2021 In Review: The Year’s “Jersey-est” Your HHRS News Awards

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MAN OF THE YEAR: Tarik Khan, Philadelphia. Rather than let unused Covid vaccines expire at the end of his shift at the Family Practice and Counseling Network, nurse practicioner Khan rounds out his day by doubling as a visiting nurse, giving the vaccines to Phildelphia’s most vulnerable elderly and disabled shut-in patients. Look, ma — no politics!

WOMAN OF THE YEAR: Nancy Tulko, Lodi. On June 13, Nancy was the subject of a benefit to help with the expenses of her heart condition. She was issued a heart monitor vest, and when its data was analyzed, Nancy was informed that on 3:06 AM on June 30 — barely two weeks after the benefit — she would have died had she not been wearing it. She stepped up by publicly confessing that she would remove the vest when it felt uncomfortable, and warned of the dangers of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). She has since had a cardioverter defibrillator implanted.

HONORARY JERSEY GUY HONORS: Davyon Johnson, Oklahoma. Davon, who is the nephew of an emergency medical technician, had an unusually busy day: he successfully performed the Heimlich manuouver on someone choking on a bottle cap — and that very evening, he escorted a disabled woman struggling to get off her front porch because her house had caught fire. By the way, did we mention that Davon is only 11 years old?

HONORARY JERSEY GAL HONORS: Courtney “Miss Miami” Barnes, Florida. Barnes built a career of sorts on modeling the results of illegal cosmetic procedures that ballooned her hips to nearly five feet around. She is now looking at $20,000 worth of reconstructive surgery and has written a book about her body dysmorphic disorder (BDD): “Now I realize it could cost me my life, and that’s why I wanted to bring the awareness to other women.”

COUPLE OF THE YEAR: The Dewey Twins. The mother of Rebecca and Isabella Dewey began noticing lapses in their development: Rebecca had suffered a stroke before birth. Isabella has been a partner in her sister’s physical therapy sessions at the local Children’s Specialized Hospital since they were four months old, and twelve years later, they have teamed up to help with the hospital’s fundraising efforts!

MOST WELCOME TREND: Fighting The War On Drugs In The Streets. In Elizabeth, the site of a drug bust was turned into a hub providing addiction resources from Operation Helping Hand 24/7/365. A court order has allowed Atlantic City’s South Jersey AIDS Alliance to continue operating its Oasis Drop-In Center. And pandemic restrictions haven’t stopped Paterson’s Opioid Response Team from setting up shop in drug traffic areas weekly.

LEAST WELCOME TREND: The Latest Round Online Video Challenges. Licking public toilets. Consuming nutmeg for a high. Trying to stand up while someone is standing on your back. And last but not least, creating and attempting to climb a staircase made entirely of milk crates — so dumb that even TikTok banned it.

DISS-HONORABLE MENTION: Charles Boas, Bayonne. This chiropractor has been indicted on 261 counts of second-degree health care claims fraud. Bad enough, but he’s not a first offender: He pleaded guilty to $13,000 worth of insurance fraud in 2012.

HONORABLE MENTION: Carl Raymond Garrison, Delaware County PA. Every other month, Garrson has traveled to his local American Legion Post in Springfield to donate blood. He’d be happy to do it a little more often, but he’s ninety-five years old!

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