Apr 18, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon


11Teenager Commits Suicide Minutes After Publicizing Her Decision On YouTube

Maddie Yates, a 16-year-old high school student from Louisiana, died by suicide on Monday night just moments after posting a YouTube video explaining her decision.

The video, titled “Important”, was viewed over 10,000 times before YouTube took it down on Tuesday. In a transcript of the video published by BuzzFeed, Yates said she had been dealing with depression and anxiety for years.

Here is the transcript:

“I know it’s not OK for me to be doing this, but I just can’t do this anymore. It feels like I’m being swallowed whole into myself. It physically hurts. Sometimes it hurts so bad that I throw up, and sometimes I just get panic attacks. I know this is selfish. You know, the doctor prescribed Prozac for depression and anxiety, but those are just fancy words for “selfish.” I know that I’m going to hurt everyone who loves me, and I really do love them too. But I’ve been like this for so long, and there’s still a chance that the worst day might still be coming. And I just don’t see how this is a bad idea because it’s like someone’s on the 12th floor, and the room behind them is on fire. And they’re standing on the window ledge and they have a choice whether or not to jump and get away from the fire or just stay and die a slow, excruciating death. It feels like that.

But I don’t want anyone to feel like it was their fault. This was my decision, not yours. I’m the one who messed up, not you. There’s nothing, literally nothing that you could have done; you’ve all tried so hard to help me. And I tried too. I guess it’s like I don’t mean to be over dramatic, but it’s like there’s a demon inside of me [inaudible].

You can’t help me. You’ve tried. And I’m sorry. I really don’t mean to hurt anyone. Remember that I’m doing you a favor. Remember how bad of a person I really am. I say awful things. Even if I don’t mean them, I say them. You don’t even want to know the things that I think; I am not a good person. I’m doing literally the whole world a favor. But I love you, and I’m sorry. And I really, really love you.”

Suicide is the third leading cause of death in people ages 10-19 nationwide. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 

Source: BuzzFeed, SPTS USA

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11FDA Issues Cancer Warning About Common Hysterectomy Procedure

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about a common type of hysterectomy procedure following a Boston couple’s campaign to spread awareness about the surgery’s cancer-causing effects.

The FDA has advised doctors to stop using laparoscopic power morcellation to remove the uterus or uterine fibroids, ABC reports. The procedure, which involves shredding tissue with a small metal device that is then removed from an incision in the abdomen, has repeatedly spread cancerous tissue beyond the uterus.

Two cases of women who were diagnosed with cancer almost immediately following the procedure came to light last December.

41-year-old Dr. Amy Reed, 41, an anesthesiologist at Beth-Israel Hospital in Boston, underwent the procedure last fall. Just a few days later, she was diagnosed with stage IV leiomyosarcoma, a type of cancer. Undetected cancer cells had spread through her abdomen, a direct consequence of the hysterectomy.

The FDA said in its statement that 1 in 350 women who have a hysterectomy or myomectomy, a procedure to remove uterine fibroids, have an undetected type of cancer called uterine sarcoma which can be spread through the procedure.

“The FDA’s primary concern as we consider the continued use of these devices is the safety and well-being of patients,” said Dr. William Maisel deputy director for science and chief scientist at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “There is no reliable way to determine if a uterine fibroid is cancerous prior to removal.”

Reed and her husband, surgeon Hoorman Noorchashm, launched a campaign to stop the procedure, meeting with politicians and contacting gynecological and surgical organizations. A Change.org petition gained nearly 8,000 signatures.

Noorchashm called the FDA decision a “major step forward.”

“The major accomplishment is going to be 10 years from now when Amy is cancer-free,” said Noorchashm, who has six children with his wife. “What helped here was the sheer magnitude of the truth here…I just didn’t stop.”

While the response was initially poor, there have since been two medical articles have been published in the Journal of American Medical Association raising questions about the procedure’s safety.

Diana Zuckerman, president of the nonprofit National Research Center for Women & Families, anticipates a major impact form the FDA's warning.

"What surgeon is going to take the chance of using this device if the FDA has made such a strong warning?" Zuckerman told the Wall Street Journal. The statement, she said, "is going to save a lot of lives."

Sources: ABC, Wall Street Journal

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113-Week-Old Girl Contracted Rare Form Of Meningitis After Cat Licked Bottle, Almost Died

A 3-year-old English girl nearly died from a rare form of meningitis after being infected by the family’s cat.

Sparkle Anderson was just three weeks old when she contracted bacterial meningitis from Chesney, her mother’s 2-year-old pet, the Daily Mail reports.

She was rushed to a hospital with high fever and spent a month there recovering from the illness, which is thought to have been transferred when the cat licked Sparkle’s bottle.

“It seemed such an unlikely cause,” Sparkle’s mother Chelsea-Ann Dodd, 21, a promotions assistant from Winsham, Somerset, said. “The doctors said she was only the 39th person in the world known to have picked up that particular strain of meningitis.”

According to the National Meningitis Association, the number of cases change from year to year. Nearly 1,500 Americans were infected each year between 1998 and 2007, with a range of 900 to 3,000 cases. Eleven percent of bacterial meningitis cases result in death.

A spokesperson for the charity Meningitis Now said: “It is possible to contract meningitis from cats but it is very, very rare, so people shouldn’t worry unduly about contracting it in this way.

“Our advice would be to keep your family pet and make sure you know the signs and symptoms of meningitis.

“Take prompt action if you suspect the disease. Among the symptoms to look out for in babies and toddlers are fever, with cold hands and feet; a stiff neck and a dislike of bright lights; an unusual cry or moaning; and being drowsy, floppy or unresponsive.”

The little girl is now said to be “best friends” with Chesney the cat, who was taken to live with her grandmother, The Telegraph reports.

“Chesney still lives with my mum and there's no danger to worry about any more from them being in contact. In fact they follow each other around all the time when we visit,” said Dodd.

“I've been told it's perfectly safe for Sparkle to spend time with Chesney, which is a relief because they've really become best friends,” she added.

“I didn't know very much about meningitis - I always thought the only thing I should be worried about was a rash. But there are lots of other symptoms too, and knowing them can make all the difference in helping to catch it early,” she said.

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11Brain Surgery Patient Lost All Her Doctors, Can’t Pay Prescriptions After Signing Up For Obamacare

A Staten Island, N.Y. woman says since signing up for new health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, she has lost all her doctors, and her insurance card has been repeatedly denied for prescriptions.

Margaret Figueroa, 49, of Arden Heights, suffers from two chronic illnesses, a rare neurological disorder called Arnold Chiari malformation and syringomyelia. She takes five different medications several times a day, some of which help to slow nerve damage.

She signed up for health insurance through the state marketplace in January, and although she has an insurance card, pharmacies keep telling her it's denied. Emblem Health says she’s covered and her policy is in force, but the internal paperwork appears to be unfiled.

In the last three months she’s been suffering excruciating pain, withdrawal and immobility.

She also lost her long-term doctors, who don’t accept her new insurance plan. She says only six doctors in the borough accept her new plan.

"It's hard," Figueroa said tearfully.

"I have been in pain. I've been vomiting. I lost 22 pounds. The pain is unbearable. My medication helps me function during the day," she said at a press conference at Rep. Michael Grimm's, R-Staten Island/Brooklyn, office on Wednesday.

Grimm’s office was able to intervene and get Figueroa refills for some of her medications on April 1.

"Even though the insurance company cashed your check, it doesn't mean it (the policy) has been implemented," said Grimm. "That's the problem – that the back end of Obamacare hasn't been fully built. You can go on the front end of an application and look at a list of plans, but what they don't tell you is that many of those plans don't have doctors yet."

"We didn't solve anything [with Obamacare]; all we did was destroy a good thing," Grimm added. "Obamacare wasn't ready for prime time."

Sources: Staten Island Advance, Washington Times

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11Florida Man Diagnosed With HIV Booted From Basketball League (Video)

A Florida man diagnosed with HIV last week was booted from a local basketball league after he posted about it on Facebook.

Dakota Basinger, 21, played basketball all season for Kissimmee’s Florida Dream Sports, but he was pulled off the court during a playoff game Sunday and a city employee asked him point blank if he was HIV positive.

Basinger said he was HIV positive, and the employee told him he’d have to kick him out of the game and off the team.

"I feel humiliated and discriminated against," Basinger the Orlando Sentinel. "I felt horrible walking out of that gym."

"I couldn't believe it," said his mother, Lisa Basinger. "I explained to them that they needed to educate themselves on HIV and that you cannot transmit HIV through spit or casual contact."

A city spokeswoman, Arin Thrower, told the Sentinel Tuesday that the part-time worker "acted independently and without supervisor approval" when he removed Basinger from the game.

Thrower said Basinger will be allowed to play in the league again when the next season starts.

"The city has taken corrective action to ensure this does not happen in the future," Thrower said, adding that "as of right now," the employee is still employed by the city.

"He's going through a lot, having just been diagnosed," Lisa Basinger said. "My wish is that everybody would become educated about the facts and myths of HIV."

Sources: Orlando Sentinel, Newser

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11Justina Pelletier Living In Terrible Conditions In State Custody, According To Note

Justina Pelletier, the Connecticut teen who has been held in state custody for over a year because her doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital disagreed with a prior diagnosis, allegedly wrote a heartbreaking letter to her parents describing the situation she’s been dealing with.

Pelletier, 15, was brought to Boston Children’s by her parents after she was experiencing debilitating physical symptoms that had doctors struggling to treat. Past doctors had already diagnosed the teen with mitochondrial disease a few years ago, but doctors at Boston Children’s decided that the symptoms were all psychological, and they went so far as to accuse her parents of child abuse. Doctors said they believed that Linda and Lou Pelletier were making Pelletier believe she had symptoms that she didn’t actually have, so they were able to convince the state to take custody of the teen. That was over a year ago.

Since then, Linda and Lou have only been allowed to have one-hour supervised visits with their daughter once a week, and they’ve ben relentlessly fighting to regain custody ever since.

The note, which was reportedly written by Pelletier to her parents, outlines the troubling environment that the teen is currently living in at a facility set up by the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families.

“They hurt me all the time push me all the time and more,” the note says. “They do not let me sleep vary [sic] much. Hury [sic]!”

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, spokesperson for the Pelletier family, explained in a statement why they decided to publicize the letter.

“This shocking note reveals for the first time, in Justina’s own words, how she is being abused by Massachusetts DCF,” said Mahoney in the statement. “The Pelletiers are devastated to see how their daughter is being mistreated while under the custody of the State of Massachusetts. Justina’s own words paint a picture of mistreatment by DCF that we can see for ourselves. Fourteen months ago, when she was removed from her home, she was taking part in ice-skating competitions and living an active life. Under the care of DCF, she is in now a wheelchair and can barely walk. She has not been allowed to attend church, and has not been given her individualized education program which is required by federal law.”

Lawyers for the Pelletier family filed another appeal last week to the Supreme Judicial Court in an attempt to regain custody of their daughter after over a year.

“This case comes down to the simple fact that new doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital, who had no experience with Justina, came up with a different diagnosis than her expert treating physicians at Tufts Medical Center,” said Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, in a statement. “The state cannot take children from their parents when the parents make reasonable choices for their medical care. This case is outrageous.”

The Department of Children and Families have yet to comment on the note.

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11Domino’s Rolls Out New Toppings-Only Pizza With Fried Chicken Crust

Domino’s is introducing a new topping-only pizza with a fried chicken crust next week.

There are four “Specialty Chicken” dishes that will appear on Domino’s menus April 21.

The new Crispy Bacon & Tomato, Spicy Jalapeno & Pineapple, Classic Hot Buffalo and Sweet BBQ Bacon chicken dishes are accompanied by the slogan, “Failure is an option.”

Failure to what? Matt McFarland of the Washington Post calls it a failure of innovation.

“Just how absurd and twisted can food in America get? In a nation overrun with obesity, our corporations keep belching out bizarre new things they call food,” McFarland wrote.

“Yes, that’s Specialty Chicken. This isn’t just chicken in the eyes of Domino’s, which has the gall to call the food an innovation,” he said.

“Our new Specialty Chicken is one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had,” Domino’s Pizza chief marketing officer Russell Weiner said in a release.

"We are proud to be known as a pizza company, but Specialty Chicken shows we are not afraid to step out of our comfort zone and take risks -- something that is truly part of our brand fabric,” Russell said. “Not every risk we have taken has turned out to be successful, but as a brand we have learned that sometimes you have to fail in order to be great."

“Umm, Russell, I’m sorry, but I have news,” McFarland wrote. “Menu items that are short on good nutrition and long on gimmicks, novelty and processed foods are the rage. You’re not doing anything new.”

Sources: Washington Post, UPI

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11Oregon Woman Sues Walmart After Shampoo Ruins Several Feet Of Her Hair

An Oregon woman is suing Walmart and a shampoo maker for $10,000 after she says she used a product that left her hair so tangled she had to cut it for the first time in years.

Jennifer Fahey, 30, claims she’s had hair down her back for most of her life. She says she bought a bottle of Equate Everyday Clean Dandruff Shampoo from a Portland Walmart last year. On Oct. 8, the first time she used the shampoo, her hair became irreparably tangled and she had to cut most of it off.

Her attorney William Ball told the Oregonian she had to cut off several feet of hair, leaving her with only four inches on her head.

“She was not able to remove the knots and as a result she had to cut a large portion of her hair from the top and back of her head,” says the suit, filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Fahey saved the bottle of shampoo for chemical analysis, which Ball says hasn’t yet been completed.

The suit names Walmart and the St. Louis-based shampoo-maker, Vi-Jon, as defendants.

She is seeking $10,000 for her "past, present and future physical and emotional pain and suffering, anxiety, humiliation and embarrassment, expenses for replacement hair, along with diminished and lost wages" and “loss of life’s pleasures and activities.”

Walmart website lists the 23.7-ounce bottle of Equate at $3.44.

Hundreds of women sued Unilever last year after they claimed Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion 30-Day Smoothing Kit caused hair loss. A settlement was reached for three class action suits in February.

Unilever agreed to create two funds: a "Reimbursement Fund" of $250,000, to reimburse consumers for their purchase of the Smoothing Kit, and an "Injury Fund" of $10,000,000, to compensate consumers for bodily injuries and for emotional distress that accompanied bodily injury.

Sources: Oregonian, CNN

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11Video: The Science Behind The World's Caffeine Love Affair

Are you one of the over 100 million Americans who depends on (and likely enjoys) the little boost caffeine gives you throughout your day? If so, check out this new video from the American Chemical Society.

Caffeine is America’s most widely used drug -- over 100 million Americans are daily coffee drinkers. But out love affair with caffeine doesn’t stop there. Energy drinks, caffeine pills, caffeine gum, and even caffeine jerky have become widely purchased caffeine-infused commodities in recent years.

Most of us know caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. But have you ever wondered exactly how the little wonder chemical works in your body? Or wanted to know what the optimal amount of caffeine to consume in a day is?

If so, check out this quick little informative and entertaining video from the American Chemical Society.

P.S. – yes, caffeine jerky is a real thing. It’s sold under the moniker Perky Jerky and is marinated in guarana – a caffeine dense plant. Weird. Anyways, back to the video:

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11Toddler Almost Drowns in Mall Fountain (Video)

A member of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue team in Florida recently released a surveillance video to warn parents about the dangers of not watching their kids.

The surveillance video (below) shows a two-year-old child, Alayna, in the Augusta Mall in Georgia, climbing over the wall of a fountain, falling in and nearly drowning before an older boy calls for help and a nurse pulls the toddler out of the water, noted Local 10.

Alayna's mom, Ashley Ishmael, was looking for her daughter in the mall's stores when the girl nearly drowned on Aug. 28, 2013.

"I was playing with her and then she had gotten up into the top part of the slide playing with two or three other kids," Ishmael told WRDW. "And next thing I know she was gone."

When Alayna was released about two months later, she was still in a wheelchair. A new Facebook page "Alayna's Angels" has been set up for people to help the child and her mother.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman Arnold Piedrahita posted the video on his Facebook page, where he wrote: “If me posting this video scares someone enough to … install a pool gate then my job is done.”

"I ran [upon] a 13-month-old boy who drowned in the family pool with 11 adults home at [the] time," Piedrahita added. "Everyone thought someone was watching the baby."

Sources: WRDW, Local 10, Facebook

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