Review Category : Health

Doctor Accuses Flight Attendant of ‘Blatant Discrimination’ During Emergency

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — Social media users have started the hashtags #WeDoExist and #WhatDoctorsLookLike to support Dr. Tamika Cross, a black doctor from Houston who has accused Delta Air Lines of discrimination.

In a Facebook post that has garnered over 110,000 reactions and more than 40,000 shares in the past week, Cross wrote that a Delta Air Lines flight attendant snubbed her and made “condescending remarks” when she volunteered to help a passenger having a medical emergency.

When Cross raised her hand in response to a call for a physician on board, Cross said that the flight attendant allegedly told her, “oh no sweetie put ur [sic] hand down, we are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don’t have time to talk to you.”

Cross claimed that when she tried to explain that she was indeed a physician, the attendant “bombarded” her with questions, including, “What type of Doctor are you? Where do you work? Why were you in Detroit?”

The flight attendant eventually accepted the help of “another ‘seasoned’ white male” who approached and said he was a physician as well, Cross said.

Cross added that the flight attendant later “came and apologized [to] me several times and offering me skymiles,” but “I kindly refused.”

“I don’t want skymiles in exchange for blatant discrimination,” she said. “Whether this was race, age, gender discrimination, it’s not right. She will not get away with this….and I will still get my skymiles.”

Delta told ABC News in a statement Friday that it was has launched an investigation into the alleged incident.

“We are troubled by any accusations of discrimination and take them very seriously,” Delta said. “The experience Dr. Cross has described is not reflective of Delta’s culture or of the values our employees live out every day.”

The airline continued: “We’ve reached out to Dr. Cross to speak with her directly, talked with our crew members and we’re reaching out to customers who were on board to gather as much information as we can.”

Delta added: “Flight attendants are trained to collect information from medical volunteers offering to assist with an onboard medical emergency. When an individual’s medical identification isn’t available, they’re instructed to ask questions such as where medical training was received or whether an individual has a business card or other documentation and ultimately to use their best judgment.”

The airline also said that three medical professionals identified themselves on the flight in question, but only one was able to produce documentation of medical training — “and that is the doctor who was asked to assist the customer onboard.”

Cross did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for additional comment.

A spokesman for Harris Health System, which operates Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Texas, told ABC News Friday that Cross was a resident at the hospital and deferred additional questions to the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, which is Cross’ official employer.

“Dr. Tamika Cross is a fine resident and we are proud of her accomplishments, dedication to her patients and her willingness to provide help when needed,” Dr. Barbara Stoll, dean of McGovern Medical School, told ABC News in a statement Friday.

“McGovern Medical School, located in the largest medical center in the world and in one of the most diverse cities in the country, honors diversity in our students, trainees, faculty and staff,” Stoll added. “They represent the face of health care now, as well as in the future.”

Meanwhile, scores of people have taken to social media using the hashtags #WeDoExist and #WhatDoctorsLookLike to support Cross and highlight diversity within the medical industry.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Sexual Assault Hotline Calls Up in Wake of Donald Trump Allegations

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — With sexual assault accusations against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump continuing to make headlines, the sexual assault hotline run by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) has seen a spike in calls.

Starting last Saturday, RAINN officials said their live chat helpline saw an increase in use of 33 percent, and in recent days, calls to the telephone hotline have also increased. Currently, call volume to the helpline is about 35 percent higher than it was last Thursday, according to RAINN President Scott Berkowitz.

RAINN said it started to receive more calls and visits to its online helpline after a recording emerged last Friday of Trump making lewd comments about women ahead of a taped “Access Hollywood” appearance in 2005. “A lot of people calling have specifically said that it was the Trump stuff that got them thinking [about calling],” Berkowitz told ABC News.

While not on camera, Trump spoke about his attempt to have sex with a married woman and used graphic language that indicated he felt celebrities can grope women without consequence. Since that recording was first published by The Washington Post on Oct. 7, sexual assault has continued to be a central issue in the campaign in recent days as multiple women have stepped forward to publicly accuse Trump of sexual assault. Trump has denied all of these allegations and instead has highlighted the stories of women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault and sexual harassment. President Clinton has denied the allegations against him.

Berkowitz said in the past RAINN has seen a similar increase in calls after other sexual assault cases made headlines, such as when a Stanford University student was found guilty of sexual assault or when dozens of women made accusations against Bill Cosby, who has denied those allegations.

“We definitely see a spike when there’s a high-profile case going on,” said Berkowitz.

Calls that RAINN receives after these sexual assault stories often include individuals who have not yet reported their assaults or feel they need emotional help.

“The nature of those calls tend to be more emotional support; sometimes they have questions [if] it’s too late to report [an assault],” Berkowitz said.

RAINN warns survivors of sexual assault that consuming media can be difficult if sexual assault is depicted. “Portrayals of sexual violence in movies, television shows, the news, and social media can prompt negative reactions, from flashbacks and anxiety to feelings of sadness or irritability,” the organization advises online.

RAINN’s full list of advice for dealing with sexual assault as depicted in the media can be found here.

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Dying Woman Who Loves Christmas Celebrates Holiday in October

Courtesy of Sarah Conner (CONCORD, N.C.) — A woman with stage 4 cancer was so determined not to miss her favorite winter holiday that she decorated her home for Christmas two months early.

“There’s a good chance, unless the Lord changes his mind, that I won’t make it through Christmas and I love Christmas,” Michelle Fadel of Concord, North Carolina, told ABC News Friday. “I love that everyone is cheery, everyone’s together, everything’s lit up, everything’s pretty and you rarely see grumpy people during Christmas.

“I love being with my kids and grandkids and my husband,” she added. “Spending time together, laughing eating. We play with my grandkids [who] are from 2 to almost 10 and we have a blast together. I love sharing cookies and having the neighbors dropping in and it’s just really fun.”

Fadel, 56, was diagnosed with cancer in August 2010. It has since spread to her bones, lungs and brain.

Doctors suggested she stop chemotherapy and be placed in hospice care.

After hearing the grim prognosis, Fadel decided it was time to get into the holiday spirit early by displaying her wreath, reindeer, lights and nativity set.

Word spread on Fadel’s block and neighbors began hanging their own decorations.

“It may look a little strange this close to Halloween but we hope it makes her happy and we hope she knows we’re thinking about her,” neighbor Tim Hawkins told ABC affiliate WBTV.

Fadel said she was touched by the gesture.

“They saw us putting up decorations and I said, ‘I love Christmas and I’m probably not going to get one this year’ and it didn’t take long until our next door neighbor started putting the lights out and telling people about it,” Fadel said. “We did what we always do, we cried. It was so sweet.”

About 12 houses are decorated for Christmas on her block.

Fadel’s husband Daniel is collecting everyone’s present wishlist and will soon put up a Christmas tree so the couple, their three children and six grandchildren can celebrate the holiday.

“It is painful when they realize the woman who’s dying is me,” Fadel said of her family. “We do have our moments, but I have a choice. I get to enjoy the days I have left, or I’ll be sad. I have a lot of things to be happy about because I know where I’m going. I’m going to heaven, so I’m going to be healed one way or the other. That gives me a lot of joy.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: Are You Active Enough?

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

How much activity are you getting every week? If the answer is not much, you’re not alone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 million Americans 50 and over are inactive beyond the basic movements needed for daily life activities.

The CDC looked at men and women nationwide and found inactivity was higher for women compared with men and significantly increased with age.

Physical activity can delay or prevent many chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia, and reduce the risk of premature death.

Here are some things you can do to get moving and keep moving:

  • Start a friendly competition with friends, family or coworkers.
  • Try a wearable device or check your phone for a more accurate indication of how many steps you’re taking every day.
  • Don’t sit when you can stand.

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Twins Joined at Head Separated After 20-Hour Surgery

WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — Two formerly conjoined twins are recovering after undergoing a lengthy surgery that separated them.

Jadon and Anias McDonald underwent a rare surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City on Thursday that lasted more than 20 hours as doctors carefully separated the boys, according to the hospital’s Facebook page. Anias is still being operated on, while his brother Jadon was sent into recovery a few hours ago, according to a Facebook post by the boys’ mother, Nicole McDonald.

“They’re so perfect, they’re beautiful little boys,” Nicole McDonald told ABC’s New York station WABC-TV.

McDonald posted updates Friday about the boys on Facebook as the operation continued. When Jadon came out of surgery, she wrote that at first she was confused to see two separate beds.

“I actually asked why they rearranged the room because I hadn’t really internalized the idea that there would be 2 beds in here,” she wrote on Facebook.

The operation was so difficult that Dr. James Goodrich, a pediatric neurosurgeon leading the operation at Montefiore, nearly decided to stop the surgery because the boys shared so much brain tissue, McDonald wrote.

“There was a point where Dr Goodrich debated stopping the whole procedure because it was just too risky but an opening presented itself and they went for it and it ended up being the right call,” McDonald wrote on Facebook. She wrote that doctors found the twins shared more brain tissue than previously realized and there was no clear way to separate them.

“I didn’t cry until the surgeon’s left the room,” McDonald wrote. “I was barely able to even utter the words ‘thank you’ because of the pit that still sits heavy in my stomach.”

The twins are joined at the head, meaning they are craniopagus conjoined twins.

Despite being born with a condition that is so rare it affects just 2 percent of conjoined twins, Anais and Jadon are still just like other babies, their mother told WABC.

“My favorite thing is to sit here and hear them talking with each other down the hallway. They talk back and forth,” McDonald told WABC in an earlier interview. “They’re beautiful.”

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Surprise! Presidential Election Is Stressing People Out

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Are you feeling more than your usual level of stress lately? You can blame the presidential election.

According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 52 percent of American adults report the election’s causing them a significant amount of stress.

Full results of the online survey, conducted last August — before the election got really weird — won’t be published until next year, but the APA released election-related data.

APA executive Lynn Bufka said, “We’re seeing that it doesn’t matter whether you’re registered as a Democrat or Republican — U.S. adults say they are experiencing significant stress from the current election.”

And your party affiliation doesn’t matter: “Across party lines, those registered as Democrats and Republicans are statistically equally likely to say the election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress,” says Bufka. However, the numbers show 59 percent of Republicans report increased stress, compared to 55 percent of Democrats.

It’s showing in social media, too: “Election stress becomes exacerbated by arguments, stories, images and video on social media that can heighten concern and frustration, particularly with thousands of comments that can range from factual to hostile or even inflammatory.”

What to do? Tune out. The APA recommends avoiding television and social media, where the 24-hour news cycle focuses on the election, and avoid discussing the election with friends, family members or coworkers.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Penn State Kicker Joey Julius Opens Up About Binge-Eating Disorder

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Joey Julius is a college football sensation whose size, nearly 260 pounds, and oversized prowess as a Penn State kicker make him adored by fans.

Julius recently revealed that what his fans love most about him is what he secretly hated.

“I was always calling myself fat, disgusting, lazy, ugly,” Julius told ABC News’ Paula Faris in an interview that aired today on Good Morning America. “My name is Joey Julius and I have an eating disorder.”

Julius, 21, first opened up about his absence from the Penn State team in an Oct. 3 post on Facebook. He revealed he entered a treatment center for eating disorders in St. Louis in May after noticing an increase in his weight, depression and anxiety.

“My team physicians started to notice not only a change in my overall happiness but also my performance as a normal human being,” Julius wrote.

Julius told Faris he had no idea that he had an eating disorder, or even what an eating disorder was prior to treatment.

“I just said, ‘What’s that?’” Julius recalled. “[I had] no idea.”

Julius specifically suffered from binge eating disorder, when people lose control over their food intake and often eat large amounts of food at one time, even if they’re not hungry and often when they’re alone.

Julius said he believes there are other men struggling with eating disorders who are too ashamed to come forward.

“Because I was one of those guys,” he said.

Julius said his binge eating would involve eating a salad in front of his teammates but then hiding food in his backpack to take to his room to eat alone. He said he would order cheesesteak, French fries and Chinese food and binge eat until he was sick.

“I would have to lay down to the point where I was so sick I couldn’t move and [I would] just, you know, lay there,” he said. “And there were sometimes I would cry.”

Julius returned to Penn State after treatment and is now back on the football field with the Nittany Lions for the 2016 season.

He calls himself “blessed” and said entering treatment made him realize that his binge eating disorder could have killed him.

“After, I think, I got the treatment, that’s when I was like, ‘You know what? If I would have continued down this path, you know, I might not be here right now,’” he said. “And that’s why I’m just blessed.”

Julius also expressed gratitude to his Penn State family for helping him see that he needed treatment.

“I had the people that saw,” he said.

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Children Battling Cancer Across the World Design Colorful Art for NASA Space Suits

NASA(NEW YORK) — Hundreds of children battling cancer from all around the globe are helping design colorful space suits for NASA as part of a project that’s bringing art, healing and science together.

The initiative, called The Space Suit Project, is the brainchild of Ian Cion, director of the Arts in Medicine Program at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital in Houston.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about how we can help build community within the context of the hospital and how we can help our children manage the stresses that come with their intensive treatment,” Cion told ABC News today.

Around this time last year, Cion reached for the stars — almost literally.

“I reached out to NASA,” he said. “So many children are fascinated by the idea of outer space, and I thought it could be really cool for them to design space suits.”

NASA immediately got on board.

The space agency and hospital connected with ILC Dover, the aerospace engineering company that creates NASA’s flight suits, and “the stars just aligned,” Cion said.

Through the collaborative project, two space suits designed by children from MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, located at the University of Texas in Houston, have been completed. One has even been to space, worn by an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS).

Cion, along with retired astronaut Nicole Stott, is on a new mission: to create a space suit designed by young cancer patients from Cologne, Germany; Moscow, Russia; Tokyo, Japan and Montreal, Canada — the cities with space agencies that helped build and support the ISS.

Fittingly, the suit is being called “UNITY,” Stott told ABC News.

“What’s going to be really unique and beautiful about this suit is having the mix of artwork from all the different countries,” she said. “So you could pick up something distinctly Russian or Japanese looking at it up close, but as a whole, all the art just comes together and blends in an amazing way.”

Stott explained that the process to make the suits is pretty simple.

Every participating child gets a piece of canvas and paint, and they can “paint, write and do whatever they want with that canvas,” Stott said. The patches are then brought to ILC Dover engineers and designers, who quilt together all the pieces into a “gorgeous, colorful space suit.”

Though part of the original intention of the project was to inspire kids, Stott said, she’s realized that the kids have been doing more of the inspiring.

“It’s quite the emotional experience to see these kids and their families go through this incredibly difficult thing and yet still have so much strength and positivity,” she said.

Though the “UNITY” space suit will not be going up to outer space, Stott said she and Cion are still aiming for the moon.

“We’ve been thinking a lot about how we can take this project to the next step and next level,” she said. “More of us want to see colorful artwork like this on the space station and as part of space programs. We’d love to rally and get an artist in residence in space. I mean, why not think that way?”

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Middle School Football Team Helps Classmate With Spina Bifida Fulfill Dream of Scoring a Touchdown

ABC News(NEW YORK) — An Arkansas middle school football team recently helped a 10-year-old classmate in a wheelchair fulfill his dream of scoring a touchdown.

Fifth-grader Gabe Mangus from Southside Middle School in Batesville was born with spina bifida, a condition that has prevented him from being able to walk, according to his mother, Jeanne Markowski.

“But he never lets his disability get in the way,” Markowski told ABC News today. “He loves sports, and though he obviously can’t play, he tries to get involved as much as possible and he loves cheering on his teams.”

The 10-year-old’s favorite sport is football, and he regularly attends his middle school team’s practices and games, according to its head coach, Tyson Franks.

“He’s usually always there on the sidelines, cheering on all the boys,” Franks told ABC News today. He added that earlier this year, the boys named Gabe honorary team captain.

But the boys wanted to do even more for Gabe, Franks said. They knew he always wanted to be able to play himself and score a touchdown, and they were determined to make it happen.

“It was all completely the boys’ idea,” Franks said. “They were like, ‘He’s always been here for us and we want to be here for him now.'”

So a few weeks ago, during the team’s last home game, the boys told Gabe that he would be going out into the field.

Gabe was initially scared and hesitant, but the boys had his back.

“They told him, ‘Don’t worry, we got your back! Ready to score a touchdown?'” Franks said. “They pushed him out onto the field and the announcer said, ‘I think something special is about to happen,’ and it sure did.”

The team passed Gabe the football and pushed him down all the way to the end zone. The opposing team even supported the power play by falling over as Gabe and his wheelchair whizzed passed them.

“We’ve gone undefeated this year and have scored quite our share of touchdowns, but no cheer was as loud as the one Gabe got,” Franks said. “The referee even told me he had never seen faces more happy than the one on Gabe and my boys when he scored that touchdown.”

Gabe told ABC affiliate KATV that he was in complete shock.

“It was unbelievable,” he said. “It was the best feeling I’ve had — ever.”

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Locally Transmitted Zika Virus Cases Found in New Area in Florida

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Public health officials in Florida have identified a new area in Miami-Dade County where the Zika virus is being spread by mosquitoes, according to a report by the Florida Department of Health.

In total, five people — three people living in the area and two who either visited or worked in the area — are believed to have been infected from mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus. Officials from the Florida Department of Health reported that the affected area is approximately 1 square mile.

The Zika outbreak has been ongoing in certain regions of the greater Miami area since July. This is the third area to have had local Zika transmission via mosquitoes. Department investigators are now going door-to-door in the affected areas to investigate if there are additional unreported Zika cases. Mosquito control measures are also taking place in order to reduce the population of the Aedes aeygpti mosquito, the species that spreads the Zika virus.

With Hurricane Matthew blowing through much of the state last week, some health experts have expressed concerned that the storm could lead to an increase in the mosquito population that spreads the Zika virus. It’s not clear if the hurricane had any impact on Zika infections, but Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said it was likely that public health officials are concerned about the storm’s effect on Zika infections.

“The hurricane leaving all that standing water and also blowing some mosquitoes around … has clearly created an environment of increased concern in Miami-Dade County,” Schaffner said. “Most of us are watching Zika events in Miami-Dade County … with great interest.”

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