.

LOOK: Dogs smile for the camera in viral daycare 'selfie'

When the human's away, the dogs will play.

>> Read more trending news 

According to ABC News, some photogenic pups at an Ohio doggy daycare recently gained online fame after their adorable "selfie" went viral on Facebook.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

The playful pic, posted March 30 by Go Fetch Dog Daycare and Boarding in Cincinnati, shows dozens of pups posing for the camera. Although an employee took the photo, many commenters joked that one smiling pooch in the foreground appeared to be snapping a selfie.

>> See the image here

The image has been shared more than 7,000 times.

Read more here.

Rapper Young Dolph gives $20K to baristas fired from Duke University coffee shop

Rapper Young Dolph surprised two former baristas with $20,000 after they were fired from a Duke University coffee shop for playing the song, “Get Paid.”

According to Revolt, the rapper flew the pair to his performance at the Rolling Loud hip hop festival in Miami Friday night.

During his set, he called them on stage and gave them $10,000 each while “Get Paid” played in the background. 

>> Read more trending news 

According to Duke Univesity’s student newspaper, The Chronicle, the baristas at Joe Van Gogh were fired after Larry Moneta, vice president of student affairs at Duke University, complained about “inappropriate music” in the coffee shop. 

The barista told the student newspaper that Moneta was ordering a vegan muffin when he asked her to turn off the song.

She said she immediately complied and offered to give him the muffin for free, but he demanded that she pay for it because he was “offended” by the song’s lyrics. 

The two baristas on duty were fired by Monday, The Chronicle reports.

Stephen Colbert criticized the firings on Thursday’s episode of The Late Show, calling it “racist.”

In a statement to WTVD, Moneta said he thought the music was, “quite inappropriate for a working environment that serves children” but did not demand their firing.

Hours after the Young Dolph concert on Friday, Joe Van Gogh coffee shop told WTVD it was cutting ties with Duke University.

Mother, daughter graduate college together after tragedy strikes family

After enduring the loss of a loved one, a mother and daughter from Michigan are marking a happy milestone together.

>> Read more trending news 

Linda and Becky Dancer graduated together this month from Cleary University, WXYZ reported.

For mother Linda, the degree was completed 42 years after she began her higher education. She was prompted to join her daughter in college after her husband, Dan, died suddenly of a heart attack in 2014.

Linda told WXYZ that she worked much harder to earn the degree now than she had when she first started four decades ago.

Mother and daughter are proud of their individual and joint accomplishments. Linda hopes to increase her income and says a master’s degree may be in her future.

Chicago bishop to give address at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding

Kensington Palace announced that Episcopal Church Bishop Michael Bruce Curry from Chicago, Illinois, will give the address at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding on May 19.

>> Read more trending news

Bishop Curry will travel to Windsor to participate in the royal wedding at St. George’s Chapel. 

“The love that has brought and will bind Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle together has its source and origin in God, and is the key to life and happiness,” Bishop Curry said in a statement. “And so we celebrate and pray for them today.”

The Dean of Windsor, Right Rev. David Conner, will conduct the service. The Most Revd. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, will officiate as the couple make their marriage vows.

Bishop Curry is author to the best-selling book, ‘Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus.’

The Episcopal church was established shortly after the American Revolution and has roots in the Anglican Church, known as the Church of England. 

It is part of the international Anglican Communion, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. 

According to PEOPLE, Meghan’s father, Thomas, is Episcopalian.

Khloe Kardashian shares first video of daughter with Tristan Thompson

Khloe Kardashian shared the first video of newborn daughter True on Instagram Saturday, four weeks after she and NBA boyfriend Tristan Thompson welcomed her to the world on April 12.

>> Read more trending news 

“Happy one month old, mama,” Kardashian said in the video, which features a flower filter on the baby’s cheek. “I love you, pretty girl.” 

True is the first child of the “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star, 33. 

Thompson, 27, also has a 17-month-old son, Prince Oliver, from a previous relationship. 

Man donates blood weekly for 60 years, saves lives of 2.4 million babies

An Australian man who has spent most of his life donating blood is retiring.

James Harrison has donated blood nearly every week for 60 years. He’s made 1,100 donations, saving the lives of more than 2.4 million Australian babies, according to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Known as the “man with the golden arm,” the 81-year-old’s blood is special. It has disease-fighting antibodies that have been used to develop the Anti-D injection, which helps combat Rhesus D Haemolytic Disease, or HDN.

>> Read more trending news 

The illness occurs when a pregnant woman’s blood begins attacking her unborn baby’s blood cells, causing brain damage or death for the baby.

It develops when the mom has rhesus-negative blood and the infant has rhesus-positive blood, inherited from the father. The different antigens cause the mother’s body to harm the baby. 

Although doctors are unsure why Harrison’s blood contains the rare antibody that fights the disease, they believe it’s likely due to a major chest surgery he had that required a blood transfusion when he was 14. 

Harrison became a blood donor after he recovered from the surgery. Once doctors discovered his blood was one-of-a-kind, he began offering blood plasma donations to help more people. 

Now, it’s time for him to retire. Australia doesn’t allow citizens to donate blood past age 81. 

“I hope it’s a record that somebody breaks, because it will mean they are dedicated to the cause,” Harrison said of his feat. He has received numerous awards for his generosity.

Harrison will continue to help health experts by donating his DNA samples for future research.

“Australia owes a big thank you to James Harrison, Australia became the first country in the world to be self-sufficient in the supply of Anti-D, and cases of HDN are rare,” Australian Red Cross Blood Service spokesperson Jemma Falkenmire said. “We encourage the partners and friends of all new mothers to think about donating blood, just one donation helps ensure someone has the chance to be a mother.”

Pug's apology for howling making some noise

A Pittsburgh pug’s apology for howling when his mom is away from home away has gone viral

Sharla Wilson just moved into a new apartment, and her dog, Charleston Chew, is blind and has trouble seeing around the new place. 

So when Wilson’s away, Charleston howls and makes a lot of noise

His howling prompted his owner to post an apology note on his neighbor’s door. 

The note explains that he’s old and had cataracts and gets scared when his mom’s away. 

One neighbor snapped a picture of the note with the caption, “You can howl all you want Charleston, honey!” 

So far, the tweet has close to 450,000 likes and over 121,000 retweets. 

Kitten abandoned in shelter mailbox looks for new home

A kitten that was abandoned in the mailbox of a Hawthorne, California, animal shelter is now up for adoption.

KABC reported that Brett, a black-and-white domestic short hair kitten, was found in the mailbox March 28 when a staffer heard meowing.

>> Read more trending news 

Brett was 2 weeks old when he was found in the mailbox. According to a Facebook post from the shelter, his condition was touch and go after being in the heat.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

“Abandoning an animal is a crime and very cruel,” spcaLA president Madeline Bernstein told KABC. “The kitten could have easily died inside the mailbox.”

Veterinary staff at the shelter jumped into action to get Brett well. He was put into foster care where he was bottle-fed until he could eat on his own. 

Now 2 months old, Brett is ready for adoption. He was socialized through the shelter’s HEAL Program.

Adoptions at scpaLA are on a first come, first served basis. More information is available at the spcaLA website.

Dog adopted two days from being euthanized, shows love to man who rescued him

A story that could have had a sad ending with a dog being put down now has a happy one after the dog was adopted instead, and he seems to know his new owner saved his life.

Last week, a beagle in Ohio was on the list to be euthanized on Thursday, but luckily, Joe Kirk walked into Gregory the beagle’s life before it ended, WTHR reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Kirk, and his wife Schenley, founded HOUND, or Helping Overlooked Unwanted Neglected Dogs, a nonprofit that places dogs that are considered at-risk in homes. For dogs that don’t find a new home, HOUND is a lifelong sanctuary.

Gregory seemed to know what Kirk did for him, as he snuggled next to his rescuer. Schenley snapped and posted a photo of the grateful dog. 

The Facebook post has been shared more than 9,000 times.

Apparently, Gregory was dropped off at a local animal shelter, but when the shelter found out he had heart worms, he was placed on the euthanasia list, WTHR reported.

Kirk is now seeking treatment for Gregory and will start trying to get him adopted once he’s medically cleared, which is expected to be in about two months, WTHR reported.

Dog waits by damaged car after owner smashes into tree

Talk about loyalty: A man and his dog were in a crash along a road and into a tree in New Jersey. 

Instead of being spooked by the crash and running away, the dog sat down next to the car and waited with his owner, WNBC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

A photo of the patient pup was tweeted by the South Brunswick Police Department, who said they took the owner and the dog -- neither of whom were hurt in the wreck -- to work.  

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