All Threads

Michael Jackson's ex-bodyguard lives in 'constant fear' of losing his 3-year-old son to a mystery superbug - as the toddler suffers sudden seizures that cause his heart to stop beating

A celebrity bodyguard who once worked for Michael Jackson, has revealed that he lives in constant fear that his three-year-old son will suddenly die.

Matt Fiddes, from Wiltshire, whose youngest son, Hero, suffers from a super bug that doctors have been unable to cure, has told how the toddler had a close call with death while on a family holiday to Turkey last month. 

The family were visiting a five star luxury resort in Belek when Hero's health suddenly took a turn for the worst, with his temperature escalating to 37.7c. Within minutes the three-year-old was having a seizure and was then in full cardiac arrest, falling unconscious.

Now Matt, who believes he would have been unable to save his son without the hotel's medical team, is speaking out in the hopes of raising awareness of the importance of having first aid skills. 

Last year, Hero was saved by a paramedic who left her lunch break when she heard that he was suffering a seizure.   

Matt says the three-year-old's episode in Turkey was far worse than his previous encounter, and that the first aid administered within the first few minutes is what helped to save his life.

In aid of his son, Matt has launched his own First Aid skills classes to encourage more people to learn basic life-saving skills. 

'The doctors did warn us after Hero's first seizure that some children and toddlers have a superbug which causes them to have a seizure, their heart to stop and they have no idea where it has come from.

'As a result of what happened to Hero the first time around, we are always cautious about his temperature as any rise seems to trigger a seizure,' he said.

He continued: 'The resort in Turkey where we were staying had a great kids club which Hero loved. He woke up with his brother that day and wanted to go there.

'We were sitting by the pool when we got a phone call about his temperature and they asked us to bring Calpol for him from our room as they can't administer medicine. Moniqe and I immediately knew what was happening and we started to run to help Hero.

'Three minutes later we had another call to say Hero was having a seizure and a nanny at the kids club who was supervising the children had grabbed his tongue. Two doctors on site and a nurse were also called to the club along with an ambulance.

'When we arrived at the scene, we could see Hero was not breathing, his heart had stopped and doctors were trying to resuscitate him.

'But they were struggling to get anywhere because Hero's jaw was locked due to spasms from the seizure. The nanny had managed to put a spoon in Hero's mouth just in time to stop him from swallowing his tongue but Hero's mouth was now trapped tight around it.

'At this time Moniqe was pulled out of the room because she was panicking and screaming. There was no colour in Hero, he looked like a dead body.

'A doctor managed to restart Hero's heart, but they needed to get his mouth open to secure an airway for a tube.

'I had no choice but to sign permission for a muscle relaxant and anti-seizure drug. This was given and his mouth opened. And they tubed an airway to breathe for him.

The doctors told me it was 50/50 whether he would survive as the drug was like Valium and Hero was not breathing. 

'The drug would suppress breathing and can cause respiratory failure. There was no sign of his mouth or body relaxing and a big fear from the doctors is that he would have another seizure as his temperature was rising.

'The medication was administered as depositories and worked. Once he was stable he was put in the back of an ambulance and taken to hospital.'

Matt added: 'So we nearly lost our little boy again. It was very traumatic. Hero certainly lives up to his name!'.

Hero has now been prescribed anti-seizure drugs which he will have to take for three years, in addition to Matt and Moniqe having to carry an emergency drug with them at all times in case he has another turn.

Doctors in England are currently examining the MRI scan that was taken at the Turkish hospital in the hopes of finding some cause for Hero's medical condition which so far has left them baffled.

Speaking about the impact Hero's health has on their family life, Matt revealed Moniqe is weary of being left alone with their son.

What can cause a seizure? 

The most common cause of seizures is epilepsy. 

But not every person who has a seizure has epilepsy. 

Sometimes seizures happen because of high fever, which can be associated with an infection such as meningitis.


He said: 'When Hero had his last seizure, I was able to help save him but this time around it was much more severe and I wouldn't have been able to help him had I been on my own. We are very grateful to the medical team at the hotel for helping to save Hero.

'I'm now forever touching his forehead to make sure that he's okay. The slightest noise that he makes at night, Moniqe will rush to his bedside, because we know that it could happen at any time.

'She doesn't like to be left alone with the kids because she's worried in case anything happens to Hero and she can't help him. Now, she goes pretty much everywhere with me. I think she feels like she's letting down the family but she doesn't want to take the risk of something happening to Hero.

'Hero and I definitely have a stronger bond because of what happened the first time around.

'Hero has lost control of his eye muscles a little because of the seizure and the doctors believe his eye sight maybe damaged due to lack of oxygen for a period of time. We're all now just hoping that they can find out what's wrong with him.'

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Dad Paralysed After Banging Head While Playing With Daughter In Soft Play Area

Ashley Hooper hit a padded bar of a climbing frame at Once Upon a Playtime while playing with daughter Lottie and collapsed in pain.

The 31-year-old was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery on his spine following the freak accident during the £4.95 session in Bridgend, South Wales.

Medics are hopeful he will make a good recovery as he is now able to move his toes.

Partner Carly Fraser, 29, said: "While in the play frame he hit his head on one of the padded bars with such a force it compressed his spine leaving him paralysed from the neck down.

"His spinal cord is bruised and swollen and because he’s got a narrow spinal canal there wasn’t a lot of room to allow for swelling.

"The swelling is compressing on nerves which left him in severe pains through his upper body."

Medics operated on his damaged spinal cord - removing bones from his neck to relieve pressure and adding a metal rod to keep him straight.

Carly said: "He is on flat bed rest for 6 weeks and in time we are hoping and praying that Ashley will start to regain movement of his limbs.

"He’s already made amazing progress."

Staff said it "quickly became apparent" the injury was serious and the Welsh Ambulance Service was called

Carly added: "The doctors are very happy and while they can’t guarantee anything they believe that he’s heading in the right direction.

"Recovery of this type of injury varies from person to person but Ashley is so positive and confident and is fighting every single day.

"All we can all do is hope and pray for the best possible outcome."

The centre encourages adults to play with their little ones during the soft play sessions.

It states: "Why should you miss out on all the fun!! All of our equipment is designed and built with adults in mind, so join in with the dress up and try out the slides."

The staff at the play centre has raised over £500 to help the family as Ashley recovers.

A play centre spokeswoman said: "We as a staff have been completely devastated by these events, but that does not compare to what Ashley's family are going through - and we would like to show our support for them."

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Man breaks silence on wife's 'unforgivable' attempt to have him killed

A Gold Coast mechanic whose crazed wife hired a hitman to have him murdered has broken his silence about her conviction.

Malcolm Stewart, 64, was married to air hostess Theresa Dalton for 25 years but when the marriage broke down, she did the unimaginable and conspired to have him killed.

“It’s unforgivable, what she’s done to me,” Mr Stewart told A Current Affair.

“I organised a bullet-proof vest through a friend that I had to wear 24/7 night and day for 14 months and I only took it off to shower,” he said.

Mr Stewart says he felt a “huge sigh of relief” when 67-year-old Dalton was convicted in the Brisbane Supreme Court of attempting to commission Malcolm’s murder.

“Right throughout her life, Theresa has got away with everything,” he said.

“Teflon Terry, nothing sticks.”

Ms Dalton was remanded in custody awaiting sentence in April.

Mr Stewart says he now hopes that maybe he can get his life back after living in fear for a decade.

“Even now I'm still alert, I don't know whether I'll ever get rid of that," he said.

“It’s changed me, I'm not like a normal person where they can totally relax.”

Since the murder plot was enacted 10 years ago, Mr Stewart has suffered a heart attack, lost vision in both eyes for a month and is now suffering kidney failure.

“She's destroyed me mentally and financially and my health has deteriorated very fast,” he said.

Before enacting her plans to have him killed, Theresa Dalton came to Malcolm Stewart’s mechanic business at Nerang and delivered a chilling threat.

“She came in here with no warning, opened the door and said to me, 'I'm going to mentally destroy you, I’m going to financially destroy you and then I’m going to have you killed',” he said.

“I was terrified and I knew she was capable of doing it.”

The former air hostess tasked her new boyfriend Anthony Werner with trying to find a hitman to have Malcolm killed to prevent him getting any assets.

"She just said, 'Malcolm's gotta go'. She wanted to get rid of him. She didn't want to share the assets they owned,” Anthony Werner told a Supreme Court jury during Dalton’s trial.

He hired Mathew Neels to carry out the hit for a sum of $20,000 upfront and another $20,000 on completion.

Police found Theresa Dalton had withdrawn $45,000 from her bank account in the months prior to Neels being hired.

But Mathew Neels turned out to be a thief not a hitman, taking the $20,000 and instead of murdering Malcolm Stewart he rang him to warn him.

“He said 'I'm just ringing to let you know that Anthony Werner is going to kill you. I'm just ringing to warn you, get out of where you are because you're going to die',” Mr Stewart said.

That was followed by calls from police offering assistance to help him hide but Malcolm refused as it would mean a change of identity and losing his business.

“I'd lost enough and I thought, if I lose my business for Theresa that’s the end of everything and I chose to get the bulletproof vest and just live through the rough ride that I had,” he said.

He started noticing strange cars sitting outside his workshop and people following him when he left.

“I had eyes in the back of my head, I had to pull the curtains in the house I couldn't have the place opened up because I feared a drive-by shooting,” he said.

The long-running saga has not only cost him financially and mentally but he also hasn’t spoken to their only daughter for almost a decade.

“I just hope my own flesh and blood that maybe we can talk again one day before I die,” an emotional Mr Stewart told A Current Affair.

“That’s all I ask for,” he said.

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'Wonder Woman' teacher who tried to stop student jumping to death from plane

A British teacher who tried to cling onto the leg of a Cambridge University student before she jumped to her death from a plane has been hailed "Wonder Woman".

Ruth Johnson was tonight identified as one of the people who tried in vain to stop Alana Cutland, 19, from plummeting 3,700ft out the aircraft as it flew above Madagascar.

Ms Johnson is currently trying to come to terms with what she witnessed.

The 51-year-old, who lives in Banbury, Oxfordshire, where she teaches at the £8,000-a-term Winchester House School, frantically tried to hold onto the teen for several minutes as half her body hung out the plane.

Tragically Alana, from Milton Keynes, slipped from her grasp.

Local police chief Spinola Nomenjanahary reportedly said the teacher had screamed "come back, come back" as she had tried to save her.

He is said to have added: "Ruth said it all happened so fast she was lucky to even catch hold of her leg in time".

The teen's body has not yet been found and her family believe she was hallucinating on prescription drugs and didn't intend to kill herself.

Ms Johnson's bravery has now been described as "stunning" by her husband Matthew Smith.

He told the Daily Mail:  "She's our Wonder Woman. We are all so proud of her.

"She has been through a harrowing, awful ordeal and she just needs time and space to recover. Ruth was going out of her way to chaperone the poor girl and tried with all of her strength to save her life.

"Ruth's bravery was stunning. But at the end of it all, a family has lost a daughter. That's foremost in all our minds."

Mr Smith added that everyone is "so proud of Ruth" but she is still coming to terms with what she witnessed, adding "it will stay with her for the rest of her life".

Ms Johnson had spent three weeks in Madagascar teaching in remote village schools and donating clothes, games, books and classroom equipment.

She was staying at the Anjajavy Le Lodge in the north of the island where she met Alana, whose mental health had reportedly started to deteriorate.

Alana was due to stay for 40 days while working on a conservation project investigating crabs in the nature reserve in the north of the island.

But the Biological Natural Sciences student decided to return home after just eight days after suffering a series of panic attacks.

At the request of Alana's parents, Ms Johnson was accompanying her home when the tragedy unfolded on July 25, just five minutes into the two hour and 20 minute flight.

It is understood Alana unbuckled her seatbelt, leaned forward and turned the door handle prompting the pilot to desperately try and close it.

Ms Johnson then tried to stop Alana from falling out, but was battling the wind and rocking of the plane.

Pilot Mahefa Tahina Rantoanina, 33, said the teenager stayed “completely silent" during the horrifying incident.

He told The Sun: “I had just taken off and I was still climbing when all of a sudden there was a rush of wind and Ruth started screaming. I turned round and saw Alana hanging out of my plane.

“I immediately levelled the aircraft to try and keep us on course, then I reached over and held the door.

“I was trying to pull it shut while Ruth was holding on to Alana’s leg. I was trying to fly and stop her from falling at the same time. I was absolutely terrified, we all were."

Extensive searches to try and locate Alana in an area which includes a lake, dense forest, woodland and swamps have so far proved fruitless.

As we previously reported, Alana was "mumbling" and "incoherent" in the days before her death, according to her uncle, Lester Riley.

He said she had became sick during her time in Madagascar, possibly due to prescription medication, although reports have claimed police are investigating her possible use of an anti-malaria drug.

He told MailOnline: "She had taken ill after being there for a few days and when she spoke to her mother on the phone two days before the accident she was mumbling and sounded pretty incoherent.

"We think she had suffered a severe reaction to some drugs but not anti-malaria ones because she had taken those on her trip last year to China without any side effects."

One of Alana's friends also claims the Brit sounded upset in a final phone call to her mum and said: "Me, plane, home."

A source claimed to the Sun: "Alana was taking a type of malaria drug and police are working on a theory that is what was sending her delirious.

"Her last phone call to her mum wasn't like her at all. It didn't make sense. She wasn't in the right frame of mind and it was unlike any normal conversation she would have had."

In a statement released through the Foreign Office, her family paid tribute saying: "Our daughter Alana was a bright, independent young woman, who was loved and admired by all those that knew her.

"Alana grasped every opportunity that was offered to her with enthusiasm and a sense of adventure, always seeking to extend her knowledge and experience in the best ways possible.

"She was particularly excited to be embarking on the next stage of her education, on an internship in Madagascar complementing her studies in natural sciences.

"We are heartbroken at the loss of our wonderful, beautiful daughter, who lit up every room she walked in to, and made people smile just by being there."

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Mother whose toddler son was born with a cleft palate shares a snap of his beaming smile after operations to correct the condition

A young mother is celebrating her beautiful boy's winning smile, thanks to skilled surgery to repair a cleft palate.

Megan Thompson, 21, from Erdington, Birmingham, reveals how her son was diagnosed with a bilateral cleft lip and palate - a split in the upper lip and roof of the mouth on both sides - while in the womb.

He inherited the condition from Megan -  who was also born with it and has since had seven operations to correct it.

George had a wide hole under his nose, leaving him unable to breast feed and with hearing loss in one ear, when he was born on April 23rd last year.

Thankfully - now aged 16 months, George has had two successful surgeries, one at five months and a second at 11 months. 

Megan said: 'He's thriving now and seeing him smile for the first time after the surgery was amazing. He seemed so much happier. He was like a different baby. 

'I had my first operation when I was three months but I was still badly bullied for having a cleft palate as a child - to the point where I had to change schools - and I really didn't want that to happen to him.

'Most people would be friendly when they saw George before his operations, but I will always remember being in the doctor's surgery when an old man came up to me and said, 'When are you going to fix his face?'

'It was mortifying. I try not to be defensive because lots of people are not aware of cleft, so I explained that he was having his lip repaired but he did not need to be 'fixed' because he was never broken.

'Appearance is important, but the main consequence of leaving a cleft lip and palate like George's would be the effect on his speech and how he eats.'

Megan found out at her 20-week scan that George would be born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate - a condition which, according to the NHS, affects around one in 700 babies and occurs when the parts of the baby's face do not join together properly during development in the womb.

In around two to eight per cent of cases, as with George, it is hereditary.

'I was really upset when I found out, because I felt like it was my fault. I had never seen a cleft baby before, so was worried about whether I would be able to look after him too,' Megan said.

'But when he was born all my fears just disappeared. I thought he was the most beautiful thing. Tommy and I were really happy.

'Because it was a bilateral cleft palate, he could not breastfeed, which was upsetting because it was something I really wanted to do.

'I was able to express milk and used a special bottle, where you had to squeeze it into his mouth rather than him sucking it.'

George also had bad acid reflux, where the stomach acid travels up towards the throat, causing heartburn, until he was six or seven months old and, as he grew, some food like yoghurt would come back out of his nose, which he found uncomfortable.

He also suffered with glue ear on his left side - a build-up of fluid which can affect hearing - something which cleft palate babies are more prone to.

Megan said: 'Despite everything, George was such a happy baby, you would not think there was anything wrong with him. His smile was amazing even before his surgery.

'He had his first operation at Birmingham Children's Hospital at five months old.

'I had the operation when I was young, so I knew that George would have it too.

'I knew that if he didn't it would affect him later in life, not just in the way he looked, but with his feeding and speech.

'The first operation took about five hours. He was so small and had to have a general anaesthetic and obviously, babies don't understand what is going on, so he was trying to fight the anaesthetist.

'I was so used to his lip being split in two, but they pulled the two sides of his face together and the result was brilliant.'

George's face was swollen for about a week, following his first bout of surgery, and he needed liquid morphine and ibuprofen for the pain for two weeks.

But the results were incredible.

'He looked amazing. He looked so much more comfortable. The reflux was a lot better as well,' said Megan.

Then, at 11 months, George had a three-hour operation to repair his soft palate, where he had a gap in the roof of his mouth, which was stitched together.

'Two months after his second operation, he was able to drink out of a normal bottle,' continued Megan.

'When he is eight or nine years old, he will have to have a bone graft, where surgeons will take bone from his hip or knee to strengthen his palate on the roof of his mouth.

'I also had that surgery at eight years old, which is the first operation I can remember. I had seven or eight operations altogether.

'As he gets older, it will be up to him if he wants more operations to change his mouth cosmetically.

'But for now he's a happy boy, who likes climbing into everything. He was walking at nine months and he always wants to go in places he's not allowed to.

'He loves playing with his cars and loves Peppa Pig. Before the operation, I was scared to do baby led weaning, but now he can eat more finger foods than he did before.

'I worried he would get stuff stuck in his palate, because it happened to me at the age of 10, when I got a carrot stuck in my palate and my stepdad had to come down and dislodge it.'

Now Megan, who has previously raised £400 for CLAPA, a voluntary organisation helping those with and affected by cleft lip and palate, wants to raise awareness of the condition.

'CLAPA sent me some special bottles and also put George on their Christmas card,' said Megan, proudly.

'I want to raise awareness of cleft palate, because there is some negativity around it and people make out it is the worst condition ever, but it is not.

'George could do anything a normal baby could do. I just want people to know it is not the end of the world to have a cleft baby.'

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'You don't need to cry mummy, I'll be home'... parents of girl who died at nursery on the emotional moment her brother started school

The parents of a baby girl who died after choking at nursery have shared the emotions over their son starting school for the first time.

While many mums and dads shed a tear over their little ones heading into the classroom, it's been a particularly heart-wrenching time for Dan and Joanne Thompson.

For as much as the couple are happy for their son Leo and the adventures that lie ahead for the youngster, they are weighed down with the sadness that their first child Millie never got to make that milestone.

She was only nine months old when she died after choking at nursery in 2012, leaving the pair facing every 'parent's worst nightmare' .

Joanne got a phone call to say Millie wasn't breathing properly and to make her way to hospital. But by the time she got there it was too late.

Now the mum-of-three, who has since had two boys, has shared an emotional post about her middle child, four-year-old Leo, starting school and what a bittersweet experience it is for her and Dan.

Writing on the Millie's Trust Facebook page - the charity they set up in their daughter's memory to help fund first aid courses for parents and carers - she said: "'You don’t need to cry mummy, I’ll be home after school' - words out of Leo’s mouth tonight as he felt me crying whilst I was hugging him, he hasn’t a clue how much those words mean.

"In less than 12 hours, Leo will be walking through the school gates for the first time before he walks through for over 3,500 times more before he decides which direction his life will take (or life might have already taken it for him).

"I don’t think I’m going to sleep much tonight as my head is in a million pieces but that’s OK, it’s something else we have to deal with.

"Leo has been spoilt rotten this week, we’ve just not been able to help it - it’s such a tough tough time for us, we need to do what we need to, to keep strong for him.

"He knows that we are sad because of Millie but he also knows that we are so happy for him because he is starting school. He keeps telling me that he has to go to school because he is a big boy and if he doesn’t go to school, he won’t grow up (secretly that is OK, he can stay this age, it’s a beautiful age - I’d be happy to groundhog today with our boys the ages that they are)."

Joanne, also mum to one-year-old Asher, says every moment with the boys is treasured because of how much they have lost with their precious daughter.

She added: "We will be counting down to the school holidays, when he is back with us all day every day for a while.

"I won’t be wanting to get him back to school, I won’t mind ironing the school shirts or making the art projects or telling him 15 times to get his school shoes on because we relish every moment with him because of every moment we lost for Millie.

"We are so, so proud of Leo already and we will be proud of whoever he becomes in life and whatever he chooses to do."

Speaking to the M.E.N, Joanne said: "Leaving Leo with people we don’t know was one of the hardest parts of the day for us - a few tears at the classroom door as Leo walked away from us, but it was when we were walking away from the school that it hit me hard and I broke down - the fear of leaving him in the unknown is overwhelming and both Dan and I have struggled with this."

Last year Jo and Dan, from Cheadle Hulme, relived the tragedy of what happened to Millie in a powerful video.

Dan spoke of how he took Millie to nursery on his shoulders on what was just her third day at the nursery.

He explained how they hadn't checked how many first aiders they had and said that since losing Millie they have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of paediatric first aid training.

Their Millie’s Trust charity launched the Millie's Mark for nurseries to show they offer the best standard in first aid for children.

They hold regular fundraising events, one of which, a James Bond-themed Charity Ball, takes place on Saturday, September 28 at Hallmark Hotel, Wilmslow, from 7.30pm.

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Thieves steal disabled toddler's lifesaving medical kit while family at hospital

A family are at ‘rock bottom’ after thieves ransacked their home and stole a life-saving medical pump used to keep their disabled three-year-old alive. Toddler Emily Anderson has cerebral palsy and cannot eat or drink, relying on the pump to get food into her stomach. Her parents say that without the back-up pump her life is now ‘at risk’ and they are pleading for its return. Paula Ratcliffe and John Anderson were at Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital at the time of the break-in, caring for their baby daughter Mia, who is just seven weeks old and has a rare life-threatening condition herself. Speaking from Mia’s bedside, Paula said: ‘I’m just disgusted. Whoever did this is the lowest of the low and I just can’t believe someone would do this to us.

She said the family, from Doncaster, Yorkshire, are now ‘living on the edge’ as the pump they do have only has a 12-hour battery life which means they are terrified of it breaking down. Paula said: ‘If the person who did it has a heart then they’d return it. It doesn’t have any use to anyone else.’ The Sick Children’s Trust has funded the family’s stay at accommodation near to the hospital since Mia was born in August while they juggle caring for Emily and their two older children, Katie, 15 and Charlotte, 11, while being in hospital with their new baby.

Burglars raided their home some time between Tuesday and Thursday last week, when they returned to the family home to collect supplies and found the side window smashed and every cupboard emptied. Burglars also took £2,500 worth of technician Paula’s nail equipment, roofer John’s work tools, car keys, jewellery and even cash from Emily’s money box.

Paula said: ‘I’m absolutely heartbroken. We are going through enough as a family. To steal medical kit from a room that is clearly a disabled child’s room is absolutely disgusting. ‘They will have known that person is very ill and surely they could see they could be putting someone’s life at risk. ‘We have hit rock bottom now and I couldn’t imagine things getting any worse for us as a family. ‘I can’t believe someone is putting us through this and is trying to make a gain out of a child’s medical equipment. ‘We are constantly on edge with Emily now. What if something happens to her pump now? What if it fails? ‘Her life has been put at risk and it’s so unnecessary.’

She added: ‘They left the place in an absolute state. ‘They had really taken their time to search the house from top to bottom. Pretty much every cupboard had been searched. ‘They even took chocolate and crisps from the kitchen.’ Paula broke down in tears when she told the news to husband John, who has had to stop taking work while they juggle hospital trips and looking after their children. Little Mia is due to have surgery later this month as part of ongoing treatment for the bowel condition necrotising enterocolitis. Paula has contacted the NHS to get a replacement pump but said she faces a long wait.

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Doctors told parents of girl, six, who refused to eat she was 'a fussy eater' before she died of a deadly brain tumour that robbed her of appetite, energy and strength

A six-year-old girl who showed signs of a food phobia was killed by an aggressive cancer after doctors realised the symptoms were actually a brain tumour.

Sofia 'Fifi' Hagreen passed away at home in April, seven months after being diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). 

The terminal condition cruelly stole her sight and her mobility before she died in the arms of her devastated parents Julia and Darren. 

As a DIPG progresses, sufferers are robbed of their energy, strength, breathing and responsiveness. It can also cause patients to experience trouble chewing or swallowing.

It struck Mr and Mrs Hagreen as odd when Fifi lost her appetite, began refusing food and even choked on her favourite snack, a Babybel cheese, a month before her diagnosis.

After multiple trips to their GP, the couple, from Rastrick, West Yorkshire, were advised to seek counselling to get Fifi over her 'fussy eating'.

But when the youngster started slurring her speech and showed signs of confusion, her concerned parents took her to their doctor once more.

She collapsed in the surgery and was rushed to Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax, where a CT scan revealed the tumour in the back of her brain.

When the family were told Fifi had just nine to 12 months to live, they dedicated the final months of their daughter's life to making one of her wishes come true.

The couple decided to get married after 20 years and have Fifi as their wedding planner.

Mrs Hagreen said: 'We never wanted a big wedding, but we knew we would do it at some point and I couldn't do it without Fifi there.

'She was our wedding planner. She loved making lists while she was at home, of her favourite food and favourite songs, so she did the same for the wedding - deciding what everyone would wear.

'We got married in Calderdale Register Office, Halifax, in front of our close friends and family and stayed in a hotel. 

'It was not how we would have wanted to do it, but it was lovely to see Fifi's smiling face.'

The couple - who have two more children, Mollie, eight, and George, four - are now campaigning to raise awareness of DIPG and improve palliative care.  

Recalling her daughter's heartbreaking decline, Mrs Hagreen said she and husband Darren first noticed some subtle changes in August last year, when her speech was slightly slurred.

She said: 'Then there was an incident where she started choking on a Babybel cheese and I had to give her some thumps to the back to dislodge it.

'This started to develop into what we thought was a food phobia, and she would have trouble swallowing. Looking back now we realise this was probably caused by the cancer.

'She had lost weight but she was growing up, so we thought it was either down to the food phobia or she was just growing as children do. A couple of times she woke up crying and was sick in the morning.'

The mother took Fifi to the doctors and out of hours surgery on four occasions during August, as the youngster started to become increasingly confused and clumsy, and kept repeating, 'I love you Mummy'.

She added: 'At that stage, it could have been a sign of nerve damage or a virus. It sounds awful, but we were hoping it was a stroke, because at least then there was hope of treatment - anything but a brain tumour.'

Following an MRI scan at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, the couple could tell straight away it was bad news.

Mrs Hagreen said: 'The consultant could not look us in the eye. They took us back to the ward then said, 'We're really sorry but she has an aggressive cancer, a brain tumour.

'Darren screamed and walked out and I just sat staring at the floor. It was horrendous news.

'They said she had a large mass in the middle of the brain, which had entwined itself around her healthy cells.'

DIPG is an incredibly rare, inoperable tumor in the most sensitive part of the brain, which nobody has survived.

The tumour affects the brain stem, just at the top of the spinal cord, and it is 'diffuse' (spread), meaning there is no clear separation between the brain stem and the tumor.

That is why it's inoperable, and also very hard to biopsy - to remove even a morsel of cells from the tumor to study its biology under the microscope.

Damage to the brain stem can cause breathing difficulties or sleep apnoea, or, just as easily, a stroke, a coma, locked-in syndrome, or death.

Unable to remove it, doctors have been forced to rely on radiation therapy alone - shooting in the dark at an impervious target with blunts - which has thus far proven unsuccessful.

It strikes 150-300 people a year - predominantly children under the age of 10. There is no treatment, and patients generally are given a life expectancy of six to 16 months. 

Fifi was one of an average of 40 children a year to develop the cancer in the UK. 

Her mother said: 'When you realise you can't protect your child from this awful disease and that it's going to kill them, you just want to make them feel happy and safe and make sure they don't have that fear that you're feeling. That's for the parents to carry, not for them.'

Fifi was treated unsuccessfully with an experimental chemotherapy drug, followed by a six-week course of radiotherapy to try and prolong her life.

But she started to deteriorate soon after her diagnosis, losing feeling in her left side after the biopsy, which affected her mobility and ability to swallow.

After spending five weeks in hospital, she was allowed home to be with her family.

Her mother added: 'We had seven and a half months with her. At least we got that time, as a lot families do not get to come back home.

'Fifi hated being in hospital. Although she was unable to speak, she would write things down. At one point she wrote, 'I'm worried I'm going to live in the hospital,' and 'I do not want to die'.

'My aim then was to protect her from knowing the disease was going to kill her. '

Bringing her home, Fifi was unable to return to school full time but did manage to go in for a few hours a week, where her friends treated her like a celebrity.

She spent the rest of the time doing arts and crafts and playing with her pet guinea pigs and kitten Cupcake, as well as taking trips to see the Blackpool Illuminations, going to Center Parcs and to the Leicester Space Centre.

'Cupcake was so important, especially towards the end when Fifi had lost her sight. She could still stroke the kitten and hear it purr, which helped her to relax,' Mrs Hagreen explained.

The highlight was meeting Mister Maker from television channel CBeebies who came to her house because she was too poorly to travel to meet him. 

But her big day was when her parents tied the knot on December 21.

Her mother said: 'She deteriorated pretty quickly after the diagnosis. She was wheelchair bound, unable to walk very far and she lost movement in her left side. 

'Towards the end, she started to have one or two seizures a day, which was really scary.

'We moved her bed downstairs and I would sleep down there with her. We just wanted her to be as comfortable as possible.

'About six weeks before she died she started to lose her eyesight. She would say, 'Why is it so dark, Mummy?' She would love playing on the iPad and I think it just started to get darker and darker. But she seemed so calm about it.

'I told her it was to do with her 'head bug' and she accepted that. Children are so resilient and she coped with it better than her mum and dad did.'

Fifi died on April 12 this year, with her parents by her side.

'The nurses had told us her breathing would change, as that is one of the biggest signs that the body is starting to struggle,' her mother added. 

'That morning I told Mollie and George to give her a kiss goodbye, because I knew she did not have long.

We lay down next to her all day, playing her favourite songs, and then she just stopped breathing. It was really peaceful. I told her, "You sleep and Mummy will stay right here".'

Fifi's funeral was held at St Matthew's Church in Rastrick and she was buried in the cemetery across the road from her school.

Mrs Hagreen said: 'We go and see her every day when we drop the children off at school. It's so hard, every time we drop them off we think there should be three going in, not two and one in the cemetery.

'Fifi was clever, caring, kind natured and told the best bedtime stories to her sister.

'She was amazing, she was laughing until the end and handled everything with dignity. She did not feel sorry for herself at all.'

Now to honour Fifi's memory, the family is raising awareness of DIPG. 

Working with other families, including Fiona Govan who created the petition in honour of her three year old grandson Logan who died of DIPG, Mrs Hagreen is calling on the government to invest in more funding, research into the causes and to improve treatment options. To sign the petition click here.

The family is also raising money for non-profit charity Abbie's Army.

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NFL Star Chris Smith Breaks His Silence After Girlfriend's Tragic Death: 'She's in a Better Place'

Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith's girlfriend Petara Cordero died in a car accident on Wednesday

Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith dedicated a touching message to honor his girlfriend Petara Cordero, who died in a car accident on Wednesday, weeks after the couple welcomed daughter Haven Harris Smith.

Alongside a slideshow of images highlighting some of the couple’s happy memories together, Smith shared that while he might not understand why Cordero was taken from him, he understands she’s “in a better place now.”

“God has a plan for all of us we can’t understand but she is in a better place now and she can rest easy,” he wrote, calling Cordero “my wifey, my best friend and the mother of my beautiful daughter.”

“Love you baby,” he added, including the hashtag “stay strong,” which appeared to be a reference to a tattoo Cordero had inked on her chest.

Smith also revealed on his Instagram Story that he had gotten the same words inked on himself along with several of their loved ones.

Cordero was a passenger in Smith’s Lamborghini when a tire blew out, causing their vehicle to swerve and hit a median on I-90 West in Cleveland, according to a statement from the Cleveland Browns.

Cordero got out of the car “without significant injuries,” only to be struck by an oncoming vehicle. After being taken to Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital, she was pronounced dead, local station News 5 reported.

The driver of the oncoming vehicle admitted to drinking before the accident, and a toxicology report is pending, Cleveland police told CNN. Smith was not impaired, both the Browns’ statement and CNN reported.

Freddie Kitchens, the head coach of the Browns, has said that the team is “going to support Chris,” who will be excused from team activities to grieve “as he sees best fit.”

“This goes beyond football. This was a 26-year-old young lady at the highlight of her life. Not to get too personal about it … Chris is a good dude. She was a good girl. We just want to support him in any way we can,” Kitchens said at a press conference on Thursday.

Smith and Cordero had announced their daughter Haven’s arrival on social media less than a month before her sudden and tragic death.

On Aug. 27, Smith shared photos of the new mom and baby, writing in the caption, “I’m so thankful to have another beautiful gift in this world my daughter Haven Harris Smith. You are such a blessing to me and your mother!! Love you Petara and Baby Haven??????.”

Cordero also shared photos of their baby on Instagram, writing, “This little girl has filled my heart with so much joy and love !! I’m so thankful that God chose me to be her mommy!! So excited for this life journey with you!!! Haven Harris Smith.”

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A WOMAN told she was in the menopause and that her partner had a low sperm count gave birth naturally – to twins.

Michelle Murray had been desperate to start a family with her car mechanic partner Michael Locker, 45. Her only hope was a fertility clinic, but just three weeks before going Michelle, 43, found out she was pregnant naturally. She gave birth to miracle babies Jackson and Melissa in June 2016. 

Michelle, a full-time mum, said: “Michael and I had thought there was no hope at all.

"I was in the menopause and he had a low sperm count, and the doctors told us it was not going to be possible for me to fall pregnant naturally. 

“Michael had come from a large family and we were both desperate to have a baby together, but it looked like it was never going to happen.

“When I found out I had fallen pregnant naturally, just before my appointment at the fertility clinic we were amazed.Then to find out it was twins, it was a real double miracle.” 

Michelle, who has sons Harry, 10, and Charlie, eight, from a previous relationship, wanted to start a family with Michael after meeting five years ago.

But after a few months of trying the couple from Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, went for tests and doctors discovered their fertility problems. 

Her twins were delivered by emergency caesarian at 32 weeks. “It was an amazing feeling to bring them home.

They have done really well since, and we feel like the luckiest parents in the world. Every day I look at them and feel so blessed. To think that I had twins when in the menopause is remarkable.”

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Woman desperate to become a mother reveals she lost 3st and underwent SIX rounds of IVF to realise her dream of starting a family

A woman has finally realised her dream of starting a family after losing 3st and going through six rounds of IVF treatment.

Marie Hooper, 33, from Sheffield, was devastated when doctors told her she would never have children, and that her weight was stopping her from being eligible for IVF.  

Despite having already lost three stone, taking her weight from 18st to 15st, doctors said she would need to lose another three in order to have IVF treatment. 

The determined Marie managed to lose the weight, dropping her weight to 12st, and went through six rounds of IVF to welcome two children  and completing her dream family-of-four. 

The couple were brokenhearted six years ago when, after nine months of trying, doctors said they wouldn't be able to conceive naturally.

The couple describe being 'shocked' to hear the 'devastating' news they'd 'never have kids', which is what some experts told them.

The 33-year-old former hairdresser was then advised by someone at work to look into IVF treatment and she booked a consultation in September 2013.

But Marie's renewed hope turned to heartache once again when a doctor said her weight would prevent her from undergoing the treatment.

Marie had already gone from 18 stone to 15 stone since the start of the year but she was told to lose another three before being eligible for an NHS IVF. 

'It was so frustrating to hear I needed to do more, especially because exercising wasn't something I enjoyed doing,' she said.

'But I was really motivated, I knew it was what I had to do in order to give me and my husband a baby, which is all we wanted.'

Marie continued to swap pizzas for peanuts and kebabs for kale, as well as using an exercise bike at home, to eventually reach her target weight of 12 stone at the start of 2015.

She credits much of her success to Slimming World, which she joined in 2013 when her weight loss journey begun.

The couple had their first attempt at IVF treatment in March that year but tragically it failed.

Marie said: ' That was a really awful thing to go through but I knew it was a possibility so we decided to try again really soon.'

Just two months later she found out she was pregnant following a second attempt at treatment.

In February 2016 the couple's first child, James, was born in their hometown of Sheffield, South Yorks.

Marie and Steve, a 35-year-old bus driver, say James's arrival was a 'dream come true' following three years of suffering.

Marie said: 'We had both been through so much to get to that point so to finally have had a baby felt amazing.'

'It was the end of a really long and difficult journey but I knew that I wanted to give it another go and try for a second.

'I wanted James to have a sibling. A sibling is like your best friend and I wanted to have that for him.'

But the process second time round proved to be even more painful than the first.

On Marie's third and fourth attempts at treatment her body failed to respond to the drugs and her fifth, in 2017, resulted in a miscarriage.

She said: 'After the fifth attempt, that was the worst month of my life. I was devastated. I felt so depressed I didn't want to be with anybody.

But after a few days, I decided I wanted to do it again. I was determined.'

The couple had already spent £9,000 on IVF and didn't have any money left so crowdfunded for financial support.

To their surprise the public donated a whopping £6,000, which enabled them to give treatment another go.

In March 2018, Marie got the brilliant news she was pregnant again and that December her youngest son Jack was born.

Marie said: 'Going through IVF is like going through the world's longest labour. It's so, so difficult because of the dramatic ups and downs.

'We'd hear good news one day then have it taken away the next, so it was hard to ever be happy.

'I felt like I had been cheated because all I wanted to do in life was to be a mum and I had to fight for it.'

She added: 'Looking at the family I have now makes me so, so happy.

'It's taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears but in the end it's all been worth it.

'My family are my everything, as long as my two sons and my husband are happy then I am too.'

Despite the immense toll the process has taken Marie wants her story to inspire other women to stick with IVF.

She said: 'I had so many setbacks but I stuck with it because I was so desperate for a family.

'I hope other people going through the same difficulties can see what's happened to me and be encouraged.'

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Hoarder jailed and fined £50,000 for leaving 100 dogs in utter squalor

A woman who left more than 100 dogs to suffer in crowded cages and no fresh drinking water has been ordered to pay £50,000. Lynn Stoker, 62, was breeding dogs but struggled to sell them on and ended up with a house full of animals. She initially asked for help re-homing the pets but began behaving ‘evasively’ and ‘aggressively’ so a search warrant was issued in May 2018. RSPCA inspectors found the dogs were found in shocking conditions at he home in Byrness Village, Northumberland.

During her trial, the court heard how two dogs had fractured jaws and many had obvious disease symptoms and were being kept in crowded cages. The animals didn’t have fresh drinking water and some animals were in such a bad state they needed to be put down.

Many of the dogs hadn’t had veterinary treatment in years and some were ‘at an advanced stage of suffering’, the court heard. Stewart Haywood, prosecuting, told South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court Stoker had refused to co-operate with the RSPCA. She accused them of a ‘conspiracy’ to remove the dogs in order to make a profit for themselves. Paul Blanchard, defending, said: ‘It’s fair to say circumstances had got beyond my client. ‘She has the traits of a hoarder, which is a personality disorder. This wasn’t a deliberate act, it’s a reckless act.

She was not dealing with matters as she could have done, she closed her eyes to the reality of the situation.’ Sentencing, District Judge Bernard Begley said Stoker had ‘not a shred of remorse’ and repeatedly denied any fault. He added: ‘I really can’t find any redeeming features in your case.’ Stoker was led away in handcuffs after being handed a 21-week prison sentence. She was also disqualified from keeping or breeding animals for at least 15 years. The judge ordered her to pay £50,000 in costs after an initial application from the RSPCA asking for her to pay more than £290,000.

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Toddler almost bled to death after falling over with glass in his hand

Sonny Noble, aged 15 months, tripped on an outside step and then fell down on one of the shards, cutting a three-inch gash in his throat. His mum Tasha, 31, heard the smash on August 23 and ran out to find the youngster back on his feet but covered in blood. The mum-of-three grabbed a tea towel and used it to stem the bleeding, calling for her eldest child Izzy, nine, to get help while Eva, four, watched on. They ran out of the house on to their street in York, and frantically called for someone to help. A neighbour spoke to a 999 call handler and six minutes later an ambulance arrived and took hold of Sonny, whose skin was pale and lips were blue.

The child was rushed to A&E, where doctors managed to stem the bleeding before placing him into an induced coma and fitting a tracheostomy tube to breathe through. His condition was touch and go for some time but the brave youngster started recovering at a remarkably fast rate within days of his admission to hospital. He’s now in a stable condition and is expected to be discharged within the next week before making a full recovery, although he’ll probably be scarred for life. Mike and Tasha say they don’t know how Sonny got his hands on a glass, saying they make a conscious effort to keep them out of reach from the children. They haven’t been able to identify exactly what happened but do want to use their ordeal to warn other parents about the danger of freak accidents like the one they have fallen victim to.

Mike said: ‘This is one of those tragedies that could happen to almost anyone. ‘Every parent is guilty of leaving a glass out when they go to bed or something like that. ‘Tasha and I just want to warn and remind people to be extra careful. ‘Hopefully if people hear about what happened to Sonny they can prevent it from ever happening to their child. ‘What’s happened to us has been so traumatic and painful.’ Electrician Mike was working when the accident happened and was told something had happened over the phone by a neighbour. Recalling the moment, he said: ‘It was absolutely sickening, I instantly felt physically ill. ‘I dropped the phone out of my hands and had to sit down to collect myself. Mike added: ‘When I got home there were police officers everywhere and a crime scene investigation team. ‘The area was taped off because it was being treated as a crime scene.

Lots of neighbours were out on the street crying and hugging each other. ‘That’s when I really processed the severity of the situation, it hadn’t sunk in until then.’ After arriving at his house Mike was taken by police to York Hospital to meet Tasha, who he said was devastated and blaming herself for the accident. Soon after he was invited into the emergency room where Sonny was being treated. Mike said: ‘He was just lying there on the bed in his nappy surrounded by 20 or 25 doctors and nurses. ‘There was blood everywhere because his throat was still bleeding.’ After undergoing surgery to have the tracheostomy tube fitted Sonny was placed into an induced coma for two days. Within a week the youngster was able to breathe on his own and doctors began gradually decreasing the amount of medication he was on. Sonny is now able to sit up, play and eat and drink properly. The family are fundraising through crowdfunding site GoFundMe to for financial support, as Mike has had to take unpaid leave from work to be with his family.

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The Simpsons saved my three premature babies, I want to give the hospital something back

Rachael Douglas, 28, experienced the neonatal unit at the city’s Royal Infirmary twice within the space of six years as three of her four daughters were born prematurely.

As part of her fundraising efforts for Simpsons Special Care Babies (SSCB) she is holding a Black Tie event at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on 25 October.

In 2013, her daughter Charlotte was born at 25 weeks and weighed just 1lb 4oz. This year, Sophie and Bonnie, her twin daughters were also premature and born at 28 weeks.

“The reason why I am fundraising is because back in 2013 when I had my daughter Charlotte, she was quite poorly and we had no experience of the neonatal unit before and it was quite traumatic,” said Rachael,

“When I fell pregnant with twins, we expected them to come early but not 12 weeks early.

“The staff at the unit have always been amazing and the difference in medicine in five years has advanced massively, but the unit itself doesn’t have simple things like comfortable chairs, a place to put your food, a place to make coffee.

“There is a small room for privacy but there isn’t really the space that is needed to make the parents and family comfortable.”

Due to lack of funding, the unit have not been able to renovate the parental space which will cost up to £300,000.

The aim of the charity ball is to raise as much as possible towards the full amount to renovate the space.

Virginia Russell, Secretary of SSCB, said: “We were delighted to hear about Rachael’s fundraising efforts. We are grateful for all donations we receive from people, whether simply donating or from organising and participating in fundraising events like Rachael.

“Fundraising is vital to our work, and Rachael’s money will go towards our Refurbishment Campaign, to improve the parent facilities in the Neonatal Unit.”

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Man 'wanted to die' after after rare illness caused belly to swell up

A dying man who suffered from a rare illness that caused his belly to swell up ‘like he was pregnant’ has been saved after a transplant was found just in time. Danny Millward, 33, was told he had just two years to live when he went to hospital complaining of ‘tiredness’ and ‘lack of appetite’. He was diagnosed with Budd Chairi syndrome after being rushed for specialist treatment to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. The syndrome, which causes blood clots around the liver, is a very rare disease that affects one in a million adults. Danny, from Warrington, has now spoken out about his ordeal and wants to thank the stranger who saved his life. He said: ‘In 2011 I had a shunt [tube] put in to my liver. I felt back to normal after that. I thought that would be the end of it.’

It was only four years later, when his condition began to deteriorate and when he was ‘tired all the time’ and stopped eating, that Danny went to the doctor’s for a check up on the advice of his manager. It was then that he was told that his liver was failing and that he needed an immediate transplant. He said: ‘I was in a coma-like state but I was awake. ‘The doctors told me I was dying. They said I had two years to live if I did not have a liver transplant.’ In May 2016, he was put on the liver transplant list at Birmingham.

The first transplant led to Danny suffering an anaphylactic shock, a potentially deadly allergic reaction to the new liver which forced the surgery to be delayed. He had to spend the next eight months waiting to find out if another transplant could be found. He said: ‘I was having fluid drained from my stomach every week. Every week my stomach would swell up and I’d look like I was pregnant. Danny says that at one point, the pain got so bad that he recalls saying to his mum: ‘I’d rather die now than live with this pain any longer.’ Danny paid tribute to his friends and family for getting him through the horrific ordeal.

After the eight month wait, Danny was told that another liver had been found for him. He said: ‘I got a phone call at 2:10 am from the hospital saying they had found another liver for me. ‘I remember feeling very nervous because of what had happened the first time.’ Fortunately for Danny, the second surgery was successful and he soon left hospital and is on the road to recovery.

After the transplant, he wrote to the family of the donor to express his thanks for saving his life. He said: ‘In my letter I said that a thank you will never be enough. ‘I promised to live the rest of my life the best I can as a thank you to the person who saved me. ‘Before the transplant I had nothing. ‘Now I’ve met someone and I’m a father to two-year-old twins. I’m also a stepfather to an eleven year old.’ Danny is also speaking out to raise awareness for organ donation week and wants to use his story to show people how they could save a life.

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Mother-in-law shows bride the middle finger and gets caught on camera

Brides and mother-in-law don’t always get along. We’ve even seen a few times the MIL has ended up wearing a white dress in a move that’s more aggressive than passive. Not all brides mind too much though. But one mother of the groom just couldn’t hold her feelings about the woman her son had married. So, she decided to give her the middle finger. During the photos.

As you do. An image of all the wedding guests was sharedon Imgur. The woman, thought to be the mother of the groom, can be seen standing innocently among the rest of the guests. At first glance, you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s just a normal family photo taken on a special day. But look closely and it’s unmistakable – the woman is seen flipping off the bride who is a mere few steps away from her. Of course, the couple are anonymous and we’re not sure where the image is from but naturally, it has gone viral. What makes it so much better is how low-key the rude gesture is.

Surrounding guests are seen beaming at the camera but obviously the MIL has other ideas. Wearing a blue top, which might have been the colour scheme of the wedding as other guests are matching, the MIL also has a smile on her face. And clearly it’s aimed at the bride, who is two people away from her, and the groom seems to be missing from the picture. Over on Imgur, the viral image has been viewed almost 6,000 times. We’re not sure how she’s going to explain that one, to be honest.

Perhaps a finger cramp she was stretching out? But at least she’s not wearing a whole wedding dress? Other pissed of mothers-in-law have done the bold move. If you’re someone who enjoys reading about passive-aggressive relationships then you’ll love this list of things mothers-in-law have done to their daughter-in-law. Strap in, you’re in for a wild ride.

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How one man’s affair led to a love triangle, murder-suicide

A US husband has spoken out over the murder-suicide involving his wife and his mistress, revealing the last text messages she sent him moments before their deaths.

In 2018, Jennair Gerardot’s life was turned upside down when she discovered her husband of more than 20 years, Mark Gerardot, was having an affair with a younger woman.

Enraged by her husband’s betrayal, she embarked on a secretive mission to uncover the extent of her husband’s affair which lead her to kill both his lover, Meredith Chapman, and herself.

“There were emails and text messages indicating what she planned to do,” Radnor Township Police Superintendent William Colarulo said in a news conference.

In a revealing interview, Mark told US TV Network ABC’s 20/20 how the affair played out and ended with his wife sending him disturbing texts before committing the crime.

After their marriage was in a rut and Jennair had lost her job in 2017, Mark explained that they moved to Delaware for a fresh start.

Mark found work at the University of Delaware while his wife remained in South Carolina for a month-and-a-half as she arranged their home to be rented out.

At his new job, Mark immediately hit it off with his colleague, Meredith Chapman, who was 15 years younger and also married.

Weeks later they expressed their feelings for each other and started having a secret affair.

When Jennair arrived in Delaware, she knew something was up and pressed her husband about her suspicions.

“She finally asked me, ‘What is up with you? You’re acting different’,” Mark told 20/20.

“She said specifically, ‘It’s Meredith, isn’t it?’”

He initially denied the affair, but believed his wife had some evidence about their relationship and eventually came clean.

Mark revealed his intent to file for divorce and said while Jennair was emotional at times over their situation, she appeared to be dealing with the break-up quite well.

That was until April 23, 2018, when Jennair’s secret plan to seek revenge unfolded when she made dinner plans with Mark and didn’t turn up.

His wife sent him several messages, one with a picture of rubbish and a condom, which made him think she had been going through his mistress’ bins.

“You ruined my life”, a text from Jennair to Mark read.

“I hope you never find happiness” and “Bye Mark”, followed.

After she sent that alarming message and with Mark getting no replies, he rushed to Meredith’s home, where he found his lover face down in a pool of blood and his wife’s body also laying on the kitchen floor.

“It took five seconds (to react) and I screamed an obscenity and ran to her,” Mark recalled.

“I just said, ‘Baby. Oh, baby. What have you done?’”

Speaking about the affair, Mark said he regretted how it played out and wish he could take it all back.

“I broke her heart,” he said referring to his wife.

“My regret comes back to breaking her heart and making her feel like she had no other choice,” he said.

“I wish I wouldn’t have hurt her because I loved her. I still love her. I wish I could take it back.”

But he is also trying to move forward.

He said that writing private letters to Meredith and driving past her house helps him come to terms with what happened so that he can let it go.

He has also written a manuscript for a book about the incident, finding it cathartic but also hoping others will learn from his mistakes when reading it.

“There (are) a lot of married people out there … going through a lot of the same things Jennair and I were going through. Not to say they’re all going to end the way ours did. But … there’s a lot of passion, there’s a lot of arguing in the book that I think is so common in a marriage,” he said.

“We didn’t do everything right,” he added. “That’s for sure.”

This article originally appeared on the NZ Herald and was reproduced with permission

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Shocking moment a mother abandons her newborn baby in a bag outside a supermarket in Russia moments after giving birth in a bush

This is the horrifying moment a mother abandons her newborn baby in a plastic bag behind a supermarket after giving birth alone in a nearby bush.

The baby was found naked with signs of hypothermia by the supermarket manager in the village of Cheremshan in Russia.

The unnamed 36-year-old woman, who already has two school-age children, started her contractions while walking on the street.

The mother delivered the baby in a bush alone and cut the umbilical cord herself.

The infant was then placed in a plastic bag and dumped behind the supermarket where the mother works as a cashier.

The heart-breaking video shows the moment she drops it off and appears to have second thoughts as she lingers in front of the bag.

But she then makes up her mind and starts to walk away. 

After the baby was discovered, the police and paramedics arrived on the scene and treated the newborn.

No external injuries were found and the baby was taken to a hospital in the city of Almetyevsk for further treatment.

The mother has reportedly been placed under house arrest as the police investigation continues.

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Woman left paralysed after a horrific car crash leaves guests in tears as she surprises them by walking down the aisle on her wedding day - using a special device fitted to her legs

A woman left paralysed after a horrific car crash wowed guests at her wedding by walking down the aisle.

Grace McGowan, 27, from Dorset, married fiancé Nick Capaldi five years after she was left wheelchair-bound.

But she didn't let her disability stop her from making her dream of walking down the aisle a reality, and used a special exoskeleton device fitted to her legs that allowed her to stand upright and walk on her wedding day. 

Her mother Helen revealed the emotional moment leave guests in tears at the ceremony, saying: 'She really had to struggle but between her and her brother who was behind her, they did it. Everyone was crying.'

Guests at the wedding in Sherborne, Dorset, were not told beforehand that Grace would be making her own way to the alter.

It made for emotional viewing for her friends and family as the wheelchair rugby player was helped down the aisle by her mother and brother.

The heartwarming moment was made possible using a device known as a 'ReWalk'.

The robotic system works by detecting and enhancing movement making it possible for disabled people to walk.

'Walking down the aisle was something I thought was lost to me when I had the car accident but in 2015, I was extremely lucky to be given the opportunity to try an exoskeleton and I found the one that worked for me, the Re-Walk,' said Grace.

'Everyone has different priorities and I'm not ashamed of my disability but walking down the aisle was just something I personally wanted to do.

'We rented the machine at home for four months beforehand and Nick learnt how to walk me.'

She explained: 'He then had to train my brother Alex up to walk me as he was taking me down the aisle.'

Alex learnt how to do it in literally two hours, that's all the time we had. A lot of people put a lot of effort into making me walking a reality and I'd love the effect of this to be that exoskeletons are more widely available to anyone who wants to use one.'

Her mother, Helen, said Grace's determination to make it down the aisle was among the highlights of the day.

'Grace was determined to walk down the aisle with the aid of a ReWalk,' she explained. 'She persevered, I didn't think she could do it was a long way for her to go.'

'She really had to struggle but between her and her brother who was behind her, they did it. Everyone was crying.

'I was extremely proud of all my children, I am one very proud mummy.'

The newly-weds actually met each other through an unusual twist of fate. After suffering her spinal injury Grace looked to purchase a bungalow in Dorchester, which was converted into accessible accommodation.

But little did she know that the property owner would later become her mother-in-law.

The pair had got on very well during the sale process and eventually Grace met her son on dating app Plenty of Fish. 

Grace added: 'It turned out his parents were the people I bought the house from through a happy coincidence.

'I had no idea at the time. Nick didn't really tell her that he was meeting me. He mentioned he was going on a date with someone then he showed her photographs and she said: "Oh my god, that's Grace!"

'We then went around to her house to surprise her, she was really happy and excited.'

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Boy, four, is left in tears after teachers told his family he didn't actually have a place AFTER his first day

A four-year-old boy was left in tears after his first day at school because teachers told him he wasn't allowed to go back because he didn't actually have a place.

Teddy Nettleton had a great first day at William Alvey School in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, on Wednesday. 

But just hours after an excitable Teddy was picked up by his parents he was told there had been a 'mix up' and he wouldn't be allowed to return. 

The schoolboy burst into tears with his father Wesley and mother Tiffany Clarkson 'furious', claiming council bosses had told them he did have a place in August.

Admission staff now say he was given a place at his second choice school instead and he shouldn't have attended William Alvey at all.  

While they are put on the waiting list for their first choice, his parents claim little William cannot attend either school until September 19.

Mr Nettleton said: 'The school said the council shouldn't have told us he'd got a place because he doesn't have one.

'They've kept him there all day, but had no paperwork on him. The only reason they were able to ring us after the day had ended was because they've got our details because his older brother, Mylo, goes there.

'He's been told he can't go back until September 19 and even then there's no certainty he'll have a place.

'It makes me angry and upset for him. All the other kids are going to be back there. If he goes back later he's the new kid again.

'When we picked him up he was all excited. He burst out crying when we told him he couldn't go back.

'It's a big thing for a kid to start school. He'd been looking forward to it, he's nearly five years old so he's ready for school. It's shocking.'

Mr Nettleton explained they didn't get into William Alvey originally, so he and ex-partner Tiffany appealed the decision. 

When they recieved a letter with the decision of the appeal, it said they had a place, but didn't name the school, he claims.

He says he rang Lincolnshire County Council in August to ask which school Teddy was going to and was told it was William Alvey.

They bought the uniform and assumed all would be well.  

He explained: 'We didn't get his first place school, which was William Alvey.

'However, we appealed the decision and we got another letter through which was a receipt of the appeal and then another one which said he had received a school place.

'It didn't have a school name on it, so we rang up the county council to find out which school it is. 

'We asked 'is it William Alvey he's been given a place at?' and the man at the council said it is. This was in early August.

'So we've been told he's got his place at William Alvey and as we didn't hear anything more we got his uniform.' 

The 31-year-old says he is upset that his son will miss out on the formative weeks of education at his first place school. 

John O-Connor, Head of Admissions at Lincolnshire County Council, said the family does have a place for Teddy at his second choice school.

'Although we recognise that the family are disappointed that their son did not get his first choice school, and that they are waiting on a decision for their appeal for a place, we've always been very clear with the family that he has a place at his second choice school.

We made every effort to contact the family to find out their intentions of taking up this place, but did not hear back.'We have, and will continue to, keep the place available at the second choice school.

'Like other children who weren't successful in getting into their first choice school, we've added their son to the waiting list for William Alvey.

'We'd like to reassure parents that we have a robust application process in place, where parents are clearly told the options for their children.'

He added that the council was not sure if the parents had been told over the phone that Teddy had been given a place William Alvey.

'At present, we can't confirm that this call took place or if our customer service centre gave out this information,' the spokesman added

'To be clear though, all offers of a school place would be in writing from the school admissions team, and at any time parents can log on to the website to see information relating to their children.'

Stephen Tapley, headteacher at William Alvey School, said he understands the family's frustration.

He said: 'I really do feel for any children who aren't offered a place at their first choice school.

'We are not in a position to discuss an individual case but what I can say is that we are a very popular school and are generally oversubscribed.

'I can confirm that after a late primary application, when all places had been allocated, a pupil unfortunately attended the school under a misapprehension that they had been offered a place.'

He added the school makes every effort to remind parents of reception aged children to apply before the January deadline to avoid late applications.

'An appeal against the decision to offer a child place can be made by any parent and this appeal would be decided by an independent panel,' he said.

'We are not permitted to take children over our published admissions number, however we know that Lincolnshire County Council Admissions has a duty to ensure that every child is offered a school place and we understand that an alternative school placement has been offered.

'Sleaford is a rapidly expanding town and we are becoming increasingly aware of the current strain on school resources.'

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