Review Category : Health

Early Christmas Gift: Baby Delivered Roadside by State Trooper

iStock/Thinkstock(GLASTONBURY, Conn.) — A Connecticut newborn had a run-in with law enforcement this morning, but there was no criminal activity involved – in fact, some might call the situation an early Christmas present.

Roadside in the pouring rain, Connecticut State Trooper Gregory Capps helped deliver six-pound-two-ounce Ebenezer Okafur near the town of Glastonbury just in time for Christmas.

Mother Itohan Oyabure-Okafur was being rushed to the hospital by her brother when baby Ebenezer apparently became impatient.

Nearby, Capps was idling on the highway’s shoulder, sheltering in his patrol car from rain that was making the roads slick, when the call went out that a woman was going into labor.

As Capps arrived at the scene, baby Ebenezer was already on his way – days earlier than expected.

Capps told ABC News that the child arrived almost immediately, and that the mother and child are doing well at the local hospital.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Miles Teller Speaks Out About Car Accident for First Time

Christopher Polk/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Miles Teller said he and his girlfriend are doing “OK” after they were involved in a car accident Thursday.

The “Bleed For This” actor is speaking out for the first time about the incident in Los Angeles in which his car flipped over.

“Me and @keleighsperry are okay,” he wrote on Twitter Friday, referencing his girlfriend. “I hope the other passengers are as well.”

“The other driver pulled into oncoming traffic and bad accident was unavoidable,” Teller continued.

Me and @keleighsperry are okay. I hope the other passengers are as well. The other driver pulled into oncoming traffic and bad accident was

— Miles Teller (@Miles_Teller) December 23, 2016

Teller, 29, and his girlfriend were driving in his SUV in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley when an Uber driver allegedly made a left turn. Teller’s SUV flipped over, investigators at the city’s Valley Traffic Division told ABC News.

Two passengers in the Uber vehicle were taken to the hospital, investigators added.

Valley Traffic Division investigators couldn’t confirm to ABC News who was at fault for the accident.

It’s not the first time Teller has been involved in a car accident. He told ABC News back in August that when he was 20 years old and riding with a friend, he was in an accident that almost took his life.

“My buddy lost control of my car going 80 mph. We flipped eight times. I got ejected out the window. The car landed and I was just laying like 50 feet from the car, unconscious, covered in blood. My buddy thought I was dead,” Teller said in an interview with Peter Travers.

The actor still has scars from the accident.

“I got scars on my face. I still have two rocks in my face,” Teller said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

FDA Approves First Drug to Treat Spinal Muscular Atrophy

andrewsafonov/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the first drug used to treat spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic disease.

According to a news release from the FDA, Spinraza, an injection administered into the fluid surrounding the spinal cord, is approved for use in children and adults with spinal muscular atrophy. “There has been a long-standing need for a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, the most common genetic cause of death in infants, and a disease that can affect people at any stage of life,” said the director of the Division of Neurology Products at the FDA’s center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Billy Dunn, M.D.

“The FDA is committed to assisting with the development and approval of safe and effective drugs for rare diseases and we worked hard to review this application quickly,” he added. “We could not be more pleased to have the first approved treatment for this debilitating disease.”

According to the FDA, SMA is a hereditary disease that can cause weakness and muscle wasting due to the loss of lower motor neurons, which control movement.

A clinical trial involving 121 patients with infantile-onset SMA found that 40 percent of patients treated with the injection achieved improvement in motor milestones. None of the smaller group of patients who were treated with a mock procedure showed improvement in that regard.

The most frequently observed side effects of Spinraza include respiratory infections and constipation.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Elementary School Crossing Guard Dresses Up as ‘Buddy the Elf’ to Bring Holiday Cheer to Kids

Tonktiti/iStock/Thinkstock(EVESHAM TOWNSHIP, N.J.) — Meet Kevin McGuigan, a crossing guard for J. Harold Van Zant Elementary School in Evesham Township, New Jersey.

McGuigan dressed up as beloved film character Buddy from the movie Elf on Thursday to surprise the school’s children and spread holiday cheer, according to ABC station WPVI in Philadelphia.

The tall “elf” put smiles on dozens’ of kids’ faces.

The kids and parents loved McGuigan’s act so much, he decided to remain in character for afternoon dismissal, too, WPVI reported.

An Evesham Police Department officer also ran into the “elf,” and posed for a picture with him.

“Well done crossing guard ‘Buddy the Elf,'” police wrote in a jolly Facebook post.

“If you like to smile and ‘Smiling is your Favorite’ then witnessing the smile this crossing guard is putting on children’s faces will surely put you in the holiday spirit,” police said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Infant Matches to Donated Liver After 40 Minutes on Organ Wait List

Melody McCabe(NEW YORK) — The family of an infant boy who was critically ill is celebrating after he received a vital liver transplant in under an hour, instead of waiting weeks, months or years.

Daniel McCabe was born with biliary atresia, a rare condition where bile ducts inside or outside the liver do not have normal openings, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

At 5 months old, McCabe’s health started to decline. His doctors decided to put him on the organ transplant list to receive a new liver from a donor.

Waiting for an organ match often takes months or even years. Every day, approximately 22 people die while waiting for a transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

But just 40 minutes after Daniel was put on the organ transplant list on Dec. 13, his gastroenterologist and pediatrician, Dr. Jeffrey Brown, told his mother, Melody McCabe, the good news, according to a statement from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“The doctor came in and was really quiet,” McCabe told ABC News. “He finally said ‘He said he has a liver.'”

McCabe said she felt both instant relief for her son and sadness for the donor’s family: “I said ‘Are you serious?'”

“I couldn’t’ help but think of the [donor] family and what they’re going through and then I felt glad that my son wasn’t going to die,” McCabe said.

Matching for an organ this quickly is extremely rare. Daniel is just one of 43 people nationwide in the last five years to have waited less than 40 minutes for a life-saving match, according to UNOS and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“This is one of the most incredible things that has happened in the five years that I’ve been here,” Justin Boese, Organ Procurement Specialist at Lurie Children’s Hospital, said in a statement. “The shortest wait time I have seen here was at least 12 hours, so 40 minutes is very unusual.”

Hospital officials confirmed that Daniel is doing well after the surgery and continues to recover in the pediatric intensive care unit. His mother said she expects him to be out of the hospital in a few days.

“Even hours after surgery,” McCabe said, “He still looked a lot better and his color — it was the first time I had seen him not yellow.”

Daniel wasn’t the only person helped by this liver donation — doctors were able to split the donated organ in two so another patient could also benefit.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Sheriff’s Deputy Undergoes Kidney Transplant for Fellow Officer

Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department(LOS ANGELES) — Christmas came early for one sheriff’s deputy after a fellow officer donated a kidney to save his life.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies Kevin Ay and Darrin Offringa first met in July 2010. Offringa was Ay’s supervisor, training him for three months.

Since that time, the two remained friends, especially after Ay was assigned to Offringa’s old beat.

Then, in November 2013, Ay was diagnosed with kidney failure. After being hospitalized for a short amount of time, he returned to his duties in the sheriff’s department on “light duty capacity,” according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

It didn’t take long for Ay’s old supervisor and friend, Offringa, to discover the grim news. In fact, Offringa checked on Ay periodically as his health deteriorated. It was during one of those check-ins that the two discovered they had the same blood type.

Offringa immediately felt like he had to help his friend and donate his kidney. After discussing it with his wife, he asked Ay if he could be his donor.

Although Ay was initially hesitant, he agreed. And after being medically evaluated, Offringa’s left kidney was considered a great match for Ay.

Offringa underwent a four-hour surgery to remove his left kidney on Nov. 29.

The two now say the ordeal has strengthened their relationship.

“I always considered Darrin as a mentor; now he’s my brother,” Ay said, according to the sheriff’s department.

Offringa added, “I’m just honored and humbled by the experience and to have helped a good friend.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Tennessee Couple Dies Just Hours Apart After Nearly 64 Years of Marriage

iStock/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — A Tennessee couple recently died just hours apart of each other, spending their final moments holding hands in their hospital beds after more than 64 years of marriage.

Dolores Winstead, 83, and her husband, 88-year-old Trent Winstead, both passed away at Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, according to their children.

The couple’s daughter, 57-year-old Sheryl Winstead, told ABC News today that her father was admitted to the hospital earlier this month, and her mother unexpectedly suffered an aneurysm while visiting him.

After doctors determined that Dolores’s “quality of life” would be impacted if she was kept intubated, Winstead said she and her brother decided to “let her go naturally.”

“When we explained to our dad that Mom wasn’t likely going to make it, he — in our opinion — really grieved himself to death,” she said.

Hospital staff pushed the couple’s beds next to each other so that they could spend their last moments together, a Saint Thomas Health spokesman told ABC News.

Winstead told ABC News that her father held her mother’s hand until her last breath.

Dolores Winstead passed away on the evening of December 9 after suffering a brain aneurysm, and her husband Trent died in the late afternoon the following day after complications due to kidney failure, according to their daughter and a spokesman for Saint Thomas Health.

“It’s been really hard for me because I was so close to them, and I never expected to lose both my parents at the same time,” Winstead said. “But, on the hand, I do see the sweet story in this — that they went together happily, and that’s the way they wanted it.”

She said this time of the year will be a little lonelier without her parents, but she, her brother and other family members are “committed to honoring their memory.”

She told ABC News that her parents first met in the 1950s, and while he father went away to serve in the Korean War, he and Dolores wrote love letters back and forth to each other.

Shortly after the war, the two got married and spent their “golden years” together in Nashville, she said. January 17, 2017 would have marked their 65th wedding anniversary.

Winstead said she hopes to spend this upcoming Christmas going through her parents’ old photos and retelling their stories.

“We’re going to have white chairs out on where they would have usually sat on Christmas Eve,” she said. “We’re just going to honor them in every way possible. I love and miss them so much.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Sixth Locally-Transmitted Case of Zika Identified in Brownsville, Texas

crewcut/iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) — The Texas Department of State Health Services identified another case of the Zika virus that has been locally acquired in Brownsville, Texas.

The case is the sixth local mosquito-transmitted case in Cameron County, Texas, but is not believed to be connected to the first five. Members of the patient’s household have been tested, and neighbors of the patient have been informed.

Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its testing guidance to recommend testing for all pregnant women in Brownsville, or who have travelled to Brownsville since the end of October.

The Texas DSHS notes that recent cold weather has diminished mosquito population in the area, but that temperatures are expected to warm again next week.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Rise in Christmas Season Cardiac Deaths Not Necessarily Linked to Cold Weather, Study Finds

Thomas Northcut/DigitalVision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Doctors in the U.S. have long known that fatal cardiac events seem to occur more frequently during the winter holidays, but deciphering if these events are related to weather, holiday stress or some other cause has been difficult to parse out.

But a study published Thursday in the Journal of the American Heart Association offers some evidence that cold weather may not be behind the uptick in cardiac deaths — long thought to be a possible culprit since it can put additional strain on the body.

“What is always difficult in observational studies such as this is separating correlation from causation,” said Dr. Richard Josephson, a cardiologist at University Hospitals Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute at UH Cleveland Medical Center. Josephson was not involved in this study.

“In the U.S. and England or in Great Britain there is an upsurge in death around Christmas. It could be related to holiday or it could be related to the weather,” Josephson told ABC News.

To find out if weather was behind this increase in cardiac deaths during the holidays, the researchers from multiple institutions, including the University of Melbourne and University of Auckland, studied mortality data from New Zealand, where summer coincides with the holiday season.

After examining 25 years of data from the New Zealand Ministry of Health, the researchers were able to see if fatal cardiac events increased during the holiday season. Despite the naturally warm weather in December and January, they found that 4.2 percent more people die from cardiac-related causes during the Christmas period — Dec. 25 to Jan. 7 — compared to the rest of the year. Only deaths that took place outside a hospital were counted.

The researchers found that these deadly cardiac events also seemed to affect slightly younger people during the Christmas period compared to the rest of the year. During the Christmas period the average age of those who died via cardiac-event was 76, while during the rest of the year the average age was 77.

As a result of the findings, the researchers theorize that the uptick in cardiac death around the holidays is likely not due to cold weather. Instead they theorize it might be due to holiday stress, changes in diet or alcohol consumption, delay in seeking medical care or even due to people who are extremely sick and want to live long enough to get through the holidays with family.

“The Christmas holiday period is a common time for travel within New Zealand, with people frequently holidaying away from their main medical facilities,” Josh Knight, a study author and research fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia, said in a statement. “This could contribute to delays in both seeking treatment, due to a lack of familiarity with nearby medical facilities, and due to geographic isolation from appropriate medical care in emergency situations.”

Josephson said the study was interesting but noted that the effect “is only modest in size.”

People can take basic steps to safeguard their health, Josephson noted, including checking they have their medication, eating a healthy diet and not overindulging in alcohol.

“The Greeks said everything in moderation and I don’t know that we’ll find anything more wise than that over the years,” Josephson said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

‘Jeopardy!’ Run Ends For Cancer-Stricken Contestant Cindy Stowell

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Jeopardy! contestant Cindy Stowell’s final episode aired Wednesday, marking the end of a six-game winning streak that culminated in winnings of more than $100,000. But she died from colon cancer at age 41 on Dec. 5, eight days before her first episode aired.

A message posted Wednesday on the game show’s website read, “Six-time champion Cindy Stowell competed on Jeopardy! with a singular goal in mind: to donate her prize money to cancer-related organizations. When she taped her episodes in August and September of this year, she had Stage 4 cancer … When Cindy was in the hospital, Jeopardy! sent her advance copies of her first three episodes, so she and her family were able to watch her realize a lifelong dream of competing on the show. Jeopardy! also expedited Cindy’s prize money, and she received and acknowledged it before she passed.”

Jeopardy! tweeted a video Wednesday, writing, “ Jeopardy! contestant Cindy Stowell passed away prior to her shows’ airings. Here is her Jeopardy! story, in her own words.” Its includes clips of Stowell auditioning and revealing her cancer diagnosis.

“I wanted to donate the money to cancer research, partly because … I’m dying of cancer, and I really would like the money I win to be used to help others, and this seems like a good opportunity,” she says in the video, adding she’d been a fan of Jeopardy! since she was nine years old.

Stowell, a science content-developer from Austin, Texas, “came on the show with a mission,” Jeopardy! executive producer Harry Friedman said in a quote posted on the website. “We gave her the opportunity to fulfill that mission and she made the most of it.”

The game show’s host, Alex Trebek, said in a statement, “Competing on Jeopardy! was a lifelong dream for Cindy, and we’re glad she was able to do so.”

Stowell auditioned for the show in August, but before the audition, she reached out to a producer to ask how long it would be before she taped since she didn’t have long to live. She was subsequently booked for the earliest possible taping of Aug. 31.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →