Inspiration From A Brave 3rd Grader

Sachin Ghatwal

Getting to school on foot is second nature for many kids because they do it every day. 

Gunnar Chester, a third-grader at Rockwell Elementary, has overcome a great deal in his young life, but last week was his first time doing something like that.

At the age of ten months, Gunnar underwent his first amputation. At the age of 14 months, he took his first steps. 

He’s had 20 operations since then to get his legs ready for a prosthesis. 

Fibular hemimelia, in which one or both of the tibiae (shin bones) are missing, is a hereditary disorder that Gunnar was born with. 

inspiration from a brave 3rd grader

Rachel Chester, his mother, learned the news during a regular scan at the 13-week mark of her pregnancy. 

Since the beginning of the year, Gunnar has had no less than four surgical procedures in an effort to rid himself of a bone infection.

Prior to today, Gunnar had not walked since May. There is no longer any infection, so he can resume using his artificial legs. 

This week, he walked into elementary school for the first time, accompanied by his parents and counselor.

Some of Gunnar’s physicians have projected that he will need many surgeries and new prosthetics every year until he stops growing.

Despite life’s curveballs, Gunnar continues to be an optimistic young boy. He even does CrossFit! It makes you want to get off the couch, huh? 

Highschooler From Mobile Ranked Top Scorer In The Nation 

highschooler from mobile ranked top scorer in the nation

A Baker High School basketball player has been fielding numerous scholarship offers from universities. 

Even though he’s only a junior, Labaron Philon is the top scorer in the country. Already he has won statewide and national championships.

He first won the state title for best player in Class 7A. As a junior, he’s well on his way to even more success. 

Colleges all around the country have their sights set on him, but he is still concentrating on his senior year in high school. 

At this point, he’s looking at the University of Arkansas, the University of Kansas, the University of South Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, or the University of Alabama.

David Armstrong, Baker’s head coach, claims he has known Philon will succeed since they first met in 2020. Armstrong praised him as a good kid who is dedicated to his studies and his sport.

Even after being featured on ESPN and other big sports networks, Philon manages to keep his modesty. 

What’s one thing he hopes fans notice once the season begins? His team! He claims they have always stood by his side. It looks like this kid has a good head on his shoulders.

Related Reading: Top Colleges in the Mobile AL area

Ambulatory Surgery Center To Be Built In West Mobile 

ambulatory surgery center to be built in west mobile

The West Mobile Campus of USA Health has been approved for the construction of a multispecialty ambulatory surgery center.

This facility opened in March and currently houses the USA Health Freestanding Emergency Department and the USA Health Medical Office Building.

Hillcrest Road, close to the University of South Alabama, has been chosen as the site for the facility, which has been given unanimous approval by the state’s Certificate of Need Review Board. 

The 28,000-square-foot center will have two procedure rooms and six operating rooms, allowing for a wide range of outpatient surgeries across a variety of specialties, including but not limited to:

  • Orthopedics 
  • Otolaryngology 
  • Gynecology 
  • Urology
  • Neurosurgery 
  • Gastroenterology 
  • Pediatric surgery 
  • General surgery 

Stay Healthy Out There 

stay healthy out there

Traveling to see loved ones and hosting several parties are hallmarks of the holiday season. The medical community is encouraging you to be proactive about your health because of this.

This holiday season, we might be free to spend more time with the people we care about, but we are still recovering from the effects of the recent Covivirus 19 outbreak. 

Dr. Kevin Michaels, the county’s health officer, has reported an uptick in flu and covid cases since Thanksgiving.

He thinks a rapid increase is coming but adds it’s too soon to tell. 

Flu, covid, rhinovirus, RSV, and other respiratory infections have been affecting a disproportionate number of county residents younger than 17 during the past six months.

They suggest taking the flu shot and the covid vaccination now in preparation for future trips.

The average vaccine takes around two weeks to begin eliciting a protective immune response in the body, so it’s best to plan ahead!

Phase 2 of The Beach Walking District Is In The Works

phase 2 of the beach walking district is in the works

According to the OBA, the city of Gulf Shores is thinking about granting a contract to Volkert, Inc. for $337,306 to develop phase 2 of its Beach Walking District sidewalk and pedestrian improvement plan. 

Phase 1 featured a new roadway, parking, a sidewalk, landscaping, lighting, and stormwater infrastructure for the four blocks flanking the intersection of Highways 59 and 182. 

These enhancements along East First Avenue between East Second and East Third streets will be carried on in a subsequent phase. 

Volkert’s bid accounts for roughly 13% of the entire cost and features engineering and construction plans, geotechnical services, utility conflict coordination, utility conflict design, and construction engineering and inspection. 

One of the five action objectives in the city’s Vision 2025 Strategic Plan is improving the Beach Walking District. 

The plan’s primary objectives are the creation of charming, planted boulevards, the improvement of pedestrian and bicycle access to the beach, and the promotion of beachfront restaurants, retail, and entertainment.

Related Reading: Check out these top beaches in our area

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