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Make-A-Wish Kid Sends Pal on Fantastic Trip

Make-A-Wish(MARTINSVILLE, Ind.) — For cash-strapped fam­i­lies too beset with hos­pi­tal bills to spend funds on vaca­tions and events, the Make-A-Wish Foun­da­tion has long acted as a fairy godmother-type entity, cre­at­ing once-in-a-lifetime expe­ri­ences, con­nect­ing celebri­ties with super-fans, and pro­vid­ing unex­pected trips to chil­dren with chronic and life-threatening med­ical conditions.

But what hap­pens when a par­tic­u­lar ill­ness makes it impos­si­ble to go on an expedition?

For Levi May­hew, a 6-year-old from Mar­tinsville, Indi­ana, bat­tling a rare con­gen­i­tal dis­or­der that pre­vents him from trav­el­ing, the next best thing to going away him­self was to send his best friend some­where sunny.

Levi’s most heart­felt wish was to give his best friend Emma a trip to Florida to visit the theme parks and see the ocean,” a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Make-A-Wish Amer­ica told ABC News.

Emma Broyer, 10, is described by Make-A-Wish as hav­ing “pro­vided tremen­dous sup­port for Levi dur­ing his med­ical strug­gles.” The bud­dies spend a lot of time together, and May­hew wished to send Emma on the trip of a lifetime.

Upon learn­ing that they would be trav­el­ing to Orlando, Florida, the Broyer fam­ily decided to bring along a “Flat Levi,” a card­board cutout with Levi’s face glued to the head, mak­ing sure to include him in pho­tos of their adventures.

With all that we have been through with all of this, the best gift we have been given is Levi and his fam­ily added to our fam­ily,” said Emma’s mother, Shawnelle Broyer. “God has brought us all together and we are so thank­ful that we have them in our lives.”

Her daugh­ter echoed that sen­ti­ment, telling strangers who asked about the cutout in Orlando that Levi was her best friend from school.

It was the best expe­ri­ence of my life,” Emma Broyer said.

At a wel­come home party, the Broyer fam­ily sur­prised Levi and his par­ents with a scrap­book of “Emma and Levi’s Trip.”

Levi is such a happy kid,” said Levi’s mother, Rebecca Drake. “He loves peo­ple. See­ing his happy face on the Flat Levi means so much to us. We know that would be his reac­tion to every­thing that has hap­pened with Make-A-Wish.”

I have the Flat Levi posted on our refrig­er­a­tor now,” adds his mother. “We have had such a response from the com­mu­nity on Levi’s wish. I have a wait­ing list of peo­ple who want a Flat Levi to take with them to work or on vaca­tion so he can travel the world.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Make Surgery More Tolerable?

RossHelen/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Surgery and anx­i­ety go hand-in-hand, but hav­ing a dis­trac­tion dur­ing a pro­ce­dure may also help to relieve pain.

A new study in the Euro­pean Jour­nal of Pain com­pares dis­trac­tion — DVDs, stress balls, con­ver­sa­tions — to see if they can relieve anx­i­ety and if they have an effect on pain as well.

Researchers from Sur­rey, Eng­land recruited 400 patients that were to have the same min­i­mally inva­sive surgery, such as vari­cose vein removal, and had them undergo dif­fer­ent “dis­trac­tions” dur­ing the procedure.  

One group watched DVDs, the sec­ond lis­tened to music, another had a nurse solely ded­i­cated to con­ver­sa­tion, the fourth kneaded stress balls, and the last group pro­ceeded with surgery as usual, with­out intervention.

Pre and post-operative sur­veys on stress, anx­i­ety and pain showed that human inter­ac­tion fared best — those patients had 30 per­cent less anx­i­ety and 16 per­cent less pain than the con­trol group.

The stress ball group had 18 per­cent less anx­i­ety and 22 per­cent less pain.  

The DVDs helped decrease anx­i­ety, 25 per­cent less than the con­trol group, but had no effect on pain.  

The most sur­pris­ing result how­ever may have been the group who lis­tened to music. Music, usu­ally assumed to have a sooth­ing effect, had no effect on pain or anx­i­ety lev­els in the patients included in the survey.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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New York College Student With Measles Boarded Amtrak Train at Penn Station

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A New York col­lege stu­dent with measles boarded an Amtrak sta­tion from Penn Sta­tion ear­lier this week and may have exposed other pas­sen­gers to the con­ta­gious virus.

The stu­dent at Bard Col­lege in Dutchess County took Amtrak train no. 283 from Penn Sta­tion to Albany, accord­ing to state health offi­cials. He got off in Rhinecliff, N.Y.

He has been iso­lated dur­ing his recov­ery, said offi­cials with the college.

In order to pre­vent the spread of ill­ness, DOH is advis­ing indi­vid­u­als who may have been exposed and who have symp­toms con­sis­tent with measles to call their health care providers or a local emer­gency room BEFORE going for care. This will help to pre­vent oth­ers at these facil­i­ties from being exposed to the ill­ness,” said a state­ment from the New York State Depart­ment of Health.

At Bard Col­lege, the Dutchess County Depart­ment of Health held a measles vac­ci­na­tion clinic for any stu­dents, fac­ulty, or staff who have not been vac­ci­nated against measles.

New York has had three cases of measles this year, the depart­ment said, one in Dutchess County and two in New York City.

New York requires that all col­lege stu­dents show proof of immu­nity to measles. At Bard Col­lege, med­ical forms show that a student’s immu­nity to the dis­ease must be doc­u­mented, but they don’t state whether exemp­tions are allowed.

The cur­rent nation­wide out­break of measles has spread to 14 states and includes 84 cases reported this month.

Measles is one of the most con­ta­gious viruses in exis­tence and will infect an esti­mated 90 per­cent of peo­ple who not immune to the virus. The incu­ba­tion period is on aver­age 14 days, but an infected per­son can be con­ta­gious up to four days before they start to show symptoms.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Super Bowl 2015: How This Weekend's Beer Can Be Beauty Treatment

NFL Media(NEW YORK) — In all of the excite­ment plan­ning for the ulti­mate Super Bowl view­ing party, it’s easy to go over­board buy­ing refresh­ments and end up with an excess of left­over suds. After all, it is a Sun­day night.

Beer bot­tles and cans can take up sacred space in the fridge. So instead of wast­ing shelves and veg­etable bins wait­ing for some­one to drink all of that beer, try some of these tips for putting your brews to use.

Get Cookin’

From cheese fon­due to fish and chips, there are tons of dishes that use beer to add a fla­vor boost to ordi­nary foods. Try Eliz­a­beth Karmel’s Beer-Can Chicken as an easy entry point into the world of cook­ing with hops.

Pam­per Yourself

While hair experts have long touted the ben­e­fits of occa­sion­ally con­di­tion­ing one’s hair with beer due to Vit­a­min B, did you know it can also be used to cre­ate an at-home facial treat­ment? Car­olyn Doe, spa direc­tor for The Umstead Hotel & Spa in North Car­olina, recently cre­ated a do-it-yourself recipe for just such a beauty boost, as yeast extract can help with firm­ing and dimin­ish hyperpigmentation.

North Car­olina Beer Facial

Ingre­di­ents:

  • For oily skin: 2 tbsp egg whites.
  • For dry skin: 2 tbsp egg yolks and a vit­a­min E capsule
  • 2 Tbsp of your favorite North Car­olina Beer (or what­ever is left­over from game day)

    
Method:

  • Whisk together and apply to the skin with a cot­ton ball. Allow to dry for about 20 min­utes. Apply a wet warm towel to loosen the mask. Rinse well until the entire mask is removed.

Put a Bow on It

If you splurged on craft beer from smaller micro­brew­eries in your team’s home state, you may not feel com­fort­able pour­ing it in a pot or down the bath­room sink. Instead, pair a few bot­tles with some tasty cheese and crack­ers and present it in a bas­ket to some­one in your life who could use a pick-me-up.

Lure But­ter­flies

Accord­ing to ChasingGreen.com, com­bin­ing left­over beer with “sugar, syrup, fruit juice, and a mashed, over­ripe banana” will smell irre­sistibly deli­cious to but­ter­flies on the hunt for food. Smear some on a tree in your back­yard and enjoy the view with a cold one.

Build a Sec­ond Abode

It may sound far-fetched, but a few fam­i­lies in Taos, N.M., built a home for them­selves using dis­carded bot­tles and other items, called ‘Earth­ships.’ The struc­tures are earth-friendly, tem­per­ate and economical.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Father of Psych Ward Stabbing Victim Says Mental Patients Treated Like 'Prisoners'

Joseph Cama­cho(SUN VALLEY, Calif.) — The father of a man stabbed to death by his room­mate in a south­ern Cal­i­for­nia hos­pi­tal psych ward won $3 mil­lion in puni­tive dam­ages on Tues­day against the hos­pi­tal where his son died. But money isn’t on his mind. He wants to make sure it never hap­pens again.

Men­tally chal­lenged indi­vid­u­als have just as many rights as other peo­ple,” Joseph Cama­cho, 79, told ABC News. “Most of the time, they [hos­pi­tals] just seem to ignore them and treat them like pris­on­ers instead of a patient.”

His son, Dean Cama­cho, who was diag­nosed with bipo­lar dis­or­der, was attacked at Paci­fica Hos­pi­tal of the Val­ley in Sun Val­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, by his room­mate, Jerry Roman­sky in 2011, accord­ing to court documents.

The hos­pi­tal put the two men in the same room of the hospital’s behav­ioral health unit despite Romansky’s vio­lent his­tory, and didn’t check on them every 15 min­utes as they were sup­posed to, accord­ing to the plaintiff’s trial brief. Roman­sky was hear­ing voices that told him to “kill him­self and oth­ers,” accord­ing to the brief, and he had tried to stran­gle a pre­vi­ous room­mate at Paci­fica with a towel, it said.

Though rooms through­out the hos­pi­tal were equipped with emer­gency buzzers, they had been dis­abled in the men­tal health wing, accord­ing to Joseph Camacho’s lawyer, John Marcin.

Roman­sky, whose father tes­ti­fied against the hos­pi­tal as well, stabbed Cama­cho with a metal bracket that he broke off from a toi­let in the room, sev­er­ing one of Camacho’s arter­ies and caus­ing him to bleed to death, Marcin said.

He said the hospital’s defi­cien­cies had mostly not changed in the more than three years since the murder.

I think that’s why the jury became so angry,” Marcin said. “I asked the jury for $2 mil­lion in puni­tive dam­ages, and they came back and awarded 3 [mil­lion dol­lars], they were so angry.”

The jury awarded $5.2 mil­lion in dam­ages in all.

It gives you a good feel­ing that you’re all on the same page,” Cama­cho said. “The hos­pi­tal wasn’t.”

Joseph Cama­cho and Romansky’s father had a con­nec­tion in a way because they each lost a son, Joseph Cama­cho said. Dean Cama­cho died, and Roman­sky is serv­ing a prison sen­tence as a result of Camacho’s mur­der. They’d both been wronged by the hos­pi­tal, he said.

Paci­fica Hos­pi­tal of the Val­ley did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

The hospital’s lawyer argued that its doc­tor had no knowl­edge Roman­sky would become vio­lent and kill Cama­cho, and the two men did not have any prior con­flict, accord­ing to the defense brief.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Everything You Need to Know About the Measles

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The measles have made a come­back with 84 cases in the lat­est out­break, not to men­tion 644 cases last year alone. Given that the infec­tious dis­ease was elim­i­nated decades ago by vac­cines, it’s not sur­pris­ing that its resur­gence has some peo­ple scratch­ing their heads.

Here’s what you need to know:

What is measles?

It is a viral dis­ease that is extremely con­ta­gious, accord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. Every per­son who gets it can spread it to 18 other people.

It starts with a fever, a runny nose and a cough, but a few days later, tiny white spots appear in the mouth. Then a rash appears and spreads through­out the body, and that fever can spike to 104 degrees.

The infec­tion itself, uncom­pli­cated, is seven days of abject mis­ery as a child,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chief of pre­ven­tive med­i­cine at Van­der­bilt Uni­ver­sity in Nashville, Tennessee.

About one or two in every 1,000 peo­ple who get it will die, accord­ing to the CDC. The dis­ease was so wide­spread that hun­dreds of thou­sands of chil­dren died before a vac­cine was intro­duced, Schaffner said.

Com­pli­ca­tions include ear infec­tions in about one in ten chil­dren who get the measles, and this can result in per­ma­nent hear­ing loss. Other com­pli­ca­tions include pneu­mo­nia, and swelling of the brain.

How is it spread?

The measles virus is air­borne, mean­ing it can spread through the air and can remain air­borne for a few hours. You can catch if from an infected per­son even after that per­son has left the room.

Accord­ing to the CDC, a sick per­son will spread the measles to 90 per­cent of the peo­ple close to them that are not immune.

The virus can also sur­vive on sur­faces for up to two hours, accord­ing to the CDC.

Why is it mak­ing a comeback?

A measles vac­cine was first licensed in 1963, and then lumped into the MMR vac­cine in 1971, accord­ing to a time­line by the Col­lege of Physi­cians of Philadel­phia. The vac­cine is 95 per­cent effec­tive and measles is con­sid­ered a vaccine-preventable disease.

Cases steadily declined, reach­ing an all time low of 37 cases in 2004, accord­ing to CDC data. But thanks to “clus­ters” of unvac­ci­nated peo­ple in the United States, cou­pled with increased inter­na­tional travel, cases are back up.

Those clus­ters fuel the imported out­breaks,” Schaffner said, adding that the clus­ters are often well-educated but mis­in­formed par­ents who lack “respect” and “fear” of the dis­ease because they’ve never expe­ri­enced it.

Many fear that the MMR vac­cine will cause autism, though the claim has since been debunked and the doc­tor who authored the fraud­u­lent study has lost his med­ical license.

The CDC reported 644 measles cases in 2014 alone as part of about 20 sep­a­rate outbreaks.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Free Range Parenting: Should Kids Be Allowed to Roam Unsupervised?

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Rafi and Dvora Meitiv were walk­ing home from the park recently in Sil­ver Spring, Mary­land, when they were sud­denly con­fronted by strangers. Not a gang mem­ber, or a bully, or a child moles­ter, but the police.

We were over here about to cross the street the two police cars pull up here, stopped, the doors opened then the whole thing started,” Rafi said.

The Mont­gomery County Police gave the kids a stern warn­ing about walk­ing alone, put them in the squad car and drove them home.

I look out and see the police and thought, ‘Oh my God, what did they do?’” said their father Alexan­der Meitiv. “I asked did they do some­thing, they said ‘no,’ I said, ‘OK, I’ll take my chil­dren,’ then I real­ized they wouldn’t let me take them.”

Mary­land Child Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices then accused the Meitivs of neglect, say­ing unless they com­mit­ted to a safety plan, the kids would have to go into fos­ter homes. In Sil­ver Spring, leav­ing any­one under age 18 unsu­per­vised con­sti­tutes neglect.

Before the police found them, Rafi and Dvora, ages 10 and 6, said they used to run around out­side and cross the street by them­selves all the time. Their par­ents, Alexan­der and Danielle Meitiv, said they trust their chil­dren and want to give them the free­dom to make mis­takes, away from the parental safety net.

It’s an approach known these days as “free range par­ent­ing,” which to the Meitivs is an age-old tradition.

I’m just par­ent­ing the way I was par­ented and the way that almost every adult I know was par­ented,” Danielle said.

Sud­denly this middle-class sub­ur­ban fam­ily found them­selves smack in the mid­dle of a national par­ent­ing debate.

In an era of heli­copter par­ent­ing, many peo­ple wouldn’t dream of let­ting their kids leave their sight unattended.

Plenty of par­ents are rightly con­cerned about all the men­aces of mod­ern life — kid­nap­pers, per­verts, vio­lent crime, a bro­ken bone, a drunk dri­ver, hav­ing their kids snatched or lost, or fall vic­tim to count­less other horrors.

But there is also a grow­ing move­ment of par­ents who refuse to hover.

Lenore Ske­nazy is a cham­pion of free range par­ent­ing, and stars on a real­ity TV show on Dis­cov­ery Life.

The con­cept is that I…go to fam­i­lies that are extremely over-protective and ner­vous and I find out all the things the kids aren’t allowed to do,” Ske­nazy said. “I make heli­copter par­ents see what their kids can really do, stuff that they didn’t believe because they never let them do it.”

The title of her new show: World’s Worst Mom. It’s an insult she has been called many times. ABC’s Night­line first pro­filed Ske­nazy in 2009 when she let her then-9-year-old son Izzy take the New York City sub­way by himself.

We thought, ‘Gee, you know, he knows the sub­way, he knows how to use the card that gets you on,’” she said. “We sat him down, we made sure he knew how to read a map, but he’s been read­ing maps for­ever, and then we thought about the city. Is the city safe? Well our crime rate is back to 1963 and we’re talk­ing about Sun­day which is a nice, easy­go­ing day.”

Izzy is now in high school. After that first trip, he was inspired to start push­ing the bound­aries fur­ther, gain­ing con­fi­dence and street smarts with every trip out­side the nest. He is now an impres­sively con­fi­dent, self-sufficient kid.

Just because I know my way around doesn’t mean I never get lost. That’s part of the fun, find my way home from some­where that my mom drops me off, it’s really help­ful,” he said, adding that he’s got­ten stopped by the police three times for rid­ing the sub­way by himself.

But in Mary­land, the Meitivs are still under inves­ti­ga­tion. The Mary­land Child Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices declined to com­ment on the case, cit­ing con­fi­den­tial­ity laws.

But even some sup­port­ers of free range par­ent­ing say there should be limits.

A 10-year-old should never be in charge of a 6-year-old,” said Susan Klein-Shilling, a child and fam­ily ther­a­pist. “It’s not about the 6-year-old being abducted or some­thing ter­ri­ble on the out­side hap­pen­ing, but even poten­tially the 6-year-old sprain­ing their ankle or hav­ing an asthma attack, or any kind of thing that could hap­pen to a child of that age.”

But the Meitivs say they are the best ones to judge if their kids are ready, and if their neigh­bor­hood is safe enough, for them to be on their own, not the government.

Frankly I think that rais­ing inde­pen­dent chil­dren and respon­si­ble chil­dren and giv­ing them the free­dom that i enjoyed is a risk worth tak­ing,” Danielle Meitiv said. “In the end it’s our deci­sion as parents.”

It’s essen­tial for our devel­op­ment,” Rafi added. “I love it and it’s just a part of our life.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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Bullied Girl May Face Permanent Blindness, Parents Say

Patrick and Erin Quar­les(AUSTIN, Texas) — Gwen­dolyn Quar­les has a brain dis­or­der that appeared soon after another child lobbed a foot­ball at her face in Octo­ber of last year, her par­ents said. Her father, Patrick Quar­les, said the inci­dent was no accident.

On the day of the injury, Gwen­dolyn was in gym class and the coaches left the chil­dren alone,” Quar­les, a 43-year-old sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive for an elec­tri­cal sup­ply com­pany, told ABC News. “There seems to have been an argu­ment and then she remem­bers a ball fly­ing at her.”

After com­plain­ing of a float­ing feel­ing, the 11-year-old was sent to the nurse, her father said. Later in the day, her par­ents took her to the emer­gency room near her home in Austin, Texas, where she was diag­nosed with intracra­nial hyper­ten­sion, a rare dis­or­der where pres­sure inside the skull chokes off the optic nerve from the brain.

The fam­ily had noti­fied the school numer­ous times about pre­vi­ous inci­dents in which Gwen­dolyn was pushed around, her father said.

The girl’s mother, Erin Quar­les, said that doc­tors have told the fam­ily that they can­not defin­i­tively con­firm that the dis­or­der is a result of the injury, but accord­ing to the Intracra­nial Hyper­ten­sion Foun­da­tion, the con­di­tion is usu­ally the result of a severe head injury.

The school where the inci­dent occurred is The Founder’s Clas­sic Acad­emy, part of the Respon­sive Edu­ca­tion Solu­tions, a char­ter school sys­tem in Texas. Mary Ann Dun­can, vice pres­i­dent of school oper­a­tions for RES, said they wished the child a speedy recov­ery but would nei­ther con­firm nor deny the inci­dent occurred.

We are not allowed to speak about con­fi­den­tial stu­dent infor­ma­tion but the school’s pol­icy is to inves­ti­gate and notify par­ents promptly of any acci­dent or bul­ly­ing,” Dun­can said.

It’s unclear whether Quar­les will com­pletely recover from the injury, said her par­ents, who fear she may go blind even if she under­goes risky and expen­sive surgery. Besides prob­lems with her eye­sight, her father said she was also expe­ri­enc­ing other difficulties.

She some­times has trou­ble under­stand­ing me and some­times she will trip over things. It comes and goes,” he said, though her mother said her daughter’s symp­toms have improved in the last sev­eral days.

Gwen­dolyn is at the prime age for being bul­lied, accord­ing to gov­ern­ment sta­tis­tics. About a third of chil­dren report being threat­ened at school, accord­ing to the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, and the like­li­hood of bul­ly­ing peaks in the mid­dle school years when kids are age 10 to 14.

Kids who are bul­lied have higher rates of anx­i­ety and depres­sion and lower self-esteem,” said Dr. Joe Shrand, the med­ical direc­tor of CASTLE, an ado­les­cent addic­tion treat­ment cen­ter in Brock­ton, Massachusetts.

Though only a small per­cent­age of bul­ly­ing turns phys­i­cal, Shrand said kids who are bul­lied have a higher risk of phys­i­cal ail­ments such as heart dis­ease, type 2 dia­betes and sui­cide through­out their life­time. Some­times kids who are bul­lied turn the tables and become “vic­tim bul­lies” per­pet­u­at­ing the cycle, he added.

Quar­les said his fam­ily has racked up sub­stan­tial med­ical bills as a result of his daughter’s con­di­tion, only some of which have been cov­ered by insur­ance. The fam­ily has started a GoFundMe.com cam­paign to help cover the out-of-pocket costs, which Quar­les said are pil­ing up quickly.

The fam­ily said they sent at least 23 emails to the school, warn­ing them that she was being pushed around by a group of other girls and that they feared the sit­u­a­tion might esca­late into some­thing phys­i­cal, Patrick Quar­les said. The school did make attempts to rem­edy the sit­u­a­tion, the par­ents said, but they wish every­one — them­selves included — had done more.

And when some­thing actu­ally hap­pened, he said he and his wife were in shock.

You think, ‘What’s the worst that can hap­pen?’ But you never think this,” Quar­les said.

Since no adult was present when it hap­pened, it’s impos­si­ble to get the entire story, Quar­les said, adding that the fam­ily does not plan to sue.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
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