Review Category : Health

Retired Police Officer Reunites with Woman He Helped Deliver 52 Years Ago

Courtesy Glenn Ward(MONCTON, New Brunswick) — A young nurse in Edmonton repaid a decades-old kindness act this month. Terri Ward rushed to the bedside of the man who helped deliver her on the side of a road 52 years ago.

As a young cop out for the first time on patrol car duty, Gordon Cameron was trained to keep his eyes open. A car speeding toward the local hospital, however, was not exactly difficult to spot.

The driver, Glenn Ward, told Cameron that his wife was having a baby in the back seat and immediately left for the hospital to get help.

Cameron stayed behind as the woman gave birth to a baby girl. Recalling the incident to CBC News, Cameron remembered: “I opened up the back door and I heard this lady, laying on her back and saying, ‘Don’t just stand there, hand me my baby.'”

After the roadside delivery, both mother and child were admitted to the hospital. But Cameron did not stick around long enough to find out more about them.

Over the next 50 years, he often wondered what had become of the newborn and where she was now. Hoping to find out, Cameron mined the Edmonton Journal archives and searched Canadian phone books. He made contact with the Wards in 2012 and has stayed in touch with them ever since. Still, it was not until two weeks ago that the retired police officer laid eyes on the now-grown woman once more.

Cameron had returned to Moncton, in New Brunswick, to attend the funeral of three Royal Canadian Mountain Police gunned down on duty on June 4. The somber visit took its emotional and physical toll on the 81-year-old. After collapsing in the crowd due to dehydration, he was rushed into an ambulance.

When she heard of the crisis, Terri Ward, 52, did not hesitate.

“I was on a day off, but I went right up,” she said.

She and her parents met Cameron at the hospital and assured him that he was in good hands. They would know. Ward is a nurse at the hospital.

“My wife and I and our daughter were up to see him every day until he left to go home to fly back to Alberta,” says Glenn Ward, 77. “For my daughter, it meant an awful lot. Terri and him hit it right off.”

Cameron has recovered and has since returned to Edmonton, but Glenn Ward is confident that the two will stay in touch. “Maybe she’ll get out West to see him,” muses Ward. “I think she’d like that.”

Despite the alarming circumstances, Terri Ward is grateful for the unexpected quality time together: “He was only supposed to be in town for a little while, but I guess things have a funny way of turning around.”

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Pediatric Cancer Patients Get Special Graduation Ceremony

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A special class of graduates walked across a stage Friday in blue and white caps and gowns. But they didn’t all go to the same high school. They aren’t even from the same state.

They are Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s graduating class of 2014, and they’re made of up of teens who were treated for pediatric cancers and blood disorders. Some of them were treated as babies and some are still undergoing treatment.

“We triumphed over cancer and ever since then have faced life headstrong, striving to make the best of it, knowing that every second counts,” graduating senior Dominick Sarappa said in his speech to the group.

The Manhattan hospital held its eighth annual Pediatric Convocation Friday for 30 patients and their families to celebrate the milestone with the doctors, nurses and life coaches that saved them from their life-threatening illnesses.

Sarappa underwent a bone marrow transplant during his freshman year of high school, and recalled his first meeting with pediatrics medical director Dr. Farid Boulad. Boulad sat on the floor wearing in a green bowtie and rolling a toy car for a 3-year-old, he remembered.

“What followed changed my life, and I carry it to this day. Dr. Boulad, in his struggle to rise from the ground, smiled, saying, ‘The minute you lose touch with your inner child is the minute you lose all hope,’” Sarappa said.

Sarappa graduated as the senior class president of his high school despite starting off his sophomore year feeling like an outsider.

“We have all been given a second chance at life, some of us a third chance or even more, and that’s why we are here today,” he said. “We are here to celebrate our lives and to look forward to the successful futures that each and every one of us will experience.”

The other speaker, Sydney Sims, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma when she was 7 years old, and given only 6 weeks to live. But at Sloan Kettering, she was a “human guinea pig” and became the first patient to receive several treatments that eventually rid her body of cancer. She has been cancer-free for five years.

“Ten years ago, thinking that this day might never come makes the journey so much sweeter and gives my family and I so much more to celebrate,” she said. “We must live every day like it is our last, celebrate the little things, do what makes us happy, and follow our dreams. Class of 2014, there is a big world, so go out and explore it!”

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Miranda Lambert’s Do’s and Don’ts for Weight Loss

Larry Busacca/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Miranda Lambert isn’t about to let all the buzz over her newly toned body go to her head.

“I’m recently a size 6, which I’m proud of, but I’ve been a size 8 all these years, and it didn’t hold me back,” the country superstar told the July issue of Glamour. “My weight yo-yos because I like to live. I’m a Cheetos girl. I won’t give up vodka.”

The 30-year-old singer, who recently celebrated her third wedding anniversary with hubby Blake Shelton, believes size shouldn’t define a person.

“If you’ve got a little muffin top, that doesn’t define you. You have so much more to offer: brains, talent, heart. You can spray-tan and suck in the rest. There’s Spanx for that!” she told Glamour. “And Blake? He doesn’t care if my weight changes as long as I stay the same inside.”

Lambert was equally level-headed about her approach to losing weight, which she did by eating more healthfully and exercising.

“I jog. I work out with my trainer. Or I’ll trick myself: I’ll go horseback riding, or Blake and I will go walking in the woods, and it’s like, Uh-oh, I think I accidentally did some cardio!” she told Glamour. “With food — I don’t like vegetables unless there’s ranch or cheese on ‘em. But I drink juice, so I have one vegetable-packed juice in the morning, and I feel like I’ve done my good thing for the day.”

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Another Drawback of Staring at Computer Screens

iStock/Thinkstock(TOKYO) — The results of a Japanese study on staring at computer screens all day won’t bring a tear to your eye — and that’s the problem.

Dr. Yuichi Uchino, an ophthalmologist at the School of Medicine at Keio University in Tokyo, said all that screen watching affects the production of protein MUC5AC that is designed to keep eyes moist.

When there’s less MUC5AC, it creates a condition similar to dry eye disease, an uncomfortable condition that can disrupt vision. As many as five million Americans over 50 are diagnosed with this condition.

Another downside of dry eyes: it tends to make people less productive at work.

Uchino says certain alterations can help continue normal production of MUC5AC. That includes putting the computer at a lower level so the screen tilts upwards.

Other recommendations include staying out of the direct path of air conditioners and also installing a humidifier at the office.

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Caffeine Triggers Different Reactions in Teens

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — There’s yet another difference scientists have discovered between teenage boys and girls and it has to do with a drug they regularly consume. A legal drug, that is: caffeine.

University of Buffalo researcher Jennifer Temple says that until puberty, caffeine, a regular ingredient in soda and energy drinks, appears to affect boys and girls in about the same way.

However, once their bodies start changing, it also changes the way their metabolism reacts to the stimulant, which can have detrimental side-effects if taken in large quantities.

According to her study of 96 adolescents, Temple says that caffeine had a greater effect on a girl’s heart rate and blood pressure than boys.

It’s believed that these enhanced rates are linked to the phases of a girl’s menstrual cycle, that is, a hormonal factor may be responsible.

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Working Moms Might Be Doing Kids a Favor

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Although many women would love to stay home when their children are infants and toddlers, financial pressures may dictate otherwise. Often, the decision to return to work is made with a certain degree of guilt. Yet, Caitlin McPherran Lombardi of Boston College says that some women might actually be doing their youngsters a favor by trading the kitchen table for an office desk.

In a study of moms who either head back to work beginning from the time their children turn nine months old or choose to remain at home, Lombardi and other researchers discovered that kids of working mothers, particularly in a low-income bracket, do better in kindergarten than kids whose moms don’t get a paid job.

The study, which involved data of 10,000 youngsters from 2001 on, revealed that the differences narrowed in middle-class families when moms worked or stayed at home. Meanwhile, children of moms in upper-income homes who stayed put seemed to do better in kindergarten than when their mothers went to work.

So why did children of lower-income mothers benefit more when their parent had a job? Lombardi’s study credits high-quality childcare that better preps youngsters for the rigors of primary school.

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Working Moms Might Be Doing Kids a Favor

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Although many women would love to stay home when their children are infants and toddlers, financial pressures may dictate otherwise. Often, the decision to return to work is made with a certain degree of guilt. Yet, Caitlin McPherran Lombardi of Boston College says that some women might actually be doing their youngsters a favor by trading the kitchen table for an office desk.

In a study of moms who either head back to work beginning from the time their children turn nine months old or choose to remain at home, Lombardi and other researchers discovered that kids of working mothers, particularly in a low-income bracket, do better in kindergarten than kids whose moms don’t get a paid job.

The study, which involved data of 10,000 youngsters from 2001 on, revealed that the differences narrowed in middle-class families when moms worked or stayed at home. Meanwhile, children of moms in upper-income homes who stayed put seemed to do better in kindergarten than when their mothers went to work.

So why did children of lower-income mothers benefit more when their parent had a job? Lombardi’s study credits high-quality childcare that better preps youngsters for the rigors of primary school.

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Study Indicates High Blood Pressure May Sometimes Be Overtreated

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Lower may not always be better when it comes to blood pressure, as researchers believe that reducing blood pressure below the “normal” range may not provide any additional benefits.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, showed that higher blood pressure had greater risk of heart problems, but that lowering an individual’s blood pressure below 120 millimeters of mercury may not be beneficial. That finding would suggest that patients who have lowered their blood pressure into the normal range — 120 to 139 millimeters of mercury — may not require medication.

Doctors often use medication to try to continuously lower a patient’s blood pressure, believing that lower is better. “It’s turning out that sometimes less is more, in terms of medications to control blood pressure,” Dr. Andrew Freeman, assistant professor of Cardiology at National Jewish Health in Denver, told HealthDay News.

While patients with blood pressure readings above 140 millimeters of mercury did see higher rates of heart attack or stroke, the rate did not decrease when dropped below 120 millimeters of mercury. A large-scale clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health is currently under way, the results of which will test these findings, HealthDay News says.

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Justina Pelletier Spends Father’s Day at Home Amid Custody Battle

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Justina Pelletier, the 16-year-old who has been under psychiatric care and in the custody of child welfare authorities in Massachusetts for more than a year, spent Father’s Day unsupervised at home in Connecticut as her family awaits a court ruling on whether she can come home for good.

Her father, Lou Pelletier, a financial planner and father of four girls from West Hartford, said the 8-hour visit with his sick daughter was “bittersweet.” The teen cried when she was told she had to go back to a state-run residential facility after dinner, he said.

“It’s just cruel in so many ways,” he told ABC News Monday. “For somebody to get a taste of freedom and then to know what hell is like because she is told she had got to leave.”

In May, Justina was moved to the JRI Susan Wayne Center for Excellence in Thompson, Conn., under a plan to eventually reunite with her family, according to the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services.

But recently, according to Pelletier and reported by the Boston Globe, the juvenile court received papers from the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families showing the family was cooperating with the treatment plan and that custody be returned.

Since February 2013, her parents have waged an angry and highly publicized custody battle for their daughter. They say Justina was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease by a top doctor at Tufts Medical Center, and claim her condition has deteriorated for lack of proper medical treatment.

Lou Pelletier said Justina is still paralyzed below the hips and has a tube in her abdomen that flushes her intestinal tract. The teen is confined to a wheelchair and had to be carried into the house for the visit, he said.

“She needs to be an outpatient and at a physical or occupational therapy facility every day,” he said, claiming that Justina currently receives twice-weekly visits from a physical therapist at the Wayne Center, an educational and social services facility funded partially by the state. “It’s just not cutting it.”

David Ball, a spokesman for the Justice Resource Institute, which operates the Wayne Center, said he could not release an update on Justina’s health because of privacy laws.

For the last 16 months, a juvenile court judge has sided with Boston Children’s Hospital, which was treating the teen for somataform disorder, a psychiatric condition that causes a person to experience physical pain for which no known medical explanation can be found.

In March, Suffolk County Court Judge Joseph Johnston gave the state of Massachusetts permanent custody of Justina until the age of 18, issuing a ruling that chastised her parents and accused them of mismanaging the treatment of their teen.

The four-page ruling slammed the family for verbally abusing hospital caregivers by calling them “Nazis” and accusing them of “kidnapping” and “killing” their daughter, according to a copy obtained by ABC News.

The court has since ordered a new plan to have Justina’s former doctor, Mark Korson of Tufts Medical Center, treat her for “persistent and severe somatic symptom disorder,” a condition that acknowledges physical as well as psychiatric illness.

Tufts Medical Center spokeswoman Julie Jette confirmed that Justina was receiving care under Korson, but said “beyond that, we are not discussing her case.”

Lou Pelletier said Boston Children’s Hospital is no longer treating Justina, though some of its experts will consult with the Tufts team.

In May, Justina was moved from a residential facility in Framingham, Mass., to the Wayne Center, under the direction of the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services.

“We are confident that we have found the right pathway for Justina to return home as soon as possible so she can continue her strong recovery in Connecticut,” HHS secretary John Polanowicz wrote in a letter to the Massachusetts House of Representatives obtained by ABC News at the time. “This is an important step forward in an extremely complex situation. We all want Justina to return soon, and this plan provides a road map to make this happen.”

Polanowicz said the teen could return home once her family met certain conditions, which included making weekly visits to the Wayne Center, following the treatment plan outlined by Tufts Medical Center, participating in family therapy and continuing to review her progress with the Department of Children and Families.

Lou Pelletier said Justina should have been home all along, and called DCF’s involvement in her case a “blatant abuse of power” by Boston Children’s Hospital.

“They have permanently crippled my daughter for life,” he said. “This is 16 months of nonsense. I have been yelling it from the mountaintops.”

DCF authorities have not commented on the case, citing confidentiality reasons. Calls and emails to Boston Children’s Hospital were not immediately returned.

Lou Pelletier said his family went to see a Cirque de Soleil performance and had a family barbecue for Father’s Day. He said Justina remains communicative and is “a real fighter.”

He said he has filed a writ of habeas corpus for wrongful imprisonment in Massachusetts Superior Court, which has not yet been answered, and one appeal in the juvenile appellate court. The paperwork that would allow the juvenile court to return Justina to her family now sits with Judge Joseph Johnson, he said.

“Each day this gets dragged on it makes the likelihood of the damages irreparable,” he said of his daughter’s health. “As a father, it’s horrible watching your daughter physically and mentally tortured.”

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Spending Too Much Time Seated May Increase Cancer Risk

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Living the “couch potato” lifestyle typically doesn’t lead to good health, but new research indicates that it may actually increase an individual’s risk of suffering life-threatening diseases, including cancer.

German researchers studied data from about 70,000 patients and found that those who spend excess time, even just two hours, seated each day may see an eight-percent increase in their risk of colon cancer. Those same individuals may be over 20 percent more likely to suffer from lung cancer.

But the health hazards aren’t just from being lazy at home. Researchers say any type of sedentary behavior likely increases an individual’s risk — including those who sit for hours consecutively at work.

People who do spend time sitting may be best served by standing up and walking around, even just a little bit, a couple of times per day. It may help combat the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle.

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