Original reporting and interviews by Ashley R. Williams
On July 2, 2014, Jordan lost his battle with primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), an illness he contracted during a swim in a freshwater pool in Costa Rica, where he was infected with Naegleria fowleri, commonly known as the brain-eating amoeba. Now, five years after Jordan’s tragic death, the unexpected loss remains difficult to cope with for his parents, who were devastated by the loss of their only child. “We went from having a child who was 11-and-a-half, graduating elementary school and getting ready to go to middle school, and now, we’re empty nesters,” Jordan's father, Steve Smelski said. “We’ve missed out on the high school years, college years, graduation, seeing him have a girlfriend or learning to drive.”
An Effingham County preteen has conquered COVID-19 amid her second battle with a rare form of cancer. “If I beat COVID-19, then I can beat cancer,” 11-year-old Nevaeh Williams told WSAV NOW. “I can beat anything that comes my way.”
A recent report reveals some positive news in the battle against drug addiction taking place in many communities across the country and here, in our own backyard. In July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released provisional data that revealed opioid overdoses are down in Florida and Georgia for the first time in more than two decades.
“It was a very terrifying experience.” Jacquelyn Visscher told News 3 that not knowing what would happen to her newborn son, Carter, after he was born early at 27 weeks and five days worried her family.
Carter spent about seven weeks being cared for in Memorial Health’s neonatal intensive care unit. “He had a very low birth weight, he was one pound, 15 ounces,” Visscher told News 3 as she held her baby boy.
When Krista Canfield McNish hiked up to Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit with her friends, she was already aware of most of the trek’s potential dangers. However, the threat that impacted McNish on the hike was one that she didn’t expect.
We’ve discovered the long-sought secret to a healthy, lengthy and fulfilling life. The key to longevity? Positive thinking. That’s if you ask Jacksonville University Chancellor Emerita Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne, an active resident at Jacksonville’s Fleet Landing Retirement Community who still leads talks and lectures, even early into her centennial years.