Tag Archives: daughter

Stochastic variations of migration speed between cells in clonal populations

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston has developed technologies for precision measurement of cell migration speed before and applied the new tool to study the variations of migration speed in population of cancer cells. This tool enabled comparisons between successive generations of cells with single cell resolution…

Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar hopes to slay pertussis through vaccine awareness

While slaying vampires and saving the world may be her area of expertise, television and movie star Sarah Michelle Gellar said she was slightly overwhelmed when she had to tackle a subject she previously knew little about: children’s health care. Gellar is a mother to 3-year-old daughter Charlotte and son Rocky, who was born in September, and she said keeping them healthy has been one of the trickiest aspects of being a parent. “Someone told me when they start pre-school, they’ll be sick within the first six months,” said Gellar, who is famous for portraying Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the cult TV series of the same name.  “And sure enough, when my daughter started pre-school, she was sick for pretty much six months straight.  I thought that I would have a chair at the pediatrician’s office with my name on it, I had been there so much.” One daunting task for Gellar was delving into the world of childhood vaccinations and trying to understand the safest and most effective options for her kids.  Now having learned about the health dangers that face small children, Gellar has made it a priority to get her entire family vaccinated against pertussis – a serious illness, also known as whooping cough, that has been on the rise in the United States. While her family’s health is her chief concern, Gellar also wants others to follow her example.  Hoping to raise awareness about the importance of getting vaccinated, Gellar has teamed up with the Sounds of Pertussis Campaign, a crusade launched by Sanofi Pasteur and the March of Dimes that focuses on the dangers of pertussis and what parents can do to prevent their children from getting this potentially deadly disease. “I’m just like everyone else out there,” Gellar said.  “I’m a mom trying to keep my kids healthy, but I also have access to so much information that I can then go through it all and make it easier for people to understand.  You’re talking about an illness that doesn’t have to exist.  The only way to help fight against it is to get the vaccine, and that’s a simple way.” A serious respiratory illness, pertussis presents in infants and children like a common cold, with symptoms of a runny nose or congestion and sneezing.  But if left untreated, the disease can progress into severe coughing that forces air out of the lungs – causing pertussis sufferers to inhale with a large “whooping” sound.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, America is experiencing one of the largest outbreaks of pertussis cases within the past 50 years, with more than 41,000 cases and 18 deaths reported in 2012.  Infants younger than 1 year of age are particularly vulnerable to the outbreak, since they do not begin receiving their own vaccinations until they are 2 months old, and they aren’t fully protected from the disease until they have received at least three doses.  This danger is compounded by the fact that infants with pertussis are often in need of hospitalization, and some can go on to develop life threatening pneumonia.   Gellar said this is why it is just as important for parents and teenagers to stay up-to-date on their vaccines in order to eliminate the possibility of passing pertussis on to small babies. “You look at the statistics, and they can track it back,” Gellar said.  “Eighty percent of the children who came down with it, they can track it back to a family member that brought it in, and 50 percent were the actual parents.  I know there’s nothing worse as a new parent than you thinking that you got your child sick…It’s a simple vaccination for an adult to get every five years, and that’s it.  It’s the only safe way to prevent the child from getting the disease.” To help families keep track of their necessary vaccinations, the Sounds of Pertussis campaign has created a Facebook application called The Breathing Room, which shows which individuals among a person’s friends and family have pledged to get vaccinated. As for the concerns that some parents have regarding the safety of vaccines, Gellar said it is important for people to do the necessary research and talk with the right people before making any judgments.  Gellar, along with many health care professionals, maintain there are minimal side effects when it comes to getting the shot. “I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there about vaccines,” Gellar said.  “People are scared, and I think that if you can bring (information) in a way that people understand the importance, and how simple it actually is, I think people will be more prone to do it.” To learn more about getting vaccinated against pertussis, visit the Sounds of Pertussis website and the campaign’s Facebook page.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/11/buffy-star-sarah-michelle-gellar-hopes-to-slay-pertussis-through-vaccine/

Woman becomes quadruple amputee after black market silicone butt injections

Apryl Michelle Brown had black-market silicone injections which turned out to be bathroom sealant. It left her in agony and led to her losing her hands and feet, as well as her buttocks. The 46-year-old former hairdresser blames “vanity” and wants to warn others of the terrible dangers of such illegal treatments. Teased as a child about her “pancake” bum, Brown vowed to buy a shapelier one when she was older. The moment that changed her life came in 2004, when two women walked into her successful beauty salon to get their hair done. One of them ran “pumping parties” — where unqualified practitioners inject illegal silicone into “patients” at their home. Brown, from Los Angeles, Calif., said: “One of the women told me how she had given bottom injections to the friend who was with her. “I remember thinking it was a miracle she’d walked into my life. Her friend showed me the work she’d had done and it looked great. “In a split second I made the decision that I was going to go to this woman and let her inject silicone into my behind.” That decision nearly killed her. Brown paid the woman, who had no medical background for two lots of injections. Doctors later discovered the substance used was industrial-grade silicone. Brown admitted: “I didn’t do any research. A combination of naivety, misplaced trust and insecurity led me to take this disastrous decision. “I trusted her because she seemed so professional, and I had no reason to think anything awful was going to happen. “She carried out the procedure in her daughter’s bedroom. She assessed my bottom and said, ‘You’ll need three or four sessions to get the result you want’. “The first procedure took an hour. I remember asking, ‘Is it meant to be so painful?’ and she said, ‘Yes’. It felt like it was squeezing through my nerves.” Within weeks Brown returned for her second treatment. She said: “After going through it again I had an epiphany. As I left her house I thought, ‘What am I doing? I have no idea what she’s putting in my body’. “I never returned. But though I didn’t know it then, my life had already changed forever.” Over the next two years the area where she’d been injected became hard and the skin blackened. Brown, mother to daughters Danye, 22 and Courtney, 21, said:  “Within a few months of the second injection my buttocks began to harden. I knew something wasn’t right. But shame stopped me seeking medical help. As time went on it got worse as the skin blackened. I developed hard lumps. Then the searing pain started. I had to tell my doctor what I did. I was so ashamed.” Brown spent the next four years in constant pain. Two surgeons told her it was too dangerous to remove the silicone. She said: “I was in so much agony I became a regular at hospital asking for medication to ease what was like a combination of a migraine, childbirth and toothache localized in one area. “I suffered day and night, so I was willing to do anything — including remove my buttocks.” In February 2011 a surgeon operated unsuccessfully. Brown developed a hole in her buttocks — thought to be the trigger for an infection that in June was nearly fatal.  She said: “I was 24 hours from dying. I didn’t think of leaving my family. It was a relief I’d finally be free of pain.” Doctors put her in an induced coma for two months while performing 27 surgeries — starting with amputating her buttocks — and doing extensive skin grafts. She said: “They saved me but gangrene set into my hands and feet. I was brought out of sedation shortly before I became a quadruple amputee. “My hands looked like those of a dead person. I knew then I was going to lose them.” She added: “At first you try to register your new limbs. The real comprehension comes when you start to live this new life. “I had dark times. I cried a sea of tears. I had to face the fact I’d lost my hands, feet and buttocks because of complications from bottom injections. I was overwhelmed by shame and guilt... all because I wanted a bigger bottom. “I was six months in hospital. By the time I was discharged I was determined to turn this terrible thing into something positive. “I decided to do a triathlon. I told myself if I could achieve that I could do anything. “I took my first steps again by the end of 2011. I built up to training six days a week, learning to walk, cycle then swim again using my residual limbs. “I’d be crying in pain but I’d push through it. And six weeks ago I did it — completing a three-mile walk, ten-mile cycle and a 150-meter swim. “When I crossed that finishing line with my family cheering me on, I cried tears of joy.” She added: “I haven’t sued or sought compensation. I just want to move on. There are things I miss dearly — I’ll never be able to do my girls’ hair or feel sand between my toes. “But I believe I survived to share my story. “I want to warn others of the dangers of black-market surgery. We were born whole, perfect and complete. “My greatest message is we have to learn to love and accept ourselves for who we are.” Click for more from The Sun. source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/29/woman-becomes-quadruple-amputee-after-black-market-silicone-injections/

Soulumination: Non-profit photographs terminally ill children for families

In 1996, Lynette Johnson, a professional photographer, was approached by her sister-in-law Sally Elliot with a difficult request.  Elliot’s daughter and Johnson’s niece, Lanie, had been stillborn and Elliot wanted Johnson to take a picture of her before her funeral. “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Johnson, 59, based out of Seattle, Wash., told FoxNews.com.  “But I’m so glad I did it.” The memory of the experience stuck with Johnson, and a few years later, while shooting pictures for a wedding, the bride mentioned to Johnson that she worked for the palliative care unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital.  Johnson immediately thought back to her niece and offered to come by the hospital to take pictures for the patients’ families. “I just blurted out I would do this free of charge,” Johnson said. “It seemed like the least I could do to give back to the community.” What started as a small favor quickly blossomed into a thriving non-profit photography initiative called Soulumination.  Through the enterprise, Johnson and other volunteer photographers take professional photographs of children under the age of 18 who are facing life-threatening conditions, providing families with lasting keepsakes and “an enduring, positive record of the child’s life.” Initially, Johnson was the non-profit’s sole photographer, taking photographs of children in the greater Seattle area.  But since Soulumination’s inception, the organization has now grown to encompass more than 40 photographers and over 120 community volunteers, who help serve families across the country. “We don’t just take their photos; they get beautiful handmade albums too,” Johnson said. “But every person who is at the shoot gets their own personal one.  The mother even gets a bracelet with the child’s photo she can wear.” Johnson has now photographed hundreds of patients, including children with terminal cancer, heart disease, issues stemming from premature birth, Tay-Sachs disease and severe seizure disorders. When she first started Soulumination, Johnson said many of her friends and family would express amazement at how she was able to surround herself with such grief and pain.  But while it’s been emotionally difficult at times, she and the others continue the project without hesitation. “Once you do it, the sadness and grief in some ways feel almost unbearable, but almost every photographer says, ‘Yes, that was hard, but I’ll do it again,’” Johnson said.  “There’s just no doubt about it; it’s the right thing to do.” Johnson said that every family she has worked with has had a positive experience with the photo shoots, and not one parent has ever expressed regret over having pictures taken.  She noted that some families were hesitant to have the photographs done, as they felt it meant they were stepping into the dying process of their children.  However, Soulumination has photographed many children who do survive their illnesses. The photographs are more about honoring the individual than saying goodbye. “It means a great deal to us all,” said one Seattle mother whose daughter has been battling leukemia since 2003.  “Mainly to have the images and see [our daughter’s] expressions captured…It gives me a sense of peace to hang her and [her sister’s] pictures and make them a part of our world as it is now. So when it changes it will be there.” Soulumination operates purely on outside donations and the unpaid skills of the organization’s many photographers.  Johnson said that their work generates a fair amount of monetary contributions from people they come into contact with at the hospital or through photo shoots. She recalled a time when she took photos of a young teenage girl named Sidney, who suffered from a terminal brain tumor.  A few months after Sidney’s funeral, Johnson said she received a thick envelope in the mail. “It was a handmade card from Sidney’s mother, and she explains it’s from the last time she took an art class with Sidney,” Johnson recalled. “There was also a check in there for $1,200, and she said it was Sidney’s savings account and she knew she wanted me to have it so we could service other people. We have hundreds of heart felt ‘Thank You’s’ like that.” Johnson vows to keep Soulumination running as long as possible, and she said she has spoken with other photographers interested in starting similar initiatives in other states – and even other countries.  According to her, the project’s success must be credited to the many people who have graciously donated their money and talents to help preserve the legacies of so many children. “I’m proud of it, and I’m unbelievably thankful for the photographers,” Johnson said.  “We’re a little group that started and has now blossomed into something with national attention. The loss of my niece, which was so devastating, in her memory this thing started that will offer hope to people all over the world.”source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/23/soulumination-non-profit-photographs-terminally-ill-children-for-families/