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A Couple left with $120k debt after surrogate delivers baby early

A Sydney couple is appealing for help covering a $120,000 hospital bill after the birth of their son, Frankie.

In 2012, Ellice Mol, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth, underwent a ‘life-saving’ double lung transplant.

Given her health, the young couple decided it would be unsafe for Ms Mol to carry the child they desperately yearned for.

“This was a huge blow to us emotionally, and it took some time to come to terms with,” they wrote on Go Fund Me.

But we decided that we still wanted to be parents, and if we were able to make embryos via IVF, then we would try to find a surrogate to carry our baby for us.”

The couple said it took them four years to research and find a surrogate.

They were finally introduced to a “remarkable” woman named Kendal from Vancouver.

After taking a few months to get to know the hopeful parents, Kendal offered to carry their baby.

The couple’s frozen embryos were air-freighted to Canada in December 2018.

“We watched in amazement from across the Pacific as it slowly grew into a baby boy throughout a successful pregnancy in Vancouver,” the couple wrote.

“We were so fortunate that Kendal was someone who shared our values and sense of humour and was willing to include us in her experience of the pregnancy.”

However, Kendal’s pregnancy took a turn when Franklin was born in July 2019 - six weeks early.

Luckily, Ms Mol and Mr McGowan were in Canada at the time preparing for his birth.

What was a joyful moment quickly became a dire situation, however, as Frankie’s newborn cries turned into an “abrasive grunting sound”.

Doctors soon discovered that the infant’s lungs had not developed properly.

Early on in the pregnancy, Kendal was diagnosed with a condition called vasa previa, requiring Frankie be delivered via caesarean.

Because of the diagnosis, Frankie was considered to have a pre-exisiting condition, meaning his treatment would not be covered under insurance.

Franklin spent the next week in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with Ms Mol and Mr McGowan by his side, day and night - costing the couple more than $A16,000 a day in doctors’ fees and bills.

The young family is now $120,000 in debt.

Franklin is entitled to a Canadian citizenship, however, he is not considered to be a resident in Canada.

Ms Mol and Mr McGowan had “comprehensive” travel insurance but it did not cover post-birth care.

In British Columbia, the baby is transferred into the care of its parents immediately after birth, meaning Franklin’s stay was not able to be covered by Kendal’s insurance.

Ms Mol and Mr McGowan decided to make their story public after receiving the final hospital bill.

“We’ve decided to make our story public in the hopes that our friends and family, and perhaps even some kind strangers who we’ve never met, might be in a position to donate to our cause,” the parents wrote on Go Fund Me.

“Regardless of whether we raise money here or not, we will honour our debt to BC Children’s Hospital. We are truly grateful to the staff who worked so tirelessly to deliver our healthy, happy little boy to us.”

The Go Fund Me has raised just over $19,000 since the page was created on October 1.

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 18:40

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Cheer dad' goes viral for dancing along to his teenage daughter's cheerleading routine while in the stands

While one Virginia cheerleader cheers for her high school football team, her own biggest cheerleader — her dad — performs along with her squad's moves from the stands.

This week, millions of Facebook users have been charmed by a viral video of Hekili Holland from York, Virginia going wild in the bleachers at a football game.

While his daughter Mackenzi's cheerleader squad dances to the fight song at field level, Hekili can be seen dancing right along with them in the stands, enthusiastically jumping and raising his arms to mimic their routine.

The video was captured by another dad at the game named Scott Willard, who filmed the entertaining display and shared it on Facebook — where it's been viewed four million times and counting.

'In the fourth quarter I leaned over and jokingly said to my wife if York scores again I’m making this guy viral,' Scott told Good Morning America

Viewers have applauded Hekili for supporting his daughter in such a fun way, dubbing him 'cheer dad.' 

Hekili had actually been performing the routine in the stands for about three weeks when this moment was caught on camera.

'The band plays and the girls perform it after every touchdown or score. I was trying to learn it by watching the cheerleaders. But Mackenzi finally taught me one day,' he said.

'I said one day, "Teach me the dance or I’m not leaving your room,"' he told local news station WKTR.

'I’ve always loved the atmosphere of high school and college football. The band, the excitement, everything. It just another way to have fun and show support,' he added.

'I always wanted to go to them even before I had kids,' he added in an interview with Today. 'But you can't go to a high school football game as 23-24 year old guy and not be the creeper, so now that we have Mackenzi there, we have a reason to go support her and have fun.' 

'I'm a fun-loving guy — if you talk to my wife or any friend of mine, they'll tell you — I'm a little extra at times,' he said. 

He and his wife Lindsey have three daughters, with the youngest age five and the oldest, Mackenzi, a 15-year-old sophomore. 

While some teens might squirm at the thought of their dad earning so much attention, though, Mackenzi says her dad's 'extra' behavior is fun. 

'A lot of people think I would have been embarrassed but I'm really not,' she said. 'I'm just proud that my dad's here and that he's doing everything with me.' 

'I smiled the entire time,' she told The Washington Post. 'I was like, "You go, Dad."'

The other fans are loving it too, and have begun clearing room for him in the stands and making signs for him.

'I’ve told her that if it’s embarrassing or you don’t like it, I’ll stop. She said, "No, keep going, Dad. Let’s go." It’s been fun,' he told WKTR.

Hekili, an Air Force Captain, has been deployed several times and has had to miss out on some things with his daughters in the past, so being there to support them is important.

'It’s a joy,' he said. 'I missed a couple seasons, a couple championships, so it’s good to be home where I can be here to watch her do her thing and watch her sister play softball.'

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 18:16

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Baby girl is born with a marvellous head of thick black hair

A newborn baby girl left both midwives and her own mother stunned after being born with a full head of jet black hair.

Operations manager Georgia Robinson, 22, from Burnley, Lancashire, couldn't believe her eyes when her daughter Tia was delivered on June 18, as she already had a full head of thick raven locks.

The mother-of-two has told how the midwives at Burnley General Hospital were equally gobsmacked, as they had never seen a newborn with so much hair.

Now, less than a month later, Tia's rapidly growing mane has already passed her ears - and Georgia has no intention of cutting it anytime soon. 

The proud mother, who worked in operations before falling pregnant, said: 'I couldn't believe it when I saw her, there was so much hair, I really wasn't expecting it.

'The midwives were as shocked as me, they were saying they had never seen anything like it.

'My friends and family are all absolutely obsessed with her and the hair is the first thing everybody talks about.

'It's growing really quickly and we've had to start putting clips in already. She loves having her hair brushed and washed as well.'

Georgia and her partner Bradley Duffy have a two-and-a-half-year-old son, Ellis, but recalled that he didn't have half as much hair when he was born.

The couple also said Tia's hair colour is a bit of a mystery, as none of them have locks as dark as hers.

Georgia has shared her baby joy with five generations of family, which includes great-grandma Jean Briercliffe, grandma Eileen Dickinson and mother Andrea Dickinson.

She said: 'Everyone loves Tia so much. Her brother Ellis loves her and is always giving her lots of hugs and kisses, which is great.

'I have posted pictures of her on Facebook and everyone loves her, she's getting loads of likes.

'Even when we're out shopping people stop us to say hello to Tia. Luckily she's really well-behaved and loves the attention.' 

A baby's hair as a newborn bears little resemblance to what he or she will look like as they grow older and some infants lose their hair just a few weeks after being born due to hormonal fluctuations.

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 17:58

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Surrogate Goes Wrong! Mom Thinks She’s Having Twins But Delivers The Unthinkable

“No woman in the world should have to live their life without experiencing the love and the bond from a mother and a child,” Jessica Allen told ABC News in 2017. Allen, who was already a mother of two sons, decided to help a couple in need of a baby by becoming a surrogate.

The surrogacy went off without a hitch. But it wasn’t until after delivery that things got messy, which is why Allen tells People, “I’d never do it again. I’m not the only one with a nightmare story, but I am the only one with a story like this.”

Allen followed all the rules perfectly, but something unexpected happened during the pregnanc

Jessica Allen, a California mom of two, thought she was doing a nice thing by signing on to be the surrogate of a lovely Chinese couple. Since surrogacy is illegal in China, the couple came all the way to the U.S. in order to find a surrogate that would have their baby.

Anyone who has struggled to conceive is likely familiar with the emotional and physical trauma the Chinese couple must have gone through to resort to surrogacy. There’s no doubt that what Allen was doing for them was a wonderful thing.

Allen worked with San Diego-based Omega Family Global, who paired her with the hopeful couple. In April 2016, Allen had the couple’s single male embryo implanted in her uterus through in-vitro fertilization.

Surrogates are required to take estrogen and progestogen in order to prepare their wombs for a successful implantation. Allen was careful to follow the IVF doctor’s instructions both before and after implantation so that the pregnancy would be a success. Six weeks into the pregnancy, however, the doctor found something that would make Allen pretty concerned.

At her six-week scan, the doctors told Allen that she was carrying two babies in her womb. The doctor explained that the chances of a splitting embryo were rare, but that it does happen. Everyone assumed that that was the case and Allen was relieved to know that the couple was excited to be getting twins.

Allen was paid $30,000 plus expenses for volunteering herself as a surrogate. When it was discovered she would be having two babies, her monthly paychecks increased by $5,000. Things were going along just fine until it was time to deliver.

After all was said and done, Allen and her husband were in for a big surprise

On December 12, 2016 at 38 weeks’ gestation, Allen delivered the two babies via C-section. Because the operation was performed behind an opaque screen, Allen didn’t get the chance to see the babies as they were immediately taken from the operating room.

Later that night while she was recovering, Allen received a visit from the intended mother, who showed her a picture of the babies on her phone. “One looked full Chinese, the other didn’t look full Chinese. It was clear that they were not identical… but I didn’t ask questions,” Allen told People magazine.

After the delivery, everyone went their separate ways and Allen returned home to recover. She and her husband used the money they were paid to purchase a brand new home. Almost a month later, they were getting ready for move-in day when Allen received a text from the intended mother.

The mother sent Allen a picture of the babies and expressed doubt that one of them belonged to her. Allen told New York Post that the intended mother asked, “They are not the same, right?” and “Have you thought about why they are different?”

It’s A Rare Medical Phenomenon, But It Happens

The following week, the babies were subject to a DNA test with unexpected results. As it turned out, one of the babies wasn’t the twin of the implanted embryo. Instead, it was actually the biological son of Allen and her husband! Both embryos even had differing gestational ages.

A medical phenomenon like this is called superfetation, in which a woman continues to ovulate during pregnancy. This means that Allen conceived another child in her womb while she had the implanted embryo of the couple growing inside her. For their part, Allen and her husband were shocked that this happened.

You would think that the couple would just give Allen her baby, but of course, it wasn’t going to be easy

Read in App for better experience

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 17:24

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Meet the couple who sold all their possessions to live debt-free on a $8,000 renovated military bus - along with their baby daughter and dog

A couple have told how they sold all their possessions and renovated an ex-military bus to live debt free and travel 16,000 miles with their baby daughter and dog.

Will and Kristin Watson, from Jacksonville, Florida, met at work in 2013 and had always longed to hit the road and travel but their 9-5 office jobs held them back from taking the plunge.  

But when Mr Watson, 31, a creative video company owner, and Mrs Watson, 29, a marketing manager, got married in 2018 they decided to quit their jobs, buy a bus and travel full-time.

The couple's dream became a reality when they purchased an ex-military bus in Layton, Utah, $8,000.

Mr Watson sold an old truck and also paid off $24,000 worth of debt before they moved on-board and began the renovations.

He said: 'We have always enjoyed travel. Kristin spent her college years backpacking around different countries, and I was in the boy scouts. We both also traveled a lot for work'.

We actually both met at work in 2013 and then in 2018 we got married. But we really wanted to travel together so we started looking at vehicles we could renovate and move into full-time.

'I sold an old truck for it and we also paid down about $24,000 worth of debt before moving on-board. We wanted to have the freedom to live this kind of lifestyle. We could have done it with debt but wouldn't have felt 'free' and didn't want to be dictated what we could do or where we go.

'Being debt free feels amazing. When we check our bank balance now, we feel a sense of peace and security. We have even been able to save money since moving into our tiny home and we are in the best place we have ever been in our entire lives.'

The couple transformed the old bus into a stylish home, complete with a kitchen, sofa, bed, office and a bathroom.

And the renovation was going smoothly until Mrs Watson discovered she was pregnant. They were unsure if they would be able to continue their nomad dream, but decided to take their baby on their travels. 

Their daughter Roam was born on September 2018 and the family moved onto the bus full time in April 2019 when she was just six months old. 

'In January 2018 we were about five months into our renovations and we unexpectedly found out that Kristin was pregnant,' said Mr Watson.

'It was a little bit of a curve ball. Neither of us had planned on having any children, but we knew this was a miracle baby and was meant to be. After the initial shock set in, we were very excited to welcome our little one into the world.

'We had already met so many other families living on buses and vans with multiple kids and we thought 'if they can do it, so can we'.       

The family of four, including their pet dog, Rush, have since traveled over 16,000 miles from Florida Keys up the East Coast to Nova Scotia, Canada.

The biggest struggle has been having to stop every few hours while on the road so that their daughter can crawl around and be given something to eat.

Family and friends have been very supportive of their adventures and they enjoy seeing their journey documented through social media.

As winter draws closer and the days shorten and become colder, the family have started heading south towards Florida again.

'We have zig-zagged from the Florida Keys all the way to Nova Scotia, Canada. We have traveled over 16,000 miles and seen so many incredible places,' Mrs Watson said.

'On longer travel days we have to stop every few hours so Roam can crawl around and eat. At night when we put her down to sleep, we have to be very quiet, so we don't wake her. Other than those two things we don't have too many difficulties.

Roam has grown so much since she moved on board at six months old. Back then she was hardly able to move, and now she is climbing all over the bus exploring.

'Our family has been super supportive of our adventures and they especially love that we document them all on YouTube so that they can watch Roam grow up. 

'Roam has been the perfect baby for this trip. We haven't been getting in each other's way even though we live in close proximity to one another.'

The Watson family say traveling with their baby was 'scary' but that she has been adaptable and they are grateful they took the plunge.

Mrs Watson said:  'I know it can seem scary to take your baby places that aren't technically baby friendly. I know it's a hard choice to live a life with a baby that doesn't fit the 'norm', but something we have realized in the last year is that babies are incredibly adaptable and they want to experience the same things as you,' Kristin said. 

'Remember that someone else's reality does not have to be your own. If you really want something you can have it. You just have to work for it and believe it's possible. We are living proof of that. Now go get it.'

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 16:44

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Mother 'strangled to death by huge python' in house filled with 140 snakes

A mother was allegedly strangled to death by a massive eight-foot-python in a home filled with 140 snakes, police said. Laura Hurst, 36, was found dead with the snake wrapped around her neck in the ‘reptile home’ in Battle Ground, Indiana on Wednesday night. The home is reportedly owned by Benton County Sheriff Don Munson and is set up specifically for the snake collection. According to a statement by Indiana State Police spokesman Sergeant Kim Riley, Hurst kept about 20 of her own snakes in the home and usually visited it twice a week.

Sheriff Munson lives next door the the reptile house and reportedly saw Hurst at the home on Wednesday evening. Riley said a person found Hurst later that night on the floor with a reticulated python loosely wrapped around her neck.

The person, who was not named, was able to unwrap the python, but medics were unable to revive Hurst, Riley wrote. ‘She appears to have been strangled by the snake. We do no know that for a fact until after the autopsy,’ Riley told the Journal Courier. Munson called Hurst’s death a ‘tragic accident with loss of human life,’ adding that he was ‘being fully cooperative with everybody.’

Authorities said they plan to conduct an autopsy on Friday. Hurst’s Facebook page indicates that she was a mother of two. Her family told Metro US they did not want to comment on the incident.

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 16:07

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Female footballer stabbed to death by another woman after fight over mobile phone

A member of Jamaica's women's national football team has been stabbed to death in a fight over a mobile phone, police have revealed.  

Tarania Clarke, 20, midfielder for Jamaican club, Waterhouse, was knifed when fighting with another woman in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, Jamaica. 

The stabbing of Clarke, who goes by the nickname Plum Plum, occurred at around 8:50pm Thursday night. 

Clarke was taken to hospital where she later died. 

Officials said the unidentified woman has been detained.

The 20-year-old was the captain of Waterhouse FC in the local Women's Premier League and represented Jamaica in October in the Caribbean leg of the Olympic Qualifiers.   

In a statement, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) said: 'The Jamaica Football Federation is lost for words in expressing its profoundest sadness at the passing of Tarania... The JFF family expresses condolences to the Waterhouse FC; her family; her friends and her colleagues at the senior team.'

'The JFF must give as much support as we can during this time of bereavement to her mother and close friends.'

They described the midfielder as being referred to as 'quiet and warm' by her coaches and managers. 

She recently became set on improving her skills and was planning to go abroad to study in 2020, the JFF added.    

The 20-year-old was the captain of Waterhouse FC in the local Women's Premier League and represented Jamaica in October in the Caribbean leg of the Olympic Qualifiers.   

In a statement, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) said: 'The Jamaica Football Federation is lost for words in expressing its profoundest sadness at the passing of Tarania... The JFF family expresses condolences to the Waterhouse FC; her family; her friends and her colleagues at the senior team.'

'The JFF must give as much support as we can during this time of bereavement to her mother and close friends.'

They described the midfielder as being referred to as 'quiet and warm' by her coaches and managers. 

She recently became set on improving her skills and was planning to go abroad to study in 2020, the JFF added.  

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 16:01

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Man City player Mahrez reportedly devastated after wife flirted with Wilder

Manchester City ace Riyad Mahrez is reportedly furious after heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder flirted with his ex-model wife Rita in a nightclub. 

Friends say the pair were 'chatting intently' at Wilder's VIP table in the trendy Manchester nightspot, popular among big-spending footballers and WAGS. 

'They were chatting intently, laughing and joking. You could see there was chemistry there and a real connection,' a source told The Sun. 'But because of where it was, a lot of people noticed how well they seemed to be getting along.'

'It's a club full of footballers and Wags, which even some of Riyad's team-mates go to. Rita was actually on a night out with Riyad's sisters who she really gets on with.

'And they did not appear to be happy with what was going on. One even seemed to go and get Rita, to take her away from ­Deontay, who was of course trying to keep her with him.

Reports of the pair's encounter at LIv's nightclub quickly made their way back to the Algerian winger, who is a Muslim non-drinker who eschews the typical footballer lifestyle. 

Sources said he was 'devastated' to hear how Wilder, the WBC champ and father-of-eight who is known for his freakish punching power, seemed to hit it off with Rita so quickly.

According to the source, Wilder spotted Rita from across the club and had one of his entourage invite her over to the table to meet him.

She knew who he was but wasn't starstruck and soon the pair were enjoying an in depth conversation, in full view of Mahrez's teammates and other revellers.  

'Word soon got back to Riyad about what had happened. He knew about it by early the next morning. Riyad was shocked and a bit upset about it — and he couldn't get his head around what was going on,' the source added. 

Rita - who married Mahrez, 28, in a secret but lavish ceremony in August 2015 - met the Wilder at the club in late August. 

The following day, Wilder, who scored a controversial draw against Manchester's Tyson Fury in December, was spotted with Manchester United captain Paul Pogba. 

Mahrez became City's record signer in July 2018 when they splashed £60 million on the Leicester City talisman, who helped the midlands club win their first PL title. 

He has two young children with Rita, after meeting her on London's Oxford Street. 

Rita, from Kent, has 372,000 Instagram followers, including Wilder. She follows just 50 people on Instagram - including Wilder.

Wilder, who is 6ft 7ins, is from Tuscaloon, Alabama, is engaged to US model Telli Swift - star of TV show WAGS Atlanta. She is the mother of one of his children.

Undefeated Wilder has won 41 professional bouts and is set to rematch Fury next year.


stella Posted on November 11, 2019 15:50

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Prominent New York doctor convicted of murdering his wife in their mansion

A prominent New York doctor who was convicted of murdering his wife in their mansion has had his conviction overturned and will be retried after one juror sent 7,000 texts to family and friends discussing the case. 

Dr Robert Neulander, now 68, was sentenced in July 2015 in Onondaga County Court for killing 61-year-old Leslie Neulander in 2012 in a fit of rage at his home before telling investigators she slipped. 

But he is set to be tried again after the state's highest court, the New York Court of Appeals, deemed the messages sent by juror 12, Johnna Lorraine, inappropriate and 'troublesome' in a unanimous decision. 

They noted her 'extreme deception and dishonesty' may have 'affected a substantial right' of the defendant, reports. It is estimated the retrial will cost taxpayers $100,000.

In one text sent to her father Lorraine, who was not supposed to discuss the case with others at any time during the trial, told her father she had been picked to be on the jury.

He answered: 'Oh lucky you.' He followed up with: 'Make sure he’s guilty!' Lorraine did not reply. 

A friend asked: 'Is he guilty?' Lorraine, who was 23 and a cheerleading coach at the time, replied: 'Can't tell.' Another acquaintance called Neulander 'scary'. 

Neulander had been found guilty of second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence after a three week trial. Jurors took 18 hours to make the decision. 

His children Jenna, Ari, Emily and Brian were pictured walking into court with pictures of the whole family together. 

Onondaga County prosecutors say the obstetrician-gynecologist killed wife Leslie in their home in suburban Syracuse in September 2012.

Neulander told investigators his wife had slipped in the shower and he had carried her into the bedroom. The Neulanders were getting divorced at the time. 

The texts came to light after another juror contacted Neulander's attorney.

Lorraine is then said to have deleted a number of messages she deemed 'problematic'.

She is also said to have go onto news websites covering the case - again not allowed as a juror.  

Lorraine, who has not commented on the decision, will not face criminal charges.  

The Court of Appeals say she was not biased in reaching a verdict and even sent messages telling friends: 'I can’t talk about it', and 'I’ll tell you all about it soon'. 

In another she wrote: 'Like in reality someone’s life is in our hands! We could send an innocent man to prison or put a murderer away!'

Judge Rowan Wilson said: 'We agree that the extensiveness and egregiousness of the disregard, deception, and dissembling occurring here leave no alternative but to reverse the judgment of conviction and remit for a new trial and compel us to affirm publicly the importance of juror honesty.'

The decision upholds a mid-level appellate court. A local court had earlier upheld the guilty verdict. 

After the appellate court's decision Neulander was freed from prison on $1 million bail, posted in cash by his son. 

He had been sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. He told the court in a passionate plea for his sentence to be reduced: 'As I will one day be in front of God to be judged, I would not and did not take a life.

'I love my wife Leslie everyday, and I mourn her now and forever.'

District Attorney William Fitzpatrick told the court earlier in the trial: 'Leslie spent her last moments on earth struggling for her life before being beaten to death and being unceremoniously dumped in her own shower.' 

Neulander’s lawyer, Alexandra Shapiro, said: 'Bob Neulander and his family greatly appreciate the Court of Appeals’ decision, which reaffirms that every defendant has the right to an impartial jury and a fair trial.' 

No date for the new has been set but first chief assistant district attorney in Onondaga County Rick Trunfio said: 'We fully intend to retry him for the murder of his wife.'

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 15:07

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Father, 38, drowns while trying to save three of his sons from drowning in a rip tide while on vacation in Florida

A Kentucky father described as a 'hero' died as he tried to save his three children from a rip tide on a Florida beach. 

Stephone Ritchie Sr., 38, was on vacation in Davenport, Florida, before deciding to drive roughly two hours to Cocoa Beach on October 27. 

Over 20 of his family members traveled to the beach from their rental home, including five of Ritchie's  six children - four boys, and one girl.

Ritchie's cousin Elishia Durrett-Johnson said that three of his sons immediately went into the water. 

She told Fox News the family liked having the beach to the themselves. But she said  there were no signs posted of a dangerous rip current in the area.

Ritchie's sister Amber claimed she was worried the kids were too far out but Ritchie responded by saying they would be okay.

'Hey Sis, we got this, they know what they're doing, they can swim,' he originally told her, Durrett-Johnson explained.

He then reportedly went to save his sons before the waves overpowered him as they had been 'relentless,' Durrett-Johnson said. 

'A wave caught him, there was no breaks in the wave. He couldn't get to swim parallel to the current like you're supposed to. The water kept coming and coming.'

Ritchie's son Kaylib, 19, had seen his father in trouble in the water and Ritchie had replied yes when he asked if he needed his help.  

Kaylib brought the three boys out of the water but his father struggled to overcome the large waves and they eventually pulled him to shore.  

They tried to perform CPR on him but he died a short time later. 

'Not again, just not again, just please just not again. I was relentless....No, we are not letting go.' 

Durrett-Johnson called Ritchie died a hero and said he died trying to save his children who he loved. 

'[He] did everything for his kids, could turn any sad situation into a comedic one,' she said.

Now the family is attempting to stick together in the wake of this terrible tragedy.

'We just came together trying to honor his legacy and do exactly what he would want us to do and that’s just being a family. Our family has suffered so much tragedy already.' 

Durrett-Johnson's husband died last June in a car accident and the trip was supposed to have given he much-needed time with her family.

Ritchie did not have life insurance so paying for his funeral and burial costs has been a challenge for his family, USA Today reports.  

The family set up a GoFundMe account for Ritchie, which has has raised almost $12,000. It reads: 'Stephone loved, sacrificed, and did everything for his children. He was their best friend, protector, and always led by example.  

'Stephone was a comedian at heart and could turn any frown into a smile.   

'His life was cut short while on a family vacation as he tragically drowned saving his children in Cocoa Beach, FL. Stephone died as a hero. Stephone was a loving father, son, cousin, best friend, co-worker, gamer, awesome cook, and a great teacher.'

stella Posted on November 11, 2019 14:24

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Woman lost 50kg, gained a husband

Tamara McDonald felt like a hypocrite.

There she was, a registered nurse, working with new mums with gestational diabetes and telling them they had to lose weight to improve their health, when she tipped the scales at 115kg.

But it had always been that way for Tamara. Overweight since primary school, she had accepted that was her lot in life, despite now saying her weight destroyed her confidence.

The idea that she had the power to change her life was unreal to her.

“I was the girl at school that used to get fake notes to get out of PE,” she says. “I hated it.”

While working as a nurse, life was busy, but Tamara started to struggle, working 12-hour shifts on her feet every day.

“I used to have takeaway all the time. I looked happy on the outside but I really wasn’t — I was miserable,” she admitted.

“I hated going out, I rarely ever went out, and I was always in the back of photos. I just had no confidence.”

One day while walking along the street near the nurse’s quarters where she was living, Tamara was given a flyer for a free health check at a local gym. It was a flyer that would change her life.

“The personal trainer told me after I had the assessment done that my physical age was 88 years old — and I was only 22!”

“My blood pressure was high. My resting heart rate was about 120. He told me the way I was going, it would only get worse for me in the future. I just started to cry.”

Tamara signed up for the gym on the spot, and had no trouble losing her first 10kg.

“This was without changing my diet very much,” she said. “I was still eating crap and drinking lots of soft drinks.”

Tamara plateaued after her initial success until dinner in an Italian restaurant with her best friend Sonia who helped her kick on to the next phase.

“I hadn’t seen Sonia for four or five months because we’d both been so busy,” she said. “And when she walked in she looked stunning.

“She’d put on 25kg during uni, and she’d had three kids, so to see her having lost all the weight was amazing.”

Sonia told her she lost the weight with WW, the new Weight Watchers.

“I thought, ‘Oh yeah, fad diet, I’ve tried them all’,” Tamara said.

While she should be eating around 38 points a day, Tamara had eaten around 250 points in one meal.

“No wonder I wasn’t losing any weight,” she said.

Sonia invited Tamara to go along to her WW meeting the next day.

“I went along and I haven’t looked back since.”

From that day on, Tamara’s life changed dramatically. Now aged 31, she has lost a total of 46kg, and attends F45 exercise classes regularly.

Tamara has also discovered a love of running, having completed four City to Surfs, a Spartan run, a half marathon, a marathon, and even a 50km ultra-marathon.

It’s a long way from that overweight nurse who felt like a hypocrite.

“I used to hate exercise,” she said. “If you’d told me years ago I’d be a gym junkie now and have run ultra-marathons I would have laughed in your face.”

But that’s not the only big change in Tamara’s life. She also credits her weight loss for a big boost in confidence that led her to her now husband.

“I never had any confidence before,” she says. “I never went out, I never went anywhere. Then when I lost the weight everything shifted for me.

“I have WW to thank for my husband!”

WW was so integral to Tamara’s whole-life transformation, her WW coach Marie — who had become a close friend over their years together — was even a bridesmaid at her wedding.

Tamara says she and her husband would like to start trying for a baby soon but first she wants to reach the magic figure of 50kg lost.

In the meantime, Tamara is enjoying being fit and strong, although she admits sometimes it takes a while for her brain to keep up with her body.

“I’ll go to the shops and I always go for the bigger clothes even though I’ve lost all the weight,” she said.

“I’m so appreciative of my body now and I’m happy to look in the mirror. Whereas before I hated my reflection. I avoided going to the shops and trying on clothes because I was always embarrassed.”

Tamara has maintained a healthy weight for six years now, but she said she’ll never stop adding up her points every day.

“I’ll definitely keep doing that forever,” she said. “It’s a sacrifice well worth it. I feel so happy now and more confident now.”

For those who find themselves overweight and lacking in confidence, Tamara said it’s important not to be hard on yourself.

“When I first started, I was told I had to lose over 40kg and it was quite daunting and confronting,” she says. “But I always remember what my WW coach Marie told me: she said when she joined she felt the same as well.

“Her coach told her, you don’t have to lose it overnight. It took a long time for you to gain that weight. It’s going to take probably just as long for you to lose it.

“Basically, just take each kilo at a time. I broke mine up into 5kg lots, and then I’d reward myself with something as I reached each goal — as long as it wasn’t something food-related!

“I’d get some nice new clothes or book a massage or something like that.”

Tamara says that after being big for most of her life, and trying all manor of diet shakes and fads, WW is the best thing she’s done.

“It’s actually taught me what to do and how to cook rather than being on a shake diet that as soon as you go off you gain it back. This is about how to live for the rest of your life.”

stella Posted on November 07, 2019 13:07

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Oh, Army Wife And Her Secret Soldier Lover Plot Husband's Murder To Benefit From His Life Insurance Money

The wife of a US Army sergeant who plotted to kill her husband has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Kemia Hassel of Berrien County, Michigan, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Thursday, August 29, for her role in the death of her husband Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III.

The couple, as well as Tyrone's killer, were all soldiers stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia. 

The 22-year-old, who is the mother of the couple's two-year-old son,  did not speak during sentencing and did not address Tyrone's family in court.

Lashanda Jones, Tyrone's mother, told WNDU: 'How could you? How could you take the life of a man that gave you his last name? Hassel. A last name that you didn't deserve to have.' 

She said: 'I hope every time you close your eyes, my son taps you on your shoulders and smiles. Just to remind you that his life is not over, because he is still living in God, and you will be living in hell until the day you die.'

At her sentencing, Judge Angela Pasula said: 'Ms. Hassel, the road to redemption is long and arduous, and you will spend the rest of your life walking it.'

Kemia can appeal the conviction, but is responsible for paying $2,326 in restitution to Tyrone family. 

Kemia was convicted on Thursday, July 19, by a Berrien County jury in the death of Tyrone, following a three-day trial that saw 23 witnesses for the prosecution.  

Tyrone, 23, was fatally shot in the head and neck during an ambush on New Year's Eve. Kemia's lover - 24-year-old Jeremy Cuellar - is accused of carrying out the assassination while the soldier was visiting his father in St. Joseph Township. 

Prosecutors said Kemia told police she spent months planning her husband's death so she could continue a romantic relationship with Cuellar.  

The deceased man's father said the videotaped police interview was shocking. He had spent two weeks with Kemia after his son was killed.

'It's just like, she's the devil. You know, listening to that she was just saying it, I've had plenty of conversations with her so just hearing her in her own regular tone with no sympathy, it's like who are you? We never knew you,' Tyrone Hassel II told ABC 57

Authorities say she also confessed during a recorded jailhouse phone call to her mother. It was played in court as well as video from the police interview.

Kemia didn't take the stand and it took the jury one hour and eight minutes to come to a decision. 

'Unfortunately whenever your client is the main source of the case against your client, it's a very difficult obstacle to overcome,' Kemia's lawyer Chris Kessler said in a video obtained by ABC. 'I'm certainly disappointed. I'm disappointed for Kemia. I'm disappointed for her family as well.'

The active duty sergeant was leaving a family party and was on his way to take his wife a plate of food when he was gunned down after texting to say he was leaving at 10.48pm. Kemia had called her husband at 10.18pm and called Cuellar after her husband confirmed he was leaving.

He was shot around 11.10pm after Cuellar had tried three times previously to kill him, including earlier that day. 

Physical evidence showed Cuellar tried four times to kill Tyrone. He has left the Benton Harbor area on December 31 and cell tower records show when he returned.

An IT specialist spoke about how Kemia searched 'how to delete Snapchat,' 'active-duty soldier killed on New Years Eve' and 'what do I do after my house is paid off'.

Cuellar activated a new phone January 1 and it pinged a cell tower in Georgia on January 6 while his old phone remained in Chicago. 

The couple had a son together and his paternal grandfather said he hasn't seen the child since the murder. He plans to pursue custody. 

'It feels good, but it's kind of bittersweet,' Hassel II said. 'Some of the ways you look at her and feel sorry, but then you got to get to reality of what she really did and then you can't feel sorry for her and in another sense you hate her.'

Kemia said in a signed affidavit that she plotted to kill her spouse because he was becoming a burden on her romantic fling.

Police say Kemia told them she was unhappy in her marriage, but didn't want to divorce him as she'd no longer be an eligible beneficiary to his life insurance policy.

Military officials provide a $100,000 death gratuity to next-of-kin when a service member dies while on active duty. Life insurance for service members can also pay up to $400,000 after a soldier's death, according to the Army Times. 

Corresponding with Cuellar via Snapchat as they were both deployed in South Korea, the pair allegedly discussed ways in which to remove Tyrone from the picture permanently, it is claimed.

Prosecutors allege the pair used the app to exchange ideas under the belief the temporary nature of the messages would make it difficult for police to trace.

Army Specialist Jaquan Hamilton and Army Corporal Tatanya Butler testified that they were aware of Kemia and Cuellar's affair and their plan. But they claim they didn't think he'd really carry out the murder of the man who joined the Army in 2015 and was promoted in October 2017.

He was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, The German Army Proficiency Badge and completed a nine-month rotation in South Korea. 

'Such a good man lost his life. A good family man, a good friend,' prosecutor Steve Pierangeli said. 'I'm just happy we could deliver justice.'  

Cuellar is in custody on a $2.5 million bond, and will be tried in August on first degree premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges.

Edwin Johnson, Cuellar's lawyer, previously said it would be hard to pin the shooting on his client.

'No one saw him at the scene. He was going to give up on this. He wasn't going to do it. There were several other suspects,' Johnson said.

stella Posted on November 07, 2019 12:41

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Family left 'humiliated' after flight captain mistook them for a rowdy drunk couple and threatened to deport them

A family-of-six claim a 'bully' TUI flight captain threatened to deport them after mistaking them for a rowdy drunk duo on their flight.

The family from Wigan, Manchester say they were left humiliated after they were hauled in for a scolding on the flight to their two-week holiday in Cancún, Mexico

The Adshead family claim the captain was so irate he failed to realise he had "mistaken" them for a rowdy drunk duo who had already disembarked.

Paul and Shirley Adshead's two-week holiday got off to a rocky start when a drunk couple in their row on the August 23 flight became disruptive and violent to one another.

The rowing couple reportedly got so disruptive that multiple families including Paul and Shirley had to move their children away and the TUI crew were forced to announce they would close the bar.

But the flight took an even darker turn when a stewardess told the family to stay on the plane after landing because the captain wanted to speak to them.

'Humiliated' Paul, 44, says he and his family were then forced to wait while all passengers disembarked, before the captain emerged and berated them over their 'unacceptable' behaviour.

With Shirley, 45, in tears, Paul tried to explain that they had the wrong people but claims the captain kept 'shutting them down' and refused to listen to their pleas of innocence.

The captain reportedly threatened to send them back to the UK immediately and said they would not be allowed on a TUI return flight if they continued to contest.

Paul is adamant that the confusion arose because many customers were no longer sat in their 'allocated' seats after moving due to the drunk couple's behaviour.

Paul's seven-year-old daughter had actually met the captain and was allowed in the cockpit for photos prior to take-off - but this appeared to be long-forgotten when the family were 'berated'.

The experience has left the family no longer wanting to go on any more long haul flights as company director Paul claims they have been "scarred for life" by the incident.

TUI have confirmed they are investigating the incident but refused to comment on the specifics of what happened.

Paul, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, said: "We were terrified and just wanted to get off so this is how it ended.

"The captain basically told us off stating [our behaviour] was not acceptable.

"I tried to explain to him while my wife was still in tears 'hang on a minute it was the couple sat adjacent to us who were blind drunk and disruptive and they're the ones other passengers complained about to the crew and some people had to move for'.

"He's very, very brash and bullying at this point - bearing in mind we're in a foreign country and not being let off the plane.

"But he just kept shutting us down and telling us not to speak. We had no opportunity to engage and have a reasonable conversation.

"It was very, very like whatever he had in his head we had done. He wouldn't listen to any of it.

"It's bizarre because before the flight took off we got pictures of our little one in the cockpit [with the captain] so it started off really well and ended in a bizarre way.

"But ten or 11 hours later he incorrectly detained us on the flight, intimidated us, threatened to return us to the UK and / or prevent us returning home on a TUI airline, bullied us, and would not let us speak to contest our case as discussed.

"You cannot speak to people the way that he spoke to us in that level of authority. He was very, very stern.

"We paid for TUI Premium Club for our family of six due to this being our first ever family long haul flight and had our flight and the first week of our holiday destroyed [due] to this 'error'.

"It does scar you for life and I look very differently at any other flight and holiday that I go on."

Paul said when they got to the hotel he left it for a day and then spoke to the TUI rep on site to express his concern about what had happened.

On August 27 TUI informed Paul through the rep that the whole family needed to sign an 'additional conditions of carriage' form to get on their scheduled TUI flight home, which Paul claimed was 'like a restraining order'.

Paul then asked TUI in writing why they had to sign the form - and that same day TUI retracted their request.

Paul said: "We'd been there a week constantly trying to find out what was going on. Our whole first week was tarred by this and even after that because we don't have an explanation.

"All my wife did the second week was worry that when we got to the airport to come home she wasn't going to be allowed on the flight.

"[She worried] our names would be behind the counter for something we'd not done and we would have been treated very differently on the fight home.

"It was actually her birthday on the flight home so we were supposed to have a bit of a celebration and champagne.

"She didn't want any of that because she just wanted to get on that plane and get off and be home.

"I can't get my wife back on a plane at the minute. She just doesn't want to fly again and doesn't want that experience.

"She's a very sensitive person and does worry about things like that and still can't believe the way we've been treated.

"She's getting over it a bit now but in her head she's saying I need my name cleared because I haven't done anything and next time we book it'll be on record."

Paul said his family doesn't want to go on any more long haul flights and have remained in the UK during the October half term instead of going away like usual.

After making a complaint on his return to the UK, Paul said he still has not had an explanation as to why they were detained.

He said TUI 'fobbed off' his complaint stating it will not issue compensation for spoiling the family's holiday and that he has escalated the matter to the CEO.

Paul said: "Everybody was asking why we weren't getting off. We had the humiliation factor of [saying] we have to stay on board and nobody could really understand why.

"My wife was in tears. She's not a great flyer to start with. This was her first long haul flight ever and same for the family. That's why we paid for the premium upgrade which cost us an extra £1,500.

"No one was telling us what was going on. My kids were worried and upset and some were in tears.

"We went to try and speak to someone and we were told by the same stewardess to sit down and not move from our seats and when the captain has finished what he's doing he'll come out and speak to us.

"I've never been treated like that in my whole life. We're a normal hard-working family who had saved up for a nice trip. It's just the humiliation. It's embarrassing. This isn't a vendetta against anyone.

"The response has been 'sorry' along with the crew are permitted to act however they see fit."

A TUI spokesperson said: "We have a zero tolerance approach to disruptive behaviour onboard our flights, and the safety and well-being of customers and crew is our highest priority.

"We are currently reviewing the crew reports from the Adshead party’s flight and investigating this incident, and we will be in touch with the customer directly."

stella Posted on November 07, 2019 12:19

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Police forced to remove 'abusive' passengers from easyJet plane at Manchester airport

Two passengers were removed from a flight by police after their rowdy behaviour forced the captain to turn the plane around before it even reached the runway.

The easyJet flight from Manchester to Amsterdam had already left the gate when the pilot decided to turn back at around 11.30am today.

It was met by police, who boarded the plane before escorting two people off.

All other passengers also had to disembark and return to the gate while the incident was dealt with.

It is not clear exactly at this stage what happened, however easyJet said in a statement it would 'not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour on board'.

Photographs from a witness show police on the plane and at the gate.

The flight had been due to take off at around 11.30am but was delayed by several hours as a result of the trouble.

It eventually departed for Schiphol Airport just before 2pm.

A spokesman for easyJet said: 'We can confirm that flight EZY1837 from Manchester to Amsterdam was required to return to stand and met by police due to two passengers behaving disruptively onboard.

'Our cabin crew are trained to assess and evaluate all situations and to act quickly and appropriately to ensure that the safety of the flight and other passengers is not compromised at any time.

'Whilst such incidents are rare, we take them very seriously, do not tolerate abusive or threatening behaviour on board.

'The safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is always our highest priority.'

Greater Manchester Police have been approached for comment but are yet to respond.

stella Posted on November 07, 2019 12:11

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A Couple 'injected friend with meth then filmed her begging for help as she died'

A couple have been charged with murder after allegedly injecting their friend with a fatal dose of methamphetamine and filming her death. Allie, 42 and Brian Anderson, 50, are accused of causing Melissa Vermillion, 41, to overdose at home in Eucha, Oklahoma, on October 21 2017. An affidavit filed in the case alleges that they then filmed their victim as she begged for help and told them to call her mother


Melissa had been dead for an hour by the time emergency services were called. The court documents say an informant told detectives that Mr Anderson knew the victim had a bad heart, and had been warned not to do meth by her doctor.

It was also alleged that Mr Anderson sells around a kilo of meth a week. Police reportedly suspect the couple killed Melissa so that she wouldn’t be able to testify against them in a drug trafficking case taking place at the time. Delaware County Sheriff Harlan Moore told local station KOTV that Mrs Anderson had been friends with Melissa from the age of eight. He said the footage of Melissa’s death had been recovered from a video camera after police were called to the property.

Mr and Mrs Anderson, both of Eucha, had been suspects since 2017, but it wasn’t until the informant came forward that the authorities could build their case.

They have now both been charged with two counts of first degree murder and one count of second degree murder. Neither of them have entered a plea.

stella Posted on November 07, 2019 12:06

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JetBlue worker is slammed for 'racist' homeless Halloween costume

A JetBlue worker caused outrage after a picture appeared of her on social media dressed as a homeless person 'trying to get back to Puerto Rico or Cuba' and begging for money.

The unidentified airline worker wore tattered clothing and put black make-up on her teeth to make them look rotten. 

She was holding a plastic cup with a few coins and was carrying a sign with the caption: 'Homeless. Need help trying to get back to Puerto Rico or Cuba.'

A Twitter user with the handle @nats, posted the picture of the employee behind the JetBlue kiosk at Fort-Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. 

It was accompanied by the caption in Spanish: 'This was the costume of a JetBlue employee at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, FL. 'I want to read your opinions.' 

The image provoked outrage on Twitter hundreds mostly commenting that they considered it 'racist' and highly offensive.

One named Gabriela R wrote: 'A @JetBlue employee in the Fort Lauderdale airport showed up to work in this racist and highly offensive "costume."

'People’s hardship and suffering should not be mocked like this. The company should have accountability for all their workers. UNACCEPTABLE!.'

Another with the handle @dominoPR777 said: 'They need to fire her ASS and I demand a public apology from Jet Blue for their employees costume because as Puerto Rican I find it highly offensive and I personally won’t be flying Jet Blue until they issue a Public Apology to all [Puerto Ricans] and [Cubans].'

@xoooalba also said: 'The fact that there’s people saying this is okay ... i hate everyone omg.'

Other social media users argued the post was offensive to survivors of Hurricane Maria which devastated the country two years ago. 

The Category 4 storm killed an estimated 2,975 people in its aftermath and caused more than an estimated $100 billion in damage. 

It was the strongest storm to hit the U.S. territory in nearly a century, sparking an estimated exodus of nearly 160,000 people to the U.S. mainland.

One user wrote: 'Not sure if they know but thousands of people lost everything due to Hurricane Maria and for this JetBlue employee to think it’s OK to joke about the epidemic of homelessness in Puerto Rico and the U.S. is sickening and completely unacceptable', wrote another user. 'That’s NO JOKE.'

JetBlue is the largest airline carrier in Puerto Rico, with 50 daily flights from San Juan. 

The city of Fort Lauderdale, where the airport is, is made up of 20 percent Latino population, according to census data.

JetBlue apologized for the clearly insensitive costume choice. In an email to NBC the carrier claimed: 'In the spirit of Halloween, our crewmembers are welcome to celebrate in costume, but one crewmember chose a costume that was clearly insensitive and not in line with our costume policy,' said Derek Dombrowski, manager of corporate communications at JetBlue. 

'The situation was immediately addressed, and we apologize to anyone who was offended.'

He did not say whether the worker was disciplined over her actions.

stella Posted on November 07, 2019 10:03

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Canadian oil millionaire, 80, is named as driver killed in M23 crash

The elderly driver who died when he accidentally strayed onto a motorway and was hit by a truck while taking part in a veteran car rally was today named as a 'well-liked' Canadian oil millionaire.

Ron Carey, 80, of Calgary, Alberta, had been at the wheel of a 1903 Knox Runabout 'Old Porcupine' vehicle during the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

Mr Carey, who was a well-known member of vintage car clubs and business circles in his home city, is said to have taken a wrong turn off the official route onto the M23.

He was declared dead at the scene and his wife Billi, who was his passenger, was flown to hospital in London by air ambulance, suffering from serious head injuries.

Mrs Carey was in a stable condition today at St George's Hospital in Tooting.

His friend Rick Pikulski told CTV News Calgary: 'I've known Ron for almost 40 years and he was very well-respected and well-liked. He's a tremendous loss.

'He was an avid collector. He had a passion. He was very well-travelled and would go on these vintage car rallies all the time. This was something he very much enjoyed.' 

Mr Carey was the founder of oil supply company J&L Supply and was also a major contributor to vintage vehicles at two museums, Gasoline Alley and Pioneer Acres.

Photographs showed Mr Carey's vehicle, which had no indicators and a top speed of 35mph, all but destroyed in the accident yesterday.

Mr Carey, who owns a £3.8million classic car collection and a home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, is thought to have competed at the race in 2011, 2012 and 2013. 

Hundreds of car enthusiasts take part in the 60-mile rally every year. The tragedy follows the death of another 68-year-old driver in the event two years ago.

Mr Carey, who was born in 1939 in Regina, Saskatchewan, was orphaned as a baby and was taken in by his mother's grandparents. 

Aged 17 he went to work on the oil rigs in winter, while in the summer he was involved in road construction, operating crawler tractors and earth moving buggies

He said: 'I was never without a job. When the rigs were operating, I was on one. When they were shut down, I would get a job doing whatever was available.'

Mr Carey worked his way up the career ladder with various drilling contractors before starting his own company, J&L Supply, in 1973.

He is also said to have a trophy room with one of the biggest and best sheep collections in the world, with 36 species as well as 24 from the Capra (goat) family.

Mr Carey is well-known in Alberta for the classic cars he has donated to museums, along with old trucks, gas pumps, signs and other items from farms and auctions. 

A spokesman for the Veteran Car Run said: 'The car involved in the tragic incident on the M23 had been entered in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

'The car had left the route, which does not include the M23 where the collision took place. We are doing all we can to support the family concerned and are working with the police.'

The crash happened at the junction of the A23 and the M23, at Hooley, Surrey, at around 10am. 

It is thought Mr Carey may have taken the wrong lane and ended up on the M23, instead on staying on the official route, which avoids the motorway network.

A spokesman for Surrey Police said: 'We can confirm that a man has sadly died following a collision on the southbound carriageway of the M23 near J7 Hooley.

'The collision, involving a car and an HGV, took place around 10am.

'The driver of the car, an 80-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the collision and a female passenger has been taken to hospital by ambulance with serious injuries. Police have notified the man's next of kin.'

The motorway was closed after the crash causing long tailbacks. Police appealed for anyone with information or dash-cam footage to come forward.

The four-seater rear-wheel drive Knox Runabout was designed by Harry A Knox – one of the pioneers of the horseless carriage industry in the US – and initially sold for $2,000.

They were known as the Knox Waterless because of the air cooling system, or more familiarly the 'Old Porcupine'.

One model fetched around £53,000 when sold at auction in 2012. The accident comes two years after 68-year-old David Corry was killed when his 1902 Benz was involved in a four-car crash.

Local resident Jocelyn Gregory, who saw the crash, criticised the organisers for poor signage and a lack of stewards on the route.

'There were not clear enough signs at the junction,' she said. 'If you are not familiar with the area, then it is an easy mistake to make. It was not organised properly. It is a huge junction. There should have been stewards.

'When the lorry hit, they flew up into the air like rag dolls. It was awful. I am not sure how the other passenger was still alive.'

More than 400 vehicles dating from before 1905 were registered in this year's run. Television gardener Alan Titchmarsh was among those taking part. 

The rally dates back to 1927 and commemorates the Emancipation Run of 1896 which marked the new-found freedom of motorists after the speed limit was raised to 14mph and the need for a man carrying a red flag to walk ahead of cars when they were being driven was abolished.

The 60-mile run began in London's Hyde Park at dawn, with the route taking drivers down the A23 through Gatwick, Crawley and Burgess Hill before the first car arrived at Madeira Drive, Brighton, shortly after 10am.

A listing for Mr and Mrs Carey's vehicle on the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run website, which states it was registered in Arizona, has since been taken down.

The South East Coast Ambulance Service said a woman had been taken to St George's Hospital, but that her injuries were not thought to be serious.

A second man was also treated at the scene for minor injuries, a statement said.

stella Posted on November 04, 2019 14:32

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Five children killed in church van heading to Disney World after two big rigs collided and ignited, as it's revealed one of the truck drivers had received several traffic tickets

The five children killed in a horror crash heading to Disney World in a church van have been pictured for the first time.  

Their photos emerged as it was revealed that the truck driver at the center of Thursday's crash that killed him, another trucker and the five children received several traffic tickets over the years. 

Court records show 59-year-old Steve Holland of West Palm Beach was ticketed between 2000 and 2014 in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia for violations including speeding, driving an unsafe vehicle, driving an overloaded vehicle and not carrying proof of insurance.  

Holland was traveling north on Interstate 75 near Gainesville on Thursday when he veered into another car, lost control and went through the center divider, striking the southbound church van that carried the five children and another truck.  

The children killed were Joel Cloud, 14, Jeremiah Warren, 14, Cierra Bordelan, 9, Cara Descant, 13, and Briana Descant, 10.  

Horrifying footage from the scene showed the huge fire engulfing several vehicles, with flames so intense they damaged parts of the road. 

'Once those semis struck, they both caught fire,' Louisiana Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Patrick Riordan said.

He said a fifth vehicle came through and either struck people who had been ejected from the vehicle or debris. 

Some 50 gallons of diesel spilled, fueling the fire that also damaged the road in some spots.

At least eight people were sent to the hospital with injuries. Two tractor trailers, a van and a midsize sedan were involved in the mid afternoon crash.

Vinnie DeVita said he was driving south at the time and narrowly escaped the crash - he said it saw it happen in the rearview mirror, immediately behind him, according to WKMG-TV.

'If I had stepped on the brake when I heard the noise, undoubtedly, I would have been in that accident,' DeVita said. 'And then within probably 15 to 20 seconds of it all, it exploded. I mean, just a ball of flames.'

The aftermath closed part of the highway in both directions, causing massive delays along the busy north-south corridor. 

Authorities opened the northbound lanes around 8pm but all but one southbound lane remained closed Friday morning.  

Investigators said they were treating the crash as a homicide investigation.

Nicole Towarek was traveling northbound with her family when they came across the scene. 

She told the Gainesville Sun that black smoke billowed, people were laid out near vehicles, there were long skid marks across the roadway and emergency workers were converging on the area.

'We kept seeing these little explosions and fire,' she said. 'The heat, it was insane.'

It was the worst accident on I-75 in Alachua County since January 2012, when 11 people died in a chain reaction crash attributed to heavy fog and smoke on the roadway, which crosses Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. 

Officials were criticized then for not closing the road due to worsening conditions, and later installed cameras, sensors and large electronic signs to help prevent similar crashes.

stella Posted on November 04, 2019 14:16

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Halifax 'murder': First picture of mum, 26, who died after 'altercation' in town centre

A murder investigation has been launched after a young mother died following a town centre 'altercation' during a night out in Halifax.

Detectives say the 26-year-old victim, who has been named locally as Levi Ogden, lost consciousness after the incident in Halifax, West Yorkshire at 2.16am.

Miss Ogden was rushed to intensive care but pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Silver Street in the town centre was cordoned off for a forensic examination today and a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody. 

Friends and family members have been posting tributes to the 26-year-old on social media and have left flowers at the scene.

One person said: 'I am absolutely heartbroken and in shock. I have no words 

'I was thinking of you and all the family today, we were best friends growing up and I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life. I cant believe this is true.'

While another said:  'R.i.p you beautiful women... my heart goes out to your babies and your family at this sad sad time.'

West Yorkshire Police said: 'Detectives have launched a murder investigation following the death of a woman in Halifax.

'At 2.16am today police were called to an incident where a woman had been left unconscious following an altercation in Silver Street, Halifax.

'The 26-year-old woman was taken to hospital by ambulance for emergency treatment but was pronounced dead a short time later.

'A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in custody.

'A scene has been put in place to undergo forensic examination and enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding her death. 

'A post mortem examination is due to be conducted later today.

'Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team via 101 quoting Operation Patondeat or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.'

stella Posted on November 04, 2019 14:10

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A Uber driver sentenced to death

An Uber driver has been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of British embassy worker Rebecca Dykes nearly two years ago. 

Tarek Houshi raped the 30-year-old Briton and strangled her to death with a rope in December 2017 before dumping her body at a roadside. 

Ms Dykes, who worked in Beirut with the Department for International Development, had got into his hire car after leaving a bar in the Lebanese capital.  

The suspect was arrested two days later after being tracked down on security camera footage and confessed to his crimes. 

The Criminal Court of Mount Lebanon delivered its verdict on Friday, according to the country's National News Agency.  

The British embassy said it hoped the court's decision would 'provide a degree of closure' for those close to Dykes. 

'Becky was much loved and is deeply missed,' the embassy said in a statement.  

A Lebanese judge who was tasked with investigating the crime requested the death sentence in February last year. 

Judge Hanna Braidi accused Houshi of raping and killing the British embassy worker in a 'premeditated and deliberate act'.  

According to the judge's investigation, Ms Dykes got into Houshi's vehicle shortly after midnight before the car stopped by a roadside.  

Ms Dykes's body was found dumped on that roadside on December 16, strangled and showing signs of sexual assault. 

Ms Dykes had last been seen alive at a party in Gemmayzeh, a Beirut neighbourhood popular with foreign residents, on a Friday night. 

Lebanese judges routinely call for death sentences in cases of murder, but Houshi's sentence can be appealed. 

Moreover, Lebanon has not carried out an execution since 2004, according to Human Rights Watch.  

'While we welcome the guilty verdict, the UK government continues to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances,' the embassy statement said.  

The Briton's family said at the time that they would 'never fully recover' from their loss.

'For Becky to have her life cruelly taken away in these circumstances is devastating to our family,' they said in December 2017. 

Friends said she had been planning to fly back to the UK for Christmas just hours later.  

Her family said she had 'improved the lives of countless refugees and vulnerable host communities' through her work in Lebanon. 

She had previously spent four years in Hong Kong, teaching English to teenagers. She also worked as a human rights monitor, translating documents from Chinese to English. 

Relatives have since set up a charitable foundation in Ms Dykes's name to help refugees. 

Then-International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said Ms Dykes had 'changed thousands of lives for the better'.   

Judicial sources revealed that Houshi had been previously been arrested twice for alleged harassment and theft.    

However, there was suspicion that he might have faked his criminal record documents in order to work as a driver in the city. 

A Lebanese minister urged his countrymen to avoid Uber in the wake of the killing, calling the ride-hailing firm unsafe.  

Uber said at the time that it was 'horrified by this senseless act of violence'.

stella Posted on November 04, 2019 14:06

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Katie, 41, has recalled how she risked sepsis during her time in Big Brother

Katie Price has recalled how she risked sepsis during her time in the Big Brother house because her breast implant was 'hanging out' of her.

The former glamour model, 41, went on to win the 2015 version of Celebrity Big Brother however her success was tainted by her painful breast implant.

Speaking on her YouTube channel, Katie detailed the terrifying difficulties she had inside the house, which meant she was almost evicted hours before her big win.

Looking back on her winners interview with host Emma Willis, Katie said: 'The night before that they wanted me out of the house - the doctors and that - because my implant was hanging out.

'They had to check me every four to five hours because of my temperature. They said if my temperature went up I would have had to leave because I was going to get septicaemia in my blood. I was really, really poorly.' 

Katie admitted that she thinks the reason she won the show is because she didn't give producers 'what they wanted' and instead revealed her true self. 

She said: 'They thought I'd be feisty and argumentative and I'm not that kind of person. Although if someone starts on me I won't take it. I'll stand up for myself. 

'For once in my life I had dignity in that show. I kept myself together. I didn't show any boob or nothing. I was literally myself and wore tracksuits and was just myself.'

Addressing her time with Katie Hopkins in the house, she said: 'But it must have been hard work for her thinking everyday, 'What trouble can I cause next? Who can I argue with next? That's not her. She's vile.' 

Earlier this year Katie went under the knife for another series of cosmetic surgery, including what is thought to be her 11th breast enlargement.

The star jetted to Turkey to go under the knife for the procedures which also included a facelift, eyelid lift and a reversal of her bum lift.  

This comes after Katie hinted that she would let to head back into the jungle for the third time and has apparently made her desire known to the shows bosses.    

On her YouTube channel she revealed: 'I was thinking the other day about reality shows what ones I would want to do and stuff like that.

'I did I'm a Celebrity twice and the second time I walked out because everyday everyone was asking me to do the challenges everyday and because I swore on my kids life thats why I left because I couldn't go back on it.

'The silly thing is the last challenge they wanted me to do was easy, so really I should have stayed in but I didn't.'

She later added: 'I would definitely do I'm A Celebrity again, 100 percent, third time lucky! Would they have me back in the jungle? Oh my God I could cause another stir!'

Elsewhere Katie has revealed that she won't be having a baby with her boyfriend Kris Boyson anytime soon despite claiming she was 'broody' over her godson.

Although the mother-of-five has previously claimed she wants to have children with her toyboy beau, 30, it appears that their plans are on hold. 

Katie took to her Instagram Stories on Friday where she revealed that she won't be having a baby 'anytime soon', as she shared a snap of herself with her godson.

In July Kris ruled out having a baby with Katie until her divorce from estranged husband Kieran Hayler was finalised because he would 'legally be the dad'.

stella Posted on November 04, 2019 12:56

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Couple who lost dream wedding in Thomas Cook collapse have big day rescued

Craig Williams and Kirsty Ward had been saving up for two years for their luxury £10,000 ceremony, and were almost ready to welcome their 25 guests. It was set to take place in Cyprus on October 23, with tickets booked through tour operator Thomas Cook. The pair had met 15 years earlier when they were introduced through a mutual friend, and they went from strength from strength, even having three children together. Craig, a car valeter, popped the question in Whitby in May 2017 and they immediately set about planning their dream day in the sun. They picked out the King Evelthon Beach Hotel and Resort in Cyprus and had booked hair and makeup packages and a bouncy castle for the children to play on after the service. Kirsty, 41, said: ‘We wanted to get married abroad. As soon as I saw the King Evelthon hotel in the brochure I fell in love with it.

‘We did a full two years’ planning and had paid deposits to businesses for things like hair and make up. The package for the wedding was £5,500 but we paid at least £10,000 for everything.’ When the couple, from Sheffield, saw the news that Thomas Cook had collapsed, they were just three weeks away from heading to Cypriot shores for the big day. Customer service adviser Kirsty, said: ‘I felt sick when I heard the news about Thomas Cook. It was such a sinking feeling. We were just gutted.’

The devastated pair looked to see how they could be refunded for the flights and hotel, but knew that they’d lost the money they’d spent on the rest of the wedding extras. It also transpired that it’d be a while before they got any sort of refund at all from Thomas Cook. The next day, they got an incredible offer that turned everything around. The White Hart Hotel in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, offered them a free package worth over £3,000 including a three-course wedding breakfast and drinks, room hire, accommodation and a DJ.

Hotel owner Simon Cotton also rallied other firms around, and the couple were offered catering, hair and make-up, flowers and entertainment for their big day worth £7,000 – all free of charge. ‘Simon contacted us the next day and offered to put the wedding on for us and I was taken aback,’ said Kirsty. ‘It has been completely manic, it has all happened so fast.’

They managed to get a date just a week after they’d originally planned, and tied the knot in the Grade II listed hotel. Craig and Kirsty were welcomed by the Mayor and Mayoress of Harrogate, councillor Stuart Martin and his wife April, who presented the couple with a magnum of Champagne to help kick off their party in style. Bride Kirsty also had her hair and makeup done for free and arrived at the venue in a 1930’s style vintage Beauford Tourer.

Kirsty added: ‘One minute we’re counting the cost of losing our wedding day and the next thing, we’re in the middle of organising something bigger and better than it was originally going to be. ‘It’s just amazing and Craig and I can’t believe how lucky we are. We will be forever grateful to all the people who’ve been so thoughtful and kind-hearted.’ Craig, 36, said: ‘I guess sometimes things happen for a reason, but we had no idea upon hearing the bad news that we’d end up a few weeks later with more than we had originally planned.’

The man with the plan, Simon Cotton, managing director for HRH Group, which owns the White Hart, said that the story tugged at his heartstrings and he had to step in. He said: ‘I’m also in the middle of planning my own wedding for next year and I really felt for this couple who’d spent all this time planning and saving up to then have it all taken away at the last minute and I couldn’t help but think we must try to do something.

stella Posted on November 04, 2019 12:44

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AWoman who married tribe warrior opens Airbnb-style tourist experience

A German woman who married a Maasai tribe leader after she fell in love with him while volunteering in Tanzania has launched an Airbnb-style tourist enterprise that supports local health initiatives.

Stephanie Fuchs, 33, has set up a "cultural experience" where travellers can participate in ”real” Maasai life by living in huts and rearing cattle.

Part of the proceeds go to initiatives such as making reusable sanitary kits for women in the area and supporting the tribe. 

Ms Fuchs started working at a research camp close to the Selous Game Reserve in 2010. She enjoyed the experience so much that she extended her three-month trip to a year and started speaking Swahili in the process. 

While on Mafia Island she spotted a group of “ tall, beautiful herdsman” who follow the ancient tradition of shepherding cattle through the African savannah.

Her future husband, Sokoine, was adorned in red clothing and “beautiful handmade jewellery”. 

“In that moment I saw only him – he was taller than the others and had the most beautiful eyes,” she told the Standard.

“As I was intrigued and impressed by them and particularly him, I tried to engage them in conversation with my Swahili. They were friendly but in a rush to get going.”

In the days and weeks that followed, Ms Fuchs tried to strike up small talk whenever she saw Sokoine.

"I was more determined than ever to have a proper conversation with him,” she said. 

“And we did. We opened up to each other and about a week later we got together.”

When the time came for Ms Fuchs to leave, she knew she was not ready.

“I wanted to stay in Tanzania. I had come to love the country - its beautiful wildlife and especially its people - so much. I knew I did not want to live anywhere else.

"And then there was Sokoine, who had become my boyfriend and who I did not want to leave. So I suggested to him that we should try and make a life in his traditional Maasai family home in the Masai Steppe. We moved in there in January 2012.”

Ms Fuchs said it was hard adapting to living alongside the Maasai. At first, she felt lonely and isolated when they spoke in the Maa tribal language. 

She also found it challenging having little alone time with her partner - for he was always surrounded by other warriors. 

She explained: “If they eat, they cannot do so alone, they have to be with other men. Women eat separately. 

“My husband’s family made an exception for me, knowing and understanding that I come from a different culture and wanting to make me feel comfortable. So I was allowed to eat with my husband and his brothers. 

“But we would be in the company of others every day until night time.”

The cultural differences put a strain on the relationship and the pair had arguments.

The couple realised that if they wanted to stay together, they would need to adapt to each other’s lifestyles. 

Ms Fuchs “dug deep” and tried to understand the root causes of disagreements. Eventually, they married.

“Now many of the things that I used to find difficult have become an integrated part of my life,” she said.

“I learned Maa, I connected to the people, his family and friends and now they have become my family and friends too

“I am happier than I have ever been and I have come to love this beautiful tribe so much. 

“They are innate conservationists who live in harmony with nature. They are kind, generous and even-tempered and hold an ancient wisdom from which many of us in the western world could learn a lot.” 

They now have a son and Ms Fuchs has set upprojects to help people in her community.

She employs local women to cook and make traditional gifts for visitors staying with the tribe, as well as setting up health projects in the region. 

She said: “For the work they [the women] do in helping me look after our guests, I pay them a wage and so give them the means to become financially independent of their husbands.

“They also make traditional jewellery to sell which again gives them an income. 

“The same is true for my Masai women enterprise making reusable sanitary kits. The women who work with me get paid and at the same time we give back to our fellow women and girls by providing them with much needed sanitary pads.”

As part of her cultural tourism project, Ms Fuchs teaches guests about the Maasai culture and gets them to participate in the traditional dancing if they desire.

As part of the experience, travellers can help look after the cattle with the tribe, eat local dishes and absorb themselves in Massai life.

The proceeds from the venture go towards supporting her family and the community. 

Ms Fuchs concluded: "I love Tanzania, I love the Maasai and I believe their beautiful ancient culture is worthy of preservation."

stella Posted on November 04, 2019 12:32

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Police probe 'fight between female surgeon and patient in cosmetic clinic operating theatre' as Russian 'victim' posts footage of her bloodied face

A Russian singer and actress is being treated for a head injury, broken nose and concussion after claiming she was 'attacked' during treatment on her lips by a female cosmetic surgeon.

Police are investigating after Valentina Sidorova posted a video showing her bloodied face.

She is now in a Moscow hospital but the surgeon, Dr Olesya Sokolan, has issued a counter claim that it was the patient who attacked her.

The extraordinary fracas in the surgical room came to light with the patient’s video in which she alleged: 'I'm in the clinic now.

'I got beaten up by a doctor for videotaping (the woman doctor) punching me.

'She started hitting me in the face and head with my phone.'

Dr Sokolan did not initially comment on the incident but then accused the patient of behaving 'boorishly', swearing at her, then jumping on her.

The medic then said she reversed an earlier decision to do free corrective treatment for the patient after Sidorova was unhappy with the work of another linked clinic, she said.

She accused Sidorova of using 'obscene words..and provoking me' using her camera, and 'rushing' at her which caused her to fall causing concussion and an abdominal injury when she was in the early stages of pregnancy.

Sidorova, who had gone to Dr Sokolan, 34, to 'correct' her 'asymmetrical lips', gave a different account.

The patient alleged the doctor was using an unbranded substance to inject into her.

'I asked why there was no official box and brand identification marks,' she said.

'To which she replied: ‘Either you trust the doctor or not.’

'I replied that I was seeing her for the first time and I would like to be convinced of the originality and quality of the drug, since I care about my health.

'To which I heard the rude words: ‘Get up and get out of here.’

Sidorova said she started video recording the argument on her smartphone .

The doctor 'suddenly pulled the phone out of my hands' and then used it to strike her, she alleged.

'The doctor hit me with strong and sharp blows to my head and face, nose, eye, and forehead.

'I started to feel dizzy.

'Sokolan tried to smash the phone against the floor.

'Then the administrators ran in.

'One held me, and the second tried to pull off the doctor, but she kept beating me on the back of the head.'

Sokolan then ran to hide in a utility room, and when Valentina went to reclaim her phone, she claimed the doctor tried to wedge her arms in the door.

As other patients looked on, members of staff claimed - wrongly - that she was 'a crazy one from a mental clinic' urging them to ignore her.

She persuaded a patient to call her husband who then phoned the police, she said.

She filed a complaint to police and was admitted to Moscow’s Botkin Hospital where she was diagnosed with a a nose fracture, head injury and concussion.

Dr Sokolan graduated in 2009 from highly respected First Moscow State Medical University, the oldest in Russia.

Valentina’s mother Yana Sidorova vowed to get justice.

'All those involved, the beautician, the administrators, and all the staff, will be punished'.

A friend of the singer actress Anna Nazarova told Peopletalk magazine that Valentia was 'terrified'.

'I cannot conceive how this could happen,' she said.

'Valentina has concussion, a head injury and a broken nose.

'She is still in hospital.'

She demanded that the plastic surgery clinic is held responsible.

Police are reported to be investigating the dispute.

stella Posted on November 03, 2019 17:54

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How the incredible rescue of a toddler trapped down a well captivated the world

It has been 30 years since 18-month old Jessica McClure was rescued after tumbling down a 22-foot well in the backyard of her parents' Texas home, and she is now opening up about her life, three decades later, in a new interview with People

Jessica is now 30, married with two children, and still living near her childhood home in Midland.

Gone however is the $1.2million trust that had been waiting for her after the ordeal, lost she explains as a result of the 2008 stock market crash. 

The money means little however to Jessica after all that she went through at such a young age, and her ability to defy the odds and survive after a fall that would have killed most. 

'I had God on my side that day,' she explains.

'My life is a miracle.'  

It was 11 years ago that Jessica married Danny Morales, a 43-year-old foreman at a pipe-supply company, and the two have a 9-year-old son Simon and 7-year-old daughter Sheyenne. 

Jessica describes the family as 'normal down-to-Earth people,' but her children are slowly starting to grow curious about why so many people are interested in their mother.

'I'm hoping my children learn from [my rescue] to always be humble,' says Jessica.

'And to remember that is you look hard enough, there are so many good people in this world.' 

In 1987, Jessica became the most famous person in the world for 58 hours, with millions tuning in and praying for her safety as dozens of rescuers battled night and day to save her from inside an abandoned well.

During the ordeal, kind-hearted viewers also donated money to help the little girl recover.

Jessica has said in the past that she has little memory of being wedged in the pipe or of the 15 operations that followed her ordeal.

A scar from her hairline to the bridge of her nose is still visible however where her head rubbed against the wall of the well. 

Jessica also lost a toe to gangrene because one leg was pinned above her head in the underground shaft. 

In October 1987, Jessica's parents were poor teenagers struggling to make ends meet during the depths of the oil bust.

While visiting her sister, Jessica's mother left her in the yard while she went to answer the phone. Moments later, Jessica came upon the 8-inch well opening and fell inside.

Her plight captivated an immense television audience. Alone and 22 feet below ground, Baby Jessica sang about Winnie the Pooh.

It was ‘a nightmare that got worse and worse,’ recalled her father in a 2011 interview.

When rescuers finally brought her to the surface, she was covered with dirt and bruises, and her right palm was stuck to her face. 

Jessica reveals in her People interview that her daughter was recently asked to share something with her class that no one knew about her, and the young girl decided to share: 'Nobody knows about me that my mom is Baby Jessica.'

Her first major interview came 20 years after the incident in 2007 when she sat down and spoke with Matt Lauer on Today.

In that interview she described her experience before and after the rescue as 'weird.' 

She also spoke about her fame as a result of the incident, recounting one amusing incident that had happened when she was a teenager after stumbling off a curb.

'A little old man said that to me, he said, "You are the baby that fell in the well, right?'' recalled Jessica.

'I said, "Yes, sir." He said, "Well, I thought you’d learned how to watch your step when you were two years old."'

It was not all fun nd laughs however, with Jessica saying at the time that during he formative years one boy referred to her as 'well dweller.'

In the wake of her rescue Jessica even got a chance to meet then-vice president George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara. 

Jessica also spoke about how protective she is of her son Simon in that 2007 interview.

'I kind of get a little excited every time he gets a bump or a bruise. I have learned that he’s going to get many, and there’s nothing I can really do about it,' she said. 

'He’s going to fall down, and he’s going to bust his face open, and he’s going to do it several different times.'

Jessica dded: 'I’ve got to let him grow up. He’s a good boy.'

stella Posted on November 03, 2019 17:25

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Hunter, 66, dies after being attacked by a deer he'd just shot when he went to check whether it was dead

A deer hunter has died after the buck he shot attacked him when he went to check whether it was dead.

Thomas Alexander, 66, died on Tuesday near Yelleville, Arkansas after shooting the buck with a muzzleloading rifle, officials said.

'I've worked for the Game and Fish Commission for 20 years, and it's one of the stranger things that's happened,' agency spokesman Keith Stephens told KYTV of the shocking incident.

Stephens said that it appears Alexander was approaching the fallen buck when the animal got up and attacked him.

'I don't know how long he left it there, but he went up to check it to make sure it was dead. And evidently it wasn't,' Stephens said.

'It got back up, and he had several puncture wounds on his body,' he said.

Alexander was able to contact family members, who called for an ambulance, but he later died at a local hospital.

Officials say that it isn't clear whether Alexander died of the injuries inflicted by the deer, or a medical emergency like a heart attack.

'It's my understanding there's not going to be an autopsy, so we may never know what actually happened,' Stephens said.

Stephens said that all hunters are urged to watch a fallen deer for 30 minutes to see whether the animal moves before approaching.

He said that it wasn't clear how long Alexander waited to approach the deer that attacked him, and that he may well have taken proper precautions. 

Friends and family remembered Alexander as beloved grandfather and avid outdoorsman.

'My heart is broken as this world has lost a very beautiful man,' friend Kim Killingsworth wrote in an online tribute. 

'I did have a great opportunity to hunt and fish with Tom a couple of times and enjoyed hunting on his property several times. He was a kind and sweet man and I know he was a wonderful father and grandfather.'

stella Posted on November 03, 2019 17:17

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Heart-broken fiance marries his partner's corpse during her funeral

A man in China has married his partner's corpse during her funeral to show his love for her after she lost her battle with breast cancer.

The heart-broken groom, 35-year-old Xu Shinan, hoped that the wedding ceremony could realise his late fiancée's dream of being a bride. 

Xu's deceased partner of 12 years, Yang Liu, was dressed in a white bridal gown and surrounded by 169 bouquets pink roses when Xu read his wedding vows to her, according to a local report.

The special ceremony took place on Saturday morning in the funeral parlour of Dalian in eastern China.

It was witnessed by the families and friends of the couple. 

'Wife, please don't worry! For me, the rest of my life will be in pain, but I will not give up,' Xu said. 

Yang died on October 14 at the age of 34 after battling with cancer for five and a half years.

Xu said he had stayed by the side of Yang's body 24 hours a day for seven days since her death, which is folklore in China to pay respect to the departed.

'My wife used to say that nobody was allowed to cry should she die. I was holding back my tears on the day, but when [her body] was sent for cremation, I couldn't fight it anymore,' Xu said.

The couple's story was featured in a recent report by Dalian Evening News.

According to the newspaper, Xu and Yang were university classmates.

They got to know each other by having long chats through the internet and fell in love in August, 2007. 

The couple registered their marriage in August, 2013, and started to prepare for their wedding. 

But their life was turned upside down three months later when Yang began to experience pain in her chest.

The bride-to-be, 28 years old at the time, was diagnosed with breast cancer the following March.

Yang went through surgery and multiple rounds of chemotherapy, but she never cried and was always smiling, recalled Xu.

She documented her treatment through her account on Twitter-like Weibo, hoping to inspire other cancer patients.

In 2017, Yang's condition improved and the couple started to save money for a flat and prepare for their wedding again. 

Unfortunately, her cancer made a comeback a year later - before they could hold their nuptials.

Xu took Yang to visit hospitals around the country in a bid to find better treatment.

'We went across the nation, seeking medical advice while travelling. It was a happy year after all,' Xu said.

Yang's health deteriorated in May this year and had to be hospitalised in Dalian.

Xu said she suffered from a series of complications and became bed-bound in July after sustaining serious bone fractures caused by sneezing. 

She was knocked into a coma on October 6 and pronounced dead a week later. 

'She couldn't even recognise me in the end and we didn't bid farewell,' the devastated man said. 

Xu said after Yang died, he discovered from her online shopping cart that she had been choosing wedding gowns before she was hospitalised. 

'I promised to buy her the most beautiful wedding gown,' said Xu who went to a bridal store a day after her death to organise the wedding.

The store's owner was said to be so moved by Xu's story he told him to choose whichever dress he wanted for a token 1 yuan (11p).

Standing in front of his and Yang's family and friends, an emotional Xu said during the wedding-cum-funeral ceremony: 'Although today's wedding is late, it has realised Yang Liu's dream.'

He added: 'All that I can do is to fulfil your wish and letting you wear a wedding dress fulfils my wish.'

The groom broke down in tears after the speech. 

Xu and Yang's story have moved thousands of people on China's Twitter-like Weibo, who praised the groom's dedication.

One web user known as 'Chu-Twinkle-Chu' said: 'There should be such a devoted and affectionate man in the world.'

Another commentator known as 'Juanzi 03584' wrote: 'This is true love.'  

A third reader 'LCJ' shared: 'Hope you two could meet in next life.'

stella Posted on November 03, 2019 17:00

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Oh, Second man charged after two teens stabbed to death at house party

A third man has been arrested in connection with the murder of teenagers Dom Ansah and Ben Gillham-Rice at a house party in Milton Keynes last weekend.

Thames Valley Police have confirmed that a 27-year-old man has been taken into custody in suspicion of conspiracy to murder. 

Charlie Chandler, 21, was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder after the deaths at a house party in Milton Keynes, Thames Valley Police have said. 

A second man was then charged with murder at the house party. 

Ben Gillham-Rice and Dominic Ansah died after the attack that took place just before midnight on Saturday when knife-wielding gatecrashers are said to have covered their faces and invaded a birthday party at the £600,000 home.

It was understood that a fight broke out inside the house party and that the pair were fatally stabbed in the ensuing melee. 

One of the boys died at the scene and the other in hospital. 

A 17-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man were also hurt and were taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

A second suspect, 22, has also been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder in connection with the attack. 

He remains in police custody. 

Two tearful cousins of one of the boys attended the site of the killing to lay flowers on Sunday.

One of the cousins, who did not wish to give her name, said: 'He's come here with his long-time best friend since childhood, comes to a party and both of their lives just got ripped away from them.

'He was just so respectful to, like, his family and friends. Many, many people's hearts are broken.' 

One neighbour said she heard a 'commotion' involving screaming, shortly before midnight, but did not see what happened. 

She added: 'The police were here pretty quick.

'We do know that there was a house party at the time, not here but another part of Emerson. I think it's just because there was a house party and then the trouble started from there.'

In a statement, Thames Valley Police said: 'Thames Valley Police has charged a man and another man has been arrested in connection with a double murder investigation in Milton Keynes.

'Charlie Chandler, aged 21, of Fitzwilliam Street, Bletchley, has been charged today with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

The charge is in connection with an incident in Archford Croft, Emerson Valley, Milton Keynes at 11.59pm on Saturday, when officers were called to a report of a stabbing.

'Two 17-year-old boys who have been formally identified as Dom Ansah and Ben Gillham-Rice sadly died.

'Two other males, a 17-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man, also suffered injuries as a result of this incident and are recovering.

'Chandler is due to appear at Milton Keynes Magistrates' Court tomorrow.

'A 22-year-old man, from Milton Keynes, has also been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder in connection with this incident.

'He remains in police custody.'  

Following the attack, Police increased stop and search powers in part of the town with a Section 60 order ahead of a fair and fireworks display scheduled for Sunday.

Superintendent Tim Metcalfe, commander for the Milton Keynes local policing area, said the enhanced powers were a 'precautionary measure' in order to detect items related to violence.

He said: 'This is a precautionary measure, and I'd like to reassure people that the fair remains a safe event to attend, and that the section 60 order is simply being put in place to help us prevent disorder from occurring.

'As a large local event, a policing presence was always planned for the fair but we are increasing the number of officers attending in order to ensure our enhanced powers under Section 60 can be put into place.'

Mr Metcalfe added police expect to carry out a large number of searches during the event.

stella Posted on November 03, 2019 16:48

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A Newly-divorced mother who shot dead her three children then killed herself in a triple murder-suicide .

The newly divorced mother who shot dead her three children then killed herself in a triple murder suicide was an anti-gun violence activist who battled depression, anxiety, arthritis and lupus.  

Ashley Auzenne, 39, was found dead Tuesday morning along with her children, 11-year-old Parrish, 9-year-old Eleanor Auzenne and seven-year-old Lincoln after a relative phoned police asking for them to carry out a wellness check in their home in Deer Park, Texas.

Her split with the children's father, Murvin Auzenne Jr., was finalized just last week and, according to her ex, she was 'very upset' about it.  

It has since been revealed that the tormented mother was battling depression and anxiety in addition to physical ailments including arthritis and lupus. 

In social media posts, the mother complained about potentially losing health coverage.   

Murvin Auzenne Jr. said: 'Ashley tried her best to be a good mother. 

'She and I had our issues, we argued and fought just like any other couple headed for divorce, but I never had any reason to believe she was capable of this. Nobody did.' 

Ashley, who first filed for divorce in 2017 and then again six months later, is said to have been 'very upset' with the terms agreed, in particular that she could not move with the three children to her her hometown. 

Her ex husband said she was also distressed at terms which meant she would have to get a job and pay him rent if she stayed in the home they had shared.   

The children's paternal grandfather, Murvin Auzenne Sr., told ABC13: 'They were kids you wanted to have around, they really were. They played well, they talked to the adults. They're amazing children in all kinds of fantastic ways.

'The family has all rallied around my son, Murvin. Our focus is only on one thing: helping through this difficult time.'

Auzenne regularly posted pictures of her three children to Facebook. In July she changed her cover photo to one of the three of them smiling on a day out.  

She also her changed her profile picture, calling for an end to gun violence in December last year.

According to posts online Auzenne's stepmother died in March.

Police discovered the bodies while conducting a welfare check around 8.45am when a concerned relative called after not hearing from them. 

'I'm upset. Children? Really?' neighbor Annette Flores told Click 2 Houston. She said the Auzenne children would play at her home regularly.

'Children are innocent, I mean, I mean, it's just, it's a waste, and it's just really bad, and it makes me angry that someone would take it out on children,' Flores added. 

A school principal notified parents Tuesday afternoon that one of the children was a student at Bonnette Junior High School and two were students at Deer Park Elementary School.

Bonnette Junior High principal John Wegman said grief counseling would be made available for students throughout the week.

'Reports of the children's deaths have already reached the local news media, which means that rumors will likely spread during the day today,' it said.

'It's possible that other students might hear about this tragic news, and friends of the three students could have their own needs.



stella Posted on November 03, 2019 16:29

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Chinese farmer, 34, is trapped in a child's body due to brain injuries

A 34-year-old man in China has been trapped in a child's body due to brain injuries he had when he was six.

Farmer Zhu Shengkai from the province of Hubei claimed his body stopped growing after he was hit in the head by a stone in his childhood. 

The man, who also works as a hairdresser, said: 'I am still like a child, therefore I cannot have a wife or child.'

He then joked: 'I cannot grow old.'

Speaking to Chinese media from his home in a village near the city of Wuhan, he added: 'Although I am 34 years old, my body functions are still immature like those of a child.' 

He said he was often mistaken for a boy by the others due to his child-like voice and looks. 

Mr Zhu said he was struck by the rock while playing a game.

He said he was told by doctors that he sustained injuries in the pituitary gland - part of the brain which releases hormones that control growth in the body.

However due to the lack of healthcare services in the 1980s in rural China, his condition never got treated properly.

According to the man, his head was not bleeding after he was hit, so he did not think much of it.

However on the same night, he started to have high fever and his condition failed to improve after three days. 

His parents took him to a local clinic and he was found to have a blood clot in his brain. Surgeons removed the lump and Mr Zhu's parents thought he had been cured.

Mr Zhu lived the next three years in a carefree way like other children. 

But when he was nine years old, he discovered that he had not grown taller. In addition, his body had remained the same as that of his six-year-old self.

After visiting bigger hospitals, he was informed that his pituitary gland had been damaged.

He followed doctor's orders and took medicine for five years, but no changes were observed.

He never went through puberty. 

Mr Zhu now makes a living by planting crops. He has also opened a hair salon to cut hair for his neighbours. 

The man is frustrated by the fact that his body still functions like that of a six-year-old, which makes it impossible for him to have his own family.

But at the same time, he is keeping a glass-half-full attitude. 

He said: 'I see the others [of my age] all have wrinkles on their faces, but my face is still tender and wrinkle-free. It will be also good if I can look like this when I am old.'

stella Posted on November 03, 2019 16:15

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Poverty-stricken student, 24, weighs only THREE STONE after being forced to starve for five years because she has to save money to pay for her ill brother's medical bills

A poverty-stricken 24-year-old Chinese student weighs only a bit more than three stone because she couldn't afford to buy food, leading her to suffer from severe malnutrition. 

Wu Huayan from rural Guizhou Province only has two yuan (20p) to spare each day on meals because she has to save money to treat her sick brother.

Ms Wu, who stands 4ft 5in tall and weighs 21.5kg (47 pounds), has been hospitalised and is awaiting surgery thanks to donations from Good Samaritans after her story was featured by Chinese media. 

Ms Wu is a student at the Shenghua Vocational College in the city of Tongren. 

Her mother died when she was four and her father died when she was 18, leaving her to be the sole carer of her younger brother who is mentally ill.

Ms Wu says she receives 300 yuan (£33) per month from the local government as welfare, but with that money she also needs to cover part of her sibling's medical bills. 

For the past five years, she has lived extremely frugally, eating as little food as possible. 

'I am not like other people who can ask for money from their parents after they spend it. I don't have parents,' she said in a video interview.

With an impossible two yuan daily food budget, she is only allowed to eat two steam buns or two bowls of plain steamed rice. 

'I used to have plenty of hair. But in the third year of high school, my hair started to fall out in lumps, so did my eyebrows,' Ms Wu said.

She added that her brother had to be hospitalised in the same year. 

Although the government covered half of her brother's medical bills, she still had to borrow 5,000 yuan (£548) to pay for the rest.

In an interview with Guizhou City News, she said she knew she had been malnourished, but could not afford to go to hospital. 

'I often felt no strength in my limbs, could not sleep and my feet started to swell,' she said. 

After entering college, Ms Wu took a student loan and worked two part-time jobs in order to improve her financial situation. 

But in September, Ms Wu's classmates demanded that she go to the doctor after seeing her frail physical condition. 

Ms Wu initially refused out of financial concerns, so her classmates carried her to hospital by force.

Apart from malnutrition, she was found to have problems with her heart valves and need surgery, which will cost more than 20,000 yuan (£2,100). 

Just when Ms Wu was about to give up medical treatment because of the astronomical cost, Good Samaritans heard of her story and helped her set up online crowd-funding pages. 

Her story was also reported by local and national news outlets. 

Tongren Women's Association on Tuesday shared her story on its social media account, encouraging the public to help her. 

Kind-hearted strangers donated 700,000 yuan (£76,724) to the student in the space of two days - more than enough for her surgery and nursing fees.

Tongren Civil Affairs Bureau then offered 200,000 yuan (£21,909) to Ms Wu as emergency subsidisation. 

The authority has also promised to do whatever it can to ensure that Ms Wu receives proper medical care. 

Ms Wu said she looked forward to the day when she could recover. 

'I still want to write my articles and poetry. This is the life I want,' she said.

She also thanked people who helped her for their generosity. 

She apologised for not being able to respond to phone calls or meeting requests from the public.

She said while lying in her hospital bed: 'Now I need to focus on resting, I cannot answer the phone calls from the public or receive visitors. I am sorry.'

Ms Wu's teacher said she was in stable condition and awaiting a surgical operation. He said the college would assist Ms Wu in her treatment.

stella Posted on November 03, 2019 16:03

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Mum-of-four tragically dies giving birth to daughter 'family always wanted'

A new father has welcomed his first child to the world in tragedy after his fiance died in childbirth.

Shelly Cockburn, 29, from Maketu on New Zealand's north island had a pregnancy with no complications before suffering from chest pain when she gave birth to her baby daughter, Kora, earlier this month.

Her fiance Kirk Ross, 34, has since given up work to raise his daughter, after his partner tragically lost her life after suffering a seizure while giving birth.

Mr Ross told the NZ Herald Shelly had only been in labour for an hour before she started having a fit.

'When she had her seizure or fit they hit an emergency button and all the doctors came running in,' Mr Ross said.

Mr Ross and Shelly's mother Hine were told to leave the room while the doctors exhausted every option to keep her alive.

After performing an emergency cesarean, doctors were able to safely deliver Kora, but Shelly was still suffering.

Doctors quickly began CPR on the mother but were unable to save her.

Mr Ross, who was waiting anxiously outside the hospital room, said he broke down after hearing the shattering news. 

'We burst into tears. It was very unexpected,' he said.

'I don't really know how I'm coping at the moment. I don't really know where to move on from here. It's pretty hard. It still doesn't really feel real.' 

The young couple were planning on moving house with their baby girl, but plans have since been halted by the tragic event. 

Doctors believe the seizure was caused by an embolism, which is when a piece of material becomes lodged inside a blood vessel.

stella Posted on October 31, 2019 11:56

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A Man, 23, is charged with killing his ex-girlfriend's brother, 9,

A New Jersey man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend's little brother and her grandmother before holding her hostage was arrested Thursday following a high-speed police chase, which he live-streamed on his Facebook page.

Terrance Matthews, 23, of Willingboro, New Jersey, has been charged with two counts of murder, two counts of kidnapping and weapon-related offenses in the Wednesday night stabbing deaths of Jennifer Vassell, 68, and Ishon 'IJ' Mathiln Jr., 9.

Investigators say Matthews and his ex-girlfriend, Krissida 'Krissy' Williams, 22, had an argument over the phone on Wednesday before he went on a killing spree inside the Eastbrook Lane home where they both lived with the two victims.

Facebook exchanges between the former couple appear to indicate they'd recently broken up.

Police said Matthews used a knife to stab Vassell and Mathiln multiple times before drowning the nine-year-old in a bathtub.

Williams was at work when the violence started. She arrived home hours later where police said Matthews suddenly confronted her outside after exiting a blue Ford Focus.

Officers said Matthews forced Williams inside the house where he showed the 22-year-old the bodies of her grandmother and her little brother. Vassell laid dead or dying in the utility room. Ishon laid motionless in the bathroom. 

Williams told police Matthews threatened and poked her with two pocket knives as he held her hostage inside her own home throughout the evening.

She also said he was smoking K2, a synthetic marijuana product notorious for its psychoactive side effects.

Authorities claim Matthews forced Williams to leave the house with him Thursday morning. They drove to a Dunkin' on Springside Road in Westhampton around 7am and then to a friend’s house in the Buckingham section of Willingboro.

Then Matthews made Williams drive to a Westhampton Wawa convenience store where she finally had a chance to escape around 10am, asking a store clerk to call police after telling the person Matthews had killed her family, according to WPVI-TV.

Matthews chased Williams around the store at knifepoint before eventually fleeing the scene in a Scion. 

His unidentified mother told investigators her son called her around 1.15pm Thursday and confessed to killing Vassell and her nine-year-old grandson.

Officers discovered their bodies not long after while doing a wellness check at the home, according to the Courier-Post.

Officers in police vehicles pursued Matthews across multiple counties Thursday afternoon. The 23-year-old began live-streaming the chase on his Facebook page.

'The cops on me. I got the f*ckin' cops on me, n*gga,' Matthews said while driving shirtless during the beginning of the one minute, 27 second clip as police sirens wail in the background.

The sound of Matthews' engine revving can be heard throughout the encounter before he crashed the vehicle into a pole and tried fleeing on foot.

Camden County Police arrested him around 2pm.

During a separate Facebook live-stream the same day, Matthews also confessed to killing another Willingboro man named Davell Williamson, 21, who was shot to death in a car back in February.

According to Matthews - Williamson, a local rapper who went by the nickname 'Vell Chapo,' was sitting in a car with his friend - another local rapper identified on Facebook as Brandon Clark, who goes by the nickname 'YNG Finesse' - when Matthews shot both men around 1am in the 100 block of Millbrook Drive in Willingboro on February 19.

'N*ggas was saying about that Vell situation, n*gga, I killed Vell Chapo, mothaf*cka. I clapped that n*gga,' Matthews said during the Thursday live-stream.

'Think about where he got clapped up at. 181 Melbrook Drive. That's where I grew up at,' he continued. 'Nobody else did that sh*t. I did that sh*t. I clapped that n*gga. I ran out of bullets and then the other gun jammed. That's why Finesse lived, his f*ggot a**. He was actin' like a b*tch though. I don't know what type of tough sh*t he done told. That n*gga was actin' like a straight b*tch. He was not tough at all.'

Willingboro police did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether or not Matthews is a suspect in the rapper's murder.

Burlington County prosecutors told WPVI-TV they are investigating to see if the Matthews is connected to other crimes in the area.

Matthews is scheduled to appear in Burlington County court on Tuesday.

stella Posted on October 31, 2019 11:50

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Uber Driver Buys Clothes for Sick Baby After Picking up New Mom: 'She Touched My Heart'

A new mom was treated to a heartwarming gesture when her Uber driver took her on a spontaneous shopping spree for her baby, who’s in the hospital for a life-threatening condition.

Kansas City mom Nikki Ihus has been at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Florida while her son, John Henry, receives treatment for a life-threatening birth defect, she told WFLA. John has a congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a rare condition where a baby is born with a hole in their diaphragm, which can cause organs from the abdomen to go through the open space and into the chest cavity, according to the American Pediatric Surgical Association.

The defect is rare, and only affects about 1 in every 4,000 babies, the association reported. But the condition can cause the lungs to form underdeveloped, a potentially fatal symptom that can cause an infant to breathe abnormally.

Ihus brought John to the St. Petersburg hospital because of their high survival rate for treating babies with CDH, she told WFTS. But that means the two are far from home, and far from their belongings, so Ihus ordered an Uber last week with the plans of buying clothes for her baby while he’s in the hospital.

That’s when Ihus met her Uber driver, Belinda Smith.

“She needed to talk and I was there to listen,” Smith told WFTS. “People don’t listen anymore. I believe people get in my car for a reason other than a ride.”

Her kindness immediately touched Ihus, who said she had been feeling lonely and homesick.

“I hopped in the car and I think she could tell I wasn’t having the best day,” Ihus recalled to the news station.

“She told me her story. She was in tears a couple of times and I really felt for her,” Smith told WKRG.

Ihus and Smith talked as they made their way to the destination, the consignment shop Rhea Lana’s. When they arrived, the two said goodbye, the same way millions of typical Uber rides have ended.

But this time, something was different — Smith couldn’t help but reflect on what Ihus was going through with a sick child in the hospital. She was a mother, too.

“She touched my heart,” Smith told WFTS. “So I parked the car and turned Uber off. I went in and I found her and said, ‘This is a day that should be fun for you. And you shouldn’t be alone. Let’s shop.’”

After Ihus finished her shopping, Smith had one more surprise for her — she was going to buy all 30 items of baby clothes Ihus picked out.

“I cried a lot,” Ihus said of the special moment.

The two have kept in touch, Ihus told WFTS, and Smith even visited John Henry in the hospital the week after her kind gesture.

“For this stranger to go completely out of her way — stop what she was doing and stop making money — to come be with me for a couple of hours while we shopped together, that was just incredible,” Ihus told WKRG. “She is my hero.”

To help with John Henry’s medical costs, a GoFundMe has raised $3,300 of its $10,000 goal as of Friday afternoon.

stella Posted on October 31, 2019 10:58

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Wow ,Single dad-of-twelve adopts five siblings all under the age of five

A single dad-of-twelve said he was 'fighting to keep back the tears' as he officially adopted five siblings under the age of five - years after originally fostering their father. 

Buffalo, New York-native Lamont Thomas is known for 'never turning a child away', having given a warm and loving home to dozens of foster kids since 2000.

Lamont, who has two biological children and five adopted kids, had stopped fostering others in recent years, but he wanted to 'come out of retirement' to ensure the newest additions to his household grew up as a family. 

On October 17, the bighearted dad officially adopted siblings Zendaya, five, Jamel, four, Nakia, three, Major, two, and Michaela, one, inside Judge Lisa Rodwin's courtroom in Erie County, New York.


'I was fighting to keep back the tears,' Lamont told Good Morning America.

'Every day I think about it, my eyes swell up. All that we endured to make this happen, it was something.' 

He told the outlet that he once fostered the siblings' father and had heard that the kids needed a home.   

'The kids ended up being taken into care - I believe it was due to neglect,' Lamont said. 

'They had them in four different homes, four different cities. They were separated for over a year-and-a-half.'

Lamont initially fostered the brothers and sisters for two years before adopting them all together.

'They bring new energy to me. They're lovable kids, very affectionate,' Lamont said.

'They deserve to be raised as siblings, and that was my fight.' 

Lamont recalled that he had fostered more than 30 children since 2000.

'In the beginning, I was helping out some friends. They had lost their child to the system,' he said. 

'I went on and got certified and became a foster parent. I haven't stopped since!'

In 2007, Lamont, who has a biological daughter called LaMonica and a son named Anthony, began to adopt. 

He adopted twins Germayne and Tremayne, and unrelated children Jamie and German soon after. 

He also officially adopted the first child he ever fostered, Michael, now 27. 

'He was my third foster home and it ended up being my forever home,' Michael Thomas said. 'He [knew] my biological parents.'

'Lamont never turned [a child] away,' Michael added. 'They either aged out or went back home to their own families.'

After the kids grew up, flew the nest and even started their own families, Lamont thought he was at the end of his own child raising days. 

But he decided to 'come out of retirement' when he heard about Zendaya, Jamel, Nakia, Major and Michaela.  

'It's amazing he's taking on all of them,' LaMonica, also 27, said. 'He does anything for everybody. He's a really a great man,'

Michael added that caring for children is his father's 'God-given call.'

'We're all grown now, I can't believe he's started all over again,' Michael said.  

'Lamont has been a life-saver to me. I wouldn't be the person that I am today, had Lamont not ventured in my life.'

Writing on social media, foster care worker Anna Miller said,

'My heart is seriously melting today. So much hard work to get these children back together, few will ever know just how much. But being able to witness these children get blessed with a loving home and supportive community is truly priceless... thank you Mr. Thomas and the rest of the village.'    

Lamont simply said, 'I wanted to make a difference by being a difference, and I love what I do.'

stella Posted on October 31, 2019 10:45

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Oh , The boy who's growing on the inside only

Fraught parents of a 17-month-old toddler with a mysterious genetic condition which means he still looks like a newborn baby are appealing for help before his organs outgrow his body.

Amanda and Ian Warman, from Slough, welcomed son Ethan into the world in May last year.

But the youngster is plagued by debilitating health conditions, including growth retardation, abnormally small eyeballs which restrict his sight and an underactive thyroid gland, which genetic doctors believe are all linked to an unknown syndrome.

The couple now face up to a five year wait to find out what's wrong with their little boy, unless they can raise enough money to seek help from specialists in different countries who may be able to diagnose him and establish a more effective treatment plan. 

Having been born weighing 3.5lbs and 28cm tall, he now weighs just 13lbs and is 71cm tall. 

They also fear his organs may outgrow his body, which is something they've been told is a possibility by medics. 

'Both myself and Amanda have had moments of deep, dark depression, but work together to keep ourselves upbeat so that we can survive,' Ian told FEMAIL. 'It's us against the world.'

Amanda, 27, a production operative, met Ian, 32, a recruitment manager, at a work awards gala and a few months after they moved in together, Amanda fell pregnant.

'Although he wasn't planned, Ethan was welcomed happily,' Ian said. 'As we all wanted to share the same name we decided it was time to get married on March 25 this year.' 

At their 12-week scan, the couple were told there was a possibility Ethan was growing too slowly, but told it may be nothing to worry about.

At 20 weeks doctors warned there may be an issue with his heart, and he was referred to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where they confirmed he had a right-sided aortic arch - a rare anatomical variant in which the aortic arch is on the right side rather than the left.

'At this point they did tests for syndromes, as certain syndromes can cause such defects, and the results came back as very unlikely,' Ian explained.

'From this date we had further scans at both Oxford and Slough hospital to track his progress.

'On the 34th week we went to Slough for a scan and they called in a doctor to take a look. They then asked me to go home for the pregnancy bag as Amanda was staying in hospital as her blood pressure was at the wrong level and Ethan's had not shown enough signs of growth.

'They were now very concerned and they'd seen the placenta had calcification and was stopping food being passed to Ethan.'

On May 31 last year, Amanda was booked for an emergency C-section after tests showed Ethan's heart rate was slowing and he still wasn't growing.

'The birth was horrific,' Ian recalled. 'Ethan came into the world at 12.04pm and was taken to a small table at the side of the operating room, and they had to bring him to life as he wasn't breathing.

'This was a tough few minutes as you always see in the films they cry immediately. Once he came around they allowed me to cut the umbilical cord, but said they had to take him to the neonatal unit and we could see him a little later.'

While Ethan spent time in what Ian called 'the fish tank' in neonatal care, their families came to visit, but no one could hold him as he was connected to feeding tubes. 

'Amanda and I weren't allowed to sleep with our son, so this was the most depressing thing in the world,' Ian said.

'A lot of families come and go, and of course you are happy for them when they get to take their babies home, but secretly it depresses you as you want to take your own home too.' 

Ethan struggled to take to breast milk as he kept vomiting, so the nurses put him on formula, though it took Amanda a long time to find a bottle teat he'd latch onto. 

'It was very hard to get Ethan to take in as much milk as he needed for nutrition as he just didnt want to drink it, so we kept persevering and eventually we could remove the tube from his nose and rely on bottle,' Ian recalled.

'The whole experience was horrible but made a lot better by the help and support we got from the midwives.'

From birth Ethan struggled to open his eyes and remained under the UK average growth for his age.

'They tried several things like vitamin drops, and more or less milk, and realised he had an over-active thyroid so prescribed him medicine, but this came to no avail, so they called for the geneticist which is where our relationship with them started,' Ian explained.

As well as his growth retardation and heart condition, Ethan has since been diagnosed with microphalmia, where one or both eyeballs are abnormally small, septic optic dysplasia, a disorder of early brain development, bilateral sensory hearing impairment, hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland), and his testicles are too high.

Genetic doctors believe the likely cause is a syndrome, however they are yet to find any issues with his genetic code, and suspect it may be unknown to science.

Ian explained: 'They said the technology they currently have isn't able to spot anything so far, but they may be buying new machines in the coming years which could help us.

'We have been advised that we may be waiting for an answer for up to five years before they can find the error in his coding.

'As with all premature babies, Ethan is slightly behind with progress of development - but in his case it's worse.

'Ethan is yet to be able to sit up or crawl without support and finds it very difficult to hold his head up for long periods of time, even if we hold his body to support him.

'Ethan can see lights and loves his sensory toys, however he has to pull his eye lids down to see them as his eyes remain squinting most of the time.

'His small eyes have meant the doctors are unclear if he can see the same as all humans or if he can only see the difference between light and dark.'

Doctors are monitoring Ethan's growth and his eating of solid foods, due to the right aortic arch as his oesophagus and wind pipe may become restricted if the heart grips it tightly or grows larger.  

While doctors have insisted Ethan isn't in pain, Ian said he 'loves a good cry' and is difficult to soothe.

He added that it's very 'upsetting' dealing with the unknown, as they struggle to have faith in his treatment plan when doctors don't full understand his symptoms.

'For his testicles we have been told that they want to wait for the eye operations to be done because they don't wish to put him to sleep regularly,' Ian explained.

'But none of the eye "specialists" have agreed to operate because anaesthesia may be dangerous for his condition.

'Four hospitals keep referring us from one to another because they can't help.

'All we want for our boy is to live a healthy life and be happy, but nobody knows how to help him. 

'We love our son and to be honest, when he giggles and blows raspberries I often feel he's the happiest of all of us.' 

With Ethan needing round the clock care, Amanda has had to cut back her working hours and has taken up a weekend position to help with bills.

Living in a high rent area, the couple struggle for money - so Ian's boss Agata Palicka set up a GoFundMe page to help raise enough cash for them to seek second and third opinions on Ethan's condition. 

'We don't wish for handouts from people and are both overwhelmed with the support we have received and are forever grateful to each and every person that has donated,' Ian said.

'Especially Agata who has supported us from day one and lets me have time off for appointments, and insisted on started this page.

'We have our first consultation with the consultant pediatrician at Harley Street Pediatric Group next week. This man trained in Boston USA at the children's medical centre and has a large list of medical experience. 

'Hopefully he can start the process for a second opinion and get us refereed to doctors that can help our boy in any country. 

'They have told us that because each condition needs its own specialists, we will need a pediatrician to control the process so he can put them all together. This is the first time I have felt like we are making progress.'

stella Posted on October 31, 2019 10:38

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Astonishing recovery of boy, 7, who suffered a STROKE during soccer

Stephen Corner was playing in an afternoon soccer game in June when he started complaining of a headache. 

During a break, he was sitting on his mother's lap when, all of a sudden, he collapsed.

The seven-year-old wasn't able to sit back up or talk - aside from faint mumbling sounds - and was clutching at his face.

His mother, Nicole Cavall, rushed him to a local hospital in their hometown of Mineral City, Ohio, where doctors confirmed he'd suffered a stroke. 

Tests later showed that there was a clot in one of the main cerebral arteries in Stephen's brain, which doctors believe was caused by his body's inflammatory response to a prior viral illness.

Nicole's car was two blocks from the soccer field, and Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital was round the corner, so Stephen was in the waiting room within five minutes of collapsing.

The first 30 minutes of stroke onset are crucial because a medical team can evaluate the type of stroke and the areas of the brain affected by it. Any later and it's more complicated due to the sheer quantity of blood flooding the brain. 

Stephen underwent a CT scan, showing a likely pediatric stroke, but CT scans are not the best tool to detect early signs of a stroke. To be sure, doctors sent him to another local hospital that could perform an MRI - a more rapid approach - which confirmed it.

Finally, he was flown with his mother via helicopter to Cleveland Clinic Children's where interventional neurosurgeons could treat him.

'I'd never heard of a child having a stroke,' Nicole said in an interview with the  Cleveland Clinic. 'He'd never had a medical problem in his life.' 

According to analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology, around 75 percent of strokes occur in people aged 65 or older. 

But, around 12 in 100,000 children under 18 years old suffer strokes, according to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  

Children at risk include older children who have sickle cell anemia, congenital heart defects or issues with blood clotting 

Stroke is the sixth leading cause of death in children because they are often misdiagnosed as having migraines or epilepsy.   

Dr Neil Friedman, director of the Center for Pediatric Neurosciences at Cleveland Clinic Children's, said Nicole is far from the only parent to be unaware of pediatric strokes.

'There is a lack of awareness that stroke occurs in children. People tend to dismiss the signs of a stroke as almost anything else,' he told Daily Mail Online.

'We know there are a lot of mimics to a stroke. In adults, if there's weakness, it's diagnosed as a stroke unless proved otherwise. 

'For children, it can be the result of complicated migraines, weakness after a seizure, and we actually have to do an MRI to diagnose a stroke.'

Dr Friedman said it's for these reasons that most children don't arrive at the hospital until it's been more than 24 hours after suffering their stroke.

An angiogram, a diagnostic test that uses X-rays to take pictures of blood vessels, found that one of Stephen's main cerebral arteries in his brain was completely blocked - which had caused the stroke.

There was no trauma to the artery, nor tearing, which made Dr Friedman suspect the clot was caused by a prior viral illness.

'Our theory is [the stroke is] not directly due to the virus but the body's inflammatory response,' he said.

'So it doesn't occur acutely with the virus but some weeks or months after the virus - and that causes some narrowing or weaknesses in part of the brain.'

Intravenous (IV) tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is considered the gold standard in treating strokes. 

The drug is administered in the arm and works to dissolve the clot and improve blood flow to the brain.

However, Stephen wasn't treated until eight hours after the onset of his stroke and IV r-tPA must be administered in the first four and a half hours.  

Led by interventional surgeon Dr Mark Bain, the team instead performed a procedure on Stephen - which is rarely done in children - called a mechanical thrombectomy. 

'The catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin and then it’s threaded up to the brain,' explained Dr Friedman. 

'This special catheter essentially has like a l little basket which can expand around the clot, close it and retrieve it.'

Dr Friedman said the team was first worried when they saw Stephen's complete blockage that the clot may have from a heart or a vessel in the neck.

'When we went with a catheter we saw that both the heart and neck vessels were fine and it was just in the brain,' he said.

The surgery lasted a few hours but was a success. When Stephen woke up, he was able to talk, albeit slowly.

Over the next couple of days, doctors monitored vital signs, blood sugar levels and any potential new signs and symptoms of a stroke.

Staff also used the NIH Stroke Scale to measure the severity of his stroke before and after the procedure. Scores range from 0 to 42.   

'Prior to going to catheterization, Stephen had a stroke score of 12, which is pretty significant,' Dr Friedman said.

'He had significant right-sided weakness, right facial droop, and he  trouble speaking clearly or normally

'A few days later he came down to five and by the time he was discharged, he was down to a three.' 

Nicole said Stephen returned to school in the fall and that, aside from occasional memory lapses, he's returned to normal.

'Other than wearing a medical alert bracelet, and taking a children's aspirin once a day, he's back to normal. And happy,' she said.

Dr Friedman said he's been monitoring Stephen every few weeks since the stroke and, from the latest angiogram performed on August 17, his stroke appears stable.

'He's made terrific progress and a tremendous recovery,' Dr Friedman said.

'There's a plasticity in children's brains that allows them to bounce back more quickly from a stroke than maybe an adult might.'  


Stephen is also now part of a study being performed at the Cleveland Clinic that is looking at different viruses and viral markers to see which once might cause a stroke. 

'There needs to be a general awareness that strokes can happen in children,' said Dr. Friedman.  

'We really need funding and support to help these children. Pediatric stroke is three times more common in children than brain tumors. 

'But everyone has heard of brain tumors in children, so there's lots of research and funding in those fields.'

stella Posted on October 31, 2019 10:13

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Interesting ,'Men are not asked about their fertility nearly as often

Carrie Bickmore welcomed daughter Adelaide with partner Chris Walker in December last year.

And if she had her way, The Project host says she would only discuss her baby plans when she feels ready. 

In a column for Stellar magazine published on Saturday, the 38-year-old said she supported the magazine's decision to no longer ask women about whether they want children, or are planning to have kids. 

In particular, Carrie says it's heartbreaking for women to be asked about children when struggling with their fertility or after a miscarriage. 

The TV host writes: 'I also know how difficult it is to dismiss or laugh off a seemingly 'banal' question about 'having another baby' just weeks after suffering a heartbreaking miscarriage.'

She added: 'Eventually I was OK to talk about it publicly. I wanted to share my journey, hoping it might help other women. But on my terms. When I felt ready.' 

Carrie is a third-time mother to her 10-month-old daughter, Adelaide, and happily shares snaps of the tot to Instagram. 

'You smile at me baby girl and I forget you've been up all night four nights in a row,' the host captioned one recent post. 

Carrie and partner Chris also share daughter Evie, four, while Chris has taken on a stepfather role to Carrie's son Oliver, 12, from her previous marriage to late husband Greg Lange. 

Speaking to body+soul in April, Carrie said she doesn't strive for perfection as a mother.

'I don't think life is ever perfectly in balance, that's OK,' she began. 'I think we should aspire to have perfect lives - the joy is in the imperfection.'

'Some days my home life takes more of my time and energy, so my work life takes a back seat; other weeks I have a crazy work schedule, so my house becomes a mess and we eat more take-away,' Carrie added.

stella Posted on October 31, 2019 09:59

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One Ex-Liverpool player Stephen Darby, 31, describes his battle with 'horrible' motor neurone disease

Former Liverpool footballer Stephen Darby has spoken out one year on from being diagnosed with motor neurone disease about how it is affecting his wife and fellow footballer Steph Houghton.

Darby, 31, was told he had the incurable neurological condition just months after getting married to England women's captain Steph Houghton in 2018. 

The ex-Bradford City and Bolton Wanderers star says the 'brutal disease' and its 'terrible prognosis' of two to five years is having a devastating effect on his family.

He told the BBC: 'It doesn't just affect me. It affects my wife, my mum and dad, my brother, family, friends. It affects everyone. 

'It's a brutal disease with a horrible prognosis. That's the message we need to get across to people to help move forward.'

Speaking at the launch of his charity, which he founded with fellow MND patient and Afghanistan veteran Chris Rimmer, he detailed his progressive symptoms.

He said: 'Physically, I've got hand weakness and my arms are weak at the moment.

'But I'd say a year after being diagnosed I'm not doing too bad.

'Life expectancy is normally two to five years for anyone with MND. A third of those people die within a year, that's obviously quite tough.' 

Darby's condition saw him retire from football at 29. His friend and fellow charity founder Chris Rimmer medically retired from the Army at 32 in 2015

Choking back tears, Darby said the launch of his charitable foundation was an 'emotional day'. 

He hopes it will raise much-need funds and awareness to help manage and even cure the condition.  

Despite battling the aggressive disease, the 31-year-old was there every step of the way when his wife was fighting for World Cup glory in France this summer. 

He was on the sidelines cheering her on when they were beaten by the USA in the semi-final. 

Houghton has hinted she may give up her career if her husband's condition worsens.

She said in a previous interview: 'He's my priority. If anything were to change in the near future, my job is to be the best wife I can and look after him.' 

Darby was treated for another condition for a year before doctors started testing for MND.

Eighteen months in he was finally given the devastating news.

Describing his symptoms on the charity's website he writes: Over the course of the last 2 and a half years, symptoms have been progressing slowly. I

'I have weakness in both hands and twitching in my arms, legs, chest and tongue.'

He added: 'Starting the foundation was a way of turning something so devastating into something positive. 

'To have a positive impact on MND and to help those individuals and families living through it to support them.'

stella Posted on October 31, 2019 09:49

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A Mother, 23, gives birth to five premature babies before doctors uncover rare condition

Doctors left a premature baby to die because he was born two days too early, his devastated mother claimed yesterday.

Sarah Capewell begged them to save her tiny son, who was born just 21 weeks and five days into her pregnancy  -  almost four months early.

They ignored her pleas and allegedly told her they were following national guidelines that babies born before 22 weeks should not be given medical treatment.

Miss Capewell, 23, said doctors refused to even see her son Jayden, who lived for almost two hours without any medical support. 

She said he was breathing unaided, had a strong heartbeat and was even moving his arms and legs, but medics refused to admit him to a special care baby unit.

Miss Capewell is now fighting for a review of the medical guidelines. 

Medics allegedly told her that they would have tried to save the baby if he had been born two days later, at 22 weeks.

In fact, the medical guidelines for Health Service hospitals state that babies should not be given intensive care if they are born at less than 23 weeks.

The guidance, drawn up by the Nuffield Council, is not compulsory but advises doctors that medical intervention for very premature children is not in the best interests of the baby, and is not 'standard practice'.

James Paget Hospital in Norfolk refused to comment on the case but said it was not responsible for setting the guidelines relating to premature births.

A trust spokesman said: 'Like other acute hospitals, we follow national guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine regarding premature births.'

Miss Capewell, who has had five miscarriages, said the guidelines had robbed her son of a chance of life.

She said: 'When he was born, he put out his arms and legs and pushed himself over.

A midwife said he was breathing and had a strong heartbeat, and described him as a "little fighter".

I kept asking for the doctors but the midwife said, "They won't come and help, sweetie. Make the best of the time you have with him".'

She cuddled her child and took precious photos of him, but he died in her arms less than two hours after his birth.

Miss Capewell, who has a five-year-old daughter Jodie, went into labour in October last year at 21 weeks and four days after suffering problems during her pregnancy.

She said she was told that because she had not reached 22 weeks, she was not allowed injections to try to stop the labour, or a steroid injection to help to strengthen her baby's lungs.

Instead, doctors told her to treat the labour as a miscarriage, not a birth, and to expect her baby to be born with serious deformities or even to be still-born.

She told how she begged one paediatrician, 'You have got to help', only for the man to respond: 'No we don't.'

As her contractions continued, a chaplain arrived at her bedside to discuss bereavement and planning a funeral, she claims.

She said: 'I was sitting there, reading this leaflet about planning a funeral and thinking, this is my baby, he isn't even born yet, let alone dead.'

After his death she even had to argue with hospital officials for her right to receive birth and death certificates, which meant she could give her son a proper funeral.

She was shocked to discover that another child, born in the U.S. at 21 weeks and six days into her mother's pregnancy, had survived.

Amillia Taylor was born in Florida in 2006 and celebrated her second birthday last October. She is the youngest premature baby to survive.

Miss Capewell said: 'I could not believe that one little girl, Amillia Taylor, is perfectly healthy after being born in Florida in 2006 at 21 weeks and six days.

'Thousands of women have experienced this. The doctors say the babies won't survive but how do they know if they are not giving them a chance?'

Miss Capewell has won the support of Labour MP Tony Wright, who has backed her call for a review of the medical guidelines. He said: 'When a woman wants to give the best chance to her baby, they should surely be afforded that opportunity.'

What the medical guidelines say...

Guidance limiting care of the most premature babies provoked outrage when it was published three years ago.

Experts on medical ethics advised doctors not to resuscitate babies born before 23 weeks in the womb, stating that it was not in the child's 'best interests'.

The guidelines said: 'If gestational age is certain and less than 23+0 (i.e at 22 weeks) it would be considered in the best interests of the baby, and standard practice, for resuscitation not to be carried out.'

Medical intervention would be given for a child born between 22 and 23 weeks only if the parents requested it and only after discussion about likely outcomes.

The rules were endorsed by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine and are followed by NHS hospitals.

The association said they were not meant to be a 'set of instructions', but doctors regard them as the best available advice on the treatment of premature babies.

More than 80,000 babies are born prematurely in Britain every year, and of those some 40,000 need to be treated in intensive care.

The NHS spends an estimated £1 billion a year on their care.

But while survival rates for those born after 24 weeks in the womb have risen significantly, the rates for those born earlier have barely changed, despite advances in medicine and technology.

Medical experts say babies born before 23 weeks are simply too under-developed to survive, and that to use aggressive treatment methods would only prolong their suffering, or inflict pain.

The guidelines were drawn up by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics after a two-year inquiry which took evidence from doctors, nurses and religious leaders.

But weeks before they were published in 2006, a child was born in the U.S. which proved a baby could survive at earlier than 22 weeks if it was given medical treatment.

Amillia Taylor was born in Florida on October 24, 2006, after just 21 weeks and six days in the womb. She celebrated her second birthday last year.

Doctors believed she was a week older and so gave her intensive care, but later admitted she would not have received treatment if they had known her true age.

Her birth also coincided with the debate in Britain over whether the abortion limit should be reduced.

Some argued that if a baby could survive at 22 weeks then the time limit on abortions should be reduced.

The argument, which was lost in Parliament, followed a cut to the time limit in 1990 when politicians reduced it from 28 weeks to 24 weeks, in line with scientific evidence that foetuses could survive outside the womb at a younger age.

However, experts say cases like Amillia Taylor's are rare, and can raise false expectations about survival rates.

Studies show that only 1 per cent of babies born before 23 weeks survive, and many suffer serious disabilities.

stella Posted on October 30, 2019 19:32

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Woman, 23, who texted her dead father's phone every day for four years finally gets a text back .

An Arkansas woman who lost her father four years ago but texted his phone every day to share updates on her life, received the shock of her life when one day she got a response from a bereaved man who lost his own daughter in a car crash. 

Chastity Patterson, 23, of Newport texted her father's old phone number on Thursday, the night before the fourth anniversary of his death. 

'Hey Dad, it's ME. Tomorrow is going to be a tough day again!' Patterson said, not expecting an answer. 


After sending a long post mourning her father's passing and mentioning her triumphs including graduating college and beating cancer, she received a surprising reply.  

'You are an extraordinary woman and I wish my daughter would have become the woman you are, thank you for your everyday updates, you remind me that there is a God and it wasn't his fault that my little girl is gone,' he said. 

'He gave me you, my little angel and I knew this day was coming. Everything will be okay, you to push yourself everyday and shine the light God gave you. I'm sorry you have to go through this, but if it makes it any better, I am very proud of you. 

Shocked and touched, Chastity shared the post on Facebook on Friday where it went viral racking up over 265,000 shares. 

She captioned her post: 'I text my dad everyday to let him know how my day goes, for the past Four years! Today was my sign that everything is okay and I can let him rest!'

After her post captured the hearts of thousands of online readers, she shared an update post explaining that her dad Jason Ligons was not her biological father but was the patriarch figure in her life who looked after her since she was a child. 

'He never missed a school dance, prom, my games and YES he would give me long talks about my mouth and attitude. I had to introduce my boyfriends to him (If I was allowed to date) and he would act like a normal dad and give us the long talk,' she said. 

'I've cried with him, told him everything and even became very independent because he took the time to love me and show me what happiness looks like. SO YES Jason was my father but he was a role model for many kids in our town,' she added. 

'I shared my messages for my friends and family to see that there is a God and it might take 4 years, but he shows up right on time!' she said.

stella Posted on October 30, 2019 18:55

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This woman has been given just months to live at 26

A determined young woman who has been given just months to live has vowed to  defy the odds and beat a rare and aggressive cancer that doctors say is terminal. 

Cairns real estate agent Lisa Griffiths, 26, was given the crushing news earlier this week that the seven tumours found on her lungs in July had spread to her brain.

Four years ago, she bravely fought and won a battle with brain cancer, but this time her only realistic hope of survival is to find other treatment abroad.

'When I was first diagnosed at 22 they gave me a year [to live] and I survived,' Ms Griffiths told Daily Mail Australia. 

'The diagnosis is devastating but I'm not going to accept it.' 

The young realtor is due to travel to Mexico - where she will be given a course of medication not yet available in Australia.

Ms Griffiths, who says her cancer is so rare there isn't another patient nationally who has her strain, doesn't know how long she will need treatment.

'I'm on a targeted therapy drug at the moment which makes you very tired a lot of the time,' she said. 

As well as suffering from fatigue, the young woman is seeing her hair start to turn white under the stress of her condition. 

She is suffering from a form of primary intracranial lesion; an abnormal brain tissue growth which scientists say results in death within five years for two thirds of sufferers.

After her previous four-year battle with cancer, the young woman had to learn to walk again and suffered with memory loss and speech difficulties.

Her close friend and co-worker Megs Whiteside said the cost of the treatment in Mexico could reach as much as $150,000 or even beyond that.

'I've already spent $250,000 of my own money,' Ms Griffiths said. 'I need to explore all the avenues through the private system.

'If I was in the public system I'd be dead.' 

In a bid to finance the massive cost of her friend's treatment, Ms Whiteside and Ms Griffiths' partner Troy McGuane have organised a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds required.

The page raised $60,000 of its $150,000 goal within 24 hours of being created. 

'Cairns is such a great community and it's not a one person job,' Ms Whiteside said.

She believes the majority of the money has been contributed by friends and local businesses in the Cairns area.

Never once has she ever complained or looked for sympathy even when she was devastatingly faced with loss of eyesight,' she wrote on the fundraiser.

'Through every grim diagnosis and only weeks after each surgery she turned up to work every day with a positive attitude, always looking to make others smile.'

Ms Griffiths' partner has also contributed to the cause by sharing an impassioned video online asking for help. 

Mr McGuane almost broke down in tears as he spoke of the terminal diagnosis and the public's generosity.

'The support has humbled myself and Lisa and I have cried multiple times today, not in sadness but due to me being so proud of her,' he told Daily Mail Australia.

stella Posted on October 30, 2019 18:29

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Couple Swap Wedding Roles As Groom Walks Down Aisle In Dress To Bride In Tuxedo

Let me introduce the bride and groom… or should that be the groom and bride?

Ciara O’Donnell had always fancied getting married in a suit and she certainly wasn’t going to walk down the aisle.

So she and fiancé Bobby Cook – whose romance blossomed despite an awkward first meeting – decided to swap roles.

Ciara donned a tux alongside her three bridesmaids, while strapping 6ft 4in Bobby put on a £45 frock and tiara and got his two groomsmen to wear dresses, too.

Bobby said: “We always joked Ciara wears the trousers in the relationship, so it made sense for her to wear them at the wedding.

“Ciara said she wouldn’t be walking down the aisle for me, so I walked down the aisle for her. So we decided to do everything backwards.

"I took her family name. It was so relaxed and everyone had a great laugh. There were a few gobsmacked faces.”

Ciara said the idea kicked off when they visited the wedding venue and she joked that he should walk down the aisle instead of her.

“We decided it would be so funny. Me and Bobby can be a bit wacky and we thought if we did it, it would really break the ice and give everyone good form at the start of the day.

“We wrote the ceremony as well.”

They kept their plans a secret from nearly all the guests until the big day.

The bridesmaids knew they would be wearing tuxedos, but the groomsmen had no idea they’d be in frocks.

Bobby, 35, said: “I wouldn’t let them try the outfits on before in case they backed out, but on the day, they loved it. They cried tears of bemusement when they saw the dresses.

“We were all in hysterics. I was a size 18 and they were all 14s.

“Ciara and the girls had no problem buying their tuxes, but we had a lot of trouble.

“A lot of places didn’t want me to try stuff on. The bridal places we tried were reluctant, so I ended up buying online.”

Ciara, 35, added: “The bridesmaids were fine with the suits – girls can look really good in suits.

“But my brother was one of Bobby’s groomsmen and he kept texting me, ‘when are we getting our suits?’. I had to say, ‘you aren’t getting one’.

“Because they are all hairy and tattooed, it was funnier.”

Bobby, an HR executive from Swansea, South Wales, even persuaded his dad Linton to walk him down the aisle.

“When I told my dad what we were doing he shook his head, looked at the ground and said, ‘What are you like?’

“He didn’t give me a pep talk – just said, ‘let’s get this done’.

Bobby admitted he was a bag of nerves before his appearance in front of their 70 guests in Belfast last month.


“When the door opened, everyone there erupted in applause and laughter. It really carried me down the aisle,” he said.

The couple wrote most of their own vows – and exchanged balls and chains, as well as rings.

Bobby said: “Although the service was quite funny and shocking – we weren’t doing it to make a mockery of marriage.

“It was a big thing for both of us, all the words in the service were so personal.”

The couple hooked up three years ago – despite a cringe-making first meeting. Bobby was on holiday in Barcelona when he and a mate popped into a pub, where he spotted Ciara serving behind the bar.

Assuming she was Spanish and couldn’t understand English, he started telling his friend how much he fancied her.

“I thought she was a sexy Spanish girl, with beautiful eyes, with a proper naughty glint in them,” he said.

“I was chatting to my mate saying, ‘oh, she’s stunning’ and it turned out she was Irish and understood everything I was saying.” Bobby and his pal had only gone into the bar for one drink, but he ended up staying there all day and he and Ciara shared a kiss later that night.

“I fell in love with her the
moment she opened her mouth. She’s got the most savage personality,” he said.

Ciara said Bobby’s infectious laugh was the main source of attraction. She said: “We just clicked straight away, we laughed so much.

“To meet a partner you can laugh with all the time – I’ve never been with a guy before who’d wear a dress for me. He just doesn’t care.”

The pair spent thousands flying backwards and forwards between Wales and Barcelona every few weeks to see each other. They moved to Ciara’s home in Donegal town, Ireland, last year and she is now eight months’ pregnant.

Bobby proposed during a death-defying drive in the mountains with Ciara at the wheel during a Christmas visit to her family in 2017.

“I managed to ask her dad for her hand and he laughed and told me, ‘good luck’,” he said. “I carried the ring about with me every day for the best part of a week, waiting for the right time.

“At one point on that trip, she nearly killed us. We went for a drive on New Year’s Eve and the snow on the road was getting thicker and thicker.

We ended up at the top of a steep mountain road. Ciara said the only way to get off was to drive straight down the pass.

“I thought we were going to die and that this was my last chance to propose and tell her how much I love her, so I whipped the ring out and asked. She laughed and said, ‘of course I’ll marry you’.

“Then she skidded her old Corolla from the top of the pass to the bottom like a pro. I was screaming all the way.”

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 20:46

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How miracle baby survived being born 16 weeks early

A baby born 16 weeks premature and weighing just 1lb 10oz has beaten the odds to celebrate his first birthday. 

Doctors said baby Haris Mockbill was unlikely to survive after his mother Ellie Barr, 28, gave birth to him prematurely at 24 weeks. 

Ellie, from Birmingham, had experienced heavy bleeding throughout her pregnancy. After one particularly heavy bout of bleeding, Ellie gave birth to Haris, who had underdeveloped lungs. 

The baby was unable to breath properly and was kept alive by a ventilator. 

After two weeks of battling for life, Ellie and her husband Hassan, 31, were told to prepare for the worst after his lungs began to fill with fluid. 

However a last-ditch attempt to save the baby's life by placing him on a course of steroids kept Haris alive. 

The steroids helped to clear Haris's sickly lungs and his condition drastically improved. 

After a few weeks, the newborn was able to leave the intensive care unit. 

Harry is now looking healthy and happy, and weighs a stone.  

Community worker Ellie, who has two more young sons, told The Sun: 'He overcame everything that was thrown at him. He never gave up.

'We are a perfect little family now and it was so worth all of the fighting.'

His parents say their baby is a true inspiration and his birthday was celebrated with a big party.  

Little Harris faces more health complications, including a bleed on the brain, which comes as another blow for his parents. 

'It was hard to take but as long as he's still with us and not in pain, that's all that matters,' Ellie said.

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 20:29

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Britain's oldest mum of quadruplets, 51, celebrates babies' first birthdays

Britain's oldest mother of quadruplets has celebrated her babies' first birthdays.

Tracey Britten, 51, who was raised in Preston but now lives in London, hit the headlines last year when she gave birth to four IVF tots at 31 weeks.

After surviving a dramatic fight for life in intensive care, the babies defied the odds to see their first birthday yesterday.

Ms Britten, who has three adult children and is a grandmother of eight, celebrated by taking her one year olds to her mother's grave in Preston, Lancashire.

Grandma Pauline Smith died in 2007 and left Ms Britten £7,000, which she spent on IVF to have the babies.

Ms Britten said: 'If it wasn't for mum leaving me that inheritance then I wouldn't have been able to have the IVF.

'I've always wanted to do this on their first birthday, to say thank you to her.'

Ms Britten and her roofer husband Stephen, 40, explored the option of IVF after unsuccessfully trying for a baby naturally.

After being deemed too old for the treatment on the NHS the couple travelled to a clinic in Cyprus, where Ms Britten was successfully implanted first time.

She gave birth to George, identical twins Francesca and Fredrica and sister Grace, in London on October 26, 2018.

The miracle babies came into the world more than a decade after Pauline's death and Ms Britten said she had always been saving her mother's money 'for a rainy day'.

'When I couldn't get pregnant, I thought I'd put it towards that,' she said.

'Mum always wanted one of her girls to have twins and so I feel blessed that I was able to do that for her.

'She was a wonderful person, she would give you her last penny.'

Ms Britten describes Francesca as a 'bossy boots', who if she cries, sets off Fredrica.

She said Grace 'is her own person, nice and placid', and George is 'laughing from when he gets up to when he goes to bed'.

Ms Britten and Stephen met in 2005 and married seven years ago.

When Ms Britten found out she was pregnant with four babies last year she 'nearly fell off the bed'.

'I was crying, thinking I can't have seven kids, no way,' Ms Britten said.

'I'd gone from three kids to seven in seconds. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience.

'When I got home and told Stephen he was as happy as Larry. He just said at least we don't need to have any more.'

Their joy turned to heartbreak during the pregnancy when doctors recommended two of the babies be aborted.

Scans revealed one of the identical twins was taking the blood supply of her sister and Ms Britten and Stephen were given just days to make a decision.

Ms Britten, a former drugs counsellor, sought advice from a doctor in the US who had delivered 120 quads and decided to 'leave it up to nature'.

'I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I'd have chosen the termination,' she said.

Fortunately the pregnancy went well and the babies all survived.

Ms Britten was a teenager when she had her older daughter and son and 28 when she had her third.

She's noticed plenty of differences in her approach to parenting now, more than two decades later.

'When you're young, you want to go out, go clubbing, go abroad and you get frustrated when you can't get a babysitter,' Ms Britten said.

'But when you're older you're more relaxed and you've got that out of your system. I want to enjoy the blessing I've been given.'

Due to their premature birth, the babies are not yet crawling, and only began sitting up six weeks ago.

Ms Britten added: 'They will be mobile soon, but it doesn't bother me. I've got a big playpen and I will use that for when I need to go and do something in the house.'

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 20:04

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Woman reveals she was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just 19 after a trip to Vision Express

A woman who thought she was suffering from hay fever was shocked to find that the reason her eyes were stinging was a brain tumour. 30-year-old Gurcharan Kaur suffered with irritated eyes for weeks, but just shrugged it off as an allergy caused by pollen or dust, and dosed up on antihistamines. But when sightseeing in London last month, she noticed her eyes were becoming more irritable than normal, and it was becoming painful to blink. Gurcharan went to an optician for help. Despite initially being told to use eye drops, she returned and a test revealed she had optical nerve damage on her left eye. Doctors discovered she had a small colloid cyst – a slow-growing tumour in the centre of her brain, behind her left eye. She was weeks away from developing seizures, they said, and needed brain surgery to remove the benign mass. Now tumour-free, Gurcharan, from Wolverhampton, wants to warn others of downplaying possible life-threatening symptoms. She said: ‘I just thought I was developing hay fever.

‘My eye would just sting in the morning but I’d just take an antihistamine and it would go away. ‘I knew you could develop it at any time and I just thought it was just a case of that. ‘I’d also been feeling dizzy and tired for a couple of months but I just shrugged it off. ‘I’ve always had perfect vision so it didn’t even cross my mind it would be something this serious. ‘I feel like walking past Vision Express was a sign. ‘If it hadn’t been there I would have just ignored it and avoided getting it checked out.’ Gurcharan was on her way to meet older sister Sharan, 36, last month when she finally decided to get checked out. She walked past a Vision Express store and decided to pop in, but she couldn’t get an instant appointment, and experts advised her to get eye wash.

Gurcharan said: ‘My eye was itching and I just thought it was a sign. ‘My sister was still at her job interview so I had a bit of time by myself. ‘I only went in there on a whim. I didn’t actually think I had something wrong with me. ‘It was just a coincidence that I walked past it.’ A few hours later Gurcharan returned to the Oxford Street store after noticing her left eye was beginning to turn red. Staff did a standard eye test and discovered Gurcharan – who hadn’t had an eye appointment in ten years – had optical nerve damage on her left eye. She said: ‘I just kept complaining about how much it hurt. ‘I kept getting my mirror out of my bag to check if there was anything in my eye.

‘My eye was just really, really itchy. ‘I only went back as my sister was getting bored of me banging on about it. ‘By this time my eye started to get a bit red and it started to hurt when I blinked. ‘The last time I went to the opticians I was told I had 20:20 vision so it just didn’t seem right. ‘I went up to the desk and the employee went to get a second opinion. ‘A different member of staff saw me this time and said they could squeeze me in.’ She was referred for a CT scan, and the pair took the train home and went straight to New Cross Hospital, in Wolverhampton. Doctors discovered abnormal fluid on her brain, and a further scan revealed a small colloid cyst behind her left eye. Days later she had a two-hour operation which saw doctors cut her head open through minimal invasive surgery to remove the mass, sending Gurcharan home with a two-month course of epilepsy tablets. Gurcharan said: ‘Thankfully it wasn’t any bigger.

‘I’ve been scared for my life. ‘I just want to warn people about ignoring what can be quite serious symptoms. ‘I just kept shrugging off. I would feel sick but after I took a hayfever tablet it would stop. ‘But walking past that Vision Express shop was almost like a sign. ‘I had been burying my head in the sand but I just knew something wasn’t quite right so that’s why I went back. ‘The doctors told me if I hadn’t gone in it would have grown and I would have started having seizures.’

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 19:46

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Oh, Christine Lampard says daughter is like a 'mini-Frank' and has completed family

New mum Christine Lampard warns she will be a tearful, emotional mess at the Daily Mirror’s Pride Of Britain Awards.

And although she juggles TV work with motherhood after the birth of Patricia last September, Christine was never going to turn down another chance to be on the awards panel.

Christine, who also helped judge in 2010 and 2011, says: “It is part of your diary every year and the awards are so life-affirming.

“You do sit back and go, ‘For all the badness and awful stuff that we now constantly hear in the news, there are still really good people out there that are going to work every day, and then find themselves in extraordinary situations’.

“And the winners are just selfless. And you just have moments thinking, ‘Oh, this is a really good reminder of how it should be’.”

Christine joined the likes of GMB’s Susanna Reid on the panel to debate potential winners from a host of stories of courageous acts and selfless work.

“I take being an ambassador very seriously because of course it means a great deal to those who win in the end.

“So I read everything about the nominees. And every time you read one you think, ‘Well it doesn’t get any better than that. That’s extraordinary.’

“You flip the page and then suddenly there’s a whole other story that you think, ‘Well that’s amazing as well’.

“The final selection process was very hard as everyone was a worthy winner in reality.”

And Christine thinks that becoming a mum to Patricia may make it harder than ever to hold back tears at the Pride Of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB, on Monday night.

“I definitely think I’m much more emotional. I cry more easily without a doubt.

"And I’m not a cry baby at all, but like I’ll cry at ads now. RSPCA ads, they get me anyway. And now, everything having to do with children, I mean, I’m a mess.

“I cry every year at it, so there’ll maybe be a bit more again this year.”

Christine was always very relaxed about whether she was going to become a mother.

But chatting over coffee in West London as talk turns to the 40-year-old’s life away from the cameras, she admits becoming a mum has turned things upside down and completed her family.

The TV host and wife of Chelsea manager Frank was already a loving stepmum to his two other daughters Luna, 14, and Isla, 12, but now she really has her hands full.

Speaking about how new addition Patricia has changed her life, she says: “We were already really happy but I suppose it does complete things. I mean, goodness me, I still look at her now, a year old, and I honestly can’t quite believe she’s mine.

"And now that she’s developing into being a little toddler, she is not a baby any more. She is sort of saying Mummy and Daddy a bit. And she’s pointing at what she wants. And suddenly you think ‘She’s getting life now. She’s understanding things.’

“And other times you think, ‘Oh gosh. Well what did we do before her?’ Or ‘What did I do with my time beforehand?’ I actually don’t know, because now I am utterly consumed by her.”

Pride Of Britain is also a very important event for her as she and Frank first met at the Daily Mirror awards a decade ago, getting together weeks later and then marrying in 2015.

“Going to Pride of Britain does have a nice feeling for us,” she says looking back.

“It was a complete sliding doors moment, I still remember the first meeting as clear as day. Who goes to an awards ceremony and finds a husband? That was me!

“Neither of us were even meant to go and I was late after hosting The One Show. So when we are there now we do have a celebratory glass of champagne. It’s a special evening for us.”

Having spent time with the couple over the years, it is clear Christine and Frank, 41, bond over a shared sense of humour and work hard but also enjoy family time to themselves.

They swerved a big first birthday bash for Patricia, known as Patsy in the family, in favour a small gathering at home and a tea party.

I am shown cute pics of Patsy in a birthday hat.

Patsy certainly won’t ever feel lonely growing up - Luna and Isla are already being protective older sisters, Christine says.

So how is Frank juggling being Chelsea manager and father to a baby?

“It’s an extraordinary job” says Christine. “There is much more to it, I think, than anyone realises. But he’s very, very much thrown himself into it.

“I wouldn’t say he has changed loads of nappies. But he has stepped in and she adores him. The second Daddy walks in the door, her eyes just light up. She’s getting a curl in her hair like me but she looks more like a mini Frank.”

Christine says the key to her relationship with Frank is “understanding and patience”.

She went on: "In terms of jobs, I understand, hopefully, what comes with his and he gets mine. More than anything, we have a good laugh.

“We still think it’s really important to try and get a night where it’s just him and me going out for a bit. I’m not talking fancy stuff, just a pizza or a drink, it never is fancy stuff for us. It is just basic, simple things. We actually have a conversation and I think that’s really important.”

Frank’s football career after Chelsea took him away from West London for a few years but Christine embraced the travel.

She said: “We’ve been to Manchester, New York, Derby, back and forth to Belfast to see my family. So yeah, it’s been a lovely, lovely decade.

“It’s almost like you don’t remember anything before it really.”

And while life is so good, Christine also thinks becoming a mum has made her think of her own mortality more.

She says: “You suddenly start thinking, ‘Oh, I’ve got to look after myself a bit better for you, not for me.’ It’s a weird thing. You start thinking, ‘I want to be here for as long as I can’. I want to make sure that she’ll always be okay.”

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 19:40

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Kanye West bans daughter from wearing makeup, crop tops

Kanye West has banned his six-year-old daughter North from wearing make-up and crop tops after becoming a "born again" Christian.

The award-winning rapper, who released his new gospel-inspired album Jesus Is King on Friday, told his young daughter that she can't touch cosmetics until she's a teenager.

But his wife reality star Kim Kardashian , 39, has confessed that his conservative views is causing a "big fight" in the house, especially his views on North using make-up.

Make-up mogul Kim told E! News: "North is trying to get in on the makeup, but she's being blocked heavily because her dad has stopped all makeup for her until she is a teenager."

"It's a big discussion, a big fight in the household right now but it is what's best. 

"I think as a parent you just learn and figure it out as you go and we realised we didn't really want her to wear makeup at a young age but she sees her mom putting on lipstick and lip gloss."

Kanye, 42, first ruled out North's growing interest in make-up last month, but has previously allowed his little girl to wear it many other times.

The couple's eldest child has been seen wearing make-up on multiple occasions, including bright orange eyeshadow and red lipstick.

The brunette beauty told E! when her husband first stopped North wearing make-up: "I think he had it [with North's make-up so] he changed all the rules.

"I'd let her wear, you know, she has a little red for Christmas, I'd let her wear a red lip, or I'd let her do one pop of something. I'd let her if she's wearing a black dress, a black lip."

But it doesn't help that Kylie Jenner generously gives North all of the lip kits from her Kylie Cosmetics beauty brand.

"I kind of got in trouble for that, too. So, it's now no more makeup," Kim continued.

Rapper Kanye also spoke about his new rules for North's clothes.

He revealed on Apple Music's Beats 1 that when North was young he wanted her to look like a pop star.

He said: "I was literally out there making [North] try to out dress  Rihanna .

"I don't think North should wear a crop top after I had her wear a slip dress when she was two years old. I think and feel differently now that I am Christian," he said regrettingly

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 19:23

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Desperate 'migrants' spotted fighting for air through hole in back of M25 lorry

Two men who appear to be migrants have been photographed peeking through a hole in the side of a lorry's canopy as it travelled on the M25.

The photograph, taken in the same week 39 migrants from China and Vietnam died in the back of a lorry entering the UK, appears to show the extent of the crisis facing British border officials.

The extraordinary photo shows the two men taking in their new surroundings as one pushes an arm outside of the vehicle while the other perches his hands on the frame of the canopy. Both were seen looking out and waving at other cars as they passed.

The driver who took the images told the Mirror: 'It was in the middle of the day last Wednesday, just before the turn-off for the M40.

'It was a strange sight. It was hard to tell how many were inside, but it looked like they were crammed in tight.'

Migrants are regularly picked up having fled lorries at service areas on the M25, Britain's busiest motorway which services the Home Counties.

Cobham Services in Surrey has seen a spate of incidents. In a single year some 117 people were arrested there on suspicion of immigration offences.

On Wednesday, 39 victims' bodies were found in the back of a lorry in Grays, Essex sparking a national outcry. 

All of the victims have now been moved from the truck in Tilbury Docks to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, for post-mortem examinations to be carried out.

It is said police have begun looking through bags and mobile phones belonging to the migrants. 

The belongings form part of more than 500 pieces of evidence that Essex Police are sifting through in a bid to identify the victims.

It was initially believed the victims were all Chinese nationals, but Vietnamese men and women are now feared to be among the dead. 

Vietnamese ambassador to the UK, Tran Ngoc An, spoke to Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday night before meeting investigators from the National Crime Agency and Essex Police.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore told reporters on Saturday that the ambassador had visited the Civic Centre in Grays to pay tribute to the victims.

DCI Pasmore said the nationality of the victims is not yet known, but the focus is now on the Vietnamese community - although 'there may be other nationalities involved'.

He said there were 'very, very few' identity documents recovered and that police will share fingerprints with Vietnamese authorities in a bid to identify the bodies. 

Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said she would give no more details about the nationalities of the victims until formal identification had taken place.

Police have charged truck driver Maurice Robinson with 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people in connection with the deaths.

Robinson, 25, of Craigavon, Northern Ireland is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Monday. 

He was the first of those arrested to be charged in what is seen as one of the U.K.'s biggest cases of people smuggling.

Four others have been arrested in the case. U.K. police are struggling to identify the victims, who are believed to have come from Asia, and autopsies are being performed. 

The Vietnamese Embassy in London has set up a hotline for families to call about missing family members.

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 19:06

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Wow, Parents shocked to discover adopted daughter has an identical twin

Chinese twin sisters who were separated as babies and adopted by two US families before meeting for the first time as ten-year-olds now see each other 'several times a year' and have 'astonishing' similarities, their families have said.

Gracie Rainsberry and Audrey Doering, now aged 13, grew up hundreds of miles apart after being found in two different places and taken to the same orphanage in China.

Audrey grew up nearly 1,500 miles away from her sister in Wausau, Wisconsin, while Gracie lives in Richland, Washington.

Now a new TV show examining long lost families sees the girls travel to London to be tested by experts specializing in identical twins.

The twins visited St Thomas' hospital in central London in April, for the ITV series Long Lost Family to meet expert Professor Tim Spector to conduct tests looking at whether nature or nurture make up their personality and behaviors.

During the trip their bone density, balance, grip, lung capacity and eye sight were tested and compared.  


Their new families had no idea the girls had a sibling until they were aged 10, when Audrey's mother, Jennifer Doering, found a photo of both youngsters together as babies, posing with their Chinese foster mom.

The pair were reunited live on air 'Good Morning America' in December 2017 after speaking to each other for the first time via FaceTime.

The two sisters, who both wear glasses, had even arranged to wear identical outfits for their first face-to-face encounter since their separation.  

Despite their upbringing in different parts of the country and not regularly seeing each other until the age of 10, the girls' parents say they act and behave similarly.

During their first reunion he twins first found out they both love chicken Alfredo as well as mac 'n' cheese.

They now meet up several times a year, including going to summer camps together, and Audrey went to Gracie's home for Christmas last year.

Audrey said she misses her sister when they are apart and that the only difference between them is their dress sense.

She told the Mirror: 'I just love being together with her. When we're not together I miss her a lot. We speak or text every day. We have this connection, it's like she's part of me.

'The only way we're different is I dress up more than Gracie. I like wearing girly clothes and she wears more sporty clothes.' 

Mrs Doering found out her daughter had a sibling when the schoolgirl asked for a sister for Christmas.

Instead Mrs Doering wanted to give her daughter a copy of her 'finding ad', which is an image published in Chinese newspapers when a baby is placed in an orphanage in a bid to find the parents.

She managed to track down a copy of the ad and was shocked to find it included a picture of not just one, but two babies wearing matching outfits. 

Mrs Doering said: 'We've been astonished at how alike they are. They talk the same, like the same things, right down to their favorite food and subjects.

'They are laughing one minute and crying the next. They both get nervous a lot too, and when they do they push their glasses up their noses in exactly the same way.'

The Doerings dug further and found that the other baby in the picture had a birth date close to Audrey's and shared her congenital heart condition. 

They contacted the Rainsberrys and broke the news to their daughter.

Nicole Rainsberry, Gracie's mother, added: 'It was amazing to me that math was both their favorite subject and despite both having heart conditions that they were amazing athletes.' 

Gracie said her sister is like 'another part of me' and that they regularly meet up.

She said: 'I'm not sure how to explain it. Getting to have her is like having another part of me. Whenever we talk and get together, I just feel a connection. 

'I can talk to her about a lot of things and I know she will help me through it, and I feel I can do the same for her.'

Describing the moment the pair were reunited in 2017, Mrs Doering she was stunned at the similarities between Gracie and Audrey even in that initial meeting.

She said: 'When both girls came up on the screen it was an incredible moment. They just looked at each other and started crying.

'Both had their hair in ponytails to one side, and were wearing the same pair of glasses.

'Even though we live in different parts of the country, they spoke in exactly the same way. Their mannerisms were exactly the same and they even cried the same way.'

Long Lost Family Twins: What Happened Next, ITV tonight at 9pm (GMT), 5pm (EST) and 2pm (Pacific Time).

stella Posted on October 28, 2019 18:45

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