ORLANDO, Fla. – Solutionaries is a bit of a departure from traditional general assignment reporting. It’s a longer form of storytelling centered around solving problems affecting us all, hence the name ‘Solutionaries.’
It’s not a new program. Solutionaries premiered as a digital newscast in 2021 and has covered everything from policing in America to inflation to school safety and climate change.
“We take issues facing all of us here in Central Florida, and perhaps the nation, and we try to find the things that are working to solve the problem. More importantly, we shine a spotlight on what’s working and what could work if it had a bigger push behind it,” News 6 investigative reporter Erik Sandoval said.
Sandoval and fellow News 6 investigative reporter Louis Bolden host the show and dig deep into solution-based stories.
“One of the most memorable stories I’ve worked on recently was the story of Sebastian DeLeon. He contracted the brain-eating amoeba while he was here in Orlando on vacation with his family. He was rushed to AdventHealth and thankfully they knew the questions to ask and they knew what to do,” Sandoval said.
The brain-eating amoeba, Naegleria Fowleri, can kill in just days.
“The only drug available to kill the brain-eating amoeba and save a patient’s life is distributed here in Orlando for the entire nation. We spotlighted the man behind that on South Orange Avenue,” Sandoval said.
DeLeon was one of only four people to survive the brain-eating amoeba after taking the drug.
It was the collaboration between the drugmaker, doctors and researchers that’s getting results for future patients.
“Because of Sebastian and because of another Central Florida youngster, Jordan Smelski, who died from the brain-eating amoeba, AdventHealth took it upon themselves to find a faster way to test for the brain-eating amoeba because the test as it stands right now takes seven days to get a result. From the time you contract the brain-eating amoeba, seven days will kill you so AdventHealth, because of the COVID-19 test, used that technology to develop a new test to test for the brain-eating amoeba and get results in four hours and that is life-saving time,” Sandoval said.
As for DeLeon, he underwent physical therapy learning how to walk again and is thriving. His recovery brought more awareness to the brain-eating amoeba and helped to create successful treatment plans.
“It was really neat to see the solutions being born and raised here in Central Florida that can save lives all around the world,” Sandoval said.
Solutionaries is not just based in Central Florida, but is made up of journalists from our sister stations across the country as they dive into different problems and uncover solutions from every angle.
Each episode will examine a different topic and showcase the Solutionaries who are dedicating their time and energy to those causes.
We know so many of our News 6 viewers are among the Solutionaries we’d like to feature. If you fit that bill, you can send your ideas to email@example.com for a chance to be featured.
Even if you don’t fall under that description, we’re still hoping to hear from you.
We’ll routinely be asking viewers to weigh in on subjects they’d like to see covered during upcoming episodes and soliciting feedback on those topics.
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