Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007
HIS brain injury was so massive that experts at Southampton General Hospital feared he may not survive.
Little James Bascran lay close to death after being involved in a car accident on his way home from school just three months ago and his parents were told he was unlikely ever to completely recover.
But the 12-year-old has defied experts, despite spending two weeks in a coma, by making an incredible recovery.
Today he is once again walking, talking and writing – and even asking to play football with his mates.
Proud dad Jim, 47, a senior officer in the fire brigade, said: “The consultants told us he was this year’s miracle boy – they told us they had switched off the machines for boys with less severe injuries than James. We are so lucky to have him back.”
James fractured his skull in two places following the crash. His injuries so severe there was little hope he would even survive the journey to the paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton.
“You wouldn’t think it to look at him now. We were told it would take two years and then he would get to a point where that would be as good as he would get. Now he can walk quite a long way, his speech is fine and he’s remembering things – it’s amazing,” said mum Lesley.
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007
Twenty years ago, Alvaro Garza Jr., was pulled from the icy Red River after being underwater 45 minutes.
He became known as the Christmas miracle.
Today, the ‘miracle’ is a 31-year-old father of four who works as an oil driller in Texas. But he says he still remembers his brush with death.
He said one of his children, 10-year-old Alvaro Garza III, nearly drowned about six years ago on a family trip to a state park in Texas. The boy was pulled from a river, much as his father was two decades ago.
Garza said he tells his children to respect the water and not take chances.
Monday, Dec. 3, 2007
A DRIVER had a miraculous escape when she lost control of her car on a bridge and plummeted nine metres (30ft) onto a railway line.
The woman, from Cockermouth, Cumbria, was taken to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle with minor injuries and shock.
The accident happened in Dalston, four miles from Carlisle, on Friday.
The southbound line was closed and trains were diverted .
The incident was similar to the Selby crash in 2001 when 10 were killed after a Land Rover plunged onto the East Coast main line and collided with a train.
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007
A YOUNG Chard family are celebrating the homecoming of their miracle babies this week after being told they were unlikely to survive.
Rachael Glynn (22) and Jason Dunn (23) bought home identical twins Sophie and Jessica Dunn who were born weighing just 1lb12oz and 3lb2oz after developing Twin To Twin Transfusion Syndrome in the womb.
TTTS is a dangerous condition where twins share the same placenta with one effectively feeding off the other.
Rachael, said: “We were told they had TTTS 16 weeks into the pregnancy. Jessica was quite a lot bigger than Sophie and we were told they probably wouldn’t make it – and to prepare ourselves for them to die inside me.
“I was on edge the whole pregnancy – it was really stressful.”
The twins were delivered by caesarean section at Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital on September 11 – around ten weeks early – and were kept in incubators and on breathing equipment in the neonatal unit.
The tiny babies endured numerous infections and complications with Jessica having a brain haemorrhage and a thickened heart and Sophie developing three hernias.
The twins are now safe at home and getting stronger.
Monday, Nov. 12, 2007
TWO semi-trailer drivers had a miraculous escape after they were involved in an accident in heavy rain near Gatton, during which their trucks were destroyed.
QFRS said the two B-double semi-trailers were travelling west along the Warrego Highway about 7.15pm when one of the trucks carrying wine burst a tyre and rolled in the wet conditions.
QFRS said the second truck which was following behind the first hit either the debris or the first semi-trailer and also rolled.
The wine-carrying truck burst into flames which completely enveloped the truck.
The second semi-trailer, which was carrying two empty shipping containers, was torn apart in the accident.
The trucks finished up about 100 metres apart.
The Queensland Ambulance Service said one truck driver was taken to the Gatton Hospital with minor facial injuries, while the other was transported to Toowoomba Base Hospital with minor chest injures.
A QFRS spokeswoman said more than 2000 litres of diesel spilt on to the road from the fuel tanks on the trucks.
Firefighters had described the devastation at the scene, she said.
“They said there was just debris as far as you can see.
“There are bits of truck everywhere and on top of that it is pouring with rain.”
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson described the accident as ‘a horrific scene’.
“(The ambulance officers) couldn’t believe the devastation.”
“They are amazed that anyone managed to get out alive, let alone with minor injuries,” he said.
Doctors say premature babies have a low rate of survival, but here in Bakersfield, ABC23 found one baby born three months early who’s beating the odds.
Breanne Smith, 19, was overjoyed when she found out she was pregnant with a baby boy. That joy soon turned to fear when she was rushed to the hospital three months early for an emergency C-section.
“It’s really unbelievable how small he is … Like a kitten … tiny,” said Smith.
Branson Smith was born weighing 1 pound 4 ounces in August. Smith said he wasn’t due until December.
She said she developed eclampsia, a condition that creates seizures during pregnancy.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, eclampsia follows preeclampsia, a serious complication of pregnancy marked by high blood pressure, weight gain, and protein in the urine. The site suggests it is difficult to predict which women with preeclampsia will go on to have seizures. Women with very high blood pressure, headaches, vision changes, or abnormal blood tests have severe preeclampsia and are at high risk for seizures.
Doctors said the survival rate of a baby being born three and a half months premature is only 10 percent.
Smith said all she can do is have hope and take it day by day.
Baby Branson is almost three months old now and weighs three-and-a-half pounds.
Smith said if everything continues to go as well as it has, Branson could be headed home on what would have been his birthday.
Friday, Nov. 9, 2007
Two-year-old Indian girl Lakshmi Tatma who underwent a complicated surgery to remove the extra limbs from her body has regained consciousness in what comes as a big relief for her parents, news reports and officials said on Friday.
“She is awake and is moving her arms and legs. She also smiled on seeing her mother,” Dr Y John, director of medical services at the Sparsh Hospital in the southern city of Bangalore told the PTI news agency.
The team of 30 doctors which on Wednesday concluded a 27-hour long breakthrough surgery on the girl born with two pairs of arms and legs, allowed her parents to meet her on Thursday night.
The doctors plan to slowly take Lakshmi off the ventilator in the coming days. They said that the toddler had shown signs of steady recovery on Thursday; she moved her toes and hands and opened her eyes for a brief while.
“She is doing well and all her essential parameters are stable, but she is still in the intensive care unit and her condition is being constantly monitored,” Mamatha Patil, coodinator for Sparsh Foundation, a charitable trust attached to the hospital, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa over telephone.
Lakshmi, has a very rare condition called ischiopagus, which occurs in less than 2% of conjoined twins, and develops when the twin embryo stops developing in the mother’s womb, and one foetus develops at the expense of the other.
She was born with a parasitic twin – she had one head but an extra pair of arms and legs joined to her torso that made it impossible for her to stand or walk.
The child was named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth by her poor parents, Shambhu and Poonam, who both go by one name and come from the northern state of Bihar bordering Nepal.
Lakshmi started being revered in her village, her extra limbs being considered miraculous, as an incarnation of the goddess.
Her parents had initially taken Lakshmi to a hospital in New Delhi, but were forced to abandon their plans when they were approached by circus owners who wanted to buy Lakshmi.
Shambhu and his wife were praying for the quick recovery of their daughter who got a new lease of life on Friday, which also happens to be Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, when Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped.
“We all are praying that she gets well soon. We are happy to have got the operation done since the surgery was necessary for her future,” Shambhu told reporters.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007
The only child of a young Samoan couple crawls around happily, cries when she’s hungry and – like any other baby – is the apple of her parents’ eye.
But this baby was born with such serious facial deformities doctors didn’t expect her to survive longer than a day.
She is now two months old and has been called Baby Miracle by her parents, who are delighted their firstborn has defied the doctors’ predictions.
They took her home after three days from the hospital in Falelatai because they didn’t believe the hospital was feeding her, convinced she would die.
Before that, they secretly fed her, dripping milk into her mouth.
Auckland-based producer of Samoa TV, Taufau Aukuso, has launched an appeal to raise money to bring Baby Miracle and her parents to New Zealand to first determine what Baby Miracle is suffering from and to get medical help for her.
“They don’t know what is wrong with her. They’ve said her brain may be smaller [than normal] but they just don’t know,” Ms Aukuso said.
“It won’t be until she’s here that we will know what we’re dealing with.”
Her mother has to squeeze food and milk through a special straw into Baby Miracle’s mouth to keep her alive.
“It’s hard on the parents. They’re young and don’t have much money. This is their first child and the first grandchild for the family.”
Ms Aukuso told the Weekend Herald about $5000 had been raised since a documentary aired on Triangle TV on Monday night, but she’d had problems with the hospital where Baby Miracle was born who hadn’t been able to locate a crucial report.
“We have been talking to Middlemore Hospital [about possible treatment] but they told us they need to see a report from the hospital where she was born.”
The report was due to be faxed to New Zealand last night.
Ms Aukuso said the hospital initially denied Baby Miracle existed.
“They hid it in Samoa … It wasn’t until after the documentary that people talked about it.”
Doctors reportedly kept the baby secret to protect the family.
The Survival Foundation in Apia is now helping the couple care for her.
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007
After her teenage daughter slipped into a coma, Thelma Pickard never lost hope of recovery.
Six years on, the devoted mother is daring to believe her hopes may be answered.
Daughter Amy, now 23, has begun to show signs of life after being given an over-the-counter sleeping pill.
Last night Mrs Pickard said the ‘old sparkle’ returned to her daughter’s eyes when she was given a pill and described the change as ‘amazing’.
Until last month she remained seemingly lifeless in bed in a nursing home.
But now, barely four weeks after taking her first Zolpidem pill as part of a worldwide trial, she is breathing by herself, instead of through a hole in her throat, reacting to food and showing signs of awareness.
Mrs Pickard, 54, said: ‘She is changing and it is amazing. When she takes the pill, I see her face relax and the old sparkle return to her eyes. It’s incredible. When I look at her now I can see the old Amy coming through, fighting to get out.’
Two weeks ago Amy stood up – with support from two nurses – for the first time since she lost consciousness. She is also focusing on objects and making voluntary noises rather than staring into space with no sign of life.
Amy was 17 and preparing for the birth of her first child when she slipped into a coma six years ago.
She collapsed and suffered severe brain damage after experimenting with heroin. Shortly afterwards, former nurse Mrs Pickard, a mother of two from Hastings, East Sussex, allowed an image of the teenager in her hospital bed to be released as a poignant plea to persuade others not to use drugs.
Since then she has spent hours at her daughter’s bedside at the Raphael Medical Centre in Tonbridge, Kent, visiting every day.
Her decision to allow her daughter to be part of the drugs trial is the subject of a BBC1 documentary, to be shown tonight. Amy is one of 360 people taking part in the trial .
The remarkable side- effects of Zolpidem were first noticed in South Africa after 24-year-old Louis Viljoen suffered serious brain damage when he was hit by a truck in 1994.
Doctors expected him to die and told his mother he would never regain consciousness. He was prescribed Zolpidem – normally used as a quick fix for insomnia – five years later in an attempt to reduce involuntary spasms in his arm.
Doctors thought the drug would send him into a deep sleep and stop him moving around so much – but just 25 minutes after being given the first pill, he sat up and said: ‘Hello, mummy.’
Medics were baffled, and British firm ReGen Therapeutics is now leading research into the astonishing side-effects.
Mrs Pickard, who flew to South Africa to meet other patients, said: ‘I had read about this drug but I never dreamed Amy would get a chance to try it.
‘When I came back from South Africa, I was exhausted but the hope in my heart was intense. I realised Amy must try this new treatment.’
Doctors have warned it could take months for a major breakthrough-in her daughter’s condition- but Mrs Pickard says progress is already obvious.
‘Her eyes are now focusing on things, she’s more aware of her surroundings and she’s making so much noise – almost forming actual words. It’s remarkable.’
Amy is also reacting to food and drink – grimacing when given a lemon or something sour and smiling when given something sweet.
Mrs Pickard added: ‘It’s a day-today waiting game to see what will happen next, but I just know she’s going to speak any day.’
Nobody could have pictured this miracle
Two months ago, no one could have ever imagined the photo on the front page of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Friday. There was Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Maury Hernandez, with the aid of a physical therapist, standing up and meeting the media and well-wishers.
Gravely wounded on Aug. 6 and not expected to survive, his recovery from the shooting has been nothing short of miraculous. At a time when South Florida has been numbed by police being shot in the line of duty, Hernandez’ will to live has been an inspiration. Around-the-clock support from family and friends and officers throughout South Florida undoubtedly played a big part in that smile on his face this week.
The five-year BSO veteran, who faces months of rehab, said he’d like to return to his old job as an undercover detective. Nobody should bet against him.
A three-year-old girl found alive in the wreck of a plane crash near Golden, B.C., was being called a miracle on Monday.
The girl, Kate Williams, was the lone survivor of a crash on Sunday that claimed the lives of her grandfather and another passenger.
Rescue crews found Kate strapped into a child’s car seat inside an upside-down airplane buried in snow on the edge of an icy riverbank.
“I think the care that was taken in placing the child in there, that extra protection, is what basically, I think, saved her life,” Golden RCMP Sgt. Marko Shehovac told CTV News.
“It’s a sad time for the family but at the same time, a minor miracle has happened here.”
Her grandfather, Allen D. Williams, was flying the plane.
“He loved to fly, it was his life,” said Peter Edgar. “Al had probably more hours than most airline captains have, so I’m very, very surprised that this would happen now.”
Williams, 65, the CEO and founder of an Edmonton engineering firm, was in B.C. for a business retreat with Steven T. Sutton, the company’s chief financial officer.
They were flying back to Edmonton when Williams’ Cessna 172 crashed an hour after taking off from Golden around 1 p.m. local time, killing both men.
“Allen has been a visionary and a leader in the consulting engineering industry throughout Alberta and across the country,” Naseem Bashir, vice-president of A.D. Williams Engineering Inc., said in a statement.
“Steven, a trusted advisor to our firm and in our community; was an honest man who lived what he believed. Both men are treasured husbands, fathers, grandfathers, and mentors who will be greatly missed.”
Hospital officials said Kate suffered non-life threatening head injuries and was reunited with her parents in the southeastern B.C. community of Golden.
She was admitted to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary on Monday, for overnight observation.
Rescuers said that bad weather and nightfall hampered the search efforts.
Members of Golden’s search-and-rescue team said when Kate was recovered on Sunday she was scared and cried for her teddy bear.
Monday, Oct. 29, 2007
Eugene – Hundreds of special little children and their parents gathered for a party at Sacred Heart Medical Center Saturday.
From twin babies to toddlers, these children came dressed in their Halloween finest. But it wasn’t just a spooky celebration, it was a reunion!
These kids and their families are celebrating the lives of babies that were born pre-maturely at Sacred Heart’s Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit. Officials say it’s a way of celebrating the babies growing up healthy and strong.
“It helps them see other babies and how well other babies are doing and it helps parents to meet other parents to connect with each other and get support,” says registered nurse Barbara Johnson.
This is the 30-th annual reunion. The Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit was established in 1977.
Friday, Oct. 26, 2007
At just five hours old, baby Murillo takes her family on the journey of a lifetime.
Overdue with her third baby, Beatrice Murillo, her husband, two little girls, and the baby’s grandparents saw the smoke and flames racing toward their home late Sunday night.
The baby’s grandfather, Cerilo Murillo, recalls telling his family “I want to stay there, because in the past with other fires, we’re okay.”
Not this time.
The fire chased them out all the way to this evacuation center, where she was separated from her family.
Cerilo said “she was scared, a strange color in her face.”
She was in labor.
The baby’s grandmother, Beatrice, said “she was in labor they took her away to the hospital.”
Fire blocked her path again.
She ended up at Qualcomm Stadium’s evacuation center.
Her worried family couldn’t find her for days.
KNSD-TV stepped in, searching hospitals, evacuee centers. Finally, just two hours before the baby’s birth, KNSD-TV found her here at mary birch hospital.
The reunion was sweet but not complete.
Cerilo Murillo said “the other thing is to know how my house is, I’m still worried.”
Worried that their home may end like their neighbors, destroyed by the fires.
Would their newborn still have a home?
Was it the lucky space 45? Not sure, we took pictures.
Cerilo said “this is our trailer. It’s still there.”
Another miracle for the Murillos.
Monday, Oct. 22, 2007
Jamie Milnamow’s story involves a pair of sandals, Mickey Mouse, and an emergency room.
Actually, Milnamow’s story is one of luck, courage, and a whole lot of love.
Jamie went to Disney World last spring with her family. The day before, she wore sandals, like many of us do that time of year. They gave her a blister, which is not uncommon.
But while on vacation, Jamie caught two bacterial infections through the blister. She felt ill almost immediately and her fun trip turned into a trip to the emergency room.
Jamie says she was close to dying and her doctors said that it is a miracle that she is here to share her story.
“I had a choice to make and it was a very simple one,” Jamie says, as tears drip from her eyes. “My family.”
Doctors gave Jamie an injection that saved her life, but as a result she lost nine of her fingers and both of her feet.
“I had to learn to walk again, write again, eat again.”
And here is where the smile comes out.
“I still can shoot hoops. Right now we’re working on volleyball and I can still serve. Fork and spoon are working great. Glass is tough…I drop those! I can’t vacuum too well…sorry hunny.”
Officials from the Indiana Health Department say by simply washing your hands and covering open wounds it helps protect you from the infections.
SOUTH SALT LAKE – A man is in the hospital in fair condition this morning after being struck by a commuter train and pinned underneath one of its cars.
South Salt Lake police spokesman Gary Keller says the incident occurred about 8:05 a.m. when the man, who has not been identified, tried to beat the northbound TRAX train leaving northbound from the Meadowbrook station at 3900 South and 188 West.
The man was hit as he crossed in front of the train, tossed about 20 feet down the track and then trapped underneath the first car. A South Salt Lake Fire Department crew had to use jacks to lift the train off of the man. He was then flown to a local hospital.
Keller says the man was conscious and talking as he was taken from the scene.
“This is quite amazing that he’s in such good condition,” he said.
Keller said the driver of the train was not at fault and would not be cited.
Utah Transit Authority spokeswoman Carrie Vohnsack-Ware says this is the second pedestrian-TRAX incident at the Meadowbrook station since 2000.
The station has clearly posted warnings to pedestrians to watch for the trains, and a warning bell sounds whenever the trains leave the loading platforms.
“This is a good safety reminder,” Vohnsack-Ware said. “Don’t try to beat the train.”
Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007
I am going to guess that even if I could find her, she probably wouldn’t talk anyway.
The last thing people who do such things ever seek is attention called to themselves. And, yes, she did a very good thing.
A man lay in the road. There was blood everywhere. Dozens of people watched it, the same way she had. She was the only one who did anything.
It was early afternoon last Saturday when Richard Green and his buddy, Charlie Aubuchon, set out from Colorado Springs on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles for a quick road trip to Wyoming.
Richard Green had just turned 50, so it was a bit of a celebratory ride.
“We were just going to air out the bikes, cross the border and turn them right around,” Richard Green said.
They were headed northbound on Interstate 25 just outside of Loveland when they crested a hill and saw a massive traffic back-up.
“I tried to stop the bike first, but the back wheel locked up on me and I started to fishtail,” Richard Green recalled.
“The only thing at that point I figured I could do is lay it down, or run smack into those cars and take the express elevator right up.”
The problem was that for the first time since he began riding motorcycles, which dates back to when he was a teenager, Richard Green, an appliance service technician, wasn’t wearing either his helmet or his riding leathers.
He laid it down.
He remembers the initial shower of sparks from the floorboard and wheels flying past him as he slid on his backside down the highway.
They later told him he had slid some 50 yards when he and the bike slammed into something on the road.
“I remember hitting something, and me and the bike getting flipped into the air, me getting thrown through the air like a rag doll.
“The next thing I know, she was holding me.”
No one, it seems, knows who she was.
But Richard Green and his sister, Rhonda Brewer, believe she saved his life.
“He remembers nothing of the woman except her face, her red hair and that she wore glasses,” Rhonda Brewer, a Tucson, Ariz., artist, says of her younger brother.
“She was holding his head in her lap, telling him not to move, that the paramedics were coming. She was the last thing he remembers until he awoke again in the ambulance.”
The back-up, Richard Green later discovered, was the result of a six-car collision on the interstate. Everyone else sat in their cars. She rushed immediately to his aid.
And he needed it badly.
His head had been smashed. It would take doctors 11 staples to close the ragged bits of flesh. He smashed six ribs on his left side, one of which punctured his lung. He had pulverized his clavicle.
“If someone hadn’t helped him, he would have bled to death,” his sister said. “But there was this angel on the highway, this wonderful spirit, who in that mass confusion on the highway thought not of herself.”
She kept telling Richard Green over and over that he would be OK. He remembers her smiling all the time at him.
“I remember she kept telling me not to move my head,” Richard Green said. “She thought I had maybe broken my spine, and kept trying to calm me down because I was pretty shook up.”
What happened to Charlie Aubuchon?
He was riding just behind Richard Green. When he crested the hill on his bike, he was able to slam on his brakes.
“Mostly he was making phone calls, getting people there and basically making sure nobody ran me over lying there in the road.”
He was discharged from Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland on Thursday. Of his motorcycle, he says, “she came out of it a lot better than I did.”
The kicker of the story occurred a few days ago when Richard Green still lay unconscious in the intensive care unit.
On his bedside lay a brand new Harley-Davidson T-shirt, identical to the one the paramedics had cut from him as he lay on the interstate.
The nurses told him a woman had dropped it off for him. Yes, she had red hair and wore glasses.
“I would tell her thanks for all your help,” Richard Green said. “If she hadn’t been there . . . ”
His sister, Rhonda Brewer, put it this way:
“All we hear about these days are terrible awful things. What a wonderful thing she did. People just don’t do this anymore.
“We’re so thankful, the family, that she was there to help him. I would ask her when she got her wings, to tell her thank you, that she really was an angel on the highway.”