Review Category : Health

Couple That Lost Twin Baby Weds at Bedside of Surviving Infant

WFAA(FORT WORTH, Texas) — A Texas couple coping with the loss of one of their twin babies got married at the bedside of the surviving infant in an emotional hospital ceremony.

Kristi and Justin Nelson said their vows Tuesday at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth next to their 2-month-old son, J.J., who was dressed in a tuxedo onesie and served as the ring bearer.

“We couldn’t leave him out of our wedding,” Kristi Nelson told ABC News Wednesday.

“It was a dream come true,” she added. “I could not have wished for it to be any more perfect. The main thing was having our son there by our side. It meant the world to us.”

She gave birth to J.J. on Sept. 2, but his twin was stillborn. J.J. survived, but was premature and only weighed 1 pound and 13 ounces at birth. J.J. has remained at the hospital’s NICU since birth because his lungs are underdeveloped, but his parents hope they can take him home soon. He’s already tripled in size, his mom said.

“He’s definitely made some improvements and he is a fighter,” she said.

The couple’s family and their 8-year-old daughter joined them for the one-of-a-kind wedding, the first time anyone has married at the hospital, while the rings balanced on J.J.’s chest.

“After losing our baby Colt, J.J.’s twin, we decided that we’ve been putting it off for too long and with him getting stronger, we wanted to share this day and include him in it as well,” Nelson said.

Her wedding dress was donated and the couple borrowed J.J.’s tuxedo onesie from a friend.

The couple says the ordeal has only made them stronger.

“We’ve had great times and we’ve definitely been through some very tragic and hard times,” Nelson said. “Our love has only grown and made us stronger. We know that after all we’ve been through, there’s no doubt that we can make it through anything.”

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For Some, Moderate Drinking Defends Against Coronary Heart Disease

iStock/Thinkstock(GOTHENBURG, Sweden) — A new study out of Sweden has good news and bad news for those who enjoy drinking alcohol in moderation.

Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg say that people can protect themselves from coronary heart disease, which is shrinking of vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart, through moderate alcohol consumption.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it only works for 15 percent of the population, which has a particular genotype, that is, the genetic make-up of cells.

Alone, neither moderate drinking nor the genotype defend against coronary heart disease. The protective effect occurs when the two are combined.

Although the researchers aren’t sure why this happens, they believe it might have to do healthy, protective antioxidants in alcohol.

Moderate drinking is usually defined as one alcoholic beverage per day for women, two for men.

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Hand-Washing Compliance in Hospitals Suffers During Long Shifts

iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) — Infections acquired in hospitals would probably go down significantly if all workers washed their hands religiously.

However, as a study by University of Pennsylvania PhD candidate Hengchen Dai points out, hand washing often falls by the wayside when health care employees work long shifts.

Dai and her team examined the habits of more than 4,500 caregivers at 35 U.S. hospitals over three years and saw that “hand-washing compliance rates” fell by almost nine percent from the start of one’s shift until the end.

What accounted for this drop-off was both physical fatigue from being on one’s feet all day and mental exhaustion from having to make decisions, which affect people’s ability to follow rules exactly as they’re dictated.

In other words, although hospital workers understand the important of frequent hand washing to prevent the spread of infections, they’re often caught up in other pressing demands.

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The Bigger the Age Gap in Marriage, the Greater the Chance of Divorce

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There’s a reason why a lot of May-December marriages don’t work out and data scientist Randy Olson says the answer is pretty simple to explain.

After studying the various make-or-break factors of a marriage, Olson concluded that the more years that separate spouses age-wise, the greater the likelihood these unions won’t last.

In an analysis of 3,000 marriages in the U.S., many of which are now history, Olson found that an age separation of as little as five years translates into an 18 percent greater chance of divorce compared to people of the same age.

If there’s a 20-year gap, the chance of divorce grows as much as 95 percent, says Olson.

He explains that what usually breaks up the marriage are often incompatible differences in life experiences. For instance, someone who grew up in the 80s might find it hard to relate to a person who went through their growing pains during the Internet age.

There is one thing that does seem to help bridge this gap, according to Olson, and that’s having a baby, which reduces the chance of divorce by 76 percent.

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Kids Benefit in School When Moms Finish Their Education

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — In yet another study measuring the effect of putting off marriage and children until you’re ready for it, University of Michigan researchers say that children tend to do better in math and reading if their moms have achieved some degree of educational success.

Lead author Sandra Tang says kids enter kindergarten with a higher level of achievement when their moms are at least 19 or older as opposed to women who are 18 or younger.

What’s more, Tang reports that even if an adolescent mom has other children as she gets older, there are still negative academic consequences for her other kids.

If there is a bright spot in this scenario it’s that youngsters tend do better in school when their teen moms continue their education as compared to those with mothers who dropped out of high school or never went to college.

Yet, these kids still carry a low level of achievement and usually don’t catch up to their peers whose mothers waited until they completed their education before having kids.

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You Won’t Sit Around by Signing an Agreement to Stay Active

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s usually a pretty good idea to put an agreement in writing even if it’s one that involves promising to keep active.

As it happens, signing a contract with your employer that you’ll try to be less sedentary both at work and outside the office has been proven to be more effective than making the same pledge without benefit of a written document.

Finnish researchers discovered this by observing office workers who took part in a two-year program to reduce the amount of sitting they did from 2011 to 2013.

According to the study, workers who signed a contract beforehand cut muscle inactivity by 33 minutes a day and boosted light muscle activity by 21 minutes daily. Their results were substantially better than the control group that never made a written commitment to staying fit.

What’s more, those who signed a pledge were also far less stationary at home during leisure time with family, which included activities like walking or bicycling to the store.

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Julianne Hough Spills Surprising Beauty Secret

Shape Magazine(NEW YORK) — As a dancer, actress and singer, Julianne Hough has to be on, but the way she powers up every morning may surprise you.

“I was raised in a religious family. I’ve done my own thing for the past few years, but recently I started praying again,” the Dancing With the Stars judge, who was raised Mormon in her native Utah, told Shape magazine for its December issue.

“I do it every day. I sit quietly — or actually get on my knees — and then say the things that I’m grateful for out loud. Today I’m grateful for this beautiful morning, for being healthy, and for having my dogs with me,” she continued.

Part of her daily routine is making sure that she starts her day with eight hours of sleep.

“Recently I’ve started forcing myself to go to bed earlier, because if I don’t get enough sleep, I’m miserable. I get cloudy, my eyes hurt, and I have to take a nap,” the 26-year-old said. “But when I’m well-rested, I am rockin’! My favorite way to wake up in the morning is to cuddle with my dogs, Lexi and Haley, for 10 minutes.”

Next up, maintaining her killer body.

“Morning is my favorite time to exercise,” Hough told Shape. “I’ll either see my trainer Astrid [Swan McGuire] or hit a class at Tracy Anderson. I like to shock my body by doing different things. When I was on tour, even though I was dancing two hours a night, I felt I needed more, so I started doing dance moves with ankle or wrist weights on.”

Breakfast is non-negotiable in her morning routine.

“I love making my own breakfast. My favorite dish is an egg-white omelet or a scramble with veggies like asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, and kale. Protein helps me begin my day in a healthy way. It carries me all the way through.”

Before she heads out the door, Hough said she always tries to look her best.

“I’m actually a closeted hair and makeup artist and really enjoy doing it all myself,” she revealed. “If I’m reading for a part, I’ll transform myself into the character. I love the whole process and always tell my agents: ‘Put me in the room — I’ll audition for anything.’ That’s my motto.”

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Julianne Hough Spills Surprising Beauty Secret

Shape Magazine(NEW YORK) — As a dancer, actress and singer, Julianne Hough has to be on, but the way she powers up every morning may surprise you.

“I was raised in a religious family. I’ve done my own thing for the past few years, but recently I started praying again,” the Dancing With the Stars judge, who was raised Mormon in her native Utah, told Shape magazine for its December issue.

“I do it every day. I sit quietly — or actually get on my knees — and then say the things that I’m grateful for out loud. Today I’m grateful for this beautiful morning, for being healthy, and for having my dogs with me,” she continued.

Part of her daily routine is making sure that she starts her day with eight hours of sleep.

“Recently I’ve started forcing myself to go to bed earlier, because if I don’t get enough sleep, I’m miserable. I get cloudy, my eyes hurt, and I have to take a nap,” the 26-year-old said. “But when I’m well-rested, I am rockin’! My favorite way to wake up in the morning is to cuddle with my dogs, Lexi and Haley, for 10 minutes.”

Next up, maintaining her killer body.

“Morning is my favorite time to exercise,” Hough told Shape. “I’ll either see my trainer Astrid [Swan McGuire] or hit a class at Tracy Anderson. I like to shock my body by doing different things. When I was on tour, even though I was dancing two hours a night, I felt I needed more, so I started doing dance moves with ankle or wrist weights on.”

Breakfast is non-negotiable in her morning routine.

“I love making my own breakfast. My favorite dish is an egg-white omelet or a scramble with veggies like asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, and kale. Protein helps me begin my day in a healthy way. It carries me all the way through.”

Before she heads out the door, Hough said she always tries to look her best.

“I’m actually a closeted hair and makeup artist and really enjoy doing it all myself,” she revealed. “If I’m reading for a part, I’ll transform myself into the character. I love the whole process and always tell my agents: ‘Put me in the room — I’ll audition for anything.’ That’s my motto.”

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Facebook Plea Gets Liver Transplant for 3-Year-Old

Donya McCoy(ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa.) — Michael Thompson and Donya McCoy weren’t particularly good friends in high school, but when Thompson saw McCoy’s Facebook plea for a liver donor to save her ailing 3-year-old, it didn’t matter.

On Tuesday, he donated 25 percent of his liver to McCoy’s daughter.

“One of the greatest things I will probably do in my life, give more life to another human,” Thompson wrote on his Facebook page in October. “Thank you, Donya McCoy, for letting me. And thanks to Kiersten Thompson for supporting me and being by my side.”

McCoy said it wasn’t until her daughter Kennedy was 8 months old that her medical mystery began. That was when the little girl had her first and only seizure, prompting doctors near where McCoy lives in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, to do an MRI.

“He came out to talk to us and told us the white matter in her brain looked like nothing he’d ever seen before,” McCoy said.

Doctors soon learned that one of Kennedy’s amino acid levels was off the charts, but they didn’t know why. McCoy said she took Kennedy to several doctors, but no one could figure out how to cure her. Turning the case down, a doctor told McCoy only one person could help Kennedy: a retired 86-year-old metabolic specialist named Dr. S. Harvey Mudd.

Mudd, who used to work at the National Institutes of Health, came out of retirement for Kennedy and diagnosed her three weeks later with a rare metabolic disorder called S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase deficiency. It’s so rare that only eight people have ever been diagnosed with it, and only six of them are still alive today, McCoy said.

The enzyme deficiency prevents Kennedy from processing protein normally, leading to a buildup of other toxic substances in her system and causing degenerative neurological effects over time, said Dr. George Mazariegos, chief of pediatric transplantation at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where Kennedy’s transplant occurred Tuesday.

Mudd changed her diet, McCoy said, but she’d need more treatment to keep her condition from worsening.

Mudd died 11 months later. At his memorial, McCoy asked Dr. Kevin Strauss, medical director of the Clinic for Special Children, to take over as Kennedy’s doctor. He agreed.

“He made her a priority and within a month, he figured out that a liver transplant was her best shot at survival,” McCoy said. “So she’s the first in the world to have a liver transplant for her disease.”

Although Kennedy was placed on the transplant waiting list for a deceased donor, Mazariegos said the liver allocation algorithm would keep her from getting placed high on the list because the algorithm wasn’t designed with her rare deficiency in mind. Even though the deficiency is concentrated in Kennedy’s liver tissue, the liver would be considered healthy by the waiting list standards, he said.

They would need a living donor — and one who wasn’t related to them because the condition appears to be inherited. Even carrying one recessive gene for the condition could be a problem.

McCoy realized that her best chance at finding a liver donor was to reach out through Facebook, so she typed out a message and hoped for the best.

“A guy I went to high school with messaged me and said, ‘I have O positive blood,'” she said. It was Thompson, and he was a match.

The transplant surgery took place at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and lasted 8 hours with four surgeons, two anesthesiologists and two nurses.

Kennedy will spend a few months in the hospital, but she’s “tough,” McCoy said. Afterward, the hope is that Kennedy can resume a normal diet.

And Kennedy’s 4-year-old sister Mia is excited for her to get well, too.

“She is so proud to be Kennedy’s big sister,” McCoy said. “She tells people, ‘They’re gonna fix my sister and then I’m gonna give her peanut butter cups.”

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Bret Michaels Had Kidney Surgery; Hospitalized 6 Times in 2 Weeks

Andrew Toth/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) — Bret Michaels’ health has taken an unfortunate turn.

The singer recently had kidney surgery and has been hospitalized six times in two weeks, his longtime guitarist and friend Pete Evick revealed on Facebook and Michaels’ website.

“Over the last two weeks Bret was in and out of 6 hospitals throughout the Midwest. Including the incredible Mercy Hospital of Northwest Arkansas. The staff and doctors were unbelievable and took incredible care of Bret,” Evick wrote. “Bret continues to be steadfast in his dedication to bring the music to the people. He truly has to be held down to not perform.”

Michaels, 51, had two stents put in his body in the past week, Evick explained. Shortly after the procedure, in spite of his team and doctors’ requests, he insisted on performing. After the show, he was hospitalized briefly again, and then made his way to his next performance.

“This time it went real bad. During the show he gave 100 percent, but he hurt himself. Jumping around with two stents was a bad idea. I can’t explain the amount of blood or where it came from, but it was horrifying on his bus after the show,” Evick wrote.

“Bret was again taken to a hospital and this time given medication that would keep him down. The doctors basically refused to release him. Causing us to postpone the charity event once again. Bret was truly devastated. It’s actually honorable to me that he always brings up the concern for the fans first before addressing his condition.”

This is not the first time Michaels has had health issues. The rocker, who has Type 1 diabetes, had an emergency appendectomy in 2010, shortly after which he suffered a suffered a hemorrhage at the base of his brain stem. In spite of those setbacks, he has always tried to get on stage for his fans as quickly as possible, and this time is no different.

“While the last few weeks have been tragic, Bret continues to be an inspiration in his ability to push on. He’s still not 100 percent, but there are no plans to postpone or reschedule any more shows this year,” Evick wrote. “While he was in dire pain, he still played an amazing show to an enormous crowd in Vegas a few days ago. We will see you guys this weekend in Florida.”

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