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Overcome doom with wing and prayer

In today's society all we hear by the news media is gloom and doom. Whether it's via the radio, newspaper or television, we've become so accustomed to bad news, we take it as status quo. The only ones that grab the headlines are the politicians, murderers, and thieves.

It's no wonder we've become immune to everything outside our own little world.

All aside, I'd like to share with you something that to me is a true feel good story.

I was sitting at my desk one day last week when my husband, Jeff, called me from his cell phone in a panic. I could barely hear him because of the noise in the background, but I could tell he was very upset. I asked him what was wrong, and he said:

"I was on my way to Augusta just past the Appling-Harlem exit from Thomson. I noticed something pretty big hopping up and down in the middle of the passing lane on I-20. At first from a distance it looked like an injured chicken jumping up and down. With all the interstate traffic flying down the highway I just knew it was going to get hit. The closer I got, I realized it wasn't a chicken at all. It was a wounded red-tailed hawk. Cars were swerving to miss it but no one would stop. I immediately put on my turn signal and stopped about a hundred yards past the bird while looking in my rear view mirror and hoping it wouldn't get hit.

"To my relief I saw it jump through the maze of traffic to safety on the side of the highway. I walked back to where it was. When I approached it, it tried to take off but its wing was broken. The bird was obviously terrified, in shock, and in pain.

"This poor beautiful bird of prey was helpless and surely would die if something wasn't done. I called 911 and they connected me to the Georgia Natural Resources Department office in Columbia County. While talking with the representative there I was told they'd have to call the local hospital authorized to handle what is considered a migratory bird.

Fortunately, the hospital allowed me to bring the bird. I was so relieved, because the only other option was not acceptable to me. I was so absorbed in the moment I gave them the wrong directions as to where I was. After several calls and 45 minutes later, a ranger came and secured the wounded animal and told me I'd have to take the bird to Highland Animal Hospital in Augusta.

"As I was driving there with the bird in a box next to me, I couldn't help but to think that people are so caught up in their own little worlds that nothing phases them anymore. People see a creature in need and don't want to be bothered unless it directly affects them. Have we gotten so insensible that we can't take the time to help one of God's most beautiful creations?"

The whole time my husband was telling me what was going on, I was worried.

He was standing along the interstate caring for the bird till help got there, as cars were flew by. I was on edge till I knew he was safe and on his way to the hospital.

When he finally got there, the technicians and hospital patrons alike were astonished at how magnificent this bird of prey really was. He made it through the night because he was a young healthy bird. The X-ray revealed the bird had a broken wing in three places and his wing and would need surgery.

If successful, he'll be released back into the wild in about four weeks on a "wing and a prayer."

Judy Pagac

Thomson, Ga.

Web posted on Thursday, September 03, 2009

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