Review Category : Health

Senate health care bill to be revealed Thursday; Spicer doesn’t know if Trump, staff have seen it

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Less than an hour after White House press secretary Sean Spicer admitted that neither President Donald Trump nor his advisers had viewed a draft of Senate Republicans’ health care bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced that it will make its debut on Thursday.

The announcement comes as Democrats, and some Republicans, on Capitol Hill have voiced concerns that the process to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act has been shrouded in secrecy.

“I expect to have a discussion draft on Thursday and we will go to the floor once we have a CBO score, likely next week,” said McConnell Tuesday afternoon.

The majority leader insisted that Americans will have “plenty of time” to review the bill, saying, “We’ve been discussing all the elements of this endlessly for seven years. Everybody pretty well understands it. Everybody will have adequate time to take a look at it. I think this will be about as transparent as it can be.”

Earlier Tuesday, in response to a question at the day’s press briefing, Spicer told reporters that he didn’t know if Trump had seen the bill.

“I know the president has been on the phone extensively with the leader and with key senators so I don’t know if he’s seen the legislation or not,” said Spicer. “I know that they’ve been working extremely hard and the president has been giving his input and his ideas, feedback to them, and he’s very excited about where this thing is headed.”

Pressed whether the president’s advisers had viewed a bill, Spicer again said that he was unaware and added that he himself did not know “where we are in terms of a final plan.”

“I know that they are up there working hand in glove with them,” said Spicer, adding, “I know that the staff has been working very closely with the leader’s staff, with [the Senate Finance Committee] and others, so I don’t want to get ahead of an announcement on Sen. McConnell saying when that final product is done.”

Earlier in the briefing, Spicer expounded upon a CNBC report from earlier Tuesday that Trump told a group of technology CEOs that the health care plan needed to have “more heart.”

“I mean, the president clearly wants a bill that has heart in it,” said Spicer. “He believes that health care is something that is near and dear to so many families and individuals.”

McConnell declined to describe how the Senate bill will have more “heart” than the House bill, saying only that it will “speak for itself” and “be different.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Mom has priceless reaction after she gives birth to a boy, breaking family tradition

Ker-Fox Photography(COLUMBUS, Ga.) — One mom’s epic response to learning she had given birth to a baby boy was captured on camera in the delivery room.

Dara Crouch, 29, of Columbus, Georgia, talked about the candid photos taken during the birth of her baby on April 25. She did not officially know the sex of the baby in advance.

“I look kind of crazy in them, but I think they’re great,” Crouch, 29, told ABC News. “We have something to look back on had we not have a photographer in the room we would’ve never seen that.”

Crouch, now a mom of two, said that she always thought she’d be having a girl.

“The last boy that we know was born on my side of the family is 50 years ago, but quite honestly it has little to do with the shock in the picture,” she added. “I really just thought it was a girl, I really did. We already had a girl and I guess I kind of saw us as ‘girl parents.'”

Neely Ker-Fox, owner of Ker-Fox Photography, snapped the candid moment when Crouch found out she had a boy.

“All of our reactions were genuine that she thought it was a girl,” Ker-Fox told ABC News. “We all saw that very vulnerable moment and we started crying when we heard it was a boy.”

Liam Crouch was born weighing 7 pounds, 15 ounces.

Liam joins big sister Neyland, 3.

Crouch, who is a delivery room nurse, said she is glad she has the pictures to show Liam when he gets older.

“He’ll know how excited we were and how shocked I was,” she added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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‘Don’t judge me’ woman writes in solidarity with moms everywhere

Laura Mazza/Mum on the Run(NEW YORK) — Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on the Facebook page of Laura Mazza, who blogs at Mum on the Run. It has been reprinted here with permission.

Don’t judge me.

If I complain about my children, don’t say I don’t love them.

If I say how perfect they are, don’t tell me I’m too braggy. You don’t see the hours I spend holding and loving them.

If I’m honest about motherhood, don’t say I’m ranting. You didn’t see how many years I couldn’t tell anyone how I felt because I was afraid.

Don’t judge the mother who is formula-feeding. Don’t call her lazy. You don’t know whether she struggled for months on end trying to make it work. You didn’t see her go to lactation consultants, eat lactation cookies. Spend money on lip ties and a pediatrician. You didn’t see her journey.

Don’t judge the mother who breast-feeds in public. You don’t know whether today was the day she finally got the confidence to do it. You don’t know how hard she has worked to keep that breast-feeding going. Don’t belittle the act of a mother feeding her baby.

Don’t judge the mother who tells her kids off in public. You don’t know whether she’s the most patient woman in the world. You don’t know that she is always gentle but today she lost her s— because she’s tired and worn out. Don’t call her a bad parent when you don’t see all she does.

Don’t judge the mother on her phone. You don’t know whether she’s replying to important work emails. Working from her phone, looking up recipes that her kids will eat for dinner or talking to her mom who lives a million miles away.

Don’t judge the mom who works; she’s making a living for her child.

Don’t judge the mom who stays home; she’s doing the job of 20 for no pay.

Don’t judge the single mom. She’s doing fine on her own, and is doing the job of both parents. She left a bad relationship, she stood up for herself, she’s a role model to her children.

Don’t judge the mother eating fast-food with her kids. You don’t know that she’s too exhausted to cook, that she wanted to keep her kids happy and get out of the house for a treat. You don’t know her struggles. She could grow an organic vegetable farm for all you know.

Don’t judge the mother who hasn’t lost her “baby weight.” She’s spent the year healing from birth, mentally and physically. Now isn’t the time for her to give up cake and eat kale.

Every mother has her own story. She has walked down a tough path. You don’t know her challenges, her strengths, her weaknesses … Her life, you don’t know any of it. She judges herself every day, she strives for the best every day, so rather than judging, lend a smile to her, cut up her food when she breast-feeds, warm up the kettle for her formula, reassure her in her struggles and praise her victories. And remember before you criticize, accuse or abuse, you have to walk a mile in her shoes.

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Low Chlorine Levels Prompt School Closings, Boil Water Advisory in Pittsburgh

caristo/iStock/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) — Low levels of chlorine at a single test site prompted the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to issue a boil water advisory for approximately 100,000 customers on Wednesday.

The Pittsburgh Public Schools closed 22 schools and two early childhood centers on Wednesday to “allow the District time to properly cover water fountains, prepare food services and provide bottle water so schools [would be] ready to open on Thursday. Late Wednesday, the school system announced that those schools would indeed open on Feb. 2.

According to the PWSA, there was no evidence of bacteria in the system and no proof that the water is unsafe.

Until the boil water advisory is lifted, operators should not use public water sources — including water fountains and ice machines.

On Wednesday, the PWSA took its Highland Park microfiltration water treatment plant out of service to deal with the low chlorine levels. New chlorination technology was installed and chlorine was added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Texas Daycare’s Note Scolds Parents to ‘Get Off Your Phone’

mangostock/iStock/Thinkstock(HOCKLEY, Texas) — It’s a photo that’s touched a major nerve among parents and been shared more than one million times.

On Jan. 27, Juliana Farris Mazurkewicz posted the below photo to her Facebook page. The Hockley, Texas mom captioned it “Posted at the daycare today!”

Mazurkewicz and her husband, Jason Mazurkewicz, told ABC News the photo was taken at their daughter’s child care center.

“The owner posted the sign on the door,” Juliana Farris Mazurkewicz said. “I was surprised that they would be so bold, but also I liked it. I thought it was on point,” she told ABC News.

Another parent, Coley Sloan Jones, has a step-child at the daycare. She had a similar reaction. “I thought it was a valid reminder to parents to be aware and attentive to their child/children,” she told ABC News. “Sometimes other things can wait, including a phone call.” She said she does think there can be exceptions.

Of the more than 7,000 comments on Mazurkewicz’s post, many were in agreement. But some took issue with the delivery.

“I am appalled that a daycare would post this. I agree fully with the statement, but abhor shaming,” commented Vicki Hagen Michel. “If this kind of shaming is done publicly, I hate to think of what happens to the children in their care.”

Mazurkewicz said she thinks the comments have been equal on both sides of the argument. “There’s a big divide in the comments. Half of the people are saying it’s not the daycare’s business what paying customers do, and the other half are saying that it’s great they are looking after the children’s well-being.”

Some are taking a closer look at their own phone habits, it seems. “There are a few that have said ‘I need to work on this,'” Mazurkewicz said, “which I think is pretty cool.”

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Teen With Epilepsy Wins Super Bowl Tickets After Sharing Her Story on Social Media

BananaStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — A Georgia teen is headed to Super Bowl 51 after a tweet qualified her for a social media contest, where she shared her personal story of living with epilepsy.

Atlanta Falcons fan Skylar Tipton, 15, will be attending Sunday’s game with her father at Houston’s NRG Stadium.

“I’m a Daddy’s girl, that’s one, and two, I’ve never been to a football game besides high school,” Skylar told ABC News. “I’ve never been on a plane…it’s a big opportunity. I’d like [to say] ‘Thank you.'”

Skylar was diagnosed with epilepsy at 14 months old. She has not had a seizure in about two years, her dad Jody Tipton told ABC News.

“But, she take 10 pills a day to control the seizures,” he said. “We’ve heard stories of people growing out of them, so we are hoping that she’ll grow out of them, but that’s a wait-and-see thing.”

“She’s taking drama this year,” Tipton added of Skylar’s interests. “The sports we kind of worry about. She’s gotten too hot before and it’s triggered a seizure. [She has] all A’s now and a 94 [grade] in World History. She’s an A-student.”

Skylar’s mom, Rachel Tipton, follows the Facebook page of the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia (EFGA). Rachel discovered the organization was giving away Super Bowl tickets to a person who had epilepsy or a seizure disorder.

The teen took an interest, but because she’s a minor, her dad was required to enter the contest on her behalf.

On behalf of my daughter Skylar, she would love to tell her story to raise awareness, see TX, & SBLI w/her dad. @EpilepsyGA #GoFalcons

— Jody Tipton (@icecreamman16) January 13, 2017

Skylar qualified for the second round–a social media contest–where EFGA posted the stories of five finalists on Facebook and Instagram. Whoever received the most likes from Jan 19. through Jan. 23 would be the winner.

Skylar was awarded the Super Bowl tickets after receiving the most likes on her post.

“Epilepsy has prevented me from doing a lot of fun stuff and this trip to SBLI would be a dream come true!” she wrote, in part. “Please ‘like’ my post so that I will win! Thanks to you & EFGA!”

The post was liked over 1,600 times.

“The Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia (EFGA) is grateful for this incredible opportunity to send someone from Georgia who is living with epilepsy to Super Bowl LI,” Aly Clift, executive director of EFGA, wrote to ABC News. “As the only health agency in the state serving the 150,000 Georgians living with epilepsy, awareness is crucial for the success of our organization. EFGA is excited for this experience for Skylar and her father, we know it is something they will never forget. We would also like to thank all the finalists in the contest for their amazing efforts to increase awareness.”

After the Super Bowl, Skylar, a freshman at Flowery Branch High, hopes her school will plan a “purple day” to bring attention to epilepsy.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: Getting in Gear for Morning Workouts

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

You plan a workout for the evening but then something comes up — a happy hour, a deadline for work — and there goes your exercise for the day. Sound familiar?

If this keeps happening to you, there’s a logical solution: Try shifting your workout schedule to the morning. But for some, that’s easier said than done.

Here are a few changes you can make to help you become the person who wants to rise and grind:

  • Set a bedtime and try to stick to it.
  • Find something to look forward to — motivation through excitement.
  • Have a morning workout buddy.
  • Think of your workout like brushing your teeth. You know it has to get done.

Getting to the end of a packed day and remembering you already trained hard 12 or more hours earlier is a great feeling.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Donations for New Bath Help Teen with Painful Skin Disorder

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — John Hudson has spent 14 years of his life in agonizing pain because of a rare skin disease, but now he’s thanking the community for a life-changing gift.

John’s cousin posted a video online last week to promote a fundraiser to get John a $6,000 oxygenated bathtub and a new bathroom. The special bath would help his skin heal and be more comfortable for John, who is constantly on painkillers for his skin condition known as epidermolysis bullosa, or EB.

“It’s hard, you know, sometimes my skin rips,” John, from Staten Island, New York, said to ABC affiliate WABC-TV.

The internet raised more than double the $40,000 requested for the bathroom project in just six days.
“Words cannot describe how thankful we are,” John said to WABC-TV.

His mom Faye Dilgen, who is also a marathon runner, said she is running the New York Half Marathon to raise money and to raise awareness for EB.

“John’s bathroom is in the basement, it’s hard to get to, he’s outgrown it, there isn’t enough room for the nurses to maneuver,” she said to WABC-TV. “We’re trying to put the tub against the wall so the nurses can get to three sides of the tub, which right now they can’t do.”

According to WABC-TV, the bath will be installed soon, after contractors build a new bathroom on the first floor of his home.

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New Health Guidelines for Your Heart

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The nation’s top group of heart doctors is offering new guidance on when and how frequently Americans should eat meals and snacks in order to control their weight and preserve or improve their heart health.

Based on a review of dozens of studies, the team of American Heart Association doctors behind the report was able to make a number of suggestions and observations, including:

1) Don’t skip breakfast: Daily breakfast consumption has been linked to better glucose metabolism and insulin levels.

2) Alternate-day fasting and periodic fasting may be effective for weight loss: More evidence is needed to determine whether this weight stays off in the long term.

3) Size of meals doesn’t seem to matter: It doesn’t seem to matter for weight loss or heart health whether you eat a few large meals or several smaller meals throughout the day, as long as the amount of calories remains the same.

The researchers also looked at the impact of meal timing (in other words, what time of the day people ate their meals), but said that this area needs further study.

Overall, the researchers stressed that Americans should adopt a “more intentional” approach to eating that focuses on the timing and frequency of meals and snacks.

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Children and Refugees Who Planned Medical Care in the US Stuck After Trump Executive Order

Jayne Fleming/Reed Smith(NEW YORK) — Refugees and children in need of medical treatment are among the thousands affected after Donald Trump issued an executive order to largely ban travelers from seven majority Muslim nations.

In Jordan, at least 20 refugees from Syria and Iraq with serious medical conditions are waiting to see if they will be allowed in the country, according to their lawyer Jayne Fleming and the Center for Victims of Torture.

Mohammed, 6, is currently undergoing cancer treatment for Ewing sarcoma according to his father, Jihad, and Fleming. The family fled to Jordan from Syria in 2014, after a missile hit their home, Jihad told ABC News through a translator.

Fleming is a pro bono lawyer and head of the human rights team for law firm Reed Smith. The people she currently represents from the affected nations, which she said includes an Iraqi man with hemophilia who has gone untreated for two years and a Syrian family with two nearly-blind children in need of eye surgery, were “in the pipeline” for resettlement in the U.S.

She had been hoping to have the Syrian family, identified by their first names for safety reasons, medically evacuated to the U.S. so that Mohammed could get better treatment and the family would no longer have to worry about how to pay for it.

Jihad has sold his furniture and raised money online to pay for surgery and chemotherapy for his son; he said he had to borrow furniture from a friend.

When the executive order indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. was announced, Jihad said the family felt “very bad.”

“That was a shock,” he told ABC News through a translator. “Even Mohammad was talking about his desire to go to the U.S.”

After Mohammed’s cancer diagnosis, the doctors advised the family to keep the boy out of school, since chemotherapy would weaken his immune system. The family had hoped further treatment would help. “Mohammad is very smart and he was hoping to finish his studies and go to school.”

Another Syrian father told ABC News that he felt he was running out of time before two of his children could go completely blind.

Basheer, who used to work as a mathematics professor in Syria, has five children. Two of his children, Hamzah, 14, and Jinan, 10, are both losing their sight, he said. He said Hamzah retains only two percent of his vision in one of his eyes.

“The medical treatment is very limited and there aren’t many organizations that supports the treatment,” Basheer said.

While Basheer was able to get his children in a school for the blind, he is anxious to get to the U.S. because it is a “democratic country.” He said his son could go fully blind if his condition remains untreated.

“Hamzi, in particular, he won a robot competition and a championship and was invited to speak in competitions abroad but he couldn’t join because of the financial situation,” Basheer said.

Another Syrian child, a 17-year-old named Mustafa, lost part of his jaw and facial bone in a mortar attack on his home when he was just 13, according to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. The Syrian teen lives in Damascus, but Palestine Children’s Relief Fund said they were able to help fund his travel to the U.S. in 2014, where doctors at the Shriner’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas performed reconstructive surgery.

Though the surgery helped him regain some sense of normalcy, he needs further procedures to fully recover, according to officials at the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. The nonprofit organization helps “arrange medical care all over the world for sick and injured children from the Middle East who cannot be adequately treated in their homeland.”

But the plan to bring Mustafa back for further procedures in April has been put on hold as officials try to determine if he will be barred from entering the U.S., according to the organization’s president, Steve Sosebee.

“His speech, his breathing and his eating are all impacted by the terrible injury that he somehow survived,” Sosebee told ABC News. “Further delay means further suffering for a boy who already has suffered enough.”

Sosebee said the indefinite hold has put additional strain on Mustafa’s case because he’s near the usual age limit to receive free care from Shriner’s hospital and it’s not clear if it will remain available should he turn 18 before he is allowed to return to the U.S.

President Trump’s executive order, which he said is aimed at protecting the nation from terrorists, suspends for 90 days immigration to the U.S. from seven countries — Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Libya. It also suspends for 120 days the entry of refugees into the U.S. and indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from coming into the country.

Though the executive order does not appear to include an exception for those in need of medical treatment, on Tuesday the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said waivers would be considered for refugees who were “ready to travel” and who would be put through “undue hardship.”

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