Review Category : Health

Sherri Papini Will ‘Have to Find a New Normal’ After Abduction, Elizabeth Smart Says

ABC News(SALT LAKE CITY) — Sherri Papini’s astonishing and emotional story of being found on Thanksgiving morning on the side of the road after authorities say she was kidnapped and tormented for three weeks is one that kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart can identify with.

Smart, now 29-years-old, married and an advocate for victims of abuse, was just 14 when she was abducted from her Salt Lake City home and held captive for nine months. Weighing in on Papini’s ordeal, she told ABC News that the California mom will have to create a whole new sense of normal for herself in order to heal.

“It’s really important for people to realize that when a victim comes back, whatever they did, they did to survive,” she said.

Smart explained what kept her going during her own ordeal.

“I found my one thing that I could hold onto no matter what that my captors couldn’t take away or change, was my family,” she said. “And I imagine the same would be true for Sherri. I would imagine that she held onto them. She survived for them.”

Longtime victims’ advocate John Walsh, the former host of “America’s Most Wanted” and co-founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, also weighed in on the case and the road to recovery.

“It’s a desensitizing, mind-breaking experience,” he said. “People have to be patient. Be patient with these victims because they’ve been through hell.”

Smart had some additional advice.

“I would suggest to Sherri to focus on herself, focus on her family, focus on healing,” she said. “You never go back to normal. You have to find a new normal.”

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Maksim Chmerkovskiy Says He And Peta Murgatroyd Got ‘Kicked Out’ of Lamaze Class

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Maksim Chmerkovskiy recently admitted that he and his fiancée are — in some ways at least — not doing too well preparing for the arrival of their first child.

The Dancing with the Stars professional dancer said Saturday in a video posted to Instagram that he and Peta Murgatroyd “got kicked out” of a Lamaze class “because Peta was misbehaving and not listening to anything.”

“This baby’s gonna be a disaster,” Chmerkovskiy quipped.

Lamaze is a childbirth practice, and classes are offered around the U.S. to expecting parents.

In a caption for the hilarious video, Chmerkovskiy, 36, added that “Lamaz[e] class went…interesting.”

“@PetaMurgatroyd was the worst student in class, but I don’t blame her cause it was a million hours long and we’ve been shown waaaaaaaay too much stuff!” he continued. “My hair is indicative of the ‘stuff’ we’ve witnessed.”

Chmerkovskiy and Murgatroyd, 30, got engaged on Dec. 5 and announced they were expecting their first child, a baby boy, six months later.

Murgatroyd told People magazine back in June that the pregnancy shouldn’t affect their planned wedding.

“I’ll have the baby in January and then I’ll still have about six months to prepare for the wedding,” she said then.

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Texas Woman Delivers Baby While on the Phone with Dispatcher

ABC News(SPRING, Texas) — A 9-1-1 dispatcher in Spring, Texas, helped one expectant mom deliver her baby over the phone this week.

The mother, Kioma, was on her living room floor and feeling contractions while listening to instructions from the dispatcher, Renae Whitehouse.

Whitehouse: Is anyone else with you?
Mom: No.
Whitehouse: You need to feel down there and see if you can feel anything.
Mom: I think I feel the head.

Whitehouse told ABC affiliate KTRK-TV that she did not expect Kioma to deliver the baby before the medic unit got to her house.

“At first I was like, it probably won’t happen before the medic unit gets there,” she said to KTRK-TV. “And then she just had contraction after contraction after contraction. It was like oh this is really happening.”

And then Kennedy Bennet, now 2 days old, arrived just a few minutes before an EMT crew knocked on the door.

“I cried a little bit after it was done. I’m not gonna lie. I was just so happy,” Whitehouse said to KTRK-TV.

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Three Things You Didn’t Know About Renowned Sex Therapist Dr. Ruth

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Dr. Ruth doesn’t quit: At 88 years old, the renowned sex therapist is still vocal about her favorite topic — writing books, making appearances and lecturing on what she has coined “sexual literacy.”

Her career began in 1980 with a 15-minute taped radio program called “Sexually Speaking” and just one year later it became a live, two-hour show, giving listeners the opportunity to call-in. The show became a huge success lasting over 10 years and eventually becoming part of a communications network distributing Dr. Ruth’s expertise via television, books, newspapers, games and videos.

She recently sat down with Rebecca Jarvis for an episode of “Real Biz With Rebecca Jarvis” to discuss her journey, from escaping the Holocaust to becoming Dr. Ruth and everything in between. Here are three things you might not know about Ruth Westheimer:

1. She’s a survivor: Born in Germany in 1928, Dr. Ruth was forced to leave her home to escape the Holocaust, being sent to an orphanage in Switzerland when she was only 10 years old.

2. She was a sniper: Only a few years later at the age of 17, Dr. Ruth went to Israel and became a member of the Haganah (a Jewish paramilitary group), fighting for the country’s independence and training as a sniper.

“I was a sniper in the underground in the Haganah in 1948. I’ve never killed anybody,” Dr. Ruth commented. “But I was badly wounded on both legs; that’s not why I’m short — I would’ve been short anyway.”

3. There’s an off-Broadway play about her life: “Becoming Dr. Ruth” opened in October 2013, with actress Debra Jo Rupp (who played Kitty on “That ’70s Show”) starring as Dr. Ruth. The play chronicles her incredible story, while also highlighting her favorite subject with lines scripted straight from Dr. Ruth’s mouth.

“When I came to the country, they told me that I have to take speech lessons, but Debra Jo Rupp, who portrayed me, she had to go to a speech therapist to learn my accent!” Dr. Ruth told Rebecca Jarvis.

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Surgeons Start Program in Chicago to Train Bystanders to Treat Shooting Victims

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Ongoing gun violence in Chicago, which has killed hundreds in 2016, has led to calls for action – as well as inspiring two doctors to start a program designed to help save lives in an emergency. The Chicago South Side Trauma First Responders Course focuses on training anyone to be able to give lifesaving treatment to trauma victims.

Started by Dr. Mamta Swaroop, assistant professor of surgery in trauma and critical care at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Dr. Leah Tatebe, a trauma and general surgeon at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in New York, the program was designed to train bystanders to take simple steps that may save lives after a shooting or other violent event before an ambulance even arrives.

Swaroop and Tatebe joined forces with the advocate group Cure Violence to understand how residents in Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods could benefit from basic medical training. As a trauma surgeon, Swaroop said she had seen first-hand the toll shootings have taken on residents in Chicago.

“Last spring there was case after case that I kept seeing of patients who were dying … it came to me that why not have a first responders course that [could] minimize people hemorrhaging out,” said Swaroop. “It wasn’t one particular case … it was watching patients bleeding out and dying in the trauma [department.]”

Swaroop also pointed out that her hospital, which has treated many shooting victims, is about a 15-minute drive from the South Side of Chicago, where much of the violence has occurred. Even if an ambulance responded immediately to help a trauma victim, there would still be that 15-minute drive to the ER for treatment and possibly lifesaving surgery.

“Someone can bleed out their entire blood volume in a couple of minutes,” Swaroop said.

The classes, scheduled to start later this month, were designed after working with the Cure Violence group and other community members to figure out the best way to empower any resident to feel that they can help save a life. The first students are expected to be from local community groups based in neighborhoods that have faced some of the worst gun violence.

“We asked people about what their experiences were with violence and with trauma,” Swaroop said. She said many had experienced violent events without knowing how to respond to traumatic injuries. “The feeling of not knowing what to do … you feel helpless in that situation.”

Swaroop said simply teaching people how to properly apply pressure on a wound or helping open someone’s airway can make a difference. She said that everyone in Chicago should have a basic understanding of what to do in case of an emergency.

“In this day and age you can be anywhere in Chicago and bullets are everywhere. … You can be in the wrong place and the wrong time,” she said. “A bullet does not discriminate one bit.”

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All-Female Motorcycle Club Helps Deliver Breast Milk to Babies in Need

Joi-Marie McKenzie/ABC News(NEW YORK) — Babies and in particular ill or premature infants benefit from being fed human breast milk, research shows.

But when mothers can’t produce enough breast milk to feed their ill or premature babies, including those in neonatal intensive care, who can they or their medical providers turn to for help?

In New York, it’s the New York Milk Bank. The organization based north of New York City helps to collect, pasteurize and deliver donated breast milk to hospitals and other providers around the state.

But the center faces a challenge in getting the donated breast milk to various far-flung locations in a cost-effective and timely way.

“We wanted same-day service, and you can’t have same-day service; they just charge a fortune for it,” Julie Bouchet-Horwitz, New York Milk Bank’s executive director told ABC News.

Then she got a novel idea while sitting in traffic.

“I saw motorcycles going in and out of lanes,” she said. “And I thought, ‘What a great idea! That’s fabulous!’ This thought of using motorcyclists was just brewing in my mind.”

Bouchet-Horwitz, who is a nurse practitioner and lactation consultant, wanted to find an all-female organization to help. And after a quick search on Google, she found Siren’s Women’s Motorcycle Club of New York City.

Jen Baquial, the club’s president, told ABC News that when she heard the idea for her organization’s riders to distribute breast milk she “lit up.”

The club, started in 1986, has about 50 members who range in age from 25 to 74 and welcomes women of all ethnicities, backgrounds and sexual orientations.

The organization alternates which of its riders help the New York Milk Bank on any given day. The motorcyclists pick up about 30 pounds of breast milk from different depots around the city, deliver it first to a pasteurizing center and later to hospitals and other locations.

Every rider delivering breast milk is required by the milk bank to have proof of insurance and a valid driver’s license, among other criteria. The milk bank pays for their expenses, including gas and tolls.

Sandra Fleming, a member of the club who is known as “the Road Goddess,” told ABC News on Friday that she had delivered breast milk that morning, before her day job as a social worker.

“It’s giving us a reason — a good reason — to get together,” Fleming, 52, said of she and her fellow club members. “We’re doing something that contributes to women’s causes.”

Fleming said the club is also involved in other charitable work including efforts to address breast cancer and to help homeless girls and teens.

The milk bank’s Bouchet-Horwitz said the partnership with the motorcycle club “just seemed like a great match, to have a group of women [help] … They’ve embraced us and we’ve embraced them.”

She said that in the future she hopes to welcome any riders, “even males,” to help deliver breast milk.

“That’s what I’d love to see,” she said.

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Your Body: The STEM Gender Gap

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

Women remain underrepresented in high-paying, math-intensive fields and they earn only 19 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering.

Now, a new study directs blame at biases among teachers and the educational system. This is against girls in the so-called STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and math.

Previous research has shown that a gender gap develops in favor of males during the first four years of school and it develops first amongst the highest-achieving students. One way to combat this is to expose girls to positive role models in these STEM subjects.

Teachers also need to reexamine their own ideas of what the typical STEM student looks like. It should conjure an image of a girl or a boy.

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Miami Now Free of Locally Transmitted Zika Virus, CDC Says

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Florida health officials have announced continued progress in the fight against the Zika virus after a Miami neighborhood was declared free of ongoing Zika transmission Friday.

The Little River area of Miami is now free of active Zika transmission after no new cases were reported in the last 45 days, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

It was the last area in Miami to have ongoing locally transmitted Zika virus.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott called the announcement “great news” but warned residents to remain “vigilant” about the possible return of the virus.

“I am proud to announce that the Little River area has been cleared of any ongoing active transmission of the Zika virus,” he said in a statement today. “It is crucial that everyone remains vigilant and continues to do their part to wear bug spray and dump standing water so we can keep these areas clear, especially for pregnant women and their developing babies.”

However, the Zika outbreak is not yet over in Florida, since the South Beach area of Miami Beach, a city separate from Miami, is still monitoring for local Zika transmission.

Florida has been grappling with the Zika outbreak centered in southern Florida since July of this year. There have been 244 cases of locally acquired Zika virus reported in Florida since the outbreak began.

The Zika virus is primarily spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It mainly causes mild symptoms in adults. But when a pregnant woman is infected, it is associated with an increased risk of birth defects, including microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head or brain. It can result in diminished mental capacity or other developmental delays.

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San Bernardino Terror Victims Claim Medical Care Frustrations, One Year After Attack

ABC News(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) — Exactly one year after 14 people were killed and 22 more injured when ISIS-inspired terrorists went on a shooting rampage in San Bernardino, California, surviving victims are speaking out, saying that they are going through a second trauma: a betrayal.

In interviews with ABC News and affiliate stations, survivors say that the injuries they sustained in one of the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil are being treated just like any other workers’ compensation and that they are regularly denied medical care.

With the shrapnel from two bullets still embedded in her leg, Amanda Gaspard, 32, walks with a cane and says she lives every day with pain — emotional and physical — after being shot by Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik.

While Gaspard was Farook’s partner at the San Bernardino County Health Department, leading the program at the gathering that tragic day, he did not spare her from the melee of bullets one year ago.

The attack has left her unable to walk without frequent breaks and suffering from post-traumatic stress so severe that she is incapable of speaking about the attack without breaking down.

But one year since the attack that saw her lose half her blood, Gaspard told ABC News that the county’s claims administrator told her that a surgery and other treatment she needs were too expensive and would not be approved under California’s workers’ compensation guidelines.

“They do not want to pay for it,” she told ABC News’ Brian Ross in an interview on Wednesday. “I am in pain every single day.”

Gaspard is not alone. Other survivors speak of denials for care and medicine.

“My medications got denied — like just cut off in October,” said Sally Cardinale, a program specialist for the county. “I was on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and…a blood pressure medicine to help level me out and help let me sleep without nightmares and things like that.”

“None of those three medicines are supposed to be cut off without any weaning or anything like that, and they just cut them off,” she said.

Ray Britain, who was the interim Division Chief for the Division of Environmental Health Services, said that “right now, the process is denying everybody medication, therapy and surgeries.”

“These are people that were shot. A lot of the things that we’re talking about — we’re talking about people having to fight for surgeries, for physical therapy to try and learn to walk again,” he said.

Asked about these allegations by ABC News, David Wert, a spokesman for San Bernardino County, said, “our county has not denied care to anyone,” and “denials are rare. When they occur, the county shares in the employees’ frustration.”

Noting the availability of an appeals process, he said, “so far, of the many hundreds of treatments submitted for review in connection with Dec. 2, only two denials have been appealed.”

On Monday, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors said that it is now going to bring in a new outside set of claims adjusters to review the cases of those employees involved in the attack.

Gaspard says her frustrations with the bureaucracy and denials had added to her suffering over the past year.

Shortly after telling the county that ABC news was investigating, Gaspard says good news arrived.

On Thursday, she got word that the county had agreed to a deal with her hospital for her surgery to go ahead.

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Woman Gives Birth Amid Tornado Destruction in Tennessee

Ashley Newman(NEW YORK) — A Tennessee woman gave birth to a daughter Wednesday just after being rescued from the devastation of a tornado that swept through her town.

Emergency rescue crews responded to a dispatch call around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday in Athens, Tennessee, that a 39-week pregnant woman needed help, according to Chief Billy Roach of the Englewood Fire Department.

Nearly 20 first responders from Englewood and the nearby Etowah Rural Fire Department drove as close as possible to the home of the pregnant woman, Amber Newman. They then walked nearly three miles to her home when their rescue trucks were blocked by debris.

Newman was inside her family’s home along with her parents, her teen sisters and 8-year-old brother, according to another sister, Ashley Newman, who was not at home at the time.

Ashley Newman told ABC News that the family hid in a bathroom as their home was thrown in the air and flipped several times before landing more than 200 feet away. Her mother, April Newman, who was in the home at the time said she “prayed to God” during the storm.

“Everything was shaking like an earthquake,” April Newman told ABC News. “I remember hearing the wind and everything going around and around. I held on to my son the whole time and just prayed to God.”

It took nearly four hours for first responders to get the Newman family to local hospitals; responders had to physically clear a path through tornado debris for the rescue vehicles to travel. Newman, who was not available for comment, gave birth via caesarean section to a healthy baby girl she named Ava.

Newman suffered a bad gash on her leg but is otherwise doing well, according to her sister. The siblings’ parents needed stitches and suffered minor injuries. The Newman kids suffered injuries including a broken arm, torn ACL and broken foot.

“It’s a miracle,” Roach told ABC News, describing the work done by the first responders as “indescribable.”

He added, “It’s just amazing what they did.”

Des Ferguson, a friend of Newman’s, posted photos on Facebook of the baby, Ava. She also put out a call to help Newman rebuild after the tornado.

Newman was originally due to give birth on Dec. 7, according to her mother.

The tornado that struck McMinn County, Tennessee, Wednesday was an EF-2 tornado that injured 20 people and damaged 30 structures, according to officials. McMinn County mayor John Gentry described Ava’s birth as a bright spot after the deadly tornado.

“We had 20 injured (in the tornado) and one brand new life. The Lord works in mysterious ways,” Gentry said during a press conference Wednesday.

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