Featured Threads

Girl designs Christmas cards to raise money for room for disabled brother

A girl is designing Christmas cards to raise money for an accessible bedroom and bathroom for her disabled younger brother. Nine-year-old Evie Haynes has designed the cards to sell in local shops, to help raise £10,000 for an extension for her disabled brother. Evie loves to draw, and wanted to help out her five-year-old little brother Jack, who has cerebral palsy and has suffered from seizures all his life. Their mum Hayley Haines has applied for a £30,000 grant from Wiltshire Council for renovation work at their family home in Trowbridge, Wilts. They want to give Jack his own accessible bedroom and bathroom. But the family still need to raise a further £10,000 of their own before the work can take place. And little Evie wanted to get involved with helping her brother – so has drawn her own, colourful Christmas card design to sell at her school and in local shops. The Mead Primary School pupil said: ‘I wanted to help my brother Jack as he has trouble getting around.

‘I enjoy drawing and wanted to be a part of the fundraising my mum is doing.’ And mum-of-two Hayley said: ‘Evie loves doing her drawing and is really creative, and she was so keen to help her brother. ‘She is just an amazing big sister, and although a huge majority of my time is taken up by caring for Jack, she never complains and is always willing to help. ‘The number of times she has had to come to hospital with us in the middle of the night if Jack has had a seizure is too much to count. ‘But she still goes to school as normal the next day with a smile on her face.’ Hayley added: ‘These home improvements would make life so much easier for all of us. ‘We live in a two-bedroom house, so at the moment Jack shares with me and Evie has her own space. ‘I would love for Jack to be able to be more independent and have his own room with a specialised bed and an accessible bathroom. ‘I also would love a ramp going into the garden as he just loves playing outside.’ Now Evie’s Christmas cards have been designed, Hayley is hoping to find a company who will be willing to print them. She said: ‘I am really hoping someone or some company will be able to print maybe around 500 of them for us. ‘I do feel it is a lot to ask but if someone was willing to help it would mean so much to us.

‘The local Budgens store has already said we may be able to sell them there if we can get them printed, and Evie and Jack will both sell them at their school’s Christmas fairs.’ Jack had his first seizure when he was just seven hours old. This caused his condition, as well as epilepsy and a tendency to suffer from life-threatening seizures. Over the past year Jack and his family have been in and out of hospital as he was having regular seizures, but he has now been put on new medication which has stabilised him.

But he still has difficulties with his mobility and requires round-the-clock care. He receives visits from Julia’s House nurses to help him with his condition, but his mum has recently given up her job as a special needs nurses to be his full-time carer. Hayley added: ‘Jack is such a happy and social little boy. Despite his health and physical challenges he is a very determined and brave little boy. ‘Today Jack uses a walking frame and sometimes a wheelchair to get about. ‘Stairs can be a struggle especially when he is tired, which is why the extension would be so useful.’

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 14:49

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 115
  • 0

Former McDonald's worker reveals the real reason why ice cream machines are often 'broken'

A former McDonald's worker has revealed that the ice-cream machines always appear broken because staff cannot be bothered to clean them.

Will Doyle claimed that the soft-serve machines take hours to clean and this makes staff reluctant to serve ice-cream, on October 21.

He wrote on Twitter: 'Btw, I used to work in McDonalds. The ice cream machine was never broke, it just takes 3 hours to clean so we used to say it was broke so we didn't have to serve you lot. Cheers x' 

Another former worker said it was 'always working' but just 'took too long to clean' so they told people it was broken, in the Tweet which has been shared more than 10,000 times.

People 'don't understand' that the machine cannot be used at all during a cleaning cycle and it is more complicated than just 'wiping it down'. This means it is 'easier' to say it is broken, says Eleanor in the Twitter thread. 

She added: 'Unless you work for the company you don’t understand. It seems dumb but it’s genuinely easier to lie to avoid having the same conversation 10000 times a day.' 

Former employee Megan Wojcik said: 'Or someone would accidentally press the weird heat button which spoiled the ice cream/shakes so it had to be cleaned.'

Twitter user TheGrizzlyBanjo said: 'I’m copying this information so the next time McDonalds does that I will show them this tweet.' 

Andizzle asked: 'I don't understand why you couldn't say it's being cleaned or maintenanced.'

Kat wrote: 'Bf recently worked there... can confirm the absolute truth in this! And that barely anyone knows how to actually clean it.'

Megan Pears added: 'Will take all McDonald’s secrets to the grave.' 

Rhys Thomas wrote: 'Question is, why are they making machines for fast food chains that take 3 hours to clean.' 

McDonald's told the Mirror that machines are cleaned every 24 hours and apologised for any inconvenience.

They claimed the shake and soft-serve machines 'undergo heat treatment cycles' which involve them being 'disassembled sanitized and cleaned every 14 days'.

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 10:51

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 123
  • 0

Family of a woman, 48, who bled to death after a dentist pulled out ten of her teeth.

The family of a woman who bled to death after a dentist pulled out ten of her teeth have slammed the short ban he was given. 

Magzine Gordon, 48, died after dentist Tushar Patel removed all her top teeth in two sessions in the same week.

She told him she took blood-thinning medication - but he failed to carry out the required risk assessment, and last week he was banned for a year.

Magzine's care was described as a 'catalogue of errors' in a medical standards report earlier this week.

Speaking out for the first time, her devastated family said: 'He might be a dentist again next year, whereas we will be without Magzine forever.'

Her sister Dawn Boatswain told how she was an LGBT activist and charity volunteer, as well as a dedicated policy adviser for the DWP, advocating for disadvantaged people.

Dawn, a Network Rail manager from Northampton, said: 'It was extremely hard for us all and yes, we do have anger and pain.

'But the worst thing for us was how at the inquest never once did he (Dr Patel) make eye contact with us or come over to say sorry.

'No apology will bring her back but he has never apologised to us.

'He did not consider her long term health when treating Magzine and didn't provide her with even a basic level of care.

'I will never forgive him.' 

Patel was a dentist at Confidential Clinics in Purley, Surrey and treated the woman in the summer of 2017, extracting five of the patient's teeth on July 13 and five teeth on July 18. 

Documents from the General Dental Council (GDC) said Magzine told her dentist she was taking warfarin, a blood-thinning medicine to treat a clotting condition.

Dr Patel extracted five of the patient's teeth on July 13 and five teeth on July 18, but didn't pack or suture her wounds properly, the report said.

The GDC panel heard Dr Panel failed to discuss with her the complex needs and increased risk of bleeding, or do proper checks to assess her risk of post-operative bleeding.

The report said he should have taken out a maximum of three teeth at a time.

Magzine went to A&E at King's College Hospital, London, for help before returning home where she collapsed on July 19.

Magzine, who wasn't married and had no children, lived with her older brother Andrew, who found his sister in a 'pool of blood' that apparently resembled a 'crime scene'.

She died later that day.

Dawn said: 'The next thing I heard was that Andrew had rang an ambulance because she collapsed.

'I'm not convinced he (Dr Patel) thought about what he was doing.

'It doesn't feel like he gave her even average level of care.

'I think she was just a number to him, just someone else to get out the door.

'The challenge for me is that a 12 month suspension is nothing. The sanction is nowhere near strong enough for what has happened.

'He might be a dentist again next year, whereas we will be without Magzine forever.'

At a hearing last week a GDC professional conduct panel suspended Dr Patel for 12 months.

Patel, who has 30 years of experience, admitted the allegations of misconduct that were put to him.

According to the report, he expressed remorse and has apologised to the patient's family.

But Magzine's siblings have said no one in the family has received an apology from Dr Patel.

Dawn paid tribute to her sister, who she described as a 'committed' community volunteer who loved to help other people.

'She had lots of friends and did so much for the local community', said Dawn.

'She set up a support group for the LGBT community and was always smiling, was always happy and was a very positive person.

'Magzine was only concerned about fighting other people's corner and always stood up for people.

'She loved to help people and we are very proud of her for that.'

A JustGiving page was set up in Magzine's memory by one of her close friends, Janet Connelly, to raise money for LGBT charity London Friend.

On there she paid tribute to her 'passionate friend' who was 'so sharp, full of sparkle, loud and infectious'.

Other friends described her as 'an amazing woman'.

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 10:34

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 180
  • 0

A Mum-of-three spends £19,000 on plastic surgery to look like Meghan Markle... See the outcome!

A single mother-of-three is proudly showing off her new look after spending a whopping $30,000 on plastic surgery to look like Meghan Markle. 

Xochytl 'Xochi' Greer, a 36-year-old lawyer from Houston, Texas, documented her transformation on ABC News' Nightline as she underwent liposuction, fat grafting, and rhinoplasty in the hopes of resembling the Duchess of Sussex and ultimately bettering her life. 

'I think she’s a beautiful woman, and, as I’m changing the features that I have, yes, I want those features to more resemble Meghan,' she said before she went under the knife. 

Greer loves watching Markle play corporate lawyer Rachel Zane in old episodes of the legal drama Suits, and she said she is often told that she resembles the actress turned royal. 

'I take that as a huge amazing compliment because she’s a gorgeous woman,' she said. 'That has kind of helped inspire me and triggered how I knew what I wanted to do.' 

Greer sought out the help of Dr. Franklin Rose, a well-known plastic surgeon in Houston who has made headlines for taking on similar transformations.  

Last year, Dr. Rose performed surgery on Jenny Stuart and Sarah Schmidt to make them look more like Ivanka Trump. 

Greer hoped that the head-to-toe makeover would turn her life around after feeling plagued with insecurity. 

'My body has changed since having another child. My self-esteem was just lower because the way things went with the father of my child,' she explained. 'I am hoping that this will give me something that I need to get back out there.'

The mom admitted that she had a 'very hard time talking to men in a non-friendship manner,' and she believed going under the knife would be a boost to her confidence.

'The plastic surgery just helps to give me more self-confidence on my outward appearance while I am fixing my inward appearance, you know, privately through therapy and things,' she said. 

The day before her surgery, Greer stripped down to her bra and underwear so Dr. Rose could examine her, and the consultation was documented by Nightline.  

'We’re going to soften the nose. It’s a pretty nose, really. We’ll get it a little bit more like Meghan Markle,' the doctor told his patient. 'We’re going to make two baby incisions so you get rid of all this baby fat.'

While sitting down with the news program, Dr. Rose was asked if he does any form of psycho-analysis or evaluation on patients who say they want to completely change their appearance.   

'I have examined maybe 30,000 patients over this surgical career of mine, so you can tell very quickly who is a stable a patient or patients who have unreasonable expectations,' he said.

The plastic surgeon also noted the duchess has become 'one of the new "it" girls.'  

Greer paid $30,000 — minus an undisclosed discount from Dr. Rose for appearing on TV — to have liposuction, fat grafting to her buttocks and cheeks, and rhinoplasty. 

Right before she went into surgery, she held up her cellphone to the camera to show a photo of Markle, saying: 'This is the end game, right? This is what we're trying to get as close to as possible.'

Greer was in surgery for seven hours, and after she came to, she eagerly looked at her bandaged face on her cellphone. 

'I can already see some changes,' she said. 'I am really, really excited to see these results once the swelling goes down.'

Renata Williams, a 33-year-old real estate agent from Houston, also underwent her own Meghan Markle-inspired transformation that was documented on the show. 

Although she and Greer did not know each other before they debuted their new looks, they both chose Dr. Rose to do their surgeries. 

'I have an infatuation a little bit with Meghan Markle. I want to look like her, Williams told Nightline. 'I want to have the body that I’ve always wanted. Ten years later, after kids and having three C-sections, you’re just not comfortable anymore.' 

She and her second husband, Anthony, have a blended home with three children each, and like Greer, she has also been told that she bears a resemblance to the Duchess of Sussex. 

'She's graceful. I mean, she's intelligent, the way she gives back to the community, Williams said of Markle. 'I know that I'm not going to look just like her. But at the same time, she has a lot of features that I admire. And I would like them on me.' 

The mom said she would like the royal's same jaw and cheekbones in particular; she is also a fan of Markle's style and had an 'aspirational' closet of form-fitting dresses that she hoped she would be able to wear with confidence after her surgeries.

Her husband told Nightline that he thought she was beautiful, saying that looking more like Markle would be a 'linear move' for his wife because 'they're both pretty.'

Williams' 12-year-old daughter Raylin also thought she was beautiful the way she was but was ultimately supportive of her decision to change. 

'I see beauty, perfection. I see an awesome lady,' the tween said. 'I wish I could look like her all the time, especially at school when people say, "Your mom is really pretty."' 

Dr. Rose stressed that Williams would not look identical to Markle, noting that there is a 'misconception in plastic surgery' that you can take someone's face and make it identical to somebody else's face.  

'What we’re just going to try to do is just kind of refine things a little bit, to make her look more like Meghan Markle,' he said. 

Williams had even more procedures than Greer and was in the operating room for 11 hours. The cost of her liposuction, fat grafting to her buttocks, breast lift with implants, a tummy tuck, and rhinoplasty was $42,000, but she also received an undisclosed discount from Dr. Rose for appearing on television.  

After months of recovering, Dr. Rose threw Williams and Greer a British tea-themed reveal party complete with cardboard cutouts of Markle to debut their transformations. 

Both women are thrilled with their new looks, and while they don't look identical to the duchess, they are happy with the similarities they now share.   

'My daughter, when I got home and the first time I got dressed up, she said, "Mom, you look just like her." And in the back of my head, I was like, "No, I don't but okay!" I'm so happy! The ones who thought I was crazy are the ones who's like, "Congratulations!"'  Williams said.

The mom went on to say that her transformation was all about being proud of who she is, explaining that the happiness she feels now made her realize how 'down' she was before her surgeries. 

'I didn't realize how down I was until I realized how happy I am and excited, and I get out of bed happy.'

Greer, meanwhile, said she is 'very, very happy with the results' post-surgery.    

'I didn't go into this with an unrealistic expectation [that] people were going to go, "Oh my gosh, is that Meghan Markle?" There are certain features that resemble Meghan now,' she said. 

'But I look in the mirror and I still see me, just a better version of me.'

In another interview, Greer revealed that her 23-month-old daughter Isla now yells, 'Mommy, mommy,' whenever she sees pictures of Markle. 

'I had very big self-confidence issues, but now I feel I can put on a nice dress and don’t need to wear much make-up because I feel great,' she said of her transformation.

'I still wear the same sized clothing but they fit perfectly now, I don’t have big long rolls hanging out of my pants anymore.

'I don’t think I look identical to Meghan Markle, but I do see our similarities a lot more now, my nose definitely resembles hers more closely,' she added. 

'I also had fillers in my jawline to have a stronger jaw like she does, so I do feel I more strongly resemble her now.'

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 10:10

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 200
  • 0

Law student killed himself 'after smoking cannabis gave him paranoia'

A Hull University student tragically took his own life just six weeks before he was due to complete his law degree.

Father-of-one Phil Taylor, 32, was found hanged in his home in Manvers Street, west Hull, on April 17 by his family, who broke inside after not hearing from him for more than a week.

Mr Taylor was known to suffer from depression and had also smoked cannabis from the age of 16, which had 'caused him paranoia and anxiety' in the past and could have contributed towards his negative mental state, according to mental health experts.

Paying tribute, his mother, Pamela Taylor, told Hull Live Phil had a great sense of humour and worked hard.

'Phil was so funny and that is definitely something that his son has also inherited from him. He was so hard working as well and always achieved whatever he put his mind to,' said Mrs Taylor.

'Hull University awarded him posthumously with a first in his law degree based on all the work that he had completed and his dissertation that he submitted and I went along to the university to collect his certificate on his behalf.

'He was a very self determined person and very well loved by his family and friends'.

Giving evidence at an inquest into his death at Hull Coroner's Court, Mrs Taylor said her son was born in Beverley and was the second eldest of four children.

He attended school in Bridlington after the family moved in his teens and studied art at East Riding College before dropping out.

She said Phil's problems with cannabis escalated, though, and he was asked to leave the family home in 2006.

After meeting his ex-partner in 2009, he started to turn his life around and the couple had a baby boy in 2011, before Phil went on to study law at the University of Hull in 2015.

'Phil's relationship was up and down and he didn't live with his partner or child but continued to study for his degree and did well, and even won the Top Student Award in 2017,' she said.

'He was never one to keep in touch though, and from September 2018 he contacted me less and less and was convinced that people were after him and never wanted to leave the house or come over to see me.

'I thought that it was the cannabis that must have been making him so paranoid.'

After Mrs Taylor had not heard from her son for more than a week, she became concerned for his safety so went to his house with her daughter and son-in-law before breaking in.

They tragically found Phil, who had left a suicide note on his bed.

Phil had been taking anti-depressants since 2013 and had seemingly managed his condition up to April 7, when he had an episode of 'stress induced psychosis' brought on by cannabis use, according to mental health nurse, Michelle Tennant.

Ms Tennant said she assessed Phil in his home before taking him to Miranda House for his own safety before he was later discharged.

A significant event analysis report by mental health nurse Tony Ladley showed that the care delivered to Mr Taylor was in keeping with standard practices and that no changes to their approach was needed.

'Phil Taylor was in his final year of studying law and was a gym weight and training enthusiast that looked after himself,' Mr Ladley told the court.

'He smoked cannabis from his teen years and smoked spice occasionally, but was defensive about the effect of cannabis on his mental health.

'It is hard to know if his suicide was caused by a depressive episode that he kept well hidden, or stress induced psychosis as a result of substance misuse.

'The association with cannabis does effect people's mental health and not in a good way.

'There was very little more that the mental health services could have done to help and the clinicians involved in Phil's care were shocked and surprised to learn of his death.'

HM area coroner Rosemary Baxter said there was evidence of cannabis in Phil's system from the toxicology report.

She recorded a conclusion of suicide.

stella Posted on October 25, 2019 14:27

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 121
  • 0

So bad, Tarzan' actor Ron Ely's wife stabbed to death by their son before being shot by cops

Tarzan actor Ron Ely’s wife has been stabbed to death by the couple’s son, who police subsequently shot and killed. Valerie Lundeen, a former Miss Florida pageant winner, was found dead at the couple’s Hope Ranch property in Santa Barbara on Tuesday evening. It was later confirmed on Wednesday by the local police department that the suspect was 30-year-old Cameron Ely – Ron and Valerie’s son. Cameron had been shot dead by officers on the scene.

Cameron posed a threat when they found him on the grounds of his parents’ home and as a result, four deputies opened fire,’ according to TMZ. The police dispatch audio, as released by The Blast, alleges that Cameron called police.

He said that his father had attempted to attack his mother. The call was disconnected, and when the operator called back they told police that the caller sounded ‘out of breath, unintelligible and crying’.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office public information officer, Lieutenant Erik Raney, said: ‘We don’t know exactly how many shots were fired. We did have several deputies that were involved in the shooting. ‘Fortunately, all of our deputies are OK.’

Ely is best known for having portrayed Tarzan in the 1966 NBC series Tarzan and for playing the lead role in the film Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze. He hosted the Miss America pageant in 1981 and 1982, and married Valerie in 1984. They had three children: Kirsten, Kaitland, and Cameron, 30.

stella Posted on October 25, 2019 13:43

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 134
  • 0

Woman shares her horror after meeting up with her Tinder date .

A young woman has shared her horror after meeting a Tinder date - only to discover he looked absolutely nothing like his profile pictures.

Bianca Boulden, a brand manager and communications from Sydney, said her experience of being 'catfished' was terrifying as it was so unexpected.  

Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Bianca said she thought she had been chatting to a man who 'looked like a babe on his profile'.

But when she arrived at the pub in Bondi on a Friday afternoon, she was met with a completely different person who she thought appeared to be 15 years older.

'We were talking for a few days and he asked, "do you want to get a drink and we can meet?"' She said.

Bianca said the pair decided to lock in a date after they agreed to meet.

Arriving first gave her time to choose a courtyard table and settle herself while waiting for her date.

Shortly after, she said an older man with long, unkempt hair approached her table.

Bianca said she was shocked when he introduced himself as the man she had been talking to on Tinder for the past few days.

'I said "no, I think you're mistaken. I am waiting here for someone",' she said.

Much to her shock, the man stated it was he she was meeting - not anyone else.

Bianca said the man couldn't have looked more different from the photo he had used for his profile. 

She said the man's appearance wasn't a matter of weight gain or a haircut - but he was a 'completely different person'. 

On realising the seriousness of the situation, Bianca plotted her escape, taking the first opportunity she could to leave when the man went to the bar to buy a round of drinks.

'I just felt really scared. I had my car parked there but I didn't want him to see what car I was in,' she said.

After slipping out a side entrance, Bianca took a taxi home, all while being barraged by a stream of calls from the catfish.

She said while the deception was itself unsettling, the fact the man hadn't acknowledged he'd used someone else's photos was particularly concerning.

Bianca added it seemed as if the man hadn't dated in his 'entire life' and so he thought nothing of using another person's pictures to secure a date.

The encounter, which occurred several years ago, saw her stay off online dating for the following six months after she deleted Tinder.

While Bianca is now dating again using apps such as Bumble and Hinge, she said she has tailored a verification process to ensure those who she speak to her are who they say they are.

This includes asking for their last name so she can check their details on social media to ensure she's speaking to the same person.

stella Posted on October 25, 2019 12:30

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 126
  • 0

'Selfish' pensioner jailed for leaving dying wife to sit covered in maggots as pictures show shocking conditions they lived in

A reclusive “selfish” pensioner, whose dying wife was found sitting covered in maggots and flies surrounded by bags of stinking rubbish, was today jailed for eight years.

Richard Wallach claimed that he had not known his 61-year-old wife Valerie had various agonising deep pressure sores and injuries and “assumed she was all right”.

But a court heard that she had been left sitting helplessly in a urine and faeces-soiled leather chair in the bay window of their home in agony for weeks or months and he had simply ignored it.

After her plight was finally discovered the odour in the house was described as “horrendous” by paramedics and fire fighters who had to fight their way through layers of rotting rubbish.

And she was found to be in a “shocking” condition with her skin grey and apparently rotting and with maggots stuck to her wounds.

Judge Neil Flewitt, QC, told the 67-year-old hoarder that it was clear from the evidence, “that you are self-obsessed by which I mean you are excessively preoccupied with your own life and circumstances and think only about yourself”.

He said a probation officer concluded he had a tendency to view things from the perspective of his own perceived needs and health issues at the expense of his wife’s needs and deteriorating health issues.

“In other words you are a thoroughly selfish man and in this instance your selfishness led directly to the death of your wife.”

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court took just under three hours last month to unanimously find him guilty of gross neglect manslaughter.

Judge Flewitt told Wallach, who listened through a hearing loop but showed no reaction, that his breach of duty to his wife was “truly exceptionally bad and so reprehensible as to justify the conclusion that it amounted to gross negligence.

“Your neglect of your wife was extreme and led to her living the last few months of her life in appalling conditions.”

He pointed out that apart from a hoarding disorder the defendant has no other mental problems and he kept the rooms he used relatively clean and tidy.

“That leads me to the inescapable conclusion that you simply couldn’t be bothered to take the same care of your wife as you took of yourself.”

The judge added that he was sure the victim had been seriously ill and in severe pain for several weeks if not months and Wallach was aware of it “and simply ignored it.”

The mum-of-two, who had a history of osteoporosis-arthritis, obesity, agrophobia and depression, was rescued after Wallach finally went to the nearby Elms medical centre on August 24, 2017 saying she was “babbling”.

Shocked paramedics and firefighters had to fight their way through mountains of bags of rubbish, rotting food and faeces, to reach her. Fire fighters said “they had never seen a living human-being in such a poor condition,” said Richard Pratt, QC, prosecuting.

She showed no response until fire fighters managed to get her out of the chair when she screamed and it was found skin, blood and bodily fluids had been left behind.

When bags covering her legs were moved they were found to be sore, swollen and covered in a thick brown slime.

It had been suggested that the window might have to be removed to get her out of the house and Wallach objected as they were new and said there could be insurance implications.

It took staff at the Royal Liverpool Hospital 90 minutes to clean Mrs Wallach and her blackened teeth were so decayed that she was unable to speak and screamed in pain when staff tried to clean her mouth.

Her shabby dirty clothing only covered her top half and was described as being in an “appalling” state with her legs and body covered in faeces and she even had a Pot Noodle sachet stuck to her leg.

“The smell coming from her was overpowering.”

When a doctor told her husband that her prognosis was poor and she was likely to die that day Wallach responded by saying: “Thanks for letting me know but who is going to sort out my problem, I have been constipated for weeks.”

Her legs were severely ulcerated and she had the most serious type of ulcers on her buttocks, backs of her thighs and both heels which had taken weeks or months to have reached that level.

They were extremely painful as well as foul smelling and she was found to have overwhelming sepsis .

She died 19 days later on September 12, 2017 from advanced breast cancer, which had spread to her brain, spine and ribs - and which was only diagnosed on her admission to hospital - and multiple organ failure.

Wallach, who still lives in their mid-terraced home in Toxteth, had denied manslaughter. He had been receiving a carer’s allowance because of her infirmity but payments stopped about six weeks before her death.

The defendant was shown photographs of his wife in hospital and admitted the injuries were “very bad. I must have had a mental lapse or something. I do not recall those injuries at all.”

He said: “I looked after her to the best of my ability” and added, “I assumed she was all right.

"If she had been in pain she would have let me know and I would have done something about it”.

Kenneth Grant, defending, said today that Wallach spent his childhood in care, and after marrying his wife they lived “an unusual life style, perhaps melancholy and socially isolated.”

They had few if any friends, no family support network and no contact with their neighbours.

“He is a a senior citizen who lived a quiet, unassuming, uneventful, blameless life. He is now held criminally responsible for the death of his wife. If ever there was a sad, deeply depressing case this surely is it.

“Valerie Wallach did not deserve to die in hospital. She did not deserve to die having succumbed to her injuries in the way the jury found he permitted,” said Mr Grant.

stella Posted on October 25, 2019 12:14

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 122
  • 0

Girl, 9, paralysed from neck down after doing handstands for her mum

A girl was left paralysed from the neck down after she became dizzy doing handstands with her mum. Maisie Jones, nine, suddenly couldn’t walk after doing the gymnastics, with seemingly no explanation. She said she suddenly felt dizzy and her tummy hurt. Her mum Louise Jones took her to Southend Hospital but the family didn’t receive a diagnosis. According to Mrs Jones the tummy ache was determined as ‘chronic constipation’ and the dizziness was unexplained. Her daughter was sent home and ‘could hardly walk’ before she was admitted again.

But in July, Maisie collapsed and was eventually transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital. At her worst, she couldn’t move from the neck down. Doctors eventually worked out she was suffering from Functional Neurological Disorder, which was highlighed by the handstands. Maisie now has to use a wheelchair, has been taken out of school and hasn’t walked unaided since July. Mrs Jones, 47, said: ‘It has been extremely stressful and it is breaking my heart. ‘A little girl doing cartwheels and handstands and the next minute she can’t walk with no real explanation. ‘It was completely out of the blue.’

FND often impacts teenage girls and Maisie must now retrain her brain in order to walk again. She is being homeschooled until she can finally get back on her feet. Maisie has had to move to a downstairs bedroom because she can no longer use the stairs. Her autistic brother, Tommy, five, has also struggled to cope. ‘He doesn’t understand why his sister can’t play with him anymore,’ Mrs Jones, of Hullbridge, Essex, said. ‘Maisie gets upset because she can not get up and run around. She can’t go to the park anymore because she gets too upset.’ She added: ‘My little boy keeps saying when Maisie is better everything will be normal again. We don’t know which way to turn.’ The family is now raising ‘desperately needed’ funds to pay for a private psychologist and therapist and for Maisie to have hydrotherapy treatment.

CEO of The Brain Charity, Nanette Mellor, said: ‘Functional Neurological Disorder is a much more common condition than many people think and, because it affects the brain, it can affect people in so many different ways. ‘We have supported adults who have lost their jobs and their homes as a result and young people who have been rendered paralysed by it for months at a time. ‘For many people with this condition, their whole lives will turn upside down. ‘I think one of the most difficult aspects of having a diagnosis of FND is that really, we still have very little information about the causes of it and this really impedes our ability to find treatment. ‘FND is also known as ‘medically unexplained neurological symptoms’ so what we are essentially saying is that we don’t know what this is yet. ‘The brain is such a complex and mysterious thing and we are only really just beginning to understand how to measure and assess what is going on inside it. ‘So for those with FND, getting a diagnosis and remaining positive about finding treatment that will work for them is a long hard battle.’

stella Posted on October 25, 2019 12:07

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 145
  • 0

Wow, Two friends, 31, support each other during cancer fight and pose for photo.

Two breast cancer sufferers have forged a 'sister-like' bond through their shared devastation at not being able to have children. 

Nicky Newman and Laura Middleton-Hughes, both 31, were distraught when they found out their dream of starting a family had been snatched from them. 

But Mrs Newman, from Guildford, Surrey and Mrs Middleton-Hughes, from Norwich, have vowed to live life to the full together after finding friendship with each other.

Although both women look fit and healthy, X-ray images lay bare the 'secondary' tumours which riddle their bodies.

Mrs Newman and Mrs Middleton-Hughes met by chance, through an online cancer community and bonded immediately.

Soon after, they set up their own web platform called Secondary Sisters to 'offer information, hope and basically a bit of fun'.

Mrs Newman discovered she had cancer about a year ago, after noticing a lump in her right breast.

At the time, she was undergoing IVF in a desperate bid to have a baby with husband Alex.

She said: 'I've always been a "lumpy" person so I wasn't worried. I talked to the IVF nurse and she said it was probably just a side-effect of the treatment.

'But a week later, there was an indentation in the breast and the nipple had gone in. I called the nurse again and she told me not to worry. 

'But I decided to go with my gut instinct and went to the doctor, who fast-tracked me for extensive tests.'

Mrs Newman added: 'Before the word "cancer" was even mentioned, I could see it in the doctor's face.

'My first question was "What's going to happen to my eggs?" At that point, the most important thing to me was having a child. They told me not to panic.'

During tests, Mrs Newman also mentioned that she had been suffering back pains, so she was also referred for specialist imaging. A week later, she was called back.

She said: 'The surgeon said to me "I'm really sorry, there's nothing I can do." It was terrifying.

'What she was trying to say was that there was nothing she could do as a surgeon - I had stage 4 breast cancer which had spread. But it sent me into a blind panic.'

Mrs Newman added: 'I didn't know if I was going to live or die. The whole thing was an absolute blur.'

Mrs Newman needed strong medication to control the pain and temporarily lost her ability to walk.

However, she was put on the drug palbociclib (Ibrance), which had only just been approved on the NHS, and her disease is currently stable.

She said: 'My oncologist told me that was a game-changer. If it hadn't been approved, my prognosis would have been very different.'

Mrs Newman took three months off from her job at a finance brokerage.

She added: 'When I left hospital, I was grieving more for the fact that I had lost my chance to be a mother, than because I had cancer.

'It was only six months down the line that I could finally say "Oh my God, I have incurable cancer."

'Then I had to grieve again for the life I thought I would have, or should have had.'  

Mrs Newman added: 'There are tough times, of course, and we don't shy away from that. But our focus is on living your life and living it well.'

Mrs Middleton-Hughes was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 after finding a lump in her left breast while on a dream holiday to Australia.

She underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy and recovered, but began to feel pain in her right shoulder in April 2016.

The pain continued to get worse and her GP referred her for physiotherapy, and then eventually she had a scan.

Medics found that a tumour had overtaken the head of the humerus - the long bone in the arm from the shoulder to the elbow.

Mrs Middleton-Hughes said: 'I didn't know at that point if it had spread anywhere else but immediately I feared it had and I had only weeks to live.'

She underwent a shoulder replacement, which caused her agonising pain, and then started chemotherapy.

At present, she has traces of cancer in her spine, 12 vertebrae and pelvis. Her disease is currently stable, though incurable.

She said: 'I'm very, very grateful that the treatment I'm having is managing to give me a fairly normal life.

Mrs Middleton-Hughes has had to give up the hairdressing job she loved but in April this year she married husband Brad. 

As part of the Stand Up To Cancer campaign, both women have painted their bodies with words which characterise their battle with cancer, including 'pain', 'infertility', 'fatigue' and 'stage 4'.

The campaign aims to unite scientists, celebrities and communities across the UK to raise cash for rapid new treatments.

It is supported by a host of celebrities including presenters Davina McCall and Maya Jama, comedians Alan Carr and Joe Lycett, and Olympic champion Greg Rutherford.

Lynn Daly, spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK, said: 'Faced with such a difficult prognosis, Nicky and Laura are being unbelievably brave and positive in sharing their very personal stories.

'There's been amazing progress in the past few decades and more people are now surviving cancer than ever before.

'But with one in two in the UK set to develop the disease at some point in our lives, and thousands and thousands of people in the same position as Nicky and Laura, there's still so much more to do.

'Supporting Stand Up To Cancer enables scientists to explore brave new ways to fight the disease and develop radical treatments, meaning more lives are saved.'

To find out more about Stand Up To Cancer go to or or follow the campaign on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

stella Posted on October 25, 2019 11:45

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 149
  • 0

Oh, How Stephen Gately died in husband's arms - and the horrific moment he realised he'd gone

Stephen Gately was happier than he'd ever been in October 2009.

Boyzone had just reunited and finished their Back Again... No Matter What Tour, with work on their fourth studio album, Brother, already underway.

And he and his partner, internet tycoon Andrew Cowles, had just arrived at their £1million apartment in the upmarket Majorca resort of Port d'Andratx, for a month-long working holiday.

On the evening of Saturday, October 9, 2009, they finished decorating the flat ready for the arrival of friends and family and were looking forward to a quiet night in.

Speaking to The Mirror at the time, a neighbour recalled, “I spoke to them on the Saturday evening and they said they were just going to chill out at home.

“Stephen said he was tired and was on a health kick, so he was staying off alcohol during his holiday."

But something must have changed their minds and the couple instead headed for dinner and drinks in the nearby city of Palma.

The next afternoon, Stephen was found dead on the sofa.

He had suffered 'acute' pulmonary oedema - or fluid on the lungs - caused by an undiagnosed heart condition.

The pathology report confirmed his death was not related to drink or drugs and he'd been on good form in the days before, with his widower telling The Mirror, “I do get some comfort from knowing how happy he was that day.

“The night he died, we’d had such a good time, a lovely evening in our favourite restaurant. He was the most happy and confident he’d been in his life."

While out, they met model and student Georgi Dochey in a bar and partied at the Black Cat club before the three of them headed back to Stephen and Andrew's place at around 5.30am.

There, Georgie said they kissed before Stephen fell asleep on the sofa next to Andrew and he headed to a spare room.

He was woken by the doorbell at 8am but decided that as a guest, it wasn't his place to answer - a move that would torture him for years to come.

"I heard someone ringing constantly. I got up and looked into the living room and saw Stephen and Andy still lying there on the sofa and I just thought: "It's not my house, I can't answer the door,'" Georgi previously told the Daily Mail.

"I don't know if Stephen was already dead. I think about what might have happened if I had tried to wake him. Could he still be alive? It is really hard to think about things like that."

Georgi said he and Andrew were intimate in a bedroom hours later, and that it was only when he stopped to have a cigarette on his way out that he noticed Stephen hadn't moved from his 'curled up' position on the sofa.

"I went to take his pulse and couldn’t find one. I knew
he was dead," he told The Sun in 2014, admitting he didn't know how to break the news to Andrew, who by that point was said to be sleeping in the couple's bedroom.

“I went into the bedroom and said, ‘I’m going. Let’s wake Stephen up so I can say goodbye’. Andy replied, ‘No, leave him sleeping’ and that’s when I told him Stephen looked strange," he said.

Reliving the heartbreaking scenes as Andrew frantically tried to revive his husband, Georgi continued, “Andy was whispering, ‘Come on baby, wake up’. He began slapping him round the face when he didn’t respond.

“When he too realised he was dead, he broke down in tears. He then tried to revive him by giving him mouth-to-mouth but there was nothing either of
us could do.”

Stephen was pronounced dead at 2.25pm but had passed away in his sleep hours before.

“We know from the pathologist’s report that Stephen died sleeping with me on the sofa,” devastated Andrew told The Mirror.

“I know that my boy fell asleep under my arm, his heart stopped, he didn’t feel any pain.”

But in 2014, Stephen's family called for a fresh investigation into his death, which coroners ruled was due to natural causes.

“A few things about that night don’t make sense," he told The Sun, questioning why Stephen fell asleep on the couch.

But Andrew branded Tony's comments “groundless” and said they had “stirred up a lot of vileness".

He said at the time: “I’m saddened that I’m still dealing with the estate and unable to grieve privately.

“It’s particularly difficult because I’m the administrator of the estate and must remain impartial. Some of the insinuations are dreadful."

stella Posted on October 25, 2019 11:35

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 134
  • 0

Oh I’m Dying. I Want Someone to Love My Husband When I’m Gone

I would have never expected to write a letter like this to someone I don’t know, but there’s a lot about my life no one ever expects. Living with cystic fibrosis — a progressive, terminal, genetic lung condition — for an entire lifetime, and having to face multiple double-lung transplants has given me the chance to think about life and death quite a bit. But it was love that changed my perception of the things that are important to me. It’s love that allowed me to appreciate the time I have, specifically the little amount that I’ve shared with my husband. Facing death isn’t difficult; facing death with the person I love is.

I remember the exact moment he and I met. I feel as though everyone has a wild fantasy of being swept off their feet by a gorgeous European man, but that never happens in real life. Yet here I was at a small restaurant in Hollywood called Birds, nervously waiting for my tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, European package to arrive. I half expected it to be a catfish situation.

Thirty minutes after our agreed meetup time, he was a no-show. I was slowly beginning to plan my exit strategy. Then like out of a 90s romantic comedy, he materialized as a large group of people crossed in front of the entryway. Wearing sunglasses, jeans, and a blue polo shirt, he made eye contact with me. I literally felt my heart skip a beat, which worried me because I was on heart medication already. 

He smiled, sat down, and with his beautiful European accent said, “Hi Tree-vis.” He completely butchered my name, but I didn’t care. He could say my name however he wanted, just as long as he didn’t run when I told him more about myself, and the difficult road I was facing at the time: a second double-lung transplant. As I explained more about the things I was dealing with, he reached across the table and placed his hand on my arm to comfort me. 

I got my second double-lung transplant, a hurdle many people living with cystic fibrosis never survive. That milestone was followed by several more: a proposal, a marriage, and so many nights spent at home watching movies and eating spaghetti. But as we cross each threshold, I can increasingly feel in my bones that I won’t be the last person he loves in his lifetime. It started a few months ago. I just didn’t want to accept it.

As my second double-lung transplant started to fail, I understood that my version of forever wouldn’t be as long as his, but it was too painful to think about. Someday, maybe even sooner than we both hope, he will find a person to give his intense love and kind heart to again. He will cuddle up to watch TV shows with this person, like we used to do, have conversations about life, and envision the future with him, the way we had dreamed of having one together.

It was late November in Los Angeles, which is a strange time of year because the holiday spirit is in full force, yet the California sun gives no hint that winter is coming. My husband and I were gearing up to host my organ-donor’s family at our home for a late Thanksgiving dinner — a gift that is truly rare among the organ-transplant community. But prior to any celebration, we had to trek to Westwood for a follow-up visit with my transplant care team. It was a common flu-season appointment to make sure that my body was strong, healthy, and able to withstand any unexpected viruses due to anti-rejection medications that I take to suppress my immune system.

I waited to see each person involved in my care at UCLA, while my partner stepped out of the doctor's office to take a call. Doctor U. finally walked into the examination room, and it instantly felt smaller than it ever had before. Even though he sat in the chair right across from me, I felt like he was miles away. I suddenly felt like a stranger to him, rather than someone that he had cared for through many hardships over many years. Without a word, his deep breath in and then his slow sigh broke my heart. His eyes were so red, as if he had stayed up for days trying to find a solution for what he was about to tell me. Perhaps he had. 

After several moments of silence, he spoke. All I heard were the words “chronic-rejection.”

I was numb. He held himself together well enough to ask me where my partner was, so I could lean on someone outside of the staff for emotional support. The medical staff had to remain “professional” in a situation like this. In that moment, though, I would have rather had an “unprofessional” medical team that reminded me that we’re all human, than a “professional” team that’s seemingly inhuman. 

Repeating it a second time, Doctor U. asked me where my partner was. I don't think I heard him until his third attempt to pull me out of my daze. My head weighed down my body as I tried to process this situation.

I stood up, slowly and meekly to go bring my unsuspecting husband back to the room. As I exited the examination room and turned the corner, I saw him. He was still on the phone and he smiled at me. I forced a smile back. As I approached him in the hall, he put down his phone. I embraced him as tightly as I could. 

"What's wrong, baby?" he asked, gripping me back. I collapsed into him. As we cried out in disbelief, we reviewed the plan of action with my medical team. 

The question then became: How can we extend the time we have together? I'm only 28 years old. With my second transplant in chronic-organ rejection, time is precious. My only option is a third double-lung transplant, which is a rare procedure: Less than a dozen patients in the U.S. have successfully received a third transplant, according to the Chicago Tribune. I have confidence that UCLA Medical Center will somehow be able to accomplish it because confidence is all I have. 

Several times since that day, I have become so weak and tired that I've said that I couldn't fight anymore. His response to me has remained the same, "Well, I can — and I will — fight for you."

So as we fight together for my ability to have a life-saving transplant for the third time, I want to address someone that I’ve not wanted to think about, but I need to because it’s important: the person who will love him after me.

He's an amazing man, who loves so deeply that he probably won't read this article because he doesn't accept the possibility that I may not be here someday. Make sure you tell him how much you appreciate him every morning when you wake up and every night before you sleep. Comfort him when he is struggling. Since he entered my life, he has taken care of me. It's time someone lifts him, even if he resists it. He's stubborn sometimes, but don't let that stop you from holding him, asking him if he's OK, and listening to him when he opens up — the few times he'll allow himself to do that.

Try to understand the immense loss he has experienced, and at such a young age. Many people our age are planning careers, seeing the world, or starting families. Not us. We've spent our time together visiting hospitals, fighting with insurance companies, and preparing for the day when I may not be here anymore. It's been incredibly exhausting for both of us, yet he somehow still finds it within himself to daydream with me, and picture our lives if they could be different. 

That's where you come in. Every single thing he has imagined with me, you must help him reimagine it with you. Force him to create new memories and to explore the world with you. His smile is infectious, so help him to show it as much as you can. He's the love of my life, and you will become the love of his someday. 

You will grow old with him, learn more about him than I have had the chance to, and become the person he dreams about every night. Don't take that for granted. 

Many people who read this letter may not understand why I’m writing to you today, and that's OK. It's hard to fathom this sort of situation because no one wants to ever find themselves in it. But how could I not want him to be happy? Or to have love and to be comforted? I've cried every day since that day at the hospital because the thought of losing him is heartbreaking. When it comes time, dying is going to be the easy part, but letting go of his hand as I pass on will be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. 

This piece isn't a declaration of my resignation in life. It doesn't mean we are giving up. We are fighting daily. But I hope it can show the world that when it’s shared deeply, love is more than a word — it's a cure. 

Without this beautiful person in my life, I don't think I would have come as far as I have. 

Editor’s Note: You can donate to help fund a third transplant for Travis Flores by donating to his GoFundMe.

Travis Flores is an award-winning children's book author, theatre graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, and nationally recognized speaker & advocate for multiple charities. He is also a graduate of New York University, where he obtained a Masters of Science degree in fundraising & grant-making. Travis is a Cystic Fibrosis survivor and two time double-lung transplant recipient (March 2015/October2017). He currently resides in Los Angeles, California and continues his artistic career, along side his philanthropic endeavors, through his work producing films for non profits that bring awareness to their missions. He is an advocate for inclusion in entertainment, and is dedicated to hiring people who have disabilities / chronic-conditions.

stella Posted on October 25, 2019 11:15

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 110
  • 0

Wow, Open' polyamorous throuple who live together with their three kids reveal they are planning to marry

A polyamorous triad who are raising there children together have revealed plans to officially marry as a trio and have more kids in the future - while also dating other people outside of their three-way relationship.

Married couple Cody and Kayla Kurkowski had two children together when they met Katherine Zepernick on Facebook three years ago, and decided to welcome her into their relationship.  

Three months later, Katherine, 27, moved in with Cody, 28, and Kayla, 27, and the trio has been living together in their Ohio home ever since - and in February of this year, they welcomed a baby girl, Khloe-Rae, who is Kayla and Cody's third child, but the first to be born to the throuple.  

But despite living in a committed relationship, raising three children together, and planning for more kids in the future, Cody, Kayla and Katherine are also embracing the idea of an open triad, meaning that they are free to date other people outside of their relationship.  

Technician and dance teacher Kayla met while they were both in high school and they have been together ever since.

In June 2014 they welcomed their first child, Cole, now five, and in 2016 they got married and welcomed their second child, Kyson, three, in October of that year.

Soon after, Kayla was introduced to call center representative Katherine on Facebook where they started chatting and grew fond of each other.

They both arranged to meet each other for a coffee with Cody and they all hit it off very well. Over the next few months, they began to grow attached, so Kayla and Cody then asked Katherine to be their girlfriend and became an official triad in January 2017.

Three months after becoming exclusive, Katherine moved in with Kayla and Cody and they became a family. 

But while they have been committed to each other, they are not opposed to the concept of an open triad, meaning that they can each date other people. 

Two years into their relationship in February 2019, the three of them welcomed their first child, Khloe-Rae, who is now eight months, as a polyamorous triad and they have since told each of their children about their relationship and that all three of their parents love them.

They all claim to share their parenting responsibilities between each other and that they are all equally loved by their children. They are now planning to get married in 2022, open a bed and breakfast business together and want to have two to three more children.

'I met Kayla on Facebook, she introduced me to her husband after a really nice coffee date; we hit it off very well, we all felt that we clicked very well, and wanted to spend all of our time together,' Katherine said.

'For the first three months of our relationship, I was traveling to and from Dayton twice a week and spending my days off with them. After a quick three months they asked me to move in with them.

'There have been bumps and learning curves in the road just like any relationship, but we've always done everything we can to make our family work.

'Cody and Kayla have been together since high school and then met me after they were married and had their first two babies.

'It was love at first sight for all of us. There was a special feeling we got that we knew meant there was something special between us. 

To us, polyamory gives you the ability to construct the relationship structure that really works for you. A triad formation is what is working for us right now.

'We don't have any plans to change that in the future, but we also aren't against expanding our tribe in the future. But we are happy how we are now.

'We are an open triad, which means we can date separately, dyadically, or as a triad. However, with young kids and busy work schedules we aren't looking to date right now. We just don't have a lot of extra time to give without taking away from our family at the moment.

'Two years into our relationship, we decided it was time for another baby and Khloe Rae was conceived in June.

'We got engaged in January on our second-year anniversary, and Khloe-Rae was born in February immediately after.

'We all parent equally; no person has more parenting authority than another, and we all make decisions about them together.

'We have explained our relationship to them already; we tell them it's just like any other family. All their parents love them, and that every family is different.

Some people have no parents, one parent, two parents, step-parents, etc. They have never had any problems or questions about it.'

In January 2019, Cody and Kayla both proposed to Katherine with candles, flowers and balloons ready for her when she came home from work with their song Sugar by Maroon 5 playing in the background.

Before the proposal, Cody and Kayla wrote a joint letter to Katherine's parents detailing their plans to get their blessing.

'The three of us do our best to be open and honest with our followers, demonstrating that no relationship is perfect, but with enough work and dedication we've made it last,' Katherine said.

'Everybody deals with jealousy, but it usually means there is a deeper issue that is causing the reaction. It takes a lot of self-evaluation and will to do a lot of self-reflection.

'Communicating your feelings with your partner about jealousy is important so that you don't start to take anything out on them.

'Cody and Kayla wrote a letter to my parents to let them know their plans and intentions. They set up candles, flowers, and balloons for me when I was coming home from work.

'We had our song playing outside as I walked up. Afterwards we had a small party at our house to celebrate with some of our close friends and family. 

They got me a ring a couple of months beforehand to make sure it was the right size and then planned to propose the night before our third anniversary of when they asked me to be their girlfriend.

'We plan to have two to three more children in the future and hope to open a bed and breakfast in Colorado one day.

'We know that polyamory isn't for everybody, but we do think that more people should know it is an option if you feel like it's right for you. It isn't just a sexual thing either. That's one of the first questions we get.

'We get a lot of confused looks from strangers, but people usually keep to themselves with their opinions for the most part.

'We've received some negative reactions on Instagram and some people assume I am Cody's sister and that I just live with them.

'We just want to be able to let people know that polyamory isn't a threat to monogamy, which is something we've run into a lot just being out with our relationship.

'We are all feminists and are bringing our children up to be inclusive and open people and we're very proud of that.'

stella Posted on October 21, 2019 12:46

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 134
  • 0

Millionaire's daughter who enjoys SIX exotic holidays a year and a designer wardrobe but insists she's not a 'princess' tries living on the streets of East London

A millionaire's daughter used to a lavish life of designer handbags and luxurious holidays trades it all for three nights of sleeping on the streets in this week's Rich Kids Go Homeless.

Isabella James, 21, who is studying for a masters in business psychology as well as working as a talent scout, claims she's determined to prove she's not a pampered 'princess' by taking part in the experiment.

Despite enjoying six exotic trips abroad a year, owning a designer wardrobe which includes an £8,000 handbag and dating successful racing driver Seb Morris, Isabella believes she's got what it takes to survive on the streets. 

She says: 'I've always been judged on how I look. People think I'm a good-looking girl with a wealthy lifestyle and so I must be a snob.

'I may look like a princess but there's more to me than that.'

She reveals her plan to make cash by recycling plastic and tins and selling it to supermarkets and claims she doesn't want to resort to begging.

Isabella said she believes some people who live on the streets have become 'comfortable' with being homeless and don't have the 'get up and go' to make a change.

'There is a lot of drugs and a lot of drinking and the homeless could do more to get themselves off the streets,' she argues, adding she doesn't agree with begging because 'expecting people to just hand you money when you haven't worked isn't right'.

But her opinions are changed radically when she adopts the life of a homeless person on East London's streets. 

Isabella sets up camp in Stratford, one of the capital's most dangerous spots where one in 25 people live rough.

Admitting she's nervous because she's had to be picked up from every music festival she's ever been to because she 'doesn't like camping', Isabella struggles to fit in.

She spends her first night on a piece of cardboard in a sleeping bag, having turned down a bed next to another homeless person. 

At the crack of dawn, Isabella goes in search of breakfast and manages to secure herself a full fry-up and porridge from a soup kitchen in a church, followed by fried chicken for lunch.

When her plastic bag plan falls flat, Isabella tries to find a job in a car wash and as a pot washer, but both are unsuccessful as she doesn't own the correct ID card.

Admitting she is 'frustrated', she begins to think work isn't an option - and even reneges on a previous plan to sing and dance for money as it feels too similar to begging.

'I just feel completely degraded,' she admits.

Desperate, she caves in and begs for her supper, sharing her story with passersby and managing to make £45.

But rather than spend this on a hostel, as she can't get a room due to her ID issue, she saves it and spends it on breakfast for herself and a fellow homeless person in the morning - after sobbing herself to sleep.

Intrigued to find out how other women survive on the streets, Isabella teams up with Cathy and her dog Bobby. 

Cathy has been sleeping rough for eight years after she and her boyfriend, who is a drug addict, had their children taken away from them.

She too was addicted to drugs but has overcome it, and now has a relationship with her children - apart from her eldest son who won't speak to her. 

She tells Isabella: 'I've been doing this for a long time but there are still times when I'm frightened on the streets.'

After her final night on the street, Isabella returns to her comfortable life a changed woman.

She says: 'I've had to face up to some hard truths and my bubble has been popped. 

'My initial ideas were proved wrong. I didn't realise how difficult it would be to find work or somewhere to stay.

'The experience has been overwhelming and it's tested me but it's also taught me a lot about being homeless.'

Determined to ensure her experience wasn't in vain, Isabella has now made it her mission to help people who have no choice but to live on the streets and has petitioned the government to change the law to make it easier for homeless people to get ID.

While she was initially unsuccessful, the 21-year-old has pledged to try again.

stella Posted on October 21, 2019 12:38

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 141
  • 0

Mum bursts into tears after partner shaves newborn daughter's head as a joke

A mom received the wake-up shock of a lifetime after her daughter's father decided the shave the newborn's head while in his care — and her reaction has quickly gone viral. 

Jasmin Aileen Valero from California decided to leave her daughter, Jazlyn, with the father so that she could get some much-needed sleep. 

But then footage shows Jasmin reuniting with her daughter after her nap to discover the baby's hair is completely gone, and the change in style left the mother in tears. 

The one time I ask him to watch her so I can sleep in and...' Jasmin wrote when sharing the video on Twitter. 

Her video, which was filmed by Jazlyn's father, Joshua Luevanoz, quickly went viral and garnered more than 3.9 million views because of Jasmin's stunned reaction to the shaved head. 

In the video, Jasmin is seen bouncing Jazlyn on her lap while the baby's head is covered by a towel. 

The mom appears to have no clue the baby's head is shaved until the father pulls the towel off her head to reveal the new haircut. 

Jasmin's mouth instantly dropped open by the reveal, and she let out a scream in shock to signal to her partner she was unhappy by the surprise cut. 

In the background, Joshua is heard laughing during the reveal. 

'That's not funny,' Jasmin said through tears. 'Why is she bald? Joshua, that's not funny.' 

Deciding the shave the youngster's head was not completely random, though, as it is custom in Mexican families to shave the head at a young age 'so their hair can grow thicker and nicer,' Jasmin told Storyful. 

The couple had previously discussed doing it with their daughter but had not decided on a specific time.  

My daughter’s father and I had agreed we were not going to do that until that day where I had asked him if he can watch her so I can sleep in a bit longer and he woke me up with that surprise,' she added.  

'I was heartbroken because my baby went from a full head of hair to none at all, but as you can see she was not bothered one bit. Always such a happy baby.'

The baby did appear to be all smiles even though her mom was crying over the shaved head. 

Commenters online had a lot of opinions about the surprise, with some unimpressed with the father's decision to pull the prank. 

'This wasn’t funny, this is child abuse,' one commenter wrote. 

'This is the type of thing men do so they are never again given the responsibility of taking care of their own child. Don't fall for it,' another person commented.  

Jasmin has since shared images of her daughter modeling the shaved head, showing she moved on from the prank.

stella Posted on October 21, 2019 12:24

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 124
  • 0

Vet who took her own life in hospital 'gave up' after being let down by medics

A veterinary nurse who hanged herself after a number of suicide attempts ‘just gave up’ after being repeatedly let down by medics, an inquest heard. Lauren Finch, 23, was found collapsed in her room at Atherleigh Park Hospital on September 17 last year and died a week later. During an inquest into her death jurors were told she made repeated suicide attempts in the preceding months and had escaped the hospital numerous times.Her mother Victoria accused doctors of being ‘dismissive’ and criticised the ‘rollercoaster’ of seeing her daughter discharged time after time ‘without any care arrangements in place’. She told the inquest: ‘She gave up in the end, she had just lost faith.’ The jury at Bolton Coroners’ Court concluded Lauren died as a result of suicide, which was contributed to by a lack of proper assessments or observations.

Coroner Rachel Galloway said she will prepare a prevention of future deaths report to be sent to the North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The inquest heard Lauren had a history of mental illness and had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and an ’emotionally unstable personality disorder’. She spent several periods on the hospital’s Westleigh Ward in early 2018 and was discharged just a week after her first admission – a spell Mrs Finch deemed ‘not enough time to make a difference’. Lauren was repeatedly sectioned and then released throughout the following summer following numerous attempts to take her own life. Her mother said she eventually ‘lost trust in the service’ and was at a ‘low ebb’ in the days before she died. Lauren managed to escape twice more in quick succession during the middle of September last year and was restrained by police officers following a short chase after a third successive break-out days later. Mrs Finch said the incident left her daughter ‘petrified’ and with bruising to her ribs and the side of her body.

The following day Mrs Finch contacted the manager of the ward to say she was unhappy about Lauren’s care and the fact she had been allowed to escape. But a matter of hours later she received the call saying her daughter had been rushed to Royal Bolton Hospital. The inquest heard that in the hours leading up to Lauren’s death staff changed the frequency of observations from every 10 minutes to every 30. After the inquest, John Heritage, chief operating officer at North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Lauren’s family. I appreciate it must be incredibly difficult to sit through a long inquest on top of losing someone you love. ‘We know we made mistakes during Lauren’s care and have openly admitted these failings as part of the inquest process. We wholeheartedly apologise to Lauren’s family for these shortcomings and the understandable distress this has caused. ‘A comprehensive investigation took place immediately after Lauren’s death and changes have been made to help minimise the risk of any similar incidents occurring in the future. ‘We have strengthened our Observation, Safety and Engagement Procedure and over the coming months we are introducing an electronic system which will enable staff to use iPads to update records in real time as observations are carried out.’

Paying tribute to her daughter, Mrs Finch said she was ‘an intelligent, beautiful, caring and kind girl’. She added: ‘Lauren was a gentle soul and the pain of missing her is unbearable. ‘She is missed every day.’

stella Posted on October 21, 2019 12:19

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 132
  • 0

A 29-year-old man has died after he was allegedly assaulted on the Gold Coast

A man has died in hospital after he was allegedly bashed on the Gold Coast over stolen food.

Brazilian man Ivan Susin, 29, was allegedly assaulted outside a kebab shop on Orchid Avenue in Surfers Paradise about 1am on October 1, the attack so brutal he was left in a coma for 12 says.

Mr Susin was sitting with friends on a bench outside a kebab shop when two men, one believed to be Ricky Lefoe, 27, and another 28-year-old, approached the group.

According to police, one of the men took a hot chip from the group before chaos ensued.

CCTV footage obtained by 9News shows Mr Susin jumping into the fight and throwing a punch.

Mr Susin is then seen being punched in the face, causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head before losing consciousness. 

The 29-year-old was rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious condition, where he was in a coma for 12 days before he died on Friday.

The two men involved in the fight allegedly ran from the scene before witnesses contacted police. 

Mr Lefoe was charged with one count of grievous bodily harm but was bailed on $50,000 surety and is yet to enter a plea.

Queensland Police expect to upgrade the charges when he appears in court on October 16. 

Tributes flowed online for Mr Susin, who was studying in the Gold Coast at the time of his death.

Family member Joseane Susin said the 29-year-old wanted to 'fulfill his dreams' in Australia.

She said: 'The quest for justice will not only be a reason to keep us alive, but essentially shall be done so that Ivan Susin, a Brazilian, son, brother, friend and human being of indescribable kindness, will never be forgotten.'

A tribute was held at the Calvary Catholic Church in Miami, where many gathered in respect for Mr Susin, Gold Coast Bulletin reported. 

Organizacao Brasil Australia Gold Coast paid tribute to Mr Susin: 'We wish that today the mantle of our Lady Aparecida will involve peace and light the path of Ivan Susin.'

'May the kindness and love our patron represents welcome and comfort the pain of the family, and unite us more and more in solidarity and love to the next.' 

Another 28-year-old man was also charged with one count of stealing and two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and is set to appear in court on October 14.

stella Posted on October 21, 2019 12:13

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 145
  • 0

Two-year-old toddler faces deportation... despite both parents owning British passports

A two-year-old girl faces deportation from the UK despite both of her parents holding British passports because she hasn't lived in the country for seven years. 

Mother Lindsay Dutton, 30, originally from South Africa and now living in Clydach, Swansea, South Wales, is fighting to keep Lucy in the UK after the Home Office reportedly gave her daughter 14 days to leave the country if she does not appeal. 

Ms Dutton was told to apply for a right to remain in the UK when Lucy's child visitor visa expired after the family visited the UK and decided to stay last year. 

Both parents claimed British citizenship through their parents, which extends to one generation, meaning Johannesburg-born Lucy does not have an automatic right to stay in the UK. 

However the Home Office rejected the application because the two-year-old has not lived continuously in Britain for seven years, the BBC reported. 

Tenant Liason Officer Ms Dutton described the move as 'cruel' and 'heartbreaking' and has since taken out a high street loan of £3,052 to cover the costs of the application. 

'It's against human rights what they are doing to us. It's cruel,' Lindsay said.

'It's heartbreaking to do that to a parent, all I have done the entire week is sob,' she said.  

She has since separated from Lucy's father, Gavin Burls, 34, who now lives in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. 

And the mother-of-one needs to pay out more than £3,000 to fund an appeal for Lucy while reliant on donations as she describes being at 'wit's end'. 

She said: 'It costs £3,140 to apply to appeal and go to court, I have to pay in the next four weeks. 

'I've had to beg, I'm at my wit's end. I have paid £600 - my elderly neighbour gave me £40 towards the Lucy Fund.

'I have broken down in the last few days, I do not know where to turn.'

She added: 'I was born in South Africa, as my mum moved there when she was quite young, but I have a British passport and my brother Gareth is married to a Welsh girl.'

Her brother has lived in Wales for 13 years and the family tried to be closer together by moving to the area. 

Gower MP Tonia Antoniazzi is lobbying Home Secretary Priti Patel to intervene and said: 'Both parents and grandparents have UK passports and all live here. This is a ridiculous situation which needs resolving immediately.'

A Home Office spokesman added: 'All applications are considered on their individual merits and on the basis of the evidence available.'

The spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment if the case was ongoing.

stella Posted on October 21, 2019 11:35

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 125
  • 0

Teen arrested on suspicion of stabbing schoolboy to death in Stratford

murder investigation has been launched after a 15-year-old schoolboy was fatally stabbed outside a McDonald's.

Police were called at about 3.20pm today to reports of a boy found stabbed outside Stratford Broadway, east London, in what has been described as a "senseless attack".

The teen was found with critical injuries and sadly died about half an hour later at the scene.

His next of kin have been informed, formal identification awaits and a post-mortem examination will be held in due course.

Police say the victim who "had everything to live" for had just got off a bus before an altercation took place during which he was fatally wounded.

A second 15-year-old was found with stab injuries - said to be non life threatening - and has been taken to an east London hospital.

No arrests have been made and a crime scene remains in place as detectives investigate.

DCI Chris Soole, who is leading the investigation said: "First and foremost our thoughts are with this young man’s family and friends.

"They so tragically are having to come to terms with this terrible loss of life.

"The victim of this stabbing was a schoolboy with his whole life ahead of him. He had everything to live for.

"This was a senseless attack and we share the concern and alarm this murder will no doubt cause in the local community.

"We will do everything we [can to] catch those involved and bring them to justice.

"What we know now is that the victim was attacked on or shortly after alighting from a bus which stopped very close to Stratford Shopping Centre near Tramway Avenue.

"An altercation took place and he was fatally wounded."

The DCI asked: "Were you there? Did you see anything? This is a very busy area and lots of people would have been out on the school-run or making their way home.

"We know that the victim’s friends came to his aid and members of the public provided first aid at the scene.

"We need anyone else who has information and has not yet spoken to police to come forward.

"A Section 60 is in place for the whole of Newham borough as a result of this incident.

"Enquiries, including review of local CCTV footage and forensic analysis is in hand.

"We are working quickly to build a clear and full picture of precisely what unfolded. If you have information, do the right thing and get in touch."

A statement from the Met Police read: "Police were called on Thursday, 10 October at 15:20hrs to reports of a male found stabbed outside Stratford Broadway near Tramway Avenue.

"Officers attended along with the London Ambulance Service and the teenager was found with critical injuries. He died at the scene at 15:49 hours."

It added: "Homicide detectives from Specialist Crime have been informed and will be leading the investigation."

Anyone who can assist police is asked to call 101 quoting CAD 4644/01OCT19.

Alternatively tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also tweet information to @MetCC

If there are any young people who either have information about violence or knife crime, they can visit where they can pass on information anonymously.

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

If you need help or information to support someone you suspect is involved in knife crime, or you want assistance yourself, then you can visit  or LondonNeedsYouAlive.

stella Posted on October 21, 2019 11:30

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 143
  • 0

Daughter of mother jailed in Iran reunited with dad in UK

The five-year-old daughter of jailed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has arrived back in the UK for the first time since her mother’s arrest. The family made the heart-breaking decision for little Gabriella to leave Iran and join her father in London to start school. She had been her mother’s lifeline to the outside world as she remains in jail accused of spying. Nazanin’s husband Richard said: ‘Gabriella came back to us late at night, a bit uncertain seeing those she only remembered from the phone. ‘It has been a long journey to have her home, with bumps right until the end. ‘It was a hard goodbye for Nazanin and all her family. But let us hope this homecoming unlocks another.

Nazanin had taken Gabriella to see her family in Tehran when she was arrested at the airport in April 2016. The mum was sentenced to five years in jail on accusations she was trying to topple the Iranian government – something she denies. Gabriella had stayed with her grandparents in Iran and visited her mother in the notorious Evin Prison when the authorities would allow it. Her parents then made the painful decision for her to return to the UK so she can start school. Nazanin wrote an open letter from jail, saying: ‘My baby will leave me to go to her father and start school in the UK. ‘It will be a daunting trip for her travelling, and for me left behind

There have been a number of foreigners detained in Iran in what critics say is ‘hostage diplomacy.’ Conditions in the jail are appalling and all attempts at diplomacy between the UK government and Tehran have so far failed. The family’s local MP, Labour’s Tulip Siddiq, has taken up the cause. She said: ‘It is heart-warming to see Gabriella reunited with her father after 1,300 days in Iran, but heart-breaking that she is separated from her mother Nazanin. ‘Nazanin is at breaking point, and today is yet another reminder that she has been failed at the very highest levels of government.’

Ms Siddiq urged the UK Government to do ‘everything it possibly can’ to bring Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe home. Last week, a British-Australian blogger and her boyfriend were released from jail in Iran after they were detained while travelling through the country. Jolie King and her Australian boyfriend Mark Firkin are believed to have been released as part of a prisoner swap. British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert is also in jail in Tehran and believed to be in solitary confinement. The Australian government has taken the lead in those cases. British Foreign Office minister, Andrew Murrison, previously said the UK will continue to raise the case at the highest level with Iran and will ‘lobby hard’ to gain access to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe. He added Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has dual nationality and Iran does not accept she also has British nationality – which is why the case is different to that of other detained foreign nationals.

stella Posted on October 21, 2019 11:08

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 136
  • 0

Wow, Desperate mother is forced to give birth on Rio de Janeiro SIDEWALK after the couple waited three hours for ambulance to arrive due to fuel shortages

An expectant mother was forced to give birth on a street in Brazil after she walked to a pickup point on a sidewalk but her ambulance was delayed for three hours because of fuel shortages.

Dhassyla Pinheiro da Silva felt contractions before dawn Thursday, according to Brazilian out G1.

After a lengthy wait at her residence, the woman and her husband walked to a spot to meet the ambulance outside their Rio de Janeiro neighborhood, which was  inaccessible to the vehicle.

However, after waiting several hours for first responders, Pinheiro da Silva was forced to deliver the infant on the street.

A pair of brothers, Fernando Vincler dos Santos and Jean Carlos dos Santos, who were passing by assisted the couple.

The baby girl, which they named Merlin, weighed eight pounds and measured 18 inches in length.

A day earlier, Pinheiro da Silva sensed she was close to labor and visited Leila Diniz Maternity in Barra da Tijuca, a suburb in the west side of Rio, but doctors sent her home the same day.

The following morning the couple called for paramedics and, concerned by the long wait, walked to a more accessible spot where the baby was delivered.

An ambulance did eventually arrive and transported the family to the hospital. 

The hospital issued a statement saying it would investigate Pinheiro da Silva's case but said there there was no documentation that she had visited the hospital the day before.     

The ambulance was reportedly late due to the lack of fuel provided for the hospital's fleet of 12, according to workers with the Carioca Stork Program, a city project that provides prenatal assistance to women.

At least two ambulances were shut down last week because the hospital did not have money to buy fuel, according to local reports.

'When it comes time to supply the ambulance [with fuel], the agency calls, sends the ambulance team to a certain place where there is a city employee with cash ... and he makes the payment,' a hospital employee told the newspaper under the condition of anonymity.

stella Posted on October 20, 2019 21:30

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 129
  • 0

frat boy, 22, who 'believed he was Jesus when he murdered a Florida couple and ate one of their faces'

The 'cannibal killer' frat boy accused of murdering a Florida couple and eating one of their faces has appeared in court to challenge insanity rules in the state. 

Austin Harrouff, 22, said he was fleeing a demon-like figure in when he ran to a Tequesta home and attacked John Stevens III, 59, and Michelle Mishcon, 53, spitting out a piece of flesh when deputies arrived and were finally able to subdue him. 

The suspect appeared in court Thursday where his attorneys attacked the constitutionality of the state's laws governing insanity defenses, arguing it wrongly places the burden of proof on defendants instead of prosecutors.

Harrouff, who believes he is part dog, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and is pleading insanity. 

He entered the courtroom dressed in a red-striped jail uniform with a cropped haircut and looked markedly different to previous mugshots and arrest pictures in August 2016.  

Harrouff, a former Florida State University student, was living with his mother in a home in Jupiter, Florida when the attack took place. He did not know the couple he murdered and the attack was reportedly unprovoked. 

An attorney for Harrouff told Circuit Judge Sherwood Bauer Jr. the law's requirement that defendants prove insanity to a 'clear and convincing' level of proof discriminates against the mentally ill because it is a higher burden than for defendants who claim self-defense or duress. 

Under self-defense, the burden is on prosecutors - they must prove it wasn't. Defendants who claim duress must only prove that it is more likely than not that they acted out of necessity.

Attorney Robert J. Watson also said it is unconstitutional that jurors are told before deliberations they are to presume the defendant is sane. 

He argued that goes against Harrouff's right to be presumed innocent of the August 2016 killings of John Stevens and Michelle Mischcon Stevens. Bauer questioned Watson extensively on this point, asking him how this is unfair to Harrouff.

Watson replied that to convict Harrouff of first-degree murder, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt he killed the Stevenses with evil intent. 

He said since Harrouff is not disputing he killed the Stevenses - his only defense is that his mental illness made it impossible for him to form intent. Given that, Watson said, it is unfair that jurors are told to start with the presumption that 'the defense is invalid' unless proven otherwise.

'We are not presuming you are insane, which is what we should be doing if we are applying a presumption of innocence,' Watson argued.

A 38-page psychiatric assessment of Harrouff lists a disturbing and frightening descent into alleged psychosis.

It states that Harrouff felt he had 'superpowers within him' and felt like 'he was Jesus'. 

He began walking around in a 'slow harmonious manner' and believed he had a responsibility to fix people's problems, according to the assessment. 

The suspect is also said to have bought a Fitbit, which while wearing, made him feel like The Terminator - part robot, part man.

He also, at another point, became fixated on horses - following his Sagittarius star sign - and believed himself to be a mythical beast Centaur, according to reports. 

Prosecutor Jeffrey Hendriks said there is no discrimination in Florida's insanity law against people with mental illnesses. He said some states don't even allow an insanity defense.

Bauer said he would rule soon. Harrouff's trial is scheduled for the fall.

Harrouff told the 'Dr. Phil' television show two months after the attack that he was fleeing a demon he called 'Daniel' when he ran to the Stevenses' home. 

About 45 minutes before the attack, he had stormed out of a restaurant two miles away where he had argued with his father. Earlier, his mother had found him at her home drinking cooking oil mixed with Parmesan cheese - a lawsuit filed by Michelle Stevens' family alleges the concoction was spiked with hallucinogenic mushrooms. 

Harrouff told host Phil McGraw that he doesn't clearly remember the attack and forensic psychologist Dr. Phillip Resnick has said Harrouff believed he was 'half-dog, half man' when he attacked the couple. 

According to court documents, deputies arrived to a horrific scene at the Stevenses' home. Michelle Stevens, 53, lay mangled and dead in the garage and Harrouff, then a muscular exercise science major at Florida State University, was attacking and biting her 59-year-old husband in the driveway. 

Harrouff is alleged to have also wounded a neighbor who tried to save the couple.

One deputy ordered Harrouff off at gunpoint while another used an electric stun gun on him, but he wouldn't let go. Deputies say they didn't shoot Harrouff because they feared hitting John Stevens.

Finally, a deputy with a dog arrived and its bites enabled deputies to subdue Harrouff, who had no previous arrest record. 

He told deputies: 'Help me, I ate something bad' and then admitted it was 'humans' as he spit out a piece of flesh, court documents show. He begged deputies to kill him after they pulled him off Stevens, according to the records.

'Shoot me now; I deserve to die,' Harrouff said.

He had to be hospitalized for two months as he ingested an unknown chemical from the Stevens' garage, burning his esophagus.

If convicted, Harrouff faces life in prison without parole. His attorneys want him committed to a mental hospital for life.

stella Posted on October 20, 2019 21:23

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 194
  • 0

Black man, 27, is found GUILTY of killing a woman and wounding seven other people inside a Nashville church in revenge attack for the 2015 Charleston massacre

A Tennessee jury on Friday found a man guilty of first-degree murder in a revenge  shooting at a Nashville church two years ago that left a woman dead and seven other people wounded.

Twelve jurors deliberated less than five hours before delivering the verdict against Emanuel Kidega Samson. He was found guilty on all 43 counts in the indictment.

Congregants of the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ testified during the trial about the hail of bullets and the bloody scene that unfolded in front of them just after their Sunday worship service concluded. Some had the gunshot wounds to show for it.

Samson, 27, is black; all the victims are white. Samson left a note about the 2015 shooting massacre at a South Carolina black church and aimed to kill at least 10 white churchgoers in retaliation, Deputy District Attorney Amy Hunter said. 

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence without parole. According to the District Attorney's Office, they chose not to pursue the death penalty out of respect for some of the victims who did not want it, reported WSMV.

The September 2017 shooting rampage killed 38-year-old Melanie Crow, of Smyrna, Tennessee. She was shot in the church parking lot while she walked out to her car to get a cough drop, dropping her Bible and sermon notes, Hunter said.

Crow was shot in the heart and face, and died within moments. 

Samson also shot minister Joey Spann and his wife, Peggy; William and Marlene Jenkins; Linda Bush, and Catherine Dickerson. 

Samson testified that he didn't remember carrying out the attack. He said his mental health disorders have caused lapses in memory and constant shifts from feelings of ecstasy to the thoughts of suicide he said he experienced the morning of the shooting. 

He said he's on medication now in jail and his thoughts have 'slowed down drastically.' 

Samson also said his memory kicks in at the tail end of the church shooting, when he was shot in the chest during a tussle with a congregant who authorities say saved lives.

To undermine Samson's testimony, prosecutors replayed expletive-laden jail calls from the month after the shooting in which he and his ex-girlfriend laugh about the victims, and brag about how good, 'tall' and 'unbothered' he looked in media coverage. 

'Big sexy hashtag, hashtag,' Samson says on the call, referring to himself.

They called his spotty-at-best memory a convenient way to avoid answering hard questions on the witness stand.

Samson also said he couldn't remember writing the note that cited white supremacist Dylann Roof's massacre at the AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. 

The note, found in his car outside the church, included a reference to the red, black, and green Pan-African flag, sometimes called RBG.

'Dylann Roof is less than nothing,' the note read, according to Hunter. 'The blood that 10 of your kind will shed is that of the color upon the RBG flag in terms of vengeance.' The note included an expletive and ended with a smiley face, Hunter said.

Samson said he did remember writing what the defense described as a suicide note to his then-girlfriend that day.

The judge on Wednesday limited what could be said in front of jurors about Samson's mental illnesses. 

Hunter said a mental health defense couldn't be considered because a doctor previously 'wouldn't make a diagnosis that would say that he was acting in a particular way because of a mental health defense.'

Before the trial, the judge largely shielded details about the case from public view. At an open hearing in April, it was revealed that a psychiatrist diagnosed Samson with 'schizoaffective disorder bipolar type' and post-traumatic stress disorder after an abusive, violent upbringing.

With the jury out of the room, Samson's father at one point testified that he unsuccessfully tried to persuade authorities to take away Samson's guns after he sent a suicidal text in the summer of 2017.

Prosecutors also said the shooting revealed a true-life hero.

Churchgoer Robert Caleb Engle, 24, testified that during the rampage, he twice confronted the gunman, who was wearing a tactical vest and a motorcycle-style mask with a clown smile on it. 

Engle said he was pistol-whipped three times in the head. At one point, he pushed the gun back on the shooter and a shot fired, striking the gunman and sending him to the ground.

Engle said his father kicked the gun away, stood on the shooter's hand and told Engle to go get his gun out of his truck.

Engle came back with his weapon, put his foot on the shooter's back and stood guard until first responders arrived.

stella Posted on October 20, 2019 21:15

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 129
  • 0

Drunk driver, 45, who famously grinned in her mugshot after killing a mother-of-three is pictured sobbing and praying in court as she is sentenced to 11 years in prison

A drunk driver whose smiling mugshot went viral after a fatal crash has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. 

Angenette Marie Missett, 45, sobbed during the sentencing hearing on Thursday in Ocala, Florida, as she begged forgiveness from the family of 60-year-old Sandra Clarkson.

'I am truly, truly sorry and if I could change spots with your mother I would in a heartbeat. I am sorry. I am sorry. I am truly, truly sorry,' Missett said before she was sentenced, WESH-TV reported. 

Clarkson died after Missett rear-ended the sedan she was riding in on a highway in Orlando just before noon on May 10, 2018.

In a victim statement, Clarkston's daughter told the court about the devastating impact of Missett's actions.

'I lost my only remaining parent because of the defendant's selfish and conscious decision to drink and drive,' Clarkston's daughter, Keonna Sciacca said in court.

The family still have Clarkson's totaled car and had it towed to the courthouse on Thursday as powerful statement for the sentencing hearing. 

After pleading no contest to manslaughter, Missett faced a minimum of four years in prison and a maximum of 15 years.

Judge Steven Rogers handed down the sentence of 11 years  

After the crash, Missett told police that she had been distracted because she dropped her phone, but a field sobriety test revealed that her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.  

The driver of the sedan, 18-year-old Shiyanne Kroll, walked away with minor injuries, but her mother Clarkson suffered critical injuries and died in the hospital days later.

Missett was married one week after the crash, dropping her maiden name of Welk. 

Her original mugshot when she was charged with DUI causing great bodily harm sparked outrage because had a big smile on her face.

A new mugshot was taken on May 18, 2018 when charges were upgraded to manslaughter, showing a grimmer visage.  

Missett was driving her 2011 Chevrolet Avalon on U.S. Highway 27 when she failed to break in time and slammed into Kroll's Hyundai Elantra, sandwiching it between the Avalon and a tractor-trailer in front of them.  

Missett was arrested at the scene of the crash after police smelled alcohol on her breath and a breathalyzer indicated her BAC was .172 - more than double the legal driving limit. 

The mother-of-one was charged with driving under the influence, DUI with property damage and DUI with great bodily harm and posted bond soon after being taken to Marion County Jail.

Clarkson, a mother-of-three, was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center where she underwent several operations but was left paralyzed and brain-dead, family members said.

When they saw the beaming smile on Missett's face in her mugshot, the family was outraged, calling for the 45-year-old to be given the maximum sentence.  

'That disgusts me and that means she has no remorse for what she did at all and I hope that judge sees that picture and says the same thing,' Kroll told ClickOrlando days after the accident.

The 18-year-old's sister Keonna Sciacca said: 'It's destroyed us. Our lives are changed forever. 

'It's definitely wrecked our family forever, not just temporarily, this was a permanent thing that [Missett] did. 

'[I'm] trying to cope with the fact I won't see her walk again, she won't be home when I get home from work or in the mornings when I get home from work. I won't be able to talk to her, I won't see her laugh, she won't see me laugh. I can't hug her I can't tell her: 'Goodnight, I love you.''    

On Saturday the family's protests were answered and police arrested Missett on DUI manslaughter charges. Court records indicate that she has posted $30,000 bond.

The penalty for DUI manslaughter in Florida is a minimum of 124.5 months in prison.

After receiving the news Sciacca said she was upset that Missett was released at all.

'I think she should still be sitting in jail,' she told Click Orlando. 'It's like a murder case, like you shot somebody.'  

Sciacca added that she hopes others will pay attention to this tragedy and choose to avoid driving while intoxicated.

'If we can get a couple people to stop and think and take a different approach to going out and partying so this doesn't happen to them or someone else's family, that's the good that came out of this,' she said.

stella Posted on October 20, 2019 20:41

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 126
  • 0

Oh,Jamie Bulger killer Jon Venables 'to be freed within days and given money to move to Canada because it is cheaper than giving him a new life in Britain'

Jon Venables, the killer of two-year-old James Bulger, is set to begin a new life abroad in Canada in just days says inside source, as it will be cheaper for UK taxpayers than to give him a new life here.

The news comes weeks after officials were said to have hatched the plan to move the child killer abroad having grown tired of constantly creating new identities for him. 

Venables, now aged 36, was granted lifelong anonymity after he was found guilty of murder aged 10. 

He has been given numerous different identities since his conviction in 1993 but is continuously outed by outraged members of the public.  

Now the move abroad - with the most likely location Canada - is looking imminent as insider sources telling The Daily Star that the murderer is 'being kept quietly away from the general lot of prisoners'.   

The source said that the prisoner's move abroad will most likely happen during the night to avoid security risks as a 'handful of people who know who he really is and where he is'.

James Bulger was killed by Venables and Robert Thompson, both aged 10, on February 12, 1993, after the pair snatched him from his mother in a Liverpool shopping centre. 

Both murderers were granted lifelong anonymity once they were released from custody and Thompson has never been heard of again. 

Venables, on the other hand, has been jailed twice more after admitting to owning more than 1,000 'sickening' child porn images as well as a paedophile manual.  

A source told the Daily Star: 'Venables is costing a fortune.

'The thinking is that it would be cheaper to get rid of him abroad, than keep forking out.'

Sources say Venables will most likely be sent to Canada within days, but Australia and New Zealand are also options. 

Earlier this year it was revealed that legal battles to keep his identity secret had cost UK taxpayers £65,000. 

Venables's lawyers were paid £8,100 in legal aid while government lawyers were paid close to £57,300. 

James Bulger's father, Ralph, 52, has said he will spend his life trying to overturn the ruling that his son's killers may remain anonymous to 'protect the public'.

However, High Court judges ruled against the bid because they believed it would endanger Venables's life. 

At the time President of the High Court's Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane said: '(Venables) is 'uniquely notorious' and there is a strong possibility, if not a probability, that if his identity were known he would be pursued resulting in grave and possibly fatal consequences.

'This is, therefore, a wholly exceptional case and the evidence in 2019 is more than sufficient to sustain the conclusion that there continues to be a real risk of very substantial harm to (Venables).'

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Cooke, national policing lead for protected persons has previously said that they will get relocated to various places in the UK and abroad. 

He said: 'That doesn’t mean we are going to relocate them to the Copacabana, but they do get a say.' 

Mother-of-two Anna Dienne works with charity FAMS, which supports the families of children murdered, and told the Daily Star: 'Millions has been thrown at protecting him and yet he cannot stop himself. He needs locking up, and the key thrown away.

'The taxpayer has protected him, we are protecting him. It’s despicable.'

Robin Makin, acting on behalf of the Bulgers, claimed that authorities are using the anonymity order to avoid scrutiny for failing to keep Venables from re-offending following his release from prison.

The idea behind the lifetime anonymity order for Venables and Thompson, made by Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, was that it would aid the rehabilitation of the killers.

stella Posted on October 20, 2019 20:29

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 137
  • 0

A Yob ordered pizza then cracked takeaway driver's skull for ringing his doorbell

machete-wielding drug dealer put three people in hospital during a vicious one-man crime wave.

Daniel Lindsay, 17, broke a pizza delivery driver's skull because he claimed he rang his front door bell too late at night.

He went on the run and booked into a hotel, but twice knifed the manager when told to leave for smoking cannabis.

Just days later, he repeatedly stabbed a drug addict - over an £80 debt - who lost five pints of blood and nearly died.

When finally arrested, police caught Lindsay with a Rambo-style machete, sawn-off shotgun and a stash of cocaine.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Islam Al-Haj delivered a pizza to Lindsay's Carstairs Road, Kensington home on September 27 last year.

He only remembered giving the food to Lindsay and walking back to his car, before he was hit on the head, then woke up in hospital.

Mike Stephenson, prosecuting, said he was in fact helped to his feet by Lindsay's dad Robert Kennedy, but declined an ambulance.

Mr Al-Haj, who had bleeding on the brain, actually drove himself to hospital - where he spent three days - but had no recollection of this.

When interviewed by police, Lindsay said he was "annoyed" his victim rang the door bell, when he expected a call to his mobile phone.

The teen said he didn't like Mr Al-Haj's attitude so punched him twice, then when his victim struck back with a dog chain, repeatedly hit him.

Mr Stephenson said: "Following his first assault, the defendant went into hiding, preying on those dependant on him for drugs and using them as fronts to secure hotel accommodation in their identities."

CCTV footage showed heroin and crack cocaine user Stephen Caine booking Lindsay into Hotel Campanile at Queens Dock from October 20 to 23.

Manager Christopher Chater went to their room on October 22 because of a strong smell of cannabis and used a master key to enter.

Mr Stephenson said: "He saw a large pile of cash and numerous rolled reefers on the table. It was obvious to him he was dealing drugs."

He told Lindsay to leave but he broke a light, so Mr Chater tackled him to the ground outside, before trying to put him in a headlock.

Mr Chater said the teen bit his right wrist, then he heard an "unclipping sound" and saw him thrust a machete towards his stomach.

Hotel worker Simon Dodds saw Lindsay with an "Army knife" - a machete with a 12-inch blade - before he stabbed Mr Chater in the back.

The court heard he fled but returned to collect a bag he left behind, yelling: "Give me my f***ing bag

Lindsay later claimed he had a knife on a necklace which he only used because "I was getting choked out", but this was rejected by prosecutors.

He said he ditched the knife nearby and vomited afterwards because he thought he had killed Mr Chater.

Mr Stephenson said that when arrested months later he was wearing a "sheath knife" - the machete shown in court - on his belt.

Mr Chater, who received stitches for a cut to his back, also suffered a one-inch wound to his groin.

On October 31, Lindsay allegedly stabbed drug user Jamie Rawlinson, but prosecutors dropped charges relating to this for "evidential reasons".

Stephen Caine, the drug user who booked Lindsay into the hotel, heard about that stabbing and was scared because he owed Lindsay £80. He said he found him in London Road, Islington at around 10.30pm.

Mr Stephenson said he "flew at him with a knife", adding: "He told him he was going to stab him in the neck and boasted he had just stabbed Rawlo."

Lindsay stabbed Mr Caine in the leg and the victim tried to run away, but he slipped in a pool of his blood and the teen stabbed him again.

He ran off when a car pulled over and the driver gave first aid to Mr Caine, who doctors at hospital feared would die.

Mr Caine, who received stitches for stab wounds to his thigh and buttock, later picked out Lindsay in an identity parade.

Mr Stephenson said the teenager was then "cuckooing" - taking over the homes of drug users - to avoid police.

Lindsay threw a man called Neil Fry out of his flat in County Road, Walton, which officers raided on March 24.

They found a shortened Beretta 20-gauge shotgun, 5.22g of cocaine worth up to £522, scales and snap bags.

Lindsay, of St Joseph's Crescent, Everton, who has no previous convictions, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm, wounding and wounding with intent.

He also admitted two counts of possessing an offensive weapon, possessing a firearm without a certificate and possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

Daniel Travers, defending, said his client had gone "completely off the rails" over the course of a month, when he lost contact with his family.

The lawyer said Lindsay had a "very difficult childhood", grew up "without support from parents" and left school at 14, but his dad was in court supporting him.

He said: "All this needs to be put in the context that this is a very immature, vulnerable young man, who knows he's done dreadful things and admitted them."

Judge David Aubrey, QC, said Lindsay launched "totally unprovoked" attacks on three victims, adding: "You have a short fuse and a short temper."

He said: "You chose your victims quite indiscriminately. You had no regard to their welfare or indeed lives and you chose frequently to arm yourself with a lethal weapon."

The judge rejected the suggestion in a psychologist's report that he acted impulsively and said he was a "dangerous young man".

He said: "You carry a knife or knives for a reason and that is that if anybody crosses you, you have no compunction in using that knife."

Judge Aubrey sentenced Lindsay to nine years in a young offenders institution, with an extended four years on licence.

This means he will serve at least two thirds - six years - in custody, before he is considered eligible for parole.


stella Posted on October 16, 2019 18:19

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 171
  • 0

A Bride with 'no budget' for her wedding chooses the same Cartier earrings Meghan Markle .

While sticking to a budget is one of the trickiest elements of wedding planning for most couples, one wealthy pair have admitted that they've not even considered the expense of holding two celebrations in Bali and Italy

Elite wedding planner Lelian Chew, 31, from Singapore, treated viewers to an insight into her world on last night's new BBC show 'Million Dollar Wedding Planner', which featured bride-to-be Angie, 25, from Indonesia

Angie is set to wed Fabian, 26, from Singapore, whose father is one of the largest developers of ceramics in the world, and the couple are determined to spare no expense to make their sure their day is perfect. 

The young couple were shown visiting Cartier - where Fabian is a VIP member - and were presented with the Reflection de Cartier collection, which was worn by Meghan Markle, 38, on her big day in May 2017. 

It was also revealed that the pair are planning to redevelop a 20-acre Italian vineyard belonging to Fabian's father for the ceremony, because it would be easier to design a wedding venue 'from scratch'. 

Fabian and Angie admitted they have 'no budget' for the wedding, and said they wanted to get married on a floating platform over a pool on the estate.  

And revealing their elaborate plans for the day, Angie admitted she wanted to wear Cartier pieces on the big day, because Fabian's family have a 'long-standing relationship' with the brand. 

Speaking of her clients, Lelian explained: '[My clients] buy quite frequently, and not only the regular pieces, but the collectibles so they are VIP of Cartier. 

'[The shop assistants] know exactly what Fabian wants, they know his preferences, they know what champagne he likes, they will also be handpicking out items ahead of time to show him.' 

Fabian explained: 'We invest in Cartier pieces and we buy a lot of unique pieces from them.  

'We don't just work in Singapore, we have a relationship with them in Rome and London too.' 

Cartier's VIPs have their own 'client relationship managers' assigned to them, who will be in charge of  signature jewellery pieces for the couple.

Fabian's manager, Samantha, presented the pair with the stunning set of accessories, that was specially flown in from England for the bride. 

One of the Cartier team members said: 'This is the reflection set that Samantha especially arranged in for you.

'This is the one that Meghan Markle wore, the reflection earrings, the ring of course was from Princess Diana.'

Reflecting on the discovery, Fabian said: 'I guess Princess Meghan wore that set for her wedding. 

The couple, who are set to hold two weddings - one in Bali and one in Italy - later confessed that they have 'no budget' for their wedding and were yet to even consider the expense. 

Fabian said: 'We have no budget, we have no idea. We have not even planned that yet, we're like whatever.' 

It wasn't just the bride who wanted to splash out on luxury accessories, as the groom decided that not just one, but two wedding rings were appropriate for the dig day. 

He said: 'Her engagement came from Cartier so I thought it was only fitting to have a Cartier wedding band too.' 

After mulling over some rings, Fabian decided that one wedding band simply wouldn't be enough, and considered doubling up on the accessory. 

The employee was heard convincing him: 'There's no rule you have to get one wedding band you can get two.' 

Angie later confirmed: 'He's getting both I'm pretty sure.' 

Fabian and his father purchased the property four years ago, and insisted that it was imperative he and his father find their 'own winery' as they 'fly into Europe four or five times a year'. 

He said: 'We stumbled upon this place because our core business is in ceramics. 

'We fly into Europe four or five times a year, we love Italian wine so we've always wanted to find our own winery .

'We just fell in love with this place it has very special wines, great wines only found in this area.'

And Lelian admitted that she wouldn't let anything get in the way of what Fabian and Angie had pictured for their big day.

She said: 'These clients have grownup getting what they want. It's very difficult for me to say this is too much, or this is difficult because they wouldn't understand why that's the case.'

stella Posted on October 16, 2019 17:44

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 195
  • 0

.The decision someone took to carry a donor card means my daughter has got her old Dad back'

It was exactly a year ago.

I had just been on ITV News at Ten, talking to the Lord of the Rings film director, Peter Jackson, about footage he had restored of soldiers in World War One trenches.

My husband is from New Zealand I told him, and then ensued a long Kiwi related chat, which also took in the kidney transplant my husband Steve had had in Auckland three decades ago.

It was just one of those chats I have with most Kiwis I meet.

Steve had been born with a reflux problem, basically when the flow of urine in the body goes the wrong way.

It's relatively easy to detect and treat in children these days. But with Steve, back then, it was undetected.

Anyway "too much information" I had joked with the charming and gracious Mr Jackson.

It proved to be something of a prescient conversation.

In the early hours of the next day as I slept in London and my family in Norfolk (better for his health we had surmised before we made the move to the East coast seven years ago), my phone went.

Generally not good news when that happens at 2am.

Except on this occasion. It was my bleary eyed, confused husband, telling me "errr Addenbrokes have been on the line. they think they've got me a kidney".

The kidney that had been gifted to my husband as a teenager in New Zealand - he was gravely ill before he got it - had started dying several years ago.

We had tried to do what we could to de-stress life. I work in a high pressured stressful newsroom, so it was going to be hugely challenging for me.

But for him and our daughter, we could and would try something different. Norwich became our home.

And that dying kidney seemed to stagger on, until three years ago, when Steve was informed that dialysis would be necessary.

He wept - he rarely does - remembering the three years he had spent in New Zealand, hooked up to a machine at home four days a week.

His beloved surfing was on hold and he was reliant on his parents to help him. Not the teenage life he had envisaged.

But it is what it is - his favourite saying.

So for two years we'd get regular deliveries of the solution he had to drain into his body, at four hourly intervals.

Home life was built around this regime. TV programmes halted when it was time for him to have his dialysis treatment.

Car journeys punctuated with a clean place for him to hook himself up.

Nights out carved into three-and-a-half hour intervals.

Weekends necessitating a roof box to carry all the medical equipment he'd need. And tons of tablets, medicine boxes everywhere.

Our diets changed, a list of what he shouldn't eat becoming part of the family's whole regime too.

Days when he was sick - and there were a few, dialysis is extraordinary but it is a slog - when he had to run from the dining table to the bathroom to vomit.

This was our normal life as I commuted back and forth between Norwich where I had to learn nursing skills and medical know how, and London when I might be sitting down with Meryl Streep, or heading out to LA for the Oscars.

A life of contrasts.

Until that phone call.

I hurried home, and even as I sat on the first train back to Norwich at 6, the consultant at Addenbrokes was on the line from beside my husbands hospital bed.

Having waited this long for a kidney, two suitable organs had become available.

It was down to Steve and I to decide which to go for.

I remember sobbing into the phone "but I don't know anything about kidneys", much to the bemusement of my fellow train passengers.

We had to make a quick decision, whichever you chose will be the right one for you the kindly consultant told us.

In the end, Steve had his transplant. We only knew the donor who had liver problems, had died a short time before.

The protection offered to the donor's family is incredibly impressive, no names are exchanged, if you wish to contact them it is strictly and sensitively controlled.

We were all too aware that only through the death of someone, had my husband, in his 50s, been gifted another kidney.

This stays with us every day.

Nothing is taken for granted.

When he was out of hospital and feeling stronger, we attempted something that had been too bothersome and complicated before then.

We went our for dinner and then straight out to the cinema and we didn't go home in between to dialyse.

It could have been the worst film ever made, it wouldn't have mattered. We couldn't stop smiling.

We got on a plane to go on holiday. A short trip. Even the drab food on board tasted so good!

We spent summer days up on the Norfolk coast with friends in a caravan! No need to panic about finding sterile areas.

It's the little things that mean so much. That remind us that the mundane is special. That each day in our family is a gift.

That someone opted to carry a donor card, a decision that means my daughter has got her old Dad back.

And I have got another great story to share with Peter Jackson when I next see him!

stella Posted on October 14, 2019 22:09

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 165
  • 0

Backpacker wakes from a coma with no memory

A backpacker who was living her dreams by travelling the world with her fiance suddenly fell into a coma and lost 95 per cent of her memory, and often has to ask how she met the love of her life.

Nataya Demarchio, 29, fell in love with Australia when she travelled to Queensland with her fiance, Bruno Meira, in 2016, where she worked on farms and lived in a tent.

Since then, the couple have travelled the world and returned to Mildura, Victoria, on February 27 this year with new working visas, excited about what the year would bring.

Ms Demarchio and her fiance were working at a grape-picking farm in July when she came down with a fever, and Mr Meira watched her health quickly deteriorate.

On July 24, the 29-year-old was due to get some blood tests done but was rushed to hospital after she was found on the floor having seizures.

'After three days of fever, she was found by her beautiful partner and I neurologically unresponsive,' her roommate, Victoria Campbell, wrote on Facebook.

She was then taken rushed to Melbourne's The Alfred Hospital where she went into a coma as doctors attempted to piece together what had gone wrong.

'Nataya is in a stable coma but still looks very sick but she has plenty of pretty complex exams still to do,' Mr Meira wrote on Facebook on August 2.

'Please don't ask me what she has... I can only give information little by little.' 

For nine weeks, doctors studied Ms Demarchio desperate to find what was wrong as her fiance slept on couches and on the floor by her side.

After four weeks in a coma and ten weeks of constant tests and a hospital bill of more than $350,000, Ms Demarchio was finally diagnosed with New Onset Refreactory Status Epilepticus (NORSE) disease.

'This is an exceptionally rare and grim disease, often death or ongoing seizures and memory loss result,' a GoFundMe page for her recovery reads.

She defied expectations after being in a four week coma, but is still seriously in the grip of this disease.'

When Ms Demarchio woke up on August 17 at 3pm, she had lost 95 per cent of her memory and was overcome with emotion when she struggled to remember who she was.

She fails to remember most of her eight years with Mr Meira and often asks him the same questions every day.

'She is upset, but sometimes it is like watching a movie when she watches the pictures and it is always something new,' Mr Meira told the Herald Sun.

'We have been together eight years and eight months now, but she asks me sometimes how we met.'

She knows me always, but she can't remember how we met, she can't remember our travel for the past three years.'

NORSE causes immune systems to attacks healthy brain cells, which leads to inflammation in the brain.

Unfortunately, the longer it takes to discover the disease, the harder it is to undo the damage that is already done. 

Luckily for Ms Demarchio, Melbourne was undertaking one of the first major studies in the world to tackle the condition, which was only discovered 12 years ago with one case per year in Australia.

Ms Demarchio is suffering severe short-term memory loss, so she finds it jarring every morning as she doesn't recall waking up from the coma.

While she can recognise the names of many people in her life, she still has trouble with names and recalling experiences over the past five years. 

The 29-year-old has now learnt how to eat, stand, walk and talk and was finally returned to Paris on October 6 on a medevac aircraft via Bangkok.

Mr Meira took to Facebook grateful that the worst was behind the young couple.

He said: 'Even if you don't remember all our secrets, adventure, how we met... no matter we can start again and we will meet again and meet friends. We will dream, we will dream, even with all our struggling we always have a way.'

While the community has generously donated $13,000 to the couple, it is still not enough to cover the medical bills as well as the $39,000 medevac flight.

Mr Meira is only planning on staying in hospital with his fiance for a couple of weeks before returning to Australia to work and start paying off the debt

stella Posted on October 14, 2019 20:48

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 162
  • 0

Hungover Student Goes On Walk To 'Clear His Head', Ends Up 500 Miles Away

A hungover student who decided to go for a walk to 'clear his head' after a night out to mark the end of his university days has ended up 800 miles away in France.

Barney Rule, 20, dropped out of Edinburgh University on September 7 and went on a big night out after calling time on his history and politics degree. 

Following his drinking session he decided to go on a walk to 'clear his head' and ended up walking throughout the night.

When he realised how far he'd gone, the 20-year-old, of Ross-on-Wye, decided to carry on. 

After walking for a month he is now in the south west of France, but wants to go the scenic route and carry on to San Sebastian, northern Spain.      

Setting off from Chester, Barney has walked through Chester to Ross on Wye to Poole - where he hopped on a ferry to continue onto Cherbourg to Bricbeque to Portbait to St Germain Sur Ay to Rennes to Nantes to Angers to Saintes to Jonzac to Bordeaux.

He claims to average just over 20 miles a day, with his trip being entirely self-funded.

The former student started out by sleeping rough but has now bought a tent.  

Barney said: 'I had always wanted to walk to Spain but it wasn't until I got drunk with friends last month that I actually began walking.

'It was only by the time I got to the second night, when I reached around 13 miles, that I realised - I was actually walking, actually doing it with no turning back.

'I wasn't sure it was legal, but I knew I needed to clear my head.

'I started off just sleeping rough, but I've picked up a tent and a few other things along the way but time alone on the road seems to be good for me.

'I've had time to think and really be alone in my thoughts, figure out my next steps and what I want to do.

'But the kindness I've seen from people has been amazing. I had a tent with me, and I've asked people if I could pitch it in their land as I've walked to the port in Poole.

I vividly recall being in Shropshire, and because I'd spent the previous three days really just going for it, because I knew I was only 60 miles away from the port, when I asked, I couldn't understand the accent.

'It might as well have been Mandarin for all I understood, and it was there that I woke up to being surrounded by cows.'

Barney spent £30 as a foot passenger at the port crossing, and estimates in the last month, combining the nights he's had no choice but to stay in a B&B or at a camping site, he has spent only about £1000.

He added: 'A lot of people assumed that I was going through a bit of a crisis type thing, where I'd rely on the bank of mum and dad but I haven't.

'It's entirely self-funded from the part time work that I did at a bar, and the academic scholarships that I've achieved.

'It was just a case that university wasn't for me - not that it was daft or that I wasn't taking it seriously, and my parents backed me all the way once they realised my thought process.

'Now I feel like I've been learning far more, as I'm more interested now that I'm travelling.

'I know a little Spanish, travelling through France, I've learnt French on the way and the people I've met have been inspiring.

'Before, I'd say it's fair to say I was reliant on social media and that type of thing and it's been a noticeable break - it makes me appreciate it all the more.

'I go off a day by day plan now, exploring and working out my next steps.

'Eventually, when I reach my end destination, Valencia in Spain, my plan is to eventually come back as far as Paris, and write about what I've learnt.

'That's the goal and hopefully by then I'll have a much better plan.'

stella Posted on October 14, 2019 20:19

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 137
  • 0

A Cory Norford spent thousands on shoes for a girlfriend who didn't ask where he got the cash. Now she's been in the dock - and he's on the run

An ‘intelligent’ young woman who allowed her suspected drugs baron boyfriend to deposit money into her bank accounts has escaped jail.

Prosecutors say Cory Norford, 27, headed up a multi-million pound drugs gang that flooded Greater Manchester with cocaine, heroin and cannabis.

He enjoyed holidays to Jamaica, Mexico, Paris and Amsterdam with his girlfriend Lydia Bello - who never questioned where his money came from.

Norford also gave two pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes to Bello during their two-year relationship.

At the time he was studying at Salford University and told Bello he had used his student loan to pay for the designer heels.

He also spent thousands on home improvements - including £7,000 on gardening and landscaping the couple’s home in Eccles .

But when detectives closed in on the multi-million pound drugs racket that they believe was headed up by Norford, he fled the country, having been released under investigation.

He was last seen boarding a flight to Faro in November 2017.

He had been living an extraordinary double life.

Two months prior to his arrest Norford - who was also working two jobs and planning to invest in property - obtained a first class honours degree in accountancy.

Now, with Norford still wanted, and believed to be in Portugal, ex-girlfriend Bello, 28, has been in the dock at Manchester Crown Court , after a police investigation into the drugs conspiracy led detectives to her door, and her bank accounts.

Judge Richard Mansell QC said Bello 'must have suspected, if not known' that Norford 'was not legitimate'.

“Yes he was doing a degree, yes he had another job, but he could not have funded the lifestyle he was giving you", the judge said.

Officers found tens of thousands of pounds had been deposited into Bello’s accounts by Norford over the course of their relationship.

This came to light when Greater Manchester Police launched an investigation - codenamed Operation Friction - in 2017 to look at the activities of the organised crime group they believe Norford led.

Officers recovered just under 4kg of cocaine, 1.19 kg of heroin, 1.52kg of cannabis and nearly a quarter of a million pounds in cash.

At the height of the group’s operations they were turning over more than £20,000 a day, and, to date, 16 people have been convicted of offences relating to the drug gang’s activities.

Following Norford’s arrest and flight to Portugal, police found that large sums of cash, believed to be the proceeds of drug dealing, had been deposited into three of Bello's bank accounts between May 2015 and April 2018.

In total there were 84 deposits, totalling £45,610.

Deposits were usually made between 1pm and 2pm at branches close to where Bello was working

Invoices recovered from Norford and Bello's home at New Lane, in Eccles, showed that £7,000 had been spent on gardening and landscaping the property, using cash payments.

Norford had moved into the property around January 2017 - before Bello discovered that he was 'having a child' with someone else and kicked him out, the court heard.

Within five months she had forgiven him.

In that time Norford gave her two pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes which he claimed he purchased using his student loan.

In interviews last year, Bello told police that Norford gave her nothing towards household bills or board and she paid for everything.

They had holidayed in Jamaica and Mexico, she admitted to police, claiming their trips were discounted because Norford’s mother works at a travel agent.

Officers later found they had also enjoyed trips to Paris, Barcelona, Ibiza, Alicante, Malaga, and Amsterdam.

Bello insisted to investigators that she had never seen Norford with large amounts of money or drugs, was surprised at his arrest and believed he earned money through his cleaning business.

Questioned on how she paid for items such as Sonos electrical equipment and a YSL handbag, Bello told officers she had no knowledge of her partner's alleged criminal activity.

She accepted that deposits were paid into the account, but denied knowing or suspecting that they were the proceeds of crime.

A download from Bello's mobile phone showed WhatsApp messages between the defendant and others in which she discussed how a woman called Leonie had been storing large amounts of cash whilst he was in Canada.

In the message Ms. Bello describes how she was aware Leonie's house had been raided and someone had 'robbed 20 grand' of Mr. Norford's money.

Eventually Bello, 28, pleaded guilty to concealing criminal property.

Manchester Crown Court heard she has no has no previous convictions and was of good character.

Described by her defence barrister as a 'bright young lady', with references calling her 'helpful, reliable, thoughtful, and genuinely remorseful', the court heard Bello's relationship with Norford is 'over'.

She wept as Judge Richard Mansell QC spared her a custodial sentence, saying: “Given you are of such good character, and given Norford has now fled the country I’m fully satisfied you will not be here again."

He described her as 'a very intelligent, otherwise responsible young lady who left school with a lot of GCSEs.'

“It’s very tempting to get sucked into these situations", the judge said.

“You have learnt a harsh lesson here.”

The judge ordered Bello to serve a 12 month community order and carry out 150 hours unpaid work.

That’s a fairly lenient sentence,” he told Bello.

“I don’t think you will make the same mistake again. Do these hours as a punishment."

Bello now faces a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing in which prosecutors may attempt to seize some of her assets.

stella Posted on October 14, 2019 19:30

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 177
  • 0

My friend's parents murdered her with a plastic bag over her 'Western' T-shirt

Siblings of teenager Shafilea Ahmed, who was brutally murdered by her mother and father in an honor killing, still refuse to admit that their parents killed their sister 16 years ago, a new documentary has revealed.

A friend has also shared how the teenager suffered a catalogue of abuse before she was killed in 2003 by parents Farzana and Ifthikar, who disapproved of her 'Western' fashion, including a short-sleeved T-shirt she wore on the day of her death. 

Shafilea’s parents were sentenced to life in prison in 2013, after being convicted of brutally killing her by shoving a plastic bag in her mouth and suffocating her, in a crime which horrified the nation.  

Sister Alesha testified on the murdered teenager's behalf but Shafilea's other siblings still refuse to talk about what their parents did. 

Family friend Shanin Munir revealed how the victim's sister Mehvish confided in her about the extent of the abuse, which included the parents branding Shafilea a 'w*** and a prostitute' and beating her. 

Shanin said: 'I'd heard there were physical beatings and a lot of emotional abuse. Her sister told me her parents would lock Shafilea in the garden. She wanted to escape her home, for her it was hell.'

Shafilea had always disagreed with her strict Muslim parents when it came to her fashion choice. 

In September 2003, the 17-year-old was wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt showing her arms, something she knew her mother would disapprove of.

An argument ensued with her parents which resulted in them stuffing a carrier bag in her mouth until she turned blue, while her horrified siblings watched on.

Now, friend Shanin has revealed the extent of the horrific abuse Shafilea suffered in a new documentary, 'When Missing Turns into Murder', which is set to air on Monday on Crime and Investigation.

Shafilea was killed at her home in Warrington, before he father bundled her body into the back of a car, dumping her 70 miles away.

Nine years passed before her sister Alesha, now 30, broke rank to reveal the secret to police, who were initially met with a wall of silence following the death of the teenager.

Shafilea was born in 1986 and was the first child of her parents, who had met through an arranged marriage.

They built a strict life together, but despite this, their daughter wore make-up and even false nails.

Shanin attended the same mosque as Shafilea's sisters and said the teenager had dreams of becoming a lawyer and had even 'texted boys'.

Speaking to the Sun, Shanin said: 'But obviously it was hidden. It couldn't be on her mobile phone because her parents would check.' 

It was clear that Shafilea had adopted a more Western way of living and her parents continuously tried to curb her 'rebellious ways'. 

One year the family arranged a holiday to Pakistan, where they intended to marry her off to one of her cousins.

Understandably terrified, Shafilea refused to go. So her father drugged her with sleeping pills and forced her to get on the flight.

After awaking in Pakistan, the teenager was so terrified about what would happen to her that she downed bleach in a desperate suicide attempt, which severely burnt her throat and oesophagus.

Following the incident the family rushed her to hospital, where she was kept for two months in recovery.

Her father eventually cashed in her return ticket and flew back to the UK with her two sisters.

On her return to the UK she spent some time at a hospital in Warrington, where her father told medical professionals that his daughter had mistaken the bleach for mouthwash.

But her home life after that was never the same and her parents began to isolate her.

She was allowed to continue with her studies, and to even keep a part-time job in a call centre, however her mother insisted on picking her up everyday, watching her every move.

Her parents were fruious at her for refusing the marriage and so they plotted an honour killing after they decided she brought shame on their family.

And they made Shafilea's three younger siblings watch the killing.

She was pinned on a sofa as a plastic bag was stuffed into her mouth while they struggled to suffocate her.

Shafilea's younger sister recalled how she saw her eye going wide and her legs kicking frantically before she urinated on the sofa in the struggle.  

After she died, her body was dumped in the river. 

The parents then told the children they would kill them too if they spoke to anyone about the incident.

Police were alerted after Shafilea wasn't seen at school but when they called at the family home they were told she had run away.

It wasn't until five months later that a decomposed body was found washed in the River Kent near Sedgwick in Cumbria. It was Shafilea.

The body was so badly dismembered that dental records had to be used from her lower jaw and DNA evidence from her right thigh bone confirmed this.

The family put on a funeral with hoards of guests and pretended to grieve unaware that police were keeping a close eye on them.

But in 2015, Shafilea's younger sister Alesha, then 15, didn't want to hide the truth.

She took herself to the police and told them her parents had killed her older sister.

In 2011, Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed were arrested and charged on suspicion of murder of their daughter.

After seeing the case in the media, family friend Shahin Manir decided to come forward herself.

She had received letters written by Shafilea's other sister talking about the night of the murder. 

Despite the sister asking her to destroy the letters, she made copies which were used in evidence at the trail for the evil parents.

In 2012, Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed were found guilty and were sentenced to 25 years in prison with no parole.

stella Posted on October 14, 2019 19:10

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 169
  • 0

Man died after eating fishcake so hot it burned his throat

A wedding planner died just 12 hours after sampling food at a venue when his throat was burned so badly he stopped breathing. Darren Hickey’s voice box swelled up after eating the food until he could no longer breath or swallow because of the pain and swelling. He had been given the fishcake by a chef just as he was leaving to go to a charity meeting at lunchtime on April 4. Darren, 51, realised something was wrong as the pain intensified and went to the Urgent Care Ward at Chorley Hospital but was sent home with paracetamol. He went back to his home in Bolton to rest but the swelling became worse and his partner Neil Parkinson heard him choking at 9pm.

Neil said: ‘He shouted so I ran upstairs. He was stood up choking and coughing so I banged his back but then he slid forward onto the floor.’ Darren was taken to hospital but the damage was so far down his throat it could not be seen without specialist equipment and he died just after midnight.

Acting senior coroner Alan Walsh said: ‘He was enormously positive and enormously caring and gave to charity – he was a very generous, caring and compassionate man. ‘He was a remarkably strong and resilient man to overcome that stroke.’ A pathologist said the case was very rare and is normally associated with people killed in house fires who inhale smoke, burning the airways. Dr Patrick Waugh said: ‘The patient can appear well, they will be talking to you, but then the swelling starts.’

Bolton Coroners’ Court heard a full review into the incident would be carried out. Mr Hickey’s cause of death was given as asphyxiation. Recording a verdict of accidental death, Mr Walsh said: ‘I believe there are enormous lessons to be learned.

This was caused by eating a fishcake, very small and very hot but with catastrophic consequences. I find this an immense tragedy.’ Speaking after the inquest, Neil Parkinson, 55, said: ‘Darren was a larger than life character, always helping other people and was the centre of attention. ‘He would take over a room if he walked in. He did loads for charity and was well liked in the community.’ Darren suffered a stroke seven years ago and ended up in hospital for 18 months. He spent much of his time after that doing charity work and was given the Inspirational Person of Courage Award by the Stroke Association

stella Posted on October 14, 2019 18:32

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 171
  • 0

Wow, A woman dressed up as a bush so that she could secretly watch her sister’s proposal and the photos are hilarious

A woman dressed up as a huge bush to secretly capture her sister's marriage proposal.

Therese Merkel, 23, donned the hilarious disguise after being asked to capture the exact moment by future brother-in-law Andrew Philibeck.

Andrew proposed to girlfriend Rachel, 22, at a secluded picnic spot surrounded by lanterns and Rachel's favourite plants, sunflowers.

But little did Rachel know her sister was just yards away, hidden amongst the shrubbery in a head-to-toe outfit made to resemble a rugged bush.

Therese revealed herself after Rachel said yes by jumping from the bush and shouting "she said yes"

She then posed for the camera in her hilarious outfit a Picnic Point in Madison, Wisconsin.

The committed sister shared the images on Twitter , writing: "Sister got engaged this weekend and I dressed as a bush in the wilderness to watch/capture the moment.

"We are 1 [year] apart … why are our lives so different rofl."

The post generated a huge response with 180,000 likes in a matter of days.

Therese described how the idea of dressing as a bush came about.

She said: "We tossed some ridiculous ideas around such as faking an injury and having Philibeck disguise himself as a medic.

“But we thought that was too aggressive.”

She added that when they thought about dressing as a bush - Andrew "really went for it" and bought a whole ghillie suit - a camouflage forest hunting 4-Piece + Bag.

Thanks to the suit, the whole proposal was captured on camera including the romantic poem Philibeck read to his new fiancée.

Therese added: "While I was hiding, I had the perfect view of the whole thing."

stella Posted on October 12, 2019 15:25

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 154
  • 0

Teenage girl, 17, who was told she would never be able to travel after an accident left her in a coma triumphs over the odds to attend friend's Mexican wedding

A teenage girl who went into cardiac arrest in a locked bathroom and had her brain starved of oxygen has overcome her near-death experience to live the life she always dreamed of. 

Jessica Cofield was 17 when she began to feel tired all the time and struggled to breathe.

The Melbourne woman, now 20, initially thought she was suffering from asthma, given her family's long history with the illness.

However she became concerned enough that she went to a hospital to undergo tests to find out the cause of her issues.

On the first night in hospital she went to the bathroom, strapped up with heart monitors, and locked the door for privacy.

Ms Cofield then went into cardiac arrest and hit her head as hospital staff desperately tried to get into the bathroom - and she went 15 minutes without oxygen getting to her brain.

'When I was in the induced coma, the doctors and cardiologist didn't know if it was something I'd be able to wake up from, let alone make a full recovery,' she told Daily Mail Australia.   

'I went 10-15 minutes without oxygen, and with each brain injury being different they weren't able to say how independent l'd ever be able to be.' 

Ms Cofield said she didn't realise at first how much of a hardship her recovery would be - she believed within three months she'd be able to return to life as she knew it.  

'When I started to wake up [from the coma] daily things would take me so much longer - like sitting up [in bed] would take 30 minutes and assistance from four people,' she said.

'It was really long, slow and hard. Everything I took for granted became more of a struggle. Nothing was easy.'

When she went home she thought she would be able to be more independent but even things such as lifting a kettle was a lot for her. 

'After I got home, I was still so limited to what I could do. Mum was my backbone, she did everything I wasn't able to do myself - shower, make breakfast, close and open car doors. 

'I was so tired of being so dependent on everyone around me. Even my 8-year-old sisters at the time were helping me do everything.'

Ms Cofield said when she was moving wards she asked her doctor if she would be able to go skydiving on her 18th birthday and travel, but both were firmly ruled out.

She said this discouragement led her to no longer take an active part in her recovery.   

'For a while when I was in the hospital I gave up and stopped trying to get better. I didn't see the point to get better if there wasn't going to be a life to get better for,' she said.

'After weeks of not doing physio and not getting any stronger and asking visitors to stop coming - I just stopped trying with everything.

'After you get through that mental state of it is not worth it or you're not going to be able to do it anyway - you just need something to go for and look forward to that isn't a surgery or hospital visit.'

She said her friend told her she would be getting married in Mexico - and Ms Cofield was determined to go, now convinced she could lead the life she wanted.    

'That's when I realised, I need to make that one day today, I never know when my last one will be,' she said. 

'No more waiting for someday for anything to happen, I had to make this day happen myself.'

She began to relentlessly train - going to the gym, doing her physiotherapy and training her brain. Ms Cofield was determined to go and get her doctor to approve the trip.

She didn't talk to her doctor until the day before she was to leave for Mexico, scared she would say no, like she had done in the past.

But Ms Cofield got the tick of approval she wanted and was able to attend her friend's nuptials. 

Ms Cofield said going through customs with her medication and defibrillator can be a difficult feat - she is unable to go through metal detectors and is forced to explain in the language of the country she is in.

'It never gets any less awkward - but one day I'm not going to be awkward about it,' she laughed.

Her future goal is to live in Europe - but she has a lot of hoops to jump through.

She said her heart needs to be monitored for at least a year to see how it interacts with the new medication she is on.

'I have to have enough medicine to last me for a year. I just need to make sure I am willing to take the risk if something goes wrong,' she said.

'No overseas doctors know my medical records and my heart won't be strong enough to make the flight home if I get sick.

'I've got to accept the risk and trust doctors can access my files or they'll wing it and hope for the best.'

'I have to have enough medicine to last me for a year. I just need to make sure I am willing to take the risk if something goes wrong,' she said.

'No overseas doctors know my medical records and my heart won't be strong enough to make the flight home if I get sick.

stella Posted on October 12, 2019 14:23

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 176
  • 0

See conjoined twins Nima and Dawa leave hospital for the first time since they were separated by Australian surgeons

Bhutanese twins Nima and Dawa have left a hospital as individual 'cheeky' girls,  weeks after life-changing surgery to separate them. 

The 15-month-old sisters, who had spent their lives joined at the torso, left Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital in a pram on Monday with their mum Bhumchu Zangmo following the successful surgery on November 9.

Lead paediatric surgeon Dr Joe Crameri said the girls were recovering well, but there was no date set for their return to Bhutan.

'The twins have made an excellent recovery and they are now starting to act independently and move around,' Dr Crameri said on Monday.

'I was pleased to see they were somewhat smiling.'

He said the staff had seen the 'two remarkable girls' transform since becoming independent.

'Girls who started off really attached and bonded to another, but ultimately frustrated with one another,' Dr Crameri said.

'We saw them became incredibly anxious after the surgery once they knew their other twin was not immediately in front of them.

'Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen them gain confidence, gain independence and gain a lot of strength.'

Dr Crameri says being able to stand will be a 'work in progress' for the girls as they build up strength and balance.

While they are yet to form full words, Dr Crameri said The Wiggles signature finger move had become their favourite while in hospital.

'They are cheeky. Dawa has turned on me. I thought she was going to be eternally grateful to me for getting her sister off her but she just seems to get grumpy with me,' he joked.

'When they are comfortable in their own space, they are very cheeky. They like to replicate The Wiggles.'

The former king of Bhutan wrote a letter to hospital chief executive Joe Stanway, thanking staff for changing the girls' lives.

Jigme Singye Wangchuck wrote: 'The successful surgery has made it possible for Nima and Dawa to enjoy a happy and meaningful life in Bhutan'.

The girls will to travel regional Victoria with their mother to the Children First Foundation's Kilmore retreat to continue recovering, before returning home to family.

'What the two girls need is stimulation of other children being around to challenge them, to give them interest and that will do wonders for the girls,' Dr Crameri said, noting one more wound check and a review was expected.

The foundation helped bring the girls and their mother to Australia for the surgery. They arrived in Australia in October, but waited weeks for the surgery while they built up strength.

As Ms Zangmo wheeled her daughters out of the hospital, she paused to give thanks in English: 'Thank you, everyone.'

stella Posted on October 12, 2019 14:05

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 144
  • 0

.Meet the robotic boy that breathes, bleeds and even calls for his mom

Medical students are using a robot boy to better understand how young patients respond to treatment. 

Called HAL, the realistic robot can cry, bleed, talk and go into anaphylactic shock. It also has a 'pulse.'

The device was created by Gaumard Scientific, which has been creating teaching simulators for hospitals, schools and other industries since the 1940s. 

Hal marks a major departure from test mannequins - and not just in price, as the unit starts at a whopping $48,000. 

'Participants can perform a full range of emergency procedures including surgical airway, needle decompression, and chest tube thoracostomy with the highest degree of realism,' John Eggers, Gaumard's executive vice president, said in a statement. 

'It's the closest experience to real world pediatric emergency care available today.'

To make it mirror a real human, Guamard engineers studied actual children by looking at their facial expressions, including how their muscles moved and eyebrows furrowed, according to Wired

The boy can shake his head from side to side, cry real tears and even call out for his mother when feeling distressed. 

There's also an integrated voice simulator that turns your voice into a five-year-old's, so that it can speak custom commands or phrases.  

It's made up of a mechanical-pneumatic system that creates a pulse, as well as a cartridge in the robot's leg that exhales carbon dioxide. 

A hydraulic system makes him cry tears and pumps blood throughout his body. 

This enables trainees to learn how to operate a glucose monitor on the robot, as pricking his finger will generate a drop of blood.

His eyes can follow a light in front of it and his pupils will shrink if a light is shone in front of them. 

What's more, the robot can even urinate or go into cardiac arrest.

'In certain situations such as anaphylaxis, his tongue will swell, his throat will swell,' James Archetto, Gaumard's vice president, told Wired. 

Trainees are able to cut an opening in Hal's throat to insert a tracheal tube, simulating the creation of another airway. 

They can connect him to an EKG to monitor his 'heart' and monitor his pulse using an arm cuff, or jolt him back to consciousness with a defibrillator. 

He can also mimic emotions of distress, like grimacing, crying or shouting. 

Whoever is controlling the system can also amp up the intensity of his emotions to create an even more high-stress environment. 

'We can amp the stress level up so high for the participants that people will cry, essentially have to drop out of the scenario,' Marc Berg, Stanford medical director, told Wired. 

I do think there's a good potential that we'll see more of that emotional type response when the mannequin is so realistic.'

Gaumard is behind other realistic training robots like Victoria, which is a robotic woman who can give birth, as well as Super Tory, a newborn baby that helps trainees spot signs of illness in infants. 

With Hal, the company had to be careful not to scare off medical students by making the boy look too real. 

They avoided adding human touches like facial blemishes or freckles, otherwise it could have distracted trainees, Wired said.  

Still, the device marks a major step in robotic training devices.  

'Maybe one day machines will be so sophisticated they'll be able to interpret our emotions and replicate our emotions,' Lillian Su, medical director for simulation at the Heart Center of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, told Wired. 

'But until then, we as the humans have to control that part and know how to use the machine so we can train people in that kind of environment.

'I think that's going to add an emotional layer, a challenge that we as educators have to be prepared for,' she added.

stella Posted on October 12, 2019 13:51

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 148
  • 0

A Baby girl born 'covered in diamonds' due to rare and agonising skin condition

Jennie Riley had enjoyed a dream pregnancy and she and husband James couldn't wait to meet their baby girl.

But from the moment she was born the couple realised something was seriously wrong with their "beautiful angel".

Jennie describes the dreadful hush in the room when the midwives looked at Anna for the first time.

Anna, now 17 months old, was born covered in diamond-shaped white patches.

But as soon as James looked into his girl's eyes, which were were framed by eyelids, reddened and swollen from being stretched back by the tightening skin on her face, he saw her "most beautiful soul".

Anna, who weighed just 4lbs 11oz, with harlequin ichthyosis.

Just one in every 200,000 babies have the condition and causes the skin to regenerate 10 times faster than normal.

Jennie, of Highland, New York, USA,  said: "It was all very confusing as no one knew what it was for a while.

"And I couldn't understand how something had gone wrong, as throughout my pregnancy everything had gone so well and the ultrasound and stats - or oxygen saturation levels - were all perfect."

The condition is cause by an inherited faulty gene and Anna was diagnosed just hours after her birth.

Her skin had started to rapidly solidify, causing it to turn white and crack in deep red fissures.

She was rushed to intensive care at Vassar Brothers Medical Centre, in Poughkeepsie, New York, and her devastated parents were told she might not survive.

But she defied the odds and, at a month old went home, meeting her brothers, Andres, now nine, who is Jennie's son from a previous relationship, and James Jr., now four, properly for the first time.

Jennie, 34, said: "It was amazing being able to take her home at last, after all that waiting wondering whether or not she would live."

Now, despite having the condition for life and needing four hours’ of baths every day along with regular application of lotions so that her excess skin can be taken off, Anna is a happy and healthy toddler.

Her mum said: "In spite of everything she has been through, Anna is the happiest little baby and very rarely complains about the pain she must sometimes be in.

"It is a lot of work each day caring for her skin and there will be challenges ahead for us.

"But her joyful personality makes it all worth it."

All of Jennie's scans throughout her pregnancy were normal but the first warning signs that something was wrong came when her waters broke on September 16 2017, six weeks before her due date.

James drove her straight to hospital.

Given steroid shots to strengthen the baby's lungs, a common procedure for premature births, and waiting 24 hours for the drugs to take effect Jennie was wheeled down to surgery the following morning for a C-section as Anna was facing the wrong way in the womb.

Jennie, who gave up work to care for Anna full-time, said: "Everything was calm and I was feeling eager and excited.

"No one had any kind of premonition about how things were going to turn out."

But as baby Anna was lifted from her womb, Jennie knew from the hush that descended around her there was something very wrong.

She said: "I heard the nurse say, 'She's beautiful,' but then after that there was an uncomfortable silence and I suddenly became very worried."

Leaving the moist womb and hitting the air, Anna's skin, which due to the condition is unable to retain any liquid, instantly dried.

It formed hard, diamond-shaped white patches and caused her eyelids to flip inside out due to the tightening of her skin.

Told by nurses that Anna needed treatment, Jennie was so shocked by the news that she had to be given a sedative by the anaesthetist to calm her while her daughter was whisked away for special care.

Woken up later in the recovery room, Jennie saw her baby clearly for the first time.

She said: "I took her in my arms and she was wrapped up in plastic.

"Her whole body had cuts all over it, caused by the extra layers of skin cracking. The poor thing looked so unwell and her eyes were swollen shut.

"It was so confusing for me as everything had gone so well up until the very last moment and I had no idea what it was all going to mean for her and for us."

Still unsure of the diagnosis, having never seen anything quite like it before, the medical staff at the hospital sent baby Anna  to the specialist  Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, 50 miles south in Valhalla, New York.

She was diagnosed with harlequin ichthyosis and put on a strict treatment plan to give her the best chance of survival.

It involved being kept in a humidified box and rubbed with Vaseline every hour.

Jennie said: "After a couple of days, I was allowed to leave Vassar and go to her at the children's hospital.

"We weren't able to touch her, as the risk from infection is very high with harlequin ichthyosis sufferers in the first few days of life as bacteria can very easily get into the open cuts on the skin

"We were told just to take it day by day, as the chance of death was very high.

"I couldn't believe what was happening and was still in shock. But I just knew that we had to keep our little girl alive."

Luckily, Anna was incredibly resistant and, as the thick white pieces of skin began to come away, her flesh started to take on a more usual colour, although it remained tight and "leathery".

After three weeks in hospital she was allowed to go home, with Jennie taking on all her treatment needs.

The new mum said: "It was a big adjustment for all of us and there was a lot of trial and error.

"But we pretty quickly worked out how best to keep her healthy and it seemed that there was light at the end of the tunnel and that we would be able to get through it."

Now, taking two two-hour baths a day to help prevent her skin from drying out and shedding, Anna is growing up as any other normal girl.

Although she has some mobility problems due to the skin being taut and restricting movement and her skin has a particular pinkish hue.

"Jennie said: "There are of course difficulties and we are constantly having to think about how her skin might react in different weathers at different times of the year.

"And she can't just go outside to play in the park, as her skin will dry out very quickly and she isn't able to sweat or control her body temperature either so it can be tough.

"But she is learning to talk now and loves chatting, as well as playing with her older brothers, who are great with her.

"James, my younger son, was at first a little confused by her condition but is very loving and protective over her now, singing to her when she cries."

While it is uncertain how disabling ichthyosis will be for Anna in the future, Jennie's one hope is that her daughter will always retain her happy disposition.

She said: "There may be challenges ahead for her, but I just hope that she will be able to see past her condition.

"I want for her to always have a positive attitude, because it is what everyone loves about her."

stella Posted on October 12, 2019 13:25

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 210
  • 0

Mom pleads not guilty to charges she killed, burned, dismembered 23-month-old son

A Bridgeton woman accused of killing, burning and dismembering her 23-month-old son, then reporting he had been abducted, entered a not-guilty plea during her post-indictment arraignment on Monday morning.

Nakira M. Griner, 25, was indicted in June on first-degree murder and other charges in the death of Daniel Griner Jr.

She reported her son missing Feb. 8, claiming she was attacked on a Bridgeton street while walking to a store with Daniel in a stroller and her infant strapped to her chest. Griner said she was knocked to the ground and that when she looked up the stroller and Daniel were gone.

Police launched a search that ended with the discovery of burned and dismembered remains at the Griner family’s home.

An autopsy determined Daniel died of blunt force trauma and that he suffered multiple bone fractures.

During interviews with police, Griner admitted that she struck the child after he refused to eat his breakfast, according to her criminal complaint. She told police she struck him so hard that it left bruises on his face and also claimed he had fallen down a flight of stairs.

Griner said she left the injured child alive and alone in his stroller on a Bridgeton street “because she wanted someone to find him and help him because no one would believe her,” police noted in their report.

In addition to murder, the grand jury indicted Griner on charges of disturbing or desecrating human remains (second-degree), tampering with evidence (fourth-degree), endangering the welfare of a child (second-degree) and false public alarm (second-degree).

Public defender Kimberly Schultz argued in July that Griner may not be competent enough to assist in her own defense and Superior Court Judge Robert Malestein delayed her post-indictment arraignment and ordered a competency evaluation.

Malestein noted Monday that the competency evaluation was received last week, which cleared the way for the arraignment.

“The doctor that evaluated her indicated that she was fit to proceed, which is a minimal standard,” the judge said. “She knows the nature of the proceedings and the roles of the respective parties in the courtroom.”

Griner stood quietly next to her attorney during the hearing and did not address the court.

Schultz has stated that her client previously sought help for mental health issues and that she was suffering from postpartum psychosis at the time of Daniel’s death.

“I believe that the chain of events that transpired support that,” Schultz told the court in February.

The attorney said Monday that she’s seeking an expert evaluation of her client.

“I believe that there was something more happening here and the more I delve into discovery, the more I believe that to be true,” she said.

Schultz is also seeking her client’s records from the state Department of Child Protection and Permanency, which served her when she was a juvenile.

Assistant Prosecutor Elizabeth Vogelsong stated previously that recordings of phone calls Griner made from jail in which she can be heard discussing her defense strategy are proof that she understands her situation.

Schultz has also argued that both Griner and her husband, Daniel Griner Sr., had access to the child during the period in which he was killed.

The defense attorney said prosecutors were too quick to charge the mother and noted that Daniel Griner Sr. told prosecutors in March that he struck the boy with a belt at least four times in the days prior to the child’s death. He was not charged.

Prosecutors responded that this was a single incident in which Griner Sr. admitted striking the child four times.

Vogelsong said the father was investigated and video evidence shows he was at work for his entire 12-hour shift as a registered nurse at hospital during the period when investigators believe Daniel died.

“Nothing in our investigation has shown that Mr. Griner Sr. was involved in the death of the child. Absolutely nothing,” Vogelsong said in May.

When police arrived at the Griner home hours after Daniel was reported missing, they found windows open, fans running and an officer noticed a burning odor, according to court documents. Burned and dismembered human remains were found in a handbag and in trash bags under a shed.

Schultz said Monday that she intends to file a motion barring admission of any statements Griner made to police before a lawyer was assigned to her case. Griner was interviewed and charged over a weekend and Schultz wasn’t assigned to the case until the following Tuesday, the attorney said.

“My client asked for a lawyer the minute she sat down with police, so I believe that there is a Miranda issue here and I’ll appropriately file that,” Schultz told the judge.

The case will return to court Nov. 18.


stella Posted on October 12, 2019 12:48

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 172
  • 0

Wow ,Abu Dhabi airport staff are shocked as '123-year-old passenger arrives at terminal with a passport claiming he is the oldest man to have ever lived

Staff at Abu Dhabi Airport have been left in shock after a man with a passport saying he is 123 years old walked through the terminal. 

Swami Sivananda's passport says that he was born on August 8, 1896, in Behala, India. 

Mr Sivananda had been travelling from Kolkata to London with Ethihad Airways and had a stop off in Dubai. 

If the date on his passport is correct, Mr Sivananda would be the oldest person to have ever lived.  

The elderly man lost both parents before he was six and was given away by his relatives to a spiritual guru, whom he travelled with around India before settling in Varanasi. 

It is hard to tell whether he actually is 123 because the only record of his age comes from a temple register. 

It is certain that Mr Sivananda looks decades younger than his apparent 123 years, something that he puts down to yoga, discipline, and celibacy.

In 2016, he was reported on because of the date of birth on his passport and he said:  'I lead a simple and disciplined life. I eat very simply - only boiled food without oil or spices, rice and boiled daal (lentil stew) with a couple of green chillies.

Standing five feet two inches tall, Mr Sivananda sleeps on a mat on the floor and uses a wooden slab as a pillow.

'I avoid taking milk or fruits because I think these are fancy foods. In my childhood I slept many days on an empty stomach,' he said.

He has been trying to have his age and status confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records for three years but due to difficulties in proving his age he is yet to enter the book.  

Sivananda, who was born in colonial-era India without electricity, cars or telephones, says he is not enthused by new technology and prefers being on his own.

'Earlier people were happy with fewer things. Nowadays people are unhappy, unhealthy and have become dishonest, which pains me a lot,' he said.

'I just want people to be happy, healthy and peaceful.'  

So far the oldest person ever was Jeanne Louise Calment from France, who reached the age of 122 years and 164 days.

The oldest person who is currently alive and recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records is Kane Tanaka of Japan, aged 116 years and 278 days.

stella Posted on October 12, 2019 11:42

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 169
  • 0

Woman may never see again after her abusive boyfriend PUNCHED her so hard he fractured her eye socket - after accusing her of having an affair when she went to Asda for the weekly shop

A domestic abuse survivor may never see properly again after her savage ex-boyfriend fractured her left eye socket during a brutal attack. 

Adele Semple, 31, of Oldham, Greater Manchester, met jealous boyfriend Matthew Hayes, 31, through the dating website Plenty of Fish. 

She was soon under his thumb, culminating in a violent assault on January 12th this year, when she returned home with the weekly shop. 

Accusing Adele of having an affair, Hayes flew into a rage - despite his friend being there to witness his explosion - hitting her so hard she flew across the bedroom, before pinning her down and punching her repeatedly across the head. 

The friend, who saw him grab a perfume bottle and threaten to 'smash her up,' luckily called the police, who arrested Hayes, while Adele was taken to Royal Bolton Hospital, so her injuries could be treated. 

When Hayes appeared at Bolton Crown Court On April 25, where he pleaded guilty to common assault and was jailed for 29 months, as well as being given a five-year restraining order preventing him from contacting Adele. 

But Adele feels that her injuries mean she is serving a far harsher sentence than the monster who attacked her. She said: 'I couldn't believe it when he got slapped with just 29 months in prison. 

'I might never be able to see properly again out of my left eye, while he'll no doubt be out of prison in a year and a half. 

'I just hope that other people don't make the same mistake I did. If your man starts showing tell-tale signs of being violent, then he probably is.' 

Following a messy break up, Adele met Hayes through the dating website, Plenty of Fish, in October 2017 and he asked her out on a date in Little Lever, Bolton, where he lived.

 'I've been on Plenty of Fish a couple of times and more often than not the blokes were all a bit weird,' Adele said, 'Then I got a message from Matthew Hayes and I liked what I saw.'

'Life in the run-up to their meeting had been tough for Adele, who had lost her job picking and packing at JD Sports, and, unable to afford rent, was living in a hostel. 

So, the trip out to Hayes' home came as a welcome break and she instantly clicked with her new admirer. She said: 'I immediately felt comfortable with Matt. He listened to what I had to say and made me feel special. 

'I've not had the best time with men in the past, so just having someone who seemed genuinely interested and seemed to care was such a nice change.' 

Because of her insecure circumstances, when Hayes suggested she should move in with him after a month together she jumped at the chance. 

'Looking back, it was clearly too quick to move in with someone, but I'd just lost my job and I could only live in the hostel for so long,' she explained. 

'Matt lived with his mum and they agreed I could move in with them. At the time, it felt like he was my hero, my knight in shining armour.' 

But, within a matter of weeks, Hayes' behaviour started to change and at a New Year's Eve party in 2017, he showed his true colours. 

She said: 'Matt had insisted that we go to his friend's party and being the bubbly person that I was back then I struck up a conversation with some lad. 

'There was nothing to it, but the next thing I knew Matt came over scowling and demanding that we were going home.'

'He'd got it in to his head that I was flirting with the bloke and wouldn't let it lie.' At first Adele looked past Hayes' jealousy, focusing instead on how caring and supportive he had been at the start of their relationship. 

'But she now knows that he had displayed tell-tale signs of the controlling and abusive behaviour that was to come.

'Looking back, I can't believe I didn't do anything at the time but I was in a hopeless situation,' she continued. 

'For weeks, everything would be fine and then out of nowhere he'd fly off the handle, then suddenly he'd say he loved me and he couldn't live without me again. 

'It's clear now he was just trying to mess with my head – and it worked.' 

Then, on January 12th this year Hayes' controlling behaviour reached a climax when Adele returned from the local Asda after doing the weekly shop. Instead of helping her to unpack, Hayes immediately accused her of having an affair. 

She said: 'It didn't make any sense. I'd gone to do the weekly shop on my way home and suddenly he was attacking me.' 

After threatening to assault her with a perfume bottle if she did not leave the house, at her wits' end, Adele admits she snapped, telling him, 'Go on then - just do it.' 

To her horror, he erupted, chasing her upstairs into their bedroom, where he hit her so hard she went flying across the bed onto the floor. 

Then, in a boiling rage, he pinned her to the floor, before punching her across the face, walloping her left eye. 

She recalled: 'I never thought he'd actually attack me the way he did. We were at loggerheads, then all of a sudden something just switched in him and I knew it was going to be bad. 

'The last thing I remember is him being on top of me and then a loud cracking sound.' 

Hearing her screaming in agony, Hayes' friend called emergency services, who arrested the thug, while Adele was taken to Royal Bolton Hospital. 

There she was treated for a fractured eye socket, as well as bruising to her forehead, arms, legs and thighs. 

Three months later, on April 26, Hayes' admitted the assault and was jailed for 29 months, as well as being handed a five-year restraining order. 

Judge Graeme Smith told him: 'You punched her as hard as you could. There is no reason whatsoever why you should punch her in that way.  She's still affected by it. She has described it as having a massive impact on her and I would have to agree.'

Now Adele, who still suffers from headaches and double vision, is hoping to raise awareness and help other women act before it's too late. 

She said: 'My life is in tatters and it's taken all I have to carry on and keep going. I've got PTSD and depression after what Matt put me through and sometimes it feels like I won't be able to make it to the next day.

'To any women out there who notice their partners acting controlling, don't wait until it's too late to get out. Your partner should never treat you less than you are, if they do run for the hills - don't make the same mistake I did.'

stella Posted on October 11, 2019 12:50

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 179
  • 0

A Woman who paid to look like Angelina Jolie is arrested for 'moral corruption'

A woman who has had several rounds of cosmetic surgery to try and look like Angelina Jolie has been arrested. Sahar Tabar, 21, was taken into custody in Tehran on a string of ‘cultural crimes and social and moral corruption’ allegations. She faces charges of blasphemy, inciting violence, gaining income through inappropriate means and encouraging youths to corruption, according to an Iranian news agency. Tabar shot to prominence on Instagram last year after posting a series of images of her face altered through plastic surgery. Most of the photos and videos shared with her 26,800 followers have also been heavily edited so that she seemingly resembles Hollywood star Angelina Jolie.

The account features images of her with a gaunt face, pouting lips and sharply turned-up nose. In some, she can be seen wearing a loosely fitting hijab over her hair and a white bandage on her nose commonly seen on Tehran’s streets.

Cosmetic surgery is hugely popular in the Islamic republic, with tens of thousands of operations taking place each year. After revealing her new look she was mocked for looking more like a zombie than Angelina Jolie.

Other pictures revealed that, while she has had plastic surgery, she is actually just very good with make-up and Photoshop. Instagram is the only major social media service accessible in Iran unlike Facebook and Twitter and the Telegram messenger service are officially banned.

stella Posted on October 11, 2019 12:33

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 157
  • 0

Rich Kid cries when she arrives at £180 camping holiday as it's 'too stressful'

An heiress who usually enjoys lavish holidays in The Maldives with her family was left sobbing when she tried out a rather more modest getaway for a TV experiment.  

At first, Hattie Garmant, 19, from Hemel Hampstead thought she would be able to handle a weekend of camping for 5Star's Rich Kids, Skint Holiday, which airs tonight. 

She was matched with Pete and Louise Hayward and their daughters Katie, seven, and Chloe, four, who decided to take her to a camping site for a three-day stay. 

But within an hour, the heiress, who is used to splashing her cash on designer clothes and beauty treatments, was shocked to tears when it started raining. 

'I thought I'd been able to handle more stuff,' she said. 'It's like, "how can people have fun doing this?".'

'I feel a bit overwhelmed. Ideally I'd rather be in a hot country, with sun and sea, compared to rain and sleeping in a tent.'

The young woman was not expecting to be going camping and struggled to cope from the moment the family arrived at Dernwood Farm.  

Hattie's father funds her lifestyle and her love of labels. She owns a collection of Gucci trainers, heels, Versace blouses, Burberry coats and more. 

The heiress has never had to worry about money in her life, and explained that she can spend between £500 and £1,000 on makeup and beauty treatments a month. 

The family's last holiday was in the Maldives, and thought it cost a grand total of £8,000 - £2,000 per person - the heiress admitted she found the experience boring. 

Later in the day, things became awkward over dinner when Hattie revealed her Gucci trainers cost more than £700, to a shocked Pete and Louise. 

'What you're wearing is five times more expensive than my wardrobe,' Pete joked. 

Pete, an oven cleaner, and Louise, a weight loss consultant, are both self-employed and sometimes struggle to make ends meet. 

This camping adventure was the Haywards' first holiday as a family, and it took them six months to save up the £180 fee for the two-nights stay. 

And Hattie didn't do herself any favours by adding that her parents give her a £500 allowance to cover her commute, even though she is working and earning a salary. 

Louise who had set a daily budget of £40 for the trip, did not seem impressed by Hattie's spending habits. 

'It's quite tough to know that for some people, it is just that easy,' she said. 

'How much would we love to be in that position where we could just have that disposable income.' 

And while she stayed diplomatic in front of Hattie, Louise opened up further in an aside to the camera. 

'It's a little bit uncomfortable to be honest,' she said 

Hattie was not blind to the mother-of-two's uneasiness, but to her, it was all a matter of perspective.   

'She has to think about it in a different perspective because I don't have to worry about certain stuff at the moment,' Hattie said. 

Curious to see whether Hattie would be able to handle a smaller budget, Louise tasked her with finding the family and activity for the afternoon with only £22.50 in her pockets, including food. 

Finding she couldn't afford any of the activities around the camping site, Hattie bought a sticker book and a bug-spotting guide for £4.99 and £2.99 in order to entertain the kids. 

With the remaining £14.52, Hattie then tried to cover dinner. 

Overall, she found activities and dinner for the family for £20.23. 

She admitted to being 'pleased with herself,' and was quite happy when the family went on to explore the nearby woods to look for wildlife. 

Later in the evening, Pete and Louise opened up to Hattie about how hard their finances make it to deal with Katie's autism diagnosis.  

'There are so many activities for kids like her to try, but there's definitely a limit as to what we can do so far with our budget,' Louise explained. 

'You probably don't imagine what kind of impact money can have on someone's development,' Louis added, 'because it shouldn't.'

And indeed, Hattie was shocked by the couple's revelation.  

'I never thought money could have this much of an impact,' she said.

The next day, wanting to pay for a nice activity for the Haywards to do, and touched by their conversation about Katie's autism, Hattie bought the family a trip to the stables, where Katie and Chloe met horses and ponies, an activity recommended for children with autism. 

Louise and Pete were very touched by her attention and say she 'couldn't have picked a better treat.'

stella Posted on October 11, 2019 12:06

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 141
  • 0

Victoria Beckham feels put to shame after seeing David's incredible efforts with daughter Harper

They are proud parents to four children.

And Victoria Beckham heaped praise on her husband David as he helped their youngest child Harper build a Lego model of Hogwarts castle from the Harry Potter series. 

Taking to Instagram stories on Saturday, the fashion designer, 45, shared a video of her footballer beau, 44, concentrating as he attempted to build the toy model for their eight-year-old daughter. 

The sweet clip showed the sports star carefully reading an instruction manual as he constructed the castle, while his wife filmed over his shoulder. 

Wearing a red jumper, David hardly seemed unaware of his wife as he put all his efforts into building the model as a treat for his little girl.

Captioning the image, Victoria wrote: 'Such a good daddy!! Harper is obsessed with Harry Potter.'

David was so engaged in the 6,000 piece Lego set, which retails in stores at £349.99, that he continued well into the night.

Later that evening, Victoria shared another video of him as he continued to work on the model.

And David appeared to make much headway in his quest as the castle appeared near to completed, with the model featuring turrets, stained glass windows and even flying wizards.

Remarking at how long her husband was taking and clearly keen for him to go to be, Victoria wrote: 'FFS... It is 00.18 and he is still up building this LEGO!

'Been building ALL day!! X! 

Last month, the former Manchester United ace revealed that he insists on instilling work ethic in his children, telling them: 'You'll never get anywhere without making sacrifices.'

Asked what advice he gives Brooklyn, 20, Romeo, 17, Cruz, 14, and eight-year-old Harper, the former England captain told GQ magazine: 'To work hard, simple as that.'

Brooklyn is a model and photographer, and Cruz is said to want to be a pop star like his mum, former Spice Girl Victoria.

David added: 'I tell the kids they have to make choices, sometimes give things up. If your friends are going out on a Friday night, maybe you can't. Maybe you've got tennis practice the next day or you're in the studio singing, like Cruz, or you've got a shoot, like Brooklyn. That's where your focus needs to be.

stella Posted on October 08, 2019 00:29

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 143
  • 0

Two teenage members of a girl gang who beat up an Egyptian student, 18, 'over a boy' before she suffered a stroke and died WALK FREE from court while another gets just eight months

The devastated family of an Egyptian student who was beaten up by a girl gang before she suffered a stroke and died have said they no longer feel safe in the UK as two of her attackers walked free.

Mariam Moustafa, 18, was punched and slammed into a bus stop by Mariah Fraser, 20, Britania Hunter, 18, and a 16-year-old girl in Nottingham.

Twelve hours after the attack 'over a boy' on February 20, 2018, she suffered a stroke and fell into a coma before dying less than a month later.

Prosecutors could only bring charges of affray against the group, rather than manslaughter or murder, as her death could not be reliably linked to their actions. 

Despite branding the defendants 'aggressive' and 'cowardly', the judge handed Fraser a custody sentence of just eight months, while Hunter and the other girl walked free.

Today Mariam's father, restaurant chef Mohamed Moustafa, blasted the sentence saying 'there is no justice in this country'.  

Mr Moustafa, who moved to the UK from Italy four years ago to give his children a better education, said: 'I am doing my best for my family. We try to do our best in this country. 

'We try to respect the law. But after what happened today, I feel nobody can protect my family. We are not safe in this country. 

'When I hear there is no link behind the stroke and what happened to my daughter, I don't believe it at all. I feel very upset about what happened. 

'For me, it is 100 per cent manslaughter. It [the stroke] happened after several hours, not several days. 

'My daughter was killed, and nothing happened. I waited all this time for justice, but now I feel there is no justice in this country. I don't think we will stay here in the UK.'

Mariam, who was described as 'keen, hard-working and well-liked' by her college and was set to study at engineering at a London university, collapsed and went to hospital, but was released and suffered a stroke at home around 12 hours after the attack.

She had been punched several times during the confrontation 'fuelled by social media' near a bus stop in Parliament Street at 8pm while her friend Pablo Jawara tried to protect her. 

Now her sister Mallak lives in fear and wants to leave the country.

Mallak, 16, said: 'I feel scared. I feel afraid to walk around town. How do I know they won't come after me next? 

'All I want to do is leave here. I feel like I can't live my life anymore. Mariam was unique. She was the only person I wanted to be like. 

'I feel like my sister died again today. They [the defendants] were just smiling and laughing. They don't even feel sorry.

'They have let them out and said, "go and live your life". You haven't done anything. What about the bright future my sister had? 

'They took it off her. That's not fair. Eight months in custody for my sister's life.'

The court heard how two of the six, the 16-year-old girl and an 18 year old who will be sentenced later this month, were the main aggressors in the altercation, while the others were either filming the incident or laughing while watching. 

Passing sentence today, Judge Gregory Dickinson QC branded the defendants 'aggressive' and 'cowardly' and said: 'This was not an attack motivated by hostility to race or religion. It was to do with a boy.' 

Detailing the reasons why he decided to refer the 16-year-old girl to the youth court, Judge Dickinson added: 'The family of Mariam want the maximum possible sentence to be imposed on all those involved in the case.

'Sympathy for their desperate sadness cannot displace a proper, dispassionate approach to sentencing in a court of law.

'It would only add to the tragedy of this case to put [the girl] into custody.'

Hunter was given a 12-month community order and told to carry out 40 hours unpaid work, and the 16-year-old girl was remitted back to youth court with a view to a referral order.

The prosecution said after the incident that Fraser, who has previous convictions for robbery, attempted robbery and assault, had searched the internet for 'I have put someone in a coma' when she realised she may be arrested for her part in the attack.

Mariam's parents, Mr Moustafa, 51, and Nessrin Abu-Elneinen, 42, were visibly upset as CCTV footage of their daughter collapsing on the bus was played to the court yesterday.

The incident caused uproar in Egypt and the country's embassy had called on those responsible to be 'brought to justice swiftly'. 

Fraser, Hunter and the 16-year-old girl all admitted affray a week before their trial.

The prosecution said four pathologists had concluded the attack could not be 'reliably linked' to Miss Moustafa falling into a coma or her eventual death, meaning manslaughter charges could not be brought.

Months before her death, Mariam took to YouTube to explain how her heart condition had left her 'scared' to go to college or leave the house.

Miss Moustafa's sister Mallak previously revealed Mariam had been born with half a heart.

Speaking directly to Fraser as he sent her to a young offenders' institution, the judge said: 'You used violence. You contributed significantly to the overall seriousness of the affray.

'It is not correct to say that you were "on the periphery", as was submitted on your behalf.

'In my judgment, your role as a part of the incident as a whole, with your record of convictions, means that a custodial sentence is necessary.'

Opening the facts of the case, prosecutor Luke Blackburn said: 'To call it an argument would be a mis-description as it was all one way. It developed into threats and violence at that bus stop.

'Miss Moustafa and Mr Jawara got on the bus, doing their best to get away from what was going on.'

Mr Blackburn said the 16-year-old youth banged on the bus window to persuade the driver to let them on.

The Crown's barrister continued: 'All six went upstairs to find the two people they had been attacking.

'Mr Jawara stood up and did his best to physically protect his friend - he just got in the way of the defendants and did not use any violence.

'The atmosphere was intimidating and violent with the forceful nature of the language being used.'

Three other teenagers, aged 18, 17 and 16, will be sentenced at Nottingham Youth Court on June 19 alongside the 16-year-old girl.

stella Posted on October 07, 2019 23:24

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 156
  • 0

Two men, 21 and 19, charged with the murder of Tashan Daniel, 20, who was stabbed to death at Tube station on his way to Arsenal match

Two men have been charged with the murder of the aspiring athlete at a London Underground station.

Tashan Daniel, 20, was fatally stabbed at Hillingdon Underground Station on September 24 after being attacked while heading to to an Arsenal football match.

British Transport Police have since said that Alex Lanning, 21, from Uxbridge, and Jonathan Camille, 19, from Kensington, had both been charged with his murder.

The pair have been remanded in custody and are due to appear at Highbury Magistrates' Court on Monday.

An 18-year-old woman, from West Drayton, who was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender has been released under police investigation.

Police previously said that Mr Daniel, who had hoped to become an international 200m sprinter, was with a friend when two other men provoked a fight, during which he was knifed in front of horrified passengers. 

Witnesses reported seeing blood and one person performed CPR on the victim but he died on board a Tube carriage.

The Underground station was evacuated in the wake of the stabbing.

Speaking previously about the investigation when the two men were first arrested, Detective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn said: 'We have been working around the clock to trace those responsible for Tashan's death and this is a positive step in the ongoing investigation.

'I'd like to thank Tashan's family for their patience and strength and once again extend our deepest condolences to them. They are continuing to be supported by specially trained family liaison officers.

'I know the local community and many people across the country have been truly shocked by this senseless and unprovoked killing, and we will continue to work tirelessly to make sure those responsible face justice.'

His mother Celia Daniel, 48, earlier told of how she was able to 'hold his hand for a tiny second' while paramedics worked on him. 

Before the match, his family said he had lunch with his mother and took his grandfather to a day care centre.

His father told the BBC:  'He was short on time - he ruffled my hair, gave me a kiss on the cheek and that's the last time he left home.'

He added: 'Tashan wanted to make the Olympics. He set his standards high, he was hardworking and did everything we asked him to.

'He was a real family-orientated boy and he was a beautiful soul.' 

Luke Flynn, a colleague and former schoolmate of Mr Daniel, said: 'He will be missed my his friends family and work colleagues.

'He was really involved in his track running. I'm pretty sure he was one of the better runners in the UK. He was always doing it every weekend. He was doing really well in the 100m and 60ms.

'He was a nice guy, quiet, and just got on with his work. It's sickening. It's horrible to hear, he was such a nice guy, he was always up for helping. Everyone was taken aback when they heard.' 

A spokesman for Arsenal FC said: 'Everyone at Arsenal Football Club is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Arsenal fan Tashan Daniel.

'Our thoughts are with Tashan's family and friends at this sad time.'

stella Posted on October 07, 2019 23:16

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 117
  • 0

A Couple arrested for attempting to smuggle £2m worth of drugs into the UK

A British couple could face capital punishment after they were accused of trying to smuggle £2 million worth of heroin out of Pakistan.

Mohammed Tahir Ayaz, 26, and his wife Ikra Hussain, 20, from Huddersfield, West Yorks, were arrested at Sialkot International Airport while trying to fly to the UK via Dubai on Thursday.

The Airport Security Force claimed they found 25kg of 'fine quality' heroin hidden in Hussain's clothing while scanning her luggage.

Packets were said to be sewn into different parts of several clothes.

The officials took the heroin, which was estimated to be worth millions of rupees in the international market, into custody and registered a case against the couple.

The couple were then handed over to Anti Narcotics Force for further investigation.

Offenders caught smuggling large amounts of drugs could face death penalty or a life sentence if they are found guilty.

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff told Examiner Live: "I understand that a Dewsbury couple have been arrested at an airport in Pakistan, allegedly attempting to smuggle a substantial quantity of heroin into the UK.

"This is an appalling crime and I am pleased to hear that these life-destroying drugs have been intercepted."

Shabir Pandor, the leader of Kirklees Council, said: "If anyone breaks the law in this way it's completely appalling and they are out of order."

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are urgently seeking more information from the Pakistani authorities following reported arrests of a British couple."

stella Posted on October 07, 2019 18:22

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 141
  • 0

Mummy blogger Sophie Cachia, 28, discovers that one of the cruel trolls who taunts her online is a FRIEND

Mummy blogger Sophia Cachia has revealed that a cruel troll who tormented her online is a former friend.

The Melbourne-based mum-of-two started blogging at 22 under The Young Mummy, and how has 250,000 followers and a successful clothing line. 

Her presence as a public figure has also seen her deal with her share of bullying - at the hands of strangers as well as 'so-called' friends.

'I know this girl who was in my life for years is one of my biggest trolls,' she said on a Mamamia podcast. 'I don't know if she knows that I know that.'

Sophia said she was shocked and hurt to discover her friend was secretly trolling her, and said she had involved her lawyers and spoken to police.

'I know for a fact, that there's one woman, who I have known in my life, who I was once friends with, who works in the media at times, who was trying to build her way up – I know she is one of my biggest trolls,' she said.

Sophia said what had hurt her most about this situation was while she could reconcile the fact anonymous people were trolling her, it was harder to understand why a friend would behave this way. 

Sophia said her mental health had been seriously affected by her former friend's bullying.  

She said the horrific nature of some of the comments had left her questioning: 'How am I going to escape this?' 

While she said she understood on one level the opinions others had about her weren't true, she had been to counselling to help her deal with the abuse. 

In a bid to regain some control, Sophia said last year she had decided to limit comments to those she followed and who followed her back.

Today, the Instagram star said she is able to take a broader view about the situation, one that doesn't see her spend time reading others thoughts about her life.

'I just post a pic I like and move on with my day now, instead of trawling through thousands of comments from strangers,' she said.

She added her family, particularly her ex-husband, had been incredibly supportive during this time. 

Sophia, who is known by her thousands of fans for her honest and real approach to life, recently confirmed she had split from her AFL player husband Jaryd Cachia.

The couple, who were together for eight years, have two children together, Bobby, 6, and Florence, 2.

Sophia documented their separation on her social media channels after gushing about Jaryd's parenting skills on Father's Day.

She and Jaryd still love one another, but say their separation is a prime example of 'two kids who fell in love hard early and are now two adults who love & respect each other enough to part ways amicably.'

stella Posted on October 07, 2019 17:14

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 254
  • 0

Pair who illegally watched and recorded Emiliano Sala's post-mortem jailed

Two people have been warned they face jail after admitting to accessing CCTV footage of the post-mortem examination of Emiliano Sala. 

Christopher Ashford, 62, and Sherry Bray, 49, admitted illegally accessing CCTV at Bournemouth Mortuary and replaying a post-mortem of the Cardiff City footballer.

Sala, 28, tragically disappeared following a plane crash off Alderney in the Channel Islands on January 21, and was confirmed dead on February 7.

Bray, the director of a CCTV company in Chippenham, Wiltshire, which held the out of hours contract to monitor the cameras at the mortuary, watched the post-mortem live on Febuary 7 and replayed it the following day.

She sent a picture of Sala from the investigation to another person using Facebook Messenger. 

It said an investigation was launched after a graphic image of Sala's post-mortem examination was spotted circulating on social media, and this led to the CCTV company's offices being searched. 

Bray also used the CCTV equipment to play the post-mortem examination of another man, grandfather Andrew Victor Latcham - who died in non-suspicious circumstances in Dorset - on April 24 last year.

Ashford, of Calne, Wiltshire, gained 'unauthorised access' to the mortuary CCTV, and watched Sala's post-mortem six times over a 48-hour period between February 9 and 11.

Bray then perverting the course of justice by deleting the image from both her phone and the mortuary CCTV. She also encouraged Ashford to delete pictures he had taken.

The pair admitted the seven counts against them today at Swindon Crown Court.

Rob Welling, prosecuting, told the court that Ashford and Bray were each charged with three counts of 'securing unauthorised access to computer material', contrary to the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

The court heard that on February 7 and February 8 2019, Bray 'operated the closed circuit television equipment at Bournemouth Mortuary' to watch or replay footage from Sala's post-mortem.

She also operated the mortuary's CCTV in the same way on April 24, 2018, to watch the post-mortem of Dorset pensioner Andrew Latcham.

And on February 12 and 13 2019, Bray perverted the course of justice by deleting pictures of the football player from her phone and instructing Ashford to 'delete your pics'.

Bray also deleted the post-mortem cameras at the Bournemouth Mortuary from the live feed camera facility the following day (Feb 14), the court heard.

Meanwhile, Ashford also admitted to 'operating the closed circuit television equipment at the Bournemouth Mortuary' to replay the footage of Sala's post-mortem.

He is said to have done so on February 9 at 9.40pm and 11.23pm, on February 10 at 2.32am and 6.58am, and on February 11 at 1.26am and 9.35pm. 

The pair have been released on bail until September 20, when they are due to be sentenced.

Judge Peter Crabtree warned them that the charges are 'extremely serious' and that they can 'undoubtedly' expect a custodial sentence.

Argentina international Sala died in January when the plane taking him to Cardiff crashed into the English Channel.

A post-mortem was carried out at Holly Tree Lodge Mortuary, Dorset, on February 7.

A week later, police were alerted to an image on Twitter apparently showing the dead Argentinian footballer.

The image was removed from Twitter, but was subsequently shared to other social media sites.

Wiltshire Police's Digital Investigations and Intelligence Unit (DIIU) carried out a warrant at the CCTV firm's offices last summer.

Detective Inspector Gemma Vinton, from DIIU, said: 'This is the most high-profile investigation that our recently-formed unit has carried out. I would like to commend the team of specialist investigators for their hard work and dedication. 

'This has been a case which has attracted significant global media interest, and has involved detailed forensic searches of a large number of digital devices, as well as regular contact with a range of stakeholders and interested parties - not least the families of our two victims, with Emiliano Sala's family, who live in Argentina, being kept fully updated at all times.

'It has been the two families who have been at the forefront of our minds throughout the investigation; they have been significantly impacted at what was already a difficult and traumatic time for them.

'The actions of Bray and Ashford caused additional unnecessary distress and heartache, and I hope the families will now be able to concentrate on grieving for their loved ones.'

Bray, of Corsham, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to three counts of computer misuse and perverting the course of justice.

Ashford, of Calne, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to three counts of computer misuse.

The pair are due to be sentenced on 20 September.


stella Posted on October 07, 2019 17:07

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 151
  • 0

So sad Suicide of prominent pastor Jarrid Wilson forces church leaders to confront mental health

The first time he thought about killing himself, Adrian Crawford was wracked with fear, shame and guilt. 

He believed deeply in God but couldn’t shake the darkness that surrounded him. Did being plagued with depression and anxiety make him an inadequate Christian? He had tried everything he’d been taught in church – praying, reading his Bible, being anointed so many times "you could have deep-fried me in holy water."

Nothing helped. But a part of him hesitated: If he killed himself, was he condemned to eternal torment in hell? 

That was more than two decades ago, when Crawford, now 41, was a freshman at the University of Tulsa. Now, as the lead pastor of Engage Church in Tallahassee, Florida, Crawford speaks openly about his mental health struggles, including sharing them with his congregation.

Adrian Crawford, 41, lead pastor of Engage Church in Tallahassee, Florida, preaches regularly about mental health, including sharing his own struggles. 

After the suicide Monday of Jarrid Wilson, a well-known pastor in the evangelical community, Christian leaders across the country are grappling with how to address and help believers struggling with depression and anxiety – including when those struggling are the ones leading the church. Recent decades have seen more churches embrace compassion and turn away from longtime teachings about suicide and the afterlife. 

Suicide is a growing problem in the United States. In 2016, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that suicide had increased 30% since 1999 and that nearly 45,000 people took their own lives that year. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10-34, and one in five adults experience mental illness each year. Just 43.3% of adults with mental illness received treatment in 2018. 

Wilson, most recently an associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship, a megachurch in Riverside, California, had been transparent about his own mental health struggles, passionately advocating for churches to help those who were hurting. He co-founded a mental health nonprofit, Anthem of Hope, and frequently posted on social media about his own experiences. 

He is not the first prominent pastor to kill himself: In August 2018, Andrew Stoecklein, lead pastor of the Chino, California, megachurch Inland Hills Church, took his own life a few days after preaching a sermon about his struggles with mental health. Both Wilson and Stoecklein were married with young sons when they died by suicide.

Tommy Givens, an associate professor of New Testament studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, sees progress around the mental health conversation within faith communities, particularly with the inclusion of psychology courses for those studying ministry. 

“To Jarrid’s credit, despite how his life ended, him being honest about his struggles, especially for people from places of prominence, it changed the atmosphere around this conversation,” Givens says. 

Givens says there’s evidence all over Scripture of people dealing with depression, hopelessness, a sense of defeat and doubting the existence of God. People suffering from mental illness need to know “this is part of the canon” and they’re not alone, he says. 

Crawford put it this way: “The entire book of Psalms is basically the songs of a manic-depressive person, if you read it closely.”

Debating what happens after we die

Many Christian leaders say they are eager to bring mental health into sermons, but they worry about what they call "toxic theology" that can surround conversations about suicide, especially when that theology condemns people to hell. 

For a long time, that was the teaching, according to James Hudnut-Beumler, a professor of American religious history at Vanderbilt University’s divinity school in Nashville, Tennessee.

For centuries, suicide was treated as a moral sin, Hudnut-Beumler says. The ancient Catholic Church, for example, took a two-pronged view: First, those who die by suicide have thrown away the soul that was given to them by God. Second, by killing themselves, they have taken away the opportunity that would otherwise be available to confess that sin and ask for forgiveness. 

Hudnut-Beumler says many churches held on to this “well into the 20th century because they didn’t want to give anyone a nod or a wink that suicide is OK. They wanted people to work it out. However, with society’s growing understanding of mental illness and the terrible places that people’s minds can lead them, there is a growing pattern of theological reflection that says perhaps God can and will forgive what human beings will not understand.” 

There’s more compassion for people suffering from severe mental illness, too, particularly as Christianity moved away from the belief that mental illness was caused by demons or evil spirits. Hudnut-Beumler says that while young ministers were often taught that suicide is a permanent solution to a short-term problem, there’s now an understanding that “for people inside the problem, it feels insurmountable.” 

Pastors relate to Jarrid Wilson

For years, Steve Austin, a pastor in Birmingham, Alabama, buried feelings of anxiety, depression and suicide. Sexually abused as a preschooler, he started to recover memories as a senior in high school, which led to severe panic attacks. He told no one of his past trauma. 

“I had big dreams of pastoring a megachurch, and saving the world for Jesus,” he says. “How could I ever share my brokenness?” 

Seven years ago, at age 29, he attempted suicide. 

It was not, he says, a cry for attention. When he woke up, “I was mad as hell. I was furious to be alive.”

But now he tries to walk others through hopelessness. Austin got out of formal ministry and no longer pastors a church, but he still speaks to congregations around the South. He describes himself as part life coach, part spiritual companion. He wrote a book about his journey, “From Pastor to A Psych Ward,” available free on his website for anyone struggling.

And while he sees progress in the evangelical community when it comes to speaking frankly about mental health, “I long for the day when I can talk about my anti-anxiety medication like my dad talks about this cholesterol medication.” 

Six years ago, Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, commissioned a study with LifeWay Research, an organization that helps church leaders conduct surveys. It found that 48% of Evangelical Christians believe mental illness, including depression and anxiety, can be cured purely by reading the Bible and praying more. Those numbers startled Stetzer. 

“I think we need to talk about mental health like we talk about diabetes – it’s an illness,” he said. “What makes it unique is that pastors are supposed to be the helpers, not need help. They’re supposed to speak about the glory of life, not take their own lives. 

“We have to get people to understand: It’s OK if your pastor struggles with depression, it’s OK if he or she has to be on medication. We have to get to a point where pastors feel like they can come out of the medicine cabinet and be honest.” 

As evangelical leaders try to create a safe space for everyone – especially other leaders – to share their struggles, they’re also cognizant of gender and racial barriers. 

Stetzer says every marriage book, Christian or not, talks about how men have a harder time than women expressing fears and pain. That means that part of faith leaders' responsibility in leading the conversation around depression and anxiety involves acknowledging the gendered expectations placed on men and the problems that can bubble up because of that, he says. 

For Crawford, who is a black man, having frank discussions about mental health first involves stripping away decades of stigma that have existed in communities of color.

“You have to understand that my father is a baby boomer who lived through the civil rights era and Jim Crow laws,” Crawford says. “In his world, you couldn’t show emotions as a black man or you could get killed. For black people in our country, it was just about survival. In church you’d hear so much about heaven because black people were already living through hell on Earth.” 

As a result of that, Crawford says that from a young age, he and other African Americans were taught that depression and suicide were “white people problems"; they were not issues discussed within black families or black churches. There was a certain pride, almost, in being able to “tough it out,” which is what black people did every day in every aspect of their lives, Crawford says.

In 2019, a whole host of pressures can collapse on a person, including social media. 

It’s easy to look at someone’s life on social media and play the comparison game. Pastors are guilty of that, too, Crawford says, and it can spiral quickly for a pastor already struggling with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Acknowledging that social media has been crucial in spreading the Gospel, he believes it's key to also recognize its pitfalls.

Stetzer is planning a summit in early 2020 where evangelical leaders can talk about how to better help their congregations and other pastors struggling with mental health. He says those problems also need to be discussed more from the pulpit.

 “We need more sermons, because sermons break stigmas – and they’re happening,” he says. “The bottom line is that the uniqueness of the pastoral role in this forces us to answer the question: 'Why is this happening and how do we respond better?' We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

stella Posted on October 07, 2019 16:40

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 139
  • 0