Review Category : Health

Four-Year-Old Credited With Saving Mom’s Life by Unlocking Her Phone and Calling for Help

Misty Vaughan (NEW YORK) — A 4-year-old boy may have saved his mother’s life when he managed to unlock her iPhone and call his father for help after he found her unconscious on Sunday night.

Dr. Jeremy Vaughan was at his office when he received the frightening call from his 4-year-old son, Camden. “[He said,] ‘Daddy, you need to come home! Mommy can’t wake up,'” Vaughan told ABC News.

Vaughan dropped everything and rushed home to his wife Misty, where he found her unresponsive. He called 911.

Like many kids, Camden likes to play games on his parents’ phones. Fortunately for Misty, Camden is so familiar with his mom’s phone, he has her passcode memorized. That’s how he was able to unlock it when he found her passed out. He then sought out his father’s number.

“He … went to the favorites tab,” Misty told ABC News. “I have pictures of the people we call the most frequently.” Vaughan’s photo was at the top of the list.

For her part, Misty, a mother of two sons, has little memory of the incident. The last thing she remembers is checking her temperature with a thermometer. It read 105.5 degrees. “My body and brain were literally cooking,” Misty said, “and much longer would have been devastating consequences.”

She added: “My doctors are assuming I had a seizure because when I was found, I was foaming at the mouth and non-responsive,” Misty said, “and when I got to the ER, I had two more seizures….”

Vaughan said doctors have been unable to pinpoint the cause of his wife’s illness. Though she hadn’t been feeling well in the days leading up to the incident, Misty never expected she’d have to be rushed to the ER.

“I have never had a seizure before,” Misty said. “I’m an active mom. I run a farm. I work part-time. I take care of my two boys.”

For now, Misty’s back at home and feeling much better.

“My boys are my world and my gratitude is overwhelming,” she said. “I just keep starring at them amazed at how different things could have really been for me. It’s reminded me to enjoy the day-to-day tasks of motherhood again and not get bogged down with all the details in my life that in the end won’t really matter anyway.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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British Woman Shares Selfie During Panic Attack to Dismantle Stigmas

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A British woman, who suffers from depression and anxiety, said that after a night out with friends, she took to Facebook to rant about people who misjudge those with mental illnesses and claim that they’re not really suffering.

Amber Smith’s post features one photo of herself looking polished and another photo where she’s crying. The post has now been shared more than 5,000 times on the social network.

“Top picture: What I showcase to the world via social media. Dressed up, make up done, filters galore. The ‘normal’ side to me.”

She then described the contrasting picture.

“Bottom picture: Taken tonight shortly after suffering from a panic attack because of my anxiety. Also the ‘normal’ side to me that most people don’t see.”

“I’m so sick of the fact that it’s 2016 and there is still so much stigma around mental health,” Smith continued in the post. “It disgusts me that so many people are so uneducated and judgmental over the topic.”

Smith, 22, told ABC News that she penned the post because her friends didn’t understand how she suffered silently.

“I kind of reached a point where I recently wasn’t feeling too good with everything and I got forced to go out with some friends,” she said. “[My friends] kept saying, ‘Why are you late for this…? The whole time they didn’t know that I’ve been at home feeling nauseous, panicky, feeling sick and just generally not in a good place.”

Smith said she has been living with depression and anxiety since she was 16. She was officially diagnosed only three years ago.

Smith said she turned to Facebook to share her feelings because she wanted people to know anxiety and depression affects people differently.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one out of 20 Americans older than 12 years of age reported suffering from depression in 2005 to 2006. Although the CDC doesn’t have specific statistics on the prevalence of anxiety and other panic disorders, the agency says they are, “the most common class of mental disorders in the general population.”

Since posting her rant last Sunday, Smith said she’s been “overwhelmed” by “messages from people all around the world.”

“The messages that people are sending are beautiful and they’re so lovely — but that wasn’t the reason why I did this,” she clarified. “People are so quick to judge. I get it all the time when people say, ‘What do you have to be depressed about? You have a good job. You have a good life. You have a good family.’ People don’t realize that even though in life we all go through problems, [those with depression] still think differently and it still affects us differently.”

“I was sick of people suffering in silence,” she added. “The most important thing for me to do is use my voice so they don’t have to feel like they’re by themselves.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Retired Astronaut Scott Kelly Reveals Physical Setbacks from Time in Space

Eric Kayne/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Scott Kelly, who recently returned to Earth after almost a year in space, plans to share more about the toll his time in orbit has taken on his body.

“I lost bone mass, my muscles atrophied, and my blood redistributed itself in my body, which strained my heart,” he said in a news release about his forthcoming memoir, Endurance: My Year in Space and Our Journey to Mars, which publisher Knopf said Wednesday will be released in November 2017.

Kelly was aboard the International Space Station for 340 consecutive days, a record for the most time spent in space by a U.S. citizen. Nine days after his mission ended last month, the 52-year-old announced his retirement.

In the release from Knopf about the book, Kelly says, “Every day, I was exposed to ten times the radiation of a person on Earth, which will increase my risk of a fatal cancer for the rest of my life. Not to mention the psychological stress, which is harder to quantify and perhaps as damaging.”

But despite the physical setbacks Kelly describes, the veteran Navy pilot will also detail in the book his faith in space exploration and his desire to see both government-backed and private space travel, according to Knopf.

The NASA project on which Kelly worked aimed to observe the long-term effects of spaceflight on the human body. Kelly underwent medical experiments, as did his identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, who was on Earth at the time, serving as a control subject.

Kelly shared his enthusiasm about the book on Twitter, saying he was “excited to share this incredible #YearInSpace experience.”

Excited to share this incredible #YearInSpace experience in collaboration with @AAKnopf and with @mlazarusdean! https://t.co/feDjsrY10F

— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) April 6, 2016

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Using Old Tires to Fight Zika Virus: Canadian Government Funds DIY Mosquito Trap

iStock/Thinkstock(SUDBURY, Ontario) — With about $3.50 and an old tire, a doctor in Canada has come up with a mosquito trap that might dramatically cut down mosquito populations as part of an ongoing fight against infectious diseases like the Zika virus, a new study shows.

The innovative DIY trap, called an “ovillanta,” has been shown to capture almost seven times more eggs of the Zika-spreading Aedes mosquitoes when pitted against standard traps, known as ovitraps.

Dr. Gerardo Ulibarri of Laurentian University in Canada started modifying ovitraps for West Nile virus in Canada, then focused on mosquitoes that spread dengue fever in Guatemala. Unable to bring his traps from Canada, he made them from discarded tires, thus the name “ovillanta,” combining the words oviposition (when insects lay eggs) and llanta (Spanish for “tire”).

Details of Ulibarri’s study were released Thursday on F1000Research, an online platform for rapid dissemination of research pending peer review, as encouraged by the World Health Organization during public health emergencies.

Dengue, not Zika, was the original target when his team started training local health workers and engaging a town of 15,000 Guatemalans in using the DIY devices to kill mosquito eggs. It was chance that the same mosquitoes would later be responsible for the current Zika epidemic.

“We are now pivoting the project towards the Zika public health emergency,” said Terry Collins of Grand Challenges Canada, the organization that supported the project with funding from the Canadian government.

During a 10-month study of their efforts in Guatemala, over 180,00 Aedes eggs were captured by 84 ovillantas compared to about 27,000 eggs in the same number of standard traps. Incidentally, no new cases of dengue were reported in the testing area during the study, while two- to three-dozen cases are normally anticipated in this community during that period.

Guatemala’s Ministry of Health was “impressed by the results,” Ulibarri told ABC News, and “they are planning to expand the use of ovillantas to other cities.”

How does it work? In part, it uses mosquito hormones.

The insects are attracted by “pheromones” in the trap as they look for a breeding ground to lay their eggs. A paper in the trap collects the eggs floating in water inside the device. It is destroyed by fire or ethanol twice a week while an innovative drain allows the water to be safely emptied, filtered, and reused, potentially concentrating hormones released by mosquitoes along the way.

In areas where clean water is difficult to find, “the ovillanta uses less water than standard ovitraps and recycles it,” Ulibarri said. Adding to the ecologic factor, ovillantas put to use old tires that would otherwise be sites for mosquito breeding, and they do not require toxic pesticides that can harm dragonflies, bats and other natural mosquito predators.

Since the project in Guatemala wrapped up in December 2015, the WHO has declared Zika a global public health emergency.

“We are will in discussions on next steps,” Peter Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada, told ABC News.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said the innovation could be a big help in cutting down the hardy Aedes aegypti, sometimes called the “cockroach mosquitoes.”

“Aedes is a very difficult mosquito to combat,” Schaffner said. “The spraying doesn’t work so well for two reasons — it doesn’t get to them, and [they] may be resistant,” to the chemicals.

Schaffner said there needs to be more proof that this trap will work on a large scale, but that the early results were promising.

As the study in Guatemala measured only mosquitoes captured and not disease outcomes, further studies are needed to evaluate the effects on mosquito-borne diseases.

Dr. Vivian Leung is a family medicine resident at Emory University and a resident at the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Hot New Exercise Craze Puts Workouts on Trampolines

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Trampolines aren’t just for kids anymore. The newest exercise craze puts workouts on trampolines, and it looks — and feels — like a party.

The craze has been embraced by celebrities including Julianne Hough and Demi Lovato, who’ve both posted photos of the workout on their Instagram accounts.

Good Morning America’s Jesse Palmer tried it for himself at JumpLife, a fitness studio in Manhattan, New York.

JumpLife CEO Montserrat Markou said a trampoline workout is good for all ages.

“From beginners to fitness enthusiasts, this is for everyone,” she said.

The workout is high intensity, but because it’s also low impact it’s easy on the joints.

“What I try to do is create the class in order to bring all the exercise modalities that are out there, into the class so you get your cardio, you get your boot camp, your Pilates, your yoga…it’s a little bit of everything in one,” said Markou.

Markou — along with JumpLife instructors Fernando Contreras and Thea Ogunusi — appeared on ABC News’ Good Morning America on Thursday to demonstrate some moves from the workout.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Kids Pose with Photos of Themselves as Preemies to Give Parents Hope

DigitalVision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When a baby is born prematurely, parents often worry for their little one’s life.

But a new campaign showing now-big kids holding photos of themselves as teeny-tiny infants is meant to inspire parents to look forward to their family’s life outside the NICU doors.

Started by the L’il Aussie Prems Foundation, an organization that provides support the parents of preemies and sick newborns, the #foot4prems project was launched in advance of the organization’s “Wear Green for Preemies Day” on April 13. A premature baby is defined as a baby born before 37 weeks’ gestation.

Several of the babies — now kids — featured thus far were born at fewer than 30 weeks’ gestation, a fact hard to believe seeing them detached from tubes and out in the world.

The photos can be found on the organization’s Facebook page.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: The Charlie Sheen Effect on HIV

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

Has Charlie Sheen’s recent announcement of his HIV positive status influenced HIV prevention on a grander scale?

Researchers at San Diego State University’s Graduate School of Public Health found that news coverage of HIV, as well as Google searches for both information about HIV and HIV prevention, spiked after Sheen announced that he was positive.

Nearly one in eight Americans living with HIV don’t even know they are positive. Further awareness of HIV testing and prevention is essential, even if it comes from what many consider to be a controversial personality.

Anyone can be tested for HIV, and, as the saying goes, knowledge is power. Getting treatment early makes all the difference.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Woman ‘Distraught’ Over Hospital Staff’s Recorded Remarks During Her Surgery

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A Texas woman says she remains “distraught” by comments she secretly recorded hospital staff making about her attitude as well as her weight as they worked on her unconscious body during a 2015 operation.

“I can’t even express how I feel,” Ethel Easter told ABC News.

Easter said that before her hernia operation in August 2015, she’d had an office visit with the surgeon scheduled to operate on her at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston, Texas. She said she was very sick at the time and had panicked when the surgeon said the surgery could be done in two months.

“He started abruptly yelling at me, saying, ‘Who do you think you are?'” Easter said.

Easter said she started crying and was later informed by a different doctor during another visit that the surgeon had left “bad notes” in her file. Easter said at that point, a “red flag” went up. She said she didn’t want to cancel or reschedule the surgery for later, though.

“That’s when I decided to record it,” Easter said. “I just decided to hide [the audio-recording device] in my hair.”

After the surgery, Easter said, she listened to the recording.

On the recording, hospital staff could be heard calling her a “handful” and saying that she’d threatened to call a lawyer and file a complaint. Easter said that she’d never threatened to hire a lawyer but might have said she needed to file a complaint regarding the wait time for the surgery.

Easter said that the staff had made fun of her belly button and that at another point, someone had referred to her as Precious. On the recording, a hospital staff member could be heard saying, “Precious, yes. This is Precious over here, saying hi to Precious over there.”

She said she believed the comment referred to the main character in a 2009 movie.

“She was an obese African-American woman who was raped by her father. … I was distraught,” she said.

When reached by ABC News, Harris Health System, which operates Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, said it could not comment on Easter’s complaint.

“Harris Health System does not have the patient’s written authorization to discuss this matter, and may not do so under federal privacy laws without written permission,” the hospital said in an emailed statement to ABC News.

The hospital did release a statement to ABC News that it had sent to Easter in December 2015. In the letter, Harris Health thanked Easter for sending it a copy of the recording “to better analyze your concerns regarding that recording.”

“With regards to the recording, as I explained in my prior correspondence, we reminded the OR staff and physicians to be mindful of their comments at all times. After carefully listening to the recording that you provided, Harris Health does not believe further action is warranted at this time,” the letter said.

Harris Health also said the physicians who’d cared for Easter were employed by UT Houston. UT Health Care system told ABC News that it could not comment due to HIPAA and patient privacy laws.

Easter said that she had not yet decided whether to sue the hospital.

“They had no right to say those things over my body,” she said. “It was unprofessional and it was wrong.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Family Thanks Bus Driver for Kindness Towards Son With Down Syndrome

ABC News(NEW YORK) — A New York family is showing their son’s long-time bus driver gratitude for the positive impact he made on the teen.

Scott Reynolds retired in February after 35 years of driving buses for Fairport Central School District.

The family of Ty Coppola, 19, who has Down syndrome, wrote the driver a ‘thank you’ letter for looking after their son to and from school for so many years.

“We just wanted him to understand that he made a difference,” Ty’s dad, Michael Coppola, told ABC News. “I didn’t have the time to tell Scott. I struggled to find the words. How do you tell him, ‘You might think you’re just driving these kids to school, but parents place a lot trust and maybe even more so when you have a child with a disability.'”

The letter read, in part:

Not just a bus driver. Those are the words that come to mind when I think of Scott.

How can we explain that Scott has been so much more than “just a bus driver” to Ty? If I could ONLY show you a picture of how Ty’s face “lights up” when we open the garage and he sees Scott open the doors of the bus every morning. How he has a little extra “spring” in his step when Scott says “good morning Ty” or “what got into you today”? How he changes from not really wanting to go to school, to smiling as Scott gives him the usual “fist bump” as Ty boards the bus.

Ty has known Scott for many years. I think Scott can “read him” as well as we can at times. He cheers him up, gets his day started positively every day, and ends it with a smile. He is like another dad, or at least a big brother to Ty. Ty has a great sense for people he can trust. Scott earned that with Ty from Day 1, and that trust continues to this day. We are very sad because Ty really doesn’t understand that he will not see Scott again – at least not every day…

Reynolds drove Ty to and from the School of the Holy Childhood in Rochester, New York for almost 10 years.

The pair developed a special relationship, Coppola said.

“There weren’t a whole lot of words exchanged between Ty and Scott,” Coppola added. “Ty wears hearing aids. That’s certainly the reason for his delayed, or limited speech. It was more of a sense of comfort because Scott always greeted him with a smile. Scott had no apprehension or fear of Ty. I use that term because I was like that myself until I had a son with disabilities.

“They understand a lot and most of what we’re saying, so we need to treat them like we treat everybody else and Scott understands that.”

Fairport’s Transportation Director Peter Lawrence said Reynolds was a “very dependable” bus driver and “he did a great job” in his role, according to a school district statement released to ABC News.

The Coppola family’s handwritten letter was given to Reynolds during a surprise retirement party that was recently held for him.

Coppola said while he was worried about Reynolds leaving, the district has since hired a new driver who has put his mind at ease.

“[Ty] is handling the transition well,” he said. “We have a very nice woman who I am sure will do a fantastic job. When I take him out to get on the bus, I still see a smile. When I show him the stories that have been published and he sees the pictures of him and Scott — he’s not going to say ‘I miss Scott,’ but I just have this sense from his smile that Scott’s a person he’ll remember and he certainly meant a lot to him.”

Scott Reynolds will be honored at a brunch on May 9 as 2016’s Pupil Transportation Employee of the Year, from the Rochester Area Transportation Supervisors Association.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Janice Dickinson Opens Up About Her Cancer Battle Ahead

Maury Phillips/WireImage(NEW YORK) — Just days after revealing that she has breast cancer, Janice Dickinson opened up about the battle ahead.

“I used to obsess over image. I’m the world’s first supermodel. I’ve been in front of cameras. I will never keep quiet when something is bothering me. I’m a fighter,” she told “The Doctors,” airing Wednesday.

“I’m not the type of woman to fall apart but it’s nothing to downplay.”

The former supermodel, 61, went public with her breast cancer diagnosis last week.

“I haven’t been feeling myself for the past several months. I knew something was wrong,” she said in the 3-minute clip from “The Doctors.”

“My internist gave me the initial breast examination. She felt something. She said ‘Something here doesn’t feel right.’ She felt a lump,” Dickinson recalled. “I have been very regular with mammograms. After comprehensive tests from four specialists, the doctor said point blank, ‘You are positive for cancer.'”

The former America’s Next Top Model judge took the news especially hard, having lost her mother to cancer.

“It’s shocking. Everything hit me at once. My mother died of cancer, so I know how bad I felt when I heard about my mother,” Dickinson said. “My son broke down. Honestly I haven’t cried in about 30 years, and just lately I’m tearful because I felt fear for the first time. And I don’t get scared. I kind of lost it.”

At the same time, she’s excited about the future despite the battle ahead.

“I want to see my daughter walk down the aisle and I want grandchildren, and I want to get married with Rocky, my fiancé, who’s a doctor,” she said.

She also had a message for other women battling breast cancer: “Please sisters have regular breast examinations. I can be emotional and happy and sad and afraid but I’m not alone. I now await surgery.”

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