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Baby girl who was given just hours to live after she was taken off life support is alive four months

A baby girl born with a serious heart condition, who was deemed a 'miracle' for surviving after she was taken off life support, is about to celebrate her first birthday.

Phoenix Da'Vine, from Temple Hills, Maryland, was diagnosed at birth with a double outlet right ventricle, a heart defect that makes it difficult for blood to throw through the body properly. 

After undergoing two surgeries, she went into cardiac arrest when she was just seven months old and had to be placed placed on life support.

Fearing that Da'Vine would spend the rest of her life in hospice care, her mother, Monique Goldring, made the heartbreaking decision to take her daughter off of life support in April 2019.

Doctors gave Phoenix just six hours to live, but those hours turned into days, weeks and now months. 

Phoenix is currently at home and - although she's on oxygen and taking a slew of medications - she will turn one year old in less than two weeks. 

Goldring gave birth to Phoenix via C-section on August 25, 2018, after developing pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure.

'I had migraines for like a week straight and my mother was like: "You're going to the doctor",' she told

'They found out I had pre-eclampsia - and I had a clean bill of health my entire pregnancy - so they decided to do a C-section then.'

Phoenix was born full-term, weighing seven pounds and two ounces. While Goldring was in recovery, the nurses performed a routine check-up pm the newborn.

They found her oxygen saturation levels were extremely low and detected a heart murmur, so she was admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit. 

Phoenix underwent an echocardiogram shortly after and was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition called double outlet right ventricle (DORV).

In normal hearts, the pulmonary artery connects to the right ventricle and the aorta connects to the left ventricle. 

But, in DORV, the heart's two major arteries both connect to the right ventricle, neither to the left ventricle, according to Boston Children's Hospital. 

This creates a problem because the right ventricle then mixes oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood before leaving the heart, which circulates throughout the body.

About one in every 10,000 babies is born with DORV, according to Seattle Children's Hospital. 

'I was devastated and I was told that to survive she would need to have four open-heart surgeries,' Goldring said. 

'But I knew she needed them to live.' 

Phoenix had her first surgery in September 2018, when she was just 10 days old, during which a pulmonary arterial band - a sort of medical patch - inserted to limit the amount of blood flowing to her lungs.

But too much blood was still seeping through to her lungs, so she underwent her second of four-needed surgeries and had a shunt inserted in October 2018 at two months old.

She was hospitalized until January 2019 and all seemed well until March, when Goldring noticed a lot of congestion in her daughter's nose.

It was the first subtle sign of the turn for the worse Phoenix was about to suddenly take.  

One day, when Phoenix's nose started bleeding a lot, Goldring drove her from her home in Temple Hill to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Annandale, Virginia, where Phoenix regularly received care.

'Halfway there she was cranky and very fussy but eventually, she got quiet,' Goldring said.

'She looked like she was asleep. But we get to the ER and she was completely blue. I shook her arm and face, she did nothing. I screamed her name, nothing.

'I pulled out the car seat and rushed her into the ER and said: "My daughter's not breathing!" They rushed her in and it felt like forever.'

After finally detecting a pulse, doctors told Goldring that Phoenix had suffered severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen flowing to her brain and she was placed on life support for about a month.  

'I prayed with my family and my friends...and one day I said: "Phoenix, if you're tired, let me know",' Goldring said.

'Phoenix was facing towards the TV, and she looked at me when I said that. That was confirmation for me.'  

Phoenix was taken off of life support on April 23 and was only expected to survive for six hours.

But after the six-hour mark, she was still alive.  

After two months, she was discharged and will celebrate her first birthday in less than two weeks. 

'We are definitely having a big party with family and friends and RSVPs are already at 100,' Goldring said.

'We're going to have carnival games and have piñatas and face painting and lots of food.'

Currently, Phoenix is on oxygen 24/7, she's fed with a feeding tube and takes 14 different medications.

This includes her standard heart medication, Zantac to help settle formula in her stomach, Valium and morphine for pain and anti-seizure medication.

Phoenix still needs two surgeries, called a Glenn procedure and a Fontan procedure, to redirect the flow of blood because she will eventually outgrow her shunt.  

Inova Fairfax and Children's National have both denied the procedure, saying the risks outweigh the benefits, so Goldring is looking at different hospital.  

'I definitely want to see if there's someone willing to take her case on,' she said. 'If there's someone's willing to look at her records and tell me if there's even another option because I want to save her life.' 

The family has started a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of Phoenix's medical bills. As of Wednesday evening, more than $7,400 has been raised out of a $100,000 goal.

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Cannibalism victim was butchered 'like you wouldn't kill a livestock animal'

When police in Jeffersonville, Indiana, found Tammy Jo Blanton's dismembered body in her bathtub, it was draped with a camping tent with at least 25 stab wounds and blunt-force injuries on her throat, neck, nose, mouth, lips, fingers and chest, a prosecutor told a Clark County jury at a murder trial Wednesday.

"Joseph Oberhansley butchered Tammy Blanton like you wouldn’t kill a livestock animal," Clark County prosecutor Jeremy Mull told 12 jurors and four alternates who were bused to Jeffersonville from Hamilton County on Wednesday for Oberhansley's trial. "But this lady died with dignity."

Oberhansley, 38, is facing life in prison without parole on charges of murder, rape and burglary after authorities say he stalked, raped and killed Blanton, then ate parts of her body in 2014.

The prosecution and defense agreed to take the death penalty off the table if Oberhansley's attorneys agreed not to use insanity as a defense.

Since February 2017, Oberhansley's mental competency has been at issue, delaying the trial process. Three state psychiatrists and psychologists in 2017 found that he wasn't competent to stand trial, but after more than a year of treatment at an Indiana state psychiatric facility, he was deemed competent.

Oberhansley's defense attorneys, Bart Betteau and Brent Westerfeld, filed another motion to revisit the competency issue. They told Clark County Circuit Judge Vicki Carmichael on Wednesday that Oberhansley continues to show distrust and complains about the way he's being represented.

In April, Carmichael ruled that Oberhansley, who filed a motion to withdraw the insanity defense his attorneys promoted, could reject the insanity plea. Oberhansley told the judge he felt that using the defense would admit guilt and likely wouldn't work.

Clark County sits along the Ohio River, just north of Louisville, Kentucky. The jurors were selected from Hamilton County, just north of Indianapolis, to ensure Oberhansley will get a fair trial, Carmichael said. They'll be sequestered for the duration of the trial and unable to use any electronics.

Victim died 'with dignity'

Blanton and Oberhansley had been dating – and briefly lived together – in the few months leading to her death Sept. 11, 2014.

Just days before, Blanton had broken off their relationship and changed the locks on her Jeffersonville home, Mull told the jury.

The day before she was murdered, Blanton told her friends and coworkers that she was taking her life back, Mull said. She said she wasn't going to live in fear of her ex-boyfriend or stay at a friend's house anymore.

Mull told jurors that in the final moments before Blanton died, she'd locked herself in the bathroom, hoping to save her life. Evidence shows that Oberhansley forced open the door, he said.

During a videotaped interview with police that Mull said the jury will see during trial, when asked what Blanton said after he kicked the bathroom door open, Oberhansley said, "Truth be told, she really wasn't all that scared, surprisingly. Like she knew (she was going to die), you know what I mean?" Mull told the jury.

“In her last moments, she wasn’t going to give him the pleasure of seeing her scared," Mull said.

Although the defense isn't allowed to present evidence related to Oberhansley's sanity or state of mind, Betteau asked the jury to think about whether a person who eats the brain and heart of his ex-girlfriend is "thinking right."

"All I want you to do is to keep an open mind," Betteau said. "(The prosecutor) told you about a few statements; select evidence. But there's going to be a whole lot more."

Betteau told the jury that they'll see photos and hear testimony that's worse than what the prosecutor described in his opening statements.

"Her chest had been cut open. The heart was removed. The heart was eaten," Betteau told the jury. "I'm sorry that I have to go over this, but that's what the evidence is."

Betteau said the jury will hear Oberhansley talk about what was going on in his mind at the time in the video police interview. Oberhansley thought Blanton was going to kill him, and that she could hear his thoughts, Betteau said.

"Think about the process and say to yourself, is this someone who’s thinking right? His thought was that someone was after him."

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Teen torture case: Girl given 'chilling choice' of how she would die

A teenage girl's body was found inside a rusty steel drum amongst weeds at an abandoned Auckland state home.

Seventeen-year-old Dimetrius Pairama had earlier been given the chilling choice of how she wanted die, the High Court at Auckland heard today.

"There is no doubt that there was a murder, there is no doubt as to the injuries to the deceased," Justice Timothy Brewer told the court.

The teen's body was found in a vacant Housing New Zealand property on Buckland Rd, Mangere Bridge on July 8 last year.

Before her death she had been kidnapped and tortured, the Crown Solicitor at Auckland, Natalie Walker told the court.

She was beaten, tied to a chair, gagged and her naked body burned with an aerosol can and cigarette lighter, Walker said.

Pairama was then "presented with a chilling choice".

She was asked how she wanted to die.

"Death by hanging or stabbing?" Walker said Pairama asked.

She was then strung up from a pole with a makeshift noose made out of old sheets, the court heard.

Her battered, naked and lifeless body was then cut down and wrapped in sheets and plastic.

"Her body was hidden inside a rusty steel drum, amongst some weeds, at an abandoned state home," Walker said.

"How did this happen?"

Ashley Winter, also known as Toko Shane Rei Winter, 29, and Kerry Te Amo, 25, are accused of the kidnapping, torturing and murdering Pairama.

Their trial began today.

Winter, a transgender woman, has pleaded guilty to a charge of kidnapping but denies murdering Pairama.

Te Amo has pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Walker said the pair had carried out a "senseless and unimaginable attack" which had taken away Pairama's will to live and presented her with an impossible choice.

But she said "sometimes we can never know why things happen".

Another teenager, who has been granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for giving evidence, will tell the court what she saw and heard at the Buckland Rd home, Walker said.

Police first began investigating after breaking up a fight near Britomart in central Auckland.

Walker said the group who were at the house had turned on each other and needed to be broken up by police.

"You'll pay for what you've done!" Winter was told, the court heard.

Walker said police would soon discover the "whole horrifying truth" about how Pairama, who had spent time in Oranga Tamariki care, was killed.

The prosecutor said Winter has "told countless lies" to police.

The court heard Winter has a various points claimed she was Pairama's sister, admitted she played a part in the killing, said there was no ringleader, and that she had a reason to be angry at the teen.

Pairama was described by those her knew her as a "bubbly, pretty and very friendly" girl who had a distinctive laugh, the court heard.

Her life goal, Walker told the court, was getting a qualification and enough money to buy a house.

Justice Brewer earlier told the jury in a case such as this it may be "easy to feel prejudice against people who have been brought to court for charges like these".

But he said this was "not a court of morals, it is a court of law".

The judge urged the jury to decide on what the Crown has proved before considering their verdicts.

"In deciding what happened you are going to have to make human assessments … some people can be honest and some can be honestly mistaken," Justice Brewer said.

"You must keep an open mind until you have heard all of the evidence, the lawyers' closing arguments and my summing up.

"You can only decide the case on the evidence that you hear in the courtroom."

The judge said: "Above all Mr Foreman and members of the jury, your job is to be fair."

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Teenager, 18, who was stabbed to death after he was chased by thugs through an east London estate in broad daylight .

An 18-year-old who was stabbed to death after being chased through an east London estate has been identified.

London's 91st murder victim this year, named locally as Santino, was found with stab wounds in Chadd Green in Plaistow, East London, at roughly 3.30pm on August 26. 

Tributes have been left to Santino - the 18th teenager to be murdered in the capital this year, and fourth to be killed in 15 days - with his grieving family paying their respects by laying flowers at the scene.


His father said: 'My son, he did nothing. He was just 18 years old, a baby,' the Evening Standard reported. 

He added: 'Everybody is saying they are sorry to me, but it is my son who will be in the ground.'

A family friend who was cutting flowers at a memorial described the victim as a ‘respectful’ young man, telling the Metro: ‘He was a kind and loving boy. ‘Anyone who knew him at a friendship level would agree.' 

Witnesses said the victim was chased before he was left for dead outside a row of terraced houses.

Terry Eddis, 73, said he saw a police car 'tearing into the road' and three officers ran towards where the victim was lying on the ground before giving him CPR. 

'He didn't look very old, he just looked like a child,' Mr Eddis said.  

No arrests have been made so far.  

The Met Police had been called to the Chadd Green estate at around 3.30pm to reports of a critically injured man, and officers attended with London Ambulance Service.

They found the victim suffering from stab injuries in the street. He was pronounced dead at the scene an hour later.  

Forensic officers were seen collecting evidence from the pavement beside a block of flats. A post-mortem examination and formal identification is to be arranged.  

A spokesperson for Newham Council tweeted: 'Tragic and needless death of youth, 18, in Plaistow today. Condolences to family of the victim.

'If you have information contact police or Crimestoppers anonymously. If you are a young person and want to speak up, you can do so independently of police at'

On Saturday, 69-year-old Allan Isichei was attacked while he walked home and later died on a neighbour's doorstep. A man in his 30s has been arrested on suspicion of his murder.

Any witnesses, or anyone with information, should call police on 101 quoting CAD 5133/aug26.

To remain anonymous, call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Any young people who have information about violence or knife crime can visit where they can pass on information anonymously – your I.P address will not be traced.

Fearless is part of the Crimestoppers charity, and is also independent of the police.

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Two teenagers jailed for killing man who was stabbed at 18th birthday party

Joe Ward, 18, of Lockfield in Runcorn, was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum period of detention of 16 years at Liverpool Crown Court today (24 May 2019) for murdering 18-year-old Eddie O’Rourke at the Royal British Legion Club in Runcorn on the evening of 7 September 2018.

A 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named because of his age, has been sentenced to seven years in a Young Offenders Institution, for manslaughter.

Joe Ward was found guilty of murder and possession of an offensive weapon on 5 April 2019 by a jury at Liverpool Crown Court.

Ward fatally stabbed Eddie O’Rourke, 18, at the Royal British Legion Club in Runcorn on the evening of 7 September 2018.

The 15-year-old, who handed Ward a knife, was found guilty of manslaughter and had earlier admitted possession of an offensive weapon.

Ward, of Lockfield in Runcorn, had a grudge against Mr O’Rourke because he was going out with his ex-girlfriend.

The two men exchanged words at the party and went outside but returned to the party.

CCTV showed how the 15-year-old defendant handed Ward a knife with a 12-inch blade which he took from the waistband of his trousers.

The two then went outside with Mr O’Rourke and got into a fight with him. Ward then stabbed Mr O’Rourke in the stomach. Mr O’Rourke was taken to hospital but died shortly afterwards.

The 15-year-old had been jointly accused of murder with Ward but was acquitted by the jury of that charge.

Damion Lloyd, of the CPS, said: “This was meant to be a party to mark a young person’s coming of age.

“Instead, these two defendants used it as opportunity to kill another young person that they had a grudge against.

“The jury have found these teenagers guilty of some of the most serious offences in the criminal justice system and they can now expect substantial jail terms as a result.

"The Crown Prosecution Service would like to extend condolences to the family and friends of Eddie O’Rourke at this very difficult time.”

They will be sentenced at a later date to be set by the court.

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Spurned woman obsessed with pal sunk super strength lager before storming her house with three knives

A woman who became obsessed with her pal sunk super strength lager before turning up at the woman's house with three knives and smashing her way inside.

Sarah Cahill turned on her victim when her feelings weren't reciprocated. Her actions were described like something from a 'horror movie'.

The 41-year-old, who has problems with alcohol and has attended AA meetings, fell in love with the woman and became infatuated with her.

The victim, who isn't gay and has a boyfriend, was sent disturbing messages.

Cahill threatened to cut the woman's father's throat, while professing her love for her.

The victim ignored the texts and voicemails.

In one message, Cahill told her she would 'die for her', adding: "I just know in my heart it is you, you are the love of my life, I think you’re the most beautiful girl in the world.

"I am in love with you, I always have been and always will be I wish I could make love to you just once.''

She then left a voicemail vowing to break into the victim's home and stab her.

On October 16 last year, the victim was asleep at her home in Bury. Cahill, having drunk strong lager, turned up at the property armed with a Stanley knife in her handbag and two other blades in her pockets.

She smashed her way inside using a plant pot to break a patio window, before demanding to speak to the victim

Cahill was restrained by woman's father, who got out of bed and grabbed her.

In a statement, the victim said: "The messages disturbed and frightened me. Everything I felt was an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame.

"I often lay awake at night worrying about this. I didn’t tell her mother and father what had been happening because I was embarrassed. When she threatened to slit his throat I felt sick and terrified.

"That night I thought I was safe in my home and it turns out I wasn’t. I keep thinking about seeing the first knife and being so shocked that she had come to stab me all I could think about was protecting my dad.

"I was so anxious I couldn’t leave the house for nine days after."

At Minshull Street Crown Court, Cahill, from Middleton, was jailed for nine years under the terms of an extended sentence after a judge ruled she was a 'dangerous' offender.

She admitted aggravated burglary with intent to cause grievous bodily harm; stalking; and having a bladed article at an earlier hearing.

Prosecutor Robert Elias said: “The background to this is that Sarah became infatuated with the complainant to the extent that this became an obsession.

"Her feelings were not reciprocated not least because the complainant isn’t gay and this turned to feelings of resentment, and crystallised in a drunken desire by Sarah to stab the complainant.

'They had been long term friends for four years.

"They formed a friendship described as almost 'sibling like' and Sarah thought she had fallen in love, but the complainant had an existing relationship.

"Sarah found it difficult to accept this and became obsessed with the complainant. She picked up her first drink in two years and texted saying she was going to hurt herself.''

The court heard the victim tried to contact Cahill as she knew of a previous self harm incident and she found her that day and encouraged her to get help.

But that evening Cahill bombarded her with a number of voice mails and text messages saying: "If your dad ever calls me again I’ll cut his throat. You would be nothing without your mum."

It was then followed by other messages adding: ''I don’t mean what I’m saying we had some good times didn’t we?."

''You could have stopped this you silly girl.''

A further message warned of her coming to the victim's house break through the window and stab her. 

Sentencing, Judge Bernard Lever told Cahill: ''This was a serious example of a very serious offence.

"You entered the complainant's home at 3.30am which must have been terrifying for the family. I have to certify that you are dangerous in these circumstances I have the power to extend the sentence. You won't be released until the parole board is satisfied that you are no longer dangerous.

''I am doing this to reassure the victims and because I have a duty to ensure safety from you to the general public.

"She had a boyfriend but you became infatuated with her and built up a resentment towards her father - it is hardly surprising he didn't feel comfortable about the way you were going.

''You had avoided alcohol for two years but you started drinking again the week before the aggravated burglary.

"You sent threatening messages that if her father ever called you again you would slit his throat and additionally that you would die for her by self harm.

'You broke a window to her home, the family home, and barged in and you had a Stanley knife in your bag and two knives on you, a long knife and a kitchen knife. Fortunately the father overcame you and bravely stopped you from becoming a risk.

''Let it be said that this offence carries an intention to cause serious injury, when the police arrived you struggled and caused a disturbance. This is against a background of a lot of threatening messages. 

"You admitted that you had fallen in love with a young woman, that you had been drinking and on the evening in question drank super strength lager.

"The three victims experienced hurt and it is noteworthy that the mother has commented that you were always treated by them with nothing but kindness. You know that these three people will have been so worried and hurt by your behaviour.''

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Meath mum opens up on 'major shock' after one-year-old diagnosed with cancer

The Co Meath woman was awaiting the arrival of her second child in July 2017 when her eldest, Clodagh, fell ill.

And within hours of being diagnosed, the tiny toddler was undergoing her first set of chemo.

Navan mum Eimear said it started with a droopy eye at the dinner table and later a lip cut that lasted half an hour, but doctors both times couldn’t figure out the problem.

However, when little Clodagh became lethargic later that week, her GP sent them to Our Lady’s in Drogheda, Co Louth, and that is where the nightmare really began.

She said: “We went to Drogheda around 5pm, and were seen in Paediatric A&E about an hour later.

“By 9.30, they came and had a chat with us. They brought us into a room — myself, (partner) Cameron — a tiny room with five nurses and gave us the news that they suspected she had leukaemia.

“They couldn’t confirm because Crumlin are the specialists so they wanted to send us straight there in an ambulance that night.”

She added: “We’re quite laid back people, we’re not really dramatic so for us it was a major shock. But I did know, my gut was telling me something is wrong. But you don’t expect to go in and someone to say your daughter has cancer.”

Every week in Ireland, more than ten young people are diagnosed with cancer, according to the Cancer Fund for Children.

Tests were done as soon as Clodagh arrived at the Children’s Hospital in Dublin at around 1.30am and shortly after it was confirmed she had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia with the fight for her life starting almost immediately.

Eimear recalled: “Basically at 8 o’clock in the morning she had a heart echo, they checked her kidneys, they checked a few different things.

“She had to get a double lumen implanted in her chest so they could administer chemo and take blood tests and all the rest.

“So at four o’clock that evening they took her up and she got her first dose of chemo.

“They took out some spinal fluid to check how much per cent leukaemia she had in her blood, which came back as 97 per cent.

“Then after that you just go through the motions. You’re in Crumlin for ten days straight and we came out for three days but she got an infection unfortunately so we were back in Drogheda for a week and then we went back to Crumlin for six weeks.”

And as hard as this was for Clodagh’s dad Cameron, Eimear was also heavily pregnant.

She said of her eldest: “She had been walking and talking a little bit at 16 months but then she was completely bedridden so she couldn’t walk or talk anymore.

“She was quite traumatised by all the different tests and different people coming in and poking her and different things so it was quite traumatic to be honest and, of course, I was pregnant.”

Eimear continued: “I was 37 weeks pregnant when they took her in and by the time I was 40 weeks pregnant the consultants and the nurses were talking about me in every single morning meeting — ‘has that lady had her baby?’

“I was really laid-back and went over to 42 weeks. I had to go to the Coombe, which was only down the road.

“It was quite funny because the Crumlin nurses were all really nervous about me going into labour on the ward. They said, ‘We can deal with cancer kids and patients, but we don’t deal with mammies and babies.’”

Baby Teaghan arrived on August 27 and when she was released a few days later, Clodagh also got to come home from Crumlin.

But the family had to completely transform their lives.

Eimear said: “The whole house changed completely. First of all they had killed the cancer so at that stage she had 0.01 per cent of cancer in her blood cells, which was huge.

“So they spent the first 39 days killing all that stuff, then she had to go to lots of different chemos and we had to administer chemos at home.

“She can’t go anywhere where there’s loads of people. We have to screen every person who comes through our door, they can’t have coughs, colds, flu within 72 hours.”

The mum added: “She finished her treatment in October, but even now we’re still wary of it because her immune system is suppressed for maybe another year. So we just have to be careful with what we do. You can’t organise things.

“We used to take her temperature at seven o’clock every morning and once her temperature is OK then you can contemplate doing stuff but if the temperature is not OK, you have to take it again and then it is straight to Drogheda.

“Basically, you can’t give her Calpol or Nurofen if she gets a temperature because her body is telling us that there is something wrong and we have to go to hospital for at least five days and get antibiotics.”

Clodagh is now healthy and happy and she and her family were able to take a break from her illness for a holiday at Daisy Lodge, in Co Down, which is run by the Cancer Fund for Children.

The charity is currently fundraising for another centre in Cong, Co Mayo, which will include a games room, a sauna and a hair and beauty salon.

Golfer Rory McIlroy and his foundation have already donated €1.2million to the charity and Eimear called it a “godsend”.

She said: “It was just amazing. It was the best holiday ever because you were going to a place where people understood what you are going through, who had the place really clean with no chance of infection, and a fun place for them to play with toys that they never seen before.

“They have complimentary therapies, there’s a relaxation therapy, it was brilliant.

“There’s an outdoor playground, and they also twin with a few businesses in the village so you can go and have free ice-cream and pancakes and everything.

“I couldn’t recommend the place highly enough. Obviously you’d prefer to not have to be in a position where you’d be able to go to these places but when you are in it, it was amazing.”

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Driver, 46, is charged with causing the death of father-of-two fire worker who was killed in horror crash while tackling blazes

A man has been charged over the fatal head-on car crash in regional Victoria which killed an on-duty Forest Fires Management worker and seriously injured his colleague.

The 46-year-old driver from Alexandra was charged on Monday with dangerous driving causing the death of the state's third bushfire victim Mat Kavanagh, 43.

The accused man had been fighting for life in hospital after the collision on the Goulburn Valley Highway at Thornton on January 3, while a 47-year-old ute driver was injured.

He has been remanded to appear in court on April 28.

It comes as the fire threat across the east was slightly downgraded, with all alerts across the state sitting at a watch and act level or lower at midday Monday.

Milder weather is forecast across the week with rain developing in the state's east on Wednesday and extending at least until Saturday.

Despite the respite, temperatures will hover about 30C and winds are still gusting, meaning the danger lingers and fires show no sign of relenting.

'These fires aren't out and they're not going to be out until they burn themselves out or we finish with a really big rain event,' Premier Daniel Andrews told KIIS FM on Monday.

'The weather bureau's not telling us that's likely.'

There are 19 active fires across Victoria, more than 1.3 million hectares have been burnt and 1500 firefighters remain on the job.

While hundreds of properties and structures have been lost to the fires, so have the lives of four men.

Wonthaggi father of two Bill Slade, 60, was working at the edge of a fire at Anglers Rest, near Omeo, when he was struck by a tree on Saturday, becoming the fourth death.

Mr Slade had worked on major fire incidents in the past including the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires.

'Bill was a much loved colleague, friend and member of the Wonthaggi community. He'll be sorely missed by Parks Victoria,' Parks Victoria chief Matt Jackson said.

Poor and very poor air quality conditions due to the bushfires are forecast statewide, with smoke and haze in the east, northeast and central Victoria.

Visibility has been reduced to about 500m in East Gippsland and about 5 kilometres in Melbourne due to smoke from fires in the state's far east and NSW.

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Meghan Markle has the 'full support' of mom Doria Ragland after being 'miserable, having anxiety attacks and struggling after Archie's birth, as Duchess confides she has no intention of ever returning to the UK to live'

Meghan Markle has the full support of her mother Doria Ragland as she and Prince Harry quit as senior royals, while a friend of Markle's exclusively reveals to that she has no 'intention' of ever returning to the UK to live.

Last Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dropped the bombshell news that they were quitting, dividing their time between North America and the UK and would work to become financially independent, catching the royal family and the rest of the world off guard.

But Meghan has the backing of her Los Angeles-based 63-year-old mother, who 'was really worried about Meghan... and is relieved that her daughter is putting her mental health and well being first,' the insider said. 

Meghan, 38, herself admitted to struggling after the birth of Archie, as the friend explained Meghan was 'miserable in the UK' and 'wasn’t sleeping well and started having anxiety attacks about her future.' 

Now across the pond and last spotted in Canada, the friend said of Meghan: 'This was her plan all along, to eventually leave the UK and build her own empire with Harry.' 

Meghan admitted to struggling with media scrutiny in an ITV interview that aired in October, saying: 'Not many people have asked if I'm okay... It's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.'

She added: 'Look, any woman especially when they are pregnant you're really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging, and then when you have a newborn – you know…' 

When asked if things had been a struggle for her, a visibility upset Meghan replies: 'Yes.' 

The friend added: 'Doria is very much about being true to oneself and so of course she will continue to encourage Meghan to take the road less travelled.' 

Ragland was seen walking her two dogs on Thursday afternoon and pictured chatting on her phone as she clutched her dogs' leashes. At another point during the day, the former social worker and yoga instructor was spotted jumping into her SUV and driving off.   

Her outing came the same day Meghan flew back to Canada where she had left eight-month-old Archie with his nanny, leaving Harry to deal with the fallout from their royal family crisis. 

Harry is said to be set to follow Meghan later this week with no clue of when he will be returning. 

Meghan was reportedly spotted at the Sidney Pier in British Columbia on Friday before heading to Victoria International airport, which confirmed it had 'VIP arrival', according to the Vancouver Sun

Meghan's friend revealed that she has no 'intention' to return to the UK to live permanently, saying: 'She doesn’t want to raise Archie there and she doesn’t want to schlep back and forth. She’ll make extended visits but that’s it.  

'They are looking for a permanent residence in Canada. She said she wants a country house in Whistler outside of Vancouver and a home in Toronto.'

The insider added: 'What Meghan wants, Meghan gets. This was her plan all along, to eventually leave the UK and build her own empire with Harry. 

'Meghan wants to make millions and this was never going to happen if she didn’t make a drastic change with Harry. She wants to be up there with [Jeff] Bezos and [Warren] Buffet. 

'Some of her friends thought she would eventually divorce Prince Harry and marry a billionaire. She always talked about marrying a billionaire before she met Harry. 

'Now she doesn’t have to because together they will make their own billion dollar empire. This is what she has wanted all along.' 

And as far as the rest of the Royal family is concerned, Meghan feels the good she and Harry can create with their own fortune, far outweighs any hurt feelings.

The friend added: 'Meghan says their announcement was not a surprise to the royal family, they knew all along.' 

On Monday morning, a grim-faced Prince Philip was seen driving away from Sandringham, as he leaves it to his wife Queen ElizabethPrince Charles and Prince William to broker an exit deal with the Sussexes.

Hours later, the Queen said the royals had 'very constructive discussions' and it was agreed that Prince Harry and Meghan will split their time between the UK and Canada. 

It was reported over the weekend that Meghan had told Harry she must step away from the royal family, partly blaming William and telling Harry over Christmas: 'It's not working for me', according to the Times. 

But on Monday, Harry and William denied there is a rift between them in a joint statement.

It read in part: 'Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Cambridge. 

'For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful'.  

The Queen – who was left 'deeply hurt' by her grandson's decision to release the statement without her knowledge – made clear to courtiers she wanted the problem sorted 'within days' to prevent further damage to the monarchy.

Her Majesty is said to want guarantees that Harry and Meghan's business empire built around their Sussex title doesn't damage the royal family. 

The monarch was under pressure to find a way forward because the Sussexes could give a tell-all interview to their friend Oprah Winfrey and 'sound off' about the royal family's 'racism and sexism' if they do not get their way at Sandringham, palace aides fear.  

The couple are said to see their long-term future in the United States – but not while President Trump is President - with friends claiming while the couple plan to live in Canada at first their ultimate aim is to have a home and business in Los Angeles.

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Skeletal remains of baby girl and the backyard grave she was buried in as they are shown at her Ohio cheerleader mother's murder trial

The tiny bones of a baby girl who was buried by her cheerleader mother in her backyard within hours of being born in 2017 were shown to a jury at the teen's murder trial on Friday.

Brooke 'Skylar' Richardson, now 20, was 18 when she gave birth in secret in her parents' house in May 2017. She says the baby was born dead and that she buried her in the backyard within an hour or so of the birth.

Prosecutors believe she killed the baby herself because she was hell-bent on going to college without being a mother. 

On Friday, the third day of her murder and manslaughter trial, prosecutors called Dr. Susan Brown, a forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy on the baby's remains and determined that she had been murdered. 

Dr. Brown said that while she could not determine how the baby died, she believed Skylar killed her based off of comments she made in an interview with the police, where Skylar, after repeatedly denying hurting the baby, eventually said she took a lighter to the baby's skin, to make her assessment. 

Her attorneys say the comment was coerced and made out of desperation after police said they 'knew' she did 'something with fire'.  

The jury was shown photographs of the remain which were dug up in Skylar's family's back yard and were also shown the baby's shallow grave.

They had been laid out on a table to form a tiny skeleton. As they were being shown, Skylar fought tears.  

The prosecution's case hinges on since retracted remarks made by Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a pathologist who had been hired by Dr. Brown to consult on the remains. 

She, at first, said they appeared to have been burned which led prosecutors to follow the theory that Skylar set the baby on fire. When detectives questioned Skylar for a second time, she repeatedly denied having done so but, after denying it 17 times, said she took a lighter to the baby's skin. 

Parts of that interrogation were played on court Friday. 

During it, the cops told the teenager 'we know there was some sort of fire'. 

She was stunned at the suggestion, saying: ''I didn't burn her! I promise, I didn't burn her!'

The police asked her repeatedly if she was sure, and she answered: 'I swear!... I did nothing with fire. Nothing.' 

The cops asked if she had put her in the fire pit in her yard, or even in the microwave or oven but she said no, repeatedly.   

'We know there was some sort of fire,' they eventually said. 

Skylar replied: 'I don't understand it.' 

Dr. Brown said during Friday's testimony that she based her assessment - that the baby died as a result of homicidal violence - on those remarks, her assessment of the baby's remains and on the scene at the house, where detectives had written in notes that there had been an 'attempted incineration'. 

She said she could not confirm by looking at the bones alone that they had been burned, or that the baby had been born alive or dead. 

'By looking at the bones alone with no other information, there's nothing that I can say just by looking at the bones that there is a live birth.

'As part of my job, I am required to look at all of the information. So I did that. That included the scene information and the information gathered during the police evidence was based on her interview,' she conceded, under cross-examination. 

She also admitted on Friday that despite claiming to have based her findings on the 'scene', Dr. Brown said she never saw any photographs of the baby's grave. 

While the bones showed that the baby suffered skull fractures, Dr. Brown said she could not tell if they had been inflicted before or after she died.

'I identified the fractures of the skull, however did also clarify that I don't know if they were are before death or after death but they are there,' she said.   

Dr. Brown then went on to say that neither she nor Dr. Murray examined the bones with a microscope. 

A different doctor who examined the baby's remains found that the skull fractures were not a result of homicidal violence. 

Skylar's attorney Charles H. Rittgers eviscerated the pathologist on cross-examination. 

They pointed out that it would be impossible for a human to be set on fire with a lighter alone and that a baby's body was made mostly of water, making it even more implausible.

They laughed when the pathologist said that a person's hair could be set on fire and also asked why the pathologist did not take into account Skylar's original claim, during her first police interview, that there was no umbilical chord attached when she gave birth to the baby. 

'An umbilical chord not being attached would mean at some point it broke,' the doctor said. 

'Would the baby die as a result?' Skylar's attorneys asked, pointing out that it would mean the baby was not being given oxygen and nutrients. 

'A baby can die in those circumstances,' Dr. Brown said.

The defense accused brown of 'confirmation bias', saying she only gave her attention to anything that would support the notion that the baby had been set alight. 

'You ignored a tonne of facts that would indicate that this baby was stillborn. 

'You didn't get an OB consult. You didn't pay attention to the fact that Skylar was bleeding on April 3,' he said, saying all of them would have pointed to her having a stillbirth. 

Skylar, a cheerleader with a history of eating disorders, found out she was pregnant in April 26 during a visit to the gynaecologist. 

She had gone to obtain birth control pills and was told that she was around 32 weeks pregnant. 

She claimed, in police interviews, that she had suspected she was pregnant but had tried to put it out of her head until then. 

The doctor said the baby was healthy and urged Skylar to tell someone. Because she was 18, he was not obliged to talk to her parents. 

After her doctor's appointment, she left the practice and told no one about the pregnancy. Despite being pregnant, she was able to get a prescription to birth control pills which she began taking that day, later claiming that she did not know it court harm the infant. 

On May 7, just 11 days after the doctor visit, in the middle of the night, Skylar claims she gave birth on the toilet of her bathroom while her parents slept. 

In her police interview, she said the baby came out 'white', with her eyes closed, and was not breathing. 

On Friday, a state expert witness testified that it was unlikely the baby would have died in between her visit to the doctor on April 26 and the day she gave birth. 

Dr. William Brady, a fetal medicine expert, said it would be unusual for her to lose the baby and that there was no evidence to suggest the baby was at risk of harm. 

The defense asked the doctor how much he had been paid by the state to appear. 

He said he charges $5,000 a day for court appearances and $500 an hour for any preparation that is required beforehand.

During her police interview, Skylar told said she held her baby in a towel, 'waiting for her to wake up', after delivering her.

When she didn't, she said she went to her garage, retrieved a shovel, and dug a 'little' hole for her. 

Later that day, Skylar texted her mother Kim, who was 'obsessed' with her teenage daughter's weight, saying how 'happy' she was that her 'belly' was 'back'. 

She also took a selfie in the gym where she proudly examined how her stomach had flattened. Kim did not know she was pregnant or that she had given birth hours earlier. It was common for the pair to discuss Skylar's weight. 

For two months, the baby remained a secret. 

It was only when Skylar went back to the same doctor's practice where she learned she was pregnant, asking for more birth control pills, and an obstetrician asked her what had happened to her baby that she buckled and said she'd 'buried' it in her yard. 

The doctors then alerted the authorities and the baby was dug up. 

On Thursday, the jury was shown Skylar's first interview with the police where she sobbed and said: 'I did not try and kill my baby, I would never hurt her.' 

She was released without charge after that interview but was brought back in for questioning once the remains had been examined. 

There, she said she'd taken a lighter to the baby's skin. 

Her attorneys say that the comment was coerced by the detectives and that it was based on the since retracted claims of the pathologists.


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Nice to meet you, mum! Incredible moment baby girl wriggles out of her mother's womb then falls asleep on her chest during 'natural' C-section

This is the moment a baby girl falls asleep while crawling out of her mother's womb during a natural C-section. 

Charlotte Knowles, 31, had a traumatic first birth so wanted to make sure baby Lyla's arrival was as stress free as possible.

Doctors assisted, helping her baby out of the incision, but then left her to crawl and push herself out the rest of the way in a technique called 'calm birthing'.

In the newly released video from the family, Lyla barely cried as she wriggled from the womb and even fell asleep half way out, with doctors having to gently wake her.

Under the watchful eye of proud dad Ricky, and grandmother Tracy Wright, 54, she woke up and wiggled her torso free, before pushing herself out.

The method is considered more peaceful than traditional c-sections and is slowly being introduced to more hospitals across the UK each year.

Charlotte from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, said it was the perfect way to bring her second child into the world.

The emergency police call handler said: 'The whole birthing experience was so calm and peaceful - I felt so relaxed as they really kept the environment free of stress.

'As it was a planned c-section, I got to walk myself to theatre, sit on the operating table and take some time to mentally prepare myself with my partner by my side.

'The whole team of doctors and nurses spoke to me throughout and talked me through every step of the way.

The strange thing with a c-section is can't see or feel what is actually happening to you, so you have to rely on others to tell you.

'Before I knew it, Lyla was out - she didn't cry initially and as you can see on the video, she even fell asleep half way out of my tummy, so it must have been a calm experience for her too!'

For mum-of-two Charlotte, giving birth to Lyla in a peaceful environment was very important to her after her first daughter's stressful birth. 

In 2008, Charlotte fell pregnant with Annalee and after splitting with the father, she moved from Prittlewell to Florida with her parents.

She was induced in hospital, but as Annalee's heart rate dropped and doctors discovered Charlotte's hips were too narrow to give birth naturally, she was rushed in for an emergency c-section.

She said: 'It was terrifying. One minute I was being induced, and the next minute I had lots of doctors and nurses running around me.

'They quickly prepped me for surgery and rushed me in for an emergency c-section after Annalee's heart rate dropped.

'I was only 21-years-old, I felt very panicked and scared and it was just all happening way too quickly.

'Thankfully, the c-section went well and Annalee was fine and healthy, but the whole experience traumatised me.'

Charlotte's family moved back to the UK in 2010, and started to build a life for her and her daughter in Leigh-on-Sea.

Two years later, she was introduced to Ricky by mutual friends and the pair started dating in July 2012.

Charlotte fell pregnant in July 2014, and knowing a c-section was on the cards, she began to prepare herself to go through it all again, but hopefully not in as much panic.

Charlotte said: 'I knew when I got pregnant with my second that I wouldn't be able to go through a natural delivery.

'It did make me sad to think that I'd never be able to experience a natural birth, but having a baby was a blessing regardless of how they enter the world.

'I wanted to have this birth be a beautiful and calm experience for me and our baby, despite being on the operating table.

'With Lyla being Ricky's first child as well, I wanted it to be something magical for him as well without all the fear that I went through the first time.'

Thankfully for the happy couple, they had Ricky's mother Tracy who is a midwife, was on hand throughout the pregnancy, and knew straight away they wanted her in the room.

Tracy said: 'I've helped so many babies come into the world, and when Charlotte asked me to be in the room with her, I couldn't say yes fast enough!'

'I've never actually helped with a 'natural' c-section birth before, so it was wonderful that Charlotte could be my first one as well.

'Delivering my own granddaughter into the world was just incredible, and it is an experience I will never forget.'

On 23 April 2015, Tracy helped Charlotte deliver baby Lyla in Southend General Hospital as supportive Ricky watched from the foot of the bed.

Weighing 8lb 2oz, baby Lyla pushed her own way out of Charlotte's stomach, taking a quick nap in between her entrance to the world as she helped herself out. 

Lyla, who is now four, took on the role of bridesmaid in March 2018 alongside sister Annalee when Charlotte and Ricky got married.

Lyla has even watched footage of her own birth after grandmother Tracy captured it on video.

Charlotte said: 'I feel blessed to have a video of Lyla's birth, because you can't watch your own c-section at the time so it's wonderful I can look back now at what happened.

'Most people do not choose to video a c-section - it seems to be quite a taboo subject with it being that it is an operation and you are being cut open.

'I've watched the video over and over, Annalee and Lyla have both watched it too and they think it's amazing, which it is!

'I love how relaxed Lyla was during her birth. I found the whole process was as close to natural as you can get for mother and baby, and I feel so blessed to have gone through it.'

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Paranoid dad who died after being Tasered slashed stranger with knife

A paranoid Falmouth father-of-two died after being Tasered by police moments after slashing himself and a stranger with a knife following a cocaine binge, an inquest has heard.

A jury inquest into the death of 30-year-old Marc Cole got underway in Truro today.

Mr Cole died at Truro's Royal Cornwall Hospital after being Tasered by Devon and Cornwall Police officers in Langton Road in Falmouth on May 23, 2017.

The inquest is being presided over by coroner Geraint Williams, and is scheduled to last 15 days.

One of the issues to be explored is whether the police use of a Taser caused the death.

Opening the inquest, Mr Williams told the jury that in the hours before his death, a "paranoid" Mr Cole was at a friend's house taking cocaine, before he started waving a knife around.

"He was behaving strangely in the weeks and months before he died, irrational and paranoid in his thinking, that people were out to get him, things of that nature," Mr Williams said.

"He spent the bulk of that day (May 23) with a friend, Charlie Black. Part of that day, Mr Cole was reasonably okay, but he became rather paranoid and was acting peculiarly, causing Mr Black anxiety.

"Mr Cole was smoking cannabis and took a large quantity of cocaine, that seemed to have an effect upon him."

Giving evidence, Mr Black, who had known Mr Cole for 25 years, said his friend had seemed "stressed, uneasy and delusional" in the weeks before his death, and was struggling to cope with the recent death of his father.

On the morning of the day of the incident, a paranoid Mr Cole thought his friends were filming him. In conversation with his brother, Mr Cole said he "didn't know what's real and what's not real".

Late that afternoon Mr Cole and Mr Black were together at the latter's house when a friend of theirs, known as Bungle, arrived.

"Mr Cole had a large kitchen knife which he was waving around," the coroner told the jury. "He was becoming increasingly odd in behaviour. He then grabbed hold of the friend around the neck and brandished the knife in his face."

Describing the incident, Mr Black said they were watching TV when Mr Cole started taking cocaine.

In his police statement, Mr Black said Mr Cole was sniffing cocaine from a piece of furniture, and raising his head "like a crazed man".

He told the inquest that after taking the drug, Mr Cole became uneasy and stopped talking.

Mr Cole became "defensive" when Bungle arrived at the property, he said.

"Marc reached for the knife. He said 'I know what you two have been doing'. The curtains were closed and he thought there were people outside looking in. Daniel (Bungle) showed him there was nobody.

"He got up with the knife and walked towards Daniel. Marc was worried for his safety, he was petrified, scared.

"He grabbed Daniel and was trying to protect himself. I said leave him, he came towards me, he shook it off. My mum was outside and I was worried for her, I told her to get out of the house."

In his police statement, Mr Black said Mr Cole was holding the knife with the blade pointing towards Bungle’s head.

Mr Cole said he could not recall that, and added that he was not happy with his police statement and how it was worded.

"He was more self-defence scared rather than being aggressive," Mr Black said. "I think he was just scared and wanted to protect himself."

A struggle between Mr Cole and Bungle ensued, and the knife grazed Bungle's arm.

When asked if he feared for his safety or that of others, Mr Black replied: "I was worried about the whole situation. I wanted to diffuse the situation."

He admitted that he was afraid his mother, who was in the property, could get hurt.

"I didn’t want my mum involved in that situation," he said. "I just wanted her to get away from it."

After the incident with Bungle Mr Cole fell from a room on the first-floor, injuring himself in the process.

Alarmed by Mr Cole's behaviour, a number of people called 999.

Mr Black's mother recalls Mr Cole standing in the garden holding a knife.

"He looked straight at me," she said, "and he didn't look as though he recognised me. He looked straight through me. I was completely frozen.

"There was something really wrong. It wasn't Marc. He was waving the knife."

In her police statement, Mr Black's mother said Mr Cole was "slashing at his arms" with the knife.

Mr Black said he then saw his friend in the road, looking scared and covering himself.

"It was almost like seagulls were swooping down at him," Mr Black said.

In his police statement, Mr Black said Mr Cole was holding the knife up to the left side of his neck.

Mr Cole's brother arrived, but Mr Cole ran down the road. Coroner Geraint Williams told the jury that Mr Cole jumped into another garden and "stabbed or slashed" a woman, cutting her on the leg.

The incident appeared to have been an accident, with the knife coming into contact with the woman as Mr Cole jumped over a garden fence.

Mr Williams added: "He was seen to be trying to cut his own arms or throat with the knife. It seems Mr Cole had cut his neck badly, and there was lots blood to be seen."

Police and paramedics arrived, and an officer deployed a Taser.

Mr Black recalls: "I heard somebody shout, 'drop the knife'. Within a short time I heard a Taser go off. There was a short pause and I heard the Taser go again, I think Daniel heard that one as well.

"I went outside, Marc was on a stretcher unconscious. He got put in the ambulance and we all went to Treliske.

"It’s something I’ve been trying to forget for the last couple of years. I was a bit worried for him, I’d never seen my friend like that."

Marc was transported to Royal Cornwall Hospital, but medics were unable to revive him.

The inquest continues.

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Father's heartbreak as student son dies after thinking he had ‘tummy bug’

A heartbroken father has revealed how his six-year-old son died after he was unable to get hold of a GP.

Russell Hibberd called the NHS’s 111 service and his local surgery after Sebastian developed an abdominal complaint.

But he couldn’t get through to any medical professional despite numerous calls over the next six hours.

Sebastian died that afternoon and was subsequently found to have a serious bowel condition, which could have been treated if it had been detected sooner.

The tragic course of events will be recounted tonight in a hard-hitting BBC documentary on the crisis in GP surgeries.

It coincides with a poll of 1,700 family doctors by Pulse magazine which shows that some are carrying out 100 consultations a day – more than three times the safe limit.

Many surgeries are severely understaffed because GPs are retiring or quitting at a time when demand is higher than ever before.

Sebastian’s condition, which was initially thought to be a tummy bug, developed over a weekend in October 2015.

By the Monday he was deteriorating and Mr Hibberd first called NHS 111 shortly after 8am that day.

The call handler advised him to contact his GP surgery. But when he tried the surgery he was put through to an automated message saying it was closed and to phone NHS 111. Mr Hibberd called the helpline a second time and was again told to ring the GP surgery, which should have opened at 8am.

He phoned the practice several more times before 8.45am but it was still closed.

Eventually, just before 9am, he got through to a receptionist. After explaining that Sebastian was vomiting and delirious, he was told a duty GP would phone back.

The call never came and shortly after 1pm Mr Hibberd rang the surgery again – twice – only to be told it was closed for lunch.

Sebastian deteriorated soon afterwards and started having fits. His father dialled 999 but Sebastian suffered a cardiac arrest and died in hospital that afternoon.

Mr Hibberd, 40, a systems technician, who lives in Plymouth with his wife Nat and three other children, said: ‘Phoning the GP in the morning was incredibly frustrating.

‘I was tearing my hair out, I’d not slept much that night. I was very frustrated and very irritated that I was trying to speak to a GP and they’re not there.

‘I went upstairs and [Sebastian] was fitting. I checked whether he was breathing and he wasn’t so I dialled 999. I was performing CPR while we were waiting for the ambulance to arrive. The ambulance crew did their best [but] unfortunately he died.

‘The experts who were brought to the coroner’s court said a competently trained medical person would probably have picked up that something was wrong [and that] he needed to go to hospital. It’s a doctor’s surgery on a Monday morning and it was brought up that it was their busiest time.

‘As it’s gone on, we are just finding there’s more and more things wrong with NHS 111. I was just knocking back between the two and not speaking to a medical professional all day. It’s just ridiculous. You’ve got people falling through the cracks.’

The case raises fresh concerns about GP surgery opening hours. Glenside Medical Centre in Plymouth, where Sebastian was registered, lists its opening hours as 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday – and there is no mention of a lunch hour.

Sebastian’s case also highlights shortcomings in the NHS 111 helpline and its ability to identify serious illnesses in children.

Similar failings were exposed by the death of one-year-old William Mead from sepsis in December 2014 following a series of errors by GPs and, later, the 111 service.

An NHS-commissioned report two years after his death found that his mother Melissa, from Penryn in Cornwall, was poorly dealt with by the call adviser who missed abnormal symptoms.

The line’s call handlers are not medically qualified but have been trained to use a computer system which recommends what action to take depending on the symptoms described by the caller. Call handlers might be advised to put the caller through to 999, to request that a doctor or nurse rings the caller back, or to tell the caller to take some other action.

Sebastian Hibberd was later found to have intussusception, where a segment of the bowel ‘telescopes’ inside another, causing an intestinal blockage. At his inquest in February, experts said a GP or medical professional would have immediately picked up on the warning signs of green vomit and cold arms and legs.

The coroner, Ian Arrow, is preparing a ‘prevention of future death’ report, which will call for urgent improvements in care. This will be sent to NHS England, the Department of Health, the local clinical commissioning group, and the GP surgery.

A spokesman for NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, which commissions GP services at Glenside Medical Centre, said that after Sebastian’s death South Western Ambulance Service had investigated. The CCG had commissioned a further independent investigation.

‘Action has already been taken on the basis of these investigations, notably to strengthen the handling of 111 calls involving children and to clarify handover arrangements between GP surgeries and 111,’ he added. 

Dawn Treloar, partner at Hodge Jones and Allen specialising in clinical negligence, who represents the family, said: 'Sebastian’s parents have lived through the nightmare of losing their wonderful little boy because of multiple failures by various individuals and organisations. 

'His death was preventable and should not have happened. The inquest was very protracted, concluding over three years after Sebastian died. 

'Now, three months after their son’s inquest concluded, the family are still waiting to see whether the coroner will produce a prevention of future deaths report. 

'This delay is unacceptable and is putting the family through unnecessary torment. We need the coroner to make the recommendations Sebastian’s parents are asking for to ensure a tragedy like this does not happen again.'

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Doctor, 39, dies of same type of cancer she spent life researching

In a cruel twist of fate a doctor has died from the same type of skin cancer she spent her whole life researching.

Melanoma expert Dr Sharon Hutchison worked as a researcher at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness, Scotland.

But in January last year she was herself diagnosed with skin cancer after spotting a mole on her neck.

Dr Hutchison underwent treatment but died last week at the Highland Hospice just a year after being told she had the aggressive form of melanoma.

The 39-year-old had originally joined the university research team in the summer of 2018 with its work being part of a worldwide collaboration.

She had previously been employed for around six years before that in the radiopharmacy department at Raigmore Hospital where she was involved in producing treatments for thousands of cancer patients.

She was also been involved in the development of drug treatments for melanoma at Glasgow University.

Dr Hutchison continued to work months after her diagnosis up until the beginning of December.

She underwent two different types of therapy but the cancer spread.

She spent her final days in the hospice surrounded by her family and her colleagues have since vowed to carry on her work.  

Dr Antonia Pritchard said: 'She was very stoic. She faced it with immense strength. She was remarkable. 

'She went to her doctor - she did all the right things but her melanoma was a particularly aggressive form.

'She had major surgery and was back at work after one week. She had a tremendous work ethic when it came to her research.'

'Being an expert in this, we knew from the outset what the options were.

'She was a great friend, meticulous researcher and I miss her immensely.'

Dr Pritchard added that her team would continue to research the disease and raise awareness of melanoma so people know how to spot the warning signs.

She said: 'Sharon was very passionate about people getting themselves tested.

'Hopefully, that will be one of the outcomes from this.'

Dr Hutchison leaves her parents David and Jane and her brother Neil.

She often enjoyed outdoor pursuits in her spare time and included mountain biking and running events.

Mourners were invited to give donations to the hospice at her funeral which took place at Falkirk Crematorium on Thursday.

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Brothers whose father gunned down their mother and sister in a murder-suicide

The sons of an abusive father who shot dead his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself have claimed he was 'scared' of their sister because she stood up to him.

Lance Hart, 57, penned a 12-page suicide note before he blasted his wife Claire, 50, and their 19-year-old daughter Charlotte before killing himself in a car park in Spalding, Lincolnshire, on July 19, 2016. 

Now brothers Luke and Ryan Hart have written a book called Remembered Forever about their experience and to raise awareness about the reality of domestic abuse. 

Speaking on Lorraine this morning, Ryan told how growing up he'd learnt to submit to his father's rules and demands because it seemed 'safer', but Charlotte refused to accept his behaviour.

'I think over those 25 years of abuse, I didn't know how to respond in a way which kept mum and Charlotte safe,' he admitted.

'Charlotte was always the one out of the whole family who stood up and knew what was wrong.

'I think our father was scared of Charlotte, and we definitely admired Charlotte a lot for her strength and bravery.'

Luke told how their father was very coercive and found ways of making life 'really hard' without creating incidents that would lead someone to call the police or a neighbour to intervene.

'It was never him who was responsible, so we didn't really know what was going on,' he said.

Luke admitted they were shocked when the murders happened because the violence all seemed to happen at once and come out of nowhere.

'It was only when we look back over our lives that we realised he'd been incredibly controlling, and he'd ramped it up in the months leading up to the murders,' he said.

They told how their father used money to trap their mother, who suffered from multiple sclerosis.

The pair eventually made a plan to get their mum and sister away from their dad - but five days later he hunted them down and killed them both.

Ryan was working abroad in Holland when he saw the breaking news story about the shooting. 

He admitted it took him a month to come to terms with what had gone on.

'It wasn't until the funeral that I really accepted what had happened, but that day was spent in a state of shock, confusion, anger, disbelief,' he said.

The pair admitted they never thought their father was a domestic abuser because their mother and sister were 'so strong'. 

'You think that victims are weak and perpetrators are strong,' he explained.

'We always saw our father as weak, and Mum and Charlotte as incredibly strong, so it didn't fit the dynamic that we'd interpreted.'

'Mum was incredibly stoical; she was an incredible mum, she looked after us before all else,' Ryan added.

'Charlotte was brave and courageous - she would call our father out for what he was doing and say it wasn't right. 

'Charlotte was Mum's emotional support, she was the one that helped Mum come out of our shell, they were more like sisters.

'Our father hated Charlotte because he saw her as ruining his control over our mother, he didn't like Charlotte supporting our mother, so Charlotte got the brunt of Father's behaviour.' 

The brothers are now keen to help other families going through a similar ordeal. 

'Our story isn't actually unique,' Ryan said. 'We were looking for violence in our father, and that violence only came on the day of the murders, so we didn't see ourselves as victims because we weren't being hit.

'We want to articulate the truth that domestic abuse is about control and power and to look out for the non-physical signs of abuse because they are often more prevalent and quite psychologically damaging as well.

'The scars internally that I have to live with from the abuse of my father take a lot longer to get over.' 

Asked if they have struggled to build relationships with other people as a result of their father's behaviour, Luke said it's made them both fiercely independent.

'We learnt to be very self-relient and self-sacrificing and as children we didn't want to need stuff because there wasn't much to go around,' he told Lorraine. 

'We all became very self-sacrificing and independent. I don't want to feel like a burden and I sometimes don't have the energy to help other people with their problems because I'm so tired.

'I think it has affected [relationships] in the sense that relationships can sometimes seem like a bit too much to take on for me at times.' 

After the murders, Luke and Ryan both read a lot of literature which helped them understand their father was the 'archetypal domestic abuser and family murderer', but they never saw it as he was controlling rather than violent.

Ryan admitted: 'I think the hardest thing for us has been finding a new purpose in our lives.

'The book and speaking out to people is what helps us get through each day and look to the future.'

'We realised there needs to be this transition of knowledge,' Luke added. 'We're trying to help other people see what's going on and hopefully protect themselves.'

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Canadian Clinton donor Frank Giustra says he has NEVER been in contact with the royals and doesn't own the house

Canadian Hollywood mogul Frank Giustra has denied that he is the mystery billionaire owner of the $14million Vancouver Island mansion where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stayed for the holidays. 

Giustra denied owning the home and ever having contact with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex or their representatives. 

Harry and Meghan have refused to name the secretive billionaire who loaned them the Canadian mansion and revealed that the true owner has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal his identity with methods typically deployed by money-launderers and tax-evaders.

An association with someone who goes to such lengths to hide their identity will raise questions over judgment as the couple pursue earning opportunities in their attempt to 'work towards financial independence.'

Giustra said in a series of tweets Sunday evening: 'I was disappointed to read this morning's error-filled article about me in @nypost.? I do not own a home in, or near, Victoria, BC. I have never been contacted by a member of the British Royal family, by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, or by any of their representatives.' 

Giustra, co-founder of Hollywood studio Lionsgate whose close ties to the Clintons have caused controversy in the past, was named as the owner of Mille Fleurs, the seafront home close to Victoria, British Columbia, by The New York Posts' Page Six Sunday. 

In his statement, the 62-year-old Canadian bashed the New York Post for its reporting. 

'Unsurprisingly, the New York Post used this non-story as an opportunity to recycle a series of lies about me that have been repeatedly and definitively disproved by The New York Times, Fox News, and the US Department of Justice among others,' Giustra said. 'Once again, the Post has confused fake news and for evidence-based investigative journalism.' 

The mansion's ownership by Giustra was at odds with what was told by a realtor involved in the 2014 sale of the home.

That person, who had to sign a non disclosure agreement, said it was bought by a billionaire who is neither Canadian nor or American for $18million CAD - $14 million. revealed how the real homeowner has used highly controversial methods also deployed by money-launderers and tax-evaders to conceal his identity. 

The billionaire who owns the home has declined to identify himself voluntarily ahead of new legislation in the Canadian province which will make it compulsory for the owners of properties to be publicly named.   

Giustra is close friends with David Foster, who arranged for the Duke and Duchess to stay at the imposing home, first revealed.  

Music producer Foster is the husband of Broadway star Katharine McPhee, a friend of Meghan's since their school days. 

The owner of Mille Fleurs was apparently not known to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex until Foster introduced them.  

Giustra is also one of the biggest donors to the Clintons and is on the board of their foundation.

He ran into controversy when, in 2005, he traveled to Kazakhstan with then President Bill Clinton. 

There they met the country's despotic president Nursultan Nazarbayev. Clinton's appearance is seen as helping Giustra secure a deal to start his UrAsia uranium company in Kazakhstan, which would later merge with Uranium One.

Giustra donated $31.3million to the Clinton Foundation in 2006 and helped start the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative.

In 2016, emails then showed Giustra and fellow billionaire Carlos Slim gave the Clinton Foundation an endowment of $20 million for the Haiti Development Fund six years earlier. But reports said 'there is almost nothing in the public record' showing what happened to the money. 

Giustra called the controversy 'insanity, a f***ing circus'.  

The royals declined an invitation by to reveal the mystery mansion owner's identity. The couple's spokeswoman also declined to say whether they had paid for the vacation.   

There was no sign of Meghan Saturday at the mansion on Vancouver Island after she flew back to Canada without Harry to rejoin baby Archie, who had been left with a nanny. 

In a sign of the couple's wish to spend considerable time in North America, they have moved their pet dogs to the property.   

Harry and Meghan's intention to quit as senior Royals has widened the gulf between the two siblings, with William understood to be 'incandescent' over his brother's blindsiding of the Family.  

It also emerged the Duke of Sussex pulled the trigger on his abdication decision because he feared his wife, who had not settled well in the UK, was 'on the brink' and could suffer a meltdown if she remained in the country permanently.

Anxious to avoid exacerbating an already tense situation, the Royal Family is keen to tread carefully. A source said: 'There is no suggestion that they will be punished or stripped of their Royal titles or HRH status. Everyone wants to find a solution to this as quickly as possible.' 

After laying down a 72-hour ultimatum to aides on Friday to hammer out a solution to the Sussexes' future roles, Her Majesty summoned Princes Charles, William and Harry to her Norfolk Estate to put an end to the turmoil ravaging the monarchy - while Meghan is expected to join the discussions via a conference call from Canada.

Courtiers have quickly crashed together a document outlining several blueprints for Harry and Meghan's new position within the Royal ranks. 

Mille Fleurs is officially owned by the Towner Bay Country Club Ltd.

The Towner Bay Country Club owns all 27 properties on the private Towner Park Road, just outside the small town of North Saanich.

When the homes are put on sale, the buyer does not buy the house directly.

Instead they buy shares in the country club, which gives them effective ownership of the property. The buyer's name therefore does not appear on the title of the land, which is a public document. 

The office address given by the Country Club on its corporate filings is at a local law firm, Henley & Walden LLP in Sidney. The firm refused to comment.

It refused to name the shareholder to


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'My heart is so broken': Former MAFS star Nic Jovanovic makes a teary tribute to his late grandmother who has passed away from cancer

Former Married At First Sight star Nic Jovanovic has paid tribute to his beloved grandmother on social media after she passed away from cancer.

The 29-year-old revealed the tragic news in a teary post, saying he was 'heart broken' and labelled her as an 'amazing woman that will be missed'. 

'To my beautiful Baba. May you rest in peace now,' he started off his tribute.

'No more suffering from the cancer. You are pain free now and with family watching over us. Thank you for always being hard on me and wanting the best for me.

'Thank you for always feeding me way too much. Thank you for putting a roof over my head when times were tough.' 

He went on to add: 'You are such an amazing woman and will always be missed, but never forgotten. My heart is so broken right now. Watch over the family and I forever. I love you so much!'

His former co-stars including Cameron Merchant, Ines Basic and Dino Hira sent their well wishes under the post's comments.

'Oh bro! Baba will always watch over you and the fam from heaven feeling so proud to have been part of an amazing and loving family!' Dino wrote.

'So much love to you,' Ines added. 

In August, Nic opened up about his own personal battle with testicular cancer after his 'wife' Cyrelle Paule made insensitive comments during the show.

During a candid interview with 9Now, the former reality TV star described the uncertainty of his second diagnosis as crippling and 'horrific'. 

'I got diagnosed with another form of cancer. I had to have a testis removed and surgery and chemo,' he said.

'You have so many mixed thoughts about cancer in your head. Has it spread? Is the chemo working? Will the surgery be enough?' he added.

Nick explained that the experience was not just horrific for him, but also affected his entire family, who 'had to beat it all together'.

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Young couple with four year-old son both diagnosed with aggressive cancer .

A young couple who are parents to a four year-old boy have both been diagnosed with aggressive forms of cancer. Heather and Jason Brinkerhoff were forced to abandon renovation work on their home in Palo Alto, California, and now fear for their son Lucian’s future. Jason, a self-employed artist, began experiencing headaches in May 2018, and was diagnosed with an often deadly form of brain cancer shortly afterwards.

And in January they were hit by another devastating blow when personal trainer Heather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Both have since undergone multiple surgeries and chemotherapy treatments in a bid to halt the spread of the disease, so they can watch their son grow up.

Jason is on newly-improved drugs he hopes will extend his life expectancy, with Heather also having treatment which she hopes will contain her illness. Neighbors were so touched by the Brinkerhoffs’ plight that they rallied round to finish renovation work on their home, with construction completed earlier this week. Heather told the Palo Alto Daily Post: ‘This truly has shown me that people are good and want to help each other.’ Close friend Lisa Branson, who attends the same church as the family, felt upset that the Brinkerhoffs were living in a home with unfinished walls, boarded up windows and exposed wires.

She explained: ‘They had this dream of slowly turning this home into their dream home. ‘When they were diagnosed that became an impossible task for them and yet they were still living in this very raw house.’ The couple continue to battle cancer, but are now able to do so in more comfortable surroundings. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover their costs, as well as Lucian’s pre-school fees.

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Student’s leg turned ‘rock hard’ after stepping on sea creature

The modern languages student, 21, was on the trip of a lifetime with her family and felt "invincible" given she was "young, active and healthy."

However, just days later, Phoebe, from Canterbury, Kent, was left on the brink of having her leg amputated after developing full-blown sepsis.

Doctors had no option but to put Phoebe through four major operations in seven days - but miraculously managed to save her left leg.

Now in recovery, Phoebe says she is "lucky" to be alive and is bravely sharing her story to raise awareness of deadly sepsis.

She said: "My experience just goes to show that anyone can get sepsis. It could happen to anyone.

"One of the nurses described me as the 'unluckiest miracle'.

"I'm unlucky because I stood on that sea urchin and for what followed, but I'm so lucky that I'm still here."

Phoebe's nightmare ordeal began when she noticed her left foot had started to swell up after she stepped on a sea urchin while on a holiday in Barbados in October 2018.

She said: "I was on the beach one day and stepped on a sea urchin.

"I didn't think anything of it really.

"Two days later I noticed my feet were starting to swell up.

"It got to the point where I couldn't even walk."

Phoebe went to see her doctor who gave her some alcohol wipes and antibiotics - and within five days her feet felt better.

She flew home from Barbados and returned to university, but within a few days began to feel unwell again.

She said: "I went back to uni and my parents were coming down the following weekend which was the weekend of Remembrance Sunday.

"I woke up that day and really struggled to function.

"I couldn't work out what was happening and I remember feeling quite sweaty.

"I was supposed to go to the rugby with them but I had to go home and spent the whole day throwing up.

"On the Sunday morning I got up and noticed there was something wrong with my leg. I just thought it was really bad cramp.

"I slept through the rest of the day, and that night, my leg just went solid. It was incredibly painful, I've never known anything like it.

"Eventually I screamed at my housemates that something was wrong and they drove me straight to A&E and carried me in."

Despite a nurse saying Phoebe probably had severe flu and should go home, she insisted that she did not feel right and was given a blood test.

It was then that doctors realised that Phoebe was in the grip of a severe infection in her left calf, invasive streptococcus A, which quickly led to her developing full blown sepsis.

Doctors even told Phoebe there was a high chance they would have to amputate her left leg to halt the spread of the infection.

However, doctors managed to save her leg by performing four major operations in seven days.

And after around a month in hospital, Phoebe's condition gradually stabilised and she was discharged.

Despite her recovery, Phoebe has still had two re-occurrences of infection in her leg that left her bed ridden and on a cocktail of antibiotics.

Phoebe surpassed doctors expectations and managed to relearn how to walk in one month rather than the six that doctors predicted it would take her.

Phoebe said: "It was really difficult, I couldn't do anything for myself.

"I had to relearn how to walk again and use my left leg.

"It was tough because I've always been quite active and suddenly I couldn't do anything for myself. If I wanted to shower, I had to ask my parents to help me.

"The doctors and nurses were fantastic and the care I received from the NHS was amazing.

"It was easy to get depressed and give up. I thought I should just drop out of university but I wanted to carry on.

"I still can't feel my left leg even now. I'm pretty fit but it can affect daily life.

"I also have scars on my left leg. In comparison to other people's scars they're not that bad but people do stare at it."

Phoebe added: "It's changed my view of the world.

"Life is short and you need to treasure every moment."

"It brought my family even closer together.

"I appreciate the small things so much more, life is really short so you need to enjoy it."

Phoebe is now preparing to run the Madrid Half Marathon in March 2020 - despite only just relearning how to walk.

She is raising money for the UK Sepsis Trust on her GoFundMe page.

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Russian boy, eight, has buckwheat surgically removed

An eight-year-old boy had to have buckwheat surgically removed from his knees after his stepfather forced him to kneel on a pile of grain seeds in Russia

Sergey Kazakov, 35, punished the boy for coming home late by making him kneel for nine hours at a time on the grain, causing seeds to take root in his bloodied knees. 

The crop had to be surgically removed under general anaesthetic at a hospital in Omsk, Russia.  

Kazakov also kicked the boy and pulled his hair while he was kneeling and the boy's mother Alina Yumasheva admitted she had approved the punishment.  

Yumasheva claimed that she and Kazakov discovered the form of punishment on the internet. 

The mother told the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda: 'I checked on it myself and set up an experiment.

'I knelt on it. It didn't hurt me. So he (Kazakov) was allowed to apply this punishment.'

However, sources said the boy was forced to kneel on grains which were like 'rough sandpaper' and he was heard crying 'it hurts' as he was kicked by his stepfather.  

The couple also starved the boy for up to four days at a time, claim state investigators.  

Kazakov told police he had inflicted the punishment once but several more deleted videos were traced on his phone, say investigators. 

The boy's ordeal came to light when he fled the family home and pleaded with a female neighbour to help.

She called in doctors because of the horrific wounds on the child's knees from which blood was flowing.  

Kazakov, a computer programming entrepreneur, and Yumasheva are now facing trial in Omsk. 

The couple are under investigation for torture, causing damage to the boy's health, and failure to properly educate the boy. 

He was remanded in custody and she was barred from leaving her home pending criminal investigations. 

However, after one month in hospital, the boy has been returned into her care, say Russian reports. 

This was despite the boy pleading with his nurse in hospital: 'Will you send me to live in a good family now?' 

The child's class teacher Olga Pidzhakova said the boy was academically bright but she believed he had been scared to complain.

'He is a good, positive child,' she said. 'His mother constantly attends parental meetings, comes if I call.

'He is always clean, and neatly dressed.

'Neither I, nor other teachers or children were even aware that he was being bullied at home. It is only now that I find out he was simply afraid to complain to us.'

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