(WTVM) - We’ve got just a little over a day left of 2020 and it’s been a roller coaster of highs and lows (mostly lows) for most of us.
The COVID-19 pandemic slowed time down for most of us, so much so that some stuff that happened this year feels like it was ages ago.
To help us remember all the good things that happened this year, we’re taking a look back at the Top 9 on News Leader 9 as chosen by viewers based on how much you interacted with our stories on social media.
We all know that 2020 has been a rough year, so we’re focusing on the positive. We’ve skipped over anything negative related to the pandemic or the election.
Without further ado, here are the 2020 Top 9 on News Leader 9.
WTVM anchor Barbara Gauthier’s sister is healthcare worker battling COVID-19 on the front lines. And like millions of people across the globe, Deborah contracted the virus. Deborah spent weeks hospitalized and on a ventilator. Thankfully, Deborah recovered from the deadly virus!
Terrence Flowers is one man who was thrilled to be casting his ballot this November for the first time ever. Flowers says that most felons do get their right to vote back after serving their time in prison. He said that this was a moment ten years in the making for him and is a moment he will never forget.
88-year-old Myrtis Chappell was one of the first patients admitted to East Alabama Medical Center in Lanier with COVID-19. When she arrived, she also tested positive for Flu A and Flu B. In mid-April, Myrtis was discharged from the medical nursing unit amid a hallway of cheers from staff. From there, she began a 20-day physical therapy regimen to regain some strength.
Josiah Robinson graduated from Northside High School this May and is one of just 40 recipients nation-wide of the Jimmy Rane Scholarship, a prestigious scholarship from a foundation started by the Alabama entrepreneur. Robinson planned to use the scholarship to attend Morehouse College and study biology. After graduating from Morehouse, Robinson wants to go to medical school and ultimately be an anesthesiologist at Atlanta Children’s Hospital.
For many high school graduates across the nation, the COVID-19 pandemic took away their ability to participate in a high school graduation ceremony. We wanted to make sure that all these graduates were still able to be recognized in a special way. While not quite allowing them to walk across the stage to get their diploma, we produced virtual graduation ceremonies to honor these graduates.
We all looked for a break from the pandemic, if only for a short time. For one night in July, the parking lot of the Columbus Civic Center transformed into a socially distant drive-in movie theater to help folks get out of their house for a minute. Families across Columbus drove down to the Civic Center to watch ‘Sonic the Hedgehog.’
4-year-old Kailon was vacationing in Panama City Beach in June with his family when he fell into a pool and nearly drowned. That’s when 10-year-old Connor came to Kailon’s rescue and saved him. Kailon spent nearly a week in the hospital, some of which was on a ventilator, before being released and starting a physical therapy program to regain use of fine motor skills.
Jamysa “Hummingbird” Hutchins was minding her own business singing along to one of the songs at a Tyler Perry stage play in Columbus. Somehow, the media mogul heard her voice and singled her out. He recognized her that night, but little did she know that a representative from RCA Records was also in the audience and wanted to change her life. WXTX Fox 54 anchor Roslyn Giles got to surprise Hutchins while she was waiting tables at Olive Garden to let her know that RCA Records wanted to pick her up.
The top story of 2020 is one of the triumph of a young Lee County girl. 4-year-old Vadie Sides and her dog went missing in March. Crews from more than a dozen jurisdictions searched acres and acres for little Vadie and found her 48 hours later. Both Vadie and the dog were safe and sound, and were returned to her mother’s arms.
We did it, y’all. We made it to the end of 2020. Let’s hope that 2021 has just as many and more uplifting stories to bring us.