Review Category : Health

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.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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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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Emotional Bond Between Elderly Woman and Newly Adopted Dog Caught on Camera

The Humane Society of Western Montana(MISSOULA, Mont.) — Jerri McCutcheon may have been the one to adopt her new little Chihuahua named Minnie, but make no mistake, she’ll tell you that Minnie is the one who rescued her.

“She brings back that presence in my home I didn’t recognize was gone,” McCutcheon, 73, told ABC News of Minnie, a teacup Chihuahua weighing only 3.9 pounds. “Now the house doesn’t feel as empty. I haven’t had anyone to talk to. It was a void and she has filled that.”

McCutcheon had another dog — a Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix named Bandi — for 11 years before it died last May.

“I swore that I wouldn’t have another dog,” she said. “I just thought, ‘I can’t do this anymore at age 73. I just can’t go through that.’”

But her granddaughter Breanna Meuchel could tell McCutcheon just wasn’t the same since losing Bandi.

“She’d say, ‘Nana, you look so sad. I think you need another puppy,’” McCutcheon recalled.

Meuchel knew she needed another dog, and she couldn’t have been more right.

“Back even before Christmas, I started looking at all of the humane societies to try to find her one for Christmas. My theory is, adopt, don’t shop. But I never really found anything. It wasn’t until I looked at the Missoula humane society and found Minnie. The very next day I went up to meet her. Shortly after, I had my grandma go up and look at her.”

Instantly, it was a match made in heaven. The staff at the Humane Society of Western Montana in Missoula snapped these heartwarming photos of their emotional first meeting which quickly went viral after sharing them on their Facebook page.

“This little girl is starved for love and I’ve got it to give,” McCutcheon said of her new pup, who is estimated to be about 10 years old. “When I take them, I take them for life. She’s probably the most loving dog, and I’ve had several. We’re going through some learning processes but that’s what makes it work.”

Minnie has only been living with McCutcheon for a week now, but she’s already made herself right at home.

“She’s just skipping around,” said McCutcheon. And she’s claimed the couch. It used to be mine, but it’s hers now.”

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Roe v. Wade: How Trump’s Appointment of a Supreme Court Justice Might Affect Abortion Rights

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump plans to announce this evening his pick to fill the vacancy left on the Supreme Court by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February of last year.

Trump, whose position on abortion rights has shifted over time, told CBS News’ 60 Minutes in November that he is “pro-life” and would appoint individuals who hold the same position to the nation’s highest court. He said of the landmark abortion rights decision, Roe v. Wade, “If it ever were overturned, it would go back to the states.”

While the replacement of Scalia with another conservative justice is unlikely to realign the Supreme Court in such a way that Roe v. Wade could be threatened, the replacement of additional justices could have major consequences, according to Kate Shaw, an ABC News contributor and a Cardozo School of Law professor. We asked Shaw to help explain how this might work, and she responded via email.

What is Roe v. Wade, and what did it do?

Kate Shaw: In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court held that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy. At the time Roe was decided, 1973, many states criminalized abortion, and Roe struck all of those criminal statutes down. Following the decision, states weren’t able to prohibit abortion outright, but they do have the power to regulate it.

What can states do to regulate abortion?

KS: Roe held that while the Constitution protects a woman’s right to decide for herself whether to continue with a pregnancy, states also have a strong interest in regulating abortion, both to protect women’s health and to promote potential life.

The court balanced these competing interests using a trimester framework, holding that during the first trimester of pregnancy, the abortion decision is in the hands of a woman and her doctor. During the second trimester, the state can regulate abortion in ways that are reasonably related to women’s health. And in the third trimester, the state’s interest in potential life is strong enough to allow states to prohibit abortion outright, except where necessary to preserve a woman’s life or health.

In a 1992 case called Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the court abandoned the trimester framework and held that states have a valid regulatory interest for the duration of a pregnancy. But it also held that prior to viability, states may regulate abortion only so long as the regulations do not impose an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to choose. Under this ruling, states have regulated abortion in a range of ways, from requiring counseling about the availability of adoption to mandating waiting periods to regulating facilities that perform abortions. Earlier this year, in a case out of Texas, the Supreme Court made clear that where states act to regulate abortion facilities, those regulations must be grounded in objective medical standards.

Let’s assume Trump appoints a person ideologically in line with Scalia. What will be the court’s ideological makeup at that point?

KS: Justice Scalia was a strong opponent of both the Roe and Casey decisions. A jurist who shares Scalia’s views in this area would maintain the status quo, which is four strong votes in favor of Roe, four justices who don’t believe the Constitution protects the right to abortion, and Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has voted with either blocs when it comes to abortion (though it’s significant that his most recent vote in an abortion case was with the court’s liberals). So statutes like the Texas clinic regulation, which Kennedy joined the liberals in striking down, would remain invalid.

Let’s assume liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and swing vote Kennedy retire, leaving open two slots, and then Trump appoints two more conservative justices. How would the court be able to overturn Roe v. Wade?

KS: There are a couple of ways this could happen. First, a state could pass either an outright abortion ban or an extremely restrictive abortion regulation, either of which could set up a test case in which the Supreme Court would be invited to overrule Roe.

It could also happen more gradually, and I think that’s more likely, as the court tends to prefer to act incrementally. The court could uphold a series of abortion regulations, gradually weakening the foundations of the Roe and Casey rulings and then finally overruling those cases.

But — and this is a big “but” — there is no absolute guarantee that Roe would be overruled, even with three or more Trump appointees. It’s at least possible that the court would decide to adhere to Roe on the grounds that, as Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1932, “In most matters it is more important that the applicable rule of law be settled than that it be settled right.” Even a conservative court could decide it would simply be too disruptive to overrule this long-settled precedent on such a divisive social issue. That’s essentially what happened in Casey, when everyone thought Roe would be overruled but it wasn’t.

Would a ruling against Roe have immediate nationwide impact?

KS: A decision overruling Roe would allow states to ban abortion, but wouldn’t require them to do so. And the big question would be which states would do that. A number of states have laws on the books that would essentially ban abortion immediately if Roe is overruled. Other states would likely move quickly to pass such laws. In all, over half of the states would likely eliminate or severely restrict access to abortion inside their borders if Roe is overruled.

In addition to what happens in the states, it’s conceivable that Congress could attempt to ban abortion nationwide. Without any constitutional guarantee of a right to abortion, the main constraints on Congress would be political, not legal.

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Your Body: Fish Oil May Reduce Asthma in Kids

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

Health experts have long been preaching the virtues of fish oils. Now, a new study out of Denmark shows that taking fish oil — especially during the last three months of pregnancy — might help ward off asthma and wheezing in kids.

The study’s authors found that in the children of the mothers who took the fish oil pill, there was a statistically significant decrease in the risk of persistent wheezing, asthma and lower respiratory tract infections.

Though the supplement industry is booming, I recommend getting most nutrients from the actual food source whenever possible. If you don’t like fish or do choose a supplement, remember purity can be inconsistent between various brands.

And if the burping is a problem, try putting your fish oil in the fridge — it might help.

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Student Showered with Compliments After She Courageously Admits to Low Self-Esteem

Valencia Clay(BALTIMORE) — A viral video out of a Baltimore city classroom is reminding us just how important it is for young girls to hear compliments about themselves.

Eighth grade student Janiyah courageously told her classmates last week how she often felt she wasn’t pretty because of her dark skin. Janiyah asked ABC News not to print her last name.

“I was always the black ugly girl,” the 13-year-old told other students at Southwest Baltimore Charter School. “Just because I’m dark skinned I’m not pretty? I’m not. I always thought I wasn’t.”

Immediately, other students in the classroom began telling Janiyah that “she is pretty!”

That’s when teacher Valencia Clay jumped in and told the students to give the student “10 seconds of compliments.” And they poured in, causing Janiyah to cry with joy.

Even Clay chimed in, saying, “I love your voice. I love your brilliance. I love your creativity. I love when you sing. I love how caring you are.”

Clay posted the heartwarming video on her personal Instagram account, where it was later shared on Facebook. More than 119,000 Facebook users have watched the video.

Clay, who has been teaching for nine years and even started a non-profit organization called The Flourishing Blossoms to mentor girls, told ABC News that the conversation stemmed from the students’ morning meeting where they talk about life skills.

Now the students had been tasked with giving and receiving compliments after many students revealed how hard it was to do.

After Janiyah courageously revealed her insecurity, it was an “aha moment” for the class, Clay noted.

“Like, [giving compliments] really does work and we have to uplift each other,” she continued. “It was powerful.”

Clay said Janiyah has been pleased with all the positive comments on social media about the video.

“She said, ‘Those comments were everything, Ms. Clay,'” Clay recalled. “I’m so grateful for everybody that took a moment out of the day to comment.”

According to Clay, now Janiyah wants to “do something to…help other girls who used to feel like her.”

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Pakistani Teen Who Lost a Leg in Earthquake Now a Skiing Competitor

Randy Williams/ABC News(WINTER PARK, Colo.) — It has been a long ride to the top of Winter Park Ski Resort in Colorado for Insha Afsar. But even on just one ski, it’s a quick trip down.

“I’m a person that likes going fast, doing everything fast. I just like speed,” said Afsar.

The 16-year-old girl from Pakistan lost her leg in 2005 when her school crumbled during a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that took the lives of 80,000 people and displaced three million others in the Kashmir region.

She first traveled to the United States six months after the quake to be fitted with a prosthetic leg at Shriners Hospital in Springfield, Massachussetts, after TIME magazine photographed her and she caught the attention of one of its editors.

During a subsequent medical visit, Ted and Rebecca Bent of Washington, Connecticut, offered to house her and send her to school. As she acclimated to life on the East Coast, her newfound friends invited her to go skiing.

“The skiing took and who would have imagined,” said Ted Bent.

She is now one of the top skiers from Pakistan and hopes to represent the country in the upcoming 2018 Paralympics in South Korea. To practice, she participates in programs hosted by the National Sports Center for the Disabled.

“For my family it’s kind of shocking because they don’t understand what [skiing] is in a way,” said Afsar. “We don’t have skiing in Pakistan so it’s hard for them to process the idea.”

She also knows that relatively few women from the region participate in such sports.

“It’s not common for women to be athletes [in Pakistan]. Now I’m doing a sport that I love. That might inspire people despite everything that’s holding them back,” said Afsar.

Afsar is currently on a student visa that extends through the end of high school. She said that the highlight of her life was “being given this chance to come to the U.S.”

With changing immigration laws, she is among a shrinking number able to make the 8,000 mile journey from the Middle East to the Rocky Mountains.

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Medical and Science Community Could Take a Blow from Trump’s Immigration Order

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Several members of the science and medical communities are warning that Donald Trump’s executive order to largely ban travelers from seven majority Muslim nations will likely wreak havoc on universities, students and professors in the coming weeks, as well as the U.S. medical field, which relies on international doctors to fill significant gaps.

The Association of American Medical Colleges released a statement saying they are “deeply concerned” about the order’s effects.

“The United States is facing a serious shortage of physicians,” the AAMC said in the statement. “International graduates play an important role in U.S. health care, representing roughly 25 percent of the workforce.”

One medical resident based in Brooklyn has been unable to return home from a trip to see family in Sudan, according to officials at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. It was the first time in two years he went home, according to LaRay Brown, President/CEO of the medical center.

Brown said Dr. Kamal Fadlalla told him that he tried to board a plane back to the U.S., but was turned away.

“We are committed to him,” Brown told ABC News. “We want him back.”

Brown said they want to hold Fadlalla’s residency spot, but that it will likely create hardship on other physicians who pick up his cases while he remains stuck in Sudan.

Medical students also face disruption. In scientific fields, doctoral and post-doctoral students often spend years working on lab research before applying for competitive professorships at various institutions. The key months for interviews in those positions are January and February. Medical students who apply to residency in the fall are matched with an institution in March. Now institutions must consider whether or not to admit those applicants who no longer have valid visas to enter the U.S.

The current executive order could mean students, who have spent years in the U.S., face diminished chances of acceptance.

Joshua Plotkin, Professor of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, said one post-doctoral student in his lab was stranded abroad in Europe when the executive order was implemented and could risk missing key interviews in the coming weeks. Plotkin said the student wished to remain anonymous at this point.

“They are separated from their home and spouse and their job and what’s really heartbreaking for me, they have several faculty job interviews,” Plotkin explained.

He said these interviews are the result of years of research and study.

“The issue is the faculty jobs in science are so competitive and rare,” Plotkin explained. “The same person trying to get in next year is very likely to have completely different outcome.”

Plotkin said that the student, who was born in Tehran and educated in Europe, is married to a U.S. citizen and holds a green card. While a waiver will reportedly allow green card holders to enter the U.S., Plotkin said lawyers have advised the student to wait until they have more guidance and can be assured the student would not be sent to Iran if they showed up at a U.S. border office.

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.

The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates said they are “in the process of evaluating the potential impacts of this order.”

Many in the scientific community point out that the ban could mean losing highly educated students who may have spent years at U.S. institutions, which devoted resources to their work.

Jen Golbeck, Ph.D and associate professor of Computer Science at University of Maryland, started an online database to connect people stranded abroad with others willing to help. She said knows of one Florida student from Iran, who was stranded in England after his student visa was no longer valid in the U.S.

“The impact it’s going to have on academics in the U.S. is chilling,” Golbeck said. “It’s been a scientific leader for decades not because we’re smarter, but because we draw best minds to universities.”

She and others have been trying to find another lab potentially willing to help the student, who has decided to remain anonymous, continue his research in the event he can no longer come back to the U.S.

Hazhir Rahmandad, an associate professor of System Dynamics at M.I.T., said the ban could affect the scientific communities in profound ways in years to come.

“A lot of people going for Ph.D. programs and graduate admission,” Rahmandad said, “are very likely not be able to come to U.S., even if we admitted them.”

“Going forward we would not hear from many of these applicants,” he said.

Rahmandad said he has one student affected by the ban, who is unable to leave and whose family will likely be unable to visit if the ban remains in place.

“We are losing a lot of talent and potential collaborators, who cannot work with us because they cannot join our team or come to conferences here, and we can’t retain talent,” he added.

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Your Body: Symptoms of Heart Attack in Women

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

When it comes to cardiac incidents, research overwhelmingly shows that men and women actually experience the effects differently.

The common symptoms of a heart attack in women can be flu-like. Basically, if you’re a woman and you’re feeling anything unusual from your jaw to your belly button, cardiac issues have to be considered.

Here’s what you need to know: Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men in the United States. The good news is that 80 percent of heart disease is preventable by knowing your risk factors and numbers — like blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and body mass index.

Know your family history and the warning signs. For more information, go to the American Heart Association website.

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