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Jailed mom 'who got girlfriend to burn baby alive' appears in court in leg brace

A mother accused of asking her girlfriend to burn her baby son to death has appeared in court sporting a leg brace. Hanna Nicole Barker, 24, limped into a courtroom in Natchitoches, Louisiana, last Thursday with a serious leg injury. It is unclear how Barker sustained the injury, which was spotted by a reporter from the Alexandria Town-Talk. But feelings against her and lover Felicia Marie Smith, 27, run so highly that a jury will now be bused in from outside her home parish to try the case against her. Barker has been tried with the capital murder of six month-old Levi Cole Ellerbe, who is said to have been covered in gasoline by Smith before being burned in a ditch in July 2018.

Smith went to work a shift at an IHOP pancake house after, with a driver who was headed home from work stopping after she spotted a fire in a ditch. She found baby Levi, who was rushed to hospital and died the next day with second and third-degree burns covering 90% of his body. Police charged both Smith and Barker with capital murder, with prosecutors applying for both women to face the death penalty if they are convicted. Barker is set to face trial in January, with a defense hearing scheduled for November 25. Levi is said to have been killed by Barker’s girlfriend Felicia Nicole-Smith, with the infant’s burning corpse discovered on an isolated hill by a driver. On the evening of Levi’s death, Barker called police to claim that her son had been kidnapped by two people who’d knocked her door and maced her face. But prosecutors say she asked Smith – who was besotted with Barker- to kill him. After her arrest, Barker reportedly told officials that she was only with Smith for attention and money, and that she had asked her lover to kill Levi. But Barker’s attorneys now say there is no evidence to prove that allegation.

Barker was on probation for drugs offenses at the time, and is said to have breached her terms by having Smith at her home. Last Thursday’s court hearing also saw Barker mouth ‘I love you’ to her family members. Members of Barker’s family went on to clash with Ellerbe’s loved ones, with the latter group claiming Barker was receiving favorable treatment.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 22:30

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Hundreds gather to bury American woman and her four children who were incinerated in burned-out SUV during ambush by Mexican drug cartel gunman

Hundreds of mourners gathered on Friday for the burial of a mother, her months-old twins and two other children on the fringes of a township founded by breakaway Mormons in Mexico, in a second funeral for the victims of a brazen armed ambush.

Suspected cartel gunmen shot Rhonita Miller LeBaron, 30, and four of her children on Monday, also striking two other vehicles, killing a total of three women and six children on an isolated dirt road in the hills of Sonora. 

All of the victims were dual US-Mexican citizens.

Miller's SUV exploded in flames during the attack, incinerating her along with her 13-year-old son, 11-year old daughter and 7-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana.

We pray, Father, that good will come out of this terrible incident, that the way may be opened up for this country to find justice for those that don't have a voice,' said Rhonita's father-in-law, Kenny Miller, speaking at the graveside where children lay flowers as a soft rain fell.

On Thursday in La Mora, the first funeral was held for victims of the attack, with mourners guarded by heavily armed soldiers.

More than 250,000 Mexicans have been killed in the mounting violence that has gripped the country since 2007, many of them victims of drug-related crimes. Tens of thousands more are missing.

Echoing sentiments expressed by relatives in recent days, Miller said the cartels had grown stronger than the government in some areas, comparing the situation to conflicts in the Middle East. 

He stopped short, however, of supporting emerging calls for the United States to take a larger role in Mexico.

'I witnessed the army, scared to go in,' Miller said, apparently describing the day of the attack, which occurred in the morning, when cartel firefighting lasted for hours, restricting search parties. 

Authorities did not arrive until sundown.

'That is uncalled for in a sovereign country,' Miller said at the cemetery outside the town of Colonia LeBaron. 

Nearby a rusting road sign was punctured with bulletholes.

His voice trembling, Miller described the horror of finding the young family's vehicle in roaring flames, not knowing if they were inside, and returning hours later to find their charred remains. He called it an act of terrorism.

Both the families and the governments blame warring drug cartels, although they disagree whether the families were targeted or victims of mistaken identity in the attack.

'They talk about terrorism in Iraq and Iran, those aren't our countries, this is our country. We've got terrorists here,' Miller said.

The victims were all part of a community of breakaway Mormon sects who arrived in Mexico from the 1880s onwards to escape a clampdown on polygamy in the United States.

A shrinking number still practice polygamy, but families are large. 

Rhonita Miller is survived by her husband and three other children. 

The mourners arrived in a convoy of dozens of trucks in Colonia LeBaron on Friday after a five-hour drive across backroads from La Mora, where the victims all lived.

The ambush took place on a track near La Mora.

'I really believe that the cartels in Mexico have moved to another level of barbarity, they are as bad or worse than ISIS. ISIS have an ideology,' said resident Rosa LeBaron, 65, whose cousins, nieces and nephews died in the attacks. 

'These sicarios, why are they doing it?' she said, using a term for 'hitmen.' 

'Out of greed and pure evil.'

She said Mexico needed to overcome pride and accept outside help from a neighboring country or international coalition, like the United Nations, to stamp out the cartels.\

A shrinking number still practice polygamy, but families are large. 

Rhonita Miller is survived by her husband and three other children. 

The mourners arrived in a convoy of dozens of trucks in Colonia LeBaron on Friday after a five-hour drive across backroads from La Mora, where the victims all lived.

The ambush took place on a track near La Mora.

'I really believe that the cartels in Mexico have moved to another level of barbarity, they are as bad or worse than ISIS. ISIS have an ideology,' said resident Rosa LeBaron, 65, whose cousins, nieces and nephews died in the attacks. 

'These sicarios, why are they doing it?' she said, using a term for 'hitmen.' 

'Out of greed and pure evil.'

She said Mexico needed to overcome pride and accept outside help from a neighboring country or international coalition, like the United Nations, to stamp out the cartels.

However, he has resisted taking a tougher line with the gangs, instead pursuing a strategy of non-confrontation he calls 'hugs not bullets' and arguing he can end violence by addressing the root causes of crime such as poverty and joblessness.

Adrian LeBaron, whose daughter and grandchildren died in the attack, reflected the views of several other relatives who said they had little faith in Mexico's judicial system and federal government, but still hopes the country will rise to the challenge.

'I love Mexico, and this happened in Mexico, and these children are Mexican,' he said. 'The FBI, the whole world, must be dying to do something, but it wouldn't be right... we should be able to do it.'

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 22:26

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A super rich father is beaten to death in his own garage and left to rot.

The sister of a murdered millionaire is still fighting to bring her brother's killer to justice - nearly 15 years after he was found beaten to death in his own home.  

Michael Griffey, 45, was brutally bludgeoned in the garage of his family's property in Pakenham, in Melbourne's south-east, on New Year's Eve 2005.

His body was covered in a tarp and a sheet, and was discovered by his wife Diane and daughter Cassandra several days after he died. 

The murder weapon was never found. 

Diane and the couple's son Kenny were arrested in connection to Michael's death, and his teenage daughter Cassandra confessed that she was the one who killed her father. 

Diane and the couple's son Kenny were arrested in connection to Michael's death, and his teenage daughter Cassandra confessed that she was the one who killed her father. 

The wealthy father made his fortune through a successful transport company and appeared to have been living comfortably before his death.  

But an investigation later uncovered financial issues within the business that showed it was actually deep in debt.    


It was later revealed Diane had also received a $1.5million payout from Michael's life insurance policy after he died.  

The mother was arrested and charged but the case was dismissed before it could go to trial in 2008 due to lack of evidence.  

Meanwhile, Kenny was arrested but released without charge, and last year he broke his silence to publicly deny any involvement in his dad's death.  

He also alleged a metal tool was missing from the garage after his father died. 

At the time of his death, Michael had been separated from his wife, had been dating other women, and was reportedly planning to file for divorce. 

According to his longtime girlfriend, he was also in the process of writing his will.

Diane refused to comment when asked about her husband's death by A Current Affair. 

Katrina said she just wanted her brother's killer brought to justice. 

'I just wish that they please come forward and just let Michael rest, and let me have peace of mind,' she said.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 22:18

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Mum gives birth to premature son days after husband dies in the same hospital

While Kelsey Ferguson already knew she would encounter some significant challenges when her baby was born, she had no idea she would be going through it as a widow.

Kelsey, 31, lost her husband Scott four days before delivering son Maxley Russell, who weighed just 1021 grams when he was born at 33 weeks gestation in June last year.

Scott, 30, hadn't been well for some weeks by the time Kelsey was admitted to hospital due to her high risk pregnancy, but the couple thought it was a flare up of his psoriatic arthritis. 

"I had been admitted on Monday to Abbott Northwestern Hospitals Mother Baby Centre... He went home after visiting me that night and before bed, was coughing up blood and couldn't catch his breath," Kelsey recounts on her blog.

She wrote that Scott attended the ER near their home in Prior Lake, Minnesota, but there was no lung specialist at that hospital so he was transferred to Abbott, where Kelsey was on bedrest.

She was able to visit him while he had a steroid drip, which made him feel better for a short time.

But his health began to deteriorate again during the following two days, with Kelsey visiting him as much as was permitted.

"He was still having a really hard time getting his oxygen levels up and was getting really frustrated. I knew it would take some time for him to get better but we thought he would get discharged on Thursday or Friday."

After a bad night's sleep on Thursday the pair napped through the morning. In the early afternoon Kelsey got the call that Scott was in respiratory distress and was being transferred to ICU.

She was able to see Scott, but not for long.

"At this point they sent me back to my room. I got a call from his doctors a little later that his lungs were so much worse than they anticipated so they needed to put him on lung bypass to give his lungs a break and let the machine breathe for him for a few days. So I rushed back to authorise the bypass. But, in the process of putting him on lung bypass, Scott went into cardiac arrest."

After an hour's CPR and a period of trying to stabilise him, the bleeding on Scott's lungs could not be stalled and he passed away after midnight, after Kelsey held his hand and said her goodbyes. She had to be taken back to her room after collapsing and vomiting.

He died shortly afterwards of an inflammatory disease called Granulomatosis with polyangiitis, which affects five in every one million people in Australia. Sadly, Scott's case had been identified too late to save his life.

"I really didn't know how sick he was. Nobody told me he could die. Nobody said his body was shutting down," Kelsey said.

Consumed with grief, she gave birth to Maxley just four days later on June 12. She said the days in between were a "complete blur" and concerned doctors had made the decision to induce her

Now Kelsey focussed on her son's survival.

An ultrasound at 20 weeks revealed heart defects and a chromosomal abnormality called 12q14 microdeletion syndrome, which results in developmental delays and affects physical growth.

While she and Scott had known that Maxley would have a tough start to life, they also didn't know for sure if he would survive.

"I would say my world ended the day [Scott] left this earth but in a way a new life began when our son was born just four days later," she said.

Defying doctors' predictions, Maxley pulled through and went home in September, though Kelsey knew they would be back in four months' time for Maxley's first open heart surgery.

To date, the youngster has endured seven surgeries amid his extensive health issues.

While Kelsey devotes her life to her son and his wellbeing, she continues to suffer the traumatic loss of her beloved life partner Scott.

"I thought it would get easier as time went on but it turns out I am more broken than ever," she said. 

"He was an incredible husband and made my life easy. I was happy every single day with him. We did everything together and there isn't a single thing in my life that doesn't remind me of him."

Of his dad's memory, Kelsey fully intends to keep that alive for Maxley.

"I will tell Maxley all about his dad and how much he loves him. We have a long road ahead of us in so many ways, but in the end, we have each other – and I count myself incredibly lucky for that."

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 22:12

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Pharmacist, 29, is left paralysed for a month after developing a terrifying condition while jogging - and the only symptom was a tingle in her toes

A jogger who noticed she had pins and needles while running was left paralysed and 'locked in' to her body for a month with no means of communicating after feeling the tingles for 24 hours.

Pharmacist Anstey Campbell, from New Zealand's North Island, decided to start the morning of January 17 with a light jog before heading off to work, noticing that the prickling sensation hadn't subsided by lunchtime.

'By mid-afternoon it had spread to my fingertips so I went and saw a GP because I thought it was weird,' the 29-year-old said. 

'He suggested that it was anxiety and to return the following day if it hadn't improved.'

But she didn't get the chance, as her body deteriorated overnight and left her with chest and stomach pain that led to a frantic hospital visit.

'A feeling of weakness was spreading to my upper body and face by this time,' she said.

'Within 15 minutes the doctor diagnosed me with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and referred me to the emergency department of our nearest major hospital.'

GBS is a rapid-onset muscle weakness caused by the immune system attacking the nervous system. 

The first symptoms are usually painful tingles in the feet or hands, just like Ms Campbell was experiencing.  

'Over the course of the day I slowly became paralysed from the legs to the top of my head. By the time I was intubated I was so weak I could barely open my eyelids,' she said. 

As her breath grew shallow, doctors decided to place Ms Campbell into a coma to help protect her lungs from further damage. 

A few days later Ms Campbell was given a tracheostomy - an incision in the neck - and put on a ventilator for 86 days.

'After around a week of being fully out, the doctors lowered my sedation and from what they saw I was completely unresponsive, but I was actually locked in,' she said.

'It was the most terrifying thing imaginable.'

Locked In Syndrome (LiS) involves the patient's consciousness and cortical functions remaining normal but with a complete inability to move or convey awareness.

'I remember the doctors tried all these tests to get some sort of response and it was really terrifying when I realised I was stuck inside. I was trying to do what they were telling me to, but nothing was happening,' she said.

'I remember the doctor pushing hard on my brow bone to try and make my eyes open, it was so painful and all I was saying inside was "stop."'

Ms Campbell was uncomfortable - and often in pain - but was unable to tell anyone about it.

With her eyes permanently shut the only way to establish whether it was day or night was to try and figure out how many visitors were in the room. 

After four weeks the first movement she got back was in her jaw, and she started to twitch once to mean 'yes' and twice to mean 'no'.

'When I woke up, I was told that I had been quite sick, and my case was on the severe side so it would take me while to get off the ventilator and breathe for myself,' she said.

Ms Campbell is still in hospital 10 months after her injury but is allowed to return home each weekend for a break. 

She has regained some strength in her upper body and recovered movement since doing physiotherapy twice a day for the last six months. 

'Some doctors have been positive and said I will regain most, if not all, of my function whereas others have said I'll be in a wheelchair for a long time. But the common theme is that my recovery will take a long time,' she said.

She can't grip anything with her hands yet and she can't stand unaided but with time Ms Campbell is hoping to move on her own.

The main treatment plan for GBS are blood transfusions and physical therapy. 

'I have spent a lot of time asking why this happened to me, but it got me nowhere except feeling resentment towards the hand I've been dealt,' she said.

'If something unexpected happens in life, let go of the life you had planned and accept the new story you get to write.'

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 22:01

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Florida grandmother unexpectedly delivers her own GRANDCHILD

A grandmother unexpectedly delivered her grandchild after her daughter went into labor on the way to the hospital — and this wasn't the woman's first time delivering a baby. 

April McMasters, 45, from Holiday, Florida, known as 'mum' by her three grandkids, helped deliver her granddaughter Braelynn in the backseat of a car on September 21 when traveling to the hospital with her daughter, Makayla Cole. 

'She was set to be induced Monday morning, but Saturday she woke up and her water broke,' McMasters told Good Morning America about the moment. 

'I delivered her all on my own. There were no other directions until after she was born [the operator] told me to dry her off and then put her in a clean towel.' 

This was not the first time McMasters had to deliver a baby for her daughter, though. 

When the grandmother's first grandson, Maddex, was born, Cole rang her mother to inform her she was in labor. 

'I called my mom at work and asked if she could come home because [the contractions] were getting stronger," Cole told the publication. 

'My mom called the hospital who told us they weren't close together or long enough. They told us to wait it out a little longer.'

But Maddex, who is now four years old, refused to wait any longer and was born on the bathroom floor of his parent's home with McCasters lending a helping hand.      

'He loves to tell anybody he can,' McMasters said about her grandson. 'He says, "I was born on the bathroom floor and I was so excited to be here, that I popped right out and my mum caught me."'

The grandmother delivered her first grandchild with the assistance of a 911 operator dictating directions for each step. 

In the end, McMasters described the moment as an 'incredible' experience, saying she would do it again 'in a heartbeat'. 

But she had no clue it would actually happen again until Braelynn, now two months old, was born in the back of the car on the way to the hospital. 

Cole admitted to Good Morning America that her children come pretty quickly, given how her first birth with Maddex went. 

As a joke, friends even gifted McMasters an in-home birthing kit in case there was another situation where her daughter would have to give birth outside the hospital. 

The daughter gave birth to her second child, Nixen, without a hitch in a hospital. But then McMasters skills, and the in-home birth kit, were needed again with Braelynn. 

'I think it's really cool and makes the bond strong between [my mom] and my children,' Cole said about the birthing stories.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 21:56

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A Russian military historian, 63, is dragged from icy river with the severed arms of his 24-year-old 'student lover' in his backpack before her head was found in his flat

A leading Russian military historian was arrested on suspicion of murder after he was dragged from a freezing river carrying two severed arms in a backpack.

A decapitated head and a body along with a saw covered in blood were later found at Professor Oleg Sokolov's flat in St Petersburg.

The young woman - identified by police sources as 24-year-old Anastasia Yeschenko - was a student of the professor, reported Russian media.

She had been in a relationship with the historian, 63, when he 'accidentally killed her' following an argument, according to the report which stated he had confessed to police.

Earlier reports had said the victim was a relative.

Multiple reports say the academic is in detention in hospital suffering from hypothermia.

He was dragged from the icy Moyka River in St Petersburg in the early hours of Saturday morning.

In his backpack were two female arms severed at the elbow and a gun.

The gruesome corpse and a severed head were found at his nearby apartment on Moyka Embankment, say reports.

Sokolov is considered a leading Russian expert on the Napoleonic Wars and is a professor at St Petersburg State University.


stella Posted on November 15, 2019 21:51

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Madeleine McCann's parents are 'shocked and saddened' as 'disgusting' Facebook troll pretends to be their missing daughter during a night out

Madeleine McCann's parents have been left 'shocked and saddened' after they were trolled when they went out for a meal.

Kate and Gerry, both 51, made a rare trip out to Beijing Banquet in Renfrew, near Glasgow, while visiting family on Saturday night.

But someone photographed the couple from Rothley, Leicestershire, carrying plates of buffet food back to their table, with a Facebook troll writing: 'Mum and dad are closer than I thought'.

It refers to the then three-year-old Madeleine's disappearance during a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

She had been left sleeping alone with her younger twin siblings while her parents were eating in a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

A family source told the Sun: 'Kate and Gerry are both shocked and saddened that someone could stoop this low.

'It seems they can't even enjoy a meal out with family on the eve of Remembrance Sunday without some lunatic abusing them and for what purpose? They find it despicable.'

The source added: 'It's more than sickening and sad that a time to remember our war heroes people are hitting out at Madeleine's parents. It's been going on since day one and they wonder if it will ever cease. It's cruel, it's callous, it's mindless.'

The troll got savaged on social media by other users who branded the person 'bloody sick' and 'absolutely disgusting'.

One posted: 'The poor girl could be dead and you're sat here making up stupid accounts you horrible person.'

Another added: 'I'm shocked at the amount of sick minded people. A three-year-old has been missing for 12 years, I dread to think what she's been through if she's still alive.'

Madeleine's great uncle Brian Kennedy visited the war memorial in the family's home town on Saturday.

He took part in Remembrance Day tributes at the monument that also has a candle for Madeleine - who would now be 16 - burning.

Earlier this month Kate and Gerry thanked the public for 'being by their side' and vowed to continue their search for their daughter after a £300,000 funding boost.

They wrote on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page: 'Thank you for being by our side as we continue to search for Madeleine.'

It came after the couple vowed to carry on looking for their daughter 'for as long as it takes'.

The Metropolitan Police's Operation Grange search for Maddie has reportedly cost £12million and the £300,000 boost was given in July.

In June, detectives in the Madeleine McCann case said they were closer to solving her mystery disappearance as they looked into a new suspect.

The McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell has refused to comment on the trolling.

And the duty manager at Beijing Banquet confirmed the McCann's visit on Saturday but said she was not aware of any trolling.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 21:46

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Boy, seven, who fell 30ft from Lightwater Valley theme park rollercoaster has undergone emergency brain surgery

A seven-year-old who fell 30ft from Lightwater Valley theme park rollercoaster has undergone emergency brain surgery.

The boy has been taken to Leeds General Infirmary where surgeons performed the operation.

His mother posted a picture of her son on Facebook and said he was out of surgery, but his current condition is unknown.

The operation comes months after the boy plunged from the Twister ride at Lightwater Valley theme park in May, with one saying they heard loud screams before seeing a child on the ground.

A seven-year-old who fell 30ft from Lightwater Valley theme park rollercoaster has undergone emergency brain surgery.

The boy has been taken to Leeds General Infirmary where surgeons performed the operation.

His mother posted a picture of her son on Facebook and said he was out of surgery, but his current condition is unknown.

The operation comes months after the boy plunged from the Twister ride at Lightwater Valley theme park in May, with one saying they heard loud screams before seeing a child on the ground.

'I would like to say the speed in which the emergency services swarmed to the scene was amazing and all did their job brilliantly and the off-duty officer and another lady, whom was constantly updating the boys mum (whom was stuck on the ride) were both truly legendary.'

Taking to Facebook, Mr Philo added: 'Maxwell (his son) and I tried out the Lightwater Valley Theme Park [and were] queuing for the twister rollercoaster ride when we both witnessed a young boy get thrown about 30 feet from the ride. 

'Shocking scenes but I had no other thought than to jump over the fences and climb over the rollercoaster tracks with the coaster still in motion to be the first one on the scene. 

'I was followed by an off duty police officer and we were shocked at what we saw. The boy had facial injuries, which I wont forget in a hurry, he had also been recently released from hospital. 

My first thought however after seeing him was not good, as he was motionless. Very scary moment. I have to say, the off-duty officer and his wife whom helped were amazing and the staff that eventually arrived did their bit. 

'I was however very proud of my boy for helping the paramedic guide the air ambulance where to land and his patience whilst I was with the boy for over an hour.' 

Mark Charnley, 46, who was visiting from his home in Cumbria with his wife Clare, 42, and two daughters, said the boy was hanging out of the back of the ride.

He said: 'Me and my eldest daughter were in the queue for the Twister ride, which is like a rollercoaster but with individual spinning carriages.

'We were about ten minutes from the front of the queue when we saw the little lad hanging out of the back of his carriage.

'His head was well behind the back of it and he was out of his restraints. He was in the carriage with his mum, who was screaming hysterically.

Everyone in the queue was shouting for the ride operator to stop the ride for about ten to 15 seconds but they didn't seem to have noticed. Then the boy must have fallen about 15ft.

'We jumped over the barrier to try and help and one man identified himself as an off-duty police officer and he sort of took over.'

Lara-Susan James, who had just joined the queue for the rollercoaster with her children, said a group were shouting at the operator to stop the ride.

She said: 'It was at that moment I realised something was wrong. I saw the operator apply the emergency stop. My husband pointed to the fallen kid on the ground, saying they had fallen out.

'When the ride stopped, the family jumped the barriers and went to the kid. I ushered our kids away as I don't want them to hear or see any more.'

A spokesman for the theme park said at the time: 'We have been informed by North Yorkshire Police that the medical condition of the child involved in the incident at the park yesterday has deteriorated overnight and he is now in a critical condition.

'We are devastated by this news and our thoughts are with the family.

'While the Health and Safety Executive investigation is continuing, we will support them and be guided by their advice.'

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 21:40

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Skint mum's incredible gift after swapping life with wealthy couple

A wealthy retired couple have enabled a single mother to pursue her dream of starting her own business by giving her a life-changing gift.

Shahid and Rifat Azziz, from Swindon, swapped homes, budgets and lives with Kelly Gallant, 34,  and her two sons 15-year-old Kieran, and 8-year-old Kyle from Derby for tonight's episode of Rich House, Poor House on Channel 5. 

When Shahid and Rifat arrived in the UK from Pakistan 40 years ago, they had just £25 in their pockets. 

Through hard work they saved enough for a comfortable retirement, and built their dream five-bedroom home which was completed in time for Shahid's 70th birthday.

Shahid worked in IT, before moving into stock management as well as investing in property, while Riffat initially took on low-paid work sewing at home, from 7am until 10pm each day. 

But by the time she retired she ended up as a senior manager at a catering firm.

In his retirement, Shahid volunteers as an immigration lawyer as well as working as an Imam at his local mosque.

Meanwhile Kelly works as a self-employed cleaner but has to turn down work to look after her sons.

Her weekly budget is £139, which includes topping up the gas and electricity meter and feeding both her sons. 

She reveals she spends no money on herself, but recently invested in a car after walking to every cleaning job.   

Before she leaves for her week of luxury in Wiltshire, Kelly has to borrow a suitcase from her brother's girlfriend to store all the family's clothes, because she doesn't own one herself.

The Azzizs are shocked when they stay in Kelly's three-bedroom house in Derby, but Kelly is delighted as she's given ten times her normal budget - £1,163 a week - to spend while living in Shahid and Rifat's huge house.

She is wowed by the custom-built home, particularly the couples, air-drying, self-cleaning toilet.

As she counts out her weekly budget, her youngest son Kyle is amazed by the amount of money in front of him, adding: 'That's the first time I've seen a £50, I didn't think they really existed'.

She spends the money on a day out to a local adventure park, a luxury £18 chicken, and even a lunch and spa-day at a local country manor. 

'It would be lovely to take the boys out like this, even once a month' Kelly says, adding that it helps grow their confidence. 

In Derby, Shahid and Riffat are equally impressed to see that Kelly and her sons grow their own vegetables in an allotment to save pennies.

Shahid soon realises Kelly is doing everything she can to provide for her boys but can't take risks as a business because she's the only family member taking home money.

Impressed with her efforts to grow her own food to provide for her family, the Azzizs soon realise her freezer is too small to store off of the vegetables she is growing.

They meet Keiran's friends who come around to Kelly's home to play football in the green outside.

Shahid joins them and ponders 'I wish I had spent more time with my own children and given them more of my attention.

'It's a difficult decision when you are trying to put bread on the table. Kelly is spending more time with her children and putting her ambitions on hold. 

Shahid decides to rally around his local Islamic community to raise funds to buy a new freezer for the single mum.  

Seemingly, with no end to their generosity, they eat leftovers on their last days in the home, opting to put the remaining £25 of their budget on the gas and electricity meter, so Kelly doesn't need to worry about it.

In a heartwarming letter, Shahid writes: 'Dear Kelly, everyone told us what a lovely and hard working mum you are and that your sons are a credit to you.

'I hope you will accept a free freezer from us to help you preserve your produce from your allotment.'

'Islam means "I should love all mankind" and we all dearly love you and your family.'

The couple also buy Kelly a carpet cleaner, meaning she'll be able to offer more services in her new business. 

Elated upon seeing her new gifts Kelly says: 'I've had my fridge for 16 years, that's amazing.

'I can offer carpet cleaning services now too.

'This week has really made me realise that I'm ready to expand my business to have more cash.

'I don't believe money can buy happiness but I can see that it can help.'

 While, back home in Swindon, Shahid adds: 'You can get complacent and when you see someone who is working just as hard as you but who is struggling because they haven't had a lucky break, it's hard.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 21:34

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Acid Attack Victim Is Still Traumatised And Finds It Hard To Look In The Mirror

An acid attack victim is still traumatised and housebound one year after the horrific incident that scarred her for life.

Teresa Townsley, 38, had corrosive liquid thrown at her when she answered the door her Edinburgh home to a track-suited man last year.

The man fled the scene in a stolen grey Ford Fiesta and Teresa was left with serious burns to her face and neck and lost part of her ear.

She spoke of the horror on the anniversary of the attack as she appealed for information in a bid to catch the perpetrator.

She said: "It was the worst day of my life and today is the second worst as it brings it all back.

"Fortunately I have a new partner who is being tremendously supportive and I have my kids to keep me going.

"But, day to day it is still hard, it is hard just to go out of the house, to look in the mirror. Most of the time I am confined to the house."

After the attack, Teresa moved away from Edinburgh.

The man is described as a 5ft 11in tall, aged early twenties and of slim build.

He was wearing a dark-coloured tracksuit, a grey top with the hood pulled up, dark gloves and trainers with light reflective sections.

His face was covered.

"If anyone knows anything then they must come forward. I am scarred for life and coming forward with information could prevent someone else suffering as I have. It may even prevent someone losing their life," Teresa added.

According to the police, the man got in a grey Ford Fiesta with false number plates showing the registration number BN65 LFV.

The car was seen at around 9.45pm travelling north in Drum Street with its lights off.

It then went down Gilmerton Road, into Glenallan Drive and was driven into Inch Park where it was set on fire.

Two men were seen to run off towards Glenallan Drive.

Detective Inspector Jonathan Pleasance said: "The attacker targeted Teresa at her front door while her young children were just a few feet away.

"This serious assault resulted in life-changing injuries and also shocked the local community.

"If you recognise the man described or saw the car, before or after the attack, please contact police immediately.

"I am confident that there are people in the Gilmerton area who have information that can assist the inquiry and I would urge them to come forward."

Anyone with information can contact Gayfield CID on 101, quoting incident 4125 of November 9 2018, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 21:28

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Selfie before a stabbing: Hours later teacher knifed by mugger

A primary school teacher posed for a selfie with his pals just hours before he was stabbed in the street by thugs trying to steal his phone.    

Ryan Wayne, 26, was left bleeding in a Birmingham city centre street after two thrusts of a knife lacerated his liver and punctured his lung.

The muggers wanted the phone visible in the picture he took in the mirror with his friends before going on a night out on February 17.

As they walked home, Ryan and his friend Brody were stopped by two men who demanded their phones and money. When Ryan refused, they stabbed him.

Brody's prompt action saved Ryan's life and he was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he underwent surgery, and spent a week in a coma.

Less than three months on, as knife crime continues to spiral, Ryan is determined to raise awareness about the dangers of carrying a knife and convince people to ditch their weapons.

Ryan said: 'I'd been on a night out with my friends in the city centre, and I was walking home with a friend.

'These two guys approached us and demanded we hand over our things. I'm quite stubborn and I just said "No you're not having it".

'That's when he attacked me. I didn't insult him in any way, I didn't tell him to f***off. He just stabbed me.'

At first Ryan didn't realise that he'd been knifed, and fled his attackers. But it quickly became clear he was seriously injured. Soon, he was bleeding badly.

Ryan said: 'Adrenaline and shock takes over at that point, and I tried to run home and get some help. I didn't know what had happened.

'But then I looked down and I saw it all. And I thought "Oh my God, I've been stabbed".

'My friend Brody helped me. If it wasn't for him I think I definitely wouldn't be here today. I'm so thankful for what he did that night. He stayed with me, he kept me awake while the paramedics came.'

Within five minutes an ambulance and police arrived at the scene and rushed Ryan to the trauma centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Ryan said: 'I was absolutely terrified. I thought I was going to die. I thought "This is it".

'From the moment the paramedics arrived I don't remember anything, and I was asleep for a week. It's so strange to wake up and a week has passed. I didn't know where I was.'

While Ryan was in a coma, surgeons had performed two life-saving operations, repairing his liver and lung.

After a week in intensive care and a week on Ward 726, Ryan was discharged on March 1.

Ryan, a school teacher in Yardley, said: 'The hardest part wasn't the wounds or the pain. It was seeing my mum, dad and sisters so upset.

'It was gut-wrenching - but I just felt so amazed that my life had been saved. The care I received was absolutely incredible. The main thing is that I'm still here.'

While he was in hospital, best friend Craig Butler, who was also out with Ryan on that fateful night, decided to raise money for the hospital that had saved his life.

Craig raised £1,162 to help fund a mobile CT scanner, which will help save others.

Ryan has made a near miraculous recovery, and following his latest scan was told that his liver is now healed.

But he says that while he physically recovered, it is the long-term emotional damage that will be the most challenging to overcome.

He has become understandably wary about walking around the city alone after dark, and is now more aware of the potential dangers that face us every day.

Ryan said: 'I'm still reluctant to go out at night in the dark. It instils more anxiety and fear in you. But to combat that I've thrown myself into knife crime awareness.' 

Just weeks after being discharged from hospital, Ryan has written and produced an educational knife crime workshop, which he plans to present to the pupils at his primary school.

Following that, he hopes to present his workshop at other schools across the city, sharing his story with children before they might consider carrying a knife.

Ryan said: 'I really feel that educating children and intervening at a young age is vital in reducing knife crime.

'It's about teaching children about how to act if their friend or brother or sister decide to start carrying a knife. How can we save lives?'

Ryan has written a passionate letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid about his experience, outlining what he thinks needs to be done to tackle the knife epidemic.

Ryan said: 'He wrote me a personal reply saying he was totally on board with what I was saying, and that he would be putting more money into workshops in primary and secondary schools. That's when I had the idea to do my own.'

Ryan admits that the workshops have helped him turn this night of horror into something positive, and have also helped him with his emotional recovery. Quite simply, he feels like he can make a difference.

Ryan said: 'The knife crime numbers are astronomical at the moment. But we all live in a this "risk-free" bubble and think it couldn't happen to us, it happens to other people.

'There were 40,000 knife incidents last year up to September, and still you think 'That won't happen to me'.

'I've got a good job, I live in a nice area - you don't think it will affect you, you're not part of a gang.

'So when it happened to me it was like that bubble had been popped, and I was terrified. I didn't know if I was going to make it or not.

'At that point I was very close to death.'

Ryan says people need to remember that knife crime has a ripple effect. As well as putting himself and his family through heartache, the same can be said for the families of the attackers.

Ryan said: 'It's not just one person. This violence causes pain to me, but also my family, to my friends, to the pupils I teach, to their parents.

'The ripple goes on and on. And it also affects the assailants.

'I worry that people have become desensitised to stabbings because they are happening all the time. That's why I want to share my story.

'I almost got killed for what? A mobile phone and some change?

'I'll never know whether I still would have been stabbed if I'd handed over the phone.

'But people shouldn't feel like they need to carry knives. It needs to stop. We need to understand the reasons behind it.

'The next person might not be so lucky.'

Ryan has organised an 18-mile charity awareness walk on June 30 from Lichfield city centre to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 21:22

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Mum Installs Fake CCTV Camera To Get Kids To Behave Ahead Of Christmas

Survivors of the horrific 1999 Columbine High School massacre have opened up about the hardships of raising children in a world plagued with gun violence.

Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson survived the shooting in Columbine, Colorado that killed 12 classmates and a teacher, and reveals that one of the hardest parts of becoming a parent is sending her children to school.

She was a junior reading a magazine in the library when gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold stormed in. They found her crouching under a computer desk and shot her in the right shoulder. Instead of crying out, she played dead until the gunmen left and she could flee.

Today, she has scars on her right shoulder and is unable to reach high shelves or use her right arm to lift her four children.

Ruegsegger Johnson revealed she would cry most mornings as her kids left the car to head to school, and relied on texted photos from their teachers to make it through the day.

Now, she sees mornings as an opportunity. She wakes early, makes breakfast and strives to send a clear message before her kids leave home: I adore you.

She along with other Columbine alums are now parents and say the emotional toll and trauma of the 1999 massacre spikes every time another school shooting makes headlines.  

'I'm grateful I have the chance to be a mom. I know some of my classmates weren't given that opportunity,' Ruegsegger Johnson said, tears springing to her eyes. 'There are parts of the world I wish our kids never had to know about. I wish that there would never be a day I had to tell them the things I've been through.' 

For the last 20 years, she has lived with post-traumatic stress disorder, along with physical pain. She worked as a nurse until the injuries to her arm forced her to stop.

Though she was thrilled to become a mother, she struggled to leave her infant daughter at daycare during church services and considered home schooling her kids.

Leaning on her religious faith and family support, she worked hard to push the terror down as her children got older. She avoided media coverage of school violence and became a resource for other survivors of shootings. She grew tired of living in fear and unwilling to let her past affect her kids' experience. 

Columbine survivors have seen a string of school shooter attacks follow theirs including Virginia Tech in 2007, Sandy Hook in 2012, Parkland in 2018.

Now that their kids are in school, they see just how much these heartbreaking acts of violence have altered schools.  

Drills teaching students to 'lock down' inside classrooms have become routine. Schools have formed teams to assess threats, particularly from students. Security firms forged a multibillion-dollar industry, introducing surveillance video, panic buttons and upgraded doors and locks. And police have changed their strategies for responding to a gunman intent only on killing. 

Some of the Columbine survivors find comfort in students being shielded by high fences or locked doors. Others find themselves frustrated by the ready acceptance of active-shooter drills in schools.

Now, many of these students-turned-parents grapple with crippling fear dwarfing pride as their children walk into their own schools.  

Ruegsegger Johnson told her kids the drills were important and they should practice them to keep safe. But her daughter Mallory confessed to feeling afraid that 'a bad person' could still find her in the evacuation location used during one drill. 

'The bad guys found me, and I thought I had a really great hiding spot,' Ruegsegger Johnson said to her daughter. 'So what am I going to say to a little girl who has that same fear that the bad guy might find her? It was a really hard moment for me.'

Ruegsegger Johnson has developed her own ritual for the school drop-off. On a recent sunny spring morning, she helped her kids find their book bags and tie their shoes before ushering them to the car. She prayed aloud as they neared the school, giving thanks for a beautiful morning and asking for a day of learning and friendship.

As always, she made a silent addition: Keep them safe. 

For Columbine survivor Amy Over, the prospect of her 13-year-old daughter starting high school could have triggered a panic attack in the not-too-distant past. But now she's focused on helping the girl prepare for the unexpected.

She coaches her daughter when she ventures to places outside her mom's control: Where is the closest exit? What street are you on? Who is around you?

'I never want my kids to feel an ounce of pain, the way that I felt pain,' Over said. 'I know that that's something that I can't control. And I think that's hard on me.'

Over was in the Columbine cafeteria when the gunmen approached the school, targeting students eating lunch outside. She escaped with no physical injuries, but has struggled emotionally for years.

Therapy and family support helped. But waving goodbye to her daughter on the first day of preschool triggered a panic attack - the first of many. She was diagnosed with chronic panic disorder, resumed therapy and found new strategies for her life as a mother of two.

Over's daughter, Brie, was 11 when her mother first told her about Columbine, a few days before the anniversary. That April 20, they visited the school for a memorial ceremony that included a reading of the names of the 13 people killed. Afterward, the Overs walked together through the quiet school.

Here is where she hid in the cafeteria, Amy Over showed her daughter. And that is the staircase where she last saw her basketball coach, Dave Sanders, who died in a classroom awaiting rescue after valiantly trying to help evacuate the school.

For Over, opening up to her daughter was cathartic and so they have continued to attend annual memorial events, now imbued with a gentler tone with the girl by her side.

'It's a day of reflection,' Over said. 'It's a day of love and hope. And I get to share that with my daughter.'

Though it sometimes seems mass shootings inside schools are a commonplace occurrence, they are relatively rare, and statistics show the number has not substantially increased since 2000.

But that is of little consolation to a swath of American parents. About two in 10 parents said they are not at all or not very confident in their children's safety while at school, while a third of parents are very or extremely confident, according to a March survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Austin Eubanks, who survived being shot in the Columbine library, is among those who doesn't fear the schools his sons, ages 13 and 9, attend.

Instead, he laments that active-shooter drills, video surveillance and armed guards are all too routine for them - as natural as a tornado drill was for him growing up in Oklahoma.

'We are so unwilling to actually make meaningful progress on eradicating the issue,' said Eubanks, who remains scarred by watching his best friend, Corey DePooter, die. 'So we're just going to focus on teaching kids to hide better, regardless of the emotional impact that that bears on their life. To me, that's pretty sad.'

Isolation, depression, addiction and suicide are among the larger dangers he sees facing his kids' generation, and he knows firsthand the damage those can cause.

For more than a decade after the attack, Eubanks was addicted to prescription pain medication. He got sober in 2011 and began repairing his family, including his relationship with his sons and their mother. He works at an addiction treatment facility and travels the country telling his story.

At home in Colorado, he tries to help his sons become attuned to pain others may be feeling. He encourages them to talk to an adult when peers seem so angry or afraid that they may need help. He tries to remember that - for them - all of the changes in schools are just normal.

He was horrified by videos that Marjory Stoneman Douglas students shot in Parkland, Florida, as they hid inside a classroom while a gunman moved through the halls of the high school. He has urged his own boys to always try to escape first - whatever it takes - even if the drills advise staying put.

'These are my children, and what I care about most is their safety,' he said. 'And I know that for them, in a situation like that, getting away from it as quickly as possible is the best likelihood of success.'

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 21:15

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Fake CCTV Camera To Get Kids To Behave Ahead Of Christmas

A mum has come up with an ingenious way of making her kids behave themselves during the festive period, having installed a fake CCTV camera in the front room and telling the family that Santa's watching.

We can all get a little bit carried away around Christmas, whether that involves a few too many bevs at the work do or falling out with our siblings over who gets to put the star on top of the tree.

But Delaney McGuire, 26, and her husband Tony have managed to find a 'budget friendly' way to get their children to behave during all the excitement, having installed a fake surveillance camera in the house.

Delaney, from Little Elm in Aubrey, Texas, told LADbible: "We were casually shopping at Five Below and came across fake cameras.

"My husband then thought of the idea to install them or - 'Santa' to install them - to keep an eye on them.

"My kids are great, but just have a hard time when it comes to chores. We were hoping for this to be a fun/creative way to drive them to do more.

"Elf on the Shelf just wasn't for us, so we decided to think outside the box... and budget friendly!"

Mum-of-four Delaney, who is the director of Kids R Kids Learning Academy, said her children instantly took to the challenge.

She said: "The kids immediately reacted with excitement and curiosity. They right away wanted to impress Santa, and started asking for things to do.

"I gave them a basket of laundry that needed folding and they got to it right away.

"They now fight about who is doing the most chores vs. who is getting the remote."

After sharing a photo of the CCTV camera in action, the post soon went viral and has now racked up 74,000 likes and 123,000 shares.

Delaney said the reaction from other parents has been generally positive, saying: "When we posted this, we only intended it to be for our close friends and family to see.

"Once it went viral we got to see lots of different opinions. Most of the comments were very positive and thought it was a great and clever idea!"

Delaney continued: "I have been a childcare professional for more than 10 years now. I know how to redirect my children positively and show them how to be respectful and behave.

"We used this tool for one area that most kids don't like, which is cleaning.

"We don't feel guilty for it, we are just using a different and fun method of getting their chores done.

"It may not work in three months, but for now we will take it!"

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 21:09

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'Bored' squaddie accidentally shot his best friend dead with a pistol after being seen been 'posing with his gun like a rapper'

A lance corporal who accidentally shot his best friend during a game of 'quick draw' had been seen posing with his handgun 'like a rapper', it has emerged.

Colin Theaker, 30, was jailed for three years in March after pleading guilty to manslaughter after he accidentally killed Scott Hetherington, 22, when they were on deployment helping train local soldiers to fight Islamic State 2017. 

The pair, whose relationship was described as 'brotherly', had both been 'playing around' with their service pistols while cleaning them prior to the fatal shooting at Camp Taji in Iraq, north of Baghdad. 

A military investigation has now suggested the shooting happened because The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment were 'bored' and treated their pistols 'like new toys'.

Theaker had been seen emulating rappers, according to a Ministry of Defence report seen by the Sunday Express. And once struck a pose with his Glock pistol while using a phrase relating to 'an American rapper of the hip-hop genre who was injured in a shooting incident'.     

The Glock pistols were seen to have a 'high social value' and as a 'gangster weapon', the Ministry of Defence report added.  

'It was recognised that young soldiers in particular would be attracted to messing around with their general service pistol, based on its novelty and how hand-guns are portrayed in the media,' it said.

The report is also said to have identified a number of failings by the Army leading to the death of Hetherington. And revealed that a similar incident, in which no one died, had taken place in the same accommodation block six months earlier.  

Hetherington died from a single fatal wound to the lower chest in what was described to the court in March as a 'tragic accident'. 

The court heard the Lance Corporal, nicknamed 'Snowball', said 'no, no don't do that' prior to the shooting at around 4pm on January 2, 2017.   

While playing around with his weapon, Lance Corporal Theaker had unwittingly made ready his gun and a round was in the chamber when he pulled the trigger, the court heard earlier this year.

Hetherington, a vehicle commander in the Force Protection Platoon, became the first British soldier to have been killed in Iraq since 2009.

The pals were on deployment helping train local soldiers fight Islamic State militants at the time of the fatal shooting in the living accommodation pod they shared together. 

Theaker, who was part of a detachment from 2nd Battlion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (2 LANCS) based at Camp Taji, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence in February.  

He was jailed for three years after being sentenced at Catterick Garrison court martial centre and dismissed from her Majesty's service in March.

Lance Corporal Hetherington's partner, Savannah Brown had only given birth to their daughter Safaya-Rose three months before the fatal shooting.

He was buried with full military honours in his hometown of Middleton, Greater Manchester, three weeks after his death.

In an emotional victim statement, Hetherington's sister Sian told a court: 'After I was told he died I was heartbroken. When I found out it was Colin I was even more heartbroken.

'Myself and Scott are siblings but I believe him and Colin are siblings.

'Him being sentenced is the worst thing that could happen to our family. If he was to be sentenced that's not justice for me, Scott or his family.'

In a statement read out to court, Hetherington's mother Anne Hetherington added: 'He [Theaker] made the biggest mistake you can make and he will pay for the rest of his life. He doesn't need to go to prison.

'I don't wish any criminal charges to be brought against him, it was an accident with no malice.'   

Theaker and Hetherington had been cleaning their service pistols and were stood on their beds playing a game of 'quick draw' before the fatal shooting, the court heard.

But Theaker had taken the magazine on and off and a round was in the chamber when he pulled the trigger. 

Theaker came out into the hallway screaming for help, a court heard.

Passing sentence in March, Vice judge advocate general of the armed forces, Michael Hunter, presiding with a three-person military board, said: 'Theaker you are not an immature soldier, you are now 30-years-old.

'You played around with weapons after you have been clearly and strongly warned not to play around with weapons.

'We have heard evidence in the course of this trial and have concluded Hetherington himself expressed what could only have been a warning before you shot him dead.

'It has been contended by your counsel that the weapons training in the services is inadequate and that you were inadequately trained.

'While there is no evidence before us to substantiate this the military members of the board hope this is unfounded.

'You do not need to know you do not play around with weapons and point them at someone deliberately and deliberately pull the trigger

'This is something that any soldier would know whatever the state of their training.

'You are very fortunate to have the support of the Hetherington family. Their actions on your behalf can only be described as truly noble and generous, something that is not very often seen in courts of law of cases of this nature.'   

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the military investigation will now be studied 'carefully' and any recommendations made will be considered.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 20:58

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Actor who is just 3ft 7in tall, becomes one of Britain's shortest dads

A man born with dwarfism has become one of Britain's shortest dads after welcoming his first child. 

Actor James Lusted, 30, from Wales, who is just 3ft 7in, had to climb a step-ladder to marry his wife Chloe who towers over him at 5ft 8in.

And two-and-a-half years after their dream wedding, James, 30, and teacher Chloe, 25, have welcomed the birth of daughter Olivia Nevaeh.

James said: 'Holding my daughter in my arms is definitely in the top two of the best things I've ever done. Marrying Chloe was the other best day of my life.

'There are no words to describe the love we feel for Olivia. We are both overwhelmed by emotion and have never felt love like this before.

'When Olivia was first born I was just blown away by it all. I can't really describe the moment in words. 

'When the nurses placed her in my arms I'd have died for them both, that's all I can say. We are both utterly smitten.'

Olivia - who arrived weighing a healthy 8lb 3oz - was allowed home with mum and dad in Colwyn Bay, North Wales just 24 hours after being born.

James was born with a type of genetic dwarfism called diastrophic displasia but has not handed the condition down to his daughter.

James said: 'Olivia is just perfect. The paediatrician discharged her and said she was a perfect little baby and she really is.

'Chloe feeds her and she goes to sleep at midnight and wakes up at 5am. I am guessing she is so relaxed because Chloe and I are so laid back and she senses that.

'We'd love more children in the future but for now we are just fine and are enjoying every moment with Olivia. 

'Being her dad is the best feeling ever and we are cherishing every single moment.'

James says Chloe had a near perfect pregnancy and her only cravings was for anything orange - especially Capri-Sun drinks.

Baby Olivia arrived three days late and Chloe's labour lasted just over seven hours.

James says: 'It was all going well but then Chloe needed an emergency assisted delivery. 

'The doctors gave her a spinal block and soon after Olivia was born. She had her first feed within 40 minutes of being born. It was wonderful and amazing.'

James - who is also a Tory councillor - is currently rehearsing for a role in the Wizard of Oz with former glamour model Linda Lusardi where he is playing the wizard.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 20:52

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Florida father defends 'free-range parenting' his four-year-old

Florida couple lets their four-year-old swear, play with knives and fire, and run in the street after dark all by himself — and they insist it's what's good for him.

Nimesh Patel, 38, and Teena, 40, are proponents of 'free-range parenting,' choosing to let their young son Naylan get dirty, get hurt, and test his boundaries.

But while many of the things that the little boy is allowed to do would raise eyebrows from other parents and childless adults alike, Nimesh told the New York Post that they're just giving Naylan the same freedom that they had as kids. 

'As a kid in the ’80s and ’90s, we could go two to three miles away from home. It’s not a new concept,' said Nimesh, who grew up in Fort Myers and now lives in Orlando. 

When he and his wife were kids, he went on, they could be outside and climb trees, even if it meant coming home with bumps and bruises.

Now, he and Teena let Naylan do the same — and also allow him to cut food with sharp kitchen knives, use tools like hammers, and play around fire.

He's permitted to choose his bedtime — and tends to crawl into his parents' bed after midnight — as well as run in the street with his dog after dark, all by himself.

His language isn't policed, either, and Naylan has been known to curse and drop F-bombs. 

All of these things, Nimesh said, amount to giving their son freedom.

'All of these helicopter parents used to run and play. The freedom they had as a kid, they aren’t giving that to their children,' he said. 

'Everyone is so worried the kids will break. Kids have been around for thousands of years. They don’t break.' 

Of course, some people will argue that the issue isn't necessarily that kids will 'break,' but that letting them loose puts them at the mercy of other people.

But Nimesh insists that there aren't the dangers out there that people think there are. 

'There aren't a million predators to take your kid every day. It’s as rare as being struck by lightning,' he said.

His wife Teena, who is from Kenya and studied at both the University of Central Florida, and the University of Phoenix, and also brings that attitude to her work. 

She is the founder of A Barefoot Village, an 'outdoor school, dirty school, play school and forest kindergarten' where kids aged three to eight are allowed to cut fruit with knives, play on a wooden seesaw.

Photos on the camp's website show elementary school-age children using wire cutters and hammers, climbing on yard equipment, playing on wooden jungle gyms, and even lifting bricks up stairs.

On the website, Teena states that one of the goals of her work has been to 'develop physical environments in which children feel safe, and can engage in uninhibited play'. 

'As naturalists we are committed to inspiring and teaching respect for the earth and all its creatures and this includes modeling and fostering respect for self and for others at all times,' the website continues. 

'We encourage cooperative activities, guiding children into co-creative adventures. We have a zero tolerance policy for hitting, grabbing, pushing, name calling, aggressiveness, bullying or any other demeaning behavior.'

The camp is also described as being 'entirely outdoor', and parents are warned that their child will 'encounter sun, rain, insects, dirt, sand, and mud, glorious mud, on their adventures'. 

Teena, who is a certified dog trainer and canine behavior specialist, and Nimesh also run a doggy daycare called the University of Doglando, where they provide indoor and outdoor spaces for canines - including a 'private doggy beach'. 

'Doglando’s mission is to provide lifetime experiences that improve and enhance the behavioral health of companion dogs,' Teena's LinkedIn page states. 'This includes the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of dogs. 

'[Teena] is passionate about giving dogs opportunities to learn and explore, which in turn creates happier companion dogs in the home, at the groomer, and everywhere in between. At the same time, she strives to educate dog owners about what the ideal canine companionship experience can look like.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 20:47

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Man Left With Arrow In Chest After Neighbour Tries To Kill Him With Crossbow

A man has been filmed firing a crossbow at his neighbour in a failed murder bid in Scotland. 

Ralph Muir fired the weapon at Shaun Reynolds, 46, amid a row between the two men in Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland. 

Muir, 31, was filmed on a woman's iPad screaming: 'I'm not leaving here until you are dead.'  

He admitted attempted murder after the shooting and claimed he wanted to 'murder the people' who caused him trouble, Glasgow High Court heard on Friday.

There had been 'previous arguments' between the men and neighbours had reported him for 'anti-social behaviour'.  

On the day of the attack, Muir spotted Mr Reynolds and pointed his hand at him in the shape of a gun before re-appearing with a crossbow, Prosecutor Owen Mullan told the court.

Mr Reynolds can be heard asking why Muir has a crossbow and says 'I've been shot... right by my heart' in an iPhone clip shared by Mirror Online.

He added: 'I can't take it out bro, I can't take it out. I've been shot. It's f***ing killing me.'  

Mr Mullan told the court: 'Minutes later, Muir was armed with a crossbow in each of his hands - he pointed one directly at Shaun Reynolds' chest.'

The furious neighbour 'activated the trigger firing it within  a 8ft-10ft range of his chest'.        

Mr Reynolds was 'immediately aware of a sharp pain' and saw an arrow sticking out', the court heard.

The victim then decided to yank the bow back through his chest. 

Muir was also seen with a large knife and a silver baseball bat when the firearms officers arrived shortly after. He was ordered to lie on the ground.

After being held, he stated: 'All I remember is having two crossbows. All I wanted to do is murder the people that were causing me hassle.

'I have crossbows for my defence...and with them, I can kill.'

Police found three crossbows, a chainsaw, a baseball bat and a knife during raids at his home.

Mr Reynolds suffered a single wound to his chest during the attack, the court was heard.

While his injury was described as 'superficial' and only needing painkillers, one medic said being shot by a crossbow has 'potential to cause life threatening injuries'.

Lady Dorrian remanded Muir in custody and his sentencing is due on December 13 in Edinburgh.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 20:36

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Teen, 14, stole an SUV with two children, aged 9 months and five years, in the backseat before leaving them in a field where they were found an hour later

Connecticut police have arrested two teenagers and are searching for a third after a 14-year-old stole an SUV with two children inside it. 

The boy, 14, was arrested Thursday after allegedly stealing Jenny Santos' Mercedes SUV on Wednesday at about 5pm.   

Police said Santos had parked the SUV outside the Roberto Clemente Elementary School in New Haven, Connecticut, leaving it running with two of her children in the backseat, while she walked to the school to pick up another child. 

The 14-year-old was said to have jumped into Santos' car and driven away, without realizing that the children - a five-year-old boy and a nine-month-old girl - were in the car, too.

Santos told NBC Connecticut that she hadn't even made it to the school building when she realized that her car was being stolen. 

'I literally jumped in front of the car and I was like my kids are in the car,' Santos said, adding that she then ran into the school and called police.

As police searched the area, Santos said that she attempted to track her SUV with the car's built-in technology. 

'My heart, I felt like I was going to die right there. I felt worthless like what am I gonna do,' Santos told NBC Connecticut. 

The 14-year-old was said to have taken Santos' two children out of the car and then left them in East Rock Park's Rice Field. 

About an hour after being deposited in the field, the children were found by a passerby, Kasandra Monteiro, who Santos called 'a guardian angel.'

Monteiro said that she happened to be driving by the field while taking a shortcut around heavy traffic on her way home, when she spotted the children. 

The little girl was said to have been in her car seat at the time, while her brother was huddled around her, according to NBC Connecticut

'There's a reason I had to get off the wrong exit,' Monteiro told reporters, according to the Hartford Courant. 'I'm just a regular person doing what anyone else would do, you know. I guess God put me on this road for a reason before it got dark. You never know what could have happened.' 

A police detective was said to have spotted the SUV on the street later that evening and recognized the 14-year-old from an unrelated arrest warrant. 

Although the detective wasn't able to stop the SUV at the time, officers tracked him down and took him into custody Thursday morning. 

The SUV itself was found in West Haven, Connecticut, on Thursday afternoon.  

An 18-year-old boy, identified by police as Dulyn Foreman, a high school senior, was also taken into custody. 

Foreman was accused of using the credit cards that were stolen from inside Santos' car, but police said that they do not believe that Foreman was inside the car when it was stolen with the children inside - he was picked up at a later time. 

Foreman was charged with with sixth-degree larceny, theft of a credit card and illegal use of a credit card and arraigned Friday. His case was postponed until November 19, according to the New Haven Register.      

The 14-year-old who allegedly stole the car is said to be at a detention facility in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His charges include two felony counts of reckless endangerment. 

New Haven Police Department Assistant Chief Karl Jacobson told the newspaper that the 14-year-old told police that he saw the running car and decided to take it, not realizing that the children were inside the car at the time.  

'It’s very clear that these kids did not intend to steal a car with children in it,' Jacobson said. 'That’s the one thing we want to make clear. And as soon as they realized it, they tried to remedy it - not probably in the greatest way.'

Police also have a warrant out for a 15-year-old who was in the car during

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 20:30

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Summer Monteys-Fullam, 24, moves into her mother's house after dumping boyfriend Paul Hollywood, 53

Summer Monteys-Fullam was pictured moving her belongings into her mother's home in Kent after dumping boyfriend Paul Hollywood on Wednesday.

The barmaid, 24, decided to call it quits on her relationship with the Great British Bake Off star, 53, after he asked her to sign a legal gagging order prohibiting her from talking about their relationship.

Sources say the pair are 'over for good' - just days after Paul finalised his bitter divorce with his ex-wife of 21 years Alexandra. 

An insider told the Sun: 'Paul told Summer she needed to sign the NDA and that it was no big deal. 

'Summer flat-out said no. In the days that followed Paul got his lawyers to call Summer on her mobile to try and get her to sign it.'

Summer, who is 29 years younger than Paul, moved out of his £1million mansion and is said to be left furious over his 'controlling behaviour'.

Summer, who was clad in a red crop top and white skinny jeans, arrived at the house in a 4x4 and was spotted unloading suitcases from the vehicle.

The non-disclosure agreement (NDA) would reportedly have stopped Summer from discussing personal details of their relationship, including their sex lives and his wealth, with her family and friends. 

Summer had been expecting a proposal following Hollywood's divorce with long-standing now ex-wife Alexandra but was instead 'heartbroken' that he had asked her to sign the document, reports The Mirror. 

After Paul presented her with the document she is believed to have refused to sign it and stormed out of the luxury pad they share on Wednesday.

Upon returning to collect her things from Paul's house on Friday night the pair are reported to have got into a 'petty' row with Paul telling Summer: 'Why don't you f*** off back on that horse you rode in on', according to The Sun on Sunday.

Gifts from the Bake off star to his younger lover were also subject for dispute.

Extravagant purchases made by Paul for Summer include a £100,000 Range Rover SVR, a £9,000 hot tub for her birthday and a £9,000 ring, some of which the bake off star has stopped Summer from accessing since the split.

Among the contentious possessions were the couple's furry and feathered friends.

While Hollywood agreed to give Summer custody of their rottweiler puppy and horses, he drew the line at their coop of chickens that he said must stay with him, one of whom is named Karen, reports The Sun on Sunday. 

A source told the publication: 'Summer told him that she didn't want any of the gifts he'd given her, and that she was returning to take what was rightfully hers.

'That's when he lost it and started effing and blinding.'

The Mail on Sunday understood that on Friday night, two days after Summer moved her belongings – including her dogs – out of the couple’s home, Paul drowned his sorrows in The Bell pub where the former barmaid worked.

Onlookers claimed Paul became furious after seeing the story break online, leaving him in no doubt that the romance is over for good.

Summer had told him their relationship was over on Wednesday evening. But despite her beginning to move her belongings into her mother Sabina’s house in nearby Ickham, Paul still hoped that the couple would rekindle their romance.

He was shocked to learn that the news of their split had been leaked. It is now understood that he suspects someone close to Summer sold the story to a newspaper – and he is determined to discover the identity of the mole.

One friend said: ‘Paul thought he had control of the situation but he lost it. He feels like Summer turned him over.’

In May, the couple celebrated her 24th birthday with a day at Chester races.

Alexandra is currently on holiday abroad with friends following her decree nisi being granted two weeks ago by a judge at the Central Family Court in London. District judge Robert Duddridge ruled that Alexandra found it ‘intolerable’ to live with Hollywood and accepted the chef was guilty of adultery and unreasonable behaviour. 

She is now preparing to fight for half of Paul’s fortune but he is insisting she also signs a gagging order. One friend of the couple said last night: ‘This is not straightforward at all. Alex is away at the moment and is trying to move on from all of this.

‘She is trying not to think about it – she just wants to get on with the divorce and continue to move forward but there are some demands, like her agreeing not to tell all about him.’ 

Paul’s solicitor Tom Amlot confirmed the star and Summer split because she refused to sign the non-disclosure agreement, citing the baker’s bid to keep his family live private.

The lawyer said: ‘I asked Summer to sign an NDA as is standard practice in order to protect Paul’s family and their private lives.

‘Summer insisted that she had no intention of selling any stories to the press and declined.

‘I think that her refusal to discuss or sign it caused concern, understandably, so it’s not entirely surprising that they have gone their separate ways.’

On Saturday, Summer’s mother Sabina and her stepfather Richard said they did not want to comment when asked about their daughter’s relationship.

Paul first met Summer while organising a birthday party for his Alex at his local pub, the Duke William, in Ickham, Kent, where she worked. 

The pair went public with their romance in the same month his split with his wife was confirmed.

In their whirlwind two years of dating, Paul gifted Summer a £9,000 hot tub for her birthday, while earlier this year he treated her to a £9,000 ring and £1,000 Rottweiler puppy, Bear.

The loved-up couple have also jetted off on luxurious holidays to Mauritius and the Swiss Alps.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 20:26

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A Mum-To-Be Tries To Film Baby Moving, Accidentally Records Her Boyfriend Taking A Dump

For any parent-to-be the moment their unborn baby kicks or moves for the first time is a momentous occasion.

So please spare a thought for this poor woman who tried to film her pregnant belly moving, but actually recorded her partner very loudly taking a dump in the background. Beautiful.

Naturally, the awed mum-to-be wanted to capture the incredible moment so quickly whipped out her phone, switched it to camera mode and began recording.

So far, so lovely, right? Except, about halfway through the touching recording, her fiancé - and the baby's dad - Abraham Degg can be heard very loudly having a s*** in the background. Brings a tear to you eye, doesn't it?

Fortunately, Poppy saw the funny side and burst out laughing at the incident, before showing the clip to Abraham, who was so proud he decided to lash it up on Twitter so we could all get a laugh out of it. Thanks, pal.

Sharing the clip, he wrote: "The misses was filming the baby moving and you can hear me doing the biggest f****** s*** in the world [sic]."

It wasn't just Poppy and Abraham who got a kick out of the clip, though. Since he shared it it's racked up more than 740,000 views and tens of thousands of likes.

Responding to one of the many, many comments on Twitter, Abraham said it 'was like giving birth'. Well, I'm sure his other-half will have something to say about that in a few months..


Its popularity has been a bit of a surprise to the couple, with Abraham explaining: "My fiancée Poppy is 30 weeks pregnant and our baby is due on the 15 of January.

"She filmed the video last week and I was pretty shocked at how much it was viewed.

"My advice is to try and be quiet when you're taking a s***." Sterling advice, my friend - and all the best for the upcoming birth.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 20:17

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Teen survivor recalls horrifying details of ambush in Mexico that killed 9

A 13-year-old boy hailed as a hero in the wake of last week's deadly ambush in Mexico is speaking out for the first time about the horrors he witnessed that day.

Devin Langford said the last thing his mother said to him before she was fatally shot was "get down right now."

"She was trying to pray to the lord, and she was trying to start the car up to get out of there," Devin said in an interview Monday on "Good Morning America."

His mother, Dawna Langford, and his younger brothers, Trevor, 11, and Rogan, 2, were among the nine women and children killed in the gruesome Nov. 4 attack.

"They just started hitting [the] car first, like with a bunch, a bunch of bullets. Just start shooting rapidly at us," he said. "The car didn't work. So she was just trying right there, starting the car as much as she could, but I'm pretty sure they shot something so the car wouldn't even start."

"Afterward, they got us out of the car, and they just got us on the floor and then they drove off," he added.

Devin, who was unharmed in the attack, walked about 14 miles seeking help after hiding his injured siblings in the bushes and covering them with branches. He said the shooters had long guns and he feared for his life the entire time.

As he made the trek for help, he said he wondered "if there was anybody else out there trying to shoot me or following me" and he thought about "my mom and my two brothers that died."

The family was ambushed by a heavily armed group while traveling from the town of Bavispe in Sonora state to Galeana in Chihuahua state between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time, according to Mexican authorities. The family members were U.S. citizens but lived in a Mormon community, called La Mora, in the Mexican border state of Sonora.

The area where the attack took place -- less than 100 miles from the Arizona border -- is of territorial dispute by several cartels, and it's possible the family's convoy of cars was mistaken for one of them, authorities said.

Speaking in an emotional interview beside his father, David Langford, Devin said he prayed over and over for his family to pull through.

He said the other children tried to flee as well, but most of them -- including his sister, Kylie, who was shot in the foot and his baby brother, Brixon, who was hit in the chest -- were too injured to travel.

"We walked a little while until we couldn't carry them no more. And so we put them in the bushes so they wouldn't get hit or nothing. So I started walking," Devin said. "Every one of them were bleeding really bad. So I was trying to get in a rush to get there."

Devin said he doesn't feel like a hero, but his father said there's no doubt in his mind that his son saved lives.

"Every one of my children that survived that are living miracles," Langford said. "How many bullet holes were fired into that vehicle … at that horrific scene and how many children were involved. It's amazing. It's amazing. It's beyond amazing that they survived."

"To be honest with you, my boy's a hero simply because he gave his life for his brothers and sisters," he added.

Langford said more evidence is showing the killers were cartel hit men -- a belief that has shaken Mexico's Mormon community.

That's why Langford, and much of his extended family, said they're leaving northwest Mexico. They're part of a fundamentalist Mormon group that has lived in this area for decades before the drug cartels took over and the violence became inescapable.

"It's not worth living in fear," he said. "The toughest part for me was saying goodbye … saying goodbye to two innocent lives that were cut short and a vibrant wife that lived a life to its fullest that had many friends and was loved by everybody."

As for Devin, he said he's focusing on helping his siblings heal and keeping his mother's memory alive.

"She was a nice person and a brave woman that tried to save her kids," he said.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 20:10

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Caught on camera: Brazen bag thief who targeted City workers enjoying a drink after work is jailed for 15 months

A bag thief who targeted London city workers enjoying a drink after work has been jailed.

Ismail Lakehal, 45, bagged high-value items including laptops, an iPad, a passport, keys, phones, designer glasses and headphones.

After he was jailed for 15 months, detectives warned people to keep an eye on their bags in the run-up to Christmas.

He managed to snatch five backpacks from male victims who were all out after work, having drinks with friends.

Lakehal, of no fixed address, targeted customers at the 'Rack and Tenter' bar in Moorgate, in the City of London, during the summer.

His first crime took place on June 25 before striking another four times over the following three weeks.

Lakehal was jailed after admitting five counts of theft at Inner London Crown Court.

At sentencing, Judge Jeremy Donne RD QC said his crimes were serious 'due to the loss and inconvenience suffered by the victims'.

PC Kevin Bassant, from the City of London Police, said: 'Putting Lakehal behind bars will reduce some of the theft occurring in the City's licensed premises.

'However, we have seen a rise in these types of offences recently and expect this trend to continue as pubs, bars and restaurants get busier over the Christmas period.

'It's important people keep an eye on their belongings when they are out and about and are aware of their surroundings, especially after work when they might have high value items such as laptops and tablets.

'It can be easy to think your belongings are safe under a table or chair, but in reality, a busy pub or bar is the perfect environment for thieves to go unnoticed - so keep your bags within reach.'

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 20:04

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,Conjoined twins cut in half at 4 now have one leg each and 'feel like everyone else'

Twins Kendra and Maliyah Herrin are your typical teenage girls.

They love spending time with friends and sharing their fun lives on social media.

But the 17-year-old sisters were born conjoined twins and became world first pioneers when they were 'cut in half when they were just four.

But for Kendra and Maliyah they just feel like everyone else.

Kendra said: "When people first hear our story, they like to ask a lot of questions - but simply we feel like we're the same as everybody else, we just have a few things that are different."

The sisters, who were born conjoined, shared an abdomen, pelvis, liver, large intestine and two legs.

When their parents made the brave decision to separate their daughters it was the first time an operation of the kind had been carried out.

Aged just four the 18 hour surgery took place on August 7, 2006.

It was the first time surgeons had ever separated conjoined twins who shared one kidney and months of preparation had to be done before the operation could be carried out.

Following the difficult separation doctors then operated on each twin separately for another eight hours, where they were fitted with titanium rods into their spines.

The girls' parents, Erin and Jake, made the difficult decision to go ahead with the procedure after being warned their daughters had a short life expetancy because of their shared kidney.

Speaking to BBC Three documentary, Living Differently, Maliyah said: "Our parents talked to us about 'cut apart day' but we were so young we didn't really understand what was happening."

Kendra and Maliyah spent just over a month in hospital before being allowed home.

Kendra was given the girls' only kidney while he sister went onto dialysis following the surgery.

Their mum donated one of her kidneys to her daughter but sadly, 10 years after the transplant it failed and Maliyah had to go back onto dialysis.

Mum Erin said: "She just took it in her stride. She had to deal with the loss of her friends and I'm amazed at how well she did."

Maliyah had her second kidney transplant last year and so far it has been successful

And despite only having one leg each, the girls refuse to let it hold them back.

Both incredibly determined they are having regular gruelling gym sessions to build up heir strength so they can use crutches all the time.

They get around using crutches, a wheelchair or crawling and pulling themselves up on furniture.

Kendra and Maliyah, from Salt Lake City in Utah, the US, have a lot of friends and enjoy school.

Maliyah said: "We're lucky and we've never been bullied at school but I know a lot of people aren't that lucky."

Just like any other teenagers the twins still have to do their daily chores, which includes one of them making dinner each night.

And while they share a close bond with their parents, siser and younger twin brothers, Kendra and Maliyah spend the most time with each other.

They have a huge social media following with their own blog, YouTube channel and Instagram account, which have thousands of followers.

Mum Erin said: "They are so excited when people respond to them.

"Their self-esteem blows me away, people could learn a lot from them."

Kendra added: "We like making the videos just to make people feel positive and we like sharing our world."

Even though they are identical twins, the girls don't believe they look alike and have very different personalities.

Kendra is the more outgoing of the pair, who are an inspiration to their friends.

School pal Annabelle said: "I don't know that I could go through what they have been through. I'm so proud of what they've accomplished."

The thing the girls find hardest to deal with when adults stare at them because "they should know not to"..

But Kendra joked: "The best thing about only having one leg is we only have to paint on set of toenails."

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 20:00

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olumbine high school principal whose 'jock' mentality was blamed for a culture of bullying opens up about his regrets

The headmaster of Columbine High School has opened up about his regrets ahead of the 20th anniversary of America's most notorious school shooting that left 13 people dead in Littleton, Colorado. 

'My worst nightmare became a reality,' Frank DeAngelis said of April 20, 1999, the day 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold, wearing trench coats stocked with an arsenal of weapons, opened fire on the halls of Columbine High School. 

Twenty years on, DeAngelis is telling the story through his eyes in his forthcoming memoir, They Call Me "Mr De".

'It was a beautiful spring day, 70 degrees, with blue skies,' the former headmaster told The Daily Express

'My secretary comes running in, and says there's a report of gunfire.'

Harris and Klebold had placed two 20lb propane bombs in the school's cafeteria and were planning to shoot survivors as they fled.  

When the bomb timers failed, the pair stormed into the school and started shooting everyone in sight.  

DeAngelis left his office to see the events unfolding at his school, under his watch, with his own eyes. 

He soon found himself face to face with one of the gunmen, who wore a backward baseball cap, a white T-shirt and a black vest. 

'I remember the gun - a long gun,' DeAngelis said.

Suddenly a flock of girls coming out of a locker room on their way to gym class. 

They were in the middle of the crossfire, so I ran to them,' DeAngelis said.  

The group fled down a side hallway toward the gym, but the door was locked.  

'Girls were screaming, the gunman was firing shots and he was getting closer,' DeAngelis said, describing how he scrambled to pull out his keys and miraculously got the right one on the first try.  

'I believe it was divine intervention,' he said. 'If I would have had to fumble around to find the key there's a good chance the girls and I would have died.'

For the next three hours, DeAngelis hid in the gym with the girls as the gunfire continued. 

Police and SWAT teams waited three hours to intervene, fearing that the shooting wasn't over. 

By the time they did, the gunmen had already killed themselves and several of the wounded had bled to death waiting for help. 

Once authorities secured the scene, DeAngelis addressed the crowd of hysterical parents outside the school who'd been waiting to hear if their children had survived. 

'There's a good chance their kids lost their lives that day,' he said. 'It was one of the most devastating things I've ever had to do.' 

Twelve students and one teacher were killed and 24 more were wounded on that day, not including the two deceased gunmen. 

Speaking 20 years later, DeAngelis' voice shook with emotion as the former sports coach explained how he was blamed for the shooting because many thought his 'jock' mentality meant that he turned a blind eye to bullying.  

'I let them down,' he said. 'Something that I have to live with is 13 people died on my watch. The damage and the devastation was done by two of my kids.'

He then asked: 'What did I miss?'

While most Columbine teachers quit after the shooting, DeAngelis stayed on for another 15 years. 

He said the shooting created a ripple effect of other tragedies.

A student who held the body of a dying teacher later hanged himself, the mother of a paralyzed student took her own life, and 'many turned to alcohol and drugs and contemplated suicide. DeAngelis himself suffered PTSD.  

'People ask: "Does it get back to normal?" It never does,' he said.

After retiring in 2014, DeAngelis became a counselor for schools where shootings have occurred.   

He also campaigns for improved gun control regulations nationwide.  

'I continue to fight because one more death is one too many,' he said. 'We need to come together as a society to make sure this violence ends.'

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 19:51

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Sad, Princeton grad Thomas Gilbert is found GUILTY of murdering his dad

Thomas Gilbert Jr., the spoiled Princeton graduate who murdered his father because his allowance was being cut, was sentenced to 30 years behind bars in New York City on Friday. 

The 34-year-old shot his father, Thomas Gilbert Sr., in 2015 in their Upper East Side Home after arguing with him because he threatened to cut his allowance. 

Gilbert Jr. had tried to plead not guilty by way of insanity but it was rejected by the court because he had sent his mother, Shelley, out to fetch him a Coca Cola and a sandwich before he opened fire on his father.  

The extra effort he went to to get her out of the way proved pre-meditation. On Friday, Shelley addressed the court to ask the judge for leniency. 

She was 'weepy' as she read aloud a statement and called her son a 'good boy' who struggled with mental health issues. 

Gilbert Jr. also spoke. He asked if the sentencing could be delayed and complained about his legal representation. 

At no stage during the proceedings did he show any kind of remorse. 

As the judge rejected on the family's claim that he is mentally ill, Shelley shook her head from side-to-side. 

Gilbert Jr. did not react emotionally when the sentence was handed down. He looked back at his mother as he was led away in cuffs.    

Gilbert Jr., shot his father, Thomas Sr., in the head at his Upper East Side Home because he had been gradually reducing his allowance.

The playboy had been living on $1,000-a-week and had his apartment paid for him separately.

He was however furious when his father insisted that he get a job and start looking after himself.  

The final straw was when his father reduced the allowance from $400-a-week to $300-a-week.

'The free ride was going to an end. It wasn’t a symptom of psychosis, it was a symptom of entitlement,' prosecutors said during the trial.

Before carrying out the killing, he researched murder online and purchased a gun.    

Gilbert Sr. had recently set up a hedge fund but had been turned down for a $1.5million loan to finance it. 

Until then, Thomas Jr. had lived off his parents lavishly, traveling the world on their money. 

They paid for his memberships to exclusive clubs in the city and the Hamptons, paid his rent on his Chelsea apartment, his Jeep and all of the parking tickets he incurred with it.  

The defense claimed that he was unable to keep a job because he was schizophrenic and that his parents supported him because of it. 

His mother Shelley testified for the defense and said he was mentally ill. 

'Tommy was far sicker than we ever really knew,’ she said earlier this year. 

It was Shelley who called 911.

In her recorded call, she told the operator when asked who had shot her husband: 'My son. 

'He’s nuts, but I didn’t know he was this nuts.

'He shot him in the head.' 

Gilbert Jr. used a 40-caliber Glock, which he had driven to Ohio to buy to commit the killing.  

Beforehand, he had researched websites such as '' and ''. 

Gilbert Jr.'s old roommate testified at the trial that he had tried to kill him 'several times'. 

After the sentencing on Friday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said in a statement that justice had been served 

'Thomas Gilbert, Sr. was a beloved member of his family and business community when his own son murdered him in a cold-blooded killing.

'But now, thanks to my office’s prosecutors, the defendant has finally been held accountable and he will serve a life sentence for this unconscionable crime.

'While nothing can undo the tragedy of Mr. Gilbert’s death, I hope that the resolution of this case helps his loved as they continue to heal from this devastating loss.'

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 19:44

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Liz and Damian Hurley and the multi-million pound inheritance dispute that rocked the family

Liz and Damian are unusually close. As a child he would act out scenes from her films with her, especially Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. His social media is adorned with dozens of images of Liz, whom he calls "mama", "madre" and "mummy'" Last March, on Instagram he wrote: "Happy Mother's Day to the person who continues to inspire me every day. I love you more than life itself and I couldn't live without you. Thank you for always bringing a smile to my face and for always comforting me no matter what insane rant I go into. You're so important to me, whether I'm begging you to critique my scripts or trying to beat you at Rummikub, and I just want to thank you for making me the person that I am."

She, for her part, says: "I've simply been blessed with a child whose personality gels with mine. He's an only child, we spend a lot of time together and we are utterly comfortable in each other's company."

The intensity of the mother-son bond was heightened by the fact Liz raised Damian alone. He is the son of movie producer Steve Bing, whom Liz briefly dated in 2000, after she had split from Hugh Grant. Their relationship involved a jet-set lifestyle of trips to New York and Europe, and Bing reportedly showered Hurley with expensive jewellery. The couple, whose relationship remained non-exclusive, separated briefly in March 2001. They reconnected soon after, and in August of that year visited Elton John's holiday home in Nice, where, it was said, Damian was conceived.

Bing had initially claimed Damian was not his. "Ms Hurley and I were not in an exclusive relationship when she became pregnant. It is her choice to be a single mother," Bing said in a statement at the time. "If indeed I am the father, I will be an extremely involved and responsible parent."

A paternity test proved he was the father and he began to provide financially for Damian. The younger Hurley was also in line to inherit part of the fortune of his biological grandfather Dr Peter Bing, a billionaire philanthropist, who donated $50m to Stanford University in 2006, but it turned out Bing senior was determined to stand in the way of that happening.

In March of this year, following enquiries by Damian's half sister Kira Kerkorian as to her entitlement under the trust, one of the trustees filed court papers seeking to clarify the meaning of the term "grandchild". In his written evidence, Peter Bing testified that regardless of whether Damien and Steve had a relationship, he - Peter - did not consider Damian a grandchild of his.

In July of this year a court in California ruled Bing senior's assertion that he didn't consider Damian a grandchild was neither here nor there for the purposes of the trust. Judge Daniel Juarez said: "Although wills are to be construed in accordance with the testator's intent, it is the intent expressed by the words of the will itself which must be given effect rather than some undisclosed purpose or intent that may have existed in the mind of the testator."

Liz for her part said Steve has "provided financially for Damian's support" and she and Steve have had joint custody of Damian since his birth. She accused Peter of having "misdirected anger" towards Steve, that has "nothing to do with Damian". 

The younger Hurley's grandparents on his mother's side had much less money - Liz's father was an army officer, her mother a homemaker - but considerably more familial stability. They raised Liz and her brother and sister in Basingstoke, where Liz learned to talk with her own upper class diction.

In her teenage years she was punk, complete with nose ring and pink hair, and for a while she was in a band called Vestal Virgins. But a school tutor once recalled Liz had an affinity with the writer Evelyn Waugh and like Waugh she had a fascination with the upper classes, seasoning her speech with enough "horrids" and "frightfuls" to sometimes pass as one of them - she still prefers "Elizabeth" to "Liz".

She won a number of small roles in TV and film in the late 1980s and early 1990s but it was her relationship with Hugh Grant which thrust her into the public spotlight. The couple became lovers in 1987 while making a Spanish film about Lord Byron. "I met her at the audition," recalled Grant. "At the time, I had an offer to do a serious BBC project. I couldn't decide between that and this absurd, career-damaging Spanish thing. Then I saw Elizabeth and went for the absurd Spanish film."

She made it up to him later, by making the Four Weddings premiere as significant to tabloid British folklore as the nativity is to Christianity. For ever more "that dress" would always mean the barely-there Versace number Liz wore that night.

Suddenly she was offered modelling contacts left and right - she eventually signed for Estee Lauder - and acting went on the backburner. "It's quite a weird feeling if you've really struggled for a long time to get somewhere in your chosen profession and then suddenly someone offers you something in a different profession, which is immediately at a higher stage than you've managed to achieve so far," she recalled. "I've never got anything for nothing in my life, but that was one thing that I did get absolutely for nothing."

She stood by Grant in 1995 after he was arrested in Los Angeles for receiving oral sex in a public place from a prostitute called Divine Brown. Days after the arrest Grant said: "I've done an abominable thing, and she's been amazing about it, and contrary to what I read in the paper today, she's been very supportive, and we're going to try to work it out.''

Liz, for her part, later said she "felt like I'd been shot" when she heard about the arrest, but she and Grant would stay together for five more years. It would be his mood swings, rather than his infidelity, which made them grow apart, she later said.

Following giving birth to Damian, she began seeing Indian textile magnate Arun Nayar. They were soon married, with Elton John giving away the Versace-clad bride amid a wedding party of 16 children, including Damian.

Then it was off to India for a five-day affair involving dancing "virgins", a hot-pink Versace bridal sari, fire-eaters, camel rickshaw transport, and Nayar mounting a black stallion for his groom's entrance. Despite the grandeur of the ceremony, behind the scenes there were problems. Arun's father, Vinud, later claimed in an interview that a family party for the newlyweds had been snubbed to satisfy the terms of a Hello! magazine deal.

Arun Nayar raised Damian as his own child however, and they lived between London and Mumbai. Liz put her career on the back burner, as she said she felt a return to the long hours on set would disrupt Damian's schooling. She hardly had need of acting however, because by now she was a full-time spokesmodel.

Marcelle D'Argy Smith, a former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, once described Hurley as "witheringly boring" and added: "Liz Hurley has no fashion experience whatsoever. She wore a dress and has appeared at premieres." But in a world where most film stars now endorse perfumes and cosmetics, she actually seems ahead of her time.

In 2010, while still married to Nayar, she began an affair with Australian cricketer Shane Warne. They managed to keep it quiet until they were photographed kissing outside a London restaurant, after which Hurley took to Twitter to announce the break-up: "Not a great day. For the record, my husband Arun & I separated a few months ago. Our close family & friends were aware of this."

There was no reference to Warne, but they soon had a short-lived engagement, after which Hurley declared herself, "alone again, naturally".

But really she has never been truly alone. Hurley remained on good terms with all her exes. She holidays with Nayar - they were pictured on a yacht with his new girlfriend last summer. She and Warne remain good friends and he has spoken of her fondly in recent interviews.

As for Hugh Grant, now 58, in 2018 he married his longtime Swedish girlfriend, 40-year-old Anna Eberstein, who is mother to three of his five children - he is now father to a seven-year-old, two six-year-olds, a three-year-old, and a one-year-old. (He has two children with his former partner Tinglan Hong.) He is also godfather to Damian.

Liz and the actor remain best friends and perhaps hold something of a torch for each other. "Sometimes Hugh and I can get morbid and say we could have had five children by now, because we were together since I was 21," she says. "But there was never a time when either of us wanted it. So you can't really regret that."

She has no regrets about wearing "that dress", even if she wouldn't do it again. "Just because I fit into it, doesn't mean it would be appropriate to wear it," she said earlier this year. "Some things you only do once."

With 33,000 Instagram followers, model and musician Rafferty (or Raff as he is often called) is a well-known face on runways - he's appeared in campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana - is a producer of his own music, and one of the founders of the creative collective Something to Hate On which he plans to turn into an independent record label. The 22-year-old has a brother, Rudy, and a sister, Iris Law, a model who has appeared in Miu Miu and Burberry campaigns. It helps, of course, that he's the spitting image of his handsome father Jude.

The eyes and the mouth are unmistakably recognisable and they are not all 22-year-old Lourdes Leon has inherited from her mother, Madonna.

She also shares the Material Girl's daring sense of style and it has landed her endorsement deals with companies like Miu Miu and Burberry.

Despite this, she doesn't have an Instagram account, is rarely seen at Hollywood parties and generally keeps a fairly low profile.

She doesn't have the famous mole, but this 17-year-old model has pretty much inherited every other aspect of her mother Cindy Crawford's era-defining beauty.

This, along with Gerber's enviable connections, has meant she is already one of the top models in America, fronting campaigns for Chanel, Calvin Klein Jeans and Burberry.

Her supermodel mother also recently shared an image showing just how similar she looked to her daughter when she, too, was aged 17. They are dead ringers for each other.

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 19:37

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Oh Singer who married a felon serving a LIFE SENTENCE releases SONGS about her blissful life as a 'prison wife'

A Los Angeles woman who married a man serving a life sentence in prison insists their relationship is blossoming despite the couple only getting to spend a night together once every four months. 

Maria Ferrer, 34, met her incarcerated husband Rayshun, 33, in October 2014 through a mutual friend, and though she says she never imagined that she's find love with someone in prison, she knew there was a strong connection from the very first conversation.

Now Maria, a singer and vocal coach, is writing songs about her experience as a prison wife, and has released two albums called The Prison Wife Handbook and The Prison Wife Handbook 2.

In 2014, a mutual friend introduced her to Rayshun, who was sent to prison for life when he was 15 for a crime she doesn't wish to disclose.

'He was a juvenile offender and received a life sentence for his offence. He was only 15 when he was put in prison and he’s now 33,' she said.

'At first I felt compassion for him being incarcerated at such a young age, though I didn’t expect to fall in love. However, I really enjoyed our first conversation and I felt a strong connection to him right away,' she added.

Maria and Rayshun got married in 2016, which allowed Maria to have conjugal visits once every four months.

'The visits are a great time for us to connect,' she said. 'Last time we just spoke for over eight hours and looked up and watched the sun go down. I even asked him for a slow dance… although he had two left feet, I was having the time of my life.'

Although Rayshun is locked up for life, there have been many changes in laws affecting youth offenders who were under the age of 21 when they committed their crime. This means that Rayshun could be eligible for parole in eight years.

The couple plan to live together and hopefully start a family when he is released.

'I can’t wait for us to live together,' she said. 'I’m looking forward to us living together and possibly starting a family when he leaves prison. 

'It’s certainly hard when he’s not here to help with daily tasks. It’s also hard because he can’t see the success I’m having with my music. 

Maria has been a singer her whole life, but switched to vocal coaching a decade ago, moving to Los Angeles and starting her own company, Queen Vision Entertainment.

'I’ve always been a singer and I pursued a career in music in my earlier years, though I gave this up ten years ago because things just weren’t moving forward how I’d have liked them to,' she said. 

In 2017, one of her students asked her why she didn’t write her own music. Maria told him that she didn’t know what to sing about, and he said she should focus on writing about being a prison wife.

The idea gave her new determination, and she wrote her first song, called 'That’s My Baby,' about her relationship with Rayshun.

She shared it on Instagram, but was worried about what people would think. 

'To my surprise, I received hundreds of messages from women all over the world saying they were in the same shoes,' she said.

'Since then, I’ve had two popular albums released called The Prison Wife Handbook and The Prison Wife Handbook 2.'

Rayshun hasn't heard her music yet, but Maria says he's aware of her success and has seen other wives compliment her during visits.  

To connect with other wives of prisoners, Maria has also created an online support group called The Butterfly Squad. The group gives women with incarcerated partners a place to share their pains and struggles together as a community.

'These women support my movement and we all support one another too. We all feel the same type of pain and this group gives me an opportunity to help them reach their highest vibration vs being depressed and miserable,' she said.

Maria passes on some positive advice about what makes a happy relationship.

'Having your loved one around 24/7 should not be taken for granted. Fighting and bickering over the small things is so pointless,' she said.

'Also, in the prison wife community, if your husband is locked away for just a few months,  just remember some husbands or partners aren’t ever coming back home,' she added. 

Maria is also aware that some people think she is foolish to marry someone who is locked away. 

'We all judge other people’s situation. I have been called crazy for dating someone in prison,' she said. 

'I know of people in far worse relationships outside of prison who are very unhappy and then I know people who are in happy relationships even though their loved one is incarcerated. If you are in a healthy happy relationship like I am then simply love who you want to love, period.'

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 19:27

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Civil servant who endured the agony of losing 12 babies tells of her delight at finally having two miracle boys thanks to pioneering medical trials

A civil servant who endured the heartbreak of losing 12 babies has told of her delight after having two sons born through medical trials.

Ellie Robson-Grice, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, feared she would never have children with her medical translator husband Mike, 35. The pair even considered adopting at one point.

The 36-year-old had seven miscarriages and a medical termination with her former partner, before experiencing four more miscarriages with Mike. Doctors never found if there was anything to blame for her ordeals.

But now she is a proud mother to Aidan, four, and Sam, six months, after taking part in one trial to make her uterus a more habitable place for pregnancy and another to increase the chance of an embryo implanting. 

The former involved injecting a protein or a placebo into her stomach to try and make her uterus - Mrs Robson-Grice still does not know what she received. The latter saw doctors give her an endometrial scratch.

She said: 'I had always really hoped to be a mum, but had it in the back of my mind that it would not happen. I don't know why I felt like that.

'I met my first partner at university and we started trying and had a number of losses in quite quick succession, after which I realised I was probably never going to be a mum.

'I actually had no problem getting pregnant. The first time I was using contraception and fell pregnant, but I would miscarry within a few weeks.'

Mrs Robson-Grice's first pregnancy with her former partner, who she does not wish to name, was in 2008 when she was 25.

'We were so happy, but eight weeks in I started to experience pain while on the bus home. I went to hospital and was told the baby had gone,' she recalled.

'It was heartbreaking and took us completely by surprise. Between 2008 and 2011 we lost six babies, in just a three-year period.'

Two of her miscarriages happened before her 12 week scan, then in 2010 she made the ‘hardest and most harrowing’ decision to terminate a pregnancy.

She was told the baby had a 10 per cent chance of surviving to full term and that if they survived outside the womb they would have significant abnormalities.

Following a devastating fourth miscarriage in March 2011, doctors tested the tissue produced, but could not explain what was happening.

Mrs Robson-Grice said: 'I couldn't understand what was happening. It felt like if you lose a baby before 12 weeks nobody really talks about it. You feel you have no-one to turn to.

'On each occasion, as soon as I got a positive pregnancy test, I couldn't help getting excited, but it was tinged with huge amounts of sadness.'

Mrs Robson-Grice and her then-partner, still determined to have a family, relocated to Newcastle from Manchester, to be close to her relatives in July 2011.

'We were still thinking, “Let's give this a go”, and in October 2011 I fell pregnant again. But, again we suffered an early miscarriage.’

Mrs Robson-Grice said that ordeal ‘really took its toll’ on her, adding: ‘By this point I was absolutely certain I would never be a mum. I felt like I could no longer continue to try.

'My relationship broke down and it felt like my whole world was falling apart, but with hindsight it was the best thing that ever happened.'

She met her now-husband through a mutual friend in June 2012, and they quickly became seriously involved.

'I told Mike straight away about my history and that I didn't think I'd be able to be a mum,’ Mrs Robson-Grice said.

‘He said to me it was not the be all and end all but we could try if I felt strong enough. There was no pressure and it was a case of let's see what happens.'

She became pregnant again in December 2013 and was optimistic when a scan at six weeks found a heartbeat - but she miscarried again at eight weeks.

Mrs Robson-Grice was referred to an early pregnancy unit at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary but doctors found no explanation.

She said: 'It was unbelievable. My body had gone into overdrive and I had all the pregnancy symptoms. I had no idea I had miscarried which is the cruel twist of it all.

'There was no explanation as to what was happening. They could find nothing genetic or chromosomal. It was just one of those things. There was no pattern.

'I was really struggling mentally. At the time I was working with social services and with families where there was a lot of neglect and it was hard to not be angry and difficult to stay impartial.

'I went to the doctor asking for a phased return to work and to be office-based and they said, “God willing you will have a child”.’

Mrs Robson-Grice added: ‘I was thinking, “What has God got to do with it? Am I unworthy of a child? Am I so bad?”’

Her next miscarriages came in March 2014 on her 31st birthday at five weeks, and at the same time point again in June, again at five weeks.

After hearing through her consultant about a medical research trial in July 2014, the couple decided to give having a child one more go.

Mrs Robson-Grice enrolled in a trial overseen by stillbirth and pregnancy loss charity Tommy's. Participants did not know whether they were taking a placebo or not.

She had to inject a protein similar to that found in the uterus called NT100 or a placebo, a dummy drug, and would not know which she was taking. 

Mrs Robson-Grice found out she was pregnant in August 2014 and for the next nine weeks she had to inject her stomach every day under the close eye of a midwife.

'We got to our six-week scan, then the eighth, 10th and 12 weeks then the 16th week and 20th week,' she said.

'There was such an overwhelming sense of relief with each scan that passed. We were renovating the house at the time and had got to the nursery but still couldn't bring ourselves to do it.

'When we got to around 26 weeks, I realised I was actually going to have a baby. But I still couldn't bring myself to buy any baby books or think about the actualities of it.'

Mrs Robson-Grice was induced after 36 weeks, after her scan showed Aidan had stopped growing. He was born at 10.14am on May 11 weighing exactly 6lbs at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

'It was the most magical moment when he was handed to us,’ she said. ‘Everybody had a tear in their eye, as they really appreciated the journey we had been on.

'It was completely surreal holding him. The first time I remember kissing his feet and hands. I couldn't stop crying. He was perfect.'

Although there were signs, like Mrs Robson-Grice's white blood cell count going up, the pair have no idea whether they were part of the test group or control group.

Having married in July 2017, they wanted to try for a brother or sister for Aidan, sadly losing another two pregnancies in the process.

Then they contacted Professor Siobhan Quenby, an obstetrician at Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research and met her in December 2017.

Although the tests came back clear and they left without a diagnosis, their experience had been so positive that they volunteered to take part in a research project with Tommy's.

She had an immune system biopsy and endometrial scratch - a procedure to disrupt the endometrium which can increase the chance of an embryo implanting and causing pregnancy.

It was part of a study aimed at identifying causes of miscarriage related to the lining of the womb.

'Because it would have increased our chances, Mike and I decided to give it one last shot and that would be it,' said Mrs Robson-Grice.

'Again we do not know for sure, but it is likely the procedure itself was a determining factor in getting pregnant with Sam.'

To their delight, Sam - like Aidan known as a 'rainbow baby' as he entered the world after a miscarriage - was born on February 7 weighing a healthy 6lb 7oz.

'We were so happy. A lot of the anxiety I had after Aidan was born has passed,' said Mrs Robson-Grice.

'I appreciate every single moment with my boys and I know I'm not having any more children. In my heart I would love more and to experience pregnancy without anxiety, but I know I can't.

'We have our family now. Aidan is the most amazing big brother and Sam's face lights up as soon as he sees him. We're just in a really happy place with our rainbow babies.'

'I know taking part in trials won't have the same outcome for everyone, but somehow it worked for us.

'It also takes the research one step further to help find out why and to stop miscarriage from happening. Without people participating in the research we will never find answers.'

A spokeswoman for Tommy's said: 'A shocking 71 per cent of parents are not told why their baby has died in pregnancy or has been born prematurely.

‘In many cases, doctors simply do not know why it's happening. Without a medical reason, parents, particularly women, blame themselves.

‘Not knowing why leaves them feeling alone, powerless and full of worry for future pregnancies. Parents deserve to know why it happened. Only then can it be prevented in the future.'

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 18:49

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A Connecticut banker charged with manslaughter in the death of 'cocaine-crazed

Shocking recordings have emerged of the threats made against a Connecticut banker charged in the death of a hotel worker in Anguilla as island authorities issued an arrest warrant after he refused to return for a court hearing.

Scott Hapgood, 46, refused to return to the Caribbean island for a court hearing on Monday, citing the vicious death threats he has received and concerns about receiving a fair trial.

Hapgood and his family say a hotel worker, Kenny Mitchel, 27, showed up at their room unannounced during their April vacation. They say he pulled a knife and threatened Hapgood and his young daughters before attacking the father. 

Mitchel died, and Hapgood, who said he acted in self-defense, was charged with manslaughter. 

A toxicology report said Mitchel had cocaine in his system at the time, but prosecutors pressed charges nonetheless after massive outcry from islanders to make an example of Hapgood. 

An arrest warrant was issued in Anguilla on Tuesday after Hapgood failed to return to the island for his latest court hearing. 

His spokesman told that he could not attend, given the circumstances, for fear of attack or being thrown in jail. 

'There is a significant likelihood Scott's incarceration would be indefinite, as a trial may not happen for many years. 

'Second, there is near certainty the death threats he has received will come to fruition if he were to be held in an Anguillan prison for any length of time.

'For these reasons, Scott has not returned to Anguilla,' he said. 

He declined to state whether the banker would ever agree to go back, saying only: 'We're only focused on this particular hearing at the moment, so we have no comment on whether he would return in the future.' 

Hapgood, he added, offered to appear via video link but his spokesman says the court refused. 

He also says it is 'abundantly clear' that the case against him is prejudiced. 

'Seven months ago, an employee of the Malliouhana Hotel on the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla, who was high on a cocktail of drugs including cocaine and had a pending rape charge, entered Scott Hapgood's hotel room under false pretenses, attacked Scott and threatened the lives of two of his minor children. In response, Scott defended himself and his children,' he said.

'When the attacker died – in the hospital about an hour after the attack – Scott was charged with manslaughter. Three independent medical experts have now concluded that the attacker died due to the drugs in his system.

'Despite the unfairness of the charge continuing, Scott has cooperated with the Anguillan legal process and has returned to the island three times for hearings in an effort to clear his name.

'But it has become progressively apparent that Scott would not receive a fair trial in Anguilla.' 

His team claims witnesses 'altered their accounts', submitted false statements and that the state hid a toxicology report which speaks to how many drugs Mitchel had taken at the time of his death.  

'An inflammatory and false rhetoric has also grown around this case. Scott was accused of perpetrating racial violence. In many of the witness statements submitted into evidence by the Crown, Scott was referred to as simply 'the Caucasian' or the 'white man.' 

These accusations are deeply offensive and wrong. Scott's race, and Kenny Mitchel's race, are irrelevant to the facts of what happened,' he added. 

Prosecutors in Anguilla are yet to respond to his comments and allegations.  

Mitchel's friends and family have already disputed Hapgood's version of events and his team's characterization of the hotel worker. 

Hapgood's attorney, Juliya Arbisman, said: 'We understand there will be people in Anguilla who say Scott is running from a trial. That is 100 percent false. 

'There is nothing Scott wants more than to clear his name and get his life back. But he cannot clear his name if he is dead, or if the legal process by which he is bound is fundamentally biased and unjust.' 

The hearing on whether or not the case should go to trial is expected to last two days. 

Earlier this week, his mother-in-law gave an interview voicing the same fears as he has shared. 

'I'm very hopeful that we will get some sort of guarantee he will return,' she said.

'What we're most afraid of is that they will decide to remand him to prison meaning he will be stuck on the island.

'He knows he's innocent and he wants to clear his name.'

stella Posted on November 15, 2019 18:35

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Man, 33, who fatally stabbed his wife, 27, and then hanged himself from a tree said to have been abusive and jealous of her crush on a Bollywood actor

The New York City man who stabbed his wife to death and then hanged himself was jealous of the crush she had on a Bollywood actor, friends say.   

Dineshwar Budhidat, 33, is believed to have stabbed his bartender wife, Donne Dojoy, 27, to death Friday night in their Queens home, before going to a field in Howard Beach, New York, and hanging himself from a tree. The couple had married in July.

In between the murder and suicide, Budhidat was said to have texted Dojoy's sister to tell her that he killed Dojoy and that the key to the apartment was under a flower pot, police sources told the New York Post

Their deaths come just two days after Budhidat pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in court on Wednesday in relation to an incident in August where he attacked his wife. She had a protection order against him at the time of her death.

Although it's unclear why Budhidat allegedly killed Dojoy, her friends have said that he had raged over Dojoy's infatuation with Indian actor Hrithik Roshan in the past.

Gemini's Ultra Lounge karaoke singer Mala Ramdhani, 52, told the newspaper that Dojoy - a bartender at the lounge - had told her that whenever she was at home and watching a movie starring Roshan or listening to him singing, Budhidat 'would ask her to take it off because he would get so jealous'. 

Another of Dojoy's friends, Andel Rodney, a chef at Gemini's Ultra Lounge, said that although he believed Budhidat loved Dojoy, 'at the same time, he was obsessed with her, because of the type of job she did, and she had a good [sexy] body'.

Rodney added: 'She looked good, she always made her money, so he was probably jealous of her.'

The New York Daily News reported that Budhidat slapped and strangled Dojoy in August inside their Queens apartment. 

He was arrested on August 21 for the incident and Dojoy had protection order against Budhidat since then. He was due to be sentenced in January. 

According to her friend, Dojoy moved out of the couple's apartment in late October. 

Rodney said that Dojoy had gone back to the couple's apartment to watch a movie and 'chill' with Budhidat before starting her bartending shift Friday night. 

Dojoy's sister, Fannita Barakat, supposed that Dojoy 'wanted to give him another chance' but that 'in the end, he was heartless for her.'

Rodney said that in the past, Dojoy had talked about Budhidat 'abusing her, controlling her, beating her, scaring her, threatening to kill her,' but that she 'never took it seriously because she loved' Budhidat. 

Although police have not released a motive for the murder-suicide, Dojoy's cousin, Anthony Dojoy, said that 'It has to be jealousy,' noting that 'there’s nothing else - she’s sincere, genuine, honest'. 

Dojoy was pronounced dead at the scene having been stabbed multiple times in the torso, ABC 7 reported.

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 21:49

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A Medics restart baby's heart after dunking her in bucket of icy water

A newborn whose heart rate began to soar was dunked into a bucket of ice water by doctors trying to save her life. Medics believed the shock of the freezing water might restart her heart, which had risen to 320 beats per minute. Holly Hutchinson had been rushed to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle 10 minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve at just 12 days old. Despite the ice shock, her parents were told her heart rate was not slowing. She was eventually given powerful drugs that brought her back from the brink just in time. Her stunned parents Jenny and Ian Hutchinson were given the happy news as fireworks were let off outside.

A newborn whose heart rate began to soar was dunked into a bucket of ice water by doctors trying to save her life. Medics believed the shock of the freezing water might restart her heart, which had risen to 320 beats per minute. Holly Hutchinson had been rushed to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle 10 minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve at just 12 days old. Despite the ice shock, her parents were told her heart rate was not slowing. She was eventually given powerful drugs that brought her back from the brink just in time. Her stunned parents Jenny and Ian Hutchinson were given the happy news as fireworks were let off outside.

After several attempts to shock her heart using other methods failed, she was rushed to the Freeman Hospital where the process was repeated and she was intubated. Ian said: ‘Right in front of our eyes, we could see the blood retracting from Holly’s limbs to try and protect her core, making her go grey. ‘It was absolutely horrendous to see our newborn become so ill, so quickly. Watching her being submerged in the water and be prodded with needles like a pin cushion is something no parent wants to see. ‘It was so hard knowing there was nothing we could do.’ The parents were taken into a side room at Freeman Hospital while doctors tried to save Holly’s life. Just 10 minutes later, they were told her heart had gone back to its normal rhythm and rate.

Her dad said: ‘Suddenly fireworks were going off and people were cheering – it was surreal. ‘If we’d arrived 20 minutes later, Holly might not be here today.’ Training for the half marathon between Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields has been ‘tough’, Ian said. He added: ‘If Holly can hold on with a heartbeat of 320, a half marathon should be pretty simple right?’

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 21:37

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Woman's pins and needles turned into condition that left her 'locked in her body'

A pharmacist was locked in her body and unable to communicate with anyone for a month after developing a rare condition that started as pins and needles.

Anstey Campbell also ended up on a ventilator for almost three months and is still under hospital care after first experiencing tingling in her toes when she returned from a run on January 17 this year.

Thinking it was nothing, she got ready for work but by lunchtime the sensation took over her feet and in the afternoon it had spread to her hands so she went to her GP who wasn't concerned and said it could be stress related.

That evening her legs became weak and her knees buckled when she stood up and the next morning, after a sleepless night due to chest pains, she fell to the floor as her legs were so weak.

The paralysis worked its way up her body but luckily Anstey's mum knew she needed to call an ambulance for her daughter and she was rushed to hospital.

Within 15 minutes of seeing a doctor Anstey, who lives in Dargaville, New Zealand, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).

The condition is a muscle weakness caused by the body's immune system attacking the nervous system.

Anstey was transferred to ICU, but as her breathing deteriorated and her entire body became paralysed, even her eyelids, doctors decided to put her in an induced coma for a week to save her lungs.

Doctors lowered Anstey's sedation after and she was placed on a ventilator for 86 days.

Doctors looked for a response after lowering the sedation, but there was nothing and they believed Anstey was completely unresponsive, however for 31 days she was actually experiencing locked in syndrome when the whole body is paralysed but a person is still conscious and aware of their surroundings.

Locked in syndrome was terrifying for Anstey because she was desperate to communicate with doctors who were asking her for responses, but as hard as she tried, nothing happened and with her eyes shut she could only tell day from night by the visitors she could hear.

She said: "On the morning of January 17, I noticed pins and needles in the toes of my left foot after a run before work, but I didn't think anything of it.

"By lunchtime I had pins and needles in both feet, I thought it was the new shoes I was wearing so went home and changed them," said Anstey.

"By mid-afternoon the pins and needles had spread to my fingertips, so I went and saw a GP because I thought it was weird. He didn't seem concerned because I still had full function in my hands and feet.

"He suggested that perhaps it was anxiety, and to return the following day if it hadn't improved.

"I remember him bringing up GBS, but we brushed over it because it's so rare so we thought surely it couldn't be that.

"That evening I was walking downstairs and my legs began to buckle, which was the start of the weakness which later turned into paralysis.

"Overnight I developed chest and stomach pain, it felt like bad indigestion, but no medicine relieved the pain and it just kept getting worse. I later learned it was a sign of my diaphragm and lungs slowly shutting down.

"The next morning, as I got out of bed, I collapsed on the floor due to extreme leg weakness. I was living alone at the time, but luckily my mum had come to stay with me. I kept saying I'd be fine, but her mother's intuition kicked in and she came.

"We called the ambulance and I was taken to our local hospital where I saw a GP who was well known to me. The weakness was spreading to my upper body and face by this time.

"Within 15 minutes, the doctor diagnosed me with GBS and she told me what to expect and referred me to the emergency department of our nearest major hospital.

"I spent the day in the emergency department getting tests and scans before being transferred to ICU for closer monitoring.

"Over the course of the day, I slowly became paralysed from the legs to the top of my head. By the time I was intubated I was so weak I could barely open my eyelids.

"My breathing was deteriorating, and the doctors could see the struggle I was having to breathe so they decided to put me under to protect my lungs.

"A few days after being intubated, it became clear that I needed long-term respiratory support. So, they decided to give me a tracheostomy and put me on a ventilator for 86 days.

"After around a week of being fully out, the doctors lowered my sedation and from what they saw I was completely unresponsive, but I was actually locked in, it was the most terrifying thing imaginable.

"I remember the doctors tried all these tests to get some sort of response and it was really terrifying when I realised I was stuck inside. I was trying to do what they were telling me to, but nothing was happening.

"I remember the doctor pushing hard on my brow bone to try and make my eyes open, it was so painful and all I was saying inside was 'stop'.

"It was terrifying being unable to communicate, especially as I was so uncomfortable and I couldn't say I was in pain.

"With my eyes permanently shut, it was difficult to establish day from night and my only cue was when the visitors dwindled.

"The first movement I got back was a twitch in my jaw, and it became one twitch for yes and two twitches for no."

Anstey was given five rounds of IVIG treatment and then five rounds of plasmapheresis. After 86 days on the ventilator, Anstey had to learn how to breathe again something which was once so natural but became a difficult task.

Anstey is still in hospital, but she can return home each weekend. She has regained some strength in her upper body and has recovered movement since doing physio twice a day for the last six months.

"When I woke up, I was told that I had been quite sick, and my case was on the severe side so it would take me while to get off the ventilator and breathe for myself," said Anstey.

"When I came off the ventilator, I still had the tracheotomy so although the ventilator wasn't breathing for me, I was still breathing in and out of my tracheotomy site.

"When they capped that to see if I could breathe out of my mouth and nose, I only lasted a couple of seconds before they had to take the cap off. It's bizarre to think that your body can forget how to do something so automatic like breathing.

"When I was in ICU, I was having chest physiotherapy twice a day to help remove secretions from my chest and prevent pneumonia.

"I was also getting assisted movements every day to prevent stiffness.

"Since being in rehab, I've been doing more intense physiotherapy twice a day to strengthen the movements I do have.

"Some doctors have been positive and said I will regain most, if not all, of my function whereas others have said I'll be in a wheelchair for a long time. But the common theme is that my recovery will take a long time.

"My upper body is getting stronger and I have a lot of movement back. My hands are a work in progress as I can't grip yet and my wrists are weak. My lower body is still weak so I can't stand unaided, but I can move my legs a bit.

"I have spent a lot of time asking why this happened to me, but it got me nowhere except feeling resentment towards the hand I've been dealt.

"If something unexpected happens in life, let go of the life you had planned and accept the new story you get to write."

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 21:29

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Couple who ignored doctors’ advice to TERMINATE two of their quadruplets to avoid a risky pregnancy show off their four healthy babies

A couple have revealed how they have welcomed quadruplets into the world - after ignoring the advice of doctors to terminate two of their babies.

Morales Osuna, 30, from San Diego, California, gave birth to three girls and one boy via C-section, following three years of fertility treatment. 

She managed to carry the quadruplets - who all weighed 4lbs - until 34 weeks, enjoying a stress-free pregnancy.

Morales and husband Issac, 29, had ignored advice to terminate two of their babies to avoid a risky pregnancy. 

Morales and Issac explained their delight at welcoming Marissa, Marcelo, Ivanna and Isabel into the world, after years of trying to start a family. 

'The quadruplets are little miracles and we couldn't be happier to finally have a family,' Morales said.

'We started trying for a baby in 2015 but I had a number of fertility problems. I had cysts on my ovaries, a blocked fallopian tube as well as endometriosis, so falling pregnant wasn't going to be easy.

'After two rounds of a treatment called IUI - which inserts sperm directly into your uterus to give you a better chance of concieving - I fell pregnant.' 

The couple were over-the-moon when they were told that they were expecting quads at seven weeks along. 

Morales, who is a teacher, said: 'We'd always wanted four children but we never imagined we'd have four all at one.

'I felt excited but the doctors were quick to tell us about how risky it was. We were offered to terminate two embryos but there was no way we could choose.' 

Luckily, the pregnancy went smoothly despite the risks involved in carrying quadruplets. 

'I hardly had any morning sickness and my pregnancy was really smooth the whole way through,' Morales said. 

'I managed to carry the quadruplets up until they were 34 weeks old before I had a C-section. By this point I was struggling to breathe and my bump was huge.

'They were all born weighing over 4lbs and we were all home together just nine days later.'

Isaac and Morales now run a military style operation at home to ensure they can feed and change their babies at the same time.

Morales said: 'We were super nervous when we first bought all our babies home as we had no idea what to expect.

'The nurses had kick started our quadruplets routine and now we ensure we feed two babies at a time.

'They are very good at telling us what they need as they'll cry when they're hungry or need their nappy changing.'

She added: 'They are very well behaved but having four babies is hard work. We get through tonnes of washing every day as well as changing 32 nappies.

'It's all worth it though, we couldn't be happier with our family which is definitely complete now.'

The couple chose to document their journey online – on their 'Zero 2 Quads' blog - from the start of their pregnancy to help inspire other hopeful parents.

Morales said: 'Not only do we want to document our quads milestones but we want to show everyone else not to give up on their baby dreams.

'Our story is a story of hope and we are so lucky to finally have our dream family.'

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 21:15

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A Mum went to docs feeling 'bit rundown' and was stunned by diagnosis

Like many mums, Julie McNeill was busy and felt a 'bit rundown.'

She'd just moved house and was looking after her poorly mum whilst working and running around after her three kids.

A couple of colds proved hard to shake off then she had some dental work which led to an infection.

Her doctor put her on antibiotics but all were surprised when she developed jaundice.

Blood tests showed she had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

"When I got the diagnosis, I felt disbelief," said Julie, a medical secretary from Kenilworth.

She added: "I'd lost my brother to the same thing when he was just 22. It had not even crossed my mind that anyone in my family might have it again. For two siblings to get it is a one in a million chance."

It was February 2016 when Julie got her diagnosis and she was caring for her mum who had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer two weeks before Christmas 2015.

Her youngest daughter Maddie was just eight and her eldest Kate was 21 and pregnant, expecting her first baby in the August. Her son Ben was 17.

"I had thought my tiredness was just down to looking after my mum," said Julie, now 48, who also cares for her brother who has special needs.

"Sadly she passed away in April 2016 right in the middle of my treatment. It was really difficult.

"I had six months of intensive chemotherapy and, during that time, I was at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for five weeks with limited access because of risk of infections.

"Maddie was at primary school and had to be separated from me for a long time. She really struggled.

"Kate was pregnant and needed her mum. It was hard for all of them but we're a strong family and we all look after each other."

Julie had a stem cell transplant from a donor in Germany in July 2016 and came out of hospital the week before Kate had her baby Harry.

"I was on the top floor of the hospital having my Hickman line take out whilst my daughter was giving birth downstairs.

"Honestly, you could write a book about all that's happened."

Fortunately, the transplant was a success and Julie went into remission.

"I thought it was all over and thank god we'd got through the worst of it. Now we just had to keep going.

"Then I got the call to say I needed to go back into hospital. Your heart sinks because you know something's not right. It's heartbreaking."

A routine screening in October 2018 suggested the cancer had returned and, further tests showed it had mutated into a rare, life-threatening condition called Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML).

She underwent further intensive treatment which included additional stem cells from her donor and a course of immunotherapy drugs but sadly all attempts failed to get her cancer free.

Her only chance now is a second line immunotherapy drug called Dasatinib, which due to funding restrictions, is not available on the NHS.

This means the McNeills need to raise £36,600 for a 12 month treatment plan.

They launched a JustGiving campaign in July and have already raised around £6,300 - enough to fund two months of treatment.

"They said we would have to pay for it because it's so rare there are not enough cases to show it would work. This is despite the fact we have found lots of cases to prove that this drug does work.

"It's so frustrating that the NHS will not pay for it. I'm really hoping that when I can show from my blood tests that it is working that they will pay for it then.

"If I go into remission, I will need to be on it for life. But it could take up to a year for me to go into remission."

Meanwhile Chris was putting in extra hours with his maintenance engineer company to pay the bills and make up for Julie's loss of earnings.

In May 2018, he suffered a TIA mini stroke, thought to have been brought on by stress.

"He was driving home and he felt very ill," said Julie.

"When he got home he started leaning to one side and couldn't speak properly. I knew straight away what was happening and called 999.

"He was treated immediately and, thankfully, made a full recovery."

"We think it was down to the longer hours he was putting in to make up for me not working as much. He had so much pressure on his shoulders to look after me and find two incomes."

It was a wake up call for the family that their lifestyles needed to change and Chris is now working as a building supervisor for a local firm.

Julie started back at work around 18 months ago.

The family are fundraising for Julie and making sure every moment counts.

"I get very tired because of this drug," she said.

"One of the main symptoms is fatigue and nausea but I try to carry on as best I can. I've been through worse.

"It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming until the unexpected happens.

"What's happened has changed everything. We live each day as it comes now as you don't know what's round the corner for any of us.

"One day we were a normal family and the next everything turned upside down.

"Different things are important now. We're enjoying family days out and meeting up with our extended family for picnic. It's about making memories.

"I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy, I owe that to my family."

"The thing about life is that it is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift not a given right but I am asking you all for your help in giving me those guaranteed days.

"I am not the type to ask for help, certainly not for money, I am asking for my children to keep their mum, a husband to keep his wife and a brother to keep his sister.

"We would be so very grateful in any way, for your donations, no matter how small to help us achieve our target."

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 21:02

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Baby left severely burned after vegetable steamer spills boiling hot water

A toddler nearly died and was left with third degree burns all over his body after he pulled a vegetable steamer filled with two gallons of boiling water over his head. 

Dougie Dodd, then aged one, suffered horrific burns to his face, neck, chest, hands, wrists and feet after a spoon he was playing with got tangled in the cables connected to mother Nadia Hulse's broccoli and cauliflower steamer.

The 25-year-old, from Cannock, Staffordshire, lunged towards her son but was too late to save him as the three-tier machine toppled over and spilt its contents across the kitchen. 

He was in hospital for two months, fighting for his life as he battled infections from the third degree burns that covered half of his body. 

 'I was right next to Dougie when it happened, and I tried to stop the steamer falling, but I just couldn't move fast enough,' said Nadia as she re-lived the experience.

'He was touch-and-go in the hospital at one point, and I just couldn't stop crying, I was an absolute mess.

'I practically lived in the hospital with Dougie. I was so scared of losing him.'

Receptionist Nadia was overjoyed when she found out she was pregnant and gave birth to her only son on 24 July 2017.

The single mum learned how to juggle household chores with looking after a boisterous baby.

She was preparing dinner in the kitchen at home on March 8 this year, with little Dougie playing on the floor when disaster struck.

Nadia said: 'I turned the vegetable steamer on to heat up the water.

'I was sitting at the kitchen table with the phone propped up on video chat to my mum, showing her Dougie sitting on the floor playing with the saucepans when he suddenly reached up towards the steamer with his spoon.

'I shouted 'Dougie, no!' which startled him, and as he jumped back, the handle of the spoon got caught on the wire and the vegetable steamer tipped.

'I lunged forward but I just couldn't get there fast enough and the steamer toppled over, covering Dougie in hot water and vegetables.

'I stripped Dougie and raced him upstairs into a cold bath but he was screaming hysterically, trying to climb out of the bath and onto me.

'I had to hold him down and keep putting cool water on him until the ambulance came, and as much as I wanted to pull him out and cuddle him, I knew he needed to stay in there so he wouldn't be in any more pain than he already was.'

Nadia's mother raced to the house after watching the scene unfold on FaceTime and called an ambulance for Dougie as his skin bubbled in blisters.

Paramedics gave him morphine and covered his burned body in cooling gel before wrapping him in cling film to prevent any infection.

The traumatised toddler was rushed to Birmingham Children's Hospital and diagnosed with third degree burns across his face, neck, chest, hands, wrists and feet.

Nadia said: 'Dougie's body was all red and sore, so when the burns on his neck and wrist started turning white, I thought that was a good sign, like his body was fighting back.

'My heart broke when the doctors explained that the burns turning white meant the nerve endings could be damaged and were therefore less likely to repair themselves so he could end up needing skin grafts.

'The doctors told me they might need to shave his hair to stop the burns getting infected which upset me as Dougie has these gorgeous, golden curls, but I just wanted them to do whatever they could to help him recover the quickest.'

Over the next few days, Dougie was kept in hospital as doctors checked his blood vessels for nerve damage, drained his blisters and shaved the front of his hairline.

When the burns that had turned white did not regain pinkness, Dougie was taken into theatre for skin grafting with skin taken from his thighs to cover his left wrist and chest.

The toddler was bound in bandages head to toe to prevent infection and help his skin recover, and went under anaesthetic in theatre every other day to have his wounds cleaned.

Nadia said: 'When he got the grafts, it was horrible. Me and his dad had to take him through to theatre and hold the mask over his face while he went to sleep.

'We were both crying, but the doctors reassured me that it would help to prevent scarring and help him to heal a lot quicker.'

After a long week in hospital, Nadia was finally able to take her little boy home.

But her joy was short-lived as Dougie became ill and was admitted again after just one night at home.

Nadia said: 'I was so happy that we could try and get back to a bit of normality and be able to see him in his own environment again.

'The first night he was really quiet and lethargic but still happy as we sat on the sofa and watched cBeebies before bed.

'In the night, he pulled his bandages half off his face - I was worried about pulling them off completely in case I made the scabs any worse but also worried about leaving them on in case they wrapped round his neck in the night.'

Nadia took Dougie back to the hospital the next morning on 14 March 2019 where a nurse noticed he had a high temperature and his hands had come up in a pin prickly looking rash which is a symptom of toxic shock syndrome.

Toxic shock syndrome is a sudden and potentially fatal medical condition caused by a bacterial infection.

Blood tests confirmed Dougie had TSS and as his blood pressure hit a staggering 190, he needed an oxygen mask to breathe and doctors were forced to administer a blood plasma transfusion.

The toddler was closely monitored by doctors, and if his condition didn't improve in the first few hours, Dougie would need to go to the intensive care unit or he could die.

Nadia said: 'The doctors had said they'd like to keep him in overnight after spotting the rash but ultimately it was up to me, and I'm so glad I went with my gut and kept him in there.

'I felt so sorry for him, I just wanted to take the pain away from my little boy.

'The consultant and nurses stood around his bed with us and said we will keep an eye on him so it's going to be an unsettled night and that the frozen plasma will hopefully help his body to fight the infection.

'I asked what happens if it doesn't and the consultant said they'd have to take him to the ICU to keep a closer eye on him and help him fight the infection.

'I burst into tears, I felt so sick and was a wreck as a nurse hugged me and made me a cup of tea to calm me down.'

A few hours after the plasma transfusion, Dougie's temperature, oxygen and blood pressure started to improve as his body began to fight the infection.

The little boy was in hospital for another week as doctors did more blood tests to make sure that the infection had cleared.

He had to return to the hospital every other day for surgical day care but was finally discharged when he was more healed on 8 April 2019.

Dougie, now two, is back to being himself again but still has to wear a compression vest daily for as long as possible to prevent excess skin tissue growing and turning into a hypertrophic scar.

Doctors have said the toddler can either sleep in the vest overnight or wear it for a few hours on and off throughout the day.

Nadia said: 'Dougie is such a happy, lively little boy and has not changed his outgoing personality one bit, but I still feel guilt.

'I know it was a freak accident and the only thing I could have done differently was to not let him play with the saucepans, but I wish I could turn back time and get his cars out for him to play with instead!

'It still breaks my heart to think about it which I do everyday and to see the pictures of him in the hospital.

'I worry about him growing up with his scars, but will constantly reassure him every day of how brave he was and how beautiful he is with his scars, and that they will fade as he grows older.

'I'm just so grateful for the hospitals fantastic work and that he's ok - they worked so hard and saved his life.'

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 20:05

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Mum who survived suicide pact was arrested as family drove to collect her

A great-grandmother cleared of murdering her dying husband in a botched suicide pact endured an ‘appalling’ series of indignities after her arrest, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Mavis Eccleston was acquitted last week of killing Dennis, 81 – her husband of nearly 60 years – after a jury heard the couple had agreed to take a lethal cocktail of drugs to end their lives together.

In an exclusive and deeply moving interview with this newspaper, Mrs Eccleston and her family today reveal:

  • She was arrested in her dressing gown, nightie and slippers, held in a cell for 30 hours and was still wearing the same clothes when she was finally released;
  • Police denied her access to a proper toilet, after she said that she felt uncomfortable using the one inside her cell;
  • She was left in tears after a psychiatric nurse ‘rubbed her back’ as she sat on a hospital bed and allegedly told her: ‘We have got to wait for the police because you have murdered your husband and you are going to prison for a long, long time’;
  • A senior detective warned Mrs Eccleston’s son, Kevin, 60, and daughter Joy, 54: ‘I am going to make a precedent of your mother’s case.’

Last night campaigners on both sides of the assisted dying debate said the case, which caused 18 months of misery for the family, should never have been brought.

The couple were found unconscious by relatives at their Staffordshire home in February last year. Mrs Eccleston was successfully treated in the nearby County Hospital, Stafford, but her husband did not recover.

Of the detective’s ‘insensitive’ warning, Kevin Eccleston said last night: ‘What a thing to say. I immediately responded, “So you’ve hung, drawn and quartered her” to which he threw his arms wide and said, “It’s the law of the land”.’

Staffordshire Police yesterday declined to answer a series of questions about Mrs Eccleston’s treatment.

Instead, the force released a statement in which they spelt her name incorrectly. It said: ‘We are not aware of any concerns raised by Mavis Ecclestone (sic) or her family about the way that she was treated by anyone in Staffordshire Police. If Mrs Ecclestone or her family would like to discuss any concerns with us we would encourage them to get in touch.’

In an emotional interview with this newspaper, Mrs Eccleston and her family spoke warmly of their ‘highly respected, clever, dignified husband and father’, a former colliery manager. A dedicated family man, he and his wife were ‘inseparable’, rarely spending a day apart.

Mrs Eccleston revealed that, to spare her the misery of watching him suffer with terminal bowel cancer, her husband decided in 2015 that he would end his life. When he explained his intentions, she replied: ‘If that’s the way you are going then I am coming too.’

She said yesterday: ‘My life was nothing without him, so I didn’t care about living. If Dennis asked me to do it all again today, I would. I wanted to be with my husband. You wouldn’t let an animal suffer the way Dennis was suffering.’

The prosecution had alleged that Mr Eccleston had not known he was taking a potentially lethal overdose.

But the defence argued that it would not have been possible for him to be given a lethal dose of the drug without his knowledge because of its bitter taste. Mrs Eccleston was cleared unanimously of both murder and manslaughter.

The couple’s children went through 18 months of hell after first losing their father and then seeing their mother face the prospect of life in jail.

Their heartbreaking case has reignited the debate over assisted suicide.

But even those opposed to its legalisation expressed dismay at the decision to prosecute Mrs Eccleston.

A spokesman for Care Not Killing said: ‘Anybody who has read anything about this case will think this woman has been treated appallingly. And you’ve got to ask the question of the prosecutors and the police – was it really in the public interest to lock up this woman for tens of hours and then drag her through the courts?

‘What we should be doing is addressing the wider issues of how we address the care of people with terminal illnesses, rather than saying because there has been this bad case we’ve got to legalise assisted suicide and euthanasia.’

Meanwhile, Sarah Wooton, chief executive of Dignity In Dying, which campaigns for the legalisation of assisted suicide said: ‘Our broken law has forced a dying man to end his own life in secret, and threatened his devoted wife of 60 years with life imprisonment for acting purely out of love. An honest, caring family has been dragged through hell for the last 18 months.’

She called on the Government to hold an inquiry into the ‘impact of the current law’ and its effects on families such as the Ecclestons.

Health chiefs declined to comment on the claim that a psychiatric nurse told Mrs Eccleston she would be going to prison for murder.

Mavis Eccleston awoke blinking at the bright ceiling lights, feeling nauseous and confused – and angry that she was still alive.

‘When I saw the nurses around me, when I realised I hadn’t died, I felt... well, very annoyed,’ says the 80-year-old, matter- of-factly.

Annoyed because it meant the suicide pact with her 81-year-old husband Dennis, who was in the last throes of a rapacious cancer, had failed. Hours earlier, unable to bear the thought of being apart, they had both taken an equal amount of prescription drugs, crushed and mixed with mineral water in their favourite china mugs.

Even in this final act there was much that was emblematic of their blissful marriage of nearly six decades. For one thing every action was underpinned by great tenderness. They fussed over each other and even managed, amid the unfamiliar, macabre ritual of it all, to nervously joke and laugh.

‘I was crushing the tablets and Dennis was popping capsules. I said to him: “It’s typical of you to get the easy job!”’

When the moment came – after houseproud Mavis insisted on washing up the dessert spoon that she used to mix the ‘potion’ and returning it to the cutlery drawer – Dennis sensed his wife’s trepidation. ‘Just hold your nose and chuck it down your throat,’ he advised.

Afterwards Mavis kissed her husband’s forehead as he sat back on a recliner chair. Then she swaddled him in extra blankets ‘because I thought he might get cold’.

She first met the love of her life when the young miner tapped her on the shoulder and asked her to dance one night in January 1958. They married in August the same year and rarely spent a night apart. They raised a fine family and in later years enjoyed looking after grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

After forcing the mixture down they said their farewells. ‘Goodnight darling,’ he said, his last words. She replied: ‘Goodnight, God bless.’

Mavis recalls drowsily moving to the room next door to finish writing their 14-page suicide note to their family. She had intended to say that they did not wish to be resuscitated but only got as far as: ‘We do not want...’ before trailing away, overcome.

She was found lying unconscious on the floor of their home in Huntington, Staffordshire, a couple of hours later following a chance visit by her daughter Lynne – something that saved her life. Mavis woke up in a small ward at Stafford County Hospital. ‘It wasn’t meant to be like this,’ she kept thinking to herself.

Directly opposite her was another bed. In it, though it took time to make sense of this, lay her husband, himself clinging to life. He would die the following day with Mavis – her bed by now pushed against his, so she could hold his hand – recounting their first date.

She had just got to the bit when her younger sister called out to her dad, ‘Mavis is kissing a boy!’ when Dennis slipped away. But not before a tear ran down his cheek.

Mavis draws comfort from this. ‘It means he could hear me,’ she says. This is where their love story should have ended, the searing poignancy and intimacy of these final scenes, in February last year, preserved within their loving family. But the police had other ideas.

In a nightmarish sequence of events that would have devastated Dennis, had he lived, Mavis was arrested, held in a cell, charged with murder and put on trial. Every facet of her life, it seemed, was under scrutiny.

Standing in the dock at Stafford Crown Court last week, flanked by two security guards – whom she charmed, as she does everyone she meets – Mavis struggled to follow the proceedings due to hearing problems. At times she was frightened, though she couldn’t conceive of being sent to prison simply because neither she nor her husband ‘could bear to be apart’.

The jury agreed, the foreman delivering the ‘not guilty’ verdict last Wednesday with heavy emphasis, as if to convey support. Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, Mavis says: ‘My life was nothing without him, so I didn’t care about living.

‘If Dennis asked me to do it all again today, I would. I wanted to be with my husband. You wouldn’t let an animal suffer the way Dennis was suffering.’

It goes without saying that Mavis and the couple’s son Kevin, 60 and daughters Lynne, 59, and Joy, 54, endured unimaginable torment in the 18 months between arrest and acquittal.

Few would blame them for harbouring feelings of bitterness. That all of them have weathered the injustices and indignities with decency is to their credit, and said a close relative yesterday, ‘typical of this lovely family’.

They recognise that the police have to do their jobs. What they want is a change in the law to allow assisted suicide in certain situations. The case hinged on what Mavis is supposed to have said to two mental health nurses who assessed her the day after she woke up in hospital following the botched suicide attempt.

They said Mavis admitted that her husband did not know what he was taking, something she denies. Mavis was alone during this interrogation and it was not recorded.

Daughter Joy, a businesswoman, said: ‘Mum had just come round after a suicide attempt, she was in shock, confused, her husband had died hours earlier – how can it be right for her to be questioned in this state?’

Even if Mavis did say something potentially incriminating, her family believe it may have been because she is hard of hearing and simply misconstrued a question. What followed, say the family, was unforgivable.

Mavis, waiting to be taken home by her family, was sitting on her bed in her dressing gown, nightdress and slippers, having been discharged by a doctor. It was at this point that her family claim one of the psychiatric nurses rubbed their mother’s back while telling her: ‘Well you see, Mavis, we have got to wait for the police because you have murdered your husband and you are going to go to prison for a long, long time.’

This remark was made, say her family, in front of Joy and Kevin, who were furious, the latter calling the nurse ‘an evil cow’.

Joy recalls: ‘The situation became hostile and I said to the nurse, “I hope you can sleep at night.” And she said, “Oh, I will. I’m only doing my job.” Throughout this, Mum was sitting there crying.’

Two police officers then arrived and took Joy and her mother to a quiet room where they explained they were going to arrest Mavis. ‘What for? Assisted suicide?’ asked Joy. ‘No, murder,’ came the reply.

Joy says the officers were ‘lovely and treated Mum with decency and great respect. They are human beings and they had a job to do, they were just following the law of the land. I was holding on to her –she was in her nightie and dressing gown – and I asked, “Does she have to go now and can I come with her?”. They said that I had to return home to make a statement.

‘Mum was clearly confused but she said, “Don’t worry Joy, I’ve got nothing to hide, let me go and answer the questions.”’

In the event, Joy’s son Ben, 33, accompanied his grandmother as she was ushered into a police van. ‘The policeman assured us it would only take about three hours and said, “Don’t worry Joy, we’ll have her back by the end of the night.”’

And so, 4ft 8in Mavis – who was not in the best of health herself ,having undergone a triple heart bypass in her 60s – was taken to Stoke-on-Trent police station where she would remain, not for a few hours, but 30. She was finally released – still in her nightie and slippers – at midnight the following day.

What bothered Mavis most of all was not the questioning – she has an unshakeable belief that ‘all will be fine if you tell the truth’ – or the delay in carrying out a psychiatric assessment, but that there was a toilet in her cell.

For a proud lady in her ninth decade, this was an indignity too far. ‘It didn’t seem right. I wanted to go and use the one outside, but they wouldn’t let me.’ Her son and daughters, meanwhile, were all making witness statements to police – unknowingly for the prosecution – and were told this prevented them acting as an ‘appropriate adult’ during Mavis’s interview.

Instead, one of Joy’s friends was dispatched to the police station from her home in Leeds. On arrival, she railed at one officer: ‘Would you be happy if your mum was treated like this?’ At this, the officer backed down and let Mavis out of her cell to use the lavatory.

None of her family could allow themselves to confront the possibility that all this might be a foretaste of something far more terrible. ‘No one thought she would be charged with murder, but that happened two months later.’

It was decided that Joy and Kevin, having been alerted by a solicitor, should break the devastating news to Mavis at home.

Police were in agreement and put her GP on standby fearing the toll it might inflict.

‘I had her heart spray at the ready,’ said Joy. ‘We asked her to sit down and gently explained what was going to happen. She broke down in disbelief, sobbing and sobbing.’

According to the family the police appeared to disregard their evidence that the suicide pact had in fact been agreed two-and-a-half years earlier.

After being diagnosed with bowel cancer in May 2015 and given six months to live, Dennis told his son that he would take his own life. ‘He didn’t want me to see him suffer,’ explained Mavis.

First, though, he made Kevin promise not to tell his mother and sisters. ‘I hated it, but I respected my dad too much to go against his wishes.’

In his own family, and across the wider Eccleston clan, Dennis was a towering figure, a much respected patriarch whose sage advice was regularly sought.

‘He worked his way up through study to become a manager at the colliery,’ said Mavis. ‘He was a clever man – honest, honourable and hard-working. A man who above all else loved his wife and family. People came to him with their problems and he would do anything to help anyone.’

He was also a profoundly dignified man who refused treatment for his cancer.

He just wanted to die privately, ‘without having to be a burden on anyone’ says Mavis. He only managed to keep his secret for three weeks. He was forced to tell Mavis as a palliative care team was visiting their home to discuss plans for the weeks ahead.

The moment he told Mavis he intended to commit suicide she told him: ‘If that’s the way you are going then I am coming too.’

Kevin says Dennis became ‘like a broken record’ talking about the double suicide.

‘It got to the stage where every time any of us went to visit we were frightened about what we might find,’ he said. ‘We were living under such pressure. I went to that house hundreds of times feeling that way, not knowing what I might find when I let myself in.’

Dennis asked Joy to look into euthanasia but, worried about prosecution, she refused and told him she could not get travel insurance to go to Switzerland.

Joy said: ‘I could understand why dad wanted to go when the time came but I couldn’t understand why mum wanted to.’ Every time her mother raised the subject, Joy quickly turned the conversation elsewhere. ‘I couldn’t deal with it,’ she says.

When her father began deteriorating in the last six months of his life, Joy even tried to ‘blackmail’ her mother on a visit with her daughter Ruth, 22, asking: ‘What about us mum? Don’t you want to see Ruth marry one day or me become a grandmother?’

Joy said: ‘There were tears in my eyes and I took mum’s hand. She told me, “I love you, I love you all dearly, but I love your dad and I want to be with him.”

‘I knew then they would go ahead with it and I gave her my blessing. I said, “OK, mum”.’

Mavis said she and her husband only talked about their pact ‘on days he was really bad’ and never spoke about how it would happen.

‘I trusted Dennis to tell me when the time was right,’ she says.

That moment came in February 2018 when she heard her husband crying out ‘like a wounded animal’ in the early hours of the morning. They were sleeping in separate rooms for his comfort.

Mavis said: ‘I heard this noise I’d never heard before. I had one of those illuminated clocks and looked at it. It was 3am. I went in to see Dennis and he was in agony, distress, discomfort. He had always been careful not to let me see him like this.

‘I made the decision then. I said, “Dennis, I’m doing it”, He said “Do you mean it Mavis, do you really, really mean it?” He then kissed my hand and I think that was a thank-you. I then asked him what I had to do.’

He instructed his wife to fetch the prescribed painkillers and sleeping tablets he’d been stockpiling in a plastic cup hidden in a dresser in the living room. It was then that they mixed their ‘potion’ together, says Mavis, sure of what was about to happen next.

Today Mavis, now living with Joy at her Derbyshire home where she keeps her husband’s ashes in a casket on a bedside table, says she no longer has thoughts of suicide.

‘I don’t regret what I did and wouldn’t change what happened. I live with a very contended family and I am happy for them – but I would still rather be with Dennis.’

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 19:55

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A 32-year-old Indian man dyed his hair white, used a wheelchair, and pretended to be 81 so he could fly to the US on a fake passport, police say


A 32-year-old Indian man dressed as an 81-year-old man in an apparent attempt to fly to the US on a fake passport, the Indian police say.

Jayesh Patel was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport by India's Central Industrial Security Force in New Delhi at 10:45 p.m. on Sunday, the Indian outlet NDTV reported.

Patel tried to board a flight to New York using a passport with the fake name of Amrik Singh, an 81-year-old born in Delhi in February 1938, the Central Industrial Security Force said.

"Our screener asked the person in the wheelchair to stand. He said that he cannot stand. Our screener asked if he would stand with support. He reluctantly stood up."

Hemendra Singh, a representative for CISF, told the Indian news agency IANS that Patel "even tricked the initial security check and got his immigration cleared."

Singh added: "CISF was suspicious about him as his voice didn't match his age. Despite gray hair, his skin seemed to be quite young as there were hardly any wrinkles on his face."

The CISF said Patel admitted to impersonating an old man and using a fake passport.

Sanjay Bhatia, a senior police officer with the Delhi Police, told NDTV that Patel "was planning to go to the US for a job."

"His beard was grown and hair was dyed gray," Bhatia said. "He was made to wear a pair of thick glasses and a turban. He was also instructed to walk like an elderly person."

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 18:55

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Wife and lover jailed for killing wealthy Hertfordshire farmer William Taylor

A wife and her lover who fantasised about having sex in her multi-millionaire husband's blood have been jailed for his murder.

Wealthy farmer William Taylor was killed by Angela Taylor, 53, and Paul Cannon, 54, after he refused to grant his wife of 20 years and the mother of three of his children a divorce.

The trial heard the couple had secretly revelled in violently pornographic fantasies of torturing and maiming the landowner.

Mr Taylor suffered from arthritis and tinnitus and vanished just days before his 70th birthday in June 2018.

Sentencing the pair at St Albans Crown Court on Friday at the end of a two-month trial, judge Michael Kay QC said: "Only Paul Cannon and Angela Taylor and perhaps an unknown accomplice know what happened that night.

A wife and her lover who fantasised about having sex in her multi-millionaire husband's blood have been jailed for his murder.

Wealthy farmer William Taylor was killed by Angela Taylor, 53, and Paul Cannon, 54, after he refused to grant his wife of 20 years and the mother of three of his children a divorce.

The trial heard the couple had secretly revelled in violently pornographic fantasies of torturing and maiming the landowner.

Mr Taylor suffered from arthritis and tinnitus and vanished just days before his 70th birthday in June 2018.

Sentencing the pair at St Albans Crown Court on Friday at the end of a two-month trial, judge Michael Kay QC said: "Only Paul Cannon and Angela Taylor and perhaps an unknown accomplice know what happened that night.

"The evidence suggests that, having been lured out of his house, William Taylor was attacked in the farmyard and killed there by means of strangulation or suffocation.

"(William Taylor) loved Angela Taylor to the end despite whatever she did to him and however much she did not deserve that love."

The judge said the "primary reason" for the killing "may be simply the extent to which Angela Taylor in particular loathed the very sight of William Taylor and felt she could never be rid of him".

The skeletal remains of Mr Taylor were found waist-deep in mud on a secluded riverbank near one of his farms in Gosmore, Hertfordshire, in February eight months after he was last seen alive.

A "vain attempt" to make the scene look like a suicide or accident had been made with a bottle of Baileys liqueur, a teacup, an eaten corn on the cob and some rope placed by the body, the judge said.

The murder plot was revealed in lurid WhatsApp messages, which included fantasies of showering together as Mr Taylor's blood ran down the drain and cutting his ligaments and fingers off.

The couple exchanged 28,000 messages between February and June last year.

Detectives later found the messages in the memory of Cannon's phone, despite being deleted by the farm labourer.

The judge said that after Taylor began a secret affair with digger driver Cannon in late 2017, she promised to move back in with her husband if he signed over half of his property to her in a "duplicitous and calculating" move motivated by "insatiable greed".

He added: "The truth was she hated William Taylor and she and Paul Cannon were already plotting to kill him."

Mr Taylor had written a love letter to Taylor to try and win her back and had already given her two farms worth more than £1m debt-free in 2015 as part of a financial settlement.

The judge added: "There is an old adage which is peculiarly applicable to this case: money cannot buy you happiness.

"The Taylor family ... collectively and individually owned properties and farm land near Hitchin worth tens of millions of pounds.

"However, a toxic combination of jealously, hatred and greed rendered all of them unhappy."

Detective Chief Inspector Carl Foster, of Hertfordshire Police, said: "I hope that Angela Taylor and Paul Cannon's time behind bars is spent reflecting on their evil actions.

"Bill was a well-loved father and grandfather and not long after he was reported missing, he should have been celebrating his 70th birthday with his loved ones.

"My thoughts remain with Bill's family, who have acted with dignity throughout the investigation and trial."

The couple, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, were jailed for 22 years minus the 343 days already spent in custody.

It means they will spend a minimum of 21 years and 22 days in jail before they can be considered for parole.

They were also sentenced to two years after being convicted of arson - after they set fire to Mr Taylor's Land Rover - to be served concurrently.

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 18:47

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A Couple left with $120k debt after surrogate delivers baby early

A Sydney couple is appealing for help covering a $120,000 hospital bill after the birth of their son, Frankie.

In 2012, Ellice Mol, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth, underwent a ‘life-saving’ double lung transplant.

Given her health, the young couple decided it would be unsafe for Ms Mol to carry the child they desperately yearned for.

“This was a huge blow to us emotionally, and it took some time to come to terms with,” they wrote on Go Fund Me.

But we decided that we still wanted to be parents, and if we were able to make embryos via IVF, then we would try to find a surrogate to carry our baby for us.”

The couple said it took them four years to research and find a surrogate.

They were finally introduced to a “remarkable” woman named Kendal from Vancouver.

After taking a few months to get to know the hopeful parents, Kendal offered to carry their baby.

The couple’s frozen embryos were air-freighted to Canada in December 2018.

“We watched in amazement from across the Pacific as it slowly grew into a baby boy throughout a successful pregnancy in Vancouver,” the couple wrote.

“We were so fortunate that Kendal was someone who shared our values and sense of humour and was willing to include us in her experience of the pregnancy.”

However, Kendal’s pregnancy took a turn when Franklin was born in July 2019 - six weeks early.

Luckily, Ms Mol and Mr McGowan were in Canada at the time preparing for his birth.

What was a joyful moment quickly became a dire situation, however, as Frankie’s newborn cries turned into an “abrasive grunting sound”.

Doctors soon discovered that the infant’s lungs had not developed properly.

Early on in the pregnancy, Kendal was diagnosed with a condition called vasa previa, requiring Frankie be delivered via caesarean.

Because of the diagnosis, Frankie was considered to have a pre-exisiting condition, meaning his treatment would not be covered under insurance.

Franklin spent the next week in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with Ms Mol and Mr McGowan by his side, day and night - costing the couple more than $A16,000 a day in doctors’ fees and bills.

The young family is now $120,000 in debt.

Franklin is entitled to a Canadian citizenship, however, he is not considered to be a resident in Canada.

Ms Mol and Mr McGowan had “comprehensive” travel insurance but it did not cover post-birth care.

In British Columbia, the baby is transferred into the care of its parents immediately after birth, meaning Franklin’s stay was not able to be covered by Kendal’s insurance.

Ms Mol and Mr McGowan decided to make their story public after receiving the final hospital bill.

“We’ve decided to make our story public in the hopes that our friends and family, and perhaps even some kind strangers who we’ve never met, might be in a position to donate to our cause,” the parents wrote on Go Fund Me.

“Regardless of whether we raise money here or not, we will honour our debt to BC Children’s Hospital. We are truly grateful to the staff who worked so tirelessly to deliver our healthy, happy little boy to us.”

The Go Fund Me has raised just over $19,000 since the page was created on October 1.

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 18:40

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Mother-of-five defies the odds to deliver TWO sets of twins without IVF

A super fertile mother has a 700,000 to one family after giving birth to two sets of twins - one identical, one fraternal - with no 'filler baby' in between at incredible odds.

Gina Shelton, 30, and partner Olie Lloyd, 33, from Telford, Shropshire, were left stunned in March when their second natural pregnancy in three years turned out to be another set of twins - despite no history of twins in the family.

With the chances of two consecutive twin pregnancies thought to be in the region of one in 700,000, the stay-at-home mother-of-five admits people joke 'I'm not sitting next to you' for fear of catching her productive genes.

But social media influencer Gina loves her life as a mother to five under six - Phoebe, six, Niamh and Esme, both three, and Arlo and Alby, both three months - and said she wouldn't swap it for the world despite having changed more than 5,550 nappies to date.

Gina said: 'I never thought we would have twins, but when I was pregnant with the girls I was working in a nursery and I was just so tired all the time.

'Everyone around me was always saying I was going to have twins.

'In the waiting room at the hospital Olie and I were looking at cars before the scan and Olie kept joking "forget it, we're going to need a bus!"

'I think we were crying with happiness and panic when we found out, because at the time we were living in a two bedroom flat and Olie was in the process of building our house.

'A year later we found out we were having another set of twins - we couldn't believe it, but neither could our family or even our doctors.

'It's crazy, busy and noisy having five kids but I wouldn't change it for the world.

We get through thousands of nappies and we've had to buy a seven-seater car but my family are one in a million."

With no known history of twins on either Gina or Olie's side of the family, the couple's relatives are puzzled as to where their double trouble DNA has come from.

Both sets of twins were conceived naturally and were born by c-section so when the couple announced that a second pair were on the way, their family were in disbelief.

The chances of having two sets of twins without a single 'filler' baby between them is estimated to be in the region of 700,000 to one.

But for super-fertile Gina, it took just four months of trying to conceive to fall pregnant with both her twin girls and twin boys.

The couple estimate as the boys get older and start eating solids, their monthly supermarket shop will cost somewhere in the region of £1,000.

Gina said: 'When we rang Olie's mum and dad to tell them the news about the second set of twins they thought we were having them on.

'They even thought we were just going to send them the scan of Niamh and Esme again and that it was all a joke.

'My nan just kept telling me how sorry she felt for me.

'But I'm able to go into the town centre with all five of my kids, I am very lucky that they are so well behaved.

'As identical twins, Niamh and Esme get a lot of attention while out and about so when people notice the other set too, they can't believe their eyes.

'I think the key is being active, getting up and out and keeping them entertained.

'I get sick of staying in, so I'm always organising things for us to do as a family.'

After her older girls were born, Gina started documenting her life on social media and now has 133,000 Instagram followers who catch up with her life as part of a family of seven.

The supermother wows her friends, family and followers as she takes her five youngsters out and about in adorable and immaculate matching outfits.

But the siblings have even captured the attention of huge brands such as Heinz, Amazon and McDonalds, who have featured the family in advertising campaigns.

And Gina and Olie, a carpenter, said while their unlikely two sets of twins have brought twice as much demand to the family they have also brought twice as much love and happiness.

Gina said: 'I did worry that Phoebe was going to be pushed out as Niamh and Esme grew up, but actually it has just brought us closer together.

'While the twins have each other, Phoebe and I will always have each other because we don't understand their bond.

'Niamh and Esme will talk to each other and burst into hysterical fits of laughter while Olie and I are stood trying to work out what they're laughing at.

'But if one of them gets picked on, the other is the first one by their side defending them.

'They're incredibly close and I'm sure the boys will be the same.

'Watching them laugh and love each other like that is the most rewarding thing as a mother.

'Although the odds aren't that much higher of winning the lottery, I still think we're luckier to have the family we do.'

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 18:32

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Jodie Chesney's emotional father reveals the devastating effect the 17-year-old's murder has had on her older sister, 20, who is now frightened to leave home

The father of murdered teenager Jodie Chesney today told of how the 17-year-old's death has had a devastating effect on her older sister.

Peter Chesney said his older daughter Lucy has 'changed so much' since her sister's death and that the whole family is having to deal with the loss 'one day at a time'.

Jodie was stabbed in the back in a park in Harold Hill, East London on March 1, the day of her father's 39th birthday. 

Speaking in his first television interview since the conviction of 19-year-old Ong-a-Kwie and a 17-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons, Peter said his other daughter Lucy has struggled to come to terms with it. 

'It was a mistake and it is incomprehensible, how do you come to terms with something so senseless? I will never come to terms with it and neither will my family. 

'No human is trained for this level of grief, you have to deal with it. I have another daughter Lucy and I want to be strong for her because she has lost her best friend and her sister. 

'It's had a massive impact. Lucy has changed a hell of a lot and we are all dealing with it one day at a time.'

Piers asked Peter how he now deals will helping Lucy to lead a normal life and allowing her freedom.

'She doesn’t really go out anymore. Now she has changed so much. She is frightened to go out, absolutely.'

Piers added that is was 'beyond his comprehension' how someone could have done that to a young girl and asked what was 'going on' with young people, in order for them to carry out such acts. 

Peter said that young people are much more willing to use knives and 'hurt people in a deadly manner. 

'It's more so now than it is before. I won't sit here and pretend to know what's going on with young people. 

'It's got to be a cultural thing – we need to get to the route of it. Why are young people so flippantly hurting other people.

'The person that attacked her went to attack someone else, a rival drug dealer which Jodie had nothing to do with. I don’t know how he got it so wrong. According to him he was after someone else.'  

Susanna added that the rival had not been a female and questioned how this had happened. 

However, the family are trying to heal and have developed the Jodie Chesney Foundation in order to carry on Jodie's kindness.

Peter added: 'She was honest, transparent, she wore her heart on her sleeve and was funny.

'There wasn't a bad bone in her body.'

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 18:23

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Cheer dad' goes viral for dancing along to his teenage daughter's cheerleading routine while in the stands

While one Virginia cheerleader cheers for her high school football team, her own biggest cheerleader — her dad — performs along with her squad's moves from the stands.

This week, millions of Facebook users have been charmed by a viral video of Hekili Holland from York, Virginia going wild in the bleachers at a football game.

While his daughter Mackenzi's cheerleader squad dances to the fight song at field level, Hekili can be seen dancing right along with them in the stands, enthusiastically jumping and raising his arms to mimic their routine.

The video was captured by another dad at the game named Scott Willard, who filmed the entertaining display and shared it on Facebook — where it's been viewed four million times and counting.

'In the fourth quarter I leaned over and jokingly said to my wife if York scores again I’m making this guy viral,' Scott told Good Morning America

Viewers have applauded Hekili for supporting his daughter in such a fun way, dubbing him 'cheer dad.' 

Hekili had actually been performing the routine in the stands for about three weeks when this moment was caught on camera.

'The band plays and the girls perform it after every touchdown or score. I was trying to learn it by watching the cheerleaders. But Mackenzi finally taught me one day,' he said.

'I said one day, "Teach me the dance or I’m not leaving your room,"' he told local news station WKTR.

'I’ve always loved the atmosphere of high school and college football. The band, the excitement, everything. It just another way to have fun and show support,' he added.

'I always wanted to go to them even before I had kids,' he added in an interview with Today. 'But you can't go to a high school football game as 23-24 year old guy and not be the creeper, so now that we have Mackenzi there, we have a reason to go support her and have fun.' 

'I'm a fun-loving guy — if you talk to my wife or any friend of mine, they'll tell you — I'm a little extra at times,' he said. 

He and his wife Lindsey have three daughters, with the youngest age five and the oldest, Mackenzi, a 15-year-old sophomore. 

While some teens might squirm at the thought of their dad earning so much attention, though, Mackenzi says her dad's 'extra' behavior is fun. 

'A lot of people think I would have been embarrassed but I'm really not,' she said. 'I'm just proud that my dad's here and that he's doing everything with me.' 

'I smiled the entire time,' she told The Washington Post. 'I was like, "You go, Dad."'

The other fans are loving it too, and have begun clearing room for him in the stands and making signs for him.

'I’ve told her that if it’s embarrassing or you don’t like it, I’ll stop. She said, "No, keep going, Dad. Let’s go." It’s been fun,' he told WKTR.

Hekili, an Air Force Captain, has been deployed several times and has had to miss out on some things with his daughters in the past, so being there to support them is important.

'It’s a joy,' he said. 'I missed a couple seasons, a couple championships, so it’s good to be home where I can be here to watch her do her thing and watch her sister play softball.'

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 18:16

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Baby's first bouffant! Five-month-old girl born with a full head of hair already has a strict beauty

A baby girl who was born with a full head of hair is often mistaken for a porcelain doll when out with her mother because of her luscious dark locks.

Katie Canham, 32, revealed how her five-month-old daughter Dolly was born with 'incredibly thick hair' - and it is now almost shoulder-length round the sides. 

The mother-of-four from Bromley, south east London, added how the youngster is already on a strict daily beauty regime to keep her hair under control.  

Katie said: 'I have to wash it with baby shampoo everyday. And I have to brush it regularly - otherwise it gets out of control.

'It's so thick, so it gets really knotted. I have to keep on top of it.

'You can do all sorts with it - I put it in a ponytail quite a lot, or just brush it and leave it. I want to let it grow. I can't even explain how much I love it. I am amazed by it.'

Katie, who also has children Archie, 10, Ellie, seven, and 18-month-old Reggie,  added: 'People stop me all the time when I'm out with her. 

'So many people have told me she "looks like a porcelain doll" when they've seen her asleep.

'One person even stopped me the other day and asked "is that a real baby?"'

'Her hair is so unique and it's something that I'm really proud of. All my other children had hair but started losing it all after three months! Dolly's completely different.'  

Dolly's bushy hair drops down to her eyebrows and is almost shoulder-length round the sides and back.

Katie, of Hayes in Bromley, south east London, suffered extreme heartburn throughout her pregnancy.

Experts say it is very common for mothers to experience heartburn when they are carrying a hairy baby.

They say the severity of it varies depending on how much hair the baby has - so Katie endured a painful pregnancy.

And her heartburn continued for even longer - as Dolly was 15 days overdue.

Katie said: 'I had really bad heartburn all the way through my pregnancy. That's always one of the questions people ask when they see her.

'It was a nightmare. The pain was horrendous. But it was all so worth it now I have Dolly.'

Dolly's hair was incredibly thick when she was a newborn. Pictures of her at just two days old show her with long hair covering her entire head - to the surprise of her mother.

But Katie said she is not sure where she has inherited it from, as hers did not compare to Dolly's when she was a tot.

She said: 'Her dad had quite a bit of hair as a baby, but nothing like this. We couldn't believe it when she was born.  

'The midwife said she'd never seen anything like it before. She was shocked - she said 'that's ridiculous'!

'Usually babies' hair falls out but hers has just grown thicker and thicker. I look at Dolly everyday and I can't get over her hair. It really is incredible.'

Former nursery worker Katie said Dolly is adored by her siblings and the entire family.

She added: 'My other children love her so much, and my granddad can't get over it.

'Every time he sees her he says he can't take her seriously because it doesn't look real. Everyone loves her.'

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 18:08

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Baby girl is born with a marvellous head of thick black hair

A newborn baby girl left both midwives and her own mother stunned after being born with a full head of jet black hair.

Operations manager Georgia Robinson, 22, from Burnley, Lancashire, couldn't believe her eyes when her daughter Tia was delivered on June 18, as she already had a full head of thick raven locks.

The mother-of-two has told how the midwives at Burnley General Hospital were equally gobsmacked, as they had never seen a newborn with so much hair.

Now, less than a month later, Tia's rapidly growing mane has already passed her ears - and Georgia has no intention of cutting it anytime soon. 

The proud mother, who worked in operations before falling pregnant, said: 'I couldn't believe it when I saw her, there was so much hair, I really wasn't expecting it.

'The midwives were as shocked as me, they were saying they had never seen anything like it.

'My friends and family are all absolutely obsessed with her and the hair is the first thing everybody talks about.

'It's growing really quickly and we've had to start putting clips in already. She loves having her hair brushed and washed as well.'

Georgia and her partner Bradley Duffy have a two-and-a-half-year-old son, Ellis, but recalled that he didn't have half as much hair when he was born.

The couple also said Tia's hair colour is a bit of a mystery, as none of them have locks as dark as hers.

Georgia has shared her baby joy with five generations of family, which includes great-grandma Jean Briercliffe, grandma Eileen Dickinson and mother Andrea Dickinson.

She said: 'Everyone loves Tia so much. Her brother Ellis loves her and is always giving her lots of hugs and kisses, which is great.

'I have posted pictures of her on Facebook and everyone loves her, she's getting loads of likes.

'Even when we're out shopping people stop us to say hello to Tia. Luckily she's really well-behaved and loves the attention.' 

A baby's hair as a newborn bears little resemblance to what he or she will look like as they grow older and some infants lose their hair just a few weeks after being born due to hormonal fluctuations.

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 17:58

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How this mom group helped crowdsource an organ to save a baby's life

An online mom group can provide comfort and support to new mothers, but no one ever expected that it could lead to a lifesaving organ donation.

On Sept. 23, Robin Bliven posted an inspiring picture of Andrea Alberto, a mother from her online mom group who stepped up to help baby Callum Rescsanski, 11 months, a little guy in need of a liver transplant.

Although Alberto, 32, had never met Cal, she donated a piece of her own liver to him so that he could live.

"People can say a lot of things about mom’s groups on the internet," Bliven wrote in the caption of the photo. "Here’s what I can tell you about mine... when this little sack of sugar, Cal, needed a LIVER from a live donor in order to survive, over 100 moms from my group called to be screened as potential donors.

"It’s this beautiful hero mom pictured below in our group who stood up to the task. Tomorrow this sweet baby will head to a 10 hour surgery to receive a liver from a mommy he’d never met except through Facebook," explained Bliven.

For Alberto, the decision to donate an organ was easy once she knew a baby in her private Facebook mom group was in need. "I knew organ donation was something I would be willing to do, so when I found out Cal was being listed for transplant, it was a very easy decision," Alberto told TODAY Parents.

Bliven revealed that it wasn't easy for Alberto to donate her liver. "She is a single mom who has left her two kids at home and traveled from Boston to New Haven to give away a piece of her body so this baby can live," Bliven said in her Facebook post. "You can talk smack about mom groups on Facebook all you want... but don’t talk smack about mine, because we crowd sourced a freaking organ."

liver transplant is a surgery in which a sick person's liver is replaced with a healthy one. Most liver donations come from those who have agreed to donate an organ after they are deceased.

But in baby Cal's case, a living donor needed to give up part of their liver to him, giving his liver the opportunity to regenerate. A child's liver can regenerate into a normal size within just a few weeks.

The moms in Bliven and Alberto's Facebook group hold meetups in the Northeast region, and that was when she first met Beth Rescsanski, Cal's mother, in person. Cal was sick shortly after birth and Alberto had stepped up to be evaluated without meeting the family she would end up helping.

"I don't think your relationship with someone is necessary for doing something to help them," said Alberto. "If there is someone in need and there is something you can reasonably do to help them, why wouldn't you do it? I like to think that if it was one of my kids in need, someone from my extended network would step in to help."

So while many mom groups have the reputation of being either judgmental spaces where people compare their kids, or venues for ranting and posting funny photos, this group shows that women have the power to rally together even in their darkest moments.

"When Beth came needing help for Cal, we all answered that call because that’s our baby too," said Bliven of Alberto who is uncomfortable with people calling her a hero.

Alberto, who is a single mom to Jack Brooks, 8, and Ben Brooks, 4, said that her boys have been supportive of her and that her older son has been telling his friends that his mom "saved a baby."

Since the surgery, Cal has been able to have his feeding tube removed and Alberto is making strides in her recovery as well. "Both Cal and I are doing great!" Alberto said. "Our recoveries were generally very typical. I went home after 14 days and Cal went home after 25 days."

Alberto explained that the surgery for liver donation is more invasive than kidney surgery, and that the recovery is a bit longer, but that it is still doable. "I can't tell you how many people had no idea liver donation was possible, and even those that know typically don't realize an adult can donate to an infant," she said. "And there are lots of babies out there waiting on a healthy liver."

"If you are open to the idea of donation, get more information," Alberto said. "You don't need to wait until it's a family or friend who needs an organ — odds are, they never will. But someone else's loved one already does need your organ. Find out if you're a match. You can save someone's life."

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 17:53

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Girl, 14, 'tied man, 59, to bed then beat him to death with nail-studded plank'

A 14 year-old girl tied a 59 year-old animal lover to a bed before battering him to death with a nail-studded plank, police say. The suspected killer, who is believed to be a prostitute, reportedly slashed and army veteran Al Chernoff to death at his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday. Police released surveillance images of the girl in airport worker Chernoff’s home, and believe the murder took place after a burglary went wrong. She has since turned herself in, and remains in police custody. Cops were alerted to the killing after a neighbor heard screams, and discovered Chernoff with a massive head wound and slashes to his chest

The victim’s friends have been distraught by news of his death. Blake Martin from the Philadelphia Animal Care & Control Team told CBS Philly: ‘He cared more about his animals than himself.

‘He would have starved before his animals would have ever had to go without food. ‘t’s a big hole in the cat rescue community.’ And friend Angel Ruffo said: ‘Al was amazing.

Anything you needed, he would do, he was known for building shelters for all the feral and stray cats in the city. ‘He was a good man. He was always there when you needed him.’ Several rescue organizations have since taken in Chernoff’s 11 cats, three turtles and two frogs. Chernoff regularly offered to help care for animals that were flown in and out of the city’s airport, with Philly’s rescue community now set to pay for his funeral. The victim’s alleged killer has yet to be formally charged with any crime, while a medical examiner has yet to confirm exactly how Chernoff was killed.

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 17:43

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A Family of adorable girl, 3, who can't SMILE due to rare facial paralysis fight to raise money

A Kansas family is trying to raise money for surgery that will give her daughter the ability to smile due to a rare disorder that causes facial paralysis.

Just 14 hours after Ava Butler was born in July 2015 in Wichita, she was rushed into the NICU when her pediatrician noticed she wasn't feeding.

Three days later, doctors told her mother Rachel that Ava, now three, was suffering from Moeibus Syndrome, which immobilizes facial muscles, and she would not ever be able to smile, frown or pucker her lips.

Now, Butler, 27, and her partner are working to raise awareness of the condition and hope to raise enough funds for the procedure - which can cost upwards of $100,000 - so their daughter is no longer teased about her appearance.     

'I was completely and utterly overwhelmed. I already didn't know what I was doing as a new parent but throwing this diagnosis on top of it really put me through the ringer,' Butler said.

'They handed us a pamphlet about Moebius Syndrome, but we had questions that the specialists couldn't answer.'

Moebius Syndrome is a rare congenital disorder characterized by paralysis of cranial nerves, most commonly the sixth and seventh.

If the sixth nerve is paralyzed, the eye cannot turn outward past the midline, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders.

If the seventh nerve is paralyzed, sufferers cannot smile, frown, pucker their lips, close their eyelids or raise their brows.

Other deformities can occur including club feet, hearing loss, delayed motor skills and cross eyes.

Doctors are unsure of the exact cause because, in most cases, Moebius Syndrome occurs sporadically.

It is estimated to affect about one in every 50,000 live births in the US.

Treatment usually requires visiting numerous specialists including neurologists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, otolaryngologists and speech pathologists to address the various symptoms. 

Butler said that she truly didn't process the diagnosis until a few days later when she did research on her own, which ended with her bursting into tears.

While most comments from strangers are positive, Rachel says that Ava will get an odd comment from her peers about her physical appearance out of curiosity.

'We get a lot of questions from little kids who notice Ava's facial features and we understand where they are coming from,' she said.

'It's the comments from the adults that really got to me. Over the years we've had one of her cousins ask: "Why do her eyes look so crazy?" We've also had a grandparent say: "Make that face again, my granddaughter can't make faces".' 

Ava's parents are now looking hoping to raise enough money so their daughter can undergo surgery that would give her the ability to smile.

The procedure involves transplanting a muscle from a larger area of the body to both sides of the face.  

It is usually done one side at a time with a 12-week recovery period in between.

The Butlers are going to be meeting with surgeons for consultations over the summer with the surgery hopefully taking place next fall. 

'I no longer worry about the things that I worried about when she was diagnosed. I feel that we have adapted to the situation at hand and we have learnt to overcome any challenges,' Butler said.

'I dread the day she comes home from school and tells me about how another student picked on her for her differences.'

Butler says Ava has never given any indication that she feels or looks different, but says this is unlikely to remain as she gets older.  

'Right now, her classmates are super protective of her. She's the smallest in her class and I love seeing how much they help each other out,' she said.

'I feel that our worries are the same as any parents. I want her to grow up happy and healthy, but I also want her to know that this disability is a part of her story, but it doesn't define her.'


The family has started a GoFundMe to raise money for Ava's medical care and future surgery.

So far, more than $4,200 has been raised out of a $5,000 goal.

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 17:37

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Teenage daughters stage wedding pictures with their terminally ill dad

A mother helped her two teenage daughters stage wedding photos and first dances with their terminally ill father after learning that he only has a few months to live. 

In a moving Facebook post, Nicole Halbert, 41, from Tomball, Texas, explained that in April her husband Jason, 51, was diagnosed with grade IV glioblastoma, an incurable and aggressive form of brain cancer. 

The family learned last month that his cancer had leaked into his cerebral spinal fluid. The condition, known as leptomeningeal disease, has taken his life expectancy from a little over a year to just two or three months.  

'Your heart stops, you can’t hear, your breath becomes shallow,' Nicole recalled of the moment she was told the heartbreaking news. 'How were we supposed to tell our daughters? How were we supposed to plan our future?' 

The mom explained how Jason 'has always been the most attentive father' to their daughters Kaylee, 18, and Ashlee, 16, and 'never missed any of their events.'

'We have raised two daddy’s girls and I was about to break their hearts. Their future suddenly looked very different,' she wrote. 'The dreams they had of their daddy walking them down the aisle had come to a screeching halt. 

'The certain songs they’ve played hundreds of times while imagining themselves swirling around a dance floor, in the perfect dress, in the arms of the first man they ever loved, suddenly took on new meaning.'

When their daughters asked if they could still have 'their' dances with their father, they came up with the idea of staging the moment before it happened as something they can look back on when he is gone. 

'We create memories, we recreate them, why not PRE-create a moment?' Nicole asked. 

Dozens of friends came together to help them pull off the emotional shoot, which took place on October 14, with many even offering up wedding dresses for Kaylee and Ashlee to wear.   

Olde Dobbin Station in Montgomery, Texas, gave the family full use of its facilities while Shalonda Chaddock, a professional photographer and friend of Nicole's, immediately agreed to capture the moment.  

Pictures from the shoot show Jason embracing his daughters during their individual dances and walking them down the 'aisle' — one on each of his arms.   

Nicole noted that videographer Michael Shea was also at the shoot, explaining he 'made sure the girls would have the most special video that they can watch for years to come.'

'The day of the dance, the sun was shining through gray rain clouds, sunlight mixing with rain showers. I realized, afterwards, how appropriate the weather was for this day,' she recounted. 

'That is what we've been doing through this whole journey, trying to find the light among the darkness, the sunshine in the rain. There was laughter and tears but in the end, there was an everlasting memory.'

Though they opted to keep the video of the shoot tucked away until Kaylee and Ashlee's wedding days, Nicole said they wanted to share a few of the photos to help others who are faced with losing a parent.

'Maybe this story can strike an idea for someone else to PRE-create their moments, so feel free to share it. Please SHARE it!' she wrote. 'It was because someone shared a similar story that planted this seed, and we will forever be grateful for that, so we’d like to pay it forward.'

Most importantly, the family wanted to use the photos to raise awareness for glioblastoma multiforme and leptomeningeal disease. 

'They are both extremely rare and get very little attention,' she explained. 'Those living with this beast need more research, more funding, and we need a CURE! Having more people fighting alongside those of us in this war is what will create much needed change. 

'When our girls look back at this chapter, I want them to remember not a journey of death, but a journey of life,' she added, urging others to live their lives to the fullest. 

'Take the trip, snap the pictures, eat dessert first, go see your friends, play games with your kids, make your days matter! When you live your life surrounded by kindness and love, you have lived your life well.'

While speaking with Today, Nicole opened up about the father-daughter photo shoot, saying she was happy her girls had that moment with their dad. 

'It was heartbreaking but joyful. I hated that we had to do it, but I loved that we could do it,' she said, noting that she was proud of both her daughters and her husband.

'I was so proud of him because he fought through feeling miserable to do this for them,' she explained. 'He was not going to get to see them in a wedding gown or in that moment. So now he has kind of that image. So, it was important for him to be able to know that that's what it could be.'

Nicole and her daughters plan on getting matching sound wave tattoos of Jason saying, 'I love you girls.' He has also been making recordings for them to listen to and writing them letters to open on important days in their lives.  

A few days ago, the family revealed on the 'Pray for J' Facebook page that Jason is responding well to a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. 

The doctor said it's likely that Jason may have more time than they were told at his last prognosis. 

GoFundMe page has also been set up for the family to help with Jason's rising medical costs.

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 17:30

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Surrogate Goes Wrong! Mom Thinks She’s Having Twins But Delivers The Unthinkable

“No woman in the world should have to live their life without experiencing the love and the bond from a mother and a child,” Jessica Allen told ABC News in 2017. Allen, who was already a mother of two sons, decided to help a couple in need of a baby by becoming a surrogate.

The surrogacy went off without a hitch. But it wasn’t until after delivery that things got messy, which is why Allen tells People, “I’d never do it again. I’m not the only one with a nightmare story, but I am the only one with a story like this.”

Allen followed all the rules perfectly, but something unexpected happened during the pregnanc

Jessica Allen, a California mom of two, thought she was doing a nice thing by signing on to be the surrogate of a lovely Chinese couple. Since surrogacy is illegal in China, the couple came all the way to the U.S. in order to find a surrogate that would have their baby.

Anyone who has struggled to conceive is likely familiar with the emotional and physical trauma the Chinese couple must have gone through to resort to surrogacy. There’s no doubt that what Allen was doing for them was a wonderful thing.

Allen worked with San Diego-based Omega Family Global, who paired her with the hopeful couple. In April 2016, Allen had the couple’s single male embryo implanted in her uterus through in-vitro fertilization.

Surrogates are required to take estrogen and progestogen in order to prepare their wombs for a successful implantation. Allen was careful to follow the IVF doctor’s instructions both before and after implantation so that the pregnancy would be a success. Six weeks into the pregnancy, however, the doctor found something that would make Allen pretty concerned.

At her six-week scan, the doctors told Allen that she was carrying two babies in her womb. The doctor explained that the chances of a splitting embryo were rare, but that it does happen. Everyone assumed that that was the case and Allen was relieved to know that the couple was excited to be getting twins.

Allen was paid $30,000 plus expenses for volunteering herself as a surrogate. When it was discovered she would be having two babies, her monthly paychecks increased by $5,000. Things were going along just fine until it was time to deliver.

After all was said and done, Allen and her husband were in for a big surprise

On December 12, 2016 at 38 weeks’ gestation, Allen delivered the two babies via C-section. Because the operation was performed behind an opaque screen, Allen didn’t get the chance to see the babies as they were immediately taken from the operating room.

Later that night while she was recovering, Allen received a visit from the intended mother, who showed her a picture of the babies on her phone. “One looked full Chinese, the other didn’t look full Chinese. It was clear that they were not identical… but I didn’t ask questions,” Allen told People magazine.

After the delivery, everyone went their separate ways and Allen returned home to recover. She and her husband used the money they were paid to purchase a brand new home. Almost a month later, they were getting ready for move-in day when Allen received a text from the intended mother.

The mother sent Allen a picture of the babies and expressed doubt that one of them belonged to her. Allen told New York Post that the intended mother asked, “They are not the same, right?” and “Have you thought about why they are different?”

It’s A Rare Medical Phenomenon, But It Happens

The following week, the babies were subject to a DNA test with unexpected results. As it turned out, one of the babies wasn’t the twin of the implanted embryo. Instead, it was actually the biological son of Allen and her husband! Both embryos even had differing gestational ages.

A medical phenomenon like this is called superfetation, in which a woman continues to ovulate during pregnancy. This means that Allen conceived another child in her womb while she had the implanted embryo of the couple growing inside her. For their part, Allen and her husband were shocked that this happened.

You would think that the couple would just give Allen her baby, but of course, it wasn’t going to be easy

Read in App for better experience

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 17:24

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