Matthew Cavanah / Colmbia Tribune via AP
Ruth Payton, 82, of Macon, in red, watches Watson, a 5-year-old American bald eagle, take flight in Long Branch State Park in Macon, Mo. Payton, who is terminally ill with hemolytic anemia — a disease that prematurely destroys red blood cells — said she had always wanted to see a bald eagle. Her hospice worker, Randi Petre, contacted the University of Missouri's Raptor Rehabilitation Project, which arranged for Payton to come see Watson be released back into the wild. The eagle was brought to MU's Raptor Rehabilitation Project last month after being found in Randolph County with severe lead poisoning, likely the result of ingesting contaminated fish or deer.