Saturday, Sep. 17, 2005
John Paul Rogers, born one month early by Caesarian section at Bridgeport Hospital, came all the way from New Orleans to enter the world and escape the devastation Hurricane Katrina wreaked on his parents’ hometown.
John Paul was delivered Wednesday — believed to be the first birth to the roughly 600 people evacuated to Connecticut from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
The boy’s parents were displaced from their New Orleans home Aug. 28 and flew north to stay with relatives in Shelton.
“John means the graciousness of God — that’s why we called him John. God has been gracious to us,” said the Rev. Miner Rogers, John Paul’s father. He said his wife, Shawn, endured many complications during her pregnancy.
That’s part of the reason why the family fled New Orleans as soon as they did, nearly two days before levees broke and flooded the city.
“I had a very bad feeling about this storm,” Rogers said of Hurricane Katrina. “I knew it was going to be bad. I knew we had to get out of there.”
The Rogers family had made arrangements to have their baby delivered by Caesarian section in New Orleans, but the mass evacuation of the Crescent City abruptly changed that plan.
They found a willing team of doctors at Bridgeport Hospital to take on their case, and they’re glad they did.
“They’ve been wonderful, phenomenal,” said Shawn Rogers, who held her baby Friday morning while doctors who performed the surgery visited her.
“I feel good,” she said, smiling despite the surgery she’d been through Wednesday afternoon.
Dr. Kenneth Thomas and Dr. Robert Stiller were among the physicians tending to her.
“What happened in New Orleans [with the hurricane] was a tragedy, and everyone wanted to find ways to help,” said Stiller, who suggested that Bridgeport Hospital taking on the high-risk pregnancy was a good way to help someone from the stricken city.
John Paul is the couple’s fourth child. Also in the family are son Keland, 18; daughter Lindsey, 12; and son Corban, 3.
The next step for the Rogers family is to find work in Connecticut, since their jobs in New Orleans were wiped out by the hurricane.
Miner Rogers is a full-time Baptist minister, and Shawn Rogers is a mortgage originator.
“We probably could go back to our house in New Orleans, but there are no jobs,” Shawn Rogers said.
As for the congregation of 10,000 at Miner Rogers’ church, Beacon Light International Baptist Cathedral, “we’re scattered all over the country. We’ve evacuated as far west as Arizona and as far east as Connecticut,” he said.
The family is staying with relatives Orlando and Kim Soto in Shelton. Orlando Soto is a sergeant with the Stratford Police Department.
“We’re trying to deal with what we need to do if we don’t go back to New Orleans,” Miner Rogers said.
The Rogers family isn’t the only one in that predicament.
Elsewhere in the Naugatuck Valley, a partnership of the Valley Council of Health and Human Service Organizations, the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Valley Needs and Opportunities project announced a plan Friday to assist Hurricane Katrina evacuees who have relocated to the area.
The task force has identified eight families with 15 individuals being housed in the Valley, and is seeking to identify others that it may be unaware of. TEAM Inc. has offered to assign a case worker to work with the evacuees and serve as their advocate to identify specific needs they may have, and connect them with government and nongovernment resources. Help may include housing and household items, employment, financial assistance and health-care services.
“With the assistance of the Valley Chapter of the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, our case worker will meet with each of the families and individuals next week and hopefully by the end of the week we will ensure that they have been connected with FEMA, the state Department of Social Services and other state agencies and that we have identified the specific needs of each of them,” said Richard Knoll, executive director of TEAM, in a statement.
As the rubble clears, workers hand out supplies, and evacuees try to return to normal, stories of miracles abound here in the Deep South.
Sometimes, miracles really do come true. Outside the Victory Praise and Worship Center on Chicot Street in Pascagoula, a small tunnel hull boat rests its bow against the front, now plywood, door of the church. The boat has been resting there since Hurricane Katrina struck Mississippi on August 29, and rumors of it’s appearance have become known in the Pascagoula and Gautier communities simply as “The Boat Story.”
If you ask Pastor Myron Hairston, the boat is a living testament to the ship God sends his people in times of trouble. He recounted the story of his parishioners, who literally caught the boat to safety.
“I’ll tell the story as best I know it. What happened, the night of the hurricane, was that some of the members of this church were trapped in their homes. The water began to rise waist high and they began praying, and while they were praying they were also looking for a way to get out of the water because it was rising and rising so fast in the house they thought they were going to drown. They even thought about going across the street and stealing a couple of boats but they didn’t have to do that.
“As they were done praying, one of the ladies looked out the window and saw that God had provided this boat and they got on this boat with about 14 people in it and two German Shepherd dogs.
“One of the big strong guys who was part of the boat crew pushed the boat one, two, three blocks to this location right here (at the church’s front door). They crawled out of the boat, knocked out that door right there, and they went upstairs and they stayed there for a week. This is just a testimony of what God will do when we pray and when His children are in trouble.”
Friday, Sep. 16, 2005
Physicians at UC San Diego Medical Center performed the first in-utero surgery in Southern California to save the life of two unborn twin boys, hospital officials announced Thursday.
The procedure, known as fetoscopy, was performed at 20 weeks gestation to correct a deadly condition known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, where one twin was receiving too much blood and the other not enough.
“So one baby ends up with the lion’s share, while the other becomes quite anemic from lack of blood,” the surgeon, Dr. David Schrimmer told local media.
The babies’ mother, Millie Taulau, called the surgery a “miracle.”
“It’s amazing that the surgery went fine and everything went successfully,” Taulau told reporters.
Without the intervention, UCSD Medical Center officials said the twins would not have survived the pregnancy.
The babies were born prematurely at 29 weeks on Sept. 12 and are being cared for at the UCSD Infant Special Care Center in Hillcrest.
UCSD is the first medical center in Southern California to employ fetoscopy to save the lives of fetuses with life-threatening conditions, hospital officials said.
Guided by ultrasound, physicians used a laser, or photocoagulation, to close the blood vessels on the surface of the placenta so that the babies no longer share blood vessels.
The procedure takes about two hours.
Thursday, Sep. 15, 2005
A 60-year-old woman who survived eight days trapped and tormented by ants and mosquitoes after crashing down a deep creek bed is in a serious but stable condition.
Mrs Kathryn Ellacott’s family, who went to great lengths to track her down, told smh.com.au today they were “just ecstatic” after being on an “emotional roller-coaster” for the past week.
Mother of four Mrs Ellacott was found alive yesterday more than a week after her Holden Commodore plunged about 70 metres down a steep embankment in the Paluma Range, after crashing off a winding mountain road about 60 kilometres north of Townsville.
She had survived by drinking water from a nearby stream and sheltering under a rock in the rugged bush.
“It’s just amazing, absolutely amazing. We are just ecstatic. All of us put in a huge effort to find her and she’s well and it’s just amazing,” Mrs Ellacott’s niece, Leonie, said.
The 22-year-old flight attendant visited Mrs Ellacott in Townsville hospital yesterday.
“She was very weak. All she could say is how much she loves us. She’s had a big ordeal being in the bush for nine days,” Leonie said.
She said her aunt’s disappearance was totally out of character and the family did all it could to find her.
“For a week straight as a family we searched non-stop. My cousin went in a helicopter. We gave out a thousand pamphlets and posters. We did anything possible to find her because she’s very precious to us all,” she said.
It was just by chance that a family friend spotted the skid marks that lead to her crashed car, Leonie said.
“It was a family friend who knows the area quite well. They had been up a lot in the area hiking. [It was] just on a hunch they found her car,” she said.
After seeing the skid marks he used a pair of binoculars to search for the vehicle.
“He saw the bum of the car [and] saw the rego number. Then he alerted police,” she said.
Leonie said her entire family was still celebrating the fact Mrs Ellacott has survived.
“It’s just been a long emotional roller-coaster and we are over the moon.”
Police Inspector Warren Webber said investigators won’t speak to Mrs Ellacott until doctors have given the all clear.
“She did suffer some fairly extensive and severe lacerations and she was bitten by ants and mosquitoes and that sort of thing, and I would suggest that there’s probably a very good risk that some of her injuries have become infected.”
Inspector Webber said he was amazed she was not more badly injured.
“Certainly I haven’t seen one with such a good outcome … it’s tremendous that after a week of being missing in that country and after a road accident that Mrs Ellacott is in the condition that she’s in,” he told ABC Radio.
Mrs Ellacott was winched up to a helicopter after being found in the deep creek bed and flown to Townsville hospital.
“When we unloaded her, she smiled and thanked us,” rescue helicopter Phil Frost told ABC Radio.
Mr Frost said the area where Mrs Ellacott was found was extremely rugged.
“It was very thick foliage. The winch was probably from about 120 feet high. It was on a very steep embankment – almost a cliff with high cloud starting to stem from the tops of the mountains,” he said.
Inspector Webber said police were unsure why the child-care worker was driving in the range, the most southerly point of the Australian Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
“We’ll be endeavouring to speak to Mrs Ellacott when we can and clarify a couple of points,” he said.
Mr Ellacott’s family launched an extensive search – which included a massive doorknock from Cairns to Charters Towers, an aerial search of the region and a leaflet drop throughout the state – after she disappeared on her way to work.
She was found when a family friend noticed skid marks leading off the edge of a steep embankment.
Inspector Damien Irvine, one of two rescuing officers, said he was shocked to hear Mrs Ellacott calling out to him as he abseiled down the embankment.
“We continued on down into a large creek bed … and we were calling out her name but we really didn’t expect anyone to reply to us,” he told the Nine Network today.
“We’d probably done about 40 or 60 metres along that creek bed and I just turned to speak to my colleague and I heard Mrs Ellacott shouting out, which was amazing.
“She was only about four metres away from me. She was in a bad way but she was certainly conscious and able to speak to us and she was curled up under a rock for some shelter.
“I was quite amazed at the condition she was in for the injuries she had.”
Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2005
THE word miracle, like the word hero, is perhaps a little overused in this imprecise world of journalism.
But this is a freaking Miracle . . . Scout’s honor.
“I can walk about 20 feet, I get a little tired but, man, I can walk with my canes,” said Eugene Stolowski from Room 126 at the Kessler Institute in West Orange, N.J.
His wife, Brigid — who gave birth to twins Kaetlin and Kaeli while her husband was struggling for life — had her own take on the miracle.
“The doctors were pretty frank and said he had a 5 percent chance of survival,” said Brigid, as she was preparing her Orange County house in Florida, N.Y., for a massive homecoming around about noon tomorrow.
Gene was one of the six who went out that window in a burning Bronx building on Jan. 23 to escape certain death by flames.
Curtis Meyran and John Bellew — heroes both, and it’s not a word overused in this instance — perished on Black Sunday.
Stolowski survived along with Brendan Cawley, Joe DiBernardo and Jeff Cool, all helping each other out in the face of an inferno.
“It’s going to be so great to see my older daughter, Briana, at home, and the twins who goo-goo and ga-ga at any encouragement — they smile all the time,” said Stolowski.
“OK, I’m not going to run the 100-yard dash, but I’m lucky to be alive. But at the same time, I feel so sad and so bad for my brothers who didn’t make it.”
Now here’s why it was a miracle. When Gene leaped out of that blazing building and dropped 50 feet onto the concrete, he had broken legs, broken ribs and a pelvis shattered in five places.
But you know what else? And even as Brigid retells it, I get a bit queasy: “His skull was separated from his vertebrae.”
I can now say publicly, what I thought secretly and darkly, that Gene Stolowski did not have a snowball’s chance in hell of living. Oh me of little faith!
“I wasn’t sure myself,” said Brigid, “but you’d be amazed what prayer can do.”
Tomorrow, Gene will be greeted by fellow firefighters as he leaves Kessler Institute. Everyone east of Orange County better block their ears — Gene the Machine is a comin’ home.
Alexis Ann Barber will celebrate her first birthday later this month.
Her parents, Justin and Amy (Nieland) Barber, call her their miracle baby, and feel very blessed to have her.
Born Sept. 27, three months before her due date at Blank Hospital in Des Moines, she barely tipped the scales at 1 pound 6 oz. and measured only 13 inches.
At nearly a year, she now weighs 12 pounds, and is 28 1/2 inches long, barely bigger than some babes at birth.
She is a happy little girl, and always has been, despite the many health problems she has had to contend with.
She is now quite healthy and is doing many of the things that babies her age are doing.
She loves to play patty cake and is crawling.
“We feel so blessed to have such an awesome girl,” said Amy, who grew up in Newell and where her parents, Bruce and Robin, still reside.
The young Barber family resides in Clive.
Amy, a teacher, and Justin, who now owns his own business, met while attending college at Buena Vista University.
His parents are Glenn and Kathryn Barber.
The 2003 graduates were married and were anxious to start their family.
They were expecting their baby to arrive Dec. 22.
Amy was diagnosed with HELLP, which results in skyrocketing blood pressure and potential liver damage.
The young couple knew their baby needed more time to develop but there was no choice but to deliver her by emergency C-section.
They decided at first sight that their perfectly formed princess was a gift of God.
One of the most immediate concerns was to close a valve in her tiny heart.
When she was a mere six days, the surgery was performed and successful.
There were a few close calls where they thought they were going to lose her but from the beginning, Alexis has been a fighter.
“We are so glad she is,” said Amy.
Strong faith and support from family and friends have helped Amy and Justin deal with the difficulties.
Getting her to gain weight was also a concern.
Her first feeding in the hospital consisted of 1/5 of a teaspoon of her mother’s milk. Due to complications, a feeding tube was inserted. The tiny baby was much more easily feed in this manner and the milk was more tolerable.
The amount of feedings was gradually increased and Alexis was off and running to gaining weight!
Amy and Justin were told to expect that their daughter would be in the hospital until at least her due date but as it turned out, she remained until Feb. 3.
By that time, she had tipped the scales at 6 lb. 7 oz.
Everyone was quite pleased with the results.
“The nurses there called her Spitfire from the beginning,” said Amy, “because she was so active.”
Alexis had many other obstacles to cross during the months in the hospital.
She was on a ventilator for some time, keeping her free of infection was a challenge, she encountered an enlarged spleen and liver and was dealing with kidney problems.
In the beginning, Amy and Justin could not hold their daughter.
“That was probably the hardest,” Amy said, pointing out that she saw many other premies and sick babies on the hospital floor that were on being cuddled by their moms or dads.
“It broke my heart that I couldn’t hold her.”
It was an “awesome” feeling to finally hold their daughter.
Alexis was so tiny at first that Justin’s wedding ring fit her wrist, with room to spare.
Diapers were no bigger than Amy’s palm.
“It’s unbelievable to look back now and see how tiny she was,” Amy said.
Today, many people comment about how tiny Alexis is when they are told she is nearly a year old but to her parents, she is now big.
“We were so flooded with calls when she was born that we decided to start a web site,” Amy said.
It has also been a place to place pictures of Alexis for all to see. Grandma Nieland gave Alexis a Cabbage Patch doll while still in the hospital. The doll was used as a makeshift measuring stick when Alexis was only a few days old. She of course was dwarfed by the doll.
It was decided to continue taking monthly pictures with the doll to measure her progress.
Finally, at the age of nine months, she was the same size and now she is bigger than the doll.
While her parents are at work, Alexis is able to be at home and receive care from nurses.
Her parents are pleased that she doesn’t have to be taken to the day care and be exposed to germs that may be flying around from other children.
She still is equipped with a feeding pump, filled with with high calorie fluids to help the little girl gain more weight.
She also must see a kidney specialist in Iowa City on a regular basis.
“Alexis is very feisty and she isn’t afraid of anyone,” her mom said, attributing this to so much attention while in the hospital. She is also a very happy girl. She smiles all the time. We feel so very blessed to have her. We made a lot of acquaintances while she was in the hospital and some of those babies didn’t make it. She really is our miracle baby. God’s worked hard for her. He must have some awfully big plans for her.”
Alexis will be one of several babies featured as a Miracle Baby at the March of Dimes Banquet in Des Moines.
Thursday, Sep. 1, 2005
Aiden McKerracher was born on January 10 weighing only one pound, three ounces. He was premature by three months.
“They said not to expect him to cry,
Nicole McKerracher said. “But he came out screaming!
Ric McKerracher felt that was a sign his son was going to be a fighter. “He was one of the smallest babies they had even seen,
he says. “He was only 550 grams. They said that a 500-gram baby was viable. He just made it by half a chocolate bar.
The baby was five months in the neonatal care unit at Kingston General Hospital before he was allowed to come home. He now weighs eight pounds, seven ounces, and despite still requiring oxygen, he is alive and well.
The McKerrachers still have to be very careful the baby does not get an infection. They sanitize their hands before handling the infant and only allow close family to hold him. “Even a cold would hospitalize him,
While the baby was in Kingston in the isolette, they were allowed to just put a hand in but could not pick him up. Ric and Nicole took turns travelling to Kingston every day for visits.
“We couldn’t hold him for a month,
Nicole says. “That was hard. His skin was so translucent you could see right through it. He was very fragile.
Ric says the newborn was no bigger than his hand. They have photographs of the baby after he was born, at only 12 inches long. They took a print of his hand and foot and have it mounted in a frame on the wall.
“He was only 27 weeks in gestation,
adds Nicole, “but that was equivalent to 24 weeks.
The first few months were intense as the baby had to undergo surgery three times including laser surgery on his eyes. The baby needed five blood transfusions, with blood taken from his father.
“We almost lost him twice,
Nicole says. “It was very stressful.
She adds that physically he is doing really well now. He may need glasses at one year of age because he is nearsighted, and he is still getting hearing tests. His hand and eye coordination is good and he is very attentive. But they won’t know until he starts school if he has any learning disabilities.
Despite his size, Aiden already has a big attitude. “He didn’t like the nurses taking blood out of his foot and he would kick at them,
Ric smiles. “He’s a real fighter.
Both parents are very impressed at the technology available today for such infants and also at the level of care and caring from medical staff. They said they were glad for the healthcare system in Canada, with costs that would have been for a million-dollar baby in the United States. However, some parents were sent to Buffalo because of lack of space.
Aiden’s older brother Noah, two, is adjusting well to his new family addition. He was allowed to visit him in the hospital and even hold his hand and give him toys. The McKerrachers feel fortunate to have a supportive family as well, to pick up Noah from daycare while they are on the road.
“Premature babies are tougher in life,
Nicole says. “Everything happens for a reason. It is there to teach us something.
A MOTHER who defied diabetes and a heart attack to give birth to a healthy daughter has thanked Walsgrave Hospital for her miracle baby.
Toni Howe, of Wyken, was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of ten. Then on her wedding day five years ago the 30-year-old suffered a heart attack.
After spending her first week of married life in hospital, doctors first told Toni to wait at least a year before trying for a baby with husband Mark.
But then another doctor told her the devastating news a problem with her ovaries meant she was unlikely ever to conceive.
Despite the hurdles in front of her, Toni and Mark never gave up hope and, with the help of experts from Walsgrave, Toni gave birth to Saskia in March.
Speaking of her experience, Toni said she now juggled motherhood with her four injections of insulin a day.
“Having Saskia’s everything I had hoped it would be and more, she is such a happy baby,” she said.
Toni found support from doctors and nurses at Walsgrave’s preconception clinic, where she found out the problems diabetics were faced with on becoming pregnant.
Dr Aresh Anwar, a consultant in diabetes, said Toni’s story was an example to all diabetic women who wanted to have a child.
“She worked extremely hard to keep her diabetes under control during pregnancy,” Dr Anwar added.
“It’s fabulous to see her so happy with her new baby.”
Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005
RUBY Doland entered the medical record books before she was born!
The youngster was still in her mother Kelly’s womb when doctors carried out a blood transfusion on her at London’s Queen Charlotte Hospital.
Kelly, 27, was 17 weeks pregnant with Ruby when doctors discovered she needed the life-saving procedure and Ruby became the youngest baby ever to have a blood transfusion while still in her mother’s womb.
Doctors had discovered Kelly’s body was producing antibodies which were breaking down the baby’s red blood cells, causing anaemia and a condition called Rh immunisation.
The rare condition had already seen Kelly lose a baby in the womb at 34 weeks and when she had son Harry in 2002 she had to go through the procedure that saved Ruby when he was 22 weeks in the womb.
Doctors had to insert a long thin needle into Kelly’s stomach and into Ruby’s umbilical cord.
Thankfully, they hit their target first time and managed to carry out the transfusion and Ruby was born on May 31 at a healthy 6lb 13oz.
Kelly, who was brought up in the St Nicholas area of Stevenage and attended John Henry Newman School, talked about her ordeal at her home in Stanford Road, Southill, Bedfordshire.
“It was incredible that they got the cord first time. There was a risk the op could have caused her heart to stop beating,” said Kelly
“I cannot thank the wonderful doctors and hospital enough.
“Thank God both my children are healthy and gorgeous. Ruby still has to have blood transfusions. I will have no more children. I have a boy and a girl and my husband Neil and I are thrilled and very lucky to have two wonderful little children.”
Kelly and plumber husband Neil, 29, had gone through hell to make sure both their children survived and are fit and healthy.
“I could not go through all that again,” added Kelly.
“My body started producing antibodies after my first baby died in my womb and since then, every time I have become pregnant I have had trouble.
“But we are now happy with Harry and Ruby. Harry has been given the all clear now and no longer needs transfusions.
“It was worth all the pain just to see their happy little faces every day.”
Ruwan Wimalasundera, a consultant at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital’s foetal care unit, told the BBC: “This is the earliest blood transfusion we have on record and was particularly tricky because the pregnancy was so early.
“We would normally inject into the liver, but in this case because it was so soon the team led by consultant, Salesh Kumar, had to go into the umbilical cord. About 85 per cent of babies with this condition die if they don’t get the treatment.
A TEENAGER escaped serious injury when he was spiked in the face by a wire mesh fence in a freak accident.
Daniel Codd, 15, was playing football on an artificial surface when he was injured.
Witnesses say Daniel had been diving for the ball and hit one of the metal spikes.
The other end of the 6ft section swung up and a spike embedded itself between one eye and the top of his nose.
An ambulance was called but Daniel would not fit into it with the fence hanging from his face, so fire crew were called to cut the boy free.
Station Officer Ben Levy led the operation to cut the boy free at the playing fields at Clarendon recreation ground on Liverpool Street.
He said: “That sharp spike of fence could have easily put his eye out or gone beyond into his head.
“The force was only stopped because the spike hit bone.”
Mr Levy said: “By the time we got there the boy was quite calm and we first put him on a spinal board to keep him very still, then cut him free with bolt cutters.
“He was even able to help direct officers where to cut, as he had the best view of the fence, just inches from his eye.”
Daniel’s mother, Julie Callaghan, learned of the accident when two boys ran to her Sedgefield Close home.
She said: “I didn’t see the accident actually happen but the boys came running up to me as soon as it had.
“My nerves are still all over the place you never know what could have happened.”
Daniel was taken to Hope Hospital, but later transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, in Pendlebury, where he was due to have surgery to remove the spike this afternoon.
Doctors also have permission to take pictures of Daniel for medical research.
Firefighters later taped off the area around the fallen fence.
A baby has beaten odds of 13million to one to be born fit and healthy despite having grown in her mother’s abdomen, instead of her womb.
Doctors only realised Millie-An Pittman was in the wrong place when they performed an emergency Caesarean on her mum Lisa – who had originally been told she would find it hard to have children.
The baby, whose name is a play on words on “one in a million”, was delivered successfully weighing 8lb 7oz in one of only 100 such cases in the world ever. She is now four weeks old.
Abdominal pregnancy, which occurs in one in 10,000 cases, is usually spotted early and terminated because it puts the mother’s life in danger. The risk of death is nearly 1 in 200.
Baby’s strange position never noticed
Despite repeated scans during a painful pregnancy, Millie-An’s astonishing position beneath her mother’s stomach was never noticed.
Lisa, 37, who lost 12 pints of blood and needed emergency surgery after the birth, including a full hysterectomy and a bowel operation, said it was only as the incisions were made that the truth became clear.
“I was trying to be induced,” she told GMTV.
“It was only the fact that she wasn’t coming after trying so hard for so long they decided to do the C-section for that reason, and then it turned into an emergency C-section.
“She was growing in my abdomen. The placenta had fused itself to the bowel. Apparently then there’s oxygen and so forth being fed to the bowel so she was basically getting everything she wanted.
“I was quite poorly to begin with. It took me three days of recovery to get to even meet her.”
‘Millie-An is one in a million’
Lisa, from from Letchworth, Herts, added: “When I thought I couldn’t have children in the beginning, I always said if I ever had a little girl I’d have to call her Millie-An, because it’s one in a million that I would ever have a baby. And then she turned out to be one anyway.”
She paid tribute to staff at Lister Hospital in Stevenage.
“The aftercare I had was absolutely amazing,” she said.
Pregnancy expert Dr Sarah Jarvis told the programme: “It’s just astonishing. There’s only ever been 100 cases in the world ever.”
Dr Jarvis said it was “bizarre” that Millie-An’s position had not been noticed.
“What’s really astonishing is that Lisa had a scan at seven weeks because she’d had problems and had been told it would be difficult to get pregnant, she ended up having a scan even earlier than we’d normally do.
“That’s what makes this doubly amazing. We don’t use the word miracle very often.”
Millie-An’s position is thought to be the result of an extremely rare form of ectopic pregnancy – in which the egg develops outside the womb. Normally in such cases the fertilised egg implants itself in one of the fallopian tubes on its way to the womb.
But it can also fall out the tube and implant anywhere in the abdomen.
Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005
Kenneth Liptak Jr.’s car didn’t look like a car after being crushed, twisted and dragged by a train Saturday morning north of Valparaiso.
Porter County Sheriff’s Department officers who responded were shocked to see that Liptak not only survived the crash, but also managed to crawl out of the mangled metal and walk around.
“It was a miracle. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Sgt. Charles Douthett said in a news release.
Liptak’s mother, Helen, said she was still in shock hours after hearing about the crash. She said “somebody up there” was looking out for her son.
The crash occurred at 7:50 a.m. Saturday at County Road 200 West and the CSX tracks, about two miles north of U.S. 6.
Liptak, 30, who lives just north of the crossing, was heading south to work at Four Seasons Nursery on U.S. 6.
He told police he pulled out of his driveway and immediately saw the lights and gates activated. He told police he saw a northbound car drive around the gates and then he looked for westbound trains, telling police the morning trains usually come from that direction. Liptak admitted he didn’t look in the other direction.
An eastbound train, which was traveling 55 mph, struck the passenger side of his 1990 Subaru Legacy station wagon, pushing the car 200 feet east of the crossing. The mangled wreckage landed upside down. Liptak, who police said had only minor bruises and declined medical treatment, was walking around the scene when police arrived. Police said the 6-foot-4 Liptak wiggled himself free from the wreckage.
Police, who ticketed Liptak for disregarding a railroad signal, said the crash shows the importance of obeying safety devices at railroad crossings.
The crossing was closed for three hours because of the investigation and cleanup.
Liberty Township firefighters and Porter hospital EMS joined Porter County police at the scene.
Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005
Seven-year-old Tianna stood outside Cape Cod Hospital Wednesday afternoon with an important message for her father.
“I want to say I love you … and I don’t want him to (fish) anymore.”
The youngster’s father, Andrew Joseph, 29, of Eastham, was one of two men pulled from a life raft earlier that day after their boat, the Northern Wind, capsized and sank Monday about 35 miles southeast of Nantucket.
The other survivor is Shawn Balestraci, 32, of Gloucester. The captain, Edward Smith, of Deer Isle, Maine, drowned when the 50-foot scallop dragger went down.
Tianna’s mother, Laureen Field, who has two children with Joseph, said the fisherman “seems OK. He was just really glad to see the kids. He’s very sunburned and dehydrated.”
Field said she pulled Tianna out of summer camp and rushed her to the hospital when they got the news Wednesday that the two men had been located and flown by the Coast Guard to the hospital. Both men were still hospitalized in stable condition yesterday, being treated for dehydration, David Reilly, a hospital spokesman, said.
“Both are shaken up and exhausted. They’ve been though a tremendous ordeal,” he said. “My understanding is the biggest issue is exhaustion.” Neither man has yet talked publicly about their harrowing experience, Reilly added.
The boat left late Sunday night from its homeport in Hyannis and was due back Monday night. The boat’s owner, Seth Wahlstrom, also of Eastham, reported it overdue that evening.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Kelly Newlin said the Northern Wind had a full array of safety equipment, including two life rafts, but the boat’s emergency radio beacon failed to activate when it sank. Coast Guard planes and boats searched the waters off Nantucket Tuesday and Wednesday.
Joseph and Balestraci were found by the fishing vessel Atlantic Queen and then picked up by a Coast Guard helicopter. They told the Coast Guard that Smith didn’t make it onto the life raft.
“He went into the water and wasn’t wearing his life jacket,” Newlin said. “They saw him go under the water.” Nonetheless, the Coast Guard had begun plans Wednesday night for a search, Newlin said.
Friday, Aug. 26, 2005
A FAMILY home in Primrose Hill was destroyed when fire tore through the building.
Six crews attended the blaze at the flat in Regent’s Park Road after neighbours spotted thick, black smoke pouring from the first floor windows.
Firefighters attempted to extinguish the fire but had to cope with a potentially lethal back draft that forced them to retreat.
Leading firefighter Cos Papandronicou, of Belsize Park Fire Station, said: “When we were fighting the fire there was a back draft and luckily nobody was injured.
“It is quite rare for it to happen but it occurs when you get a build up of gases and then it is vented. It was quite an explosive force and slammed a door shut.”
The fire started in the kitchen of a first floor flat and spread through the house, where Labour councillor Sybil Shine owns a flat.
Nobody was in the house at the time but the owners returned to find firefighters at the scene.
Rupert Holmes, 47, who has been living at the house for 15 years, was in Moscow when his wife Julia sent him a text message to tell him about the fire.
He said: “There was a period of about 20 minutes when we didn’t know where the nanny and our children were, but luckily there was nobody at home at the time of the fire.
“I am just pleased nobody died – there was some substantial damage and if someone had been here they could have been badly hurt.
“Luckily most of our irreplaceable belongings, like photographs, were not damaged.”
Neighbour Sally Roter, 57, was having a garden party barbecue at the time.
She said: “I smelt smoke and I thought, ‘that isn’t the barbecue,’ so I went outside. There was black smoke billowing phenomenally out of the windows, although strangely enough I couldn’t see any flames.
“Lots of fire engines arrived – at one point I counted 12 – and they stayed until about midnight. The firemen had oxygen masks and there was a huge ladder going up to the roof.
“The road was closed completely and everybody in the park was watching. It was all very dramatic.”
Crews from Belsize Park, Kentish Town, West Hampstead and Euston were called to the scene at 4.30pm on Saturday. They battled the blaze until about 7pm.
Mr Papandronicou added: “The damage was quite substantial. As the house had been converted into flats we had quite a few false walls and ceilings which caught fire.
“We managed to stop it spreading to the roof but the kitchen was gutted and the back bedroom was smoke damaged.”
The cause of the fire is not known and is currently being investigated.
Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2005
Laughter filled the hallway near the neonatal intensive care unit as the girl who was given a three percent chance of survival dabbled her hands in the frosting of her first birthday cake.
The pink frosting on the cakes said it all “Happy Birthday Miracle Baby Cora Rose.”
A year after her four month premature birth, doctors and nurses who helped Cora Rose Leone survive now helped her celebrate her first birthday in the hallway leading to the unit where Cora spent her first four months of life.
Her mother, grandmother and aunt brought her back to visit the people who cared for her.
The nearly 13-pound girl was the life of her party as doctors and nurses held her and remembered how far she had come.
Cora, the second smallest baby to survive at Loma Linda University Medical Center, was 14.5 ounces and 10.5 inches long at birth.
“She is amazing,” said her mother, Shawnda Rae Guptill-Leone. “We are very lucky.”
Aside from her small size, she is the picture of health and her mother spoke with pride about the baby’s attempts to walk and first words.
But tears of sadness mixed with tears of joy.
Cora’s twin brother, Dominic, only lived for two months.
“It’s a bittersweet day,” Guptill-Leone said. “If you could take a moment today, think of my son.”
Wendy Guptill, Cora’s grandmother, recalled how Dominic’s nurse, Annette Gross, cared for him and later, Cora.
“She is going to be our lifelong friend,” she said.
Both Gross and Annette Patel, her main nurse, and Dr. Elmar Sakala, who delivered Cora held the girl in the tiny pink dress during the visit.
“It is really exciting to know she is doing so well,” said Gross. “She is such as amazing baby.”