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Tragic twist in story of 13-year-old girl 'pregnant to 10-year-old boy'

A 10-year-old boy who is accused of impregnating a girl, 13, is too sexually immature to have produced sperm, says a leading doctor who examined him.

But the girl has insisted she had no other partner, a claim believed by an expert psychological profiler.

With parental permission, a troubling television show revealed the faces of the children at the centre of a case that has caused deep controversy and concern in Russia.  

The boy and his parents agreed to his medical examination and the results were revealed to millions of viewers when the children, Ivan and Darya, were out of the studio.

Despite widespread reports that he got her pregnant, the popular On Air Live show with presenter Andrey Malakhov highlighted Dr Evgeny Grekov, an urology and andrology expert, who denied Ivan could be the father.

"We rechecked the laboratory results three times so there cannot be any mistake,” he told viewers.

“There cannot be sperm cells. He is still a child.”

Ivan has barely started adrenarche – the early stage of sexual maturation, Dr Grekov said.

“There is even no testosterone. And just to add, he still has childish sex organs.

“Puberty has not started. So we have a lot of questions.”

The Rossiya 1 channel show – titled ‘Father at 10!?’ -  highlighted a neighbour in Zheleznogorsk, a nuclear production city in Siberia which is closed to outsiders, suggesting the girl had an older partner. 

“Obviously, someone else did this. They just want to hang it on the boy now,” the male neighbour in his 40s said.

But the 13-year-old girl Darya denied this and told viewers: "It was Vanya's idea [to have sex].”

“But I did not mind. He closed the door, leaving the key in the lock, so his mum could not open the door. 

“It was scary a bit, that it would be painful. It was just a little - and then everything was normal. 

“It was a bit shameful, we were just hiding under the blanket. 

“I did not think that aged 10 he can do such things... I thought that nothing would  happen.”

Psychologist Denis Davydov said when Darya was interrogated on whether she had sex with anyone else, she gave a “sharp rejection”.

“This gives me the right to say that she had no contacts with other boys or men, she only had Vanya as a partner,” he claimed. 

The boy – who gave her roses when they started dating in February – was asked by famous Russian presenter Andrey Malakhov that “when [he] kissed Dasha and so on, that it could lead to such consequences?”

“I did not think about this,” he replied. 

When asked if the child could be someone else’s, the boy said:  “This cannot be.”

The girl and her mother want to keep the baby but it is too early in the pregnancy for a DNA check on the child, which will be completed later. 

https://au.news.yahoo.com/girl-13-reportedly-falls-pregnant-to-boyfriend-aged-10-060546156.html

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Malia Obama's bizarre Royal Family connection exposed

MALIA OBAMA was spotted looking loved up with her British boyfriend this month - and her millionaire beau also has a surprising royal link.

Barack and Michelle Obama’s eldest daughter Malia was in London earlier this month as she spent time with her boyfriend Rory Farquharson on their winter break from Harvard university. The former first daughter and her millionaire British beau have been in a long-term relationship at the American university since 2017. However, the Faquharson family have links with the Queen and Prince Charles, through Rory’s second cousin Andrew.

As the Queen’s  Master of the Household, Mr Farquharson was a career courier who once lived at Buckingham Palace.

He also served Prince Charles at Clarence House during  his 10-year royal career, after the Prince of Wales reportedly “poached” him from his mother’s household.

The Queen was so impressed with his service that she made Mr Farquharson a member of the Royal Victorian Order. 

Rory’s father is a chief executive of a London investment firm, and his mother is an accountant.

He and Malia spent their break from university in Islington, where his parents have a £1.8million townhouse, and were also seen at a student house party together.

The Farquharsons also have a £1.6million home in the village of Martlesham in Suffolk. 

A woman who spotted Malia and Rory out and about in Islington told MailOnline: “They were keeping a low profile but looked really happy and relaxed together.

“They were dressed down – Malia was in wide-leg white pants with a black jacket and had her hair down with no make-up. Rory was in a khaki coat and loose jeans.

What surprised me was that they were rambling around Islington, a pretty busy area, entirely incognito – few people recognised her as being the daughter to the previous American president.”

Malia spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with her parents and younger sister Sasha, before jetting off to London to spend the rest of the Christmas and New Year break with Rory. 

The pair were first spotted together at a Harvard football match in 2017, and spent their 2018 summer break from university together in London. 

Barack and Michelle Obama have met Rory and his parents, as the two families were spotted having brunch together at a luxury resort in California last summer.

The Obamas met the Royal Family on a number of occasions during President Obama’s tenure. 

On their last visit in 2016, the Palace released adorable photos of Prince George in his dressing gown, when he was allowed to stay up late to see the former US President at Kensington Palace. 

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has also been a key figure of support for Prince Harry’s Invictus Games.

Although the Duke of Sussex has worked with both Barack and Michelle Obama on various charity projects in the past, it was reported that the former President and First Lady have not in fact advised Harry over his recent move to North America. 

A source told People magazine this month: “The rumours of them having anything to do with this are totally false. The President and First Lady are not advising the couple and have not been in contact with them."

https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/1234059/royal-news-malia-obama-rory-farquharson-royal-family-connection-queen-prince-charles-spt

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Beautiful amputed girl's engagement proposal that broke the internet

A British woman who lost her leg when she was hit by a taxi in New York has finally received an apology from the driver, but insisted it's 'meaningless' seven-years-later. 

Sian Green-Lord, 29, from Leicester, was struck by the yellow cab near the Rockefeller Center shortly after arriving in the city for a holiday in 2013, and later had to have her leg amputated. 

Appearing today on Lorraine, she told how after the 'life-changing accident' the car's driver showed 'no remorse'  and never even attempted to contact her. 

However when asked by the show to make a statement, said he 'feels bad everyday' and said he 'needs' Sian's forgiveness. 

But the mother-of-one said that it meant nothing to receive an apology now, because she's had to spend years 'coming to terms' with his apparent lack of remorse.

Speaking of the driver, she said: 'I'd had this life-changing accident.

'For an adult, in control of the situation,to not help and not show remorse, I don't know how you would sleep at night. 

'But I've really had to bury it and come to terms with the fact that I've never had an apology.'

Host Lorraine Kelly then revealed that the show had been in contact with the driver, and he had finally offered an apology to Sian. 

Reading out the statement, Lorraine said: 'Thank you for contacting me. I feel bad everyday, please forgive me, I need her forgiveness.' 

Sian responded: 'I think its really hard, because it's been so long. I've had to come to terms with not having an apology - it doesn't mean anything. 

'At the time, it wasn't there. When I was going through all the things I was going through, I'm in a different place in my life.' 

Earlier this year, fashion-forward Sian came up with the idea to have her prosthetic limb transformed by her vintage Louis Vuitton bag, after the idea came to her in a dream.  

She explained: 'It was a bag that I found on eBay. When I got it, I really didn't want to chop it up! 

'Fashion was such a huge part of who I was before, so this leg is like a tribute to myself.' 

The mother, who models and is a motivational speaker in schools, says her new look has given her bags of confidence - and she documents her stylish looks on her Instagram page

And Sian says she now receives floods of message from fellow amputees who say it's the best prosthetic leg they have seen.

Sian, then 24, had just bought a hot dog and was eating at the plaza with her best friend when the taxi mounted  the kerb. 

A plumber used his belt to make a life-saving tourniquet for her leg while a pizza truck owner raced to put her severed foot on ice. 

Witnesses said the vehicle was on Sixth Avenue and 49th Street when it hit a cyclist before jumping the curb, crashing into Sian and coming to a stop by a fountain.

Sian, who studyied to be a fashion buyer a De Montfort University Leicester, was conscious throughout the ordeal and was rushed to Bellevue Hospital where she underwent surgery. One of her legs was severed at the ankle and she suffered injuries to the other. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7946739/Woman-lost-leg-hit-New-York-taxi-says-drivers-apology-meaningless.html

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Moment cops drag Michigan woman out of icy lake after she slipped while fishing on a dock and was stuck in freezing water for FIFTEEN MINUTES

A woman who slipped into an icy lake in Michigan and was stuck in freezing water for 15 minutes has hit out at the 'people who are bodyshaming' her since the incident. 

Korisa Miller initially shared the video of the incident on social media to raise awareness of the dangers of ice fishing but said that she has noticed comments from people calling her fat and questioning why she wasn't dressed properly.

She had been ice fishing with her best friend off the docks in Harrison County, Michigan, when she lost her footing and slipped into Lake St Clair.

Her friend, Melissa Kozlowski, tried to pull her out of the water but couldn't so the pair began screaming to get the attention of two fishermen, known only as Joe and Mark. 

While the men tried to drag Ms Miller out of the water they removed her coat and jumper because they began choking her as they kept floating round her neck. 

At around 3.20pm on Monday, Macomb County Sheriff's Office received a call that a woman had fallen into the lake from the dock and couldn't get out. 

Bodycam footage from the officer who rushed to the call shows two strangers, named only as fishermen Joe and Mark, holding Miller above the water as she tells the officers she can't move at all because her body is so numb.   

'After two minutes of me being in there, from the waist down was completely numb. I couldn't feel my feet,' she said.  

'They took off my jacket and sweater because it was choking me. That's why I was in a tank top, I didn't go there in a tank top.' 

Ms Miller told the Detroit Free Press: 'After going through such a traumatic experience and I almost died, this is what people have to say. 

'I just think these people have no conscience anymore. People have no idea that I used to be 400 pounds and now I am the way I am.'

She added: 'I have a lot of people that have my back but I also wanted to go and speak for myself too. Shame on people like that.       

'I am glad I am alive and share my story. This isn’t going to stop me from doing what I love. 

'So the Haters are going to hate and it isn’t going to get me because of my story someone will not make that mistake.'

Miller and her friend Ms Kozlowski were ice fishing last Monday, January 27, at Beacon Cove Marina when the freak accident occurred. 

Earlier videos posted to Facebook show the friends happily drilling into the ice before they cast their lines but warn 'I will post what happened earlier the reason why I cannot laugh anymore today'. 

'I was turning around and I lost my grip somehow. That part is a little fuzzy,' she told Fox News

'We did not think that anything like this could happen.

'We weren't on the ice. We were on the dock. It was a freak accident if we had a life jacket they could have laid on the thick ice and pulled me up.'  

According to a Facebook post form the Macomb County Sheriff's Office, Kozlowski heard Miller fall from a dock over and saw her struggling in the icy water. 

'Her friend was unable to pull her up to the dock and the young lady's body began to go numb,' the post said. 

The two nearby fishermen also heard the woman's cries and attempted to help but the cold had made her body completely numb and she was unable to move. 

The fishermen held Miller above the water as much as they could to prevent her from drowning as the woman's friend called for help. 

'I could not thank them enough,' Miller said of the local heroes. 

'We met them earlier and were sharing fishing stories about how much we love it.'  

'They acted so quick, they didn't think about it, they ran right to us,' Kozlowski added. 

Miller was finally pulled from the water after first responders arrived.

After a 15-minute unexpected dip, she returned home with frost bitten toes and a sore shoulder but says it has not put her off ice fishing. 

She has reminded people, however, to always fish with a partner and to wear non-slip footwear. 

'Thank you everyone who had been praying for me and asking if I am okay. I am just bruised and sore but I am okay' she wrote on social media. 

'To all of the people who are body shaming me don’t forget it’s a big girl world lizzo is one of the reasons how I am happy in my own skin. She is a queen!! Y’all are just little babies who need to hurt others because you can’t love yourself. I pray that no one has to go though this. 

'The reason why I gave permission? to show the video is to show awareness on how dangerous fishing can be. I am glad I am alive and share my story. 

'This isn’t going to stop me from doing what I love. I am now keeping rope and life vests near me. So the Haters are going to hate and it isn’t going to get me because of my story someone will not make that mistake.'

The Macomb County Sheriff's Office offered a reminder that if you fall into cold water, try not to panic, try to control your breath and focus on keeping your head above the water.  

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7943485/Moment-cops-drag-Michigan-woman-icy-lake-slipped-fishing-dock.html

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Man Shares Horrifying Encounter With a Ghost After Seeing Viral Picture of His Old Hostel

What would you do if you found out that the hostel you used to stay at when you were a student turned out to be haunted?

One man in Thailand saw an image that was circulating social media of the top floor of a creepy hostel with what looks like a ghost poking its head out of a hole in the wall, and realised that it was the same hostel he had lived at when he was still studying.

Wuttichai Songthanawut took to his Facebook page to share the image and his experience living at what looks like the world’s scariest hostel in a now-viral posting.

Wuttichai wrote, “I just found this picture, I didn’t take it myself. But it reminded me of the past. It’s the old dormitory that I used to rent from a kind-hearted grandma, 15 years ago.”

He went on to explain that the girl in the room across from him who worked the night shift refused to tell him who stayed in the room before him. And that’s when the weird incidents started happening to him.

“For 500 baht (RM67) a month, the room was not scary. The walls were freshly painted and the bed and sheets were new and clean. It was located on the fourth and top floor, so it had a good view but there were weird smells. But that’s okay, I can live with it,”

“The night I moved in, I had a dream that someone was standing at the doorway looking at me. Her hair was long and I couldn’t see her face. I started waking up in the middle of the night since then. There would always be sounds of footsteps on the stairs and the sound of bells from an anklet. It always happened around 1am, so I knew my housemate from across the hall was at work.”

He also experienced loud, aggressive knocking on his door at night.

“Some nights, there would be strong knocks on the door, like someone wanted to open it. But I was afraid and didn’t bother opening the door. I knew it wasn’t my friends or family because I didn’t tell them where I was staying. I thought maybe someone had gotten the wrong room but there was always no one around,”

“One day, when my girlfriend was supposed to come over after her classes at 4pm, I was taking a nap when I heard a knock on the door. Thinking it was her, I got up, only half awake, to open the door. My eyesight was blurry but I saw a woman standing there, she walked into the room and disappeared into the bathroom. I was wide awake then.”

Unsure of what to do at that point, Wuttichai did the only thing he could think of.

“I prayed, I concentrated on the fact that I didn’t have anywhere else to stay, that I was a good person, that I had to earn my own living and that I was just there to study. After that night, the ghost never came back. The noises were gone.”

Soon after that, Wuttichai finally managed to get the history of the place out of the girl from across the hall.

“According to my housemate, before I moved in, there was a couple staying in the room who always used to fight. They would sometimes resort to violence, and would slap each other. They fought so often that eventually one day, the girl disappeared for 2 to 3 days. There was a foul smell coming from their room, so they decided to open it. The girl was hanging from the fan in the centre of the room while blood was all over the walls and bed,”

“My housemate was never afraid because she’s never there at night. No wonder the room had a fresh coat of paint, a new bed and sheets. But after I prayed, the ghost never bothered me again.”

We’re still not entirely sure what exactly happened to the girl who haunts the hostel, but we’re glad she wasn’t vengeful and took Wuttichai’s prayer well.

Wuttichai’s posting has since garnered over 47,000 shares.

I wonder if people still actually stay there considering how scary the interior looks. That alone should be a clear warning that the place is haunted. 

https://www.worldofbuzz.com/man-shares-horrifying-encounter-with-a-ghost-after-seeing-viral-picture-of-his-old-hostel/

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Former church minister, 66, was killed when rock 'the size of a hay bale' fell onto him as he tried to attach his hammock to a crumbling cliff, inquest hears

A grandfather died when a rock the size of a 'hay bale' fell on him when he attached his hammock to an unstable cliff, an inquest heard.

Former church minister Doug Curry, 66, was celebrating his 35th wedding anniversary with a staycation with wife, Margaret, and went to visit their favourite beach on July 16 last year.

When they arrived at Sandymouth Beach in Bude, Cornwall, Margaret went into the water with her body board and Doug went to go string his hammock.

But for some reason he picked a different spot to usual and strung his hammock in an area with dangerously unstable cliffs - and a huge boulder fell right on top of him .

The inquest heard he was killed almost immediately by the impact.

Margaret, from Gretham, Hampshire, told the inquest in Truro, Cornwall, she initially had no idea her husband had been killed until she saw the emergency services.

In a statement she said she had met Doug when she was just 16 at a Christian study group, and they married when she was 22.

Doug, a father of four, went on to be a minister - a position from which he had only recently retired, and was given a green cloth hammock when he did.

Margaret said in her statement: 'We left the camp site in the morning and went to get provisions. We arrived at the car park for Sandymouth Beach at 9.39am.

'Doug got out his tea making stove that he always took to the beach and I headed into the sea with my body board.

'I returned from the water and saw that Doug had got his hammock out. He had used it for years. This one had been given to him when he retired so it was not that old.'

Margaret said that whenever the couple visited the beach, Doug would use his green cloth hammock and he had attached it to a cliff recently in Greece.

It had two loops on either end and would be secured in place using ratchet straps similar to those used on lorries.

She added: 'He didn't return for some time and I began to wonder where he had gone.

'When I couldn't see him anywhere obvious I called his name. I thought he must have been exploring.

'I became aware of a search and rescue helicopter up the beach and I wondered why it was here.'

Margaret approached the scene and saw police officers there turning people away, and approached one to ask what was going on.

After a brief interchange she learned it was her husband who had been involved in the incident.

The statement continued: 'The officer returned and said my husband was dead.

'I was in shock, I sat on a rock and started calling people to tell them what had happened.

'He was not an adrenaline junky, he would always assess what he was doing and if there was a danger he would not do it. This was a terrible accident.'

The incident was witnessed by a beach user, Chris Latham, who also gave a statement that was also read out at the inquest in Truro today. 

He said he saw Doug above him on a cliff face and thought he was in a precarious position, but returned to his family to look after his children.

Then he heard a loud noise and turned to see a plume of dust in the air where Doug was, and sprang up to see what had happened.

The statement read: 'A rock the size of a hay bale was now in the area, I could not see the man but I could see an arm coming out from under the rock.

'I could see the arm under the rock belonged to the man.'

Chris then approached to see if he could help.

He added: 'I could see his face, eyes and hands. There was a lot of blood on his face.

'There was no movement to his face or hands.'

After the incident, RNLI lifeguards who were on scene went to help in the situation.

Giving evidence at the hearing, Josh Compton, lifeguard supervisor for the South West, said he was notified of the incident by a member of the public and went over to help.

He said: 'A man was stuck under a boulder. He wasn't breathing at that point.

The boulder was large, too large for us to move.'

A post mortem revealed that Doug had suffered multiple fractures, a ruptured trachea, and had obvious catastrophic chest trauma.

The medical cause of death was recorded as catastrophic head trauma.

Concluding, coroner Stephen Covell, said: 'Given the weight of the rock where it was, and the injuries we have heard, that he would have been killed instantly.

'He was recovered the following day, the rock was of such weight that it had to be recovered by the fire brigade.

'As Doug was lying on his hammock a large rock freed itself and fell or rolled down onto him.

'My conclusion is that this was an accidental death. Doug's wife and daughter were present at the inquest, but didn't wish to speak further.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7948797/Former-church-minister-66-killed-rock-size-hay-bale-fell-him.html

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Bride begs best friend to look ‘ugly’ on her wedding day

A certain bride, who is seemingly battling inferiority complex, has pleaded with her best friend to look ‘ugly’ in order not to outshine her on her wedding day.

In a leaked chat with the bride and her bestie, the former was seen giving reasons why makeup and hairdo, should be avoided by her best friend.

Few months ago, a bride on her wedding day, tried to cut her cake into pieces and found foam instead of edible substance meant for consumption.

According to local reports, the bride found out it was foam that made up the cake after she tried cutting the cake. 

She found it difficult to do so, the icing on it was then opened and to the horror of those present, a foam was seen inside.

https://www.adomonline.com/bride-begs-best-friend-to-look-ugly-on-her-wedding-day/

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My Sugar Daddy Pays Me 200 Thousand Naira Every Week So That He Can Do It With Me Using His Left Toe

A STUDENT has revealed her sugar daddy asked her to "drain" his £2,500 credit cards and splash out on clothes worth £1,000 for 15 pals in return for pics of her FEET.

Amy Williams, 21, met her generous sugar daddy - known only as Richard - after she moaned on Twitter about being skint.

The law student claims he begged her to spend his cash in return for pictures of her feet.

She said: "I've had the arrangement since May. I tweeted saying I was skint and needed a sugar daddy and he direct messaged me straight away offering money in return for feet pictures.

"I thought he was talking rubbish, as there’s loads of fake people like that on twitter, so I said money first, and he sent me one of his credit cards and told me to buy myself something so I did and it worked.

"As time went on, he started sending me money literally just for pictures of my feet, which I’m sure anyone would do.

"It's really strange but definitely not complaining, it’s only feet."

What's more, her sugar daddy urged the student to treat her pals to presents too.

Amy added: "Just recently he’s sent me credit cards with big amounts on them like £2500 and told me to ‘drain’ the lot of them and treat me and my friends.

"There was so much stuff, I had to label it all up in my room with everyone’s name on it so I didn’t get confused."

Most recently, Amy splashed out more than £1,000 on a Missguided clothes haul for her and her 15 friends.

After her pal Sarah Connolly's tweet about the unconventional arrangement went viral, Missguided is now offering to give one "girls group chat their ENTIRE wish list" in response.

Sharing a photo of the enormous order, Sarah wrote: "Amys ‘sugar dad’ just treated the whole girls chat to clothes hahah."

The bumper fashion haul included everything from a £55 bomber jacket to an everyday £12 pair of leggings and £35 hoodies.

Unsurprisingly, fellow social media users were quick to express their envy.

One replied: "Okay how can I get in on the girls chat?"

Another added: "Where did she find the sugar daddy?? Help I need one."

And a third said: "Okay well I also want involved."

In response to the hundreds of tweets, Amy joked: "At least I was nice and gave him the £176 student discount."

https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/10098022/sugar-baby-student-1k-clothes-friends/

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Mum's pride in 'warrior' son battling rare genetic condition that stops him from walking

When Rayne Webster was a baby everything seemed perfectly normal but as the months went by his mum started to fear something was wrong.

Kym Etherington, 19, became concerned that her little boy was showing no signs of crawling at around nine months old but after expressing concerns with health professionals they told her not to worry.

After reaching his first birthday, Rayne still wasn't crawling or showing any signs of standing up but was then told her baby was "lazy".

But when Rayne, who is now three, was still not reaching key milestones at around 18 months, he was eventually referred to a paediatrician who ordered blood tests.

Following months of worry, the Kym and her partner, Dylan Webster, were told their little boy had spinal muscular atrophy type 2 - a rare genetic condition affects the nerve cells. It controls voluntary muscles and develops in babies between six and 12 months.

Now Kym, of South Shields, who was 15 when she gave birth, wants to warn other parents and young mums about the signs.

She said: "The paediatrician took one look at him, knocked his knees and checked his reflexes and said he had some sort of muscle disease.

"I was not in shock, I felt numb to it. The paediatrician said I can't pin point it exactly, and that he wanted to order blood test.

"The blood tests came back that it was spinal muscular atrophy type 2.

"He said as the years go on he will get weaker and weaker and weaker."

As a result, Rayne had to start undergoing treatment straight away to try and ease the symptoms.

Kym said: "The treatment is administered through a lumbapuncture.

"The end goal is to try and slow progress and build up muscle strength.

"It is hoped he will be able to walk but we don't want to get our hopes too high."

The condition is caused by a faulty gene that both Kym and Dylan carry, which increased the chances of Rayne developing the disorder.

She said: "If two carry, the child has a 25% chance of getting the condition.

"His diagnosis was when he was just turning two which is considered a late diagnosis."

When Rayne was diagnosed, Kym was just 17 years old and said both herself and Dylan blamed themselves.

She said: "It was a lot for me to take. At one point I got upset with myself because I felt that I was in the wrong.

"I thought it was my fault that he was the way he was.

"It put a strain on our relationship because we both felt like we were to blame. We are more accepting now and it is what it is.

"I went through quite a dark patch of self blame.

"There was nothing we could do and it was not something that could be detected through pregnancy.

"He only started the symptoms at seven to nine months.

"We were blissfully unaware for the first few months of his life."

She added: "I went through a grieving process for the child I thought I had. I still do get upset when I see kids running around or kids playing on scooters, I have to walk away because he won't get to do it."

Now Kym is now encouraging other young mums to speak up if they are worried about their child's health.

She said: "I kept saying to the health visitor that something was wrong. They kept saying he was a "lazy" baby,"

"Personally I think that because of my age the health visitor didn't think I knew what I was talking about. I felt that because I was young I felt like they were putting me down."

She said: "Even if it means multiple hospital and doctor visits, be persistent.

"Because of my age I was shrugged off and made to feel like I didn't know what I was talking about.

"Trust your gut. A mother always know best and what's best for her babies - you know better than anyone."

Kym praised her son for the way he has handled everything since his diagnosis.

She said: "I truly look at him and see the determination, resilience and he will not give up.

"He's been through things most people won't ever go through and just like one of my favourite quotes 'still I rise', he will not be beaten.

"He most certainly will not be defined by his condition. I look at him in awe every single day.

"It blows my mind how a child can go through so much but still rise above and still smile from ear to ear everyday.

"He's the absolute definition of a warrior and a fighter."

https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/mums-pride-warrior-son-battling-17576234

 

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Rugby star Ian Williams who died during training session was discharged from hospital days earlier

A professional rugby player collapsed and died during a training session just days after being discharged from hospital with only Ibuprofen for his chest pains.

Ian Williams, 27, was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition as a 14-year-old but was told it wouldn't affect the passion for rugby he'd had since he was a toddler.

Doctors told the then-teenager as long as clubs were informed about his bicuspid aortic valve disease and he went to hospital if he suffered any chest pains, he could continue to play the sport, although he may need a valve replacement at some point.

On the evening of February 15, 2018, he told his girlfriend Abigail Lynch he was suffering from pain in his neck and chest, as well as an aching arm and blurred vision.

"That's when I became concerned because that, to me, was cardiac symptoms," she told an inquest at Doncaster Coroner's Court.

Mr Williams was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he underwent ECGs and blood tests and was examined by a doctor who seemed "tired" and "a bit dismissive", despite knowing of the patient's heart condition, Miss Lynch claims.

She said she didn't remember her boyfriend being told not to play rugby, as she "would not have let him" had that been the advice of medical professionals.

He was discharged by a nurse and advised to take Ibuprofen for his pain.

The next day he attended training for his team Doncaster Knights, and played 20 minutes as a substitute in a match the following day. After the game he said he felt "heavy" and expressed disappointment in his performance.

Friends and family told the inquest that Mr Williams had complained of feeling tired in the days following his visit to hospital but they all believed it was due to lack of sleep that night.

On February 20 he attended training but "fell to his knees" and collapsed as he made his way to the pitch.

Team-mates and staff at the club, which had been informed about Mr Williams' pre-existing condition and his hospital visit the previous week, carried out CPR and he was taken to hospital by ambulance, where he was later pronounced dead.

His mother, Phillippa Williams, told the inquest in a statement that her son always complied with medical advice but had never had any further monitoring after his diagnosis at boarding school at the age of 14.

She said: "I believe he was always open about his and his family's medical history and would follow medical advice.

"Ian did not have any further cardiac screening or investigation."

A post-mortem examination found that Mr Williams' heart condition contributed to his death.

Players from the club told the inquest, which is listed for five days, that they now have cardiac screening at the start of every season.

The inquest is expected to continue for five days.

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/rugby-player-collapsed-died-training-21372063

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Mother, 50, and daughter, 25, beauty therapists attacked woman on London Tube and banged her head against the metal pole

Two beauty therapists face jail after grabbing a mother by the hair and smashing her head against a metal pole after her five-year-old daughter took the last seat on the Tube.

Renata Regin, 50, and her daughter Sophia Elsden, 25, were foaming with rage when they were forced to stand on their Jubilee Line journey, a court heard.

And they are also claimed to have flipped out at the mother's eldest girl, nine, who they branded 'disgusting' for allegedly kicking her legs while sat on her parent's lap.

After Elsden got into the child's face to warn her to 'watch your mouth', she suddenly clenched a clump of the mother's hair, wrapped it around her fist and pulled her skull into one of the railings, City of London Magistrates Court was told.

The screaming mother, 35, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered a savage onslaught from both women, and watched in horror as Regin wrenched her nine-year-old's hair.

Regin, of Searles Drive, Docklands, and Elsden, of Union Street, Torquay, have been convicted of assaulting the mother. 

Regin alone was found guilty of assaulting the nine-year-old.

The victim mother was returning with her two girls and 65-year-old father from Portobello Road Market in October 2018 when she suffered the violent episode.

Describing the nightmare journey she told the court: 'I had asked the older one (Regin) to move her bag, which was in front of me, so my daughter could sit on my lap, but then she started saying: "Look at her legs, look at her legs." They were making loud comments about us.'

She went on to explain how she confronted the Regin and Elsden, asking: 'Is there a problem?'

From behind a screen in the court, the mother said: 'The younger one (Elsden) grabbed my hair, wrapped it around her hand and pulled my head back and forth, bashing it against the pole.'

'I had a sore head at that point, but could only focus on my children. People on the tube were screaming at the ladies to stop.'   

In his account, the grandfather told the court: 'The older woman (Regin) moved towards the free seat, but my youngest grand-daughter shot into it.

'The nine year-old was on my daughter's lap and I could hear them saying: "Disgusting child" and "Look at her feet, disgusting."

'The older one said: "Yes, I've got a problem with your child. She's disgusting," and the younger one said "Yes, she is disgusting."

'The younger one got into my grand-daughter's face and said: "You'd better watch your mouth child," and then grabbed my daughter's hair and smashed her head into the railing.

They were both attacking her at one point and the older one said: "I'm going to kill you, I'm kill to kill you."

'My youngest grand-daughter was crying and screaming her head off and when her sister stood up the older lady grabbed the nine year-old's hair and pulled her head back.

'The violence came from nowhere. It was like an explosion of violence. Everyone was in shock due to the extreme violence.

'They were attacking my daughter and my grandchildren and at one point I did hit the older one with my fist, with restraint, with minimal force to the side of her face to get her to stop the attack.

'The older one then swaggered over and did a high karate-style kick to try and take my head off and I hit her a little harder into the face.

'I've never seen people lose their tempers as quickly as that.'

Regin told the trial trouble began when she scolded the mother about the way her children were behaving.

She said: 'A seat was available next to the woman and I was about to take it, but was kind of pushed because the girl jumped on the seat.

'The girl on the woman's lap was moving her feet, her legs were in the air, you could feel them and I told her it was not the way to bring children up.'

She claimed the mother then became aggressive towards her daughter and as she tried to protect her was attacked by the granddad.

'All of a sudden I felt a blow to my chin and I tried to kick the man in the groin. I was shocked, hurt, humiliated and was then elbowed on the side of my throat and gasped for air.

'I didn't pull any child's hair, I didn't touch the children. They are fabricating the story to protect the grandfather.'

Elsden, who says the distressing incident prompted her move to Devon, said: 'I pointed the seat out to my mum and as she was about to sit down the child pushed and rushed across to sit down next to her mother.

'My mother did say the child pushed past with no regard and the parents should bring them up better and then the woman said: 'Do you have a problem?' and continued to taunt my mum.

'The lady then came towards me with her arms out, aggressively and the grandad hit my mum under the chin and she fell back into two guys.'

Both Regin and Elsden were bailed until February 14 for pre-sentence reports.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7933889/Mother-50-daughter-25-beauty-therapists-attacked-woman-London-Tube.html

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Mum of girl, 7, who suddenly died says world has 'fallen apart'

The grieving mum of a tragic Midlands schoolgirl who died after a sudden illness has spoken of her loss.

The mum has spoken out over her seven-year-old daughter's heartbreaking death.

Neluta Stan, who is originally from Romania, lost daughter Kerryanne Cotto Centeno, from Leicester.

The "happy, smiling" girl, aged just seven, was a pupil at Hazel Primary School.

LeicestershireLive reports she died earlier this month at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, after her mum says doctors at the Leicester Royal Infirmary repeatedly sent her away when she first became ill and failed to diagnose and therefore treat her for meningitis.

Ms Stan said: “My entire world fell apart when I found out that my daughter was sent to the morgue and I must go home without my baby. My world has collapsed.

“I went with her to the hospital one day and came home some days later without her.

“There is nothing around me anymore. Nothing!”

Both  Leicester’s Hospitals and Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) offered their condolences to Kerryanne’s family and friends. Official complaints are yet to be made to either trust.

Neluta, who lives off Narborough Road, said she took her daughter to A&E at the LRI three times before her death. Once, on Tuesday December 10, again on Thursday December 12  and for a third time on Tuesday December 17. 

On each visit Kerryanne was complaining of headaches, was vomiting and had a consistently high temperature. She was also sensitive to light.

Medics sent the seven-year-old home and told her mum to give her calpol. Paperwork from one of the admissions states gastroenteritis as the diagnosis.

Neluta said: “I went so many times. I knew something was wrong. I knew it wasn’t gastroenteritis. 

“I just wanted them to do a blood test, something that would show there was something more.”

She took her daughter home and continued to give her Calpol and ibuprofen as advised but her condition did not improve and her temperature stayed high.

On December 20, Kerryanne lost consciousness at home. Her mum called 999 a number of times but said she then waited between “three and four hours” for an ambulance.

Kerryanne was taken to the LRI where her mum says she was told her little girl had “intracranial pressure” in her skull. She was admitted to the intensive care unit. 

Three nights later, Kerryanne was intubated to help her breathe and her mum was told that “half of her brain is dead” and that she needed transferring to Nottingham. 

“I just wanted to know what was happening to my girl,” said Neluta.

Doctors in Nottingham diagnosed meningitis. Kerryanne had her first surgery on Christmas Eve. A second operation took place on Thursday January 2. 

Neluta recalls: “One day after my child had the first brain surgery I got down on my knees in front of a doctor and begged him to help me, to save my child.”

Neluta, who is separated from Kerryanne’s father, was told to advise him to fly over as medics were considering switching off her life support machine.

He travelled on the first available flight and was there when Neluta said doctors told her that their girl was “literally dead”. 

After discussions with doctors, on Tuesday January 7, Kerryanne’s life support machine was turned off. She was pronounced dead shortly after.

She said: “I lay with her before. Then they turned off the machine. I was screaming in pain. I could not watch. 

“It was my worst nightmare. I laid with her. I did not want her to go.

“For your seven-year-old daughter to die in the space of only 21 days, is devastating. She was never poorly before.

“I left the hospital without her, as if I had never had a child.”

After Kerryanne’s death Neluta requested reports and paperwork relating to her daughter’s treatment at both hospitals. She says she is yet to receive anything official from University Hospitals Nottingham or Leicester’s hospitals.

Both trusts say they are working with and supporting the family.

Neluta understands an autopsy has taken place and believes there will be an inquest into the death.

NUH confirmed that a file has been passed to the coroner and said that it cannot issue a death certificate until the coroner gives consent.

Sobbing as she spoke about her little girl, she said: “She was happy, always smiling and had an energy.

“She was always in a good mood. She had a good aura.

 “I have lost my baby girl, I don’t want that other children to go through moments like this. 

“No child should live what she went through and no parent should feel as much pain as I do.”

Andrew Furlong, medical director for Leicester’s Hospitals said: “The loss of a child under any circumstances is devastating and we offer our sincere condolences to Kerryanne’s family.  

“We are sorry to learn that they have questions and concerns about her care. We will be reaching out to Kerryanne’s parents to offer a meeting and to provide any assistance they may need.

“Kerryanne’s care and subsequent death will be reviewed and the matter has been referred to the coroner.”

Patrick Davies, lead consultant, paediatric intensive care at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The entire team would like to extend their deepest sympathies to Kerryanne’s family and friends. 

“Kerryanne was transferred to us by the Leicester team on December 24, 2019. 

“Unfortunately despite our best efforts, Kerryanne was diagnosed as brain dead on January 6, 2020, following extensive clinical and radiological testing.

“We worked closely with Kerryanne’s mum and dad throughout her time with us, supporting them through the many difficult and detailed conversations about Kerryanne. We removed life support with their consent.

“Our bereavement team has been, and remains, in frequent contact with Kerryanne’s parents, offering emotional and practical support, both by phone and in person.”

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/mum-girl-7-who-suddenly-17637426

 

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Mother shot dead hours after kicking her 'domestic abuser' boyfriend out

A much-loved mother of four was shot dead hours after kicking her alleged domestic abuser boyfriend out of her home. Meagan Darling, 30, was killed at her home in Denton, Texas, on Friday, with her ex Xavier Patterson, 28, arrested hours afterwards. Patterson dialed 911 around the time of the shooting, then hung up. He was found in one of the bedrooms of Denton’s home. Patterson has so far been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, although that is likely to be upgraded to a more serious offense. His mugshot shows him with what appears to be a bandage wrapped around his neck. He was father to Darling’s two youngest children, aged two years-old and nine months, with both youngsters now in foster care.

Patterson has a lengthy criminal history involving drugs, KHOU reported. Darling’s childhood friend Vanessa Perkins said Patterson was a domestic abuser, and that she and other pals had begged the tragic mom to leave him. Perkins explained: ‘Meagan was like family to me. ‘No different than a blood sister. ‘We’d get the text messages and hear the stories.

‘They were just traumatic, and we begged her to leave. ‘A lot of tears were shed and she was in pain a lot.’ Perkins said Darling had recently moved into a new home, had hope for the future, and had finally been able to ditch Patterson – only to be killed hours afterwards. She added: ‘She was reaching out to all of us for decorating tips and wanting us to help her decorate her new house.’ Darling’s two oldest children attended a vigil for her Sunday, along with their dad. He was too emotional to speak.

https://metro.co.uk/2020/01/13/mother-shot-dead-hours-kicking-domestic-abuser-boyfriend-12050841/

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The little girl who can never give her mum a kiss

Little Esme Hayes will never be able to give her mum a loving kiss on the cheek or blow out the candles on her birthday cake.

For the youngster has a rare condition called Polymicrogyria (PMG) which affects the brain, causing problems with speech and the muscles in her face.

It means she cannot perform the simple action of a peck on the cheek or scrunch her lips together to blow.

And her mum Sinead believes it is down to the fact that she was struck down with swine flu when she was pregnant with Esme, nine years ago, leaving her in a coma.

Sinead was left fighting for her life in December 2010 when she was 12 weeks pregnant.

She was in intensive care for nine weeks, and staff feared that both baby Esme and Sinead might not survive.

While she was in a coma, her dad Paul, who had also contracted the illness, sadly died on Christmas Day.

Miraculously, Sinead pulled through and gave birth to Esme the following June.

“When I left hospital after having Esme, I couldn’t sit up, or brush my teeth,” says the 39-year-old, from Sutton Coldfield.

“At the same time I was grieving for my dad.

“My husband John was very supportive but he had to go to work. I stayed with my mum a lot.”

At first, everything appeared to be OK, the Birmingham mum recalls.

“Esme seemed to be fine when she was born, and it wasn’t until her nine-month check that alarm bells started ringing,” she explains.

“She wasn’t able to sit up on her own and she kept her right hand in a fist.

“After various tests were done, it was confirmed she had PMG. They told us her brain had formed differently and instead of having deep folds, she had lots of folds in her brain, affecting her facial muscles.”

Esme has undergone tests to find out if the PMG was the result of genetic or other factors but they have come back blank.

There is no test to determine if it was a result of the swine flu, but Sinead and husband John are certain that is the case

“If a health professional I came into contact with had offered me the flu jab, things might well have been very different,” says Sinead, who is also mum to five-year-old Eloise.

“Esme would have been a healthy eight-year-old who would have gone to the local school, and been able to speak clearly.

“She would have been able to fling her arms around me, and give me a peck on the cheek.

“However, she now has to go to a special school and uses an aid to talk. She really tries to kiss but she just can’t do it.

“She’s never been able to blow out the candles on any of her birthday cakes. We have to help her blow them out, but she doesn’t seem realise she isn’t doing it.

“Esme just sticks out her tongue, like she does when she’s trying to kiss, and thinks she’s blowing them out.”

The little girl has been under the care of City Hospital’s Paediatric services over the years due to difficulties in hearing, another direct result of her condition.

“She is determined not to let it affect her,” says Sinead. “She is such a happy child and smiles a lot.

“Although she struggles with her speech, she wants to try her best to do everything she can.

“Her hands are not strong, but she can still swim and she loves to ride her bike. It’s been hard for her. Nobody wants to see their child suffer or life made difficult for them.”

Now, Sinead is urging people to get the flu jab, in a bid to not only protect themselves, but others they might come into contact with.

“It’s so important that clinicians coming into contact with patients are protected against the flu,” she explains. “I can’t stress that enough.

“I would hope that every midwife, doctor and nurse – or any other health worker – who came into contact with me throughout my pregnancy journey was vaccinated.

“I just hope that people reading my story who are thinking about not having the jab, will reconsider, because it could save lives or change a life.”

WHAT DOCTORS SAY

Dr Arvind Rajasekaran, Respiratory Consultant at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, says: “Flu infection can lead to a very severe illness as we have learned from Sinead’s story, and in some cases can lead to loss of life. “There are many different types of flu and it’s important that those who are vulnerable within our society are immunised against it.

“Those who are pregnant, those aged over 65, or have certain lung or heart conditions are more likely to develop potentially serious complications of flu.

"Having the flu vaccine every year reduces the risk of such serious complications and protects the vulnerable people amongst us.”

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/little-girl-who-can-never-17545115

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Teenager died after experimenting with friend’s dad’s medicine

A student died hours after taking morphine that belonged to his friend’s father, an inquest has heard. Louis Ciampoli-Messiou, 17, filmed himself taking the drugs in the early hours of Boxing Day 2018 shortly before passing out at a house in Bampton, Oxfordshire. His friend woke up at 5pm but was unable to wake Louis up and an ambulance was called but he was declared dead. A coroner heard that they had planned to take MDMA and cannabis together, but they found a brown bottle of liquid morphine which had been prescribed to his friend’s dad. Coroner Darren Salter said: ‘On Louis’s phone, there was evidence of recreational drug usage and a selfie video taken by Louis.

‘There is a selfie video on his phone at 4.32am in the early hours of the day he died. It is only around 15 seconds long but there is some footage of Louis. ‘He appears to be high and there is also, I think in the video, a bottle that can be seen with some liquid in it.’ When ambulance crews arrived, Louis was lying on his back on a bedroom floor and was not breathing. The business and tourism student had fatal levels of morphine in his blood and MDMA and cannabis were also present. Lisa Ciampoli-Messiou, Louis’ mother, told the inquest in Oxford: ‘Louis was a happy, nurturing and kind boy who had so many friends. He had friends from different areas of his life.

‘He was always a good boy, I miss him very much as does everyone who loved him.’ Acting Detective Inspector Ben Henley told the inquest: ‘We are unlikely to ever be 100 per cent sure what took place. ‘The only known witness to what took place that night is the friend. What is known is that during Christmas night, Louis and his friend took class A drugs. ‘They went to sleep in the bed at 3am to 4am. The friend woke up at around 5pm and tried to wake Louis but could not. He shouted for his dad and the father called an ambulance.’ No charges are being brought.

https://metro.co.uk/2020/01/22/teenager-died-experimenting-friends-dads-medicine-12103703/

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Our hearts are broken' - Tributes pour in for schoolgirl (7) killed after being crushed by car

Tributes have poured in for a seven-year-old girl who died after a car accidentally rolled over her in Co Louth yesterday.

Primary school student Chantelle Keenan was playing with a group of children yesterday afternoon in Drogheda when the tragedy unfolded.

It is understood the vehicle, which was parked in the driveway of a relative’s home in Boyle O'Reilly Terrace, suddenly rolled back crushing the schoolgirl against a gate.

Neighbours in Chantelle’s family home in Rath Lodge, Ashbourne, Co Meath expressed their shock at the sudden tragedy.

“I can’t even begin to describe how upset I am at hearing this news,” said one local resident.

“I’ve often seen Chantelle playing outside with her two siblings; she seemed like such an outgoing and happy child.

“What happened is every parents worst nightmare. All anyone can do is offer their support and sympathies to her family.”

Heartbroken family members of the seven-year-old girl also took to Facebook to talk about their loss.

“I went In to see her in the hospital and I honestly haven’t stopped crying since,” said one relative.

“Poor child kicking and playing around in a paddling pool an hour before tragedy struck her… Why God? Why do this?

“Our hearts are broken. Please, I’m begging everybody to pray for my family. Poor Chantelle is gone but we still need your prayers.”

Another family member requested that people pray for Chantelle’s parents.

“Please pray for my nephew and niece John and Kathleen, who’s beautiful seven year old little girl died tragically today…

“They need strength, I just don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said.

Horrified relatives yesterday rushed the injured child inside the house.

An ambulance arrived from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, which is just across the road, and she was brought to the emergency department.

However, despite the best efforts of medical staff, she was later pronounced dead.

It is understood the child is not from the area and had been staying with relatives.

Gardaí confirmed they are treating the death as a "tragic accident" and their investigations are continuing.

It is understood that a number of children were playing close to the car when it began to move.

A number of Garda forensic investigators remained at the house last night taking photos of the accident scene.

A grey Ford Focus with the driver's side window smashed in was parked in the driveway.

Evidence markers were placed on the driveway where shattered glass lay scattered on the ground.

The house and a neighbouring house were cordoned off during the investigation.

It is understood a neighbour next door to the house witnessed the tragedy and was deeply shocked.

According to another neighbour, who did not want to be identified, a number of children were near the parked car with the car doors open when it suddenly rolled backwards.

It is understood the little girl, who was standing behind the car, was pinned against a gate at the entrance to the driveway when the car rolled back.

"The (car) doors were open and must have hit the girl,'" he said.

"I heard someone screaming and saw someone (who was walking past) jump over the wall," he said,

"I knew something was happening."

He said he saw a man, believed to be a relative of the girl, scoop her up in his arms and take her inside the house before putting her into a car.

An ambulance arrived in just over a minute from the nearby hospital.

Another neighbour who lives on the same road said she was out gardening when the tragedy struck.

"What a tragic, tragic end to a Sunday," she said.

"I'm a mother of three and have three grandchildren myself.

"It's so sad and it was just the start of the summer holidays," she said.

According to neighbours, the little girl doesn't live at the house but may have been visiting relatives. The family had just recently moved into the rented house and was not known by local residents.

Meanwhile, a woman in her mid-20s has died and a family of four were injured following a two-car collision.

The woman died at the scene when the car she was driving collided with another car on the Lea Road in Portarlington, Co Laois, at around 8.20am yesterday.

The driver and three passengers of the other car were a mother, father and their adult son (22) and daughter (26). Their injuries are not understood to be life-threatening.

They were treated separately at the Midlands Regional and Tallaght University hospitals.

The name of the victim has not been released. However, it is understood that she is not from the area.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation. The road was closed for a time yesterday as Garda forensic examiners studied the scene.

Local Portarlington councillor Tom Mulhall (FG) said the road where the accident occurred is a straight stretch of road.

While the cause of the accident remains under investigation, he urged all drivers to be more cautious on the road, especially in rural areas.

"I'd like to see people slowing down, especially on rural roads," he told he Irish Independent last night.

He also expressed his condolences to the family of the young woman who was killed as well as the injured family.

"It's terrible to see a young life taken like that," he said.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/our-hearts-are-broken-tributes-pour-in-for-schoolgirl-7-killed-after-being-crushed-by-car-38290736.html

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Boy, 10, has surgery to remove a brain tumour after his mother, 40, blamed his persistent headaches on playing too much PlayStation

A 10-year-old boy was diagnosed with a brain tumour after his mother blamed his headaches on playing his PlayStation.

Lucca Larkin developed headaches in August, which his mother Shellie, 40, initially put down to an issue with his glasses.

After a trip to the optometrist came back clear, Mrs Larkin and her husband Simon, 46, banned Lucca from gaming, thinking that may be behind his symptoms.

With the pain still lingering, a GP diagnosed Lucca with blocked sinuses and recommended he take Calpol.

Sensing something was seriously wrong, Mrs Larkin took her son to A&E on August 30. A scan later revealed he had a medulloblastoma brain tumour.

Lucca, from Radcliffe in Greater Manchester, had surgery to remove part of the tumour on September 3. 

He is on a waiting list for chemo and radiotherapy to treat the rest of the mass, which was too dangerous to take out.

Despite Lucca seeing an optometrist and having his PlayStation taken away, the youngster was still battling intermittent headaches over the August bank holiday weekend.

His mother, who works part-time as a social media manager for a cycle wear company, took him to the GP.

The doctor dismissed his symptoms as nothing serious, and recommended he take anti-allergy tablets and Calpol.

When these failed to help, Mrs Larkin took Lucca to Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, Greater Manchester.

Later that day, the youngster was referred to North Manchester Hospital's children unit. A consultant booked Lucca in for a scan and he was monitored overnight.

After a sleepless night in lots of pain, a nurse pushed forward an appointment with a second consultant early the next morning, who arranged an immediate CT scan. 

A few hours later, the results showed Lucca had a brain tumour. He was diagnosed on August 31, just three weeks after his tenth birthday.  

'It's hard to describe the feeling you have when you hear the news that what you thought were sinus headaches or migraines is actually something much more sinister,' Mrs Larkin said.

'People use the term heartbroken but upon hearing the news I felt like my heart had broken into pieces. It was like a physical pain deep inside.

'I felt scared, terrified in fact. Later I felt an intense anger that this horrible disease even exists.

'As a parent it's the worst feeling, you feel like you've died inside. I knew there was nothing I was going to be able to do at that point to help him.' 

Once diagnosed, Lucca had an operation to remove the tumour at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. 

He is on the waiting list for further treatment at the Christie Hospital in Manchester. 

The family are also awaiting the results of a lumbar puncture, which will assess whether his tumour spread to his spine. A lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, analyses the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. 

Lucca has also been put forward for proton beam therapy, a type of radiotherapy, in Germany. 

The family could be required to stay there for more than six weeks. 

Despite all he has endured, the youngster has managed to stay positive.   

'He's doing brilliantly,' Mrs Larkin said. 'He's still very upbeat.

'We have five children and we always thought Lucca was the softest but he was so strong during all of this. 

'He hasn't complained once or moaned about his situation.'

Lucca was diagnosed just two days after his father quit his job working in operations and planning for a utility company to start his own business.

His son's poor health means the new business will not go ahead, with Mr Larkin being on call to take Lucca to Germany when required. 

The couple have started a GoFundMe page to help them financially.  

Mrs Larkin is also speaking out to encourage other parents to trust their instincts.  

'If you know something isn't quite right, you have to follow it through,' she said.

'If I'd just left it and thought, "right okay, it is just a sinus infection, we'll go to the doctors' next week", we might not be in the same situation as we are now.

'Something was telling me deep in my gut something wasn't right, that there was something other than what they'd already said and that we had to push for it.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7481125/Boy-diagnosed-brain-tumour-mother-blamed-headaches-PlayStation.html

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Thug, 23, caught on CCTV stabbing man to death after pub row is jailed

Horrific CCTV footage captured the chilling moment a killer brandishes a 'Rambo-style' in the street after a pub row - minutes before stabbing a man to death.

Carlton Donaldson, 23, was jailed for at least 23 years after he was found guilty of murdering Daniel Baird, 27, in Digbeth, Birmingham

Donaldson's friend Sashon Brown, 25, was also jailed for two-and-a-half years after he was convicted of violent disorder. 

Footage captured from The Forge Tavern showed Carlton Donaldson, aged 22 at the time, and his friend Brown getting into a heated argument with Dale Scott, a friend of Mr Baird.

Moment killer slashes at revelers before murdering young man

The footage showed Mr Scott stumble into a group, including Donaldson and Brown, after hitting a punch-bag machine in July 2017.

Brown, of Sutton Coldfield, pulled out a folding knife and flicked the blade in a threatening gesture to show Scott he was armed and ready to fight.

Carlton Donaldson then stepped in but the violence spilled onto the streets, where the men darted between a traffic-filled road in a dramatic chase.

The man who bumped into Brown, who was not named in court, was hit by a car and bounced off the bonnet and into the road. 

He got onto his feet and started to run moments after the heavy collision. 

Donaldson then pulled out a 'Rambo-knife', narrowly misses the target, before he fatally stabbed Mr Baird in the chest.

As well as murder, he was found guilty of wounding with intent, attempted wounding with intent, and violent disorder. The judge passed concurrent jail terms for the other offences.  

Dale Scott and Sean Spooner were cleared of possessing an offensive weapon and violent disorder. 

A member of the public gallery shouted abuse at Donaldson and Brown as they were led away following the trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

The court heard emotional statements from Mr Baird's loved ones, including his girlfriend Gemma Morris.

Miss Morris said her life had changed forever after her partner's brutal murder. She said: 'I should have been planning our wedding and not Dan's funeral.

'This has changed me as a person. I will never get over losing Dan.

'I do not know how to face my future without Dan.'

Mr Baird's sister, Kerry Sheehan, branded Donaldson a 'remorseless coward' who 'hunted down' the victim.

Ms Sheehan said: 'He would brighten up the room with his great smile. This has left us all traumatised. He was kind, caring and funny.

'He had his whole future ahead of him. He had simply gone out for a good time.'

The court was told Donaldson had a previous conviction for carrying a kitchen knife when he was 15. In July 2009, he was convicted of robbery and attempted robbery and given an eight-month sentence.

In 2016, Donaldson was sentenced for two counts of common assault, possession of cannabis and later convinced of assaulting a prison custody officer.  

 

Patrick Upward, mitigating for Donaldson, said his client had not gone out looking for violence and 'it all happened in a matter of seconds'.

He described the killer's own life as a 'tragedy' as he had been in care until the age of 11 and left school at 14.

Stephen Bailey, mitigating for Brown, said his client 'spontaneously' took a flick knife out in public and brandished it out of 'upset and frustration'. 

Judge Paul Farrer told Donaldson he used a 'Rambo-style' knife with 'murderous intent'.

The judge told him: 'Your use of a knife represents a significant aggravating feature. You chose to take possession of a significant knife.

'It was deployed with murderous intent in the course of a public disorder in which you played a leading role.

'The tragic death of Mr Baird has had a profound impact on his family and friends.'      

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6759699/Thug-23-caught-CCTV-stabbing-man-death-pub-row-jailed.html

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“It was so euphoric that I couldn’t help but cry” — Masao Meroe says of Ghana citizenship

Euphoric‘ doesn’t really convey the way I felt that evening. I’m not sure I can give you a replacement. The knowledge of the impending Citizenship Ceremony was a long time in coming… and for the past year seemingly elusive to the point of wondering if it would ever happen. The ‘process’ was not a real ‘process‘ whereby an application form, dates, schedules and information were never communicated (because they didn’t exist as the government ministries and agencies stunned through the event). I cried because of the long journey to get to that point, that moment of citizenship. I cried thinking back upon friends who helped me get here and not here to experience the ceremony which would have made them feel proud of this achievement. I cried thinking about all the people who would be proud of me of my becoming a Ghanaian citizen.

Masao Meroe (left) with his son Kofi and Kofi’s girlfriend, Athena (middle), in Hampstead Heath Park in London

These are the words of Masao Meroe on becoming a citizen of Ghana. His father is from Marshall, Texas in the United States (US) and his mother is Japanese. His parents met during the US occupation of Japan after WWII. He is an American born on a US military base in Japan where he spent the first 5 months of his life. He became a Ghanaian citizen in November 2019 and is the second person I am interviewing about leaving the US to settle in Ghana.

TheAfricanDream.net discovered that Masao, an African-American, is the founder of Sankofa Investments (established 1994 in Ghana) under which he owns and operates Sankofa Beach House and formerly Sankofa Meroe Tours. A graduate of Brandeis University and the University of California, Berkeley, Masao holds a BA in Politics, a Masters in City and Regional Planning and a Juris Doctorate of Law.

He first visited Ghana in 1981 and almost four decades down the line, he stood in line on November 27, 2019, with others to take the oath of citizenship and became Ghanaian. “It was so Euphoric again that I couldn’t help but cry,” Mr. Meroe told TheAfricanDream.net during this chat.

Let’s go back to 1981 where all this started. Masao arrived at the University of Ghana for a short law school program that year. His fascination with Africa grew from that time on, it led to him traveling widely within the continent. So strong was the pull by Africa that in the year 2000 he moved his family to Accra, Ghana after living in Ibadan, Nigeria for five years with them.

As he talked more about his citizenship ceremony, Masao explained, “the swearing-in elevates your sense of belonging and instills a sense of responsibility for the growth, wellbeing, and security of this country because I am a part of it. I have embraced the country as my own. This is a feeling I never had in the US,” said Masao who has been traveling within Africa and organizing tours for more than three decades as a way of bringing to others the Africa experience.

My years of living and working in Africa have enabled me to establish relationships and contacts that afford groups and individuals access to people and places generally unreachable to tourists. Through my Sankofa Meroe Tours, I was able to tailor tour activities based on the specific interest for not just African-Americans, but persons and institutions of all kinds that wanted an authentic experience. While I just completed a small group tour last October, I’m now running away from this business as I’m trying to slow down the pace of life.

Before all this, he primarily worked in the US as a real estate development consultant on low and moderate-income housing development and community development projects in California and Ohio. He, however, grew up in Massachusetts after his four-month stint in Japan as an infant. He disclosed he has since returned to Japan once during his adult life.

Now that Masao is a full-blown Ghanaian, and will soon be a proud owner of a Ghanaian passport, how does that feel? “Well…” said the man who moved to Ghana and only retired in the last couple of years, “I’m a person who holds an American passport for convenience of travel. When I get my Ghana Passport, I’ll be a person who holds the Ghanaian passport for convenience of travel but mainly in West Africa and, more so the rest of Africa.

Mr. Meroe with wife Janet in a 2018 event flyer of theirs.

We moved with savings and lived off those for the first two years when we arrived in Ghana,” said the 64-year-old retiree, who is, well, not quite retired as he explained that “the Beach House is a ‘working retirement’ for me. Let’s just say he is “a correct man,” which is generally what the Japanese male name Masao means.

Before he became a citizen of Ghana, he had already committed half his life experience in Africa, seeing and experiencing more of Ghana than the average Ghanaian. Masao has also seen more of West Africa than the average West African and more of Africa than most Africans. “I, however, live in Ghana with no plans to leave or desire to live elsewhere. My citizenship does not change any of these feelings.”

Speaking of change, when TheAfricanDream.net asked Masao what he would love to change about Ghana if he could, without hesitation he responded: “The sense of protecting and appreciating the environment and cleanliness because I run a beach bed and breakfast. The sight of trash in the ocean is heartbreaking for me, and my dream is to see a cleaner Ghana soon in every sense of the word for everyone, especially the children.

My children are now in the US where they attended University, as much as my wife and I miss them, they are working there and also trying to make their way back home to Ghana which is home for all of us,” said Masao whose wife, Janet, was also vetted and approved for Ghanaian citizenship.

Watch out for my next conversation yet another African-America who became a citizen of Ghana and next time you are in Ghana do check out Sankofa Beach House — remember to tell them TheAfricanDream.net sent you. Also, visit www.sankofabeachhouse.com to find out more and don’t forget to ask Masao about his favorite dish and drink from Ghana when you get the opportunity to meet him.

https://www.modernghana.com/news/978816/it-was-so-euphoric-that-i-couldnt-help-but-cry.html

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Mother considers labeling son ‘nonbinary’ to keep his long hair

A mother in the UK is considering extreme measures to prevent her son from being kicked out of school over his prized hair.

Bonnie Miller, whose 8-year-old son Farouk James has more than 260,000 followers on Instagram, says she may declare the boy “nonbinary” just so he can keep his lush, waist-length locks while in school. Miller is putting schools on blast for the “outdated practice” of barring boys from having long hair, she tells the Daily Mail.

“Applying for a mixed[-sex] school, I may just put him down as non-binary,” says Miller, 41, who had been searching for the right school to place her son. “I have been trying to think of loopholes, and think how can I get him in.”

She claims the dress code, which is common among secondary schools in the UK, is sexist: “The mixed schools I have been looking at have policies which clearly differentiate between boys and girls.”

Miller has launched a petition asking Parliament to prohibit schools from enforcing the policy, which has nearly 1,000 signatures already. She also claims to have the children’s psychological well-being in mind: “I thought, ‘I have to do something about this, children’s mental health is more important.’ ”

“We are told we are supposed to be tolerant, and embrace diversity,” Miller, from Fulham, West London said. “However this policy teaches children that they cannot be different.”

She continues, “Why are we teaching — at such a young age — that long hair means there is something wrong with these children?”

Miller, a photographer, added that her son also has no interest in cutting his hair.

“Parents have shown me they have had to chop their child’s hair off, and the devastation it has caused,” she explained. “It’s a part of their identity. You are asking someone to take away a huge part of themselves, to fit into what is socially expected.”

Farouk has already traveled to cities such as New York and Florence, Italy, to showcase his enviable mane on behalf of children’s fashion brands such as Guess.

“Farouk globally can be himself, and be appreciated for who he is through Instagram,” says the mom-of-three. “But locally he is not accepted.”

According to Miller, strangers have mistaken her son for a girl, but Farouk is unfazed by the gaffe.

The young model was just 2 years old when his mother set up an Instagram for him, after another Instagram influencer allegedly used his image without their permission. Now, Miller and Farouk take great pains to preserve his curly coiffure, including washing with Evian mineral water.

“He’s become a role model for children, for boys with long hair,” said the mom-of-three, who also runs the Instagram account @BadMotherBlogger with some 10,500 followers. “Parents say they refer to Farouk’s page to give their child confidence.”

She says, “I’ve cried numerous times because, just from me allowing him to be himself, he has changed other children’s lives.”

https://nypost.com/2020/01/13/mother-considers-labeling-son-nonbinary-to-keep-his-long-hair/

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