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tv   Nightline  ABC  September 4, 2015 12:37am-1:08am EDT

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this is "nightline." >> tonight, it's a crisis of epic proportions. >> it's a wakeup call. has to be a wakeup call for the whole world. >> now now symbol it'sed by a toddler drowned on his family's risky attempt to flee the carnage of war. the gut-wrenching story behind the picture. just one of thousands who died at sea trying to find a better life in europe. she was just like the rest of us until a freak accident turned her into a medical marvel. and now we're getting a peek inside the mind of an accidental genius. what it's like to suddenly see sounds, hear colors, and view the world through mathematical equations. and don't try this at home. how far would you go for the perfect body? tonight why "twilight" star
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kellen lutz is turning workouts into quite the cliff hanger. but first the "nightline 5." >> if you're suffering from constipation or irregularity powders may take days to work. true dulcalax, provides gentle overnight relief. designs for dependable relief. when pain goes deep, i use salonpas, deep relieving gel. this powerful gel rushes three pain fighters deep into my muscles. it's fast-melting, quick-absorbing, penetrating deep relief. salonpas. powerful relief when and where you need it. >> number one in just 60
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good evening. grief and outrage tonight over a humanitarian crisis of biblical proportions. the photographs, impossible to
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unsee. that image of a toddler drowned trying to reach a better life. and the story behind it just one of thousands who have died at sea as smugglers ferry those desperate for the refuge of europe. here's abc's chief foreign correspondent terry moran. >> reporter: it's become the image of the refugee crisis in europe. the disturbing photo of a lifeless syrian boy washed up on a turkish beach. now we know his name. allan kurdy, 3 years old, he drowned. along with his mother, 5-year-old brother, and at least ten other refugees. abdullah kurdy, father and husband, the lone survivor, still in shock today. "everything is gone." the family, syrian kurds from near kobani. the town was nearly levelled in a battle with isis this year. so they fled to turkey, paying smugglers their more than $5,000 to help them cross to a greek island in a 15-foot rubber boat. they came to this beach.
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abc was there this week when another refugee group waded through the surf piling into the flimsy dinghy, children lifted in, heading into the waves by flashlight. today abdullah kurdy remembered how he desperately held one boy in each arm when the boat went over, keeping their heads above water. but they tired. so did his wife. and he lost them all. at the morgue today, identifying the bodies, he says -- "my kids were the most beautiful children in the world." >> i can't even imagine any father or any mother, their kids to die in their arms. >> reporter: abdullah's sister teema had been waiting by the phone in vancouver, canada. she tried to bring the family there earlier this year. >> it's a wakeup call. my proceed said to me, it's my kids. it has to be a wakeup call for the whole world. he said to me, my message too
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the world, help those people crossing that water. i don't want any family to drown anywhere. i don't want to see it. >> reporter: the kurdy family are among the hundreds of thousands from the middle east and africa who have been fleeing their battle-worn and poverty-stricken countries. the biggest mass migration in europe since world war ii. they come through turkey, then to greece, macedonia, and serbia in the balkans, into hungary, finally austria, germany, and the rest of europe. at least 350,000 refugees and high grants have illegally entered europe just so far this year. that's nearly triple the number all last year. and many have perished along the way. more than 3,000 migrant deaths so far this year. even for those who survive and make it to europe, the crushing realization that they are not welcome. countries buckling under the influx. chaos in hungary. the budapest train station, men and women squeezing through windows, others pushing,
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pulling, climbing their way into train cars. >> too many people in the train. children and girls, little families. >> reporter: many more stranded on the platform for hours on end. no help comes. thousands of refugees fighting to board, hoping to get to germany. >> most of the people say that this train is going to germany. so therefore we can't use this train. >> reporter: the train stops at a hungarian village an hour later. desperate families wrestling with police, ordered by european law to process them to refugee camps. many refusing to go. this couple curled up with their toddler on the train tracks as police struggle to pull them off. hundreds remain aboard this train car which they believed was headed to the austrian border, only to be stopped short on their long road to a better life. in izmir, turkey.
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10-month-old fahad and his family are waiting to cross to greece. the same perilous journey that shattered allan kurdy's family. they're syrian. mom, dad, brother and two sisters. mohammad was a career military man in syria. a steady job. and a nice house too, he tells us. have you ever felt that you want to give up? "that's it," she remembers of a particularly bad time. "we were going to go back." she is 29 years old. here in turkey, many refugees head to the same place. it's where you can find the smugglers, the middlemen, the gangsters who can get you across to greece. the smugglers here are charging $1,100 for adults, half price for kids. that's a life savings for many. the risks in these open boats are unspeakable. local merchants are profiting on
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the desperation. >> this is a life preserver? it looks like a toy. it says "this is not a life-saving device." this is for a little child. >> reporter: the store owner didn't want us around after that. this year, more than 2,300 migrants from across the middle east and africa have drowned in the mediterranean trying to get to europe. >> you can't stand up. miserable conditions. >> reporter: in june my abc colleague alex marquardt saw firsthand how squalid and dangerous this passage is, joining a search and rescue operation off the coast of libya. >> we're here to help you! how many people are you on the boat? 500? 560? and kids? >> hey, hey, hey, sit down! >> every square inch filled with people. they tell us there are 300 more down below. >> reporter: for families headed to greece from turkey, the boats are usually small. the dangers just as great. we're taking the easy way to greece. we're on a ferry. that is turkey over there. eight miles across the water is
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the island in greece. the channel on a summer's evening looks calm but it can be treacherous. and that is where the syrian refugees are desperate to get to. we land on the greek island of helos. just down the road from the docks, there they are. mohammad and his family. they made it. "i thought i was going to die," mohammad tells me. their cell phone videos show how packed that rubber boat was. the fear on the children's faces. the seas got very rough later. the boat was so rough on the seas that all of your bags and all of your belongings went into the water? "everything," he says. they're exhausted. no place to go. but they're in greece. together. and on their way to germany, if they can make it there. back in turkey, a different father, the father of allan and galib, harbored the same dream of a better life for them.
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but his journey is now over. "all i want to do is sit by the graves of my wife and children," he says. for "nightline," i'm terry moran. >> our thanks to terry moran for his ongoing coverage of the migrant crisis. up next, what's it like to become brilliant practically overnight in the mind-blowing story of a genius who started out just like the rest of us. "twilight" star kellen lutz pushing the physical limits of his body and gravity.
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i sure had a lot on my mind when i got out of the hospital after a dvt blood clot. what about my family? my li'l buddy? and what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital but i wondered if this was the right treatment for me. then my doctor told me about eliquis. eliquis treats dvt and pe blood clots and reduces the risk of them happening again. not only does eliquis treat dvt and pe blood clots, but eliquis also had significantly less major bleeding than the standard treatment. knowing eliquis had both... turned around my thinking. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness.
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while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily... and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis treats dvt & pe blood clots. plus had less major bleeding. both made switching to eliquis right for me. ask your doctor if it's right for you.
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you're about to meet a woman who is truly one of a kind. that's because an accident that happen killed her turned her otherwise ordinary mind into an extraordinary one. abc's neal karlinsky finds out what it feels like to have all your senses scrambled in a nearly superhuman brain. >> probabilities and disabilities. >> reporter: lee ursig is unlike anyone you'll probably ever meet. buckle up for a ride like none other into the mind of an accidental genius.
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>> you have a 2, a linear line of what-ifs in some theorietheo >> reporter: she's also an artist. >> what is the deepest -- >> reporter: a poet. >> within my memories i walk to the fourth of my mind. still i see nothing. >> reporter: and the way she sees the world is unlike anything you can imagine. and it all happened because of an accident, making her the only known woman in the world with something called acquired savant syndrome. described as vastly enhanced cognitive ability in areas such as art and math. and acquired savant syndrome when is you're not born with it, like lee. >> we're at split rock ranch. >> reporter: it was on this ranch in northwestern colorado, a place she no longer remembers, where her life changed forever. in 2009, lee, the ranch manager, who could care less about mathematical formulas, was feeding chickens. >> where was it? >> down there. >> reporter: she fell into the ravine, suffering catastrophic spine and brain injuries. >> i don't know what type of
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fall it was but it must have been pretty dramatic. >> do you remember being here at all? >> no, not really. i just -- you know, i remember them saying, "lee, keep breathing." >> you do remember that? >> i remember it was a sheriff. and he said, "lee, keep breathing." >> reporter: doctors were unsure she'd ever walk again. after treating her initial brain trauma she seemed to be making full recovery and no one noticed it was her brain that suffered the most severe damage. but in a very unique way. lee had no memory of her old life when she was a multi-sport athlete who loved animals, not math or art. her childhood, gone. her mother, a total stranger. lee relies on her best friend since fifth grade, amber, to help her understand who she used to be. >> here's jackie. >> jackie is my mother. >> are you guys close? >> i don't know. >> reporter: she was initially misdiagnosed with bipolar
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disorder, in part because she lost the ability to feel emotion. what doctors describe as flat affect. >> lee was a total extrovert. she just -- very confident. i just know that she's different now. it's not a bad different. it's just who she is now. >> reporter: in addition to her savant syndrome, she also acquired synesthesia, a mixing of senses. listen to lee try to explain it. >> if i turn on your music you're seeing colors? >> right. >> if i ask you to look at nature, you said you're hearing or seeing sound? so you hear images and you see sound? >> right. >> boy, that's hard to fathom. i'm going to turn it up. then i want to know what colors you hear. ready? here we go. ♪ >> black, blue.
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orange. then yellow. >> black, blue, orange, yell hoe. >> yeah. >> reporter: now she has a home filled with mathematical equations and art. her interpretations of how she sees the world. >> what's running through your mind when you're doing this? >> all dimensions of the house. >> the dimensions of this house? >> yes. this is what it represents. occupancy of a triangle, of a linear line, a circulation. >> help me understand that. >> okay. >> you see things differently than we do. >> yes. >> so i see just sort of a plain room with a couple of windows. there's some stairs. >> those are the stairs. stairs are concepts, theories, divine. >> reporter: a birth of strange new talents left lee lonely at times and desperate to understand what's happened to her. and if what she is seeing in her mind is real. so along with her childhood friend amber, she made the journey to the university of miami where neuroscientist brit bro
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brogard scanned and tested her brain. >> you want some objective evidence that what she's experiencing is real. >> reporter: after the first test, it started to become clear how differently she sees the world. details are everything. check this out. can you see a difference between these two images? lee can do it in a snap. we started to understand why she draws things the way she does. if you ask most people to draw a house or a car, they'll start with the outline and then fill in the days like the windows, doors, and wheels. but lee, she starts with those details. the windows, the doors, the wheels, and then builds out. >> that's an example of how she's attending to details before she's attending to the whole. >> reporter: and remember how lee says she hears colors and sees sounds? the doctor says that's real too. >> about half of the letters of the alphabet and half of the
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numbers, she has specific colors associated with them. >> it's kind of a heavy question. do you think the person you were is the person you were supposed to be? or is the person you are now really who you are? >> i don't know. i -- i can't remember, or i don't remember, the last person. >> reporter: but lee has embraced her new identity and her new view of the world as colors and numbers. a beautiful mind she is just beginning to understand. i'm neal karlinsky for "nightline" in maybell, colorado. up next, he plays a vampire in the "twilight" series. maybe that's why the super-fit kellen lutz seems to be pushing supernatural boundaries in real life. but that hasn't stopped me from modeling. my doctor told me about stelara® it helps keep my skin clearer. with only 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses... ...stelara® helps me be in season. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections
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wow. this thank you .ectacular. we worked with a designer from havertys for a complete refresh. you muste happy to get out of that tiny house? yeah you know when we realized how great the furniture could be, we knew we wanted more space. how much more space? we went from a hundred square feet to... three thousand! (whispers) three thousand! we still have the original strucre. she uses it as a yoga studio. it's more like a tool shed.
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finally, a "twilight" actor joining the ranks of a growing breed of adrenaline junkies going viral on social media. seemingly willing to do just about anything for a jaw-dropping stunt. those daredevil antics will definitely get you noticed. but are they word the risk? from those herculean biceps to the washboard abs gracing "men's health." it's no secret that hollywood hunk kellen lutz is ripped. the model and actor showing off that muscle on this australian cliff, posting heart-stopping photos to instagram, "i did 20 push-ups and 20 pull uls but don't try this workout at home." >> hit the bulls eye. >> reporter: lutz is no stranger to intense stunts, hosting the extreme challenge competition show "bulls eye" on fox.
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>> get ready. take aim. it's going to be really close. this is "bull's-eye." >> reporter: adrenaline junkies pushing the limits of gravity and common sense more than ever. just last month, thrill-seeker toby seger, featured in the documentary "store super tramps," pulling on of this stunt on a norwegian cliff. 2,300 feet in the air. does your mother know you're doing this? >> sorry, mom. >> reporter: just months ago dear definitely james kingston became the first person to stand on top of the wembley arch, 425 feet above london. he tries to explain. his death-defying drive, "don't look down" documentary. >> in ways i am attracted to fear. i think it's that mental challenge. that constant desire to get out of your comfort zone and become someone you didn't think you could be.
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>> reporter: which may be why these russian risk-takers bypassed security to scale china's tallest tower. and these b.a.s.e. jumpers taking the plunge from the top of dubai's princess tower. lutz and other adventurers around the globe risking it all for that perfect shot. talk about risky business. thanks for watch abc news. tune into "good morning america" tomorrow. and as always, we're online 24/7 on our "nightline" facebook page and abcnews.com. good night, america.
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hey. hi, robert. look, i don't know if you got me anything for my birthday yet, but-- well, i was gonna buy you a hat, but every time i told them your head size they'd hang up on me. terrific. no. all i want this year is the peace of mind of knowing that you and yours are secure in yo own home.
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what? you are looking at the newesest sales p for castledoor home security systems. i'm gonna be moonlighting a few hours a week. really? yeah. i thought i'd try to bring home a little extra cash. oh, well, that's great, robert. castledoor-- that's the ad with the... the king slammin' the gate on the masked robber? yeah. ng safe-n-sound. so, i, uh, couldn't help but noticing that, uh, you guys don't currently have a home security system. ( groans ) all right.t. here we go. ( clears throat ) in today's world, it is a sad fact that most local law enforcement can't seem to respond to an emergency as quickly as one would hope... sometimes...not at all.

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