Review Category : Health

Fitbit Wristband May Have Saved a Man’s Life

Lisa Werner/Moment Mobile ED via Getty Images(CAMDEN, N.J.) — Although Fitbit wristbands are used to help people stay in shape, one may have saved a man’s life.

The Fitbit wristband is a fitness device normally used to monitor a person’s heart rate and the amount of steps they take in a day. When high school English teacher Jeff Bravo had a seizure in class, however, it helped provide doctors with the exact time his heart rate became irregular.

Since Bravo couldn’t speak when he was taken to the E.R., the Fitbit showed his heart rate had shot up three hours before. Doctors then knew it was well within the safe window needed to use electric shock to normalize his heart rate.

“Absolutely Jeff’s Fitbit saved his life,” Dr. Vibek Sailam of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center told ABC News.

Bravo told ABC News the Fitbit, a Christmas gift from his wife, was “peace of mind worn on your wrist.”

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Photographer Snaps Florida Mom Giving Birth in Hospital Parking Lot

Courtesy RATON, Fla.) — A Florida woman hired a professional photographer to capture the birth of her third child. What she didn’t expect to get on film was when her newborn daughter was born in the hospital parking lot.

Paula D’Amore, who describes herself as “Type A,” told ABC News that after having almost no photographic record of her first two children’s births, she decided if she ever got pregnant again, she’d hire a photographer to capture the moments she’s likely to forget.

“With my first son I got no pictures whatsoever,” she recalled. “And with my second son, I had hired a doula and she just grabbed my camera and took pictures, but it was low lighting and low quality … that’s why I knew I needed someone there documenting the whole thing and I wanted it to be documented professionally.”

D’Amore, 30, hired birth photographer, Paulina Splechta. The mother paid $1,000 to receive between 100 and 150 professional pictures. She said the investment was well worth it.

“It’s almost like an out of body experience because I’m going through all of this and now I’m able to look back at the photos [and say], ‘Wow this just happened,'” she said.

D’Amore has plenty to look at since her baby was born Friday in the parking lot of Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

This being her third child, D’Amore said she didn’t want to rush to the hospital.

“With this one I knew my body more,” the Green Acres, Florida, woman said. “I didn’t want to arrive to the hospital and be there for hours, so I [told my doula Lindsay Ripley,] ‘I would love to labor at home for as long as possible.'”

After taking a bath to ease her contractions, which were now three to five minutes apart, and stare at the birth affirmations she had posted around the tub for her birthing photo shoot, D’Amore said she told her husband Joseph it was time to head to the hospital with Ripley. Splechta followed right behind them in her own car, camera in hand.

“Two miles down the road, I was like, ‘Guys I have the urge to push,'” she recalled. “It just takes over your body. It’s not like you can control it.”

The midwife D’Amore had also hired, Christine Hackshaw, met them in the parking lot of the hospital to help deliver her baby girl.

Splechta, who had been driving behind D’Amore in a separate vehicle, arrived just in time to capture the baby’s birth. The photographer, who has been capturing births for two years, said it was “definitely not easy.”

“You have to be on your toes because there’s only one chance to get that particular shot and if you don’t get that shot there’s no second chance at all,” Splechta told ABC News.

D’Amore doesn’t regret hiring a photographer to help capture her birth.

“It’s incredible how everything went down even down to the second,” D’Amore said. “I couldn’t have picked a better team. I always said to them, ‘You’re my dream team.'”

Daniella D’Amore was born, weighing 8 pound and six ounces and more than 20 inches long.

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Top Baby Names on the Rise in 2016

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The results for the top baby names on the rise in 2016 are in.

Baby naming resource site Nameberry released its list of baby names on the rise this year, and the results give an interesting look at the names that are gaining popularity with new parents.

For girls, the name Olivia took the top spot as most popular baby name in 2016. Olivia knocked Charlotte out of the top spot, but Charlotte remains on the list at number three this year.

For boys, Ezra remains the most popular baby name for boys, and there wasn’t much movement in the Top 10 from previous years. Just two names were added to the list; Levi and Wyatt replaced Jude and Jasper in 2016.

Nameberry uses Google Analytics to determine the most popular baby names.

According to Nameberry creator Pamela Satran, the results are “based on the most-visited of the nearly 20 million views of our individual name pages in the first three months of this year.”

Here are Nameberry’s most popular baby names on the rise in 2016:


  1. Olivia
  2. Amelia
  3. Charlotte
  4. Ava
  5. Isla
  6. Arabella
  7. Aurora
  8. Adeline
  9. Penelope
  10. Eleanor


  1. Ezra
  2. Asher
  3. Atticus
  4. Declan
  5. Oliver
  6. Silas
  7. Milo
  8. Levi
  9. Henry
  10. Wyatt

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Psych Patient Escapee Caught Near Washington-Idaho Border

(NEW YORK) — Anthony Garver, the man who escaped a Washington state psychiatric hospital Wednesday night, was captured Friday evening, ABC News has confirmed.

Garver, 28 — who was arrested in 2013 for first-degree murder and accused of torturing a woman to death, but found too mentally ill to stand trial — was captured in the woods near the Washington-Idaho border Friday, after being tracked down by a police dog, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich tells ABC News.

As of Friday evening, Knezovich said Garver was under arrest and en route to a hospital, suffering from dehydration.

Anthony Garver Captured Tonight, at approximately 8:15 p.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputies captured Anthony…

Posted by Spokane County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, April 8, 2016

At a press conference Friday evening, Knezovich further elaborated about Garver’s capture, saying that Garver was discovered hiding under a pile of debris, without any weapons. He added that Garver had made contact with his parents, expressing an interest in obtaining his passport in order to travel to Morocco. He did not obtain his passport, though.

Garver had escaped along with fellow patient Mark Alexander Adams, 59, who was apprehended Thursday in Des Moines, Washington, about 30 miles north of Western State Hospital.

Trooper Todd Bartolac, public information officer with the Washington State Patrol, also confirmed the capture of both escapees.

Both escaped inmates from Western St Hospital are in custody!

— Trp. Todd Bartolac (@wspd1pio) April 9, 2016

Garver and Adams were last seen in the hospital’s dining hall Wednesday at 6 p.m., and hospital staffers learned they were missing at 7 p.m. and notified police.

Adams, who had been sent to the hospital to receive treatment on a domestic violence arrest, was spotted on a public bus at 10:30 p.m. “and inquired about how to get to the airport.” He was apprehended in Des Moines, Washington, “without incident,” according to Lakewood Police Lt. Chris Lawler. Lawler did not say who recognized Adams but did say that he was spotted as a result of the media attention to the case.

In a related incident, Washington state officials announced Friday that another patient went missing Wednesday from Western State Hospital — although officials were adamant about describing it as an “unauthorized leave” –not an “escape.”

Lt. Lawler of the Lakewood Police Department said Friday, “For those of you inquiring about another patient missing from WSH, it’s a person with ground privileges that failed to return. It’s somewhat common out there. It’s not an escape. We take reports and look for the person, but not like Garver or Adams unless there are special circumstances.”

The unnamed individual left the facility Wednesday with an escorted group, but didn’t return, according to the Associated Press. The patient — who was under less restrictive conditions than Garver and Adams — was committed to Western State Hospital after being deemed unfit to face trial on residential burglary charges and violation of a no-contact order.

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Chicago Hospital Delivers 17 Sets of Twins in First Week of April

iStock/Thinkstock(OAK LAWN, Ill.) — As the saying goes, it’s double the giggles and double the grins, and double the trouble if you’re blessed with twins, which one hospital in Chicago has probably said very often this past week. The Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn delivered 17 sets of twins just in the first week of April, hospital officials said.

“It’s kind of odd,” Jon Bertoletti, 37, told ABC News on Friday. His wife, Amy Bertoletti, 38, gave birth to their identical twins, Molly and Estelle, on Tuesday at the hospital.

Dr. Brett Galley, a neonatologist in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital, told ABC News that this number of twin births is “a little bit out of the ordinary,” but could also be due to the fact that the hospital is a high-risk medical center that is used to delivering twins.

However, the average amount of twin births is around 10 sets a month, Galley said. “I’d be very surprised to see the amount of twins we had continue at this rate,” he added.

The hospital usually takes care of three to four sets of twins at a time between delivery and being in the neonatal intensive care unit. The recent flood of twin births has caused the NICU to get close to its maximum occupancy of approximately 57 newborns, Galley said, with the number currently in the “mid-forties.”

The last time Galley saw such high numbers “would be four to five years ago,” when the hospital delivered four sets of triplets in one week.

Most twins will go into the NICU after birth, Galley said, as they are typically prematurely born around 35 to 37 weeks old, “but it really depends.” He added that “There’s some issues that can issues that can occur before they’re born, especially if they’re sharing the same placenta or amniotic sac.”

When twins share the same placenta, they can be sharing blood cells, which can make their blood counts too high or too low. If they share the same amniotic sac, then the situation can be worse, Galley said, running the risk of problems with umbilical cord tangles.

The Bertoletti’s babies are currently in the NICU, due to fluid in their lungs. They were 36 weeks old when they were born via C-section. The hospital is waiting until the twins can eat on their own before they are discharged.

Twin births are usually seen more in older women, or first-time moms, as there is an “increased likelihood there might be fertility treatments involved.”

Jon Bertoletti’s brother and sister were fraternal twins, but he said that wouldn’t necessarily increase the odds of his daughters being identical twins.

“It’s just a little bit out of the ordinary,” Galley said about the whole ordeal, adding, “It’s sort of a fun time in there. Most of these parents are pretty excited about having twins; most of these twins are doing well. It’s good to see that as well.”

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Why This Rescue Dog Donates Her Blood to Kittens

Sacramento SCPA(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Jemmie the dog loves kittens — so much so that she’s been donating her blood to help save them from potentially fatal eye infections, according to the Sacramento SPCA (SSPCA).

Recently, two 5-week-old orange kittens with bad ulcers and infections in their eyes were rescued as strays and brought into the shelter, according to SSPCA foster care coordinator Sarah Varanini, who’s also Jemmie’s owner.

In addition to antibiotics, the kittens have been getting drops of a special serum developed from Jemmie’s blood in their eyes, Varanini told ABC News Thursday.

Certain factors in the serum “block the enzymes in the diseased eye that damage the cornea,” helping to accelerate healing, according to veterinarian Dr. Lauren Siperstein-Cook, who’s the SSPCA’s chief of shelter medicine.

Kittens are particularly susceptible to eye infections, according to Varanini, especially strays who haven’t received any medical attention.

“We could use cat blood since the important factors are the same,” Siperstein-Cook told ABC News Thursday. But since dogs are bigger, it’s easier to draw blood from them, she explained.

Varinini said Jemmie “has been donating her blood to kittens for a couple of years,” along with a few other SSPCA staff members’ dogs. The dogs’ blood donations have been able to save the sight of dozens of kittens, she said.

“This morning, I just massaged her chin and we were able to draw some blood from Jemmie’s jugular vein and she didn’t even notice,” Varanini said. “Of course, she got a bunch of treats after, so for her, donating blood is a fun thing.”

Varnini added that her dog has also served as a “surrogate mother” to numerous kittens she’s fostered and that she actually adopted Jemmie from the shelter a few years ago because of how good Jemmie was with her own cats at home.

“Jemmie loves kittens,” she said. “She cleans them, lets them topple all over her and play in her beard.”

The pup has also gotten a chance to play with the two orange kittens she’s currently been donating her blood to, Varanini said.

“They had a little photo shoot, and she got to say hi and lick their faces,” she said. “It was really cute.”

Varanini said that the veterinary staff are hopeful that they will be able to restore full sight in both eyes for one of the kittens and at least in one eye for the other.

“I think what’s really neat about all this is that Jemmie, a dog from the shelter, is now able to give back to the shelter in a nice way,” she said. “I’m sure if she could talk, she say the same thing.”

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Terminally Ill Girl Fulfills ‘Lifelong Dream’ as Chicago Police Award Her Medal of Valor

WLS-TV(CHICAGO) — A Chicago girl was honored by the Chicago Police Department for her bravery in facing a terminal disease and even given her own Medal of Valor by an officer.

Madison Pruitt, 6, is currently in hospice care due to cancer, according to a spokeswoman at the JourneyCare hospice service center that is assisting with her treatment. The girl was honored on Wednesday by the Chicago Police Department, which arrived with 75 officers and gave the girl her own uniform and police badge.

“A caseworker gave us a call and said, ‘Do you mind coming over and speaking to her? … She wants to be a Chicago police officer. It’s her lifelong dream,'” Sgt. Ernest Spradley of the Chicago Police Department told ABC’s Chicago station WLS-TV. “I said, ‘Oh, no, no, no. We’ll do a little something better than that.'”

Madison has a rare cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma that attacks muscle tissue. The girl was too sick to go to the police station, but dozens of officers arrived at her door to bring her cheer. One officer even donated his Medal of Valor so that it could be awarded to Madison for her “bravery” in facing her disease, according to a post on the Chicago Police Department’s Facebook page on Thursday.

“This is for you, because you’re a brave little girl and you are the reason we do what we do. You’re our hero,” Chicago Police Dept. Interim Supt. Eddie Johnson told Madison during his visit to the hospice center.

Officers took roll call, arrived on horseback and saluted the girl who waved from her wheelchair.

“If she doesn’t make you feel good about life, then nothing else will,” Johnson said after he presented Madison with a medal of valor, which was donated by a lieutenant on the force. “Despite the fact that she’s going through what she’s going through, she was able to muster up a smile.”

Madison’s family members, including her grandmother, were there to see the girl smile and wave at the dozens of officers, who had come out to honor her and who also prayed with her.

“I’m just so overjoyed for all this love for my baby. You don’t know,” Madison’s grandmother, Pamlor Nelson, told WLS-TV.

The family declined through JourneyCare to give further comment to ABC News as Madison’s condition continues to deteriorate.

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Are Some Divorcing Parents Brainwashing Their Children?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In heated custody battles, a particularly explosive conflict can arise. One parent accuses the other of abusing their child. The accused parent, however, will sometimes say the child was brainwashed into making false accusations.

The stakes are enormous – a child can end up in the custody of an abuser, or an innocent parent can be labeled a monster. A family court judge must decide who is telling the truth and then seal the family’s fate.

When Parents Brainwash Their Kids

“Parental alienation” is the idea that one parent can maliciously turn a child against the other parent for no good reason. Dr. Richard Warshak calls it “divorce poison.”

“The kids hear a steady drumbeat about a parent’s flaws and lies that portray the parent as unloving and unworthy of love,” explained Warshak, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and author of “Divorce Poison.”

Alienated children, he says, will “pull away from a formerly loved mother or father, and often an entire extended family, leaving the rejected relatives puzzled over what they might have said or done that caused a total rupture in relations.”

Children who suffer from parental alienation may behave reprehensibly toward a caring parent without feeling any shame and hold no positive thoughts or memories of that parent, said Warshak.

When alienation is extreme, children can be manipulated into making false accusations of child abuse against even the most loving parent, he said.

Are Some Judges Ignoring Child Abuse Because of “Parental Alienation” Claims?

The widespread acceptance of parental alienation claims in family courts nationwide has sparked a heated controversy.

Critics, like law professor Joan Meier of George Washington University, believe judges too often reject child abuse allegations made during custody battles because they assume the child was brainwashed to lie.

“If you raise child abuse in court, you’ve got to make a very strong case. If you can’t nail it, not only will you lose custody, you may lose all access to your child because the assumption will be that you’ve poisoned your child’s brain with these ideas,” said Meier.

In a pilot study of 240 cases, Meier found that in 80 percent of cases where a mother alleged child abuse against the father, the mother lost primary custody of her kids. Many of these parents, Meier believes, “were punished for reporting abuse.”

There is also concern within the medical community. “There is insufficient scientific evidence that parental alienation is a real mental disorder,” said Dr. Paul Appelbaum, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and former president of the American Psychiatric Association.

While badmouthing another parent can be harmful to children, Appelbaum said that “we ought to be careful about throwing around terms [like parental alienation] that carry such strong pejorative connotations, especially when the consequences can change a child’s life forever.”

An Underground Network to Hide Children

Damon Dumas spoke to ABC News about the child abuse he said he suffered at the hands of his father when he was 15 years old. He said that a family court judge ignored his allegations, concluded that he had suffered parental alienation by his mother, and ordered him into the full custody of his father. Damon’s father has denied ever abusing his son and a judge in their case agreed there was no credible evidence to corroborate the accusations of abuse.

With his mother’s help, Dumas ran away from home and into a secret underground network of friends and strangers who hide children from a parent with custody. During those dark days, Damon says even his mother did not know his exact whereabouts: “She handed me off to someone she trusted, who handed me off to someone else that she trusted,” he said.

Dumas spent 1 year and 8 months in hiding, always moving, and living in 10 different homes despite “crushing loneliness,” he said.

Today, Dumas advocates for other children who claim that family court judges wrongly found “parental alienation” by one parent, instead of child abuse by the other. Working with the organizations Safe Kids International and The Women’s Coalition, he helps raise awareness about what they call “the epidemic of court-licensed abuse.”

Family Court Judges Must Decide Who Is Telling the Truth

Legal experts say parental alienation claims can be treated very differently depending on where you are and which judge hears your case.

“You can take the same story, same facts, presented the exact same way, and you will get a different result depending on which judge’s courtroom you walk into,” said veteran family law attorney Lynne Gold-Bikin.

“Sometimes these parents are telling the truth, and sometimes they’re not,” said Gold-Bikin, who has represented parents both claiming and being accused of parental alienation.

Family court judges may find it difficult to know who is being truthful. “They are not given a crystal ball when they get on the bench,” she said.

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104-Year-Old Great-Grandpa World’s Oldest Person to Receive First Tattoo

Guinness World Records(CHESTERFIELD, England) — A British great-grandfather has set a new world record for being the oldest person to receive his first tattoo, Guinness World Records confirmed to ABC News.

Jack Reynolds, of Chesterfield, UK, went under the needle on his 104th birthday at local tattoo shop “Pete Who’s.”

The centenarian had “Jacko 6.4.1912” tattooed on his upper arm. The ink shows his nickname, in his own handwriting, and his birth date April 6, 1912.

Before getting his record-breaking tattoo, Reynolds told “Good Morning Britain” that he was “apprehensive,” but “looking forward to it.”

His daughter Jayne Goodwin, 55, and grandson Shane Spencer, 35, also got the same tattoo.

“My emotions, they were just all over the place,” Goodwin said prior to her father receiving the acknowledgment. “I had been through a blubber at one point, but this guy was just as cool as a cucumber.”

Guinness World Records adjudicator Mark McKinley surprised Reynolds with his certificate on April 7, while he was surrounded by his family. The category of the World’s Oldest Person to receive a Tattoo had not been previously set, according to Guinness. Reynolds is the first to hold the record.

While getting inked, the former railway line foreman raised $3,400 for independent charity Ashgate Hospicecare.

Reynolds joked that his tattoo “shows off his muscles.”

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Doctors Reveal Reason Why First US Uterus Transplant Failed

iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) — The first uterus transplant in the U.S. failed due to an infection that “compromised” blood supply, according to doctors who performed the procedure at the Cleveland Clinic.

The transplanted uterus was removed from the recipient just weeks after surgery.

“Preliminary results suggest that the complication was due to an infection caused by an organism that is commonly found in a woman’s reproductive system,” officials from the Cleveland Clinic said in a statement Friday. “The infection appears to have compromised the blood supply to the uterus, causing the need for its removal.”

Since the operation was part of an ongoing study into the feasibility of uterus transplants, the medical staff announced they have modified protocols around the operation to diminish the chances this will happen in the next patient.

The transplant was performed on Feb. 24 and recipient identified as Lindsey spoke to reporters less than two weeks after that to talk about her hopes for future pregnancies.

News of the first U.S. uterus transplant was greeted with much fanfare, giving hope to many women who had previously believed it was impossible for them to bear children of their own. But the jubilation was soon followed by sobering news from the clinic.

“We are saddened to share that our patient, Lindsey, recently experienced a sudden complication that led to the removal of her transplanted uterus,” hospital officials said in a statement shortly after the uterus was removed.

She thanked her medical team in a statement after the transplant failed.

“I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude towards all of my doctors,” she said. “They acted very quickly to ensure my health and safety. Unfortunately, I did lose the uterus to complications. However, I am doing okay and appreciate all of your prayers and good thoughts.”

The operation was the first in a study that started last fall and is expected to include 10 women. The women who were considered for the procedure are unable to carry a pregnancy to term because of uterine factor infertility, which means the uterus had abnormalities that included fibroids, scarring, genetic malformations or that it never developed.

“Women who are coping with UFI [uterine factor infertility] have few existing options,” Dr. Tommaso Falcone, an obstetrician-gynecologist and chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Women’s Health Institute, said in a statement last year. “Although adoption and surrogacy provide opportunities for parenthood, both pose logistical challenges and may not be acceptable due to personal, cultural or legal reasons.”

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