Two loggerheads get a new lease on life - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Two loggerheads get a new lease on life

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(John Gaddy/WCIV) (John Gaddy/WCIV)

By Justin Peterson
jpeterson@abcnews4.com 

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCIV) -- Around a year ago, things were not looking good for sea turtles Jammer and Hamlin.

Sea Turtle Rescue Program Manager, Kelly Thorvalson says they were both found stranded on the Isle of Palms in critical condition.

After months of treatment at the South Carolina Aquarium, the two were released back into the ocean just in time for Endangered Species Day.

"It's amazing how they can overcome these illness and injuries that really put them on death's doors," Thorvalson said. "I would call these two today miraculous recoveries, but as a threatened and endangered species ... every turtle counts."

Thorvalson explained Jammer was treated at the sea turtle hospital for more than a year after suffering from debilitated turtle syndrome. Hamlin was at the hospital for just under a year being treated for a skin disease.

"It takes a lot of supportive care to bring a turtle like that back," Thorvalson said. "As a non-profit organization we can't do this without the support of our local community. We are just thrilled to have crowds like this out today and the support that we have."

Medical expenses for the turtles reached more than $26,000 dollars, with an average cost of $34 dollars per day.

But Thorvalson says seeing the turtles released back into the ocean makes all hard work worth it.

"Completely elated, my heart swells. I mean it's so amazing to send them out," Thorvalson said. "A lot of folks may think it is sad to see them go, but this is the day we are all looking forward to, so this is what it is all about."

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