Categotry Archives: Misc.

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Jean Coyle

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Categories: Misc.

Jean Coyle, a hospital patient who survived a potentially lethal drugging by serial killer Efren Saldivar, died on Dec. 13 of respiratory distress. She was 65.
Before she became ill, Coyle lived a quiet life, working as a housekeeper and raising four children on her own. She was the only victim known to have survived the “Angel of Death,” a former respiratory therapist currently serving a life sentence in prison.
Coyle was hospitalized with severe emphysema in 1997 and placed under Saldivar’s care. In the middle of the night, he injected her with succinylcholine chloride, a paralyzing drug that respiratory therapists would never be authorized to use. She was revived by another nurse after a “code blue” emergency was declared.
“I gave her, I think, a half dose. Something in me just held back,” Saldivar said during questioning by police.
Saldivar was sentenced in 2002 after pleading guilty to six counts of murder and one of attempted murder. He claims to have killed as many as 50 patients during his years at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center in Glendale, Calif. — in order to reduce his workload.
Yesterday, Saldivar settled a wrongful death lawsuit, and was ordered to pay $20 million to the families of Coyle, Salbi Asatryan, Myrtle Brower and Balbino Castro.

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Keiko

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Categories: Misc.

keiko.jpgKeiko, the killer whale who starred in the “Free Willy” movies, died on Dec. 12 from pneumonia. He was 27.

Born in the Atlantic Ocean near Iceland, the whale whose name means “Lucky One” in Japanese, was captured in 1979 and held in an Icelandic aquarium. He was sold twice, first to Marineland in Ontario where he became a performing animal, then to Reino Aventura, an amusement park in Mexico City. Because his tank was too small, the 6-ton, 35-foot-long mammal suffered.

In 1993, he starred in the first of three “Free Willy” movies, which became box office hits and gave the whale’s plight international attention. The project to rehabilitate Keiko at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, then reintegrate him with a pod of wild killer whales, cost more than $20 million.

After being airlifted to Iceland, Keiko was released in 2002. Instead of joining his own kind, however, Keiko swam 870 miles in search of human companionship. He found it near the village of Halsa, Norway. There Keiko allowed fans to pet and play with him until animal protection authorities imposed a ban on the practice.

Keiko’s Vocal Dialect

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Snowflake

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Categories: Misc.

snowflake.jpg Copito de Nieve (a.k.a. Snowflake), an extremely rare albino gorilla, was euthanized on Nov. 24 after his health deteriorated from skin cancer. He was between 38 and 40 years old.
The gorilla was found in the central African country of Equatorial Guinea in 1966. He spent the past 37 years at the Barcelona Zoo, where he fathered 22 offspring with three different females. None were born albino.
The most popular resident of the zoo, Snowflake was once featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine. City officials may soon erect a statue at the zoo to commemorate him.

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Sharon Capeling-Alakija

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Categories: Misc.

scapeling.jpgSharon Capeling-Alakija, the executive coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers program, died on Nov. 4 from cancer. She was 59.
Born in Canada, Capeling-Alakija earned a degree in education from the University of Saskatchewan, then joined the Canadian University Service Overseas, a volunteer organization that provides technical assistance to governments and educational institutions. She spent 20 years with the CUSO, teaching and fundraising in the Caribbean, Tanzania and Togo.
From 1989 to 1994, Capeling-Alakija served as the director for the U.N. Development Fund for Women. She spent three years as the head of the U.N.’s Office of Evaluation and Strategic Planning in New York before she was promoted to executive coordinator of the U.N. Volunteers program.
“Ms. Capeling-Alakija was a deeply committed and creative leader of United Nations Volunteers, which promotes volunteerism, sends some 5,000 United Nations Volunteers into the field every year and is often described as the ‘human face’ of United Nations development efforts,” stated U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.
The staff at the U.N. in Bonn planted a red maple tree in her memory.

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John Graves

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Categories: Education, Misc.

John Cowperthwaite Graves, an educator and philanthropist, died on Oct. 13 from an apparent embolism that developed after he donated blood. He was 65.
Born and raised in New York, Graves received his doctorate from Princeton University. He was teaching philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he revealed his homosexuality to his students. Once he “came out,” Graves founded the Gay Academic Union of New England and became a psychotherapist at the Homophile Community Health Service in Boston.
After retiring to Fort Lauderdale in 1990, Graves became an active humanitarian. He donated $100,000 to the Gay & Lesbian Community Center, and gave $303,000 to the Metropolitan Community Church’s Sunshine Cathedral, which in turn, named a building after him.
Graves was the first openly gay man to receive the Outstanding Philanthropist Award from The Association of Fundraising Professionals. Next month, he was to have been honored with a humanitarian award from The Miami Herald during the Gay & Lesbian Foundation of South Florida dinner.
His autobiography, “Many Roads Traveled,” was self-published in 2000.

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