Featured Threads

Oh Chris Watts claimed he was visited by his dead daughter in his prison cell and by his murdered wife in a phone conversation, DailyMailTV can exclusively reveal

Chris Watts has claimed he was visited by his dead daughter in his prison cell and by his murdered wife through a phone conversation, DailyMailTV can exclusively reveal.

The 34-year-old made the unnerving confession to author Cherlyn Cadle in letters and interviews for her explosive upcoming book, Letters from Christopher.

Watts said he dreamed his daughter Celeste, 3, who was called Cece, was dancing in his cell, despite murdering her, his other daughter Bella, 4, and his pregnant wife Shanann, last August in Fredrick, Colorado. 

He also claims he felt a darkness over him in the weeks before strangling his family to death so he could be with his mistress of two months Nichol Kessinger, who had told him she wanted to give him his first son.  

Despite being sentenced to five life sentences without the possibility of parole, Watts told Cadle he doesn't believe he's a murderer and strives to maintain a 'good guy image' in the hopes he might someday be released on good behavior.

Cadle said that he has spoken about these visits - once by Celeste and once by Shanann through a phone conversation.

Watts has told Cadle that he will not submit to psychiatric testing in prison and does not believe he is mentally ill.

'Christopher and his mother have both told me he has never been tested for mental illness.'

Watts confessed his deepest feelings to Cadle, a 65-year-old grandmother from Illinois, who wrote him a letter earlier this year asking if he would take part in a book to put to rest any lingering questions about the case.

To her great surprise, he agreed. The book, Letters From Christopher, is on pre-order and will be published October 7. 

Cadle has pressed Watts for his motives in committing such horrific violence and his answers are conflicting at best.

Along with suggesting that he was under the 'spell' of his mistress Nichol Kessinger, who he said he wouldn't have killed his family for if he never met her, Watts also introduced the idea that he may have been possessed by demons or evil spirits.

Christopher has said that he felt 'darkness' on him for weeks before the murders and it put thoughts into his head,' Cadle said.

'Christopher told me that he had never thought of demonic things before or felt there was a demon possession.

'He has also talked about how he felt God gave him three chances to pull away from Nikki but he did not listen to any of those voices.'

He also talks at length in his letters about the visits he gets from his daughters in jail cell.

In an exclusive letter from April 23, released to DailyMailTV, Watts wrote: 'I don't know if this was a spiritual visit, but I had a dream Cece was dancing next to the chair in my cell. 

'When she was dancing, all of my folders on the chair started moving and I thought she was in trouble, so I said Watch out, get away, watch out! Then I woke up. I'm hoping she comes back! I hope everyone comes to visit me.'

He described how he had smothered his daughters with pillows in their beds, only to have them wake up. He then drove them with their dead mother to the oil field where he worked.

'I dumped Shanann on the ground, then I walked back to the truck and with the blanket that Celeste was holding, I put it over her head and smothered her.'

Watts squeezed Celeste's body through an eight-inch hatch in one of the oil tankers.

'I couldn't believe how easily it was to just let her drop through the hole and let her go. I heard the splash as she hit the oil.'

He then relived for Cadle, in appalling detail, how he killed his eldest daughter Bella after she had watched him murder and dispose of her sister. He spoke of his surprise that: 'Little quiet Bella had a will to live.'

'Out of all three, Bella is the only one that put up a fight. I will hear her soft little voice for the rest of my life, saying, 'Daddy, NO!!! She knew what I was doing to her. She may not have understood death, but she knew I was killing her.  

The writer says that Watts is acutely aware of his fame and notoriety and is keen to present himself as a 'good guy'.

Cadle said: 'He feels famous. He's very careful, he wants people to think good of him.

'It's very hard for him to be called a monster or to be called a murderer. He doesn't like that. I said, But Christopher you are a murderer which makes you a monster for what you did.

But he does not agree with that. He's not a monster, he says, and he says he's not necessarily a murderer. Very delusional, I believe, even though he'll say, yes I killed my family.'

'One thing that struck my husband when we visited him the last time was he said something like, ''You know, what I did to Shanann'' - just casual and nonchalant.

'It's very important [for him] to keep up this image that he is a good guy. That he's always been just a good guy.'

Along with maintaining his 'good guy' image, Watts appears to believe that if he doesn't step out of line in prison that one day he may be eligible to leave.

Cadle said: 'He read that in most prisons, and in most states, if an inmate has been on good behavior, after about 25 years they'll be released. Maybe there's cases where that has happened.

'Christopher is very determined to follow all the rules in prison because I think he believes that will be his path to getting out of prison someday.' 

In a letter Watts sent Cadle, he wrote: 'Do I feel like I should be incarcerated? For the act I committed, I most definitely thinks so. Do I imagine myself ever doing anything like this or be a danger to society? I most definitely think NOT! 

'If I were to ever be released, I know I would go straight to a ministry and start going to jails/prisons and help inmates. 

'If God led me to be ordained, I would go that route as well; possibly even be a Chaplain. Maybe the laws will change one day. 

'My attorney team could see I was different and knew that this was a one-time occurrence for me. They told me that in Europe, the law is I would serve 20 years or so for homicide, and in California, after 25 years of imprisonment, on a life sentence you can be released if you've had good behavior. 

'So, there's hope for everyone to live outside prison walls. I know physically I'm behind these walls, but my spirit is FREE with Christ!'

Cadle is clear that her book is not an attempt to help Watts get an appeal nor, she says, does it appear that he wants one.

stella Posted on October 07, 2019 15:22

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 137
  • 0

The couple who popped into McDonald's to eat - on the way from their wedding

These images show the moment a couple stopped for for a bite to eat in McDonald's just moments after they tied the knot.

Reuben and Hayley Szekely, of Clitheroe, felt a bit peckish while travelling between their ceremony at Kingdom Hall in Rawtenstall and wedding reception venue in Buxton.

The couple previously joked they might get a McDonald's and on a whim decided to pay the branch in Rawtenstall a visit while dressed in their full wedding gear.

Wedding photographer Paula Mottram captured the newly-weds tucking into cheeseburgers and chips while sat at a table inside the fast food restaurant.

Reuben, 25, and Hayley, 22, completed their celebrations at The Old Hall Hotel, in Buxton, and described the day as "amazing".

The couple told the M.E.N: "It was absolutely packed, there were 50 people with their mobile phones out.

"We went to the counter, all of the McDonald's staff wanted to serve us.

"They gave us free meals. We had chicken nuggets, four cheese burgers, a mango smoothie.

"We had joked about doing it, saying 'Imagine if we went to McDonald's'."

Hayley, who grew up in Bacup, added: "It was amazing, everyone was congratulating us. Kids were saying she looks like a princess."

Paula said: "They were really up for it. They were so lovely.

"The staff gave them their food for free, they were fighting over who would serve them.

Reuben, a revenues assistant, and Hayley, a teaching assistant, will be celebrating their honeymoon in Rome in two weeks time.

stella Posted on October 07, 2019 14:55

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 131
  • 0

Beaten and starved by their father, these siblings thought their mother was dead – until they got an email out of the blue after nearly 60 years

A mother who left her two children alone for 11 days without food or water while she 'had fun with her lover' and their new baby has been jailed for murder.

Vladislava Trokhimchuk, 23, showed 'no remorse' and 'laughed' when she was sentenced to eight years in jail for deliberately trying to starve her infants and murdering her son in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.

Her son Danill, one, died from starvation.

Her daughter Anna, three, survived by drinking water from a vase but was suffering from acute malnutrition. 

The toddlers could not leave their room because a towel had been wedged in the doorway to stop them getting to the kitchen. 

The children were so hungry during the 11 days they were left alone that they ate wallpaper and plaster covers as well as their own excrement.

Their teeth marks were found on the walls and they had desperately tried to tear linoleum off the floor to try and open a gap under the door.

Her former mother-in-law had tried to gain access to the flat but had no key, according to her ex-husband Alexey Trokhimchuk who was the children's father.

It was his mother who found them after 11 days. 

She told police: 'I went to the children - with groceries, and toys.

'Anna was lying on the bed, sleeping.

'I woke her, gave her cottage cheese and a banana and I held her in my arms.

'And then everything was like in a terrible dream... I do not understand how it happened. '

Vladislava Trokhimchuk had intended to starve the children and then post pictures on social media claiming one or both had a life threatening tumour in an attempt to raise money, the court heard.

She was hoped to make them look malnourished and then beg people online urgent cash gifts, reported Fakty newspaper. 

The mother left her children for 11 days and spent the time with her new lover, Anton Podchapko, and their baby daughter.

A police source said: 'She was having fun with him while her children were being tortured to death.' 

Psychiatrists ruled that she was mentally fit to face trial.

Judge Galina Bondarenko called her 'cynical and heartless' but the eight-year sentence she imposed has sparked an outcry. 

Trokhimchuk said:  'I cannot find an excuse for myself. I always wanted the best for children.

'I dreamed they would study, live differently than I do, better. That they would have everything.

'I repent very much.

'I cannot understand what I did, or that God took my son from me and put me here (in custody).'    

But when she heard her sentence by live TV link to her detention cell she was seen laughing and clapping her hands.

After taking into account remission and the time she spent in detention after the crime in 2016, Vladislava will be free in three years.

An appeal is expected to be made demanding a life sentence.  

The mother's landlord Mikhail Gorovoy said the sentence was shockingly lenient after taking into account her time indention and remission.

He said: 'The murderer who doomed such a little one to death has got just three years in jail.' 

Nadezhda Maksimets, spokeswoman of Kyiv Prosecutor's Office, said: 'As a mother of two children, I am simply shocked.

'We will immediately appeal against the sentence and fight for punishing Vladislava Trokhimchuk in the strictest way.'

The mother's old social media was full of pictures of her children from before the incident and messages of love to them. 

Her daughter Anna was put up for adoption but Vladislava will be allowed to raise her youngest daughter Sofia after she is released from prison.


stella Posted on October 04, 2019 21:44

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 122
  • 0

Couple's Dream £50,000 Cyprus Wedding In Jeopardy After Thomas Cook Collapses

Thousands of holidaymakers have been left devastated after plans including expensive weddings and dream trips were dashed after Thomas Cook went into liquidation this morning.

The company's final flight landed in Britain after the travel group collapsed leaving more than 160,000 Britons stranded abroad and a million more customers with cancelled holidays.

Peter Whyman and his fiancée Katy Williams fear their £50,000 wedding in Ayia Napa could be ruined as her terminally ill mother might not be able to fly out for their big day.

They are due to marry on October 2 but the wedding party's flight to Cyprus and their hotel rooms are now at risk.

The bride's terminally ill mother Carol Milne, 63, may have to miss out on the whole ceremony.

Ms Williams told Teesside Live: 'I'm not sleeping. It's horrible. I'm just numb.

'My head is in the clouds. It's the not knowing and the fact we can't do anything about it.'

Offshore rigger Mr Whyman, said: 'I have been working every bit of over time I could do for the last 18 months so my fiancé has a dream wedding.

'We have phoned our travel agents and they didn't know what is happening. We have phoned the hotel direct to try find out if the hotel has been paid for in case we just need to book different flights - but still no info.

'We have been told that if Thomas Cook do go under we will lose everything.'

The couple cannot even bring themselves to tell their excited children Sienna Whyman, 9, Mia Whyman, 8, and Owen Chaney, 7, that the wedding is in jeopardy.

Mr Whyman said: 'I'm not telling them. I don't know how to break it to them. It's heartbreaking for them.

'It's just a waiting game now and we just hope Thomas Cook find the money.'

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced this morning that the company had 'ceased trading with immediate effect' after last-minute talks to save it broke down.

More than 150,000 British holidaymakers who are abroad will have to be repatriated back to the UK and the CAA and the government has announced it will aim to get them home by October 6.

A number of support schemes have also been set up to help Thomas Cook employees.

Its final flight - an Airbus A330 from Orlando - touched down at Manchester Airport at 9am bringing down the curtain on the company's 178 year history.

Katherine Mann, 31, a finance worker from Hertfordshire, is trapped in Menorca airport with her partner, civil servant Daniel Hill and their eight-month-old daughter Penelope after a week-long holiday.

Their return flight to London was supposed to leave at 11.30am, but a tannoy announcement has told them to ignore official departure times completely.

'This was our first holiday together as a family,' she told MailOnline, 'and over the last few days we were constantly anxious due to the lack of information.

'Everyone at our resort was whispering in corners, nobody knew what was going on. There was no Thomas Cook representative and no information. It was just Chinese whispers.'

She arrived at the airport this morning to find 'scenes of absolute chaos'.

'All the check-ins for Thomas Cook are shut so there's a huge backlog of people,' she said. 'We've already been queuing for an hour.

'The only information we had was an announcement over the tannoy that we should ignore departure times. None of the earlier flights departed and there is talk of coaches between Birmingham and Manchester.'

A representative of the British Government wearing a hi-viz jacket with a Union flag on the back ticked off passenger names against the flight manifest, she said, but was unable to provide any information.

The only food outlet in the immediate vicinity is a vending machine, she added, raising fears that she will be unable to feed her baby.

'My daughter is OK for now but we only have a few bits of food and milk to last a short amount of time,' she said. 'It's warm but not unbearable, though it might become so later on.

'No food or water has been provided. Nobody has fainted yet but I think that is inevitable.'

She added: 'It is a shame that Thomas Cook has ceased trading but I feel this could have been managed better.'

Also affected were a host of future holidaymakers back in the UK who were awaiting trips they had booked with Thomas Cook.

This included Lewis and Amy Bromiley from Manchester, who were looking forward to their honeymoon in the Maldives after getting married in August.

Mr Bromiley, a 25-year-old insurance worker from Manchester, said: 'We've got our honeymoon package booked which was the last one available in January, and now it's cancelled.

'It appears we won't be able to go to the same place now, and will have to wait a while to get our £7,000 refunded.

'We'll have to wait for the refund which could takes months, due to the amount of people claiming.

'We won't be able to rebook now, we'll have to change destination as this was the last availability.

'We booked it over a year ago, so we were well prepared and had got the best deal.

'Me and my wife are devastated.

'We wanted to go to Maldives as it's paradise and we're looking to plan for children soon, so we wanted to tick it off out bucket list, before we couldn't.'

Mr Bromiley criticised the way the situation had been handled.

He said: 'It was poorly communicated, and their closing statement is poor also.

'They should still manage the Twitter account for the next 48 hours, to give people the peace of mind they deserve.'

A £100million taxpayer-funded fleet of 40 or more jets are today heading to Europe, the US and Asia to start bringing 160,000 Britons home from more than 50 destinations over the coming fortnight.

The first rescue jet has now left New York's JFK airport headed for Manchester with over 300 passengers on board and will arrive at 5pm today.

A devastated groom named Thomas Cook has been left 'shattered' after his dream wedding in Rhodes looks unlikely to go ahead after the collapse of the holiday company he shares a name with.

Mr Cook, 29, and his partner Amelia Binch, 27, are stuck on the Greek island after booking a getaway and wedding package with Thomas Cook.

They flew out on September 18 and are due to marry at the Lindos Princess hotel on September 27.

Guests were due to fly out with Thomas Cook over the coming days, including the best man.

But the couple, from Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, have been told the wedding might not go ahead, as the Thomas Cook package included the wedding ceremony, flowers, cake, decorations and entertainment.

The pair, who have two young daughters together, Alice, five, and Lucy, seven, had flown out from East Midlands Airport with their parents and close family.

They were due to fly home on October 3, but they have been told to be on standby as they could be called to the airport any day.

The Cooks have spent nearly £10,000 on the trip, Nottinghamshire Live reports.

Mr Cook, who works for Rolls-Royce, said: 'Thomas Cook promised us a surprise on our wedding because of my name but this was not the surprise we were expecting.

'I am just devastated. We have got 30 plus friends and family coming out, half are stuck at home in limbo. My best man is still in England. No one here knows anything.

'I have been planning this for two years and it has all gone to pot. We have paid for everything. It is shattering. We don't know what we can do.

'Thomas Cook staff have been good but they lost their jobs.' Miss Binch, a beauty therapist, added: 'It is costing us nearly £10,000 and we are sat here stressed out. We don't know if we are getting married.

'I had a collapsed lung before I came and I got the all clear. It just seems like one thing after the other. We are ATOL protected but it is an absolute nightmare.

'We are just really anxious. We are being told we might be flying back to Manchester or London and we could be told we are to fly out today. They have said it could be any time.'

The couple, who have been together for 12 years, chose the location because they wanted to get married abroad and it was cheaper to marry in Rhodes than having a wedding in the UK.

Miss Binch added: 'It's awful. You don't expect it to happen with a company like this. That's why we booked with them. It is now going to cost us more.'

stella Posted on October 04, 2019 20:19

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 125
  • 0

Teenager charged with murdering woman, 20, found dead in stream

A teenager has been charged with the murder of a young woman who was found dead in a stream after attending a concert.

Wesley Streete, 19, was arrested after Keeley Bunker, 20, was discovered in the water in Wigginton Park, Tamworth.

Staffordshire Police has charged the suspect, from Tamworth, with murder and he'll now appear at North Staffordshire Justice Centre tomorrow.

Keeley saw rapper Aitch perform at the O2 in Birmingham on Wednesday night.

But she was reported missing soon afterwards.

The woman's last tweet reads: "Only thing keeping me going is seeing Aitch on Wednesday, hopefully he’ll see me and we’ll get married xxx"

Heartbroken friends left flowers and messages beside the stream in Tamworth.

One bouquet read: "Keeley, sending you all my love, you will be missed by all. Rest well x."

Another tribute read: "Keeley, I am going to miss you so so so much. Your laugh, smiley face and through and through beautiful soul.

"You are going to be missed by everyone lucky enough to have ever met you.

"Miss you already so much, until we meet again, sleep tight."

Keeley's neighbours, also in Tamworth, expressed their grief.

"The family are obviously crushed and heartbroken," one said.

"She was a really outgoing girl and just a beautiful soul. She is going to be dearly missed.

"People have been coming and going all day to offer their condolences. She was a really popular young woman."

Chief Inspector Ashley Farrington, local area commander for Tamworth Police, previously said: "We were alerted to the discovery of a woman’s body in woodland near to Roman Way, Tamworth, at 9pm [on Wednesday night].

"Whilst formal identification is yet to take place we now believe the woman to be Keeley Bunker, aged 20, of Tamworth."

Her family are being supported by specially-trained officers at this time.

stella Posted on October 04, 2019 19:41

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 123
  • 0

A 12-year old girl gives birth in Ukraine, as it is revealed her mother had her at 15 too

A 12-year-old girl has delivered a baby whose father is eight years her senior at age 20, in Ukraine.

The unnamed girl of Roma origin went into labour at the landfill near the city of Rivne, western Ukraine, and was urgently hospitalised. 

Reports say she did not understand what was going on after she starting having contractions. 

Frightened and screaming in pain, she was spotted by a landfill guard who called an ambulance.

The girl was rushed to Rivne Maternity Hospital where doctors helped her to deliver a baby son on Saturday, September 14th. The process was difficult and lasted ten hours, medics said.

Doctor Olena Sadova said to local media: 'A child gave birth to a child. I'm still in a deep shock when thinking about that.

'The pregnant girl was asocial and extremely dirty. She was scared and did not realise what was happening to her.

'The labour lasted ten hours and it was emotionally hard for everybody. We all cried after.'

The hospital staff say the delivery passed without complications.

Galina Kovaleva, the head deputy of the hospital said: 'The girl worries about the newborn. She constantly comes to the neonatal intensive care unite to check on the boy.

'She wants to feed him but the newborn has a birth defect and cannot be breastfed.'

According to reports, the girl's relatives want to take her and the newborn back to the landfill they call home but the hospital administration has refused to allow that.

Victoria Enikeeva, the hospital's head doctor said: 'The girl lives at the city landfill. We cannot discharge her and the baby and let them go there. We reported the situation to the police and social services.'

Medics say they have to keep an eye on the relatives who already tried to take the new mom and her son from the hospital without permission.

It is understood the relatives do not see any obstacles for the newborn to live at the landfill, which they treat as their home.

The newborn's 27-year-old grandmother said: 'Just give me them both back. I want them to go home with me.'

The large Roma family lives in filthy shacks made from rubbish found at the landfill. The community lives in horrific insanitary conditions and makes money by scavenging for scrap metal and selling it.

The mother's relative Volodymyr Pap said to local media: 'She and her baby should live with us – her family and relatives.

'The father of the baby is 20. He is living in Zakarpatia region now. He is going to reunite with us when it's possible.

'It is normal for us to give birth at 12. My wife, for instance, is 13-year-old.'

Rivne Regional Police Department spokesman, Anton Kruk, said: 'Police opened a criminal case for sexual intercourse with a person under 16 [the age of sexual consent in Ukraine is 16]. We are trying to trace the father's whereabouts at the moment.

'He faces up to eight years in prison if found guilty.'

Social services are now monitoring the Roma community and the girl's living conditions.

stella Posted on October 04, 2019 19:35

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 141
  • 0

Sweet moment when little boy delivers bottles of water to his favorite sanitation worker on a hot day - and is overjoyed when the man remembers his name

A little boy's day was made after a sanitation worker remembered his name.    

Little Grayson from Louisiana was standing in the driveway of his home waiting to give a bottle of water to one of the garbage truck workers.  

Crystal Ellis, who provides in-home child care, posted the video of Grayson handing the worker three water bottles for him and his crew.

'How's it going, little Grayson?' the refuse worker asked the youngster.  

'You thought I forgot your name, huh?' he asks, jokingly. 

As soon as the worker walks away, Grayson skips happily back inside his house.  

'My friend remembered by name!' he says excitedly.

The delightful little video clip has been viewed more than two million times.

'Grayson is adorable but I'd like all to focus on the gentleman collecting our recycling. He is so pleasant each week and is very caring and kind in his interactions with the kids,' Ellis said in the post.

'The cute kid was the star, but the intent was to recognize Mr. Rocky and his crew for their excellent customer service.'

stella Posted on October 04, 2019 19:19

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 153
  • 0

A Tennessee man, 23, is arrested for 'stalking his ex-girlfriend by calling her 150 times

A Tennessee man was arrested for stalking his ex-girlfriend after he allegedly contacted her multiple times and used his vehicle to prevent her from exiting the highway.

Derrius Deshotel, 23, of Nashville was taken into police custody on September 19 after a series of disturbing interactions between his unidentified ex-girlfriend over the course of three months. 

According to Scoop Nashville, Deshotel's concerning behavior began after his ex-girlfriend of five month broke up with him in June.  

In the following two months, the victim reported receiving roughly 50 emails, 157 phone calls and was contacted by Deshotel on 22 separate Instagram and Twitter accounts. 

The victim reportedly told Deshotel to cease contact multiple times to no avail. 

Deshotel allegedly drove through her neighborhood to watch her. 

Later, the victim told authorities that Deshotel showed up at her backdoor on August 19, but refused to leave. 

He was reportedly, 'waiting for her to talk to him'.

Deshotel stood outside her home for an hour, prompting the victim to contact authorities for assistance and an order of protection. 

Afterwards, Deshotel sent her an email saying she had 'started a war.'

He said: 'You thought that was gone to solve everything? LMAOOOOO. You ain't do s*** but make it worse. LMAO. Once it's up it's stuck and you just started a war.'

Scoop Nashville reports a warrant was issued for Deshotel, but at the time he could not be immediately located or served. 

The victim later alerted authorities on September 16 that Deshotel called her more than 100 times since September 13, leaving a series of voicemails. 

She was also forced to flag down police officers on September 13 after he showed up at her home unannounced and proceeded to follow her vehicle when she left the property.

The victim attempted to separate herself by speeding up her car, but Deshotel reportedly followed her lead and kept close to her rear bumper.

She was eventually able to pull off the interstate.

A warrant for harassment and felony reckless endangerment was issued, but once again he was unable to be located and was not served. 

During the most recent incident on September 19, the victim was alerted by a notification from her doorbell camera that Deshotel was outside her home. 

She waited until he appeared to leave her property before returning to her home. 

Three hours later, Deshotel came back to her house. 

In an attempt to escape him, the victim fled in her vehicle only to have him follow her to a gas station. 

While trying to get assistance, he used his vehicle to block hers at the gas pump area so she could not move.

Deshotel told dispatched authorities that he wanted to 'have a talk' with his ex-girlfriend about his outstanding warrants. 

After officers left, the woman was able to drive onto the interstate, but each time she tried to take an exit Deshotel would use his vehicle to block her. 

The victim called 911 again after pulling into a different gas station. 

A dispatch operator reportedly heard Deshotel telling the victim to get out of her car and repeatedly calling her phone while she was speaking to authorities.   

He was charged with stalking.

In total, Deshotel has been charged with two counts of harassment, one count of felony reckless endangerment and one count of stalking. 

He's been released on a $15,000 bond and underwent a mandated 12-hour domestic violence hold. 

On Scoop Nashville's Facebook page, they report that Deshotel contacted them to complain he was being 'cyberbullied.'

stella Posted on October 04, 2019 18:15

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 141
  • 0

This is the moment a mother paid a tearful goodbye to the 14-month-old daughter doctors said was about to die.

This tender kiss from a mother to her child is invested with a weight of unendurable sadness. It is a parent’s last embrace; the moment when Jennifer Lawson said a final goodbye to the cherished daughter she believed was dying.

Doctors had told Jennifer there was no hope for 14-month-old Alice, who had succumbed to a virulent form of meningitis just over a month before. The disease had triggered kidney failure, then a catastrophic stroke. Alice lay in a coma in her hospital bed, dependent on dialysis and hooked to a ventilator.

The fragile threads that held her to life would soon be severed. Her life-support machine was about to be turned off, and a transplant team stood by. Jennifer had decided that from her daughter’s premature death some good should come. Her organs would be donated to help another child live.

And so she prepared for the unimaginable: the final farewell to her little girl.

As she cradled her daughter’s head in her hand, leant forward and pressed her lips to Alice’s forehead, all her teeming, agonised feelings were distilled into one thought: ‘How can I ever carry on without her?’

Today, she grapples for words to describe her pain. ‘I just tried to tell her how much we loved her; I hoped she could hear and understand. I talked to her as if nothing was wrong, but I felt delirious. It was so unreal. I felt the warmth of her; saw the pink in her cheeks. She just looked like a sleeping baby.

‘The past and the future merged in that moment. I told her how proud I was of her; that she had fought for so long and could rest now. And I lay next to her.

‘I was in a daze. They had told me she would die that morning; that they were turning the machine off because she would never breathe on her own. So I tried to tell myself she was already gone, that it was only her little body lying there. But it doesn’t work. You hold on to hope until there is none left.

‘The doctors had arrived for her organs. Suddenly they had unplugged everything and there was Alice, lying on her bed with the lights dimmed. They had given her morphine and then we were left alone, just me, Alice, and her dad, my partner Phil.

‘So I kissed my little girl. She felt so warm and cosy I couldn’t imagine she was about to die.’

Jennifer’s instinct was to prove right. What happened next was a miracle.

Alice did not die.

When her life support machine was turned off on March 24, 2010, she began to breathe on her own: her tenacious little spirit would not be vanquished.

Neither Jennifer, 31, nor Phil Lloyd, 36, could quite believe that their 14-month-old daughter had not slipped seamlessly from her coma into everlasting sleep.

‘The truth did not dawn on us to begin with,’ recalls Phil, ‘but then a nurse came in and said the strangest thing. She said the organ donation team were leaving; that they wouldn’t be needed after all. Then a doctor came in and told us Alice was breathing without ventilation. They’d been watching her monitors in a separate room; they’d seen her rally.’

As Jennifer recalls: ‘It was as if a bubble of despair had been popped. The sick feeling of being stifled just dissolved. Lovely Alice was with us again. We did not allow ourselves to feel joy — we did not yet know she was permanently out of danger — but the relief was indescribable. We felt we were witnessing a miracle.’

It is now two-and-a-half years since Alice lay on the brink of death. Today, aged three-and-a-half, she is a beautiful, doll-like child with china-blue eyes, rosy cheeks and an ever-ready dazzling smile.

She lives with Jennifer, a former massage therapist, Phil, who used to run an online fancy dress shop, and her elder sister Taylor, eight, in a neat semi in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. The family’s puppy, a Westie called Alfie, bounds exuberantly around the sitting room.

Both Phil and Jennifer, who have been together for ten years, have now given up work to share the care of Alice. The legacy of septicaemia has left her with one leg shorter than the other; she cannot yet walk unaided but is formidably tenacious. The illness deprived her of speech, but she is learning to talk again. Her words are halting; she supplements them with sign language. When she sits on the floor, surrounded by her soft toys, her beam of pleasure lights the room.

Jennifer will never forget Valentine’s Day 2010, the day Alice fell ill.

‘Alice was a healthy, happy child, just starting to take her first steps,’ she recalls. ‘She’d never had more than a minor chest infection, so I wasn’t really worried when she became sick and off-colour.’

She phoned her GP who prescribed medicine to bring Alice’s temperature down, diagnosed a viral infection and sent her home. But then alarming symptoms developed. Jennifer noticed purple marks appearing on Alice’s stomach. ‘They were literally spreading before my eyes,’ she recalls. She rang the hospital. An ambulance arrived in minutes.

Alice was rushed to hospital in Scunthorpe. Doctors pumped her full of antibiotics. Tests disclosed that she was suffering from meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia. She was dispatched immediately to intensive care.

Jennifer remembers: ‘Everyone started shouting, and running around her with syringes and machines. We were taken to a family room, where Phil and I sat side by side in silence.

‘I just went numb. I couldn’t process it. Everything happened so fast. I felt I was outside my body, looking down on the scene. I don’t think I even thought about the word “meningitis” when they told us.’

Next day, Alice was transferred to the children’s hospital in Sheffield while Taylor went to stay with Jennifer’s sister. Jennifer recalls how she and Phil followed the ambulance in a taxi: ‘It was awful, being separated from Alice. I felt the loss of her closeness like a physical pain. She was with strangers, lying helpless in the ambulance. Phil and I couldn’t even speak.

‘When we arrived at the hospital in Sheffield I caught a glimpse of Alice in intensive care, with her pink blanket and her little pony toy. I shouted to the doctors, “Please don’t give up on her!” and burst into tears.

‘Her little face was swollen. You could hardly make out her features. We felt utter disbelief. But she needed us to be strong for her. We clung to the positives — she was safe, in the care of doctors who could help her.’

Thereafter, Jennifer and Phil kept a constant vigil at Alice’s bedside. First she was attached to a life-support machine. Then one of her kidneys failed. She was put on dialysis. Then she developed septicaemia. It caused a severe infection in her knee and back. She was put into an induced coma.

Jennifer struggled to remain calm. ‘I hardly left her side,’ she remembers. ‘I’d gently wash her face, put lip balm on her sore dry lips, hold her hand. Phil and I would sing the familiar songs she liked, act out scenes with her teddy bears, and we fastened balloons to her bed.’

‘I thought: “How much more can a tiny person take?' 

Next, their gravely-ill daughter was transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. There, in the hospital’s renal unit, she seemed to rally. Doctors began to talk about a kidney transplant.

Alice’s parents allowed themselves a flicker of hope. But then her blood pressure rocketed, her eyes glazed over and her breathing became laboured. These symptoms were the harbingers of a stroke: Alice was rushed back into intensive care.

‘When we were told Alice had had a stroke, we didn’t quite believe it. It’s something you associate with elderly people,’ recalls Jennifer.

‘She had an MRI scan. Then they said she’d need a shunt fitted to drain the fluid from her brain. We heard snatches of the doctors’ conversations; phrases like “devastating bleed”. Phil became convinced she’d never pull through.

He recalls: ‘I thought: “How much more can a tiny person take?” ’ He clasps his head in his hands and bats back tears. ‘From that point, I started to prepare for the worst.’

Jennifer, however, clung on to hope: ‘I never said goodbye. You always hope and pray. I spent a lot of time in the chapel at the hospital, it’s the only thing you have left to do. When you’ve got nobody else, you ask for help there. I’d pray, “Please let her get through this.” ’

But then the thin thread of Jennifer’s optimism was stretched to breaking point. ‘A nurse burst into the waiting room and told us that Alice’s heart had stopped beating. Going down to the theatre in the lift was horrendous, but as soon as we got there, a doctor came out saying, “She’s back!”’

The yo-yoing of their emotions was almost unendurable. Then, when Alice went back to the ward it seemed as if hope had abandoned them. The little girl was in a deep, impenetrable coma.

‘She was not responding. I would feel a rush of excitement because she moved her arm, then nurses would tell me it was just a reflex muscle reaction. When the doctors did their rounds they walked past us. It seemed they’d given up.’

Jennifer and Phil prepared for the worst. They should gather the family, they were urged, and prepare to say their last goodbyes. There was nothing more the doctors could do.

They agreed she should be Christened. It was a short, perfunctory service and Jennifer recalls little of it. She only remembers clasping Phil and crying the whole way through. She also recalls worrying, needlessly, that she might have to sing.

‘Our parents came in to say their goodbyes,’ says Phil. ‘My dad said, “She’s not going yet”, but I remember thinking he’d accept it eventually, in his own time.’

Telling Taylor, then just six, that she would not see her sister again was heartbreaking. But even as they did so, they allowed for a little chink of hope.

‘We told her Alice might be going to Jesus, but we had to see if he wanted her,’ says Phil. ‘When you see a child’s face crumple in such a way, it stays with you for ever.’

Taylor had stayed with her aunt for the three-month duration of Alice’s hospital treatment. She had visited her sister often, ‘but I don’t think the implications of what we were telling her actually sunk in,’ says Phil.

He and Jennifer steeled themselves for their final goodbye to Alice on March 24. ‘We’d taken footprints of her hands and feet as mementos and I’d stayed up with her late the night before, virtually passing out with exhaustion in the early hours,’ says her mum. ‘Then, early in the morning, I’d gone to her bed in intensive care and taken some balloons with me. She loved balloons.

‘I fastened them to her bed then I kissed her. When I did, the world stood still for a moment. And then, of course, the miracle happened.’

When we look into her room at night and see her sleeping peacefully we pause for a minute and think how lucky we are 

Alice pulled back from the brink. With relief came cautious elation. Then Jennifer and Phil had to adjust to the news that Alice would be disabled. With the new chapter came a fresh wave of strength. ‘Alice was just like a newborn baby again,’ recalls Jennifer. ‘She couldn’t control her head or sit up, but her kidney function was improving. That felt like a victory.

‘After a week, she was moved back to Scunthorpe; it felt like a step closer to taking her home. She had been fed by a tube, and when she took her first mouthful of pureed food it was another triumph. Then she started to reach for my hand. Half her face had been paralysed, but slowly, her smile came back.

‘We kept thinking how lucky we were and as she progressed, we focused on getting her stronger and preparing her for coming home.’

Duly, one May day two years ago, they brought Alice home. The joy they felt as they settled back into a new routine of family life was unsurpassed. Alice was infected by their excitement: ‘She started to make little squeals of happiness; they were her first sounds,’ her mum recalls.

Today, Alice attends a special school; recently, to Jennifer’s joy, she said ‘Mummy’ for the first time. There will be operations in future to lengthen her left leg, and both Phil and Jennifer intend to encourage her progress in every way. She’s still fed fluids through a tube in her stomach because she has not yet regained her capacity to swallow. Meanwhile, her kidney function has improved dramatically.

Each milestone is a cause for celebration. Alice is learning to count. She rides a specially-adapted bike; her paintings adorn the wall and her laughter fills the house. When Alfie lollops into the kitchen, Alice kisses the puppy tenderly on his nose.

It reminds Jennifer momentarily of that other kiss; the one she thought would be the last she would give her daughter.

‘When we look into her room at night and see her sleeping peacefully we pause for a minute and think how lucky we are,’ she smiles. ‘She really is our little miracle.’

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 18:06

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 191
  • 0

Suicidal father who jumped in front of a train with his five-year-old daughter in his arms called his wife minutes before to say goodbye

A suicidal father who threw himself and his five-year-old daughter in front of a train reportedly called his wife to say goodbye moments before he jumped.  

Fernando Balbuena was killed when he leaped in front of an oncoming train in the Bronx on Monday morning. His daughter Ferni miraculously survived.   

The father made a troubling phone call to his wife, Niurka Caraballo, minutes before he jumped, a family friend told the New York Post.   

Luis Sanchez said that Carabello immediately suspected something was wrong when she spoke to Balbuena shortly after he left the family's apartment with Ferni at around 8am. 

'She couldn't understand what he was saying. It wasn't coming through,' Sanchez said. 'But she got the feeling that something was very, very wrong.'

A police source told the New York Daily News that Balbuena told his wife: 'Goodbye. Take care of the kids.'  

Alarmed by the phone call, Caraballo ran to the subway station at Kingsbridge Road. 

When she got there, the mother learned that Balbuena had jumped into the path of a 4 train with Ferni in his arms.   

The girl escaped the ordeal physically unscathed as harrowing video showed Good Samaritans pulling her out from underneath the train. 

Several rush hour commuters watched in horror as Balbuena made the fatal leap off the raised platform.  

Among them was Jairo Torres, one of the two Good Samaritans who helped rescue Ferni from under the train.  

'I was paralyzed at first, just like everyone,' Torres, a 36-year-old Bronx construction worker, told the Daily News. 'But then I just jumped... I didn't do it to be a hero... it was immediate.'

Torres and another witness, 29-year-old Cesar Dominguez, braced for the worst as they crouched down to look under the train.  

The two bodies under the train were motionless at first, but then Ferni, wearing a bright pink backpack, shifted.  

'When she moved her hand I said thank God she's alive,' Torres said. 'I said to myself: "The girl is alive, the girl is alive!"

'It was the first thing I thought of, because there's always a space between the train and the track. I knew in my heart she was alive.'

Unable to crawl under the train because of the electrified tracks, Torres and Dominguez called out to the terrified child as she tearfully cried: 'Papi, papi.'   

Ferni made her way out and Torres picked her up, passing her to a man on the platform, Antonyo Love. 

Torres stayed on the scene until Carabello arrived. 

'She hugged me and thanked me and cried of course, and that was everything,' he said. 

Love said he tried to reach Balbuena but he was too far under the train and wasn't responding.  

Balbuena was pronounced dead at the scene. Ferni was taken to Jacobi Medical Center and released with a clean bill of health hours later. 

'Medically, thank God, everything is fine — she doesn't have any fractures,' Caraballo told the Daily News through a translator.  

She described Balbuena as an 'angel' who was devoted to his children and struggled with depression.  

'He is not a bad person,' Caraballo said. 'I don't know what was going through his mind in that moment, but he's not like that. He loved this little girl.'   

She added: 'It's not easy. It still hasn't sunk in. God give me strength.' 

New York police are currently investigating the incident and no further information was immediately available.

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 17:41

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 152
  • 0

School caretaker getting married invites all 450 students to the wedding

A primary school caretaker had a very special wedding - after walking down the aisle in her school in front of 500 children.

Cindy Cassin, 57, from Erdington, Birmingham, was over the moon when her entire school agreed to partake in her church wedding ceremony to her partner, Dave, 62.

The big day - which involved more than 450 school pupils, dozens of teaching staff and several parents - took place last Friday, September 20th.

Cindy’s dad, Ray Gaunt, 74, walked her down the aisle, and her reception, which included cake cutting and her first dance was held on the school field.

The pupils at Saint Barnabas Church of England Primary School, Erdington, West Midlands, had been helping to plan Cindy’s wedding since the start of the year after their deputy head teacher, Jenny Arnold, proposed the idea.

Cindy, who has worked at the school for 27 years, said: 'I was really nervous about getting married in front of so many people.

'I don’t like all the attention being on me, but it was such a special day for everyone

The whole school got involved, one of the parents baked 450 cup cakes and another created my wedding cake.

'It was lovely to see the children so excited on the run up to our wedding day.

'They’d all created little gifts to present to us at the reception as well, it was adorable.'

Dave and Cindy first met in 1979, the pair had a ceremony abroad before their big day at Saint Barnabas Church of England Primary School.

Cindy added: 'We went to Zante with 30 of our closest friends and family on August 22.

'But I was more nervous for our school wedding as it was huge in comparison.. The ceremony was held at Saint Barnabas Church before the reception at the school.

'I wore the same white long dress to both and Samantha Jayne Hair curled my hair and I also had my make-up professionally done. I felt amazing.

'It was such a great day and so special to share it all with the school as they’re like family to me.

'I was really nervous before the school wedding but it really was one of the best days of our lives.'

Deputy head teacher, Jenny Arnold, added: 'Since we began planning this day at the start of the year it has just got bigger and bigger.

'The children have all been so excited and we think it’s really important to allow them to enjoy life experiences as part of the curriculum.

'Cindy is an amazing asset to our school as she always goes above and beyond at any opportunity.

Her husband, Dave, doesn’t work at the school but he’s always keen to help Cindy when needed.

'The children made good luck favours for the newlyweds before the wedding reception took place at 1pm.

'We had afternoon tea on the field and it really was a day we’ll remember forever.'

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 17:29

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 163
  • 0

Oh Texas mom warns others after vaping landed her in a medically induced coma

Texas-mother-of-three said her vaping habit left her hospitalized and in a medically-induced coma.

Sherie Canada, from Abilene, told KTAB that she vaped on-and-off for three years without issue.

However, in June, when she started experiencing a bad cough and chest pain, she thought she just had the flu.

A trip to the hospital eventually revealed she had a build-up of fluid in her lungs and blood clots, forcing doctors to intubate her and place her in a medically-induced coma.

She's now among the nearly 400 people across the country that have come down with severe, mysterious lung illnesses believed to be related to vaping. 

Canada told KTAB that she began vaping because she believed it was a safer alternative to smoking cigarettes.

However, she quickly became addicted to both the various flavors and to the nicotine. 

'I liked it, so I just kept vaping,' Canada said.

Earlier year, she began experiencing a bad cough, chest pains and unexplained weight loss, but assumed she had the flu or a stomach bug.

In June, after a couple of days of being unable to keep any liquids down and struggling to breathe, she was taken to an emergency care center.

Doctors diagnosed Canada with pneumonitis, which occurs when the lung tissue becomes inflamed. 

She was given antibiotics and sent home, but her condition didn't improve, reported KTAB. 

The next day, Canada said she was in so much pain that she asked her mother to take her to the emergency room.

Clinicians discovered that her oxygen levels were low, she had fluid in her lungs and blood clots.

She was hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, and six days later, on June 18, she was placed in a medically induced coma, according to KTAB.

When she woke up a week later, her doctors told her that it was likely vaping that caused her illness.

'I did this to myself,' Canada says. 'I had a lot of guilt and a lot of shame. And what I put my family was a selfish choice that I made, to vape, to do what I wanted to do.'

Now, out of the hospital and back home, the mother-of-three says she wants to warn others of the dangers of vaping so they don't end up in a similar situation.  

'It is dangerous, and it is bad for your lungs, and it could possibly kill you,' she told KTAB.   

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there 380 confirmed and probable cases of breathing illnesses linked to e-cigarettes in 36 states.  

This marks a decrease from the 450 cases cited last week, when officials were also including 'possible' cases. 

So far, six deaths, suspected to be linked to vaping, have been reported in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota and Oregon. 

No single device, liquid or ingredient has been identified as the cause, and health officials are advising people not to vape at all until more is known.

CDC officials have said many who got sick said they vaped THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, but some said they vaped only nicotine.

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 16:09

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 124
  • 0

Lecturer Carries Her Student’s Baby At Her Throughout A 3-Hour Lecture

A college professor has gone viral for going above and beyond her job description by carrying a student's baby during a three-hour class when the mother was unable to find a babysitter. 

Dr. Ramata Sissoko Cissé, 51, is a professor at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia. 

Last week, her daughter Anna Cissé shared an image of her on Twitter, showing the professor carrying a student's infant child on her back throughout the three-hour biology lecture. 

'My mom is my role model,' Anna wrote at the beginning of her tweet. 

'Her student couldn’t find a babysitter today & being the true African mother that she is, taught a THREE hour class with the baby on her back & fed him. I’m so blessed to be raised by a woman who loves the world as much as her own children.' 

The tweet, shared on Sept. 19, included an image of Dr. Cissé wearing a homemade wrap-style baby carrier with the infant positioned on her back. 

This quickly went viral with people praising the professor for her good deed to help out one of her students. 

When speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle, Dr. Cissé explained how the kind gesture happened during her 8am class. 

The student had called Dr. Cissé the night before asking if it was acceptable to bring her child. 

'She asked if she could bring the baby with her to class because she had missed a class already and did not want to be behind,' the professor told the publication. 

'I know the student is very smart and ambitious. She really wanted to learn.' 

The student brought the infant, but it was clear during the lecture that she was struggling to take notes while juggling the child on her lap. 

This inspired the professor to come up with a better system so the student could concentrate.   

'I knew I could make it easy for her not only to concentrate but also to take notes with ease,' she said. 

'In my native Mali, we used sheets and other pieces of fabric to securely carry babies on our backs. My natural instinct was to find a way to secure the baby and I was standing next to a rack with a clean lab coat.' 

Her student helped secure the infant in the makeshift wrap on her back, where the baby then slept for the majority of the class.  

'Towards the end, he woke up and I took him off my back, sat in the first row and fed him with a bottle. He did not cry once,' she said.

Anna sharing the post about her mother online encouraged a number of the professor's former students to comment and express how amazing the teacher is to her class. 

'I recognize that style of hat anywhere! Dr. Cissé is BY FAR one of the best professors I ever had,' one student commented. 

Another person wrote: 'Your mother was the absolute BEST anatomy professor I ever had!!!' 

Dr. Cissé later commented on the post and expressed her gratitude towards her current and former students. 

'You guys are my role model! Love you all,' she wrote.

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 14:58

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 162
  • 0

We asked black mothers how they find their joy. This is what they said.

The morning Helena Andrews-Dyer was scheduled to give birth by Caesarean section, she made time to get her feet done. From the pedicurist’s chair, she texted me: “So much positive energy is brewing!!!” It was the kind of response I expected from Helena, who had just spent five months reporting a story on black women and motherhood.

A few months into her second pregnancy, she needed to read an article about black motherhood that wasn’t a horror story. So she decided to explore the joys of being a black mother despite the negative maternal health statistics they face. Her article didn’t blow up a scary statistic, an alarming anecdote or a gut-clenching quote.

Helena had questions that are seldom asked. How were pregnant black women navigating the dreaded numbers? How were they experiencing joy? How were they scrolling past the scary headlines and instead sharing stories of uplift? She talked to more than two dozen black women, and their answers were surprisingly simple. Young black mothers, would-be mothers, birth workers, politicians and presidential candidates are using our present reality as fuel for something like a social time machine, going back to the days where community, sister circles and tight bonds were responsible for knitting wounds.

We also asked black moms who read Helena’s article to tell us how they find their joy.

Here are some of their responses, edited for length and clarity:

Black motherhood is viewed as something to be endured, rather than enjoyed. Our history of separation from our babies during slavery, our horrible maternal and neonatal mortality rates, the “welfare queen/single mother” tropes and the images of broken women crying over the slain bodies of their sons. I reject this fully. Being a black mother is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I love telling my children their history — how their great-grandparents migrated from the South to Chicago. I find joy in watching my beautiful children grow, develop and learn. I love how my daughter has her great-grandmother’s name as her middle name, thus carrying the legacy of another great black mother with her.

I love sharing experiences with other black mothers because we are all we have. We don’t see joy reflected in popular culture, so we make our own. It’s the little things: a sister smiling at my daughter who is carrying her baby doll African-style — tied to her tiny body. I find the joy in knowing that I’m raising three great black people who will give back to society. My ancestors made it so I can do this. That gives me tremendous joy.

I find joy in knowing my family’s legacy and in seeing the spirit of our ancestors and limitless potential of our kind, beautiful, smart, hilarious little babies. The cloth they’re cut from isn’t easily broken, but their bright auras have the power to coax smiles out of even the toughest individuals. Their love, their light, and their youthful, honest wisdom and observations — they bring me joy.

I’m a newish mom. My baby girl just turned 1, and we are also one year strong with breastfeeding! I have found joy in taking time out to just acknowledge other moms. For me, experiencing motherhood was nothing like I dreamed it to be. People say your life will never be the same, but they don’t share how your mind will never be the same.

I’m not talking postpartum, either — but simply that you, mama, will never look at any aspect of your life the same, even with all the support in the world. Motherhood is an elite club. Motherhood is a life journey that is not for the weak, but it will make you feel weak, take you to your weakest point. It also will make you feel the most empowered. The journey is different for every woman, but should be recognized and shared with others.

— Kimberly Moon, Columbia, Md.

I am a married mother of two beautiful grown kids (20 and 23), and I have learned to find my joy everywhere I can find it: through prayer, meditation, daytime lunch dates with my spouse, even brief conversations with my son as he leaves for his first job in the morning and texts with my daughter between her classes. I find my joy by connecting with other moms of all colors through Shefali Tsabary (one of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday guests), and with local black mothers through our network, Sistermoms, which I co-created in 1996 with our then-pediatrician, Cheryl Edmonds. I have always been an elder in our group of mothers, and have only now grown to appreciate that fact. The world gives us so many reasons to worry about our children and their collective futures. But I learned from my own mother how important it is to have a group of black women to count on, especially as a mother!

I’ve been a mom for 25 years. My daughters are 25 and soon to be 12. Pregnancy No. 2 was a whole different ballgame. My husband took a hardship tour so that I could stay behind. I was 35 and high-risk with a mom who also needed me. It was a lot! I honestly wondered how I could love another little person. I was so worn out that it seemed hard. She was hard. She’s the sweetest tween I know, but those early years functioning as a single mom through deployments, etc., was a lot. But what brought me so much joy is that my girls adore each other. My older daughter’s friends at Spelman checked on her little sister and even gave her a birthday party. Their bond is my joy. Seeing them love each other is my joy. My family is small; my extended family is enormous. Making sure that my girls experience love from family and witness happiness is crucial. We take fun vacations and celebrate everything! My oldest and I took a mother-daughter trip to New Orleans this summer, and people still say they’d love to travel with us! We had an amazing time. That’s joy! It does not matter if times are tough sometimes or stressful; it’s about us loving each other and seeing them develop their own bond. That’s my joy.

I recently took my 8-month-old daughter with me to the GirlTrek #StressProtest. It’s an annual retreat for black woman healing in the Rockies. I’ve gone the past two years and had every intention of bringing my daughter with me. Being a mom is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve done and probably will ever do. It can be challenging and even stressful, but my daughter is the greatest seed of my joy. Being with her lifts my spirits even if it also keeps me awake at night. While I didn’t get to take full advantage of the retreat like I had before, I did have the chance to see my daughter enjoy her first cross-country trip. To breathe fresh air. To be carefree and happy. And every smile, giggle, dance brings me enough joy to overcome all stressors. I’m so grateful she chose me to be her mom

My experience has been a roller coaster for sure: lots of moments where I was at the top and couldn’t see the bottom, and moments where I was at the bottom and couldn’t see the top (postpartum depression). I find joy in knowing that I get a chance to create my own narrative not only for myself as a mother, but for my child. I embrace my intersectionality. I know how to exist in the middle of “old school” vs. millennial parenting. And most of all, I find joy in growing into a more confident and intentional mama.

— Keila Dumas, Atlanta

I found my joy through my family. With both of my pregnancies, they surrounded me with love and good food.

— Portia Thompson, Chattanooga, Tenn.

To me, joy is watching my sons play sports and wondering where the hell they got this gift because I am not athletic at all. Joy is still watching my teenage boys sleep although they can be rowdy, ratchet and, yes, rude/

I gave birth at home on July 29. My wife gave birth on July 9 in a hospital. We were due three days apart and experienced our pregnancies in parallel but different health-care systems. I chose my care, not because I wanted a “natural birth,” but because I knew the medical model was not meant for my pregnant body. When I told people that, they would either look at me with shock of how bad it was or complete understanding of how bad it was. I found my joy by being able to choose a midwife who cared for me and understood my reasoning.

— Hadija Steen Mills, Minneapolis

I am lucky to have the support of a host of family and friends. Without them, I would not have been able to go to school, work and raise my two beautiful children, who bring me so much joy.

My experience as a black/Puerto Rican mother has had ups and downs. Breastfeeding didn’t last long because my daughter bit me at 2 months, but we continued until 4 months. Joy was spending a lot of time with her and loving her. She would look at me with this big smile and no teeth, but her eyes were twinkling. I loved it.

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 14:51

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 161
  • 0

The Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan kisses wife Hilarie Burton at show's season 10 premiere in LA

The Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan and his wife Hilarie Burton provided a spark of romance at the season 10 screening of the AMC series in Los Angeles on Monday.

The Seattle native, 53, and the Virginia-born beauty, 37, embraced and kissed during red carpet entrances at TCL Chinese 6 Theatres.

The actor, who plays Negan on the AMC hit, donned a black suit with a collared olive green shirt.

The One Tree Hill actress wore a silk spaghetti strap top with a textured skirt with pearl-adorned strappy sandal heels, with her lustrous brown locks parted to one side and hoop earrings. 

The New York-based couple, who share son Augustus Morgan, nine, and daughter George Victoria Morgan, one, were seen in an Instagram selfie with Morgan's TWD co-star Norman Reedus, as they made their way through the City of Angels on the first day of autumn

Morgan captioned the post, 'Word. Rollin 3 deep. Xojd.'

Burton, on her page, detailed the days goings-on, which included an unexpected surprise

With my dude in LA, doing a little bit of work and keeping him company while he promotes' The Walking Dead, she wrote, adding they stopped by the studio of designer Greg Lauren.

She said that Lauren gifted her with a jacket bearing a message her One Tree Hill character Peyton would say.

'That chapter of my life has a complicated history, but Peyton’s catchphrase ... has always stuck with me,' she said. 'So imagine my surprise and delight when Greg gifted me with this jacket. He had no idea the sentimental message this held for me.'

Morgan and Burton have been together since 2009 and wed in 2014. 

He was previously wed to actress Anya Longwell from 1992 thru 2003, while she was married to director Ian Prange from 2004 until 2009.

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 14:40

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 234
  • 0

A Gripping video shows furious judge in Amber Guyger murder trial

Day one of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger's murder trial for fatally shooting her unarmed neighbor Botham Jean in his own home more than a year ago was a test of patience for judge Tammy Kemp.

The veteran district court official lost her temper at least twice during Monday's proceedings, starting with the moment she found out Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot violated a gag order the night before the trial's start.

Creuzot was seen discussing the Guyger case with a local TV news crew with fox affiliate KDFW, explaining why his office had decided to charge Guyger with murder.

Guyger's defense attorneys informed Kemp of the situation ahead of the trial's start while motioning for the judge to declare a mistrial.

'Oh there was another interview last night?' Kemp asked.

Yes your honor,' replied one of Guyger's attorneys, leaving Kemp momentarily speechless.

The judge rolled her eyes, shook her head, and grunted as she turned in her chair to face the back wall before standing up and hunching over.

After composing herself, she turned around to make sure she had heard the attorneys correctly.

'Let me be clear,' Kemp said, 'last night, the evening prior to the start of this trial, our elected DA did an interview about this trial?' 

Guyger's defense attorney used the opportunity to once again raise her previous request for a change of venue, arguing the former officer could not possibly receive a fair trial in the county where virtually resident has prior knowledge of the case thanks to the local media.

The judge asked the 12 jurors and four alternate jurors individually if they had seen Creuzot's interview. All of them confirmed they had not seen it or any media coverage on the case since they were selected.

When a prosecutor was addressing the court during the same hearing, an unidentified journalist's laptop started blasting loud music.

'OK. Hold a second. Wait a minute, hold on hold on. Why do you have a laptop in here?' Kemp shouted.

'I'm so sorry,' the reporter replied.

'No, I asked you why do you have a laptop in here? Are you an attorney?' Kemp asked.

'No ma'am,' said the journalist.

'Please give that laptop to the bailiff and you [bailiff] and you put it wherever you wish to put it. I've asked - I don't know how [much] plainer I can make it.'

'I'm so sorry,' the journalist said. Seconds later, the laptop's music started blasting again.

Kemp told the bailiff the give her the laptop, which she snatched and took with her back into her chambers before emerging again some time later and giving everyone in the gallery a stern warning.

'We're not going to have this trial disrupted repeatedly by cell phones, laptops and computers going off,' she said. 'If your cell phone or laptop goes off or I see it, I am going to confiscate and keep it until this trial is concluded one way or another.' 

After Kemp dismissed the jury for the day, she told the prosecution, including Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus to warn their boss, Creuzot, that the gag order issued on the court officials directly involved with Guyger's trial applied to him as well.

Guyger is a former Dallas Police Officer on trial for murder after fatally shooting her unarmed black neighbor, Botham Jean, in his own apartment a year ago.

She told investigators she confused Jean's unit with her own that night and mistook him for an intruder in her home before shooting him to death.

Guyger was only arrested 72 hours later and then charged with just manslaughter. 

The case sparked anger across the country, particularly in the Dallas African-American community, which saw it as potentially another instance of a white police officer getting off lightly for killing a black man.

The Dallas Police Department led by Chief U. Renee Hall, who is black, took two weeks to fire Guyger despite charging her with manslaughter after Botham's death.

Following the backlash and a grand jury investigation, Guyger was charged with first-degree murder. The charge is punishable under Texas law with up to life in prison. 

Guyger was fired after she received criminal charges.

Jurors must decide whether Guyger is guilty of murder, manslaughter, something else or nothing at all in the shooting case. The trial resumes Tuesday morning.

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 14:20

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 149
  • 0

Dramatic moment stranded sailors are overcome with emotion as they watch a cruise ship arrive to rescue them

Dramatic photos have revealed just how close two Australians and a British man came to disaster after their boat began to sink in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Cousins Chris and Kevin Doran, along with their shipmate Ben Johnson, were travelling from Vanuatu to the Gold Coast when their boat struck a tug rope waters off New Caledonia on Thursday morning.

As their yacht started taking on water, the three sailors were forced to flee into a tiny life raft before sending out a desperate mayday call.

The calls were picked up by officials who notified the nearby Pacific Dawn cruise ship, plucking the sailors out from the ocean and bringing them back home to Brisbane for an emotional reunion with their families on Saturday morning. 

Speaking with reporters on Saturday morning, Chris and Kevin Doran said they couldn't wait to be reunited with their families after the traumatic ordeal.

'Never been happier to get home,' Chris said.

Despite being cramped onto the life raft, the seasoned sailors were confident they would be able to keep afloat.

'There's always a risk there, but I believe the risk was fairly low as we were very confident in our safety equipment and our procedures,' Mr Doran said. 

Initially we thought we might have hit a reef but that wasn't the case,' Chris Doran told AAP.

'We found quite a large ship's rope, there was about 50 metres of it and it wrapped around both propellers causing a breach in the hull, the boat started taking on water.'  

Once onboard the cruise ship, the men were treated like celebrities as dozens of passengers asked for photos and were even given shoes by the ship's crew.

The heroic captain of the Pacific Dawn said it was a 'no brainer' to rush to the rescue of the striken sailors.

'It was a no-brainer, we had to go and help them, but fortunately they were on the route so we didn't have to turn back,' Captain Alan Dockeray said.

'It was good fortune that we were so close and that the operation was so well coordinated by the marine rescue authorities in Noumea,' he said. 

The hotel operations team has also done a wonderful job making our unexpected guests as comfortable as possible following their ordeal. 

'We couldn't be happier than to be returning them to their families safe and well.'

Chris Doran had spent years travelling on the yacht, Liberty, including a recent visit to Hobart with his cousin Kevin.

At the time of the sinking, Mr Doran said he knew he had no choice but to abandon his beloved yacht, throwing food and safety equipment into the raft.

'I wasn't worried about the boat because we couldn't save it, there was no way we could've saved it,' he said, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

'(There's) a lot of memories with the family and it was a beautiful boat,' Chris said.

'Sad to see it go.' 

The Pacific Dawn had 2000 holidayers on board at the time of the rescue. 

The sailors were found bobbing in an orange life raft around 100 metres from their submerged yacht. 

Once on board, they phoned their families to tell them they were safe.

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 13:54

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 141
  • 0

Woman Almost Loses Arm To Flesh-Eating Bacteria 'Contracted At Nail Salon'

A terrified gran was infected with a flesh-eating bacteria after visiting a nail salon.

Jayne Sharp had a manicure at Jazzy Nail Bar near Knoxville, Tennessee, but after coming home, found her thumb was throbbing.

It soon became an agonising pain and Jayne was encouraged to taker herself to A&E.

Worried medics there feared the retired dental hygienist was going to lose her arm as it had become badly infected.

The mum had reportedly contracted necrotising fasciitis, a severe infection that affects the skin.

"She could have lost her finger or her arm if she hadn’t been diagnosed properly," Dr Udit Chaudhuri, who treated Jayne, said.

"She is a diabetic so that made her more susceptible.

"Basically you have a break in the skin and this bacteria gets introduced under the skin into the soft tissue and then into the blood stream."

Jayne said: "[The doctor told my daughter] your mother could lose her life with what we think this is and there’s a likelihood she will lose her arm.

"My life took a total turn. I couldn't even floss my own teeth.

"I had never heard of such a thing when they told me flesh-eating bacteria."

The grandmother has undergone several operations since her diagnosis.

But First Coast News says the manager of the nail bar stressed it had passed a state inspection days after Jayne's appointment.

A spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance said no problems were found at the salon during its annual inspection and a follow-up inspection after Jayne's complaint.

Necrotizing fasciitis is extremely rare, affecting less than 20,000 people in the US alone each year.

Those with compromised immune systems are more likely to contract it.

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 13:34

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 143
  • 0

Little Boy, 14, shot dead mom and pregnant teen daughter whose baby also died

A 14-year-old boy from Texas has been accused of fatally shooting a mother and her 18-year-old pregnant daughter whose child later died after an emergency C-section, authorities revealed.

The teenager suspect was already in custody accused of aggravated robbery when he was arrested for the April 9 murder of Janette Quiroz, 37, and her daughter, Bernadette Quiroz.

Janette was found dead outside of her home at the Rosemont University Park apartments in San Antonio, and Bernadette – who was seven-months pregnant – was discovered critically injured.

The 18-year-old was rushed to a local hospital but sadly died just hours later.

Her daughter, Tabitha Quiroz, had to be prematurely delivered by emergency C-Section.

Initially the child survived the birth but sadly died three days later having suffered a bleed on the brain, according to KSAT.

Malida Quiroz, who would have been Tabitha’s great grandmother, described the moment she came to the agonizing decision to switch of the baby’s life support system, after doctors declared her brain dead.

‘She had a leak on her tummy, a leakage on her brain, and again, she didn’t have [any] signs of life,’ Malida told the station.

‘I didn’t want her to suffer, so I made that decision. And all I can say is she went with her mom because she was dead by the time they got her to the hospital, too.’

Investigators have not yet revealed the boy’s identity because of his age, but on Thursday he was charged with capital murder in relation to the deaths.

It’s unclear what relationship the boy may have to the victims, but the Quiroz family have called for him to be tried as an adult and issued the death penalty.

‘I feel like, we’re in Texas. So I want them to get the full punishment. I don’t care how old you are, or how young you are, you deserve the death punishment,’ Bernadette’s brother Damian said.

On Wednesday, the teenager appeared in Bexar County Juvenile District Court where Judge Arcelia Treviño informed him the boy he would be remaining in custody for the foreseeable future.

‘Right now this court is not releasing you,’ the judge said. ‘You are a danger to yourself or another human being.

‘Based on the complaint and the allegations, the court doesn’t feel you are safe being in the community,’ the judge concluded.

Prosecutors now have 30 days to decide whether they would like to file a petition to continue with their pursuit of capital murder charges and try the boy as an adult.

‘The law does not allow the state to seek the death penalty on someone as young as 14,’ Bexar County District Attorney Joe D. Gonzales told News4.

‘Typically you don’t see someone as young as 14 being subject to adult certification but the law does allow it in extreme circumstances and certainly this would be one of them.’

The teenager will next appear in court on June 12. He has not yet entered a plea.

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 12:15

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 160
  • 0

Hero describes how he burst into burning home to try and rescue four-year-old girl

A hero has described how he burst into a burning home to rescue a four-year-old girl trapped in her bedroom as fire ripped through the house.

Rhys Manderson was driving on north Hull when he saw a woman running out of a house filled with black smoke and then tripping over.

The 28-year-old slammed on his brakes, rang 999 and then heard the woman scream that her little girl was trapped in the burning property, reports Hull Live.

Mr Manderson ran inside to try and save the child.

"I covered my mouth with my coat and tried to run up the stairs to rescue the four-year-old girl that I was told was trapped in her bedroom," he said.

"As soon as I hit the top of the stairs the intensity and heat and pressure struck me - I didn't realise how bad it would be and I breathed in a lot of the smoke up there.

"I broke the windows but couldn't see the girl and ran out again as I think the mum had given me the wrong room in all the panic, as when I came back out she said her daughter was actually in the back bedroom.

"I had about two or three goes at saving her and screaming for her and was panicking myself by then and ran around the back and smashed the window with a shovel.

"I was hanging off the ledge at one point trying to get her out and thought to myself 'this is really bad and I'm not sure we're going to get to her'.

"Then the firefighters arrived and barged the door down and saved her and were in and out by the time I dropped back to the ground."

Smoke was constantly billowing from the house and the outside was completely black with soot as horrified neighbours looked on, with Mr Manderson unable to get to the girl because the smoke was too thick.

The experience was a "scary" one for him, but his only concern at the time was for the little girl.

"It was real scary at the time. At first I thought I was invincible and that I would be fine by covering my mouth with a coat.

"I also used to be a swimmer so thought I could hold my breath for at least two and a half minutes, but the pressure of the smoke and heat forced me to breathe.

"My leg hair was singed with the heat and I was in there for three or four minutes and the fire was just getting worse - all I could hope was that the girl would be okay.

"In my head, I was sure anyone would try and rescue someone in that situation, or at least attempt to do it, but there were lots of people just stood about watching, perhaps in shock.

"I was so relieved when she was saved and I'm so happy she got out and that the family are now recovering and rebuilding their lives."

It was little Bella Walker who attends McMillan Nursery School that Mr Manderson tried to save.

Bella's mum Samantha Walker said she was "so grateful to him" for trying to help the family and was so relieved that her child pulled through after treatment in hospital.

"I can't thank the man who stopped and helped me enough, everything could have been so different. I would also like to thank the emergency services and the doctors at the hospital on ward 13 who were so good. Everyone has been so brilliant.

"I'm still trying to come to terms with it, but it will come one day. The nightmares are starting now.

"At first when I was asleep all I could see was the black smoke and that felt safer than being awake. I'm so grateful it's not far worse.

"When Bella got to hospital she was on 11 breaths a minutes and that soon went to 24. We had three children's hospitals on standby but she recovered and she's such a strong girl.

"They tried to send me for my treatment at Castle Hill but I wanted to be with her.

"When I was going up to see her I was waiting for the lifts and they were taking too long so a lot of the time I was walking up the stairs with my drip.

"It took me longer to recover because I kept running into the smoke to get up the stairs. She had managed to protect herself in her room with her duvet.

“Bella has made such a speedy recovery but she still gets upset when she talks about home. It will take time to sink in and she has suffered a very traumatic experience."

The family are currently staying at Mr Walker's parents house in Hessle, although have been in touch with emergency housing as they are now classed as homeless.

Mrs Walker said their home in north Hull is now classed as uninhabitable and will be for a year.

Peter Crutchley and his crew members put on their breathing gear and the training and adrenalin kicked in when they were deployed to the fire.

Peter ran upstairs and head a murmuring in a back bedroom and there he found little Bella barely conscious under the bed.

“I couldn’t tell what everyone else was doing but I was focused on going in the house,” he said. “I ran upstairs and heard a faint murmur and I found Bella under the bed. I picked her up and dashed downstairs

“I put her down outside and she was very limp and unresponsive. I left her in the care of the paramedics.

“She had been in a heavily smoke-logged for several minutes and was not in the best state,” he said.

“I would be surprised if she had lasted much longer in those conditions. It could have been a very different outcome as it is the smoke that kills.

“There was zero visibility and it was pitch black inside.

“I went into autopilot. After rescuing Bella, I went back in to tackle the fire in the living room and we had it under control in about 20-25 minutes.

“All the training I had just kicked in. I was both excited by the job but also quite nervous.”

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 12:08

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 145
  • 0

Gatecrasher, 26, is jailed for two years after he tried to storm his way inside an exclusive New Year's Eve party in Mayfair where a bouncer was stabbed to death

A gatecrasher who tried to storm his way inside an exclusive New Year’s Eve party where a bouncer was stabbed to death has been jailed for more than two years.

Tudor Simionov, 33, was killed while other hired security staff were wounded when Ossama Hamed, 26, allegedly went on a knife rampage outside a £12.5million townhouse in Mayfair, west London.

Ahmed Munajed, 26, joined the fray on Park Lane by trying to kick down the door of the venue and throwing a vase into the lobby, the Old Bailey heard.

Hamed and Munajed, along with Adam Khalil, 21, Haroon Akram, 26, and Nor Hamada, 23, were filmed by shocked bystanders brawling with security guards and trying to kick their way inside the venue. 

Jurors were told girls were the ‘ticket in’ and were escorted inside free of charge where they enjoyed bottles of champagne on the house while male punters were forced to queue up outside before handing over hundreds of pounds each in exchange for entry.

Tables, priced at £2,000-a-pop, where laden with ‘plates of cocaine’ which witnesses described was openly being snorted by punters as the private bouncers patrolled the three floors.

Prosecutor Philip Evans, QC, told the court: ‘The overall incident, which the violent disorder was part of, was part of a violent altercation in the early hours of 1 January.

‘Tudor Simionov was killed by a single fatal stab wound to the chest. During that incident, five others who were also working at the scene recieved stab wounds.’

Trouble started outside when one of the doormen, Atu Ngoy, threw another alleged gatecrashers Adham El Shalakany, 24, over the bonnet of a Lamborghini when he tried to buy his was inside with two female friends.

The others came to his aid and a wider fight broke out between them and the bouncers resulting in the fatal blow being struck to Mr Simionov’s chest with five other security workers being stabbed.

Mr Simionov went outside to quell the violence and had only been on the street for less than a minute before he was killed.

Mr Evans explained: ‘At about 5.30am there was an argument with a group, who were trying to gain entry to that party, with the door staff.

‘Ossama Hamed was the person who actually inflicted the fatal stab wound which killed Mr Simionov.

Turning to Munajed, the prosecutor said: ‘He was recorded walking towards Park Lane with another unknown male. He joined the group and deliberately embroiled himself in the violence.

‘There was continuing violence within the doorway at Park Lane and he can be seen throwing a white vase into the lobby area, this was despite being hit in the face with an object shortly before.

‘The emergency services were called and arrived as the defendant was leaving.

‘He was arrested on the 22 January 2019, he said he had been acting in self defence.’

Body worn police footage later showed Mr Simionov being tended to by El Shalakany and another man as he lay dying in one of the venue’s red-lit en suite bathrooms.

Hamed is still wanted for murder after fleeing the country the day after the killing while Khalil and Akram admitted manslaughter shortly after the trial started earlier this year.  

After they pleaded guilty to manslaughter, Mr Simionov's girlfriend, Madalina Anghel, issued a desperate appeal for information on Ossama Hamed, who remains wanted by police.

'I am pleased those involved have been convicted but we must now keep working to find Ossama Hamed who remains on the run from police,' she said.

'Nothing can change the past and we cannot bring Tudor back, but finding Ossama Hamed and bringing him to justice will help me find closure after all that has happened.'

Hamada denied murder along with wounding five other security staff and violent disorder.

He was convicted of violent disorder and cleared of four of the wounding charges but jurors were unable to agree verdicts in relation to the murder and a fifth wounding allegation.

Hamada will face a murder retrial in March next year.

Munajed, of Hammersmith, west London, had admitted violent disorder before the trial began.

Sean Minihan, defending, said: ‘The prosecution in their sentencing note have been kind enough and fair enough to accept that Mr Munajed’s involvement in this activity was very limited in time.

‘He did breach to the threshold of the door to the venue and he picked up a vase and, at that point, he was struck in the face with another vase.

‘He accepted throwing the vase. He retaliated as a result of being struck in the face.

‘He can be seen wiping the blood from his face while walking away from the incident.’

Judge Anthony Leonard, QC, told Munajed: ‘I take into account that you arrived on the scene after Mr Simionov had been stabbed.

‘As soon as you arrived and without really a moment’s hesitation you played a prominent role in trying to get into the unlicensed party, together with others who you knew well. I accept this was not a call to arms.’

Munajed admitted violent disorder and breaching a suspended sentence.

He was jailed for a total of two years and 21 weeks.

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 11:40

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 154
  • 0

Young Mother of four, 26, is raising funds for her wedding and her funeral after being diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer

A mother-of-four with terminal cancer is raising funds for her wedding and her funeral at the same time.

Susan Rumney, 26, of Workington, Cumbria, was given the devastating news she has incurable cervical cancer two weeks ago.

Doctors say there is nothing they can do to get rid of the disease, which has also spread to her pelvis.

Ms Rumney, mother to Grayson, one, Lexie, three, Mackenzie, eight and her partner's son Leo, 10, says she is scared to go to sleep for fear she'll never wake up.  


She started gruelling chemotherapy sessions to prolong her life this week and hopes to make her dream of marrying fiance Jay Clark, 38, a reality before it's too late.   

Her sister Lisa, 24, of Whitehaven, has set up an online crowdfunder to raise the money to give her a dream wedding and then use the excess money to later take the pressure off the grieving family and pay for her funeral.

She said: 'The diagnosis was a real shock and Susan is petrified; she's scared of going to sleep and not waking up.

'The chemo can't cure her cancer but it can prolong her life and keep her out of pain.'

Susan and Jay, 38, have been together for many years and the thought of being able to fulfil their wedding dream has provided a ray of light during these tough days.

'They're definitely a loving couple,' Lisa continued, 'and Jay has really stepped up and is doing an amazing job at looking after the children while Susan is in hospital.

'I can't believe how generous people have been.

'My experience of life and people hasn't been great, but for everyone to show us all this love has really changed my view of the world.

'It has definitely picked Susan up too; it's something to look forward to. Someone has offered to go to hospital and show her some wedding dresses, which is beautiful.'

The appeal has already raised £5,300 in less than a week.

Ms Rumney's diagnosis comes towards the end of an already tough year, after her mother died suddenly in January. 

Lisa said: 'I barely leave the house due to my anxiety and mental health, but this is about Susan and what we've got to do for however long she's got - we know the cancer will beat her.'

Her sister started having a pain in her leg at about the time her mother died. 

She sought medical advice and doctors initially put it down to a blood clot, before later changing their diagnosis to sepsis.

But two weeks ago she found out the real cause of her pain - and with it the devastating diagnosis.

Lisa said: 'The older children know that she has cancer, but the younger two don't really understand.

'They just know she's poorly and goes in and out of hospital. It's heartbreaking.

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 11:14

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 137
  • 0

Family on holiday with young baby 'told to pay £1,000 Thomas Cook debt' at Tenerife hotel or get out

A devastated mum claims she is being forced by her hotel in Tenerife to cough up £1,000 owed to them by Thomas Cook or be booted out on the streets.

Stacey Robinson broke down in tears when staff at the beach resort of Playa de las Américas reportedly informed her she had two hours to stump up the cash.

She was halfway through her holiday with partner Ste and nine month-old daughter, Olivia, when the tour operator collapsed, reports Manchester Evening News.

The 28-year-old from Bolton says she woke up to find a note under the door to her hotel room on Monday morning, telling her to contact reception immediately.

She claims that hotel reception staff handed her a piece of paper with a sum of £1,038 written on it, believed to be owed by Thomas Cook.

Stacey says she was told to pay the sum within two hours, or face being chucked out of their room.

The travel giant went into liquidation after failing to secure a last-minute rescue deal, leaving thousands of holidaymakers stranded abroad.

A major repatriation process is currently underway to ensure all 150,000 Brits stranded abroad can return home.

Stacey says she checked her situation, and is booked onto a return flight with the Civil Aviation Authority on September 30.

But now she faces being kicked out of her hotel a week early if they cant stump up the extra cash, despite having forked out £1,600 for the original holiday.

Speaking from her hotel room, Stacey said: "We went down to reception this morning and it was absolutely manic.

"The receptionist asked if we were Thomas Cook and I said yes - the next thing he handed me a piece of paper with a sum of £1,038.

"He said if we didn't pay the money Thomas Cook owed within two hours we would be thrown out of our room.

"I was in tears as we don't have that kind of money."

Stacey says she has contacted the Civil Aviation Authority, who advised her she was allowed to stay at the hotel, and confirmed they were in contact with several hotels to sort the issue.

"The problem is we have no idea how long that is going to take," she said.

"I have a nine month-old baby so we can't just be waiting around with nowhere to go until our flight back.

"We are just sat waiting in our room because we are scared if we leave we will end up being locked out."

She added: "We have family back home that could book us another place to stay but this is our little girls' first holiday abroad and I don't want to ruin it.

"They are not bothered at reception, there are older couples and other families who are in the same position, it's just a waiting game now."

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 10:46

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 143
  • 0

Woman dresses as Cinderella with glass arm to show kids it's ok to be different

Mandy Pursely had her right arm amputated as a child and she says she struggled not seeing anyone who looked like her in the media. When she was contacted by a friend if she had any pictures she could share with a little girl who had one arm, she decided to show that girls with prosthetics could be princesses too. She posted pictures of herself in an amazing handmade Cinderella costume, with a glass arm instead of a glass slipper.

Mandy took the pictures earlier this summer for a costume competition but a medical problem meant she couldn’t compete in the end and she was going to save them for next year. But hearing about the little girl who was looking for someone like her, Mandy decided to show the world her take on the fairytale. She said: ‘When my daughter was studying Cinderella stories at school last year, I realized that even though there were so many beautiful tales from around the world, there were still no princesses who looked like me.

‘When I was growing up with a physical difference, I never saw girls like myself represented in the media, so it took me a long time to realize that what makes us different can also be the thing that makes us strong, beautiful, and unapologetically unique.

‘So what do you do when you can’t find a princess like you? You make up your own!’ Mandy spent hours making her ballgown and a prince’s uniform for the cosplay and she approached artist Gilbert Lozano to ask him to help her to design the glass arm. With the help of a construction company and a medical clinic, she was able to create a glass arm she could wear. She put the whole costume together and posed with her husband Ryan to create the amazing pictures, taken by photographer Kelly Anderson.

‘This costume is dedicated to all the little girls learning to navigate the world with their “lucky fins” or other challenges. ‘I hope you know you are beautiful, and that you are UNSTOPPABLE!!! Write your own story, and be your own kind of princess,’ she said. The post went viral with over 24,000 shares and 32,000 likes and Mandy said she was overwhelmed by the response.

She added: ‘I am literally just blown away by all the love and support. All of you fabulous people have created this beautiful corner of positivity and light and are just shooting it out there and it is amazing. ‘But my most favorite part is seeing all these little “lucky fin” princesses and princes in the comments. ‘Please shower these kids with all the love too because they are adorable and awesome exactly the way they are! I know they are going to write some great stories one day too.’

Mandy has even started a new cosplay page Be the Spark in response to the support she’s received. She hopes to create more costumes of more characters to show the beauty of differences. She said: ‘I want to create a space that celebrates people who break out of the mold and create characters that inspire others to do the same. We cosplay characters because they inspire us to be bold, to be kind, and to make a difference in the world. But the secret is that we had those powers inside us all along.’

stella Posted on September 30, 2019 10:19

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 155
  • 0

Pregnant mother, 18, loses her baby after waiting 12 hours in A&E for a scan while 'drug users and drunks' were seen first

A young mum learned she had suffered a miscarriage after waiting 12 hours overnight in a struggling A&E ward ‘packed with drug addicts’. Amy Rennie, 18, said she wanted to speak about her heartache following the agonising wait at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth in a bid to stop the same happening to others. The teenager had rushed herself to the hospital’s emergency department in a panic after she began bleeding heavily at home on the evening of 2 September. But the mum-of-one said that due to a huge number of substance abusers seeking treatment at the hospital she had to wait for more than 12 hours for a vital scan which revealed she had lost her baby at ten-and-a-half-weeks. While there is no suggestion the wait contributed to the miscarriage, Amy said she should not have been put in that position. She said: ‘Staff were dealing with people who were drunk or on drugs first and it was just horrible. ‘I know it can’t have been just me that’s gone through something like this. So many people that night were moaning because it took hours to be seen.

After already spending hours waiting in A&E, Amy was told she had another seven to go before a doctor could see her. She said: ‘I asked the receptionist whether it was still a seven hour wait for me given the circumstances and she advised me that there were only two people in front of me and then I could be seen.’ The young mum was asked to give a urine and blood sample but neither provided any answers. She said: ‘I explained to the nurse that I was still bleeding heavily and she reassured me that it was probably nothing to worry about.’ The fearful teen waited through the night without sleeping or eating and was eventually seen by a doctor at around 11am the next day. More hours passed and after a check of her cervix came back as normal Amy was finally sent for a scan. She said: ‘By this point I’d been there for so long, I just felt like crying. I was hungry, frustrated, stressed, and still didn’t know why I was experiencing this bleeding.’

Amy added: ‘When I got to the scan room they asked me another batch of questions, and then I was scanned by a midwife called Pam, who I can’t thank enough, she was very supportive. She scanned me, and even used a camera, before telling me that my baby was there, but with no heartbeat.” ‘The whole thing from start to finish was just the most horrible experience I’ve ever been through. ‘In the days that followed, I was in such a state, I couldn’t even look after my son. ‘I’ve still not been told what caused my miscarriage and I keep feeling like it’s my fault, even though I know it’s not. ‘Don’t get me wrong, the midwives I saw were all very supportive but it was such a long wait for the most awful news.’ A spokesperson for University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, which runs Derriford, said: ‘We’re incredibly sorry to hear of the patient’s loss and that a long wait impacted further on an already difficult and upsetting situation. ‘We would urge the family to make contact with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service so that unanswered questions can be explored with the correct clinical colleagues.’

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 14:40

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 188
  • 0

Baby dies in dad's arms as he sings Liverpool's 'Allez, Allez Allez' song to him

baby boy died in his heartbroken dad's arms as he sang Liverpool's Allez, Allez Allez song to him.

Teddy Bear Bowers was born last month with rare heart condition Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD).

His parents Xena Maud and Michael Bowers, originally from Childwall, Liverpool, were given the option to terminate their pregnancy when scans showed the defect at 20 weeks.

But, as Liverpool Echo reports, the couple were determined to give Teddy a fighting chance.

However, the tot passed away at eight days old in Michael's arms as he sang Liverpool's famous song.

The big Liverpool FC fan told of his heartbreak today.

He and charity Forget Me Not hospice painted memory rocks with Teddy's birthday on, and hid them around the city.

They've asked people to then relocate them around the country.

Michael said: "It was never an option for us to terminate and we were always in the mind that we would give him a chance in life.

"We wanted to meet our son and it was going to be on Teddy's terms when he wanted to go."

Teddy was born on August 2 and his parents hoped surgery would be the best option for him.

But two days later they were devastated to learn the holes in the chamber of his heart were inoperable.

Michael and Xena, who now live in Bradford, West Yorkshire, explained during the Liverpool's first match of the season on August 9 against Norwich City, it was like little Teddy was watching.

"We were watching the match in the hospice with all our family, which was invaded by Scousers and it was like Teddy was watching.

"When Liverpool scored the second goal he put his hand up as if he was celebrating and he knew," Michael continued.

Forget Me Not, based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, offered the family a place days after Teddy was born.

Michael said: "When we heard about the hospice we were devastated because in your mind you think it is a place where you go to die.

"But it's a place where Teddy lived and was Teddy's true home."

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 14:32

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 147
  • 0

My daughter handed in a knife to her teacher - now she could be expelled

A school girl has been excluded and risks being expelled after handing in a knife she says she had confiscated from a friend.

Demi Mountford, 12, gave the the multi-tool containing the blade to her science teacher at The Co-operative Academy Manchester, after finding it in her blazer pocket.

The school, in Blackley said it was "never acceptable or safe" to hand a knife in, and that doing so results in permanent exclusion, reports Manchester Evening News.

But Demi claims she had confiscated it from a school friend at a park the evening before for his own protection.

The Year 8 pupil said she had put it in her blazer pocket and then went to school as normal the following day - unwittingly still carrying the blade.

Demi said she informed her teacher immediately after realising she had it, who then asked her to go to the head of year.

After writing out a statement and being praised, she was later pulled out of her lesson by five teachers and told she was being excluded for having a knife.

The 12-year-old's mum, Lisa McNab, said her daughter has been unfairly dismissed when she was only trying to help her friend.

"I don't understand why Demi has been punished for doing the right thing," she said.

"Her science teacher and the head of year said that when she first handed it in.

"Her friend said he was carrying this multi-tool with a knife because he'd been beaten up by three older lads.

"When he told her that she told him it was stupid to carry knives, and that people would go after him with a weapon if they knew."

Lisa continued: "To me she's been unfairly punished for doing the right thing. She could have prevented something serious from happening to someone else.

"She explained why she had it and told the teacher straight away."

Demi was given work to do at home on Friday until the school's head teacher, Steve Brice, had met with school governors, who then emailed Lisa saying he intended to permanently exclude her daughter yesterday.

Lisa, a mum-of-four, believes that they haven't been given a fair hearing by the school.

"I've even spoken the head and he said I was right in everything I'd said," she added.

"Demi's been crying today because she's not in school."

Lisa is now in contact with other schools to find her daughter a place.

A spokesperson for The Co-operative Academy Manchester said: "The Academy's first priority is the safety and wellbeing of the whole school community - all students and staff.

"It is never acceptable or safe for a student to bring a knife into our academy as this compromises the safety of everyone else.

"All students are clear that bringing a knife into the academy results in permanent exclusion, and are reminded of it at the start of every academic year.

"Any decisions to permanently exclude a student are not taken lightly, and are done in accordance with correct policy and procedure.”

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 14:25

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 129
  • 0

Bride's dad may not walk her down the aisle after Thomas Cook collapse

A proud dad may not be able to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day as a result of the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Kirsty Morrison is due to tie the knot with her fiancé Lee Carruth in Rhodes, Greece, next month.

The couple's family and friends were due to fly out for the ceremony, however some may now have to stay at home due to the cancellation of all Thomas Cook flights and trips.

Kirsty and Lee had to spend £1,100 on new flights yesterday after the world's oldest travel firm went bust, the Daily Record reports.

The bride-to-be's father, John, who booked his travel through Thomas Cook, is likely to miss out on his daughter’s big day.

And the extra flight costs have thrown a planned wedding reception for 150 guests in Scotland into doubt.

Kirsty and Lee, both 33 and from East Kilbride in Scotland, fear they’ll no longer be able to fund the event.

The couple, who have two children, Arya, four, and Joshua, one, booked their flights to Rhodes, departing October 2, back in December for £630.

Kirsty, a beauty therapy lecturer, said: “As soon as we saw Thomas Cook had gone bust, we managed to get Jet2 flights from Leeds Airport for me, Lee and the kids. That cost £1100.

“We thought about waiting to see if the flights got cheaper, but if they got booked up then we’d have missed our wedding.

“The wedding venue at Kallithea Springs and other costs had already been paid so we’d have lost it all.

“But I don’t think my dad will be able to come as the flights have went up so much in price. He’s the only family member I really have.

“My brother-in-law booked his flight on a debit card so he’s not got any insurance. He won’t be able to get another flight so he’ll miss it.

“There was 27 people going out in total, and many of them booked through Thomas Cook.

“I’m not sure who can come and who can’t.”

Kirsty, who has been with PE teacher Lee for ten years, is frantically trying to rearrange plans to allow her wedding and two-week  holiday  to go ahead.

She said: “We’re not flying until October 3 now so we don’t have a hotel room booked for our last night. Hopefully the hotel can fit us in so we don’t need to stay somewhere else before flying home.

“Thankfully the hotel wasn’t booked through Thomas Cook.

“I don’t know how we’ll get down to Leeds with the children and my wedding kit.

“I’m grateful we got the flights so we can get married, but we’re struggling with cash. It's so stressful.”

Thomas Cook’s collapse has meant their reception booked with a deposit at the Dalmeny Park House Hotel in Barrhead is in jeopardy.

Kirsty said: “There’s 150 guests coming on November 8. It’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, all the people we love and want to celebrate with.

“We doubt we’ll be able to afford to go ahead with the reception due to the extra flight costs.

“People were coming from all over the country. It’s letting them down.”

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 14:09

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 121
  • 0

A woman said her daughter has every right to be part of society. We made sure she could be

A mum-of-four who was scared her daughter was becoming 'isolated' has created a safe place for her and others like her to meet.

Debbie O'Brien, from Huyton, struggled to find a day centre where Jodie's complex needs would be met - and where she could learn to socialise more.

So she decided to create her own - and is now turning the old Natwest Bank in Prescot into a day centre for adults with disabilities and complex medical needs.

Debbie said: "We actually felt quite isolated because of the lack of services and divisions that I felt able to put my daughter into.

"We didn't know exactly which way to turn.

"There are a few services around, but they don't have the facilities that we needed."

Jodie, 25, has has multiple health needs, including cerebral palsy, severe learning developmental delay, encephalitis, Lennox Gastuat syndrome, short-term memory loss, cirrhosis, kyphosis, osteoporosis, hypopituitarism, edema and a rare disease called panhypopituitarism.

She is not able to express her feelings but after a while her family started to notice a change in her behaviour.

Debbie said: "We did notice Jodie becoming a bit more reclusive and refusing to go to certain stuff because she didn't feel comfortable doing it."

"Jodie has life-threatening illnesses and a rare disease so she needs a unique personal package."

Debbie's eldest daughter, Becky, 26, also has a learning disability and is borderline autistic, but is high functioning.

Whilst looking for a day centre six years ago, Debbie was given the opportunity to set up her own club for adults and their families in Kirkby.

She named it Al's Club, after her late father, and it was through there that she met a fellow-mum Andrea Evans, who soon came on board as a director.

Wanting to make a change for other families, Debbie and Andrea are now transforming the former Natwest building on Eccleston Street, Prescot, into Al's Activity and Respite Centre.

Due to open at the end of October, it will provide a bespoke service for adults aged 18 and over with disabilities and complex medical needs.

Debbie said: "Our life has changed dramatically. It's given Jodie another purpose and a focus in life.

"We provide a service that benefits the adults with disabilities. We give them a chance to be part of society because they have every right to be a part of it and some people don't feel that way, they feel isolated.

"It's going to make a massive impact on the community as a whole, from the residents of Knowsley to the surrounding areas."

Work inside the premises has already begun. Al's Activity and Respite Centre will offer an aromatherapy room, sensory room, music therapy, a mini gym, health and well-being sessions, a mini library area, a chill out zone, a learning zone, arts and crafts, cookery sessions and more.

It will also have a nurses' bay with a registered general and learning disability nurse on base at all times, and offer a gardening project with support from a local church.

Debbie is hoping to work with more local businesses in the future and said the centres main priority is to provide choice.

She said: "It's a dream and we want it to become an actual reality now.

"We are still looking for help to get it refurbished, and anybody who can come and decorate it and bring life to the old bank.

"Right now it's quite vibrant and stern. We want it to be bright, alive - full of good energy." 

Debbie said the team has already received dozens of donations and support from neighbours, businesses and Knowsley Council.

She said: "It's been overwhelming.

"When you know you've got the community and people wanting to support you, it makes a big difference and that's what's driven us further."

The day centre can cater for 20 members and costs £65 per person, which will come from the individual's Government-paid benefits.

Debbie said the former bank will also be available to other community groups to use in the evenings from 6pm till 9pm and will have subletting offices upstairs, which have already gained interest.

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 14:01

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 159
  • 0

Beauty blogger born with facial disfigurement says it's the 'best thing that ever happened' because it made her more determined to pursue her dreams

A woman who was told by doctors she was 'too ugly for the catwalk' has proved them wrong to become a beauty blogger with 20,000 followers.

Katie Meehan, 25, from Fellgate, Jarrow, was born with a severely disfigured face due to a diagnosis of cystic hygroma, where fluid formed on her face.

The determined university student refused to let her condition prevent her from doing what she loves and started a beauty blog on YouTube dedicated to make-up tutorials.

She said during an appearance on ITV's This Morning that her condition was 'the best thing that ever happened' because it opened up opportunities and taught her to stay motivated to chase her dreams.

Katie said: 'Although I've been faced with this adversity, it's actually probably been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I would never have had the opportunities that I have had and the outlook on life that I have.

'It's given me the motivation and love for what I do to just take it as far as I can.'

Katie said doctors telling her mum Dawn McIntyre, that she should never expect her daughter to make it on to a catwalk, was 'very harsh' to hear. 

She continued of living with her condition: 'A lot of people expect it to have a massively negative effect but it really didn’t I had such a great quality of life growing up. 

'I had an amazing community surrounding me and I felt so much love growing up and I always felt so loved.'

When she was younger Katie's condition was life-threatening as whenever she contracted a cold or infection her face would swell to twice its normal size, potentially meaning her airways could close and she could stop breathing. 

The community in Southshields along with the local newspaper, funded surgery she needed after she went private because the operation wasn't available on the NHS.

A world-renowned surgeon de-bulked all the cyst from her tongue so that it could fit in mouth and she could eat and breathe. He also removed her face to remove fluid and stitched back on. 

Katie had her first operation in 2000 at Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital in London carried out by Professor Ian Jackson. In spring 2001 she had her second at the Portland Hospital in London, and two years later, she had a third operation.

Now Katie says that not many people notice she has a disfigurement and for her she believes that it's only herself that notices her insecurities than other people.

The Prince's Trust digital ambassador said her ultimate dream is to pursue a partnership with a beauty brand.

'The ultimate dream is to work with some more brands that I love. I would love to be a face of a beauty campaign. One of the first beauty bloggers with a disfigurement to be proud and out there supporting others with difficulties.' 

She added: 'I think you’ve only got one life and you’ve really got to grab it and just do what you want. At the end of day it's your life and you get to dictate what you do with it. Seize the day and make the most of it.'

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 13:47

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 147
  • 0

'I'm talking like an Italian!' Meet the true blue Australian women who suffered strokes before they woke speaking in foreign accents

An Australian woman has spoken of the anguish she now lives with after she suffered a stroke - and began speaking with a thick French accent.

Elaine Davidson suffers from an extremely rare condition known as Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) that occurs when the speech section of a brain is impacted during a stroke.

'It's terrible when you can't sign your own name - that's the terrible thing - when you can't write your own name,' Ms Davidson told Sunday Night.

'That affected me really terribly.'

Ms Davidson is one of only a few hundred cases of the world - that has left her unable to speak with the Australian voice she has used for 60 years.

It took her six months to start speaking and was prompted by a nurse moving her roughly - triggering a cheeky response.

The first thing I said? "b***h", she was a b***h one of the nurses, she was a b**h,' she said.

'Then I slowly started talking and I was talking like a French person.' 

Ms Davidson's best friend Heather Scammell, 61, contracted the same condition after she had a stroke in 2013 - but initially had no voice issues.

Nine months later, Mrs Scammell collapsed and was told the damage caused by her initial stroke had increased, which caused her to lose her voice for six weeks.


But when Mrs Scammell's voice came back, her Australian accent was gone and instead, she had a Italian accent - which later developed into a German tone.  

'My speech alters between accents, but has never gone back to my Aussie accent,' Mrs Scammell told Daily Mail Australia. 

She has also developed Dyspraxia, which makes coordinated movement difficult and affects her speech.

Incredibly when Mrs Scammell first began speaking she had no idea she sounded different, causing her to lash out at her family who believed she was putting it on -until she suddenly heard her real voice. 

'Oh my God now I know why they are talking to me like that, I'm talking like an Italian - I can't believe it.'

Mrs Scammell said Foreign Accent Syndrome in conjunction with Dyspraxia has greatly affected her life.  

'I can no longer work and I get very fatigued,' she said. 

'Speaking for a length of time wears me out and I no longer can explain like an Aussie.

My speech is now very foreign and I become very intolerant of people who do not enunciate properly.' 

On top of the frustration of speaking to her family, due to the rarity of her condition, she struggled to have doctors believe she was telling the truth.   

'They say "you just want attention" or - "you are anxious, you have got anxiety dear" I say I do not have bloody anxiety,' Mrs Scammell said.

'This is a very real condition, not only does it change your voice it changes your whole life.

'To people that say this is not a real condition, I'm sorry but I'm living it,' she said.

Mrs Scammell contacted a retired professor in the UK who specialises in speech anomalies to try and understand why she has Foreign Accent Syndrome, but he could not provide an answer.

'Initially, my neurologist told me my old voice would return,' Mrs Scammell said. 

'But the professor said if you have not got your old voice back in six months you will never get it back.' 

Though Mrs Scammell's life has changed since her stroke, she still loves her life. 

'I'm glad I'm still here and hope to be around for a long time yet,' she said. 

'I love life It took a while initially to accept my lot but I have a great husband and wonderful family and friends around me so life is good.' 

A Tasmanian woman also developed Foreign Accent Syndrome in 2013 after suffering a serious injury in a car crash.

Ms Rowe first started speaking in what sounds like a French accent when she woke up in Melbourne's Austin Hospital with a broken back and jaw.

She told the ABC: 'It makes me so angry because I am Australian. I am not French, I do not have anything against the French people.'

Foreign Accent Syndrome tends to develop as a result of a head trauma, migraine or developmental problems.

There have only ever been 150 confirmed cases of Foreign Accent Syndrome in the world so far.

Foreign Accent Syndrome has been documented in cases around the world, including accent changes from Japanese to Korean, British English to French, American-English to British English, and Spanish to Hungarian.

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 13:30

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 164
  • 0

Mum branded ‘disgusting’ and told to ‘cover up’ by a man for breastfeeding her four-month-old baby

On September 14, Ashley Rogers decided to take her daughter and baby out for breakfast.

The three of them headed off to a coffee shop in a shopping centre and the mum says she "carefully" picked a spot where she would be able to breastfeed her four-month-old son without her boob being in people's faces.

Once satisfied she'd found the right table, the 30-year-old from Melbourne, sat down and set about feeding her little one but after a few moments she heard a commotion.

A man seated about 10 meters away from her stood up and began yelling - and it turned out he was yelling at her.

Recalling the incident in a post on Facebook , Ashley wrote: "I turned around to see what the hell they were yelling at. It wasn't until I turned back, I realised he was yelling at me.

"I then heard him say, 'You're disgusting, that's disgusting, cover your t*ts and put them away.'

"All while his elderly mother sat by his side, doing and saying nothing."

Ashley claims to have defended herself, before bursting into tears from the shock of the incident.

Thankfully several kind people in the area came over to support her.

"I was shaken, angry, embarrassed and on the same hand so honoured these women came to help me," she said. "By the time I turned around he was gone."

In her post, she also reveals her struggle with breastfeeding.

"What a lot of people don't know is my boy was hospitalised for failure to thrive, I must feed him on demand," she adds.

"He is 4.5 months and the size of a new born. What people also won't know is how God damn hard I have worked to breastfeed - medication, natural supplements, several pump sessions a day, hundreds if not thousands spent on anything that would help me."

She finishes her post with a poignant message for the man that yelled at her - and those who came to see if she was ok.

"To this man I want to say, go eat your lunch in a smelly bathroom with a blanket over your head - tell me how you like it.

"To these amazing women who supported me, and one lovely gentleman, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You are the reason I will continue to feed uncovered in public."


stella Posted on September 24, 2019 13:20

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 164
  • 0

My little girl was stabbed to death but saved her sisters' lives'

In a heartbreaking interview the mum of eight-year-old Mylee Billingham reveals how she believes her daughter's death prevented her siblings from meeting a similar fate

The mother of murdered eight-year-old Mylee Billingham has spoken about how her "perfect" daughter saved her sisters' lives.

Mylee's evil dad William Billingham callously stabbed her to death in January of last year.

The 56-year-old, used a kitchen knife to kill Mylee after dragging her by the coat into his bungalow - moments after holding the blade to the neck of her mother, Tracey Taundry.

Tracey, 35, was forced to listen to Mylee begging “Stop it, Daddy” as Billingham stabbed her to death behind a closed door.

Now, in a heartbreaking interview, Mylee’s mum Tracey reveals how she believes her daughter's death prevented her siblings from meeting a similar fate.

She said: “He killed Mylee to spite me.

"That makes me, as Mylee’s mummy, quite grateful to Mylee because in a way, it’s like she died so her sisters didn’t have too.

"I do believe, as hard as it is for me to admit, if it wasn’t Mylee, it would have been all three.

"I just wish I could switch places with Mylee. My life has changed and I’ll never be the person I was."

Tracey, of Walsall, West Midlands, also revealed that Billingham has refused to give up his parental rights to their two surviving girls – even though he is now serving life in jail.

He is entitled to regular updates on the other kids and has a say in medical treatment and education. Tracey even needs permission to take them on holiday.

He can also bar the girls from changing their surname.

Tracey has now started her own petition for Mylee's Law to remove parental rights from people convicted of serious crimes.

She said: “How can the man who murdered my daughter have control over my children? Why should he know about their welfare?

"He lost all rights when he killed Mylee.

“He doesn’t want me to be able to move on and, by having control of the kids, he has control of me. One of my daughters was called a ‘murderer in the making’ because of her surname.”

Tracey also slammed authorities for not warning her about Billingham’s background, saying she would have taken legal action in a bid to stop him accessing their daughters if she had known he was a violent criminal with a history of domestic abuse.

"I could kick myself.

“I wish I could go back and stop him from seeing my children but I would have been accused of being a bad parent and using them as a weapon.

“I wanted them to have what any child would want, a mum, a dad.

"I didn’t believe in split Christmases so he’d come at Christmas. There was no ‘these are dad’s presents, these are mum’s presents', none of that because that’s not how I wanted it to be.

He’d always been fine with the girls. I had no reason to believe that he was capable of doing something like that.

“He’d been horrible to me in the past but not against my kids, never.”

Tracey carries on for the sake of her surviving children and is incredibly calm when she speaks about the terrible events of January 2018.

“It’s a coping mechanism. I don’t want to get up in the morning. I have to. I don’t have a choice because I’m their mum and I’ve got to look after them," she said.

"I want to look after them. I don’t want other people to look after them because I’m not in the right frame of mind.

"In the beginning, that was very difficult. I had a lot of family around me helping me to look after the girls.

“I haven’t grieved properly. People say ‘oh this far down the line, you moving on?’ No, I can never move on.  

"Some days everything is fine. Then I remember Mylee is not there.

"It’s the little things, like when I buy a pack of three chocolates and have one left and I shouldn't have and now I can’t help but keep buying that pack of three chocolates.

"Things like that. I’ve always shouted their names in order and it's always on the tip of my tongue to say Mylee's name."

Tracey's eldest daughter has launched a bid to change her surname because of the cruel 'murderer in the making' taunts.

“I just want my kids to grow up and be okay and not carry that stigma of that name because for them, it’s not fair," said Tracey.

“My eldest has got her own opinions, she wants to change her name. She knows what happened to her sister.

“My daughter is nearly 14. She has her own mind to think what she would like. Why should she have to carry a name that she doesn’t want?”

Tracey refuses to speak negatively about Billingham in front of her children - and has banned others from speaking out.

She said: “I’ve never slagged him off in front of her. I don’t think it's right. I’m their mum, not their enemy. I don’t want to put thoughts in their head.

“My youngest daughter is autistic so doesn’t understand a great deal. But my eldest daughter who is really bright, a clever girl, knows. But no, I’ve not let anyone else say anything.

“Bad words are not said against him. In fact I don’t give him my thoughts because he’s not worth it in that sense.

“I don’t talk about him.

“That uses my energy and it's bad energy. I don’t like it. 

“It doesn’t mean I condone what he did.

“I hate him for it. But I’m not going to waste my good energy. And Mylee was a good child.

“She gave everyone a fair chance and I don’t believe in using my children as a weapon like he did.

“So to speak badly of him to my children would make me a terrible person.. That would be me using them as a weapon and that is not who I am. I would never do that."

Billingham was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 27 years at Birmingham Crown Court in October last year.

Tracey was forced to recount every minute of the horrific incident in court - as the sick dad refused to show remorse and claimed he could not remember the killing.

She said:  “It was traumatic to give evidence. I had to do it and I would do the same thing tomorrow if it meant he was found guilty. Of course. I looked at it like I was doing my bit for Mylee.

“But I had to go to court to give evidence, yet he didn’t have to get on the stand and be cross-examined. That in itself is disgusting to me.

“That I had to stand and go through it all again, and tell the story that was in my head constantly anyway. I had to relive it and say it out loud to a jury and people that I didn’t know. And then he gets to say ‘no, I don’t want to get in the box’.

"Part of me was like ‘well we know why, because you haven’t got an answer.’

"Because you know you’ve done it, even though he said he had memory loss.

"He knew he did it and there was nothing. Because he said I’ve got memory loss and I can’t remember. He never suffered from memory loss before. 

“It was another form of control.

"People have said to me, 'oh he got life, with a minimum of 27 years'. Life should mean life actually.

"And it can’t bring her back. It doesn’t seem long enough. She’d be my age. Mylee would be my age if he’s released then.”

Tracey says she doesn’t like to think about the way Mylee died and instead focuses on her wonderful life.

She said: “Mylee was perfect. She loved dancing and singing. She would do an after school club every night and then go straight to a dance club. She was really outgoing. She loved scooters, bikes, football.

“Mylee was... you know, she’d go out in a tutu with football boots. That was Mylee.

“She never cried. She was never upset. She was always smiling.

“She never took a side and was popular at school. That’s the type of child Mylee was.

“She loved dancing, ballet, ballroom, tap. My laminate floor took the brunt of that with the tap shoes!

“She could be mischievous. ‘Oh no, it wasn’t me!’, well it was!

“Mylee was very close to her siblings and we celebrate her life by doing lots of things that she would have done.

“At Mylee’s school, they’re doing a Mylee garden. As a positive space, not a negative.

“I don’t want kids to think ‘oh I had a friend, her name was Mylee and she was murdered’.

“I want them to think ‘I had a friend, her name was Mylee and she was beautiful’. I’ve had masses of support for that and it just shows me how people still think of her.

“Mylee wanted to take over the world. She was a positive child. I just go from that. There’s no point me sitting here. Yeah, I’ve got angry words and thoughts... I’d rather not focus on them, it’s not worth my energy.

“I feel Mylee’s presence. She’s around, of course she is. She’s always with me. If you ain’t got belief, you’ve got nothing. Without mine, I wouldn’t be able to carry on.”

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 12:57

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 145
  • 0

Doctors use part of woman's arm to make a replacement tongue after she was diagnosed with cancer

A woman has undergone groundbreaking surgery to replace her tongue with arm tissue after battling cancer.

Rebecca Patterson from Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire, was 38 when she was diagnosed with tongue cancer in April 2018 - shortly after getting engaged.

Mrs Patterson, a learning support assistant, had a sore spot on her tongue and a white patch in her mouth for around eight years which never went away.

She was initially diagnosed with oral thrush but she was in so much pain she could barely speak or eat.

She then had a biopsy and received the devastating call from a nurse. 

Mrs Patterson said: 'You can never prepare yourself for hearing the words ''it's cancer''.

'I sat in the consultant's room trying to process what was happening thinking am I going to die? Will I lose my tongue? How will life ever be normal again?

'My world had shattered into a million pieces. I remember saying to the consultant: 'I can't have cancer, my life with my fiancé is just beginning.'

I wanted answers to all these questions but didn't want to hear them. I felt so overwhelmed with different emotions. 

'I also kept flitting between feeling physically sick with worry - to relief that I finally had a concrete answer.'

After the diagnosis, Mrs Patterson underwent 11 and a half hours of surgery at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.

Surgeons removed the right side of her tongue and then removed the skin and an artery from her left arm to build her a new tongue.

The team of doctors also removed the right lymph nodes in her neck and two back teeth so the tongue would fit.

Mrs Patterson added: 'I woke to find my arm bandaged, two drains coming out of my neck, a tracheostomy and a feeding tube.

'Whilst recovering in hospital, I went through a lot of ups and downs. I couldn't speak for a week and could only communicate through writing everything down.

'My trachea would leak, and I would end up with crusty secretions around my neck, my arm was like a dead weight and I had very restricted movement in my neck.

'I couldn't do anything independently and relied on the nurses to wash, dress and move me. I felt trapped inside my own body. My self-esteem was at an all-time low.'

After being discharged from hospital, Mrs Patterson struggled to get her life back to normal, and had to relearn how to swallow and eat again.

She said: 'Meal times were hard because I had to eat pureed food, I was breathless, I couldn't shower easily because of my scars and I needed help to go to the toilet. I wanted to feel like 'me' again.' 

Mrs Patterson persevered and just a year after her operation she can eat almost anything she wants.

She has decided to reveal how she came to terms with cancer and coped with life post-surgery, and has even returned to work.

Writing on her blog which details her experiences, Mrs Patterson has now returned to work and is continuing to build up strength to help her lead a fulfilling life.

She said: 'I returned to work just 5 months after my operation! I work in a secondary school as a Lead Learning Support Assistant, supporting special needs students. This was a huge hurdle to cross. 

'The thought of entering the busy, intense environment of work again was very daunting. I had to adapt my role as I am unable to work full time now, but I still manage to work 3 days and I am coping well. 

'My tongue does tire easily which can make communicating (a big part of my job) difficult, and so my duties are more office based at the moment.'

To help assist with her recovery Mrs Patterson's Macmillan nurse referred her to the Clinical Psychology Cancer Service based at King's Mill Hospital to help with emotional support, where she met Macmillan Clinical Psychologist, Dr Sanchia Biswas.

Mrs Patterson said: 'The cancer returning was always at the forefront of my mind - it was my biggest fear.

'Sanchia played a huge part in helping me recover. Therapy might not be for everyone, but for me it has really helped me identify triggers to my panic and how to allow my unhelpful thoughts to come and go.'

Dr Biswas, Macmillan Clinical Psychologist, said: 'It is not unusual to find it difficult to cope with a diagnosis of cancer, the treatment or life afterwards.

'However, it is important to recognise unhelpful thoughts and emotions that may be keeping you trapped in 'vicious cycles'.

'Rebecca utilised therapy to help break these cycles and re-connect her with life-fulfilling values. We have a fantastic self-help website with a range of information and tools to help people with the emotional impact of living with cancer.

'If you need emotional support or just someone to talk to, you can also call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 7 days a week.'

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 12:39

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 164
  • 0

Restaurant worker, 39, found stabbed to death in a luxury home before a 21-year-old man is arrested - and her body may have been there for DAYS

The woman who was found stabbed to death inside a luxury home has been identified. 

Kim Chau, a 39-year-old restaurant worker, was found dead inside a home on Sturt Street in Adelaide's CBD just before 6pm on Monday.

A 21-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday. He had staying at a 'halfway house' for young people.

Police have been scouring rooftops, drains, yards for the possible murder weapon. 

Detective Superintendent Des Bray told the ABC Ms Chau appears to have died days before her body was discovered.

Ms Chau was reported missing on Sunday after she didn't show up for work. She was last seen on Thursday night. 

Police believe her attacker stole her BMW as it was found behind Australia's Pizza House a short distance from the property. 

'What we believe most likely happened is that after the offender has killed the victim, he's returned at some later point and taken the car from Chatham Street.'

Ms Chau was found dead in an upstairs room of the house. She had lived at the property for about a year.

Lois Boswell and Don Frater, who own the property, have expressed their heartbreak over Ms Chau's death.

In a statement, the pair said Ms Chau 'was a friend who has lived with our family over the last year'.

'While we are devastated by these events, there are family members and friends who are primary in our thoughts this morning.'

The luxury, four-bedroom property is in the heart of the city.

Anyone who has any information that may assist the investigation into the woman's death is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at - you can remain anonymous.

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 12:32

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 150
  • 0

Shocking moment a schoolboy from Huddersfield admits he's no longer afraid of gunshots because he's 'used to it'

A journalist who travelled to his hometown of Huddersfield to investigate the shooting by police of an alleged drug dealer is stunned when a local schoolboy informs him he's no longer afraid of gunshots because he's 'used to it'.

Investigative reporter Mobeen Azhar grew up in the West Yorkshire town, and returned to film a new six-part documentary series, Hometown: A Killing - available on BBC3. 

Mobeen was there to investigate the death of father-of-two Mohammed Yassar Yaqub, 28, who was shot dead by police on the M62 near Huddersfield on January 2, 2017.

His killing sparked protests on the streets of West Yorkshire and a 'Justice for Yassar' campaign, especially after it emerged that armed officers were reportedly not wearing body cameras even though the operation was 'pre-planned'.

But during his stay back home, Mobeen was shocked when a double stabbing took place on the road he grew up on in Birkby, followed by a shooting in broad daylight nearby three days later.

A local lad who heard the gunshots suggested it was a 'revenge' attack for the knifing, and said he believed both were the work of gangs, while another resident said there have been numerous shootings and stabbings in the last few months.

She added: 'It's getting out of control. You can't go to the shops without a bullet-proof vest anymore.' 

But Mobeen was horrified when he spoke to a young boy called Mikala, who admitted he wasn't scared of the gunshots he heard because 'living around here you're used to it'. 

'There were gunshots down there, there was stabbings, there's everything round here. It's scare tactics - to tell people you're not messing round here, that's basically it,' he explained.

People what have bought drugs and not paid for them, and they've had a phone call to say that the person what owes money has been around a certain area, so they've gone round that area and just fired some bullets off (sic).' 

Asked how he knows all this, Mikala responded: 'Life. Huddersfield. Stuff like this happens practically every day, and it's not a laughing matter really because if you're with your kids and someone fires a bullet, it could hit something and bounce off and still kill you. It's just how it is in Huddersfield, sadly.' 

Mobeen admitted: 'I couldn't believe the violence is so common this little kid was able to school me on the politics of the street. 

'On every level, this was so wrong. This wasn't the West Yorkshire I remembered.'

Though Yassar Yaqub was described in court as an office clerk, rumours of drug empires and money laundering began circulating about the flash car-loving dad, who gave himself the nickname 'Stud Badboy'.

An inquest into his death heard he died from gunshot wounds to the chest, while a handgun, bullets and a silencer was found in the footwell of his Audi by police. 

However, his father Mohammed said he was the 'perfect son' and his daughter described him as having a 'golden heart', while his visibly distraught mother Safia had to be physically supported by mourners at his funeral as his body was taken to a cemetery for burial. 

Yassar's family believe he was unlawfully killed by the police and are still awaiting the outcome of an independent investigation into the shooting. 

Asking around at a memorial service, Mobeen was told by mourners that Yassar was a 'humble person' who was 'very liked' and would be 'there to help you' if you needed anything.

But as Mobeen delved deeper, many local residents - including his former school friends - were reluctant to speak about the case, despite it once being the talk of the town.

One friend of Yassaf's family said it was 'difficult' to speak about it, while an old pal of Mobeen's said he'd heard 'rumours' but wouldn't go into detail.

But one, Ilios, an imam who leads prayers in Bradford and Huddersfield, was prepared to share his views.

He told Mobeen he'd spoken to people at his local mosque near where the shooting happened who told him Yassar was known for being involved in criminal behaviour and there was 'very little sympathy for him'.

Some people described [Yassar] as a plastic gangster - wannabe gangsters who love the whole persona that's involved with that criminal lifestyle; the money, the clothes, the women, the cars, almost a Scarface-type persona,' he explained.

When Mobeen said he'd come up against a lot of 'fear' when trying to broach the topic with people, Ilios explained: 'People are scared of criminal gangs. There is a fear and an intimidation that comes... If I'm going to speak directly about people who are involved in drug supply, in crime, then there's going to be repercusions for me.

'The other reason people don't want to talk about it is they're thinking that, if I criticise the community, then I feed into far right narratives. There is an attitude that you don't wash your dirty linen in public, don't say this.

But by not talking about it you're going to allow these stereotypes and these negative perceptions to persist.' 

Mobeen then visited one of his eldest friends, Sabir, to see if he was purely being nostalgic about his hometown, or whether it's always had these problems.

Sabir revealed his younger brother got into the wrong crowd and began selling drugs and eventually got shot, which was linked to his dealing - but no conviction was brought against the shooter.

'Maybe they did [catch them] but there's unwritten rules about snitching and stuff like that, so maybe factors like that came into play,' Sabir said, adding that his brother is doing OK now.

At the end of the episode, Mobeen admitted Huddersfield wasn't the sleepy town he'd left behind. While gun crime had gone down in most regions across the country, in West Yorkshire it had risen by more than 50 per cent in the past decade.  

Since January 2017, when Yassar was shot, Mobeen found 95 gun-related incidents had taken place in Huddersfield - with eight in Birkby alone. In less than two years, there have been more than 200 firearms-related incidents.

'It's meant to be a sleepy little town,' Mobeen said. 'But it looks like a war zone.'

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 12:27

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 163
  • 0

Toddler, two, spent a week in a coma and endured seizures after falling backwards off a SOFA and suffering a brain bleed which led to him being unable to see, speak or walk

A mother has revealed how her toddler spent a week in a coma and suffered seizures after falling backwards off the sofa.

Lee Alexander, 35, was inviting a friend over for a takeaway on Friday, September 28 last year while her son Henry was clambering on the couch next to her.

The youngster, who was a week away from turning two, went flying and landed with a thud. He quickly passed out before having multiple seizures in his mother's arms. 

Paramedics spent half-an-hour trying to stabilise Henry, from Suffolk, before they were forced for call an air ambulance. 

Once at hospital, Henry was diagnosed with a severe brain bleed from when he hit his head. Surgeons spent four hours treating the problem.

Although Henry pulled through, the youngster was put into a medically-induced coma to 'give his brain a rest'. 

When he woke a week later, he was a 'big baby again', unable to see, speak, walk or feed himself. Nearly a year on, Henry has made a remarkable recovery and is 'like any other two-year-old'.

Speaking of the ordeal, Miss Alexander said: 'I rushed out into the street with Henry in my arms shouting for help.

'We live in a new build close and I knew there were two nurses living close by and the other mums would also be home from the school run.'

A neighbour took Henry from Miss Alexander's arms and lay him on the floor in her home. Another dialled 999, while the youngster continued having seizures.

They noticed Henry's seizures bizarrely became worse if his mother was in the room. She therefore waited for the ambulance outside.  

Miss Alexander, who is also the mother of nine-year-old Olivia, said: 'I was outside thinking Henry was dead or dying. 

'I told my dad, 'Henry's not breathing'. He told me, 'Calm down Lee-Lee, just breathe'.'

When the paramedics were unable to stabilise him, Henry was flown to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, home to the region's top trauma centre.

Miss Alexander, who shares her children with her boyfriend Roy Delaney, 37, said: 'I knew from having worked as a carer that timing is everything when it comes to brain injuries.

'I also knew the fact there was no swelling where Henry had hit his head was not a good sign because a bruise should come out immediately and if it doesn't that means it has gone inside and is putting pressure on your brain.' 

Once at hospital and diagnosed, Henry was rushed into surgery were he went under the knife. 

By the time the surgeon came to speak to his parents, there was a crowd of 28 loved ones in the family room.

'The doctor who had operated came and said, 'Can we talk?',' Miss Alexander said.

'I told her she could say whatever she had to say in front of our families and friends, but she insisted on speaking to us privately.

'So, we went to her office where she said, 'Please sit down', at which point I just shouted at her, 'Is my son still alive?'.'

The surgeon confirmed Henry was alive, but had suffered major complications.   

'The doctor explained Henry would need to be put into a coma to give his brain a rest and all I could think was, 'How was this happening to us?', Miss Alexander said.

It was midnight by the time the couple saw Henry again.

'He was in a little cot and hooked up to four different machines, including a life support machine,' Miss Alexander said.

'His head was wrapped in bandages and he had these massive pads on his eyes. We were just heartbroken seeing him like that.' 

Rather than have to make the hour-and-a-half journey home, the couple were taken to the accommodation centre Acorn House, which gives the parents of children in hospital somewhere close by to stay.

'I would have stayed in a chair by Henry's bedside, but it was nice to be given somewhere so comfortable to spend the night,' Miss Alexander said. 

'It did feel strange that first night, but over the next few months, Acorn House became our family's safe haven.'

Henry was in a coma for a week but spent two months recovering in hospital. 

During the ordeal, the family spent as much time as they could at Henry's bedside. 

'When Henry was in a coma, the machine monitoring his brain activity showed it was more active if we were around him,' Miss Alexander said.

'That was bittersweet because it meant we knew he was in there and he was not brain dead.'

Miss Alexander was adamant there would be no crying in Henry's hospital room. 

'Children get their strength from their parents, so I had to be strong for Henry,' she said. 

After waking from the coma, his family set about teaching him everything he had once known all over again. 

'He was a big baby, he literally couldn't do anything,' Miss Alexander said. 'He couldn't talk and he couldn't see anything. He couldn't hold himself up or anything.' 

In the past year, Henry has made a remarkable recovery. 

'To look at him now you would never think anything had been wrong,' Miss Alexander said.

'He's looks like any other two-year-old. He can do everything he could do before. He used to have a neurological tremor, which caused shaking throughout his body.

'And the specialists have said it is possible he may have some issues like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or autism as he gets older because of the injury sustained and part of the brain that was damaged. 

'But the team that looked after him have promised they will stay in place until he starts school.' 

For Miss Alexander, a big challenge to overcome is not being overly anxious when it comes to parenting her children.

'It is hard, but I can't wrap Henry in cotton wool or stop him from being a child again,' she said.

'If we are somewhere with other children, I do say, 'Henry had a nasty bump to his head so please be careful with him,' and they always are.

'I always had faith Henry would recover, but I know we were the lucky ones. There were children dying in that hospital, and they never got to leave and go home.'

This Saturday, a year on from the ordeal, many of the hospital staff who treated Henry will be gathering at black-tie charity ball, organised by his family and their friends.

The money will be shared between The Sick Children's Trust, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance, and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital.  

'We want to try and raise some funds to show our gratitude for the incredible help we had,' Miss Alexander said.

Find out more about 'Henry's Ball' here and The Sick Children's Trust, which provided Acorn House for the family here

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 12:16

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 194
  • 0

Woman gives birth after spending £60,000 when she was told she can't have a baby

Victoria Andrews, 26, was shocked to learn she was pregnant after doctors told her she was infertile due to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. But in May, she gave birth to a baby boy called Tobias.

To cope with being told that she wouldn’t have her own children, she started collecting dolls and at its peak she had over 100 dolls known as ‘reborns’. However, she sold 40 of them for £10,000 to buy necessities for Toby.

And while Victoria, from Newbury, Berkshire, sold many of them, Toby still has around 40 ‘brothers and sisters’. She’s even created one just like Toby, weighing 7lbs 2ozs – his weight when he was born – and who is wearing the same clothes he wore when he left hospital. It’s even called Tobias. Victoria said: ‘I couldn’t believe it when I found out I was pregnant.

‘Obviously I love babies. I just thought I would only ever have the doll variety. ‘I was smitten with Toby right away. He’s got my eyes and my ‘bum’ chin. I haven’t even picked up a doll since he was born.’

Victoria learned she was pregnant when she went to the doctor after weeks of what she thought was a stomach ulcer. She said: ‘My blood tests came back. The doctor talked to me for a few minutes and then said “congratulations by the way, you’re at least seven weeks pregnant.”‘ The barmaid still didn’t believe it – so she paid for a private scan and saw him for the first time.

Last year Victoria took a drug to halt the facial hair growth polycystic ovary sufferers often have, and believes this is what caused a spike in her fertility. Victoria said: ‘I’d tried so many different things in the past that hadn’t worked it didn’t really occur to me that this one might. I wasn’t even taking it for my fertility. ‘Me and my partner at the time didn’t use protection – there was no need. ‘We split up before I even knew I was pregnant because I found out he was cheating. ‘Now he doesn’t want anything to do with the baby. It’s massively his loss – Toby is absolutely amazing.’

Although she has always buys and the sells the dolls in order to upgrade to better versions, she no longer has time to pay attention to the 40 she still has left. Victoria said: ‘Some of the ladies in the doll community take their collections quite seriously. They with feed and bathe their dolls and put them into pyjamas at night. ‘I mostly keep mine on a shelf. ‘Sometimes, before I had Toby, I would pick them up for a cuddle if I was feeling down. It’s really soothing. ‘But now I’ve got him I don’t need to do that. I don’t have time. I haven’t even picked one up since Toby came along. ‘I’ve kept my favourites though. Some of the best ones I paid £1,500 for.’

Victoria and Toby live at home with her bar manager mum Jane, 56, and gardener dad Dirk, 64. Victoria plans to keep her collection – and maybe even add to it when she goes back to work as a barmaid. She said: ‘I still love them. Not in the way I love Toby, of course. ‘I’d love to have more kids one day. Maybe four. For now I joke that I’ve got 41.

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 12:06

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 149
  • 0

Mum Claims Adopted Child Was Actually A 22-Year-Old Who Tried To Kill Her

It has all the elements of a horror movie: an unsuspecting Christian couple adopts an adorable little girl only to discover she is an adult sociopath masquerading as a child.

If the premise sounds familiar that's because it’s virtually the exact plot of 2009 big screen chiller 'Orphan', where a pig-tailed 'youngster' tries to murder her family when it's revealed she is 33.

But as far-fetched as it sounds, this is the astonishing defense put forward by a mom-of-three and parenting author shockingly accused of felony neglect for abandoning her adopted daughter.

Kristine Barnett, 45, and her ex-husband Michael Barnett, 43, are alleged to have dumped Ukrainian-born Natalia Grace at an apartment in Lafayette, Indiana in 2013 before moving to Canada one month later and breaking off contact.

Police say the girl was left to fend for herself for three years despite having a rare form of dwarfism that means she is 3ft tall and has problems walking.

But in an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV at an undisclosed location, Kristine insists there's a major flaw in their case: Natalia was not a nine year old - as charging documents claim - she was actually 22.

Barnett claims the true victims are her and her family who were terrorized for years by the mysterious impostor who threatened to stab them in their sleep, pushed her towards an electric fence and poured bleach in her coffee.

'The movie 'Orphan' is exactly what happened.  

‘She would make statements and draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members, roll them up in a blanket and put them in the backyard,’ she told DailyMailTV.

‘She was standing over people in the middle of the night. You couldn't go to sleep. We had to hide all the sharp objects.

‘I saw her putting chemicals, bleach, Windex something like that, in my coffee and I asked her, what are you doing? She said, "I am trying to poison you."

‘The media is painting me to be a child abuser but there is no child here,’ said Barnett.

‘Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth. She never grew a single inch, which would happen even with a child with dwarfism.

'The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults.

‘She was jumping out of moving cars. She was smearing blood on mirrors. She was doing things you could never imagine a little child doing.’

Before criminal charges were leveled at them on September 11, Barnett and ex-husband Michael were hailed as exemplary parents who raised child 'genius' Jake Barnett.

Diagnosed with autism at age two, Jake nonetheless had his first academic paper published at 12 and by 15 was studying at a prestigious physics institute.

His story was featured in a 2012 episode of CBS 60 Minutes - but it was the shy girl who sat to his left at the family dinner table that would one day prompt altogether more sinister headlines.

The Barnetts, experienced foster parents who ran a children's day care from their Westfield, Indiana home, collected the curly-haired youngster from Florida in May 2010.

While living with the Barnetts, Natalia's adoption was completed in November that year.

In a frank and tearful interview with DailyMailTV, Kristine Barnett insisted she treated the new addition to her family as if she were her biological child.

She had no hesitation in accepting Natalia despite learning she had a bone growth disorder named spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia, which causes short stature, skeletal abnormalities and problems with vision.

‘I always wanted to have a larger family and I had very severe complications in my pregnancies and was unable to have more children,’ Barnett explained.

‘I also at that time had a very privileged life. I felt that if I had the ability to help another person in the world then I wanted to do it.’

Given just 24-hours to complete an emergency adoption, the couple raced to an adoption center in Florida to sign the paperwork and meet their ‘six-year-old’ daughter.

They gleaned precious few details of her background: Natalia had been in the US for two years, had a Ukrainian birth certificate reading September 4, 2003 and needed a home immediately because her previous adoptive parents suddenly gave her up - for undisclosed reasons.

‘Out of compassion for their situation I didn’t want to press them for information on what had gone wrong,’ the mom went on.

‘Natalia was extremely nervous. You could see she was going to need a lot of support and care. We did notice immediately in the parking lot that she couldn't walk. There was nothing in the paperwork stating that.’

Over the next few days the couple showered Natalia with attention, taking her to Disney World, enjoying ice creams, treats and playful pillow fights with her three brothers to slowly bring her out of her shell.

When they took Natalia to a beach for the first time, she did something that would leave the couple speechless.

‘The boys rushed into the water and Natalia wanted to be carried into the ocean. Michael and myself were physically exhausted so we asked her to wait just a few minutes,’ she said.

‘With that she just got up and ran into the ocean. I remember looking at Mike and thinking, what’s going on? She couldn’t walk a second ago and now she just got up and ran.’

Barnett grew more alarmed when she saw the little girl naked for the first time.

‘I was giving her a bath and I noticed that she had full pubic hair. I was so shocked. I had just been told she was a six year old and it was very apparent she wasn't,’ she added.

There were further clues to an apparent deception: Natalia shunned dolls and toys, sought the company of teenage girls and appeared to use sophisticated vocabulary way beyond someone her age.

She didn't have any trace of a foreign accent and when the family asked a Ukrainian friend to speak in their native language Natalia couldn't understand or describe her homeland.

‘At the time I ran a little school and I remember she said to me, these children are exhausting, I don't know how you do it,’ Barnett went on.

‘I was like, you're supposed to be a child yourself. It was like something another mom would say as she dropped her kids off.

‘It's very hard to decipher how old she is because she has such a unique look. But at that time I started to believe she was probably a teenager. 

‘But I didn’t have any regrets. This was what I wanted to do. I felt overwhelming love for her.’

Barnett says she soon began finding bloody clothing in the trash suggesting Natalia was having her period and trying to conceal the evidence.

She sought out the help of her family physician who ordered bone density tests to establish Natalia's age.

When the results suggested the little girl was indeed at least 14 or older, Barnett says she switched the princess outfits and pink dresses for more appropriate clothes.

But as questions swirled around her age and true identity, Natalia's behavior begun to deteriorate.

Barnett recalls watching aghast on a baby monitor as Natalia attacked a baby boy when she was out the room.

When they attended therapy together Natalia scoffed at the 'childish' bonding exercises.

By 2011 Barnett says that Natalia was smearing bodily fluid on walls, making death threats and hearing voices as her mental health broke down. 

Natalia would spend the next year or so being treated for various psychiatric disorders, spending days to weeks at a time at the St Vincent Indianapolis Stress Center.

When Barnett claims she tried to drag her on to an electric fence during a 2012 birthday outing, Natalia was placed long-term at a state-run psychiatric unit because she allegedly posed a risk to others.

It was during treatment that Barnett insists that Natalia confessed to being far older than she appeared.

Barnett  presented DailyMailTV with a trove of paperwork that appears to confirm her version of events – and that health care professionals shared her grave concerns.

One clinical therapist in January 2012 said Natalia claimed to them that she was 18.

Then, at Larue Carter Hospital in Indianapolis, in June 2012, staff said she had described how she had tried to kill family members and had no remorse about it, with Natalia going as far as to describe it as fun to staff.

Most revealing of all is perhaps a letter from the Barnetts' primary care physician Andrew McLaren MD, dated March 2012, in which he says Natalia's 2003 birth date was clearly inaccurate and that Natalia had made a career out of pretending to be a young child. He said Natalia fooled him, her parents and other physicians. 

It was also in 2012 that police first began asking questions, although correspondence reviewed by DailyMailTV suggests they were trying to establish whether an immigration fraud took place before the Barnetts had any involvement with Natalia.

Detective Scott Clouse of the Westfield City Police Department told them via email that he had referred the case to the FBI and ICE because he suspected there was 'false age reporting' prior to Natalia leaving Ukraine.

Clouse died of cancer four years ago but Captain James Lilly, a former colleague, told DailyMailTV that, while he vaguely remembered the case, he did not think the FBI pursued it further.

In June of 2012 the Barnetts successfully applied to Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis, Indiana to have Natalia's age 'corrected' so she could receive the appropriate psychiatric treatment for an adult.

In documents seen by DailyMailTV, Judge Gerald S. Zore accepted the couple's allegations were 'true' and revised Natalia's date of birth to September 4, 1989 - changing her age from eight to 22.

At this stage, Barnett points out, Natalia was considered an adult by the state of Indiana and was legally responsible for herself.

Even so, Barnett says she and her husband rented an apartment for Natalia when she was discharged from secure psychiatric care in August 2012 and placed under the supervision of state healthcare provider, Aspire Indiana.

They further helped her get a social security number, apply for benefits, food stamps and an ID.

When Natalia caused problems at the property and was evicted they stepped in again to prevent her from being homeless, renting a new apartment for her in Lafayette, Tippecanoe County.

Barnett said she was communicating daily with Natalia and even came up with a plan for Natalia to enroll in college to get her high school diploma and study cosmetology.

'I said I've been taking care of you here as an adult, I will do one more year of financial aid, the exact same thing I am doing for all of my children,' she said.

'I co-signed the lease and paid for the rent up front for a year. I did everything you would do when you send your child off to college, I helped her with groceries and bought furniture at Target for her.

'I was optimistic, she had a concrete plan for her life. She had food stamps. She had social security income for the rest of her things. She had demonstrated she was able to live.’

By 2013 Barnett had published a memoir about Jacob, now aged 21, entitled 'The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing, Genius, and Autism'.

That same year they moved to Canada so Jacob could attend the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, leaving Natalia behind at her rented apartment.

By then, however, Barnett says Natalia had vanished and stopped returning her calls.

Barnett told DailyMailTV she feared Natalia had stopped taking her medication and was probably posing as a child again for another unsuspecting family.

‘I had found a little pink dress in her closet and a little pink bicycle parked beside her house,’ she said.

‘I would have forced her back into treatment but I couldn’t do that any longer because she was an adult.

‘She discontinued communication with me. What I did get was a letter in the mail stating that she had changed Michael from the beneficiary of her social security income to someone else.


‘The last time we spoke on the phone, she told me she was cooking spaghetti for her new family.

‘I did not abandon anyone. I went to Canada to further my son's education. These accusations are absolutely devastating.’

The Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department meanwhile presents a very different version of events.

A September 11 affidavit of probable cause obtained by DailyMailTV states that an expert at the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital named Dr. Riggs carried out bone density tests on Natalia in June 2010.

It concluded she was aged approximately eight years old.

A further skeletal test carried out two years later at the same facility concluded she was around 11 years old.

The affidavit reveals that it was Natalia herself who told police in 2014 that she had been 'left alone' when her adoptive parents moved to Canada, with cops concluding she was a 'reliable and credible' witness.

It does not explain, however, why detectives waited five years to put the allegations to Michael Barnett, who divorced Kristine in 2014, remarried and has settled back in Indiana.

The document says that when an officer spoke with Michael on September 5 he admitted he knew all along that Natalia was a minor child when she was allegedly abandoned.

Furthermore the affidavit adds: 'Michael Barnett admitted Kristine Barnett told Natalia to tell others Natalia looks young but was actually 22.’

However his Indianapolis-based attorney, Terrance Kinnard, denied that his client made any such admission of guilt.

'The police affidavit is not true. Michael never said he knew Natalia was a child,' he told DailyMailTV.

Police knocked on Michael’s door and he spoke to them, for three hours, without an attorney present. The statements he gave were clearly taken out of context.

'My client and I have absolutely no idea why the district attorney has chosen to level these accusations against my client and Kristine. The affidavit has been very selective in the medical reports it has chosen to cite.'

As for Natalia, neither the Barnetts, their attorneys, nor seemingly anyone else involved in this baffling case, appears to know her whereabouts.

And despite the possibility she is now 30 years old, Natalia's full court records will remain sealed until a court decides otherwise because adoption cases are treated as confidential.

She last saw her adoptive father was when the final chapter in their painful, confusing relationship played out at Tippecanoe Circuit Court in 2016.

There, a couple named Antwon and Cynthia Mans unexpectedly applied to become Natalia's guardians which meant proving she was a minor and restoring her original birth date.

The Barnetts filed an objection, claiming Natalia was an adult.

Records are not publicly available but DailyMailTV has established that a judge ordered a fresh hearing to establish Natalia's age, with Michael Barnett and a number of experts giving evidence.

‘Natalia was living on her own and a couple wanted to become her guardians. Thinking she was still a child, the couple tried to overturn the 2012 result,' explained Michael's attorney Kinnard.

'This time the hearing was even more in depth, not only did the judge look at medical reports and other documents, but witnesses came before the court to explain why they were certain Natalia had been 22.

'The judge upheld the original results and the couple dropped the guardianship petition.

'The most-disturbing thing about this is Michael has told me the police investigator who is heading the latest allegations against them was actually present.'

DailyMailTV asked the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office in Lafayette for comment.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jason J. Biss responded: 'Pursuant to Rule 3.6 and Rule 3.8 of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct, a Prosecutor is prohibited from making extrajudicial or out-of-court statements, including public comments, which would have a prejudicial impact on a case and/or defendant.

'I would defer you to the contents of the public court record, namely the filed Probable Cause Affidavit.'

With Kristine and Michael Barnett both vociferously proclaiming their innocence, it's a question that will likely not go away.

‘I have been cooperative the whole time. I have been truthful with people the whole time,’ said Kristine, choking back tears. 

‘I am being charged by the state of Indiana for crimes against a child when the state of Indiana has determined multiple times that Natalia was an adult,’ added Kristine, who asked for her location to remain confidential over threats her family have received.

‘From day one this was a mission of love. But when you bring a child into your home, you expect them to be a child. ‘To be accused of this is a unconscionable to me. It’s just horrifying.’

 Kristine Barnett surrendered to authorities on Thursday, September 19 and was released after posting a $5,500 bond.

Ex-husband Michael surrendered to Tippecanoe County Jail in Lafayette on September 18 and was immediately released after having his mugshot taken and posting $5,000 bail.

He is due to appear at hearing in Tippecanoe Superior Court in Lafayette on September 24.

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 11:49

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 183
  • 0

Jacquez Welch, 17, from St Petersburg, Florida, collapsed

A high school football player in Florida is fighting for his life after he collapsed in the middle of a game. 

Jacquez Welch, a senior and team captain at Northeast High School in St Petersburg, was on the field playing against Osceola High School on Friday night.

Welch and his teammates tackled an opposing player, but he was the only one that didn't get up, reported WFTS.

He was rushed to Bayfront Health - six miles away - where doctors discovered he had a pre-existing condition that caused severe bleeding in his brain after a tangle of blood vessels burst.

The 17-year-old is now on life support and his medical team says they're unsure if he will recover. 

It comes just weeks after another player on Northeast's football team was shot and killed while riding his bike. 

Welch's mother, Marcia Nelson, told WFTS that she was watching the game in the stands when the incident occurred.

She didn't know the situation was serious until one of his coaches told her to come onto the field.  

'There's nothing anyone could have done to prevent this,' she told the station.

'The doctors told me this would have happened whether he was on the field playing or not...It's unfair. Why him?'

Welch was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which occurs when there is a tangle of blood vessels with abnormal connections between arteries and veins.

Normally, arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the brain, while veins carry oxygen-low blood away from the brain and towards the heart. 

But, with AVM, bloods flows very quickly and directly from the arteries to the veins, bypassing normal brain tissue.  

This can cause the small blood vessels to dilate over time and potentially burst due to the high pressure of blood flow from the arteries.

The cause of AVMs is unknown, but it believed to occur during fetal development, 

Brain AVMs are estimated to occur in less than one percent of the general population, and affect mostly males, according to the American Stroke Association.

There is no cure and treatment consists of controlling symptoms and preventing complications such as hemorrhaging. 

After Northeast won 41-0, the entire team reportedly visited Welch in the ICU.  

'Jacquez is such an incredible kid,' his coach, Jeremy Frioud, told the Tampa Bay Times. 'He does everything right. Everyone is praying for him. He needs a miracle.'

Frioud told the newspaper that Welch has good grades - a 4.0 GPA - and received his first scholarship offer to play football at Concordia College in Minnesota.  

The coach has also organized a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of Welch's medical bills.

As of Monday afternoon, more than $7,000 has been raised out of a $10,000 goal.

stella Posted on September 24, 2019 11:23

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 158
  • 0

16-year-old Gilbert Otyeng crawls 6km daily to school

A teenager identified as Gilbert Otyeng is definitely going through a very serious challenge in his life as he desires to be one of the world’s celebrated profession, Doctor after completing his education.

Not privileged like his schoolmates who walk to school on a daily basis, Otyeng has to crawl for that same journey due to his physical disability. A sad story which has gone unnoticed for the past 11 years.

Gilbert crawls for at least 6km daily due to the fact that he also goes back home for lunch and returns back to school which results in a total of 30km a week, all in search of an education.

“It has been a painful experience for me, waking up very early to crawl to school. I have to return home for lunch, go back for afternoon lessons then in the evening I go home,” Otyeng stated.

The sad part is when it rains, it becomes a double tragedy for the teenager. The mud becomes a friend and Otyeng has to deal with it anyway.

The young hero lost function of his lower limbs at the age of five when they became paralysed.

“Otyeng got disabled when he was five years and since then, things have never been the same again for my son,” his mother, Rosa Pali, disclosed.

He is the 7th child in a family of nine children, his heartfelt request is for well-wishers to help him secure a wheelchair as his school sits on a hill and it would a long way to ease his life.

stella Posted on September 23, 2019 19:33

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 136
  • 0

British schoolgirl, 17, is stabbed to death in Jamaica after family moved from London to escape knife crime

A mother has opened up about the devastating moment she discovered her 17-year-old daughter had been killed by a stab wound to the neck in rural Jamaica - just three years after the family fled the rising threat of knife crime in London.

Pauline Smith, 54, says she moved her family from south London to Jamaica - the country where she had an 'idyllic' upbringing in the 1960s and only left aged 23 - to escape the rising threat of violence in the UK's capital.

But three years after the move her daughter Stefika Smith was killed just two months before her 18th birthday. Her body was found two days after she went missing when her parents dropped her off for a sleepover at a friend's house in May Pen, Jamaica.

Mrs Smith told the Sunday People: 'My beautiful sweet daughter left what we saw as a knife threat but became a stabbing victim herself where we took her to be safer.'

The schoolgirl went missing on Friday, May 10 and her body was found after a desperate search. The yellow bodysuit she was wearing was ripped down the front.

And four months after her death no one has been charged for the murder, as Mrs Smith calls for British police to put pressure on Jamaican detectives.  

Stefika, who grew up in a £750,000 detached house in Thornton Heath, south London, left the UK with her family in the summer of 2016.

She had started to feel unsafe going outside due to a rise in knife-crime in the capital and when a close friend committed suicide it was the last straw.

Her mother, and 57-year-old father, Morris, a plasterer, took her to Jamaica to start a new life somewhere they remembered was safe during their childhoods.

In Britain Stefika had been a pupil at Norbury Manor Business Enterprise College for Girls and sang in the gospel choir at the New Testament Church of God in Brixton.

And after the move she was enrolled in May Pen High School, expecting to come back to the UK for university.

But a short time later violence in the parish of Clarendon erupted - with the region, where May Pen is the largest town - being declared in a state of emergency.

The homicide rate in the parish, which is 35 miles from the island's capital Kingston, has hit 100 so far this year and many of the victims have been children and teenagers.

Stefika was found with a single stab wound to the throat on a track road next to a sugar cane field and there was evidence she had been involved in a struggle.

But what made her death even harder to bear was the fact her parents found out only after a mobile phone picture of her body was posted to social media.

They discovered their daughter's death when a relative in Canada called to ask if they had seen Facebook.

'We believed Stefika would have a better education and better life here, away from the danger of knives in London,' Pauline added.

'Now of course I ask myself, did I make the right choice?'

Shortly after Stefika's body was found a man and woman were arrested but they have both since been released.

A police source close to the investigation says: 'We do have suspects in this case.'

stella Posted on September 23, 2019 18:58

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 178
  • 0

Outraged wedding guest receives a BILL from the bride's parents after her son, 16, ate an adult meal instead of a child's portion at the reception

A wedding guest has been left outraged after receiving a bill from the bride's parents, because her son, 16, at an adult meal instead of a child's.  

The unnamed mother, believed to be from the US, took to Reddit to vent her frustrations, revealing that she'd requested adult meals for both herself and her son when she sent her RSVP. 

On the day, her son was offered a child's portion of chicken and fries, but he assumed it was a mistake and requested an adult meal. 

She later received a call from the bride's parents, asking her to pay up, because the caterers had charged them for an extra adult meal.  

Reddit users quickly supported the unnamed woman, with one branding the bride's parents 'grossly tacky'. 

Explaining the situation, the mother said that there was an option to select a 'kid's meal version of each dish', when replying to the wedding invite. 

'I never considered ordering one for my son because he is too old for kids' meals,' she said.

'I sent in the RSVP card with our meal selections and never heard anything about it.

'At the wedding, my son and I got our food, but the table was one chicken meal short'.

'The waiter had a small plate of chicken fingers and fries, but everyone at the table told him it must be a mistake because we didn't have any kids sitting with us.

The waiters were able to put together an extra chicken plate for the person who didn't get one, and it seemed all was well.'

But after the big day, the mother received a call from the bride's parents, who were picking up the bill.

'They told me that the chicken fingers had been for my son, and that I had caused the caterer to charge them for the extra adult chicken meal,' she explained.

'I told them my son had asked for the adult meal, but they said he should have had the kid's meal because he's under 18.

They said I should have known he was meant to have a kid's meal and that I should have asked for clarification if I wasn't sure.'

She explained that she never thought it would be possible for her son to get a kid's meal, as the cut-off is usually 13.

The disgruntled guest also added she thought it was rude to assume a 16-year-old would eat the smaller meal. 

'10 and under I would think would have kids' meals. and 11 to 13 is questionable, but 14 and up I would never think would have a kid's meal.

The bride's parents told me it's normal for anyone under 18 to get a kid's meal, but I've never heard of 18 being the cut-off.

'I think it's rude to feed a 16-year-old a meal meant for a six-year-old.

'I know wedding meals are expensive, but I think this was their mistake.'

She received a flood of support from commenters on Reddit, including one who said: 'The fact that someone planning the reception even thought a teenage boy should get a child's meal is ludicrous and stupid. 

'The fact that the bride's parents now want you to pay for it is grossly tacky. Are you close to these people? Do you care what they think? 

'If not then respond point blank that they are out of line and no you aren't going to reimburse them for a mistake of their own making' one wrote.

Another commented: 'Expected to eat a kids meal = rude ... calling later to ask for $ because you choose to change a guest’s meal and you have to pay for it... unbelievable'.

While others suggested compromise of paying the difference between a kid's and adult meal.    

'I'd be tempted to pay them the difference between a child's meal and an adult's meal and then shame them to kingdom come at every opportunity that presents itself' one wrote.

Others lamented the fact that teenage boys tend to eat more than adults, adding that it's ridiculous to expect them to eat a meal designed for an infant.

'Whoever "caught" the mistake and changed the adult meal to a kids meal should have said something to the guest. As far as I am concerned if you are giving people options they can choose what they want, there should be no age limit. 

'Parents aren't going to order the steak for their 4-year-old who barely eats and hates steak. 

The RSVP card should have said (under 18) next to or underneath the kid's meal option. If there are "rules" about what constitutes a kid, that should have been spelled out clearly on the invitation. This is their fault for not clarifying in the first place. 

Other Reddit users agreed the RSVP card should have said 'under 18' next to the children's option.

stella Posted on September 23, 2019 18:45

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 167
  • 0

Abortionist Kept Aborted Babies in His Garage For Almost 20 Years, Every Baby Was Individually Boxed

The 2,200 fetuses which were found in late Indiana abortion doctor's garage last week were being preserved in small, sealed plastic bags filled with chemicals which were dated between 2000 and 2002, it has emerged. 

The disturbing discovery happened on September 12, nine days after Dr. Ulrich Klopfer died. 

His widow was going through his possessions in their home in Illinois when she found the remains in 70 cardboard boxes that he had stacked up in their cluttered garage. 

The Chicago Tribune reports that the bags had dates on them but police will not verify that detail. 

They did confirm that Klopfer - who lost his license in 2016 after a string of violations including failure to complete paperwork - performed the abortions between 2000 and 2002 in Indiana.  

It is unclear exactly where he performed the procedures and if they were legal. Klopfer, for many years, was known as a prolific abortionist in Indiana, operating out of three clinics. 

In hearings before his death, he referred to performing abortions on children as young as 10 who had been raped by members of their family.  

Now, police are urging women who he treated between 2000 and 2002 to come forward if they think they have a link to the remains. What will happen to them now remains uncertain. 

The women will not be charged, however authorities are interested in any who were minors when they had the abortions because they may be able to charge the men who impregnated them. 

'The only crime potentially that could come of this is if we had a 13-year-old child who had an abortion, the person that impregnated that child would be guilty of statutory rape,'  Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow said at a press conference on Thursday. 

Prosecutors urged the public not to cast judgement on the Klopfer family, saying they were just as shocked and disturbed by the discovery as the authorities have been.  

They said the family were assisting with their investigations. 

They do not know yet if they will find more fetuses in some of Klopfer's old clinics. 

Police have completed their search of his home in Illinois and of two clinics in Indiana where they said they found nothing. 

The grisly case has been pulled into the 2020 presidential election because Klopfer worked in South Bend, Indiana, where Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg is from.

He stayed silent on the subject for days then said it was 'disturbing' but hoped it would not be turned into a political issue last week. 

Vice President Mike Pence, who was the Governor of Indiana and is notoriously pro-life, said he was horrified by the case and called for a full investigation.  

It was estimated that Klopfer performed tens of thousands of abortion procedures in multiple Indiana counties for decades, making him 'likely' to be the state's 'most prolific abortion doctor in history.'  

The doctor had performed abortions at Women's Pavilion in South Bend, Indiana, until his license was suspended in 2016 for failure to exercise reasonable patient care and violating multiple notice and documentation requirements.

The suspension came after a 2014 Indiana Department of Health review which resulted in Klopfer's clinic being cited for 27 deficiencies.

When the clinic failed to submit a plan of correction for those problems, the state agency filed a complaint and hearing request to revoke the clinic's abortion license.

Another review was conducted in June 2015, during which it was found that the clinic wasn't adhering to the state law that patients needed to give their voluntary and informed consent 18 hours prior to an abortion being performed.

Klopfer was allegedly giving out the abortion medication during the initial consultation, instead.

Following his 2016 hearing, Klopfer, who was 71 at the time, was given a minimum six-month suspension following 12 hours of testimony and thousands of exhibits.

The testimony reportedly indicated that Klopfer had been using the same sort of abortion and sedation procedures that he had used since the 1970s and 1980s.

Klopfer said at the time that he had never had a patient die or go into cardiac arrest in the 43 years that he had been performing abortions.

Despite it not being part of the complaints that were brought against him, Klopfer also spoke about performing an abortion on a 10-year-old girl at an Illinois hospital after she had been raped by her uncle.

Instead of notifying police about the child abuse, however, he allowed her to return home with her parents, who knew about the rape and had refused to prosecute the uncle.

Klopfer was found to have not given pain medications to all women who he performed abortions on, only women under the age of 16 and women who could afford to pay extra for it. And, when women were sedated, there wasn't anyone on his staff that was qualified to monitor the women, in addition to not following best practices for the administration of drugs and emergency procedures.

He was said to have had very few complications during the procedures, though.

The doctor was found guilty of five of the nine charges against him during the hearing. Among those charges was not reporting abortions performed on two girls under the age of 14 within the state's required three-day timeline.

Klopfer had previously come under legal scrutiny in March 2014, after a local right to life organization reported to authorities that he had failed to report abortions on girls under the age of 14 in a timely manner.

Instead of three days, it took Klopfer three to four months to file the paperwork, ABC57 reported.

Klopfer said at the time: 'Let me put it this way, if there's any question, it's a question about paperwork, it's not a question about any medical malpractice or anything like that.'

In addition to having his license suspended, Klopfer was find $3,000. The board said he could petition to have his license reinstated after six months, but that he would need to submit to a long list of evaluations, as well as obtaining continuing medical education credits and child abuse training.

At the time of the hearing, Klopfer was not practicing medicine and had closed his three abortion clinics in Fort Wayne, Gary and South Bend, Illinois, by November 2015. Still, he had indicated that he wanted to reopen clinics when he could. 

Klopfer first began performing abortions in 1973 following the legalization of abortion by Roe v. Wade, the Journal Gazette reported.

stella Posted on September 23, 2019 18:38

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 167
  • 0

Woman says yes to boyfriend's underwater proposal but never gets to see him again

A man who proposed underwater on a dream holiday in Tanzania ‘never emerged’ to hear his girlfriend say ‘yes’. Steven Weber and Kenesha Antoine were staying in a floating cabin complete with a submerged room looking out into the sea when he decided to pop the question. He swam to one of the windows and unfurled a note declaring his love before pulling out a ring. It read: ‘I can’t hold my breath long enough to tell you everything I love about you. But… Everything I love about you, I love more every day!’ ‘Will you please be my wife? Marry me?’ It would be the last time she would see him alive.

Writing on Facebook attorney Kenesha said: ‘There are no words adequate enough to honor the beautiful soul that is Steven Weber, Jr. ‘You were a bright light to everyone you encounted.

‘You never met a stranger, and you brought so much joy to so many people. ‘You were kind, compassionate, you regularly made me cry with laughter, and you showered me with a love like none I’d ever experienced. You never emerged from those depths, so you never got to hear my answer, “Yes! Yes! A million times, yes, I will marry you!!

We never got to embrace and celebrate the beginning of the rest of our lives together, as the best day of our lives turned into the worst, in the cruellest twist of fate imaginable. ‘I will try to take solace in the fact that we enjoyed the most amazing bucket list experiences these past few days, and that we both were so happy and absolutely giddy with excitement in our final moments together.’

Kenesha said Steven was her ‘perfect love’ her ‘angel’ and ‘soul’ and that she would carry on loving him forever. She vowed to find him and marry him in the next lifetime ‘and the next, and the next, and the next… I love you so much, and I always will.‘ Kenesha asked people to pray for all the family and friends who loved him so much, and to ‘love each other while we can, as hard as we can’.

She added: ‘I know that wherever in the universe Steven’s spirit now resides, that is exactly what he’s doing: giving love and spreading joy and laughter. And knowing him, always quick with an off-color joke, he’s probably entertaining someone with a story about how he royally screwed up that proposal and died while being extra. ‘Rest well, my sweet baby! Always know that you are forever loved.’

stella Posted on September 23, 2019 18:24

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 146
  • 0

School teacher, 25, hires a photographer to propose to her girlfriend in Sydney Harbour... but her partner has the EXACT same idea

Courtney Callahan and Steffani Smith booked in a professional photo shoot before travelling to Australia on holiday in hopes they could capture some of the immense beauty that is Sydney Harbour.

As a pair the Florida-based couple contacted Averi Gerberding, 27, through Airbnb Experiences before both separately emailing her again with plans to propose to each other during the session.

It was English teacher Courtney, 25, who originally chose Mrs Macquarie's Chair as the ultimate place to pop the question

'We had talked about getting engaged and at this point our trip to Australia was already planned and booked,' Courtney told FEMAIL. 

After sending an email to Averi to confirm the secret plan the picture taker received another message, and this time it was from Steffani, 31, wondering if she might be able to squeeze a proposal into their session. 

Steffani had wanted to propose a week into their trip as they travelled along the Great Ocean Road down to Melbourne but thought the photography day might be a better surprise.

'My first email to Averi said: "I am reaching out to you because I want to surprise Courtney and propose during our shoot with you. I am looking for some ideas or places that would make for the perfect proposal location and of course have you capture the moment with pictures",' Steffani said.  

'I thought Sydney had such iconic architecture and would be a beautiful backdrop for the perfect proposal.'

Averi was floored by the double emails but was equally as determined not to spoil the surprise.

So she convinced both ladies to propose at Mrs Macquarie's Chair, with Courtney going first. Steffani was facing away from her girlfriend when Courtney got down on one knee on July 6. 

Averi put her camera to her face and waited. 

'I remember the whole moment feeling like it was in slow motion and I had a hard time getting words out,' Courtney said.

'I believe all I said was "Hi babe, I love you, Will you marry me?" in a very slow and drawn out manner. After she said yes I said something along the lines of "Okay I guess I should put this on your finger. Where should I put the ring box?"' 

Steffani was equally as nervous on the frosty morning shoot and had 'barely slept the night before'. 

'I was so overwhelmed because Courtney had just proposed to me! I am pretty sure I said something along the lines of "Everyday I have been with you I have managed to fall more in love. I love the time we spend together and that you are my best friend, my partner in crime, my ride or die and I can't wait to grow old with you",' she said. 

Averi's photos capture the moment the ladies expressed their love for one another and exchanged rings, each bending on one knee.

While they haven't decided where they will tie the knot yet they are 'definitely' considering a destination wedding.   

'Who knows maybe Australia would be the place. We loved our trip and have raved about it to our families and friends,' Courtney said.

stella Posted on September 23, 2019 18:14

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 148
  • 0

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson shows his softer side during daddy-daughter tea party... as he jokes about putting 'a little nip of tequila' in his cup

In the sweet snap, the three-and-a-half-year-old has the look of a little lady who knows how to host an arranged tea party with her dad, all while still dressed in her pajamas.

Sitting across from each other at a children's-sized pink table, the mega-star actor can be seen taking a sip from his tiny tea cup, while crouch onto a small chair..

'(daddy may have put a little nip of tequila in his tea, cos it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere),' the 47-year-old joked in the caption.

 In recognition of such priceless moments like these, he added the hashtags: '#icherishthesemoments #andgodblessmychair.'

The Hobbs & Shaw star kept it casual and sporty for his one-on-one time with his daughter dressed in athletic shorts and a tank top.

His massive biceps and tattoos, that stretch from the upper portion of his arms onto his back, are on full display.

For the quaint get-together on the porch of their home, the two Johnsons both opted to go barefoot.

The adorable moment captured on camera is becoming a more common thing for a man who's known as 'The Rock.'

Nearly one year to-the-day of Sunday's post, Johnson shared an Instagram picture of him getting his nails painted red by Jasmine, who was two-and-a-half -years-old at the time.

And in the caption, the dotting dad referenced how she persuaded him to delay going to work and sit down for his paint-job, just by looking at him 'with her mama's gorgeous blue eyes eyes.' 

Johnson has two other daughters: Simone, 18, with first wife Dany Garcia and Tiana, 17-months, with current wife Lauren Hashian.

stella Posted on September 23, 2019 18:08

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 280
  • 0

Amy Jackson has given birth to a baby boy named Andreas as she shares sweet breastfeeding picture with fiancé George Panayiotou by her side

Amy Jackson has given birth to a baby boy, named Andreas.

The actress took to Instagram on Monday morning to reveal her happy news with a heartwarming photograph of herself lying in a hospital bed breastfeeding her newborn, while being kissed on the head by her fiancé George Panayiotou.

The Supergirl star, 27, appeared overwhelmed with happiness as she closed her eyes and smiled with joy, captioning the snap: 'Our Angel, welcome to the world Andreas.'  

Soon the comments section of her Instagram was flooded with well-wishes from fellow celebrities.

'Congrats girl!' wrote Made In Chelsea star Louise Thompson, while Kimberley Garner added 'Congratulations' alongside many heart emojis. 

Rochelle Humes gushed: 'Congratulations beauty,' with Millie Mackintosh simply posting love hearts. 

Amy had revealed she was expecting a baby boy with a sweet gender reveal video on social media at the end of last month. 

The actress shared the moment she found out that she was having a boy by posting a video of her extravagant baby shower on her Twitter page. 

Amy looked stunning at the special event, as she wowed in a pale blue form-fitting dress with decorated jewelled off-the-shoulder sleeves. 

After the day, Amy posted a snap of herself wearing the stunning ensemble as she posed in front of an array of heavily-decorated tables, flower arrangements and a balloon wall. 

She posted alongside the image: 'The most beautiful afternoon celebrating my Baby Boy with best friends and Family. He’s one lucky boy to have so many amazing women in his life. Feeling very blessed.'

Amy also shared a clip of the moment her baby's gender was revealed, as blue confetti began to fill the room at her baby shower. 

Amy first announced that she was set to welcome her first baby in a candid Instagram post on Mother's Day.  

Taking to the social media platform Amy wrote: 'I’ve been waiting to shout it from the roof tops, and today, being Mother’s Day, it couldn’t be a more perfect time.

'I already love you more than anything in this world, the purest most honest love. We can’t wait to meet you our little Libra one.'

The beauty queen confirmed her engagement to the son of British business tycoon Andreas Panayiotou on January 1.

The couple are believed to have embarked on a romance last year, with their love going from strength to strength ever since.

Just a few months prior to her epic love story, the Liverpudlian actress declared a romantic relationship was not her main focus in an interview with You Magazine.

She previously told the magazine: 'The good things in my life are family and my work. The other stuff – relationships – I can stop worrying about because right now it is not meant to be. '

stella Posted on September 23, 2019 18:02

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 192
  • 0

Michael Jackson’s secret girlfriend convinced she could have saved star but he died

Speaking ahead of the 10th anniversary of the King of Pop’s death, Shana Mangatal revealed how she was due to visit the singer on Friday June 26th, 2009 where she was going to plead with him to get help for his prescription drug problems and other issues.

Tragically, Shana’s planned meeting never took place as Jacko died from an overdose of propofol - a powerful anesthetic drug - at his home in Los Angeles one day before - on June 25th.

The shock of his death led Shana, now 48, to be diagnosed with PTSD - and she says even 10 years on she still lives with regret at not reaching out to him sooner. 

In an exclusive interview, she told Sun Online: “It was a huge shock because I was supposed to go see him that week at rehearsal.

“That whole week I was preparing to see him. I'd gone to the mall to find an outfit to wear.

"And I was trying to think of what to say to him because a couple of the people who were close to him had been calling me frantically, telling me that he was in trouble and he needed help.

“One of the people was his nanny and she called me crying one day and begged me to go to rehearsal to go see him and tell him that I was here for him if he needed anything and offer to help with the children. 

“She really wanted me to go there and offer my help to him because she knew that he needed it but I couldn't think of what to say to him.

“It was going to be hard for me to go to rehearsal and bring this up so I had been procrastinating all week.

"I could've gone any day that week but I thought I'll just go on Friday and that will give me time to find the perfect outfit to wear and figure out what to say.

“I thought I'd write a letter and I was trying to formulate the words to give to him on Friday - and Friday never came.

“He passed away on Thursday, June 25th.”

Shana first met Jackson aged 17 after one of his shows, but said she didn't develop a "love connection" until she began working as a receptionist at his management company in Hollywood in her 20s.

After months of flirting, the couple shared a passionate kiss - but Shana was left heartbroken when Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley in 1994.

After his divorce from Lisa - the pair rekindled their passion during the summer of 1996 and Shana fell "madly in love".

They remained friends even after their relationship ended - although Shana says she never stopped loving him - and no man has ever compared to him since.

She says his death devastated her so much - she couldn’t hear his music or watch his videos for years without breaking down. 

“It was devastating for years after I kept thinking, ‘What if I had gone to see him on Wednesday? Would that have changed anything?" she said.

“Could I have somehow changed the state of mind to make him be able to stay around a little longer? I don't know. 

“I guess we can never know, but part of the thing that haunted me all of these years was that I had an opportunity to see him at least one last time and to possibly help him and I put it off by procrastinating and I never did."

She added: “I’m not God. I couldn't have saved him probably but you can't help but think what would have happened differently if I had just seen him in that week? 

“Maybe something would have changed. And those events of the  final month, they keep replaying in my mind. I think it's hard to stop those thoughts.”

Shana revealed how she and many of those in Jackson’s inner circle were worried about the impact his prescription drug problem was having on his health even in the nineties. 

She believes the star began to misuse the drugs to deal with the aftermath of the accusations by Jordy Chandler - the first young boy to come forward and accuse the singer of molesting him.  

She said everyone around him knew the signs of his drug abuse - and knew that he needed help in the weeks before his death.

"In 2009, it had got to a bad point again. And the fact that he had children now, it was even more dire because, he needed someone to help them. And he really didn't have anybody.

Shana still wishes Jackson had a competent medical team around him during his last days - who could have helped him get off the strong sedative drugs he was reliant on - or at least administered them safely.

Jackson’s death was recorded as acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication and the doctor who administered the drugs Conrad Murray was jailed for involuntary manslaughter after it emerged he was negligent.

“He had started taking propofol during the late nineties during the History tour," Shana revealed.

“It was difficult for him to sleep because whenever he did a show, he would have all this adrenaline and then he'd come back to the hotel room and he would be bouncing off the walls and not able to sleep.

“All those other times he had competent doctors administering it to him and they would stay with him through the night and monitor him, which is what you are you are supposed to do. And Conrad Murray didn't do that.

“He went off and talked on the phone and when he came back Michael was dead. 

“If he had had a competent doctor doing this, he would okay - like he had been in the years before.

“Of course it wasn't a healthy thing for him to do in the first place but he could have got some help with that."

Now 10 years on, Shana says it’s only in the last few years she’s been able to share her memories of Michael without getting upset. 

She said her fondest memories of Michael were when she starred alongside him in the videos for Ghost and Is This Scary. 

“What a lot of people don’t know about Michael is that he was just a really normal guy," she recalled.

"For example his favourite thing to eat was Tic Tacs and Bazooka bubble gum - he always had like a pocket full of Tic Tacs and his mouth filled with three or four lots of bubble gum.

“When we were on the set, if we were standing around and got bored, he would start throwing the Tic Tacs at people.

“They would be looking around wondering where are the Tic Tacs coming from and it would be Michael throwing them - he was a funny guy.

“Once I asked him for one and he said, ‘Yeah, you can have one if you reach in my pocket and get it'. So that became our thing - every day I would reach in his pocket and get a tic tac.

“One of the other things that showed me how human he was when his mom would come to the set of the videos that we did.

“I noticed Michael would have this nervous energy whenever his mom was there.

“He just wanted to make her proud and at those moments he wasn't the King of Pop any more he was just little Michael from Gary, Indiana up to wanting to make his mother proud and that would touch my heart.”

Shana’s last meeting with Jackson before his death was backstage on the New Year's Eve to welcome in 2007, while she worked as an assistant to magician David Copperfield in Vegas. Jackson attended the show with his kids Paris, Prince, Blanket. 

“When I saw him that New Year's Eve and he was just like I remembered him 10 years ago, my heart melted and I did start thinking, maybe we can get back together again," she said.

“The hope came back and the fire was lit again.

"After the show was over, he walked back stage and came right over to me and gave me the longest hug ever. And he gave me a peck on the lips. 

“It felt like he knew that would be the last time he saw me.”

Shana says she doesn’t think recent child abuse allegations made against Jacko by Wade Robson and James Safechuck in the documentary Leaving Neverland have damaged his legacy. 

She does not believe the Michael she knew would ever harm a child - and she said she and his fans will always stand by him.

"He was just magical. He had this thing about him that was different from every other human being I've ever met and I really miss that," she said.

“He had his power about him that drew you in and made you fall in love.

He did some things sometimes that would upset me - like disappearing and marrying Lisa Marie Presley! But when I spoke to him, he knew exactly what to say to me to make me melt and forget about the bad stuff. 

“I don't think his legacy has been affected that much at all by Leaving Neverland. The people who loved him and believed him before, they still do. The people who think he was guilty before still do. 

“All as I can do is remember the Michael that I knew, how he treated me personally and what I witnessed of him interacting with children. Never at that time did it cross my mind that anything bad was going on - it was all innocent.”

stella Posted on September 23, 2019 17:56

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 184
  • 0

Coroner links deaths of FIVE women who suffered from eating disorders

The deaths of five women who suffered from eating disorders are set to be investigated by a coroner amid fears they may be linked to the care they received.

University student Averil Hart, who had anorexia, died aged 19 in December 2012, which an Ombudsman report described as an ‘avoidable tragedy’.

Her death and that of four other women – mother-of-one Amanda Bowles, 45, student Madeline Wallace, 18, Emma Brown, 27, and Maria Jakes, 24 – are now set to be investigated by a coroner.

All five women were reportedly under the care of Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

Sean Horstead, the assistant coroner for Cambridgeshire, who will preside over the inquests within the next few months, has said the ‘potential’ for themes common to one or more of the cases is ‘obvious’.

It follows a briefing report from earlier this year which looked at Norfolk Community Eating Disorders Service, managed by Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

The service was said to have had ‘significant difficulties’ recruiting specialists in treating eating disorders.

Last November, the trust raised its threshold for accepting referrals to only those with ‘severe’ eating disorders or in need of ‘priority’ treatment. 

This decision was taken for safety reasons, as a high number of patients were said to be waiting ‘considerable periods of time between the assessment process and starting active treatment’.

Miss Hart was let down by four NHS bodies, according to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

The former grammar school pupil was found collapsed in her university room after losing two stones – nearly a third of her body weight – in less than three months.

The Ombudsman said that there was not a robust or explicit enough plan from the trust about giving warning signs if Miss Hart deteriorated and what action was to be taken if that happened.

It also held the trust responsible – as it oversaw Norfolk Community Eating Disorders Service – for failure to ensure ‘adequate surveillance’ which would have spotted that her condition had deteriorated.

Miss Hart’s father, Nic Hart, said that his daughter’s NHS care had been ‘third world’, stating: ‘They left a high-risk patient to fend for herself.’

Speaking two years ago, Mr Hart said: ‘It’s pretty clear to us that there have been systemic failings. Services are worse than when Averil died, not better.’

The four other women died between September 2017 and September 2018.

The father of Emma Brown, Simon Brown, 56, said: ‘Clinicians, GPs, private institutions... it carries on all the way through.

'In short, there is a massive failure in the system to deal with this illness and people are dying as a consequence.’

He said it was the ‘sincerest hope’ of himself and Emma’s mother, Jay, that the inquest would provide knowledge to ‘prevent similar suffering and death in other young people’.

Nadine Dorries, the mental health minister, said: ‘The NHS is learning from times it has previously failed patients and, following avoidable tragedies, we have made great strides in transforming the nation’s mental health services.

While progress has been made, I’m not so naive as to not realise we still have a long way to go to ensure no one struggling with an eating disorder slips through the net.

‘I vow to do all I can to ensure we see real change towards helping people to ultimately lead healthier and happier lives.’

Pre-inquest review hearings have been heard for each of the five cases.

A spokesman for Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust told the Sunday Telegraph that the death of any patient was a ‘tragedy’.

But the spokesman added that, at the recent pre-inquest hearings, the coroner had yet to make ‘findings, determinations or conclusions with respect to any of the five inquests – let alone with regard to any definitive links between them.’

stella Posted on September 23, 2019 17:45

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 170
  • 0