Review Category : Health

Face Transplant Recipient Receives Warm Welcome at Home

ABC News(SENATOBIA, Miss.) — Pat Hardison, the former volunteer firefighter who received the most extensive face transplant ever performed, was given a hero’s welcome when he returned home Sunday night to Senatobia, Miss.

Hardison, 41, whose face was severely burned in a house fire 14 years ago, was greeted by hundreds of people cheering and holding signs that said “Welcome Home” when he arrived back in town for the first time since having the surgery three months ago.

Nightline has been following Hardison’s story for the past nine months. A surgical team at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, led by renowned reconstructive surgeon Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, performed the surgery in August. The surgery was estimated to cost $1 million and was done pro-bono.

The face transplant surgery was such a risky procedure that Hardison’s doctors warned him that he only had a 50-50 chance of surviving it. But it was a risk he was willing to take for the chance to get his life back and feel normal again.

Watch the full story on Nightline Monday night at 12:35 a.m. ET

In 2001, Hardison was 27 years old when he was on a rescue mission inside a burning home. The ceiling collapsed on top of him and he lost his scalp, ears, eyelids, nose and lips because of severe burns. His entire face was gone.

Over the next decade, Hardison underwent more than 70 surgeries to try to rebuild his mouth, nose and other parts of his face using skin grafts. He even got implants to help anchor prosthetic ears. But without eyelids, Hardison’s doctors told him he would eventually go blind.

In 2012, at the urging of a friend, Hardison sent his medical records to Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, a pioneering reconstructive surgeon who had just completed the most extensive face transplant ever performed at the time. The 2012 surgery, which involved replacing the patient’s face, jaw and tongue, had been a success and Rodriguez was looking for his next patient.

Rodriguez and his team began the process of vetting not just Hardison, but his family, friends and neighbors in Mississippi. Rodriguez wanted to make sure that Hardison fully understood the surgical risks, the physical and psychological recovery, and the possibility that his body could reject the transplant and he could die. He also wanted to make sure Hardison was of good character and would be compliant with his post-surgery responsibilities, including medical appointments and daily medicine intake.

When the evaluations were finished, Rodriguez said he had found the perfect patient.

“Here’s a guy with a huge personality who just wants to get to the solution,” Rodriguez told “Nightline” in a previous interview. “He’s very gung-ho individual, you can see it. It’s his nature and he was ready to sign whatever it took to move this thing along. For patients like that, which we do value, it’s important for us to kind of slow the process down and ensure that they completely understand what they’re getting into.”

It took more than a year before a donor that fit all of the criteria – including having similar skin color and skeletal structure to Hardison – was found. LiveOnNY, the organ procurement non-profit organization that matches organ donors with patients in and around New York City, helped find the donor.

The donor, David Rodebaugh, was an accomplished BMX rider who was living and working in Brooklyn, N.Y., when he hit his head in a bicycle accident and was later declared brain dead. His mother agreed to not only donate her son’s face, but his heart, liver, kidneys, corneas, bone and skin tissue, all of which went to other patients.

The face transplant surgery took 26 hours. Nine days later, Hardison saw himself in the mirror. He had lips, ears, a nose and eyelids for the first time in 14 years.

Three months since the surgery, Hardison is still recovering. While he is still getting used to his new face, Hardison said he hasn’t forgotten about the donor who made it all possible.

“That donor and his family gave me this gift, and I can never thank them enough for giving me something as great as this, something I thought I would never have,” he told Nightline in a previous interview.

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Expert Tips to Keep Happy and Healthy This Holiday Season

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The holidays are upon us, and while they should be a time of great thanks and giving, far too often we’re left feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

“As the business of planning and preparing sets in, it is important that we slow down a tad and take the time to focus on the things that really bring us joy, spending time with people you love, enjoying great meals together and not forgetting to have fun,” said Deborah Heisz, editorial director and co-founder of Live Happy, a lifestyle magazine.

Heisz makes a living of being happy. She shared with ABC News her top tips for staying happy this holiday season.

Be present

“A big part of the holidays for most of us is spending quality time with our families, but being physically in the same room focused on your phone isn’t exactly quality time,” said Heisz. So ask questions, be attentive and give the phone a rest when you’re with friends and family this holiday season.

Be grateful

That goes for gifts you already have…or hate. Heisz said studies have shown that feeling and expressing gratitude can greatly enhance your life satisfaction.

Give and give back

“The holidays are great to celebrate with family and friends, but there are plenty in need during the season, so find ways to give back that involve the whole family such as serving food or collecting presents for those in need,” said Heisz.

Laugh hard

“Finding time to laugh is a great way to relieve stress, but it can also make you feel better and, most important, happy,” said Heisz. “We found many expert medical opinions that say laughter can have dramatic positive impacts on our overall health. Make sure to take a break and watch a funny movie or TV show, or laugh it up with your friends to help lighten your mood.”

Stay connected

“People are social beings, and we need to feel connected to feel good,” she explained. “It is in our DNA to seek out social relationships; studies show that each happy friend you have can increase your probability of being happy by nine percent. Even if you are miles apart from someone who makes you happy, pick up a phone or Skype to show them you still care.”

Stay healthy

“Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to give up on working toward better physical well-being,” said Heisz. “The American Heart Association recommends exercising at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week to experience benefits to your physical health. Plus, you need something to keep off the calories from all the sweet treats.”

Be mindful

“If the holiday stress starts to get overwhelming, take some time and brush up on your mindfulness techniques,” said Heisz. “Breathing exercises can be greatly effective for reducing anxiety and redirecting your focus. Even as little as 10 minutes of meditation can calm you down and clear your mind.”

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How Michael B. Jordan Got His Fit Body for “Creed”

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) — Michael B. Jordan wasn’t alive when the film Rocky took the box office by storm nearly four decades ago, but he says he binge-watched the original and the subsequent five films to prepare for his role in Creed, the seventh film in the series.

Jordan, 28, plays Adonis Creed, the boxer son of Apollo Creed — the heavyweight boxing champion who was a rival, then friend, of Rocky Balboa in four Rocky films.

Jordan talked to ABC News’ Amy Robach about being in the film. Asked whether he felt any pressure during the production of Creed, he replied: “Not a little bit.”

“I had Sylvester Stallone in my corner. And literally took the pressure off of me to not compete and not compare with anything that he did, you know, 40 years ago but to, you know, have your own legacy … and kind of do your own thing,” he said. “So physically I felt the pressure because they did such a great job back, you know, back in the day, Carl Weathers (the actor who played Apollo Creed) and Sly, they were cut to a tee. So me and my trainer, we really wanted to, you know, set the bar pretty high.”

Stallone himself helped Jordan in playing the role.

“He knows, you know, movie boxing better than anybody else,” Jordan said of Stallone. “So if you have to sell a punch or telegraph this or telegraph that. So he really, you know, connected the dots between real boxing and on-screen boxing for me.”

Jordan’s physical training resulted in a sculpted body that earned him a cover on Men’s Fitness magazine. The actor said he was “super proud” of the cover and his physique, and noted that achieving it took an “extreme diet change.”

He added: “I stripped down my diet completely. Grilled chicken, brown rice, broccoli and a lot of water. I worked out two to two three times a day, six days a week. And … if you do that consistently for about 10 months your body will change.”

Creed hits theaters on Wednesday.

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Study: Targeted Ads, Free Tests, Boosted Cancer Screenings

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports an aggressive ad campaign — as well as clinic visits and free screenings — helped boost the Big Apple’s cancer screening rates among groups that had traditionally skipped them.

The periodical Cancer reports New York City’s health officials brought the number of people in various ethnic risk groups for colorectal cancer from 42 percent in 2003 to 69 percent in 2013. In a statement about the results, the campaign “eliminated” the ethnic disparity that traditionally existed regarding tests like colonoscopies.

The American Cancer Society notes that a little more than half of Americans who are recommended to get screened for that deadly cancer actually do.

The findings of the successful city-wide effort may become the basis of targeted campaigns in other cities.

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Your Body: What Is a Didelphic Uterus?

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

You’ve heard of the phrase, “Two heads are better than one.” But what about two cervixes or two uteri?

In a female fetus, the uterus starts out as two small tubes. As the fetus develops, the tubes normally join together to create one hollow, larger organ: Your uterus.

Sometimes, however, the tubes don’t join completely. This condition is called “double uterus” or “uterus didelphis.” Treatment is usually only needed if a double uterus causes symptoms or complications, such as pelvic pain, repeated miscarriages or pre-term labor.

So what are the signs? They include unusual pressure or cramping pain before or during a period, or abnormal bleeding during a period.

If you have signs or symptoms of a double uterus, make an appointment with your gynecologist.

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Review Finds Essential Reforms Needed Before the Next Pandemic

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — What can the world learn from the Ebola outbreak, and what can be done before the next pandemic?

A new report published in The Lancet suggests not much has been done to prepare for a global outbreak since the Ebola outbreak began nearly two years ago.

The Ebola epidemic exposed deep inadequacies in the global systems responsible for protecting the public from infectious disease outbreaks, said the report. In response, the Harvard Global Health Institute and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine convened a committee of 19 experts in global health to come up with ways to help the public in the future.

“We’re closer, but we’re not yet ready for another outbreak of this magnitude,” said David Heymann, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

In the report, the Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola proposed 10 key reforms that would strengthen early detection of outbreaks, accelerate outbreak-relevant research, and enhance the leadership capabilities of the World Health Organization and the United Nations to coordinate rapid responses to outbreaks.

Among the reforms, the committee called for more international research to explore emerging diseases and a dedicated research fund to help prevent diseases that affect the poor.

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UK Setting Up Fund to Fight Malaria

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — The U.K. is setting up a fund to help fight malaria.

Named after Sir Ronald Ross, the Ross Fund will be funded by the U.K. government for £1 billion in partnernship with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, reports BBC.

Ross discovered that malaria was transmitted by mosquitoes in 1902, and became Britain’s first Nobel Prize winner.

According to BBC, the £1 billion will come from the U.K.’s overseas aid budget over the next five years with £115 million used for research into new drugs to treat malaria and other diseases, and £188 million for improving the response to fast-spreading epidemics like Ebola.

World Health Organization reports there were about 214 million malaria cases in 2015 and around 438,000 deaths due to malaria.

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Liberia Confirms Three New Cases of Ebola

Jezperklauzen/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — Just three months after Liberia was declared Ebola free, the World Health Organization (WHO) says three new cases of the deadly disease have been confirmed, reports the BBC.

The three patients displaying symptoms have been isolated and the patients include a ten year old boy. Relatives of the boy, as well as others who may have been in contact, have been taken to a treatment unit, says BBC News.

Since December 2013, more than 11,000 people mostly from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have died of the virus.

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CDC: E Coli Outbreak Linked to Chipotle Restaurants Not Ongoing, Not Spreading

marcnorman/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the multistate outbreak of E. coli linked to food from Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants is not spreading or ongoing.

Data released by the CDC Friday indicated three additional cases of the disease were found in New York, Ohio and California, those cases occurred in mid- to late-October. That timing would place those cases at the same time as the prevalent cases in Washington and Oregon.

Chipotle restaurants believed to be involved in the outbreak were closed near the end of October and food from them was collected for testing. All food has since tested negative for E. coli, leading experts to believe that the contaminant is no longer in the chain’s restaurants.

An investigation into what exactly caused the outbreak remains ongoing. The CDC says it will advise the public of any potential steps that can be taken to protect themselves from E. coli.

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Popular Baby Names Today That Your Mom Has Never Heard Of

julief514/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Names that make your mom go “hmmm” are likely the names of one — or more — of your child’s playmates, according to

The popular baby name site has come up with a list of names that were all but non-existent in 1985, but today all appear in the top 500.

“The list of U.S. Most Popular Names has come to include more ethnically distinct names, words freshly morphed into names, and newly-minted monikers,” said Pamela Redmond Satran, baby naming expert and site founder.

Here are 12 baby names with their 1985 and current-day rankings.



“Aniyah is one of those names that resembles a lot of other names, from Anya to Amaya to Aliyah, but is actually a recent invention. Used for zero babies in 1985, today it stands at Number 226,” Satran said. “Nearly 1,500 baby girls were named Aniyah in the U.S. in 2014, with spelling Aniya given to another 500-plus. The name may be thought of as a contemporary spin on Ann.”


“Isn’t Lyric the words from a song? Sure, Mom, but now it’s also a popular baby name for both genders, ranking Number 271 on the girls’ list and Number 860 on the boys,’” according to Nameberry. In 2014, more than 1,200 girls were named Lyric in the U.S. along with more than 250 boys. In 1985, that count was 10 girls and zero boys.


“If Mom was an astronomer or a history buff, she might have heard this celestial name. Nova, which means new and is the word for a star that increases in brightness, was used from the late 19th century until the 1930s, when it disappeared only to reemerge in 2011,” Satran said. Since then it’s soared all the way to Number 287, used for more than 1,100 baby girls last year. In 1985, that number was 38.


“Many names from South of the Border have become more widely used in the U.S., and this is one of the freshest,” Satran said. Meaning “you will always be loved” in the Aztec language, according to Nameberry, it may also be related to the goddess name Yara, popular in Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking countries. Yaretzi, which didn’t appear at all on the 1985 roster, was given to nearly 900 baby girls in the U.S. last year, placing it at Number 372. It’s Number 58 in Mexico.


Was your mom a fan of Zoe Saldana’s stone-cold killer in the movie Colombiana? We didn’t think so, in which case she probably doesn’t know this newly-popular name inspired by the character, though if she’s an orchid lover she may be familiar with the flower that inspired it. The name Cataleya was given to nearly 700 baby girls in 2014, placing it at Number 461, versus zero in 1985.


“Unless your mom has been watching a lot of Disney Channel lately, she may not recognize this African name, popularized by a character on the show Jessie,’” Satran said. Zuri was used for 660 girls in 2014 and ranked Number 475, but did not appear at all on the 1985 extended roster. The name is Kiswahili for good or beautiful, according to Nameberry.



“To your Mom, Ryker may be the island where they keep prisoners in New York City, but it’s also a very popular baby name, given to more than 2,500 boys last year and ranking at Number 151,” Satran said. In Mom’s baby-naming days, only eight baby boys were named Ryker.


“Unless Mom is a big world soccer fan, she may not have heard of the name Iker, hugely popular thanks to [soccer star] Iker Casillas, who plays for both Portuguese and Spanish teams,” Satran said. The name is Basque for visitation and is pronounced EE-keer. It was given to 1,787 baby boys in the U.S. last year, ranking at Number 215, and zero in 1985.


Tyler and Kyle were both already a top 100 names in the 1980s, inspiring lots of variations, including combo-name Kyler, given to 64 baby boys in 1985. Today, though, that number has exploded, with over 1,200 babies named Kyler in the U.S. last year, ranking the name at Number 288, according to Nameberry. Kyler is a Dutch occupational name that means “archer” — another trendy appellation that may not be on Mom’s scope.


“Jason was a Top 10 name in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but in 1985 Kason had barely been stirred to life, given to only 15 boys that year,” Satran said. Today, that number has soared to nearly 900, with Kason — a hybrid of Jason and Case and Karson, according to Nameberry — ranking at Number 365.


“As a Biblical name, Adriel was used quietly in 1985, when it was given to 42 boys and 14 girls. Today that’s increased to nearly 700 boys and 50 girls, with another 50 baby girls named Adrielle,” Satran said. Adriel ranks Number 433 on the boys’ list. “If Mom was familiar with Adriel from the Bible, she may not have considered the name because of its tragic history, though other once-unseemly Biblical names such as Delilah and Cain are more acceptable now.”


Of course Mom knows Jack, and she’s also familiar with Jackson, and she may even know that Jackson is sometimes styled as Jaxon or Jaxson. But Jaxton? Probably not, given that it doesn’t appear at all on the 1985 extended roster. A hybrid of Jackson and Braxton, Jaxton was given to 640 baby boys last year placing it at Number 457.

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