Review Category : Health

Flight Crew Members Say Toxic Air in Plane Cabin Harmed Their Health

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A former airline pilot and a flight attendant both say their lives were changed forever when they inhaled toxic fumes that entered an aircraft cabin, which they say caused lasting harm to their health.

In an interview with ABC News, David Hill, a former airline pilot, described a flight six years ago during which he says he and the entire crew and some passengers reported feeling ill.

Denise Weiss, then a flight attendant, was on that flight.

“It was a flight of confusion … I felt intoxicated, I felt a headache that was like no other headache, my eyes were bloodshot, I felt intoxicated and obviously I had had nothing to drink and didn’t understand why I was feeling that way,” she said.

She added: “My whole life changed. My health to this day is not the same.”

Hill and Weiss say they were both exposed to a neurotoxin that leaked into the cabin air during the flight, and, they told ABC News, this was a hidden risk passengers should know about.

Effects ‘Ended My Career,’ Former Pilot Says

Many people don’t realize that air used to pressurize the aircraft cabin is redirected from the engines. It’s known as bleed air.

In the engine’s oil is usually an additive that contains tricresyl phosphate, or TCP, which reduces wear on engines and improves thermal stability of the oil. TCP is a toxin. If there’s a leak due to a broken seal or a maintenance issue, oil containing TCP can leak into the engine and the air released into the cabin can contain fumes from that chemica, creating an odd smell that’s been compared to the smell of dirty socks.

The flight attendants’ union — the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA — has asked airlines to better protect the public and airline crews from toxins that could enter cabins from engines by installing sensors that would detect neurotoxins in the air and filters that would capture the toxins.

There have been reports of airline passengers and crew taking ill on flights after noticing an unusual smell in the cabin.

Weiss said her doctors told her she’d suffered damage as a result of the suspected toxin, recalling that she was told she had “central nervous system damage from the chemical.”

The former flight attendant said she takes medication for headaches.

“If I don’t take the medication, I wouldn’t be able to function, there’s no rhyme or reason as to one day I can function, if you will, normally and walk across the street or walk from one store to another in the mall and there’s some days I cannot even go to my mail box without even being in pain,” she said.

People who inhale enough of the chemical could suffer memory loss, balance issues and headaches, experts say.

Hill, the pilot who says he was exposed to the chemical during a flight, told ABC News that his symptoms — including short-term memory loss and balance — were so bad that the FAA said he was no longer safe to fly.

“That ended my career,” he said.

How Frequent are ‘Fume Events’?

There is a so-called fume event on one out of an estimated 35,000 flights across the country each day, according to the union. Most of the fume incidents don’t cause problems.

Boeing and Airbus, the two main aircraft manufacturers, said in separate statements that the cabin air in their aircraft is safe. Boeing also noted that it was aware of efforts to enhance sensors to detect airborne contaminants but stated: “Such technology must be demonstrated to be highly reliable before it can be safely incorporated on aircraft.”

Airbus noted that HEPA (high-intensity particulate air) H13 filters were standard on all its aircraft. But experts say those filters can capture some — but not all — of the toxin.

And Airlines for America, the industry group, said in a statement: “Frequent studies over the years have consistently concluded that cabin air meets or exceeds health and safety standards.”

In a statement the FAA said the air on jets on the vast majority of flights is safe but it also said that, in the rare event of a mechanical failure, the cabin “may contain contaminants.” Airlines are required to report fume events to the FAA.

Using air monitors and swabs, ABC News tested the air and several areas in the cabin on five different flights operated by four separate airlines. Every swab picked up traces of TCP, which could be due to accumulation from several flights.

The air monitors didn’t detect TCP but they did find evidence of small amounts of jet engine oil, which would suggest a leak.

While oil leaks and fumes in the cabin are possible, experts — and even people who say they have been affected — say the risk to passengers is low.

Asked how people could protect themselves, Hill replied: “There is no way.”

Added Weiss: “You should be worried about this, you should be aware of it.”

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CEO Pushing for Employers to Give Workers an ‘Unsick Day’

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A CEO of a healthcare company is hoping to start a trend, after he create a day off for his employees to see their doctors — when the workers are perfectly healthy.

Oliver Kharraz, CEO of Digital Health marketplace Zocdoc, came up with the idea, inspired by a stat that nearly 90 percent of Americans have cancelled wellness visits to their doctors, and 60 percent of Americans are nervous to take a day off from work to see their doctors for preventative visits.

Kharraz tells the Wall Street Journal that the practice could lead to healthier workers, and fewer actual sick days in the long run. He also quoted a stat that stated that nearly half of all employees who felt their company was looking after their well-being were more inclined to stay with the company.

He’s hoping the idea spreads, with his UnsickDay website.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Something Borrowed, Something Blech: Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 77 at Wedding

iStock/Thinkstock(DECATUR, Ala.) — Talk about a bad start to a new life together. At least 77 people were sickened from the food at an Alabama wedding. The Decatur Daily noted the event Saturday, for which catered food was prepared for 150 people, has been tracked as the epicenter of a salmonella outbreak.

The paper noted that the caterer, Darvin McDaniel of Indelible Catering, reportedly prepared food for a 2014 event in Decatur that sickened 19 people.

Specifics as to what was served were not released by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The food-borne illness can cause vomiting, diarrea, stomach pain, and fever, according to a press release from the department.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Maine Community Recreates Halloween for 7-Year-Old Who Was in the Hospital During Holiday

iStock/Thinkstock(AUBURN, Maine) — A small community in Auburn, Maine, recently recreated Halloween for a 7-year-old girl who missed the original holiday because she was at a hospital.

On Oct. 29, 7-year-old Kinzie Frey was admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Boston, according to her mother, Holly Bosse.

Kinzie had severe pneumonia and para-influenza — illnesses that were likely complications from an antibody treatment Kinzie went through earlier in the month, Bosse said. Kinzie had been getting the antibody treatments to ensure a cancer she had would not return.

Kinzie had been diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma — a cancer that starts in early nerve cells — in July 2015, according to Bosse. Kinzie was determined to have “no evidence of disease” in November of last year.

Though Kinzie is no stranger to hospitals — she has undergone seven rounds of chemotherapy, three major surgeries, two bone marrow transplants and 12 rounds of radiation — her most recent hospital visit was one of the most difficult, her mother said.

“She was so sick, and we were just scared for her life that week,” Bosse told ABC News. “It was a lot scarier that she knows.”

But the young fighter “pulled through,” and she was discharged last week, Bosse said.

This past Sunday, Bosse’s community recreated Halloween for Kinzie to welcome her back home. The “Halloween rewind” was led by Bosse’s sister, Heather Pulkkinen.

“It was magical,” Bosse said. “Kinzie said it was the best Halloween she had ever had.”

More than 20 houses on Bosse’s street opened their doors to Kinzie to allow her to trick-or-treat. Many dressed up, and a few children accompanied Kinzie as well.

“A lot of people had her favorite candy and drink — Starbursts and orange Gatorade,” Bosse said with a laugh.

Kinzie was dressed as Kylo Ren from “Star Wars” — a costume fitting for a “fearless” girl, according to Bosse.

“She’s a complete fireball,” she said. “Her first words were, ‘Do it by my own’ and she has always had the attitude that she can do anything.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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What to Know About the Sabra Hummus Product Recall Over Listeria Concerns

Sabra Dipping Company(NEW YORK) — The Sabra Dipping Co. has voluntarily recalled certain hummus products “due to concerns over Listeria monocytogenes,” according to an announcement the company made on Saturday.

The company said the bacterium was found in its facility during an inspection with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but not in completed products that had been tested.

The dips are the latest in a series of product recalls due to listeria concerns, including one type of Eggo waffles, certain Blue Bell ice creams, frozen vegetables and raw milk.

Here’s what to know about the voluntary recall:

What Is Listeria Monocytogenes?

Listeria monocytogenes is bacterium that can trigger serious infections, especially in those with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, young children and the elderly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In severe cases, the infections can cause stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions and sometimes be life threatening, according to the CDC. Nearly everyone infected with the bacteria ends up with an invasive infection, meaning it moves outside the gastrointestinal tract.

The agency’s latest published statistics from 2011 state that the disease causes approximately 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths every year in the U.S.

Pregnant women are at least 10 times as likely as the general population to develop a listeria infection, which has been associated with miscarriage, stillbirth and premature delivery, according to the CDC.

Where Was This Instance of Listeria Monocytogenes Found?

The organism “was identified at the manufacturing facility but not in tested finished products,” Sabra said. The company noted that the recall was issued “out of an abundance of caution.”

Which Products May Be Affected?

Sabra said that consumers are “urged to discard” any product with codes listed below that are marked with a best-before date through Jan. 23, 2017. The company noted that consumers can find a product’s code and best-before date on the lid of each package.

“No other Sabra products are affected,” the company said. “In particular, Sabra products not included in the recall are Sabra organic hummus, Sabra salsa, Sabra guacamole and Sabra Greek yogurt dips.”

• Sabra Hummus Caramelized Onion 10 ounce
UPC: 040822014700
SKU: 300051

• Sabra Hummus Classic 7 ounce
UPC: 040822000017
SKU: 300066

• Sabra Hummus Classic 10 ounce
UPC: 040822011143
SKU: 300067

• Sabra Hummus Classic 17 ounce
UPC: 040822017497
SKU: 300070

• Sabra Hummus Classic 30 ounce
UPC: 040822014687
SKU: 300074

• Sabra Hummus Classic 5 pound – 6 count
UPC: 040822431156
SKU:3 00076

• Sabra Hummus Classic 2 ounce – 48 count: 3 x (16 x 2 ounce)
UPC: 040822011112
SKU: 300079

• Sabra Hummus Classic With pretzels 4.56 ounce
UPC: 040822011952
SKU: 300080

• Sabra Hummus Garlic 7 ounce
UPC: 040822011235
SKU: 300094

• Sabra Hummus Garlic 10 ounce
UPC: 040822011242
SKU: 300095

• Sabra Hummus Garlic 17 ounce
UPC: 040822017510
SKU: 300097

• Sabra Hummus Garlic 32 ounce
UPC: 040822012256
SKU: 300099

• Sabra Hummus Garlic 30 ounce
UPC: 040822301121
SKU: 300100

• Sabra Hummus Garlic With pretzels 4.56 ounce
UPC: 040822011990
SKU: 300104

• Sabra Hummus Jalapeno 10 ounce
UPC: 040822011921
SKU: 300106

• Sabra Hummus Olive 10 ounce
UPC: 040822011341
SKU: 300117

• Sabra Hummus Pine Nut 10 ounce
UPC: 040822011747
SKU: 300132

• Sabra Hummus Pine Nut 7 ounce
UPC: 040822127530
SKU: 300134

• Sabra Hummus Pine Nut 17 ounce
UPC: 040822990011
SKU: 300136

• Sabra Hummus Pine Nut 32 ounce
UPC:040822012157
SKU: 300139

• Sabra Hummus Red Pepper 7 ounce
UPC: 040822012430
SKU: 300142

• Sabra Hummus Red Pepper 10 ounce
UPC: 040822011549
SKU: 300143

• Sabra Hummus Red Pepper 17 ounce
UPC: 040822017503
SKU: 300146

• Sabra Hummus Red Pepper 32 ounce
UPC: 040822328647
SKU: 300148

• Sabra Hummus Red Pepper 30 ounce
UPC: 040822301114
SKU: 300150

• Sabra Hummus Red Pepper 5LB – 6 count
UPC: 040822434553
SKU: 300151

• Sabra Hummus Red Pepper with pretzels 4.56 ounce
UPC: 040822011969
SKU: 300153

• Sabra Hummus Supremely Spicy 7 ounce
UPC: 040822011433
SKU: 300158

• Sabra Hummus Supremely Spicy 10 ounce
UPC: 040822011440
SKU: 300159

• Sabra Hummus Supremely Spicy 17 ounce
UPC: 040822017558
SKU: 300161

• Sabra Hummus Spinach & Artichoke 10 ounce
UPC: 040822027540
SKU: 300164

• Sabra Hummus Sun Dried Tomato 10 ounce
UPC: 040822014731
SKU: 300166

• Sabra Hummus Spinach & Artichoke 32 ounce
UPC: 040822027700
SKU: 300266

• Sabra Hummus Spinach & Artichoke 17 ounce
UPC: 040822027588
SKU: 300298

• Sabra Hummus Pine Nut 17 ounce – 6 count
UPC: 040822990011
SKU: 300501

• Sabra Hummus Red Pepper 17 ounce – 6 count
UPC: 040822017503
SKU: 300502

• Sabra Hummus Basil-Pesto 10 ounce
UPC: 040822020114
SKU: 300593

• Sabra Hummus Tuscan Herb Garden 32 ounce
UPC: 040822330466
SKU: 300736

• Sabra Hummus Classic 32 ounce
UPC: 040822342049
SKU: 301216

• Sabra Hummus Classic with pretzels 4.56 ounce – 8 count
UPC: 040822342131
SKU: 301271

• Sabra Hummus Garlic 23.5 ounce UPC: 040822342209 SKU: 301283

• Sabra Hummus Classic 17 ounce
UPC: 040822017497
SKU: 301290

• Sabra Hummus Bold & Spicy with tortilla chips 4.56 ounce
UPC: 040822342506
SKU: 301430

• Sabra Hummus Garlic 17 ounce – 6 count
UPC: 040822017510
SKU: 301480

• Sabra Hummus Classic 2 ounce – 6 x 2 ounce (12 x 6 packs)
UPC: 040822342728
SKU: 301481

• Sabra Hummus Lemon 10 ounce
UPC: 040822011648
SKU: 301483

• Sabra Hummus Red Pepper 2 ounce – 6 x 2 ounce (12 x 6 packs)
UPC: 040822342735
SKU: 301484

• Sabra Hummus Tuscan Herb Garden 17 ounce
UPC: 040822330381
SKU: 301485

• Sabra Hummus Classic 2 ounce – 16 x 2 ounce – 12 count
UPC: 040822010078
SKU: 301511

• Sabra Hummus Classic 2 ounce – 12 x 2 ounce – 12 count
UPC: 040822010047
SKU: 301512

• Sabra Hummus SF Rosemary/Sea Salt 10 ounce
UPC: 040822342988
SKU: 301566

• Sabra Spreads Spicy Chili 8.5 ounce – 8 count
UPC: 040822343145
SKU: 301585

• Sabra Spreads Garlic Herb 8.5 ounce – 8 count
UPC: 040822343138
SKU: 301586

• Sabra Spreads Garlic Herb 8.5 ounce – 8 count
UPC: 040822343121
SKU: 301587

• Sabra Spreads Salt & Pepper 8.5 ounce – 8 count
UPC: 040822343114
SKU: 301588

• Sabra Hummus Taco 10 ounce
UPC: 040822343671
SKU: 301640

• Sabra Hummus 3 Pepper Chili 10 ounce
UPC: 040822344043
SKU: 301705

What Is Sabra Doing Now?

Sabra said it has “subsequently taken steps to correct this matter” and that the recall “is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

The company’s CEO, Shali Shalit Shoval, said in a statement that after the FDA conducted an inspection, Sabra “implemented a thorough and extensive factor-wide cleaning and sanitation procedure.”

She added that “beyond that, we continue to work very closely with internal and external food safety experts to identify any additional steps we can take to even further enhance our efforts.”

Consumer Information and Reimbursement

Consumers who have consumed any affected products should monitor their health for any symptoms. Listeria monocytogenes can incubate up to 70 days after exposure before a person develops symptoms.

The bacteria can continue to grow at refrigerated temperatures. Cooking contaminated foods to recommended temperatures is one possible way to kill the bacteria, but as already noted, Sabra is urging consumers to discard any product under recall.

More information on the recall is available through Sabra Consumer Relations at 1-866-265-6761 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.

For product reimbursement, consumers can visit www.sabrahummusrecall.com.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Thanksgiving in Space: How Astronauts Enjoy Their Holiday Meal

Texas A&M(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) — Thanks to one U.S. college, astronauts can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal in space that’s just as delicious as their families are having back on Earth.

Scientists at the Space Food Research Facility at Texas A&M University have made holiday food items available like sliced turkey, candied yams, apricot cobbler and more, a representative from the college said.

Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, a retired NASA astronaut and current professor at A&M’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, told ABC News that although they come in a pouch, the “dishes” taste like any traditional, Thanksgiving meal.

“For many of them [in space], this is kind of a way to connect back to Earth as well,” she said. “Meal times, whether you’re in space, whether you’re exploring or traveling, a special occasion like this takes on a great deal of psychological importance as well — it’s a time of rest, relaxation and camaraderie. So, it was fun to taste all of these Thanksgiving dishes.”

Dunbar has been on five trips to space for a total of 50 days. She has eaten many meals in space, but this was her first time tasting the Thanksgiving-themed food items. In space, Dunbar said her go-to snack was peanut butter and jelly on a soft, flour tortilla.

Food in space has come a long way since humans traveled to the moon 50 years ago, she said.

“Food was there for nutrition, but it was most often out of tubes and wasn’t always that tasty,” she said. “It’s not just about the preservation of the food; now the taste is really extraordinary. The shrimp tastes just like shrimp cocktail with cocktail sauce, you couldn’t tell the difference.”

The facility at Texas A&M produces MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) pouches to hold the food. The pouches give the food a very long shelf life after they’re prepped, packaged, heat-sealed and sterilized.

Before their flight, astronauts will go to the kitchen at the Johnson’s Space Center in Houston and taste test all the food provided. They then decide which meals they’d like to bring on their mission. Food is heated up in a galley oven and eaten out of the corner of the pouch. Otherwise, the food is floating in the weightless environment.

Astronauts traveling during Thanksgiving are celebrating the holiday by eating sweet potato, corn, and of course, turkey, which Dunbar said tastes like the real thing.

“The meats are really great,” she said. “It’s just like Thanksgiving dinner.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Face Transplant and Organ Recipients Meet Donor’s Mother for the First Time

Ashley Louszko/ABC(NEW YORK) — Nancy Millar paced nervously as she prepared to meet a man she had never seen before, but whose face she would already knew.

“I’m going to try not to lose it,” she said, wiping away tears.

The man was Pat Hardison, who underwent a groundbreaking face transplant last year, which was only made possible because of Millar’s decision to donate her son David Rodebaugh’s face and organs.

Rodebaugh died last summer after sustaining a head injury in a bicycle accident in Brooklyn, New York. He was 26 years old.

Millar wondered if Hardison’s forehead would still show the chicken pox scar her son’s once had.

“He [Rodebaugh] used to always just bend over and kiss me on the forehead and so we’d reciprocate it,” she said. “As soon as he’d leave that’d be the last thing I do. I’d hug him and kiss him on the forehead. We did it since he was little, since he had chicken pox.”

Hardison, a 42-year-old former firefighter from Mississippi who lost much of his face, including his nose, lips, eyelids and even ears in a house fire, finally got the chance to thank Rodebaugh’s mother in person a few weeks ago. ABC News Nightline was there and has been following this story for over a year.

“Thank you for being so strong and so healthy,” Millar told Hardison as they embraced. “Thank you for risking your life to do this. When I knew you were a firefighter I knew you had the strength to go through this.”

“Beautiful,” Hardison said. “They did [the surgery] beautiful.”

Millar took her time studying Hardison’s face, going over every angle, noting his cheeks, a mole on one side, and that old chicken pox scar.

“I am as proud of you as I was of my own son,” she told him. “It’s not David’s face, it’s your face.”

Courtesy Nancy MillarMillar raised her son David as a single mom in Ohio. She said he was a happy kid who spent his childhood helping with his family’s craft business and riding anything that went fast.

“I think he could peddle a bike and cut wood before he could even walk,” Millar said. “He had a serious, serious thing for speed… He broke some bones. But there was no fear in that boy at all.”

Rodebaugh — Dave to his friends — worked as a bike mechanic and was an accomplished BMX rider. When he moved from Ohio to Brooklyn a few years ago, he found a new family in the bike messenger community and with a group who call themselves the “Lock Foot Posi.”

“Dave was without a doubt like the best guy you never met,” said Al Lopez, one of Rodebaugh’s best friends. “He had skills, like, skills and skills.”

Rodebaugh even won the Red Bull-sponsored Brooklyn Mini Drome cycling competition in 2014.

“I would have given anything to be there,” Millar said. “He was fearless, and even till the end he was fearless.”

In July 2015, about a year after winning the Mini Drome competition, Rodebaugh was riding without a helmet in Brooklyn when he crashed and hit his head. After clinging to life for three weeks, Millar made the difficult decision to let her son go.

Rodebaugh’s memory continues to live on in the white “ghost bike” memorial placed at the scene of his accident.

“I just wish I could physically feel him,” Millar said, visiting the ghost bike that honors her son. “He used to walk up behind me. And put those big ape arms around me and just sway back and forth and say, ‘I love you mommy.’ And he had the biggest arms. He made me feel so safe.”

Rodebaugh was an organ donor and also a potential match for an experimental surgery nearly 15 years in the making, an unprecedented procedure to give Pat Hardison a new face.

The two men’s lives would intersect because of a tragedy that took place in 2001. Hardison and his second wife Chrissi were raising their three children in his hometown of Senatobia, Mississippi. At 27, he was a successful salesman who ran the family tire business, but his real passion was working with the local volunteer fire department where he was a captain.

On Sept. 5, 2001, Hardison and his fellow firefighters responded to a house fire, and when they arrived, he entered the building with three other firefighters. He doesn’t remember much of what happened next, except the ceiling collapsing around him. By the time he got out of the inferno, he was unrecognizable.

Hardison was lucky to survive but the fire had burned away his scalp, ears, eyelids, nose and lips. His entire face was gone.

When he got home after spending two months in the hospital, Hardison said his three children, Alison who was 6, Dalton who was 3 and Averi who was 2 at the time, were terrified of him.

He underwent more than 70 surgeries over the next decade to try to rebuild his mouth, nose and eyelids using skin grafts. He even got implants to help anchor prosthetic ears. But each surgery only gave him minor improvements and doctors told him because of complications he would ultimately go blind.

Unable to have the life he wanted, Hardison became withdrawn and depressed.

Eventually, Hardison connected with renowned reconstructive surgeon Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, the chair of the Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. A pioneering surgeon in the emerging field of face transplants, Rodriguez took Hardison on as a patient, but it would be quite some time before they would find the right donor.

Not only were they looking for a donor that matched Hardison’s skin color, hair color and blood type, but the skeletal structure also had to be similar.

Hardison was placed on New York’s transplant donor list in August 2014, and Rodriguez and his team began working closely with LiveOnNY, the non-profit organ procurement organization that matches organ donors with patients in and around New York City. With such a specific set of criteria, LiveOnNY president and CEO Helen Irving said it was the hardest search the organization had ever conducted.

Just as Hardison was starting to lose hope, he finally got the call that a potential donor had been found.

Undergoing Groundbreaking Face Transplant Surgery

Courtesy Hardison Family/NYU Langone Medical CenterRodebaugh matched all the criteria the surgical team had been looking for, but because face transplants are still experimental, they needed permission from his family.

Helen Irving’s team train for these delicate conversations, but they were still caught off guard by Rodebaugh’s mother’s reaction when they asked her about donating her son’s face.

“She just — immediately ‘yes’ came right out,” Irving said. “She knew straight away David would have done anything to help.”

The face transplant procedure is so extreme and so risky that Hardison’s doctors warned him 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 get closer to feeling normal again.

On Aug. 14, 2015, Hardison was prepped for surgery and wheeled into one operating room, while Rodebaugh’s body was wheeled into an adjacent room. Before starting, the surgical team held a moment of silence to honor Rodebaugh.

In a carefully coordinated surgery, Rodriguez slowly removed the donor’s face and scalp, including the outer skin, tissue, nerves and muscle, as the surgical team next door worked to remove the skin on Hardison’s face. With each step, Rodriguez updated the surgical team working on Hardison so that the two teams would remain in sync, and then they placed the donor face on Hardison. Among the trickiest parts of the surgery, Rodriguez said, was connecting the blood vessels.

In total, the surgery took 26 hours to finish and Hardison faced a long recovery.

The Road to Recovery and a Tearful Reunion

It’s been about 15 months since the face transplant surgery and Hardison still travels from Mississippi to New York City every month for check-ups. He’s the first face transplant recipient to go through the first year without rejection.

He’s been enjoying getting haircuts and shaving again, two things he wasn’t able to do before the transplant.

“Just all that stuff that I thought would never be in my life again,” he said.

Every day 22 Americans die waiting for a life-saving transplant operation, according to the American Transplant Foundation. Nationally, only 50 percent of eligible adults are registered as organ donors. In New York, where Hardison was wait-listed, that number is closer to 25 percent.

In addition to his face, Rodebaugh’s heart, liver and kidneys were also donated, along with his corneas, bone and skin tissue.

“That’s … four lives for organ recipients,” Irving said. “One for the gift of sight and countless others through bone and skin donation.”

On the day she met Hardison, Millar also got to meet three other recipients her son had helped — 10-year-old Antonio Concepcion, Jr., and 17-year-old Nicholas Darling had received Rodebaugh’s kidneys and 58-year-old Yanez McGriff had received his heart. All three had spent years on a transplant list.

Millar took turns meeting and hugging each recipient. She even used a stethoscope to listen to her son’s heart, now beating in McGriff’s chest.

“It’s so strong,” Millar told her, listening to the heart beat. “God bless you.”

Knowing that her son had helped give all these people a new chance at a better, healthier life bought Millar some comfort after the tragedy of losing him.

“The best day of my life was the day David was born. This is the second best day of my life,” Millar said. “David’s reborn to me. He’s back. He’s here. I knew he was here.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Kate Gosselin Opens Up About Son Collin and Defends Her Parenting Style

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Reality TV mom Kate Gosselin, of TLC’s Kate Plus 8, sat down to discuss the show’s fifth season and the challenges and controversies that she has faced both on and off screen over the years.

In 2009, Gosselin divorced her husband Jon and became a single mom to 16-year-old twins Mady and Cara and 12-year-old sextuplets Leah, Hannah, Alexis, Joel, Aaden and Collin.

Gosselin, 41, said that since the shows inception 10 years ago, she has become a different person and parent. “I almost don’t even know her … now it’s like the wisdom, the experience, it makes you really a better parent.”

Gosselin went on to reveal a tough parenting decision she made for her son Collin, who was sent to get treatment for educational and social challenges that she said, “was not even really a choice.” Based on the advice of his doctors, she said, “it had to happen.” The mother of eight said their family is “plodding along,” but the decision was necessary.

As someone who says she would go to the ends of the earth to get the best for her children, Gosselin says she takes comfort in knowing that this was the best thing she could do for Collin right now.

WATCH: Kate Gosselin defends her parenting, raising teens and the new season of #KatePlus8: https://t.co/jGJ0mfxdGD https://t.co/DvmaGm2gpj

— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 21, 2016

The mother called reports “unfounded” that her son told staffers at his treatment facility that he was abused by her.

“I’m in the public eye. I have been investigated many times … It’s always unfounded obviously,” she said.

Her ex-husband claimed that he has not seen their son Collin in a year and a half and that Kate won’t tell him where Collin is being treated.

The mother refuted her ex’s claims and said she is in accordance with court orders to not speak about the care and custody of their children in detail.

“I’ve known all along where he is. But the world doesn’t know. And I’ll leave it at that,” Gosselin explained.

She went on to say that despite her ex-husband’s assertions that he would take her to court over the issue, that she does not focus on that.

“I’m really focused less on what Jon has to say … I don’t really pay attention to be honest.”

Jon’s attorney Kristen Dolvea-Lecher told ABC News, “The whole story is not being told … [Jon] is a loving and caring father who is acting within the scope of the law to do what is best for his kids.”

Turbulent times aside, the past decade has brought Kate and her children a vault of memories.

“I wanted those moments documented — and got ten years worth. And I will never ever regret that,” she said.

Another memory that the mom of eight won’t soon forget, her infamous mom hairstyle that got made into a wig. “I got a hold of one somehow,” she said laughing. “Maybe one day I’ll pick ’em up at the bus stop wearing it. And I’ll get out and be like, ‘Kids, I’m over here.'”

Season five of Kate Plus 8 premieres Tuesday, Nov. 22 on TLC.

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Your Body: Dealing with Hip Dysplasia

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

When a doctor told Good Morning America co-anchor Lara Spencer that she needed a hip replacement, she was shocked. It was upsetting for the physically active Spencer to learn she had developmental dysplasia of the hip, or DDH, which led to painful arthritis.

Her doctors told her she probably had DDH since birth. With about 10 percent of all hip replacements done in the U.S. attributed to DDH, every baby is now screened for developmental dysplasia. If it’s detected, early intervention helps to avoid surgery later in life.

Some babies are at higher risk for the condition, including those with a family history of DDH, or babies who are born breech. Overall, the chance is low, with about one to two babies per 1,000 being born with DDH in the U.S.

If you’re concerned about your baby’s hips, talk to your pediatrician.

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Medical Flight Crashes Minutes After Takeoff

Luis Mata(ELKO, Nev.) — Authorities in Nevada are continuing to investigate a medical plane’s fiery Friday night crash into a parking lot.

All four on board, including a heart patient and the plane’s crew, were killed.

The American Medflight plane, headed for a hospital in Utah, plummeted moments after takeoff in Elko, Nevada, and exploded into flames upon impact.

“We are devastated by this event and wish we had answers to the many questions being asked at this time,” said a statement from American Medflight.

Police in Elko said witness reports indicated the crash was due to mechanical failure. According to police, the pilot likely saved other lives by avoiding crashing into a nearby apartment building.

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