Review Category : Health

Baby Delivered by Brain-Dead Mother on Life Support for 54 Days Leaves Hospital

Methodist Health Systems(OMAHA, Neb.) — The baby who was born to a brain-dead woman on life support has finally left the hospital and is now in his new home with his maternal grandparents in Waterloo, Nebraska.

Angel Perez was delivered via Caesarean section April 4, 54 days after his mother, Karla Perez, was declared brain dead, Methodist Women’s Hospital in Omaha said in a statement.

Perez, 22, who was already a mother of one and pregnant with her second child, complained of a headache in early February, collapsed in her home and was found to have suffered a brain hemorrhage, the hospital told ABC News Wednesday in a statement.

“It was then that we had decisions to make,” Dr. Andrew Robertson of Methodist Women’s Hospital Perinatal Center said. “Karla’s baby was fine, but its gestational age was too young to consider delivery. That’s when the team and Karla’s family agreed to attempt to provide somatic support and maintain Karla’s pregnancy until her baby reached a viable gestational age.”

Perez became the first person on record in the United States, since 1999, whose body was kept alive to have her pregnancy maintained, according to the hospital.

On April 4, 54 days after Perez was declared brain-dead, her status was declining and the medical team decided to deliver her infant, the hospital said.

Baby Angel arrived at 11:47 a.m. at 30 weeks and three days, doctors said, adding that he only weighed 2 pounds 12.6 ounces.

“Angel’s first cry was bittersweet – it meant he was alive, but Karla was gone,” the hospital wrote. The deceased young mother was confirmed dead April 6, and her organs were donated April 9.

“Not only does Karla’s legacy live on through Angel, but also through the four individuals who benefited from her liver, two kidneys and her heart,” the hospital said.

After months in the neonatal intensive care unit, Angel gained 4 pounds and was found healthy enough to go home Tuesday, the hospital announced.

Angel is staying with his maternal grandparents, Modesto and Berta Jimenez, the hospital added.

“Our team took a giant leap of faith,” said Sue Korth, vice president and COO of Methodist Women’s Hospital. “We were attempting something that not many before us have been able to do. I couldn’t be more proud of our medical team and the more than 100 staff who were a part of her care. Karla’s loss of life was difficult, but the legacy she has left behind is remarkable.”

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First All-Girl Quintuplets Ever Born in US Start to Head Home

ABC News(HOUSTON) — The Busby household in Texas is about to get a lot busier.

The first two of the family’s all-girl quintuplets have been released from the hospital and the remaining three are expected to be home by the end of next week.

“Two down, three more Princesses to go! Our hearts are full… and so is our car,” the girls’ parents, Danielle and Adam Busby, posted along with a photo on their Facebook page Tuesday.

The Busby quintuplets — Olivia Marie, Ava Lane, Hazel Grace, Parker Kate and Riley Paige – were born at 28 weeks on April 8, 2015. They made history as the first all-girl quintuplets ever born in the U.S.

“Everything we are doing now is almost not a big deal,” Adam Busby told ABC News, referring to the fact that only two of the five babies – Parker and Hazel – are home. “We are very excited to have all the babies home.”

The baby’s mom, Danielle, echoed her husband in a June 1st post on the family’s blog, once they got word from the hospital that their daughters were strong enough to be discharged.

“My little heart is so full of joy and excitement that I think the ‘reality’ of having five babies home hasn’t really ‘scared’ me,” Danielle Busby wrote on ItsABuzzWorld.com. “There is nothing more that we want than to have our big ‘ol family.. all EIGHT of us.. together under one roof …. one small roof that is, lol.”

The Busbys, who also have a 4-year-old daughter, Blayke, said at the time of the quintuplets’ birth they were trying to figure out the logistics of welcoming five new family members into their three-bedroom house (not to mention changing fifty diapers a day and at least 40 bottles).

Adam Busby works full-time outside of the home and plans to take a week of vacation the first week that all five babies are home. In addition, the family is planning to rely on friends and family for help.

“We have a list of people who have already offered us to help,” Adam told ABC News.

The babies’ delivery by C-section at Woman’s Hospital of Texas in April took just four minutes.

All the girls were healthy, ranging from two pounds and 13.4 inches (Hazel Grace) to 2 pounds, 6 ounces and 14.4 inches (Olivia Marie.) Shortly after their birth, doctors discovered they all had heart murmurs, but the couple said at the time the malady could be treated with medication.

The girls have remained in the NICU until now because they were born as preemies and well before their June 29, 2015, due date. Each of the quintuplets must go five days without any issues – such as a drop in heart rate or acid reflux – in order to be discharged, Adam told ABC News.

After just one night at home, Hazel and Parker’s dad says they have already noticed a distinct personality in each girl.

“It’s funny because Parker is very mellow while Hazel has a bit of an attitude,” Adam told ABC News.

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Warm Weather Brings Rare ‘Flesh-Eating’ Bacteria to Florida Beaches

FotoMak/iStock/Thinkstock(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — A potentially deadly bacteria that thrives in warm saltwater has infected at least seven people and killed two so far this year in Florida, a state health official said Wednesday.

“People can get infected with Vibrio vulnificus when they eat raw shellfish,” Florida Health Department spokeswoman Mara Burger said in a statement on Wednesday. “Since it is naturally found in warm marine waters, people with open wounds can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with seawater.”

The bacteria are particularly prevalent in the summer and grow the fastest between the temperatures of 68 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, health officials said, noting that most cases happen between May and October.

There were 32 reported cases of people infected by the bacteria last year in Florida, including seven deaths, according to the state Health Department.

If consumed, the bacteria can cause gastroenteritis and in rare cases it can lead to septicemia, or an infection of the blood. If the bacteria infects the body through an open wound, the injury can become necrotic and amputations may become necessary to save a patient’s life, experts said. Other symptoms can be lesions or cellulitis, which is a bacterial infection beneath the skin.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following precautions to avoid Vibrio vulnificus infections:

  • Avoid exposing open wounds to warm saltwater, brackish water or to raw shellfish
  • Wear protective clothing when handling raw shellfish
  • Cook shellfish thoroughly and avoid food contamination with juices from raw seafood
  • Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerate leftovers

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Florida Man Proposes to Girlfriend on Her Last Day of Chemotherapy

2p2play/iStock/Thinkstock(BOCA RATON, Fla.) — “She said YES!!!!” Lucas D’Onofrio wrote in a Facebook post after proposing to girlfriend Tamara Bruzzo.

Bruzzo, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in February, received the best surprise of all on the day of her last chemotherapy treatment in Boca Raton, Florida: a surprise proposal.

“It was something I knew would make her really happy at the end of everything,” D’Onfrio told ABC News.

D’Onofrio, 24, had nurses, friends and family help him set up a room at Boca Raton Regional Hospital complete with roses, candles and fireworks.

“I had about three months after I decided I wanted to propose on the day of her last chemo session,” he said. “Little by little I thought of ideas. She had no idea it was coming.”

What D’Onofrio didn’t expect was the attention the video would receive.

“I just put it up on Facebook and YouTube for friends and family,” he said. “I was very surprised it got so much attention, but I think it made it even more special for Tamara.”

Bruzzo, 21, is being released from the hospital today and will receive a PET scan next week, which is when doctors hope to give her the all clear.

“I just wanted to do something nice and romantic for her last chemo session and I think it worked out really well.”

ABC US News | World News

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Texas Mom, 92, Finally Adopts Daughter, 76, After 6 Decades of Waiting

WFAA-TV(DALLAS) — After 60 years of referring to one another as mother and daughter, Muriel Clayton, 92, said her dream has finally come true now that she has legally adopted Mary Smith, her first cousin whom she’s raised since she was 11 years old.

“It’s not going to change anything except each one of my daughters were so thrilled,” Clayton, of Dallas, told ABC News. “They said it was beautiful. They love Mary and Mary loves them. We’ve always been a close family and this will just be the icing on the cake.”

Smith, now 76, was taken under Clayton’s wing at the age of 14 after her father died, joining Clayton’s husband and four daughters in the household.

“Her mother was ill in an institution and thought she would be well enough to take care of her child, but she wasn’t,” Clayton said. “Mary’s father had a massive heart attack when he was 45 years old.”

Out of respect for Smith’s mother, who died at the age of 73, Clayton said she held off on the adoption process.

More than 60 years later, Clayton, who got the go-ahead from Smith, researched how to make their dream official.

“It took two weeks and I filed with my grandson,” Clayton said. “He said, ‘This is my grandmother and she’s trying to adopt my mother. I said, ‘You better not say that. They will look at us like we’re in the funny farm.'”

On June 9, the women went down to Dallas County Court, where they legally became mother and daughter.

“She has always been my daughter and has always called me mother,” Clayton said. “We are very close. She has children and I’ve always been granny to them.”

“I guess when I got older I needed to put the rest of the puzzle together — for me and for her also, of course,” she added. “She [Smith] was the only piece missing.”

ABC US News | World News

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US Cities Consider Warning Labels for Salty Foods, Sugary Drinks

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — On both coasts of the U.S., big cities are considering new warning labels for food and drinks that some of us consume every day and could be putting our health at risk.

In San Francisco, they’re going after sugary drinks. A measure passed by the Board of Supervisors would make the city the first one to require warning labels on ads for sugary drinks.

The warnings about obesity would be on billboards and other print ads — if it passes another vote and a possible lawsuit filed by the beverage industry.

Over in New York, sodium is the target. A picture of a salt shaker would appear on chain restaurant menu items containing more than the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams.

The measure is meant to encourage a reduction in dietary sodium to cut the risk for heart attack and stroke. If it passes, menus could change by December.

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Woman Bears Child from Ovarian Tissue Frozen When She Was 13

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A 27-year-old Belgian woman, who was left infertile after chemotherapy, was able to give birth to a healthy baby boy thanks to a groundbreaking procedure that utilized her ovarian tissue frozen 14 years ago.

At age 13, the unidentified woman had portions of her ovaries frozen in the hopes that they would one day allow her to conceive a biological child. While the procedure has worked in women who have already started menstruating, it had yet to be proven to work in children, so she is the first.

The patient’s case was explained in a recent article in the journal Human Reproduction. The woman had arrived in Belgium from Congo at age 11 with severe sickle cell anemia. In order to help the girl, doctors advised a stem cell transplant from her sibling.

But to properly transplant the stem cells, the girl’s immune system would have to be totally wiped out with chemotherapy, which can also irrevocably damage the ovaries.

While doctors froze the girls’ ovarian tissue, they were not sure whether it would work or produce eggs when implanted as an adult because of the girl’s young age. Ten years after chemotherapy resulted in her remaining ovary failing, the woman had her frozen ovarian tissue grafted.

As a result, two years later, the woman was able to naturally conceive her child and deliver a baby in November, according to the journal.

Dr. Isabelle Demeestere, lead author on the study and a research associate in the Fertility Clinic and Research Laboratory on Human Reproduction at Erasme Hospital, University Libre of Brussels in Belgium, said more study was needed but that the success of the procedure was an important first step.

“This is an important breakthrough in the field because children are the patients who are most likely to benefit from the procedure in the future,” she said in a statement. “When they are diagnosed with diseases that require treatment that can destroy ovarian function, freezing ovarian tissue is the only available option for preserving their fertility.”

Dr. Kutluk Oktay, a fertility specialist and a professor at the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York, who helped to pioneer the treatment in the late-1990s, said this success with a young teen’s tissue could give hope to many people or parents of young children going through procedures now that can damage their fertility.

“In another sense it shows the importance of this technique in children,” said Oktay, who has taken tissue from children as young as 1 in hopes of helping them retain their fertility as they get older.

“Part or whole of an ovary can be removed and frozen in small slivers,” he explained.

Barbara Collura, president and CEO of RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association, said she was as excited to hear this news as when she first heard about successful IVF treatments.

“It’s a game-changer for women and girls who don’t need to compromise their fertility,” while undergoing medical treatments, Collura said.

But she cited one big issue going forward as the expense because, she said, insurance companies will not cover the cost of removing, freezing and restoring ovary tissue.

“[Patients] feel confident that there’s hope they may one day have a biological child,” she said. “We need to bring insurance in line with medical [advances.]”

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What’s the Secret to Happiness?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What do you think is the key to happiness? Is it money, power or health? A group of scientists say it’s all in the mind.

The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota has developed a 10-week, four-step program they say helps train the mind into true happiness, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reports.

“Happiness is a habit,” says lead researcher Dr. Amit Sood. “Some of us are born with it; others have to choose it.”

The Handbook for Happiness breaks down four research-supported aspects of what they say contribute to 40 to 50 percent of your happiness. The research is built on studies that show we are inclined to focus on negative experiences because our ancestors needed this habit for survival. The book aims to switch this focus to positive experiences, which will help us be happier, says Dr. Sood.

The four steps to happiness, according to Mayo Clinic’s book, are to train your attention on positive things, build emotional resilience, connect to your mind and body and choose healthy habits.

There are no get-rich, weight-loss or relationship tips in this book. The author aims to teach readers to have more power over their thoughts as a means of having power over their happiness.

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What’s the Secret to Happiness?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What do you think is the key to happiness? Is it money, power or health? A group of scientists say it’s all in the mind.

The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota has developed a 10-week, four-step program they say helps train the mind into true happiness, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reports.

“Happiness is a habit,” says lead researcher Dr. Amit Sood. “Some of us are born with it; others have to choose it.”

The Handbook for Happiness breaks down four research-supported aspects of what they say contribute to 40 to 50 percent of your happiness. The research is built on studies that show we are inclined to focus on negative experiences because our ancestors needed this habit for survival. The book aims to switch this focus to positive experiences, which will help us be happier, says Dr. Sood.

The four steps to happiness, according to Mayo Clinic’s book, are to train your attention on positive things, build emotional resilience, connect to your mind and body and choose healthy habits.

There are no get-rich, weight-loss or relationship tips in this book. The author aims to teach readers to have more power over their thoughts as a means of having power over their happiness.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Second Formerly Conjoined Twin Leaves Hospital One Month After Sister

Allen S. Kramer/Texas Children’s Hospital(HOUSTON) — Adeline Faith Mata, once conjoined to her twin Knatalye Hope Mata, has been released from the hospital almost exactly one month after her sister was cleared to go home.

A team of surgeons at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston performed a highly complicated, high-stakes separation surgery on the conjoined Mata twins in February. After the surgery, both girls spent months recovering in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Doctors cleared Knatalye for release on May 8, just in time for Mother’s Day, but Adeline had remained in the pediatric intensive care unit until doctors decided on Tuesday she was well enough to go home.

ABC News’ Nightline has followed the twins’ journey, from their parents making the difficult decision to go through with the separation surgery to the twins’ recovery and hospital release. The full story of the twins and their journey will be featured in a one-hour special, produced by Lincoln Square Productions, airing on Discovery Life Channel later this summer.

The fact that Knatalye and Adeline are doing so well is remarkable. Roughly 1 in 200,000 twins are born conjoined each year. As many as 60 percent of conjoined twins are stillborn. About 35 percent only survive one day. Conjoined twins who live beyond a day have a 5 to 25 percent chance of survival. On top of that, each separation surgery is different and presents its own challenges and potential complications, which could also lead to death.

When the twins’ mother Elysse Mata found out they were conjoined, she said doctors talked to her about terminating the pregnancy, but for her, that was never an option.

“I told [the doctor], ‘I don’t care what the case is, I’m going to go as long as I can, and if God decides that he needs them more, then so be it,’” she told Nightline in February.

On April 11, 2014, the two sisters beat the odds and were born alive, nine weeks premature, at Texas Children’s Hospital. Elysse and her husband Eric Mata decided to give them meaningful middle names: Hope and Faith.

At birth, the girls shared a chest wall, diaphragm, intestines, lungs, lining of the heart and pelvis. But there was hope once doctors learned they each had their own hearts, beating separately.

After they were born, the babies had to stay in the intensive care unit until doctors could perform the separation surgery, so Eric, Elysse and their 5-year-old son, Azariah, uprooted their lives in Lubbock, Texas, to live near the Houston hospital. Eric commuted eight hours each way for work from Lubbock to Houston to see his family.

When the twin girls were 10 months old, doctors determined they had a good chance of surviving the separation surgery, so a team, led by Dr. Darrell Cass, began to prepare.

Doctors spent months creating 3-D models of the babies’ organs and practiced on mannequins. Despite all the preparation, there was still a chance the girls would die in surgery.

On Feb. 17, 2015, and into Feb. 18, a team of 12 surgeons performed a 26-hour separation surgery on the girls, while Elysse, her husband and family members camped out in the waiting room.

The Mata twins both survived the surgery and have spent the past few months recovering in the pediatric intensive care unit at Texas Children’s Hospital. Since the separation, both have each had a few more surgeries. Doctors decided that Knatalye was strong enough to be released first, while her sister Adeline remained in intensive care until Tuesday.

The girls will continue to need around-the-clock care and Adeline is still on a ventilator. Their mother Elysse said she wants to go back to school to become a nurse.

Watch the girls’ story on ABC News’ Nightline Wednesday night at 12:35 a.m. ET

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