Review Category : National News

Secondary Drowning Nearly Takes Life of California Toddler

Lindsay Kujawa’s son Ronin almost died of secondary drowning. (Good Morning America)(WASHINGTON) — Lindsay Kujawa just turned away from her son Ronin for “maybe five seconds” and the toddler tumbled into the water at a pool party.

“I just turned … and he had jumped into the spa and the jets whirled him to the other side,” Kujawa, who is from San Diego, told ABC’s Good Morning America.

Kajawa said she pulled him out after about 20 seconds and Ronin seemed unscathed. “I’m like he’s okay,” she said. “He’s not blue, he’s choking up the water, he seems fine.”

But, he was not out of the woods. About an hour later, Ronin started to cough and became lethargic, and by the time Kujawa got him to the emergency room, the toddler was diagnosed with a little known, but potentially fatal condition — sometimes called secondary drowning.

Ronin still had fluid in his lungs, preventing the tiny air sacs from moving oxygen into the bloodstream, and was having difficulty breathing. Eventually, his heart could have stopped.

Kujawa recently wrote about her son’s brush with death on her blog, “Delighted Momma,” and her warning to other mothers went viral.

“This case is not a total surprise and it can happen, but not in the majority of cases,” said Dr. Paul Pepe, chair of emergency medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, who has conducted numerous studies on drowning in Texas and in Florida, where rates are high.

“It’s not a common scenario,” he told ABC News. “But it does occur.”

Pepe said even children who are resuscitated and rushed to the emergency room after falling in a pool can develop pulmonary edema in the first three or four hours after taking in water.

USA Swimming and the Pool Safely campaign just released numbers of drowning deaths in pools and spas in the United States. They say there have been 95 in children under 14 this year through May 31; of those cases, 74 involving children younger than 5. But they do not track deaths from secondary drowning.

“We don’t use that phrase,” said Ellyn Pollack, spokesman. “Basically, they die from drowning. Whether it’s two days later or on the scene, it’s drowning.”

That data comes in association with the Consumer Product Safety Commission report, which urged all parents to teach their children to swim.

The CPSC says there are almost 400 drownings annually in the United States among children under 15. About 75 percent of them are under 5.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also does not differentiate between secondary or primary drowning.

Drowning is the number one cause of deaths among children under the age of 5, according to Pepe. Two-thirds of all drownings occur in the summer months and most occur in residential pools, not at the beach.

“You can be a very conscientious mother – it takes only a blink of an eye to get water in the lungs to cause drowning,” Pepe said.

And CPR poolside can make all the difference between death and survival. Without it, there is only a 5 percent chance of resuscitation with no neurological damage, he said. “The sooner you can get to the child, the better.”

Pepe was part of a decade-long study of drowning in Houston and Florida in the 1990s, and was chairman of the Resuscitation Task Force for the World Congress for Drowning in 2002. “We looked at these cases very carefully.”

In secondary drowning, the pool water can damage or “wash out” the surfactant or lining of the lungs, said Pepe. “You can have kind of a lung failure. It’s complicated.”

Negative pressure in the lungs can cause pulmonary edema or swelling after being pulled from the pool.

“In many cases, these kids look great at first, even after CPR,” Pepe said. “We don’t really know why it happens but water comes into the lungs and within minutes it is actually starting to be absorbed into the body itself. If you have a big load of water, chemical transfers occur in the first few minutes that do things that can be lethal.”

Ronin’s mother said he stayed in the hospital for 24 hours, but is doing well now. Doctors warn parents to keep an eye on a child, watching for difficulty breathing, coughing or lethargy, if they have taken in water in an incident like Ronin’s.

Parents should take their child to the emergency room immediately. And other experts say, teach your child to swim, and if you have a pool, keep the gates locked. And when poolside with your child, never take your eyes off them.

As for Kujawa, she says, “I now know that you literally cannot turn your back for literally five seconds.”

“I am forever changed since this happened,” she writes on her blog. “I will not let this define me but you can guarantee that I will be doing things much differently from here on out. It was a huge wake-up call. And it really taught me that yes…in just a few seconds your life can change forever. I got a too close taste of what that really can be like.”

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Seattle Hero Jon Meis Called Quiet ‘Courageous’ Man

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — The man who stopped the Seattle campus shooting from becoming a massacre was described by friends on Friday as quiet and religious, but also a “selfless, courageous man.”

Jon Meis attacked the gunman with pepper spray while he tried to reload during Thursday’s rampage at Seattle Pacific University. With the help of other students, Meis then wrestled the suspect, Aaron Ybarra, to the ground until police arrived.

The suspect had already shot three people, killing one, police said.

Meis, 22, is a senior studying engineering and a teaching assistant at the small Christian school. He was working at the security monitor desk at the time of Thursday’s attack.

He’s also a tech whiz, according to his social media presence. Meis is an intern at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, according to his LinkedIn page, and part of an engineering group on Facebook.

Pals are offering praise for the man they say saved lives.

“I’m so proud to know Jon Meis,” Joe Schenck wrote on Twitter. “He’s always been an incredible friend. Now he’s a hero. A selfless, courageous man whom I admire greatly.”

Meis’ roommate also thanked him for his quick-thinking.

“I’m proud of the selfless actions that my roommate, Jon Meis, showed today taking down the shooter,” Matt Garcia wrote on Twitter. “He is a hero.”

Meis and his family could not be reached for comment. A recording on his family’s home answering machine asks for privacy.

“If you want to know what you can do to help, we ask that you pray for the family that has lost their student and pray for the student community at Seattle Pacific University,” the recording says.

Meis was taken to Harborview Medical Center after the altercation but is expected to be okay, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said on Friday.

“Obviously he’s undergoing mental anguish,” Gregg said. “There were no visible injuries. It was, I think, coming to grips with what happened, the trauma of seeing what happened to his fellow students.”

Meis typically carries pepper spray, his friend and former roommate Ryan Salgado told the Seattle Times.

A family friend described Meis as quiet and coming from a close, religious family, according to the newspaper.

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Seattle Campus Hero Identified as Teaching Assistant Jon Meis

Mat Hayward/Getty Images(SEATTLE) — The Seattle campus hero who overpowered a gunman as he tried to reload his shotgun was identified Friday as Jon Meis, a teaching assistant at the school who was doubling as a security desk monitor.

Meis, 22, used pepper spray to subdue accused gunman Aaron R. Ybarra after Ybarra allegedly shot several students at Seattle Pacific University Thursday and was reloading his weapon, officials told ABC News affiliate KOMO.

Several other people jumped on top of the gunman and pinned him down until officers arrived, police said.

“There are a number of heroes in this,” Assistant Police Chief Paul McDonagh said at a press conference. “The people around him (the gunman) stepped up.”

One person died and three others — including Meis — were taken to Harborview Medical Center.

A hospital spokeswoman said on Friday that Meis was released and was unharmed but said, “Obviously he’s undergoing mental anguish.”

“There were no visible injuries. It was, I think, coming to grips with what happened, the trauma of seeing what happened to his fellow students,” the spokeswoman said.

A male, 19, died from the shooting attack. A female student, 19, was listed in critical but stable condition with shotgun pellets in her chest and abdomen. A male student, 24, had pellets in his neck and chin, but could be released this weekend, she said.

Ybarra, 26, is being held in King County Jail and is scheduled to make an initial court appearance on Friday.

At an earlier news conference, McDonagh said the man in custody was not a student at the school.

None of the other victims were immediately identified.

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Will Hispanics Give US Soccer a Kick?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The nation’s growing Hispanic population may do more than change political and cultural equations in this country. It may give a kick to U.S. soccer, as well.

On the eve of the World Cup, 28 percent of Americans in this ABC News/Washington Post poll say they’re fans of the sport — 10 percent, “big” fans. That trails interest in professional football, baseball and basketball, though it’s similar to fan levels for professional hockey.

[See a PDF with full results, charts and tables here.]

There’s a huge ethnic divide in interest: Forty-five percent of Hispanics describe themselves as soccer fans, compared with a quarter of all other adults. With the Hispanic share of the U.S. population growing, the sport’s success could follow.

Another factor could play a role as well — the prevalence of youth leagues. A fifth of Americans say they played soccer as a child (rising to 39 percent of Hispanics). Fandom in this group swells to 59 percent, compared with 20 percent of those who didn’t play the sport as kids.

As things stand, 28 percent overall (and 45 percent of Hispanics) plan to watch the World Cup, which begins next Thursday with host Brazil playing Croatia. The first game for the United States is June 16 against Ghana, which has knocked the Americans out of the past two tournaments.

That’s plenty enough for a robust audience, since 28 percent of the U.S. adult population translates to more than 65 million people. Intended viewership, however, is lower than it was 20 years ago, when the United States hosted the games. Then, four in 10 planned to tune in.

Other results point both to opportunities and challenges for the game. On one hand, 46 percent expect soccer to become more popular in the next decade, while just 4 percent think it’ll lose popularity.

Yet half of Americans in this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, call soccer dull or downright boring (21 and 28 percent, respectively). In 1994, many fewer (a combined 35 percent) reported those views.

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Judge Won’t Dismiss Murder Charge in Bar Brawl Trial

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — The woman at the center of a 2012 bar brawl death says a stranger harassed and groped her before he was killed in a fight with her now-husband.

Elizabeth Wicker Gay took the stand Thursday, telling the court that Kenan Gay, then her boyfriend, was simply protecting her from Robert Kingston’s advances in a Charlotte, North Carolina, bar. Kingston tried to kiss her, she said.

“The hairs on the back of my neck just stood straight up,” she said of Kingston’s actions.

Gay — a former University of North Carolina football player — stepped in, throwing Kingston out of the bar.

Kingston landed in front of a car, with the car striking and killing him.

Wicker Gay broke down several times recounting the events that night. Prosecutors argued that the tears were due to fear for her husband’s freedom.

“You’re crying because your husband’s on trial for murder, aren’t you?” said Mecklenburg County prosecutor Anna Greene.

Gay faces a charge of second-degree murder. His defense team tried to have the charge thrown out, but judge Don Bridges denied that request Thursday.

According to police reports, Kingston’s blood-alcohol level was nearly four times the legal limit. Witnesses say Gay — a former law student — seemed stunned after he pushed Kingston into an oncoming car, but he also fled the scene and had to be chased down.

The jury must now decide whether it was all a mistake, or murder.

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Last Hospitalized UCSB Rampage Victim’s Family Hopes He’ll Walk at Graduation

Courtesy of Kevin Cheung(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — Keith Cheung, 21, is the last Santa Barbara rampage victim still recovering in a hospital and his family has high hopes that the college senior will be able to participate in his graduation on June 14.

Cheung was riding his bike home on May 23 after covering a shift for a coworker, lifeguarding at the University of California, Santa Barbara recreation center.

Cheung was about a block away from home when Elliot Rodger came speeding down the street in his black BMW, hitting Cheung from behind. Cheung flipped into the air and according to the ambulance crew, went through the windshield and when the car crashed, Cheung was ejected from the windshield and onto the ground.

“It was just an unfortunate incident all around,” older brother Kevin Cheung, 23, told ABC News. “He was just coming home from lifeguarding work and he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, he just got unlucky.”

“I was in shock. When I first heard it, I asked the nurse to repeat it one more time, I wasn’t sure if I heard her correctly,” Kevin recalled the moment he received that phone call. “My heart skipped a beat.”

Following hospital protocol, the nurse was unable to divulge specific details. Kevin was told his brother was involved in a vehicle collision and that he should search around Google and that he’d figure out what happened.

After searching around the web, “I was able to link his injuries to the rampage,” Kevin said. But there were still questions about whether he was actually shot or hit by a car, and how long he was going to live.

Upon hearing the news, the Cheung family, along with one of Keith’s friends, drove down from San Francisco, getting to the hospital in Santa Barbara at 4 a.m. Saturday morning, Kevin Cheung said.

“I wasn’t able to find out all the information until I got to the hospital,” Kevin said. “After calling multiple times and not getting a clear answer, it made it sound like he might have passed away.”

“The drive down felt like there was a deadline coming up,” Kevin said. “My parents were definitely crying at the time. They might have thought he might be seriously injured.”

Keith’s liver was damaged and he sustained lacerations and abrasions all over his body, facial fractures, and skull fractures. Because of his head injuries, the family is most concerned about Keith’s memory. “We are concerned for his overall condition, but the most important is his brain and head injury,” Kevin said.

The impact from Keith’s body was enough to break the window of Rodger’s car, and doctors told the family that there were even glass fragments in his head.

The recovery is ongoing and the family is staying by Keith’s side, awaiting updates from doctors and also for those short moments that Keith is awake and coherent enough to speak, his brother said.

“Throughout the times he has been awake, from those brief moments of time, he asked how much longer he as to live,” Kevin said. “Him seeing all the tubes hooked up to him and the monitors in the hospital made him feel like had had a finite time.”

When Keith asked if he was dying, “It made me very emotional,” Kevin said.

Kevin said he is looking forward to swimming with his brother again and seeing who can do the most flips on the diving board. “He’s never tried surfing out in Santa Barbara. I want to take him to do that,” Kevin said.

It’s been a stressful time for the Cheungs and they are doing the best they can to deal with what unfolded after the May 23 rampage, during which Rodger killed six and then himself.

“We shouldn’t take life for granted and life is precious,” Kevin said. “No one was expecting this to happen, especially for those who passed away. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.”

Keith worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor at the school’s recreation center. He is the coach and vice president of the school’s wrestling club. In addition to his athleticism, Keith majored in environmental studies and biology at UCSB and worked at a research lab on campus, his brother said.

Kevin said he and his parents hope Keith will be able to walk in UCSB’s graduation ceremony on June 14 alongside the rest of the class of 2014.

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Surge of Children Crossing Border Alone Filling Lackland AFB

iStock/Thinkstock(LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas) — One boy in particular is among the 1,200 children being housed at an emergency shelter set up at Lackland AFB in San Antonio. He drew a touching picture with crayons hanging on the wall in his dorm room with the caption, “Echo de menos a mi familia,” which means, “I miss my family.”

Children like this boy, who is from Mexico, are surging into the U.S. from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and earlier this week, President Obama declared an “urgent humanitarian situation” along the Southwest border because of the wave of unaccompanied, undocumented children.

The children are sent back to their home countries if no relative is found in the U.S. to take them. In 2013, 88 percent of the children were reunited with a family member or sponsor after an average stay of 40 days, officials said.

Illegal immigration is not new, but the number of children crossing dangerous territory by themselves lately is causing alarm.

Kenneth Wolfe, who is with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, told ABC News this year his agency expects to take in nearly 60,000 children, some just toddlers.

Some of these children are traveling alone now because their parents can finally afford to send for them, but most are escaping gangs and drug violence in their home countries.

The number of children is so overwhelming the U.S. Border Patrol is now stocking up on formula, diapers and children’s clothes. Relief agencies are flocking to the Texas border to help with this influx.

One border patrol agent relayed the story of a toddler she saw crossing one of the bridges from Mexico into the U.S., a boy who had been sent on his own past Mexican security literally into the arms of a border patrol agent.

The children who come into Lackland are first processed on the border, where they are taken into custody, given food and water and immediate medical treatment, then sent to spotless barracks where they meet with counselors, get medical treatment, and classes in English and math, plus time to play games and soccer.

The barracks they are housed in are reminiscent of a 1960s elementary school building with cement block walls. Even the lunches remind one of school — chicken fingers, corn, biscuits, apples and bananas.

Girls and boys are housed separately — 60 kids grouped to a dorm room — and their rooms are decorated with drawings, and craft paper chains.

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NYC Mayor Makes Bid for Obama’s Library and Museum

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(NEW YORK) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to woo President Obama to put his presidential library and museum in his city.

“I certainly have made an effort. I’ve certainly let the Obama team know that we are excited about the idea, and we would do anything that we can to be helpful to it,” de Blasio said.

The mayor thinks there’s a chance New York City can snatch it away from Chicago because Obama went to grad school at Columbia University.

“The president went to Columbia, has a real affection for the city, and we obviously can guarantee not only a lot of support for such a museum, but a huge number of people from around the world would be able to visit it,” he said.

De Blasio added, “Columbia University is a perfect place for President Obama’s museum. And I’m not sure if they’re going to have one facility, or multiple facilities, but I hope that we get at least one piece if they do break it up into pieces.”

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TSA Confiscates Record Number of Guns in One Day

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Eighteen firearms were caught at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints on Wednesday, the most ever in a single day, the TSA says.

The previous record was back in 2013, when 13 guns were found on one day.

So far this year, more than 800 guns have been confiscated at TSA checkpoints.

Last year, a record 1,813 firearms were confiscated.

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Nancy Reagan Visits Ronald Reagan’s Grave 10 Years After His Death

Michael Kovac/FilmMagic(SIMI VALLEY, Calif.) — Nancy Reagan visited her husband Ronald Reagan’s grave on Thursday, 10 years after the former president died in California.

She sat in a wheelchair and stared silently at the site of his burial, located in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

In the past, Mrs. Reagan’s visit had been a private affair. But this year, reporters were invited to look on as the former first lady honored her husband.

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