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This article originally appeared on People.com.

A mom of two died of toxic butt implants, her family says.

Latesha Bynum of Harlem, New York went to a Manhattan doctor for butt implants on July 15, and became fatally sick soon after, according to CBS New York.

Bynum, 31, went to the hospital that night, her brother Tymel says, and was put on life support.

“After the procedure, something was wrong with my sister. I think her feet and stuff was blue,” Tymel told CBS New York. “She went to the hospital and couldn’t breathe and whatever was in her went to her head. She was brain dead and she had zero chance to basically come back from it.”

New York’s ABC7 reports that she went to a residential apartment building — not a plastic surgeon’s office, for the procedure.

But her brother, Tymel, says that licensed doctors performed the procedure.

“They had their licenses,” Tymel told CBS New York. “They’re supposed to know what they [are] doing, such a tragic incident.”

“They killed my sister,” he told ABC7.

After 12 days, Latesha’s family decided to take her off of life support on Thursday, and she died shortly after. She leaves behind two daughters, ages 13 and 8.

The New York City Medical Examiner’s office, along with the police, are looking into her death.

“At the end of the day, my sister needs some type of justice — period,” Tymel told CBS New York.


Source: Latesha Bynum/Facebook

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

When Tori Roloff gave birth to her first child earlier this year, she didn’t expect breastfeeding to be difficult.

The Little People, Big World star and her husband, Zach, welcomed their first child together, son Jackson Kyle Roloff, on May 12. And in two months since the new parents brought their baby boy home, Tori has learned firsthand the struggles associated with breastfeeding. 

“Hands down the hardest thing about being a mom has been breastfeeding. It was something I did not expect,” Tori admitted in an Instagram post on Saturday, which accompanied a black-and-white photo of herself breastfeeding Jackson.

“I just figured it would come naturally because it’s what nature intended-I was so wrong. Jackson and I got so frustrated with one another in the beginning and it took every ounce of me to not quit,” she wrote.

“I realized however I was being selfish. It was an inconvenience and took FOREVER but I was blessed enough to be able to BF. I was in a position that some women would die to be in and I couldn’t let that go,” she continued. “I feel for those mamas that can’t breastfeed. I get asked at all my appointments how BFing is going and I couldn’t imagine how that would make the women who physically can’t feel.”

“I also HATE the stigma of breastfeeding,” she shared. “I still feel awkward in public when I feed my baby. Why should I? I’m providing for my child. J and I have come a long way and we work well together now and I’m proud of that. There are still times that I feel overwhelmed with breastfeeding but I know I’m doing to best I can.”

For mothers who are also encountering struggles when breastfeeding their infants, Tori encouraged them to stay positive and not get discouraged.

“We as women just do the best we can and that’s all anyone can ask. You do you mamas. Don’t let anyone make you feel insignificant or like you’re not doing your best,” she wrote, and concluded. “Breastfeeding is ridiculously hard and it doesn’t always work out. Our kids are going to be just fine. #breastfeeding #milksnob #whereisthebaby? #canyoutellilikestripes?”

Speaking with PEOPLE after the birth of their little boy, Zach — who has shared his life on his family’s TLC reality series Little People, Big World since he was 13 — said there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for his son, who, like him, was born with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism.

“You have to encourage a dwarf child a little more because it will take them five steps to do what others can do in two,” said Zach, a soccer coach. “But I knew, dwarf or not, I was going to parent my child with the mentality that not everyone gets a trophy. You have to earn it.”

Males with achondroplasia grow to an average height of 4’4″ with a normal lifespan, and babies may have breathing problems and delays in muscle development.

Zach knows the genetic condition will make Jackson’s life tougher, but “I want people to know that he’s just like his dad: being a dwarf is just part of the whole package of who he is.”

Now, the Roloffs hope their story will help educate and reassure other parents of dwarfs.

“Tons of parents e-mail me to say what an inspiration we are for their kids, showing that it’s possible for them to get married and have a family,” says Zach. “The other day we met a couple who have a dwarf child. They started watching our show and it made them feel that it was all going to be okay.”



This article originally appeared on People.com. 

Three-year-old Long Island twins were found floating in their family’s backyard pool Wednesday morning, according to police.

The boys’ mother called the Suffolk County Police Department to report her 3-year-old son, Nicholas Aurilia, was not breathing. She told officials Nicholas’ twin brother, Anthony, was missing. When police arrived at her home, they found Anthony in the pool, according to the department’s press release.

The twins were transported to Plainview Hospital where they were pronounced dead.

The New York Post reports the boys slipped out of their family home while their mother was asleep.

Lt. Kevin Beyrer said in a press conference that the deaths appeared “to be an accident,” adding that the backyard and pool appeared up to code. The family also has a 5-year-old child who was not harmed.

The family’s neighbor, Anu Lamba, 65, told The New York Daily News that she was shocked by the incident.

“I can’t take their pain away,” she said, adding she has twin grandsons. “I can’t help them. I can’t save them.”

“This is a horrible accident,” she continued. “It’s going to change the rest of their lives. I can’t imagine what they’re going through.”


Sue Aurilia/Facebook

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This article originally appeared on Time.com.

A restaurant in Clifton Park, New York is enforcing a one-drink rule for parents who are enjoying meals with their children. While some might assume that Peddlers Bar & Bistro rule that reads “one drink policy while dining with children” is to ensure that parents are capable of keeping rowdy children in line, the policy is actually to keep families safe on the road after the meal is finished.

According to WNEP 16, the policy was instated in 2010 but has been getting attention recently due to an influx interest on social media. Peddlers’ general manager, Melissa Gravelle, says that the rule was created to protect children.

“We love children,” she said. “Everybody loves children and children don’t have a voice. I could never live with myself knowing that I killed somebody driving,” Gravelle said.

While most patrons are respectful of the policy, Gravelle said that there have been times when the waitstaff have been heavily criticized for the rule.

“They do get berated at the tables and some come back very, very upset,” she said said, “but the managers go to the table and they explain, we’re not picking on parents, it’s just something that we feel in our hearts is something that we can do in order to help.”


Image Source—Getty Images/Image Source

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

Utah authorities have arrested a mother and father for allegedly giving their newborn daughter — who was born addicted to heroin — more drugs on the day she was born so she wouldn’t show withdrawal symptoms while in the hospital, PEOPLE confirms.

Lacey Dawn Christenson, 26, and the baby’s father, 29-year-old Colby Glen Wilde, are behind bars on charges of child endangerment, drug distribution and possession. $10,000 cash bail has been set for both parents.

According to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, Christenson was allegedly “heavily using heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy.”

Because they knew their daughter would be born an addict, Christenson and Wilde later told investigators “they talked to friends about how to mask signs of drug dependence in an infant, and that they discussed this issue with each other,” the sheriff’s office claimed in a statement.

Christenson allegedly admitted that she crushed up prescription pain pills which Wilde administered to the infant.

The sheriff’s statement claims that Wilde told detectives he applied some of the crushed Suboxone to their child’s gums soon after she was born on April 9 — after nurses and other medical staff had left their room.

The medicine, often prescribed to recovery addicts, was found by investigators during an initial search of the couple’s home on June 28. The baby tested positive for heroin and morphine, authorities said.

It was unclear Monday if either suspect has been arraigned or entered pleas to the charges against them. PEOPLE was also not immediately able to determine if they have retained attorneys who could comment on their behalf.

“I don’t have any doubt that Colby and Lacy love their kids,” Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office told local TV station KSTU.

“They’re addicts right now with serious addiction problems, and they’re not in a good place to be taking care of themselves even, let alone anybody else,” Cannon said.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Authorities say the parents have a checkered record with law enforcement in the few weeks since first crossing their path on June 26. That’s when police were called to a local Wal-Mart after Wilde was accused of stealing goods there and returning them for cash.

Wilde fled the scene — after dropping a car seat holding his infant child multiple times — but was arrested a short time later, according to police, who charged him with driving under the influence of drugs, possession of heroin and methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving without insurance, theft and child abuse.

Christenson, who was at the store with Wilde and her four kids, was also arrested on an outstanding warrant.

Investigators contacted the state’s Division of Child and Family Services and placed the children in the custody of the oldest boy’s father.

Christenson and Wilde faced more charges after police were contacted by a woman on June 28 who reported allegedly finding drug paraphernalia around their home, which detectives said they confirmed after a search of the residence.

Both Christenson and Wilde were released from custody by July 5, but detectives continued to investigate the couple and soon learned they were allegedly using drugs again.

Another search warrant was executed on July 18, and police allegedly found Wilde smoking heroin as they busted down the door.

Authorities also eventually learned the couple’s two boys and infant daughter tested positive for methamphetamine.


Utah County Sheriff’s Office

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This article originally appeared on People.com. 

The mother of Mariana Sifrit, the infant who died at just 18 days old after she developed a deadly virus that may have been contracted from a simple kiss, is speaking out about the tragic death as her daughter is laid to rest in a funeral Monday.

Nicole and Shane Sifrit were celebrating their wedding on July 7 when they noticed their week-old daughter, Mariana, had become so lethargic she couldn’t summon the strength to eat. They rushed from the reception to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, where doctors notified them that Mariana had contracted herpes simplex virus type 1, and that it was wreaking havoc on her central nervous system. While doctors at Blank and at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital were periodically able to keep her stable, Mariana’s organs shut down one by one, and she died in her father’s arms on July 18.

“I never thought I would be going home without a baby,” Nicole tells PEOPLE.

Doctors say that it is likely that Mariana contacted the virus from a kiss by someone infected with it.

As Nicole prepared for Mariana’s funeral on Monday at Resthaven Cemetery in West Des Moines, she warned parents of the real danger the virus presents.

“If you know that you carry a virus, even if it doesn’t affect you, please don’t go see a newborn child, because there is nothing that they can do to fight it off,” she tells PEOPLE.

“Just being a new parent, be aware of who you have come to the hospital, make sure people are washing their hands. Be protective over your baby and don’t feel that you’re being rude,” she adds. “Protecting your child is your job, and don’t feel like you’re hurting other people’s feelings.”

David Warburton, a professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at USC who had no involvement in Mariana’s case, echoes the grieving mother’s warning. “If a person who kisses the baby has an active herpes simplex lesion in their mouth, or they’re carrying the virus at a low level without without lesions, they could infect the baby with the virus,” he says, adding that it is rare. “In general, it’s usually a good idea to keep your baby away from other people for about a month.”

Today, the couple is comforted by the thought that Mariana’s purpose in life was to raise awareness and possibly save the lives of other infants.

Nicole adds that she and her husband aren’t investigating who may have passed the virus on to Mariana. “How she got it is irrelevant,” she says. “We’re not in the situation to hate anybody and it would just be better if we didn’t know.”

The service held Monday at Hamilton Funeral and After Life Services was decorated with purple and pink colors, butterflies and flowers, and “Mariana” spelled out in big glittery letters, all to celebrate her memory. Shane had a purple shirt on under his suit jacket, and Nicole wore black dress with a purple cardigan. Her fingernails were painted a matching solid purple, except for the one on her ring finger—it had butterfly wings to symbolize Mariana.

“[We] will share her story and keep her alive that way,” Nicole says. “And that’s how we’ll grieve and get through this while we save other kids’ lives, and make other parents aware.”


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This article originally appeared on People.com. 

The parents of terminally ill British baby Charlie Gard announced their decision to end their legal fight over treatment of their 11-month-old son on Monday.

A lawyer representing Chris Gard and Connie Yates told the High Court that “time had run out” for Charlie after a U.S. doctor said it was too late to give him nucleoside therapy. The parents were given the test results from Charlie’s most recent scans on Friday.

“Poor Charlie. It is too late. The damage has been done. Sadly time has run out,” Grant Armstrong told Judge Nicholas Francis as Chris and Connie sat in the courtroom with their heads bowed. “Sadly the window of opportunity no longer exists. The parents have taken an extremely hard decision.”

Charlie, who was born on August 4, 2016, has a rare genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. He is currently on life support and unable to move his limbs or eat or breathe without assistance. His parents wanted to take him to the U.S. for nucleoside therapy.

“Charlie has suffered extensive muscular atrophy,” Armstrong said in court. “This is irreversible even with [nucleoside therapy]. Chance of improvement can’t now be delivered.”

Speaking in court on Monday, Yates said making the decision to “let him go” was the hardest thing she and her partner had done in their lives, and that they still believed his condition could have improved with treatment had it been administered earlier.

“We only wanted to give him a chance of life,” she said through tears. “A whole lot of time has been wasted.”

Judge Nicholas Francis said no one could begin to understand the parents’ agony but they now had to “face reality” that it is in their son’s best interests to die.

“I want to pay tribute to Chris and Connie. No parent could have done more,” he said.

Katie Gollop, the lawyer representing Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) where Charlie has been receiving treatment since October, said the hearts of each person at the hospital “go out to Charlie, his mother and father.”

Outside the court, Charlie’s father, Chris, said in an emotional statement: “We will have to live with the ‘what-ifs,’ which will haunt us for the rest of our lives. Despite the way our beautiful son has been spoken about sometimes — as if he is not worthy at a chance at life — our son is an absolute warrior and we could not be prouder of him and we will miss him terribly.

“His body, heart and soul may soon be gone, but his spirit will live on for eternity and he will make a difference in people’s lives for years to come — we will make sure of that. We are now going to spend our last previous moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won’t make his first birthday in just under two weeks time.

“To Charlie, we say, Mommy and Daddy love you so much. We always have and we always will, and we are so sorry we couldn’t save you. Sweet dreams, baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy. We love you.”

The Family Division of Britain’s High Court in London previously ruled in April that medical experimentation is not in “Charlie’s best interest,” and denied the family’s request to travel to the U.S. for the treatment.

But Charlie’s parents asked judges to rule that their son should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in New York.

Judge Francis scheduled a hearing on Monday to analyze the new evidence related to the proposed treatment, after Michio Hirano, a neurology professor at Columbia University Medical Center, traveled to London to evaluate Charlie. 

At the start of the hearing, Armstrong said that once it was established that there was no medical chance for improvement, the parents accepted legal advice to withdraw legal proceedings.

The parents, who “wish to treasure time with Charlie,” plan to establish a foundation in his memory to help others.


On Friday, Great Ormond Street Hospital told the parents that the latest scan of Charlie’s brain made for a “sad reading.”

Gard reportedly yelled “evil” and Yates burst into tears because the parents had not yet read the report themselves.

On Saturday, Mary MacLeod, chairman of Great Ormond Street Hospital, said thousands of abusive messages including death threats had been sent to staff while families of other sick children had been harassed.

“We fully understand that there is intense public interest, and that emotions run high,” MacLeod said in a statement. “However, in recent weeks the GOSH community has been subjected to a shocking and disgraceful tide of hostility and disturbance.”

Yates said they had never condoned any threatening or abusive remarks toward the hospital’s staff.

“We are extremely upset by the backlash we have received after Great Ormond Street Hospital put out their statement,” she said. “Like them we have been shocked by some of the public response to this case and agree with them that it is disgraceful that doctors have received death threats.”

The family’s story has made headlines worldwide, with Pope Francis and President Donald Trump offering support to the grieving parents.

Yates described the situation as a “living hell.”

“I couldn’t sit there and watch him in pain and suffering, I promise you I wouldn’t,” she said in an emotional interview with BBC Breakfast, adding: “I think parents know when their children are ready to go and they’ve given up and Charlie is still fighting.

“It’s horrible that this decision has been taken out of our hands, it’s not just about us knowing best, it’s about having other hospitals and doctors saying we want to treat [Charlie] and we think it’s the best thing to do.”

She said she hoped the judge would take into account new evidence as when the decision was made previously, his chance was rated at being close to 0 percent but now this has been increased to 10 percent.

Charlie’s father, Chris, said that they would stop the treatment if they believed it was harming their son.

“If we won the court case and we got to America, and then within the first week of treatment he started suffering and he was in pain, we would let him go,” he said.

It is not immediately known how long Charlie will remain on life support at Great Ormond Street Hospital, but his parents will immediately meet with hospital staff to discuss his palliative care.


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“Manisha, you have to stop screaming,” my friend Regan pleaded with me. “You need to bring your heart rate down so the blood stops flowing so fast.” I bobbed in and out of consciousness as she spoke, the lower half of my body lodged in the propeller of a boat.  

I guess I should explain how I got there. It was July 2016, and I was in California for a month-long training program with my new colleagues. I’d graduated from college just two months earlier and relocated to Chicago to work at a tech company.

WATCH THE VIDEO: 5 Foam Roller Moves to Prevent Pain and Injury 

I’m originally from Portland, Oregon, but I decided to move halfway across the country to start fresh after school, to dive into adulthood head first. I found myself in a city I barely knew, with familiar faces far away. Luckily I grew close to my coworkers. We became so tight, 13 of us planned to spend our last weekend of orientation in California at Lake Tahoe. 

On our last morning in Tahoe, our group rented a boat and a water tube. We hit the lake, and I took my turn on the tube after a few others tried it out, falling off into the water just as they did at the end of my ride. No big deal.

My friend who was driving the boat came around to pick me up, signaling for me to get back in once he’d put the boat in neutral. Only he hadn’t put it in neutral. Instead, the boat was accidentally in low-speed reverse, a gear that makes the vehicle look still while it fights an oncoming current.

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As I approached the boat to hop back on, the force of its propellers pulled me in. Within seconds, the lower half of my body was lodged between the boat’s propellers. My shrieks told the driver to cut the engine immediately, but that didn’t cause the propellers to release me; I was still caught.

Struggling to survive

As all this was happening, I felt confused. I knew I was in excruciating pain, but I couldn’t identify the cause. As I struggled to keep my head above water, I realized something was keeping my right leg down.

I reached down to try to yank my leg free as the water around me turned a deep red. Instead of feeling the flesh of my leg, my hand was touching exposed muscle and bone. My right leg, or what was left of it, wouldn’t budge.

RELATED: 7 Running Injuries and How to Avoid Them

It took nearly 45 minutes for help to arrive, thanks to the lake’s spotty cell service. Until then, a few of my friends jumped into the water, working together to hold up my body so I could continue to breathe and remain conscious. Others stayed aboard to call the police and flag down a nearby boat that was able to ping officials with our coordinates.  

That brings me back to Regan. “Stay calm, Manisha,” she coached me. “Keeping talking to me, keep fighting.”

Though part of me just wanted it all to stop, I did fight. I managed to stay conscious until the police showed up. An hour later, they finally freed me. Between that moment and when I woke up in the ICU the next day, I remember nothing.

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Losing a limb

I woke up, alone, in a hospital room the next morning. The first things I saw were notes on the window by my bed. “This isn’t the end,” my friends had scribbled on the glass. “We love you!” I wasn’t alone after all.

When a nurse walked in, I wrote her my own note; the breathing tube in my throat prevented me from speaking. “Is my leg okay?” I wrote on a piece of paper. She told me they had to amputate it.

Yesterday when I arrived at the hospital, I later learned, a team of 20 trauma specialists tried to save my mangled right leg, but the damage was too extensive and the likelihood of future infection too high. They amputated it above the knee. At least I’m alive, I thought. 

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Making strides

My family came to the hospital in Reno and stayed with me for a month before I was transferred home to Oregon for further care. Over the next two months, as my colleagues resumed work in Chicago, I underwent 10 additional surgeries. The procedure I had immediately after the accident was merely an attempt to save my life. Now the doctors worked to optimize the functioning of my lower body.

In the fall, I had regained enough mobility to begin the process of having a prosthetic leg designed. That took three months, and then once I had it, I had to learn how to walk with it. You don’t realize how much it takes for your body to move up stairs, kneel, or sit until you don’t have two functioning legs to help you do it anymore.

I tried my best to be upbeat and positive while relearning to walk. But even the simplest tasks could incite frustration in the months following my accident. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have bad days. Sometimes I felt furious. I couldn’t help but think, ‘Why me?’ I was constantly oscillating between feeling deeply discouraged and then profoundly supported.

My mother was (and still is) my rock in the darker moments, giving me the strength I’ve needed to get through each day. She reminded me that I could’ve had spinal or brain damage, or that my left leg could’ve been mangled too. With her help, I’ve come to realize there’s opportunity even in adversity.     

Returning to regular life

After taking a six-month leave from work to recover and go through rehab, I came back to Chicago in January. But my self-confidence had taken a hit. I’d moved to the city a year ago to get a fresh start, embark on adulthood, and meet new people. After the accident, those goals felt daunting.

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I continue to try to embrace my new normal as best I can. But I’ve had to make adjustments, especially when it comes to fitness. I used to love running—I’d actually been training for the Chicago half-marathon before the accident. I still plan to get back into training for it, but different activities require the right prosthetic, and I have to find one for running first. 

For now, I’m just grateful my body has learned how to put one foot in front of the other again. I try to go to the gym three days a week and am working on some mini fitness goals, like running a 5K eventually. 

The way I view my body has completely transformed as well. I used to look in the mirror with angst, examining the circumference of my thighs or pinching the flab on my stomach. Six months of hospitalizations, surgeries, and physical therapy changed all that; I no longer want to hide the things that prove I’m human. 

I also avoided showing my prosthetic leg in public at first. Today? I rock it. I sport shorts and dresses whether I’m going out with friends or heading to the office. The only time I don’t wear the leg is at night; just like my iPhone, it charges while I sleep. 

I also try to be patient with people who don’t know how to approach me or treat me. My feeling is, we teach people how to treat us. I could get annoyed by an Uber driver’s questions about my body (yep, that happens often). But why bother? I’m grateful to be able to answer them.

While my accident may have flipped my world upside down, I’m still me. With the right prosthetics, I’ll be able to swim and ski again. I can still go to bars with my friends and spend time with my little brother. Last spring, I went to Frankfurt, Germany for my first trip abroad since the accident. I’m here, I’m alive, and I just happen to be an amputee.

Note to my younger self: You have no idea how good this life is going to get.



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This article originally appeared on People.com.

It was supposed to be a joyous moment on July 10 when 39-year-old Jannelle Villarreal of San Antonio, Texas, welcomed her baby girl. But just minutes after the planned C-section, things took a turn for the worst, leaving both mother and child fighting for their lives.

Jannelle, who lost a baby boy last year at just 21 weeks, went into the hospital on June 30 so doctors could closely monitor her because they suspected she had preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system. Her baby girl, Eden Raine, had been developing slowly and she was told she’d be on bed rest anywhere from two weeks to two months.

But at just 31 weeks pregnant, Jannelle’s liver enzymes began to skyrocket.

“She immediately had to deliver the baby,” her husband, Daniel Villarreal — a pastor with Grace Avenue Church in San Antonio — tells PEOPLE. “She then started to really decline.”

Doctors told Daniel that his wife had developed HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening, severe variation of preeclampsia.

“They started watching her and she just got worse,” says Daniel. “Her blood pressure was dropping. It was really, really bad.”

After Jannelle was transferred to the ICU, her family was told she’d need a liver transplant. She was then transferred to another hospital for surgery.

“There was internal bleeding on her liver and then her kidneys stopped working so she was retaining fluid,” Daniel says. “At one point she couldn’t breathe because her lungs were filled with fluid.”

At the same time, Eden Raine was also struggling to stay alive.

“It was incredibly painful to watch,” Daniel says. “I have my wife and baby both on a CPAP mask and they’re trying to breathe. I was bouncing back and forth between hospitals praying over them both.”

It was in those dark moments that Daniel — who also has a 12-year-old daughter with Jannelle — thought he might lose his wife.

“I saw the looks of the doctors around me,” he says. “In my heart I didn’t believe we were going to lose her, but what I was looking at, it looked like we were losing her. It was very bad.”

Endless Faith

After Jannelle’s lowest point — when she was “on death’s door,” say Daniel — she slowly began to make small improvements. She slowly began to speak and got the color in her face back.

Daniel says it was only on July 19 —  nine days after she gave birth — that he began to see “incredible victories” for her.

“The liver transplant is off the table,” he says. “Some miraculous things are happening with her turnaround, but her kidneys still aren’t functioning fully, so that’s the next miracle we need.”

As his wife continues to improve, baby Eden Raine is still fighting.

“My little girl is losing weight,” Daniel says. “By now [the doctors] want her to have gained weight, so they’re making some adjustments.”

A GoFundMe page has has been created to help the family with medical bills and other related expenses.

The family is also asking for prayers from everyone around the world. The waiting room at both hospitals have been filled with people who are offering their endless support.

“That really kickstarted a surge for me both physically and emotionally,” says Daniel. “It’s very inspiring. There has been constant positive faith-filled encouragement. It’s been phenomenal and amazing.”

Daniel says he cries when he needs to cry, sleeps when he can and gets back up to do it all over again.

While his mind is only his wife and daughter, he has also tried to stay “focused on the power of a miracle and the power of prayer.”

He adds “We believe that God can turn this around. There is hope.”


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This article originally appeared on People.com.

A 5-year-old boy is fighting to stay alive after contracting the same strain of E. coli that killed his little sister earlier this week.

Kade and Kallan Maresh of Wright County, Minnesota, became sick with non-stop bloody stool and vomiting on July 9 after contracting a shiga toxin-producing bacteria that sent them into acute kidney failure.

Kallan died at the age of 3 when toxin from the bacteria attacked her kidneys and neurological system, according to her parents Joseph and Tyffani Mares.

“Her brain and heart were being damaged,” they wrote on a YouCaring page. “Our sweet sweet little girl lost the battle and went to heaven.”

Kade “is still fighting,” add Joseph and Tyffani. “The toxins have not reached his neurological system but both kidneys. He has had a blood transfusion [and] is on kidney dialysis and may need platelets.

“He has a long road to recovery and we hope and pray the toxins stay away from his brain and heart and other organ systems.”

State health officials are investigating the source of the E. coli that led to a complication of the bacterial infection called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), reports the Star Tribune.

Animals at a local petting zoo where the children recently visited were taken off of display as an “abundance of precaution,” reports the Star Tribune. But the children could have become infected from any number of sources.

E. coli is found “in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals,” according to the CDC.

Joni Scheftel, supervisor of the zoonotic diseases unit at the Minnesota Department of Health, told the publication that death as a result of HUS is very rare, but children and elderly are most at risk. Officials told the Star Tribune they might be able to identify the source next week when lab results come in.

Tyffani implores people to “pray for my baby boy to stay strong and keep fighting” and describes feeling “so deeply hurt from sadness” after losing her daughter.

She adds: “It is absolutely heart breaking watching your babies in so much pain and being so helpless.”

A GoFundMe page set up for the family has raised over $56,000 to assist with medical expenses for the children.

The family posted an update on Kade’s health to YouCaring on Tuesday stating the 5-year-old recently underwent a blood transfusion, platelet transfusion. “This still feels like a nightmare we are waiting to wake up from,” they wrote.



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The headlines earlier this week about an 18-day-old baby in Iowa who died from meningitis are not only heartbreaking, but also alarming. Doctors say the infant, Mariana Sifrit, developed the deadly infection after being exposed to the herpes virus—likely via a kiss from a well-meaning adult.

Mariana was born healthy, according to news reports, but she became ill and stopped breathing about a week later. She was rushed to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with meningitis HSV1, a swelling around the brain caused by the same virus that triggers genital herpes and cold sores.

RELATED: What You Should Know About Meningitis, the Deadly Infection That Killed a Man in California

Because both parents tested negative for the herpes virus, doctors concluded that Mariana contracted it from someone else she’d come into contact with. Mariana’s mother, Nicole Sifrit, believes that a person infected with the virus “likely touched Mariana’s hand, which she then put into her mouth,” People reports.

Sifrit hopes that her family’s devastating loss will help save other children. “Keep your babies isolated,” she told Iowa’s WHO TV. “Don’t let just anyone come visit them. Make sure they are constantly washing their hands. Don’t let people kiss your baby and make sure they ask before they pick up your baby.”

Of course, complete isolation is easier said than done, and many worried parents may be wondering if they’re doing enough to protect their vulnerable newborns. To learn more, Health spoke with Nadia Qureshi, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Loyola University Health System in Chicago. Here’s what she says everyone should know about keeping newborns safe.

RELATED: After Her Daughter Was Paralyzed by a Tick, One Mom Sounded the Alarm on Facebook

The first two months are the most vulnerable

Meningitis, which refers to inflammation around the brain, can be caused by bacteria or by some viruses—including HSV1, the herpes virus. Doctors are especially concerned about meningitis during a child’s first two months of life, says Dr. Qureshi, because the immune system isn’t fully developed and an infant has not yet received all of the recommended vaccines.

Because their bodies aren’t yet equipped to fight off common germs, infections can also cause sepsis (bacteria in the bloodstream) and swelling around the heart. “If a baby this young develops a fever, we take it very seriously,” says Dr. Qureshi. “We want to assume the worse and pay close attention, even if they don’t seem sick.”

Even “mild” illnesses can be deadly

In adults, the herpes virus causes cold sores and genital lesions. But it can be much more dangerous for babies who haven’t built up antibodies to the virus. That’s also true of enterovirus—a group of viruses that may only lead to common cold­–like symptoms in adults.

“Because we know these viruses can cause meningitis in babies, anyone who has any signs of infection, even just a mild runny nose, a cough, a fever, a rash, or any cold sores, should not be in close vicinity of the baby,” says Dr. Qureshi.

The herpes virus can be spread in several ways

When very young babies contract the herpes virus, it’s usually because it was transmitted by the mother during birth. This can happen even if a woman is carrying the virus but isn’t experiencing an outbreak and has no symptoms.

“But there have been cases of the virus being transferred to a newborn by other household members,” Dr. Qureshi says. “It’s rare, but it has happened.” Herpes is often spread through contact with a cold sore on the mouth, but lesions can also appear on fingers or other parts of the body, she adds. If a baby touches one of these lesions and then touches his or her mouth, infection can occur.

RELATED: After a Fidget Spinner Sent Her Daughter to the OR, Mom’s PSA Is Going Viral

Take precautions, but don’t panic

“Anyone handling a baby should wash their hands regularly, and you really should avoid kissing the baby—especially on the face or the hands,” says Dr. Qureshi. “Kiss the baby’s swaddle, or the baby’s clothes, if you have to.”

That’s especially important for anyone who’s been diagnosed with herpes or has had cold sores in the past. “You don’t have to have visible lesions or symptoms to pass on the virus,” she explains. Anyone who’s had cold or flu symptoms should keep their distances, too.

To get our best wellness tips delivered to you inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

Parents should also avoid exposing newborns to large gatherings or crowded, enclosed spaces (like a bus or airplane) whenever possible, because of the possibility of germ transmission. “At the same time, no one wants to be completely confined to their home,” she says. “If you want to take a stroll or go to the park where it’s outdoors in an open area, that’s generally okay.”

Dr. Qureshi stresses that it’s important to learn from Mariana’s death, but it’s also crucial to remember that these tragedies are rare. “We don’t want everyone to panic,” she says. “We want people to follow common-sense procedures, like washing hands, no unnecessary kissing, and staying away from the baby if you have any open sores.”


Lau Yan Wai/Getty Images

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This article originally appeared on Fortune.com.

For the first time, a woman breastfeeding will be a part of your emoji library.

In light of World Emoji Day, Unicode Consortium, the technical organization that reviews and develops new emoji, released a sneak peek of the new characters on Monday. Apple also released a preview of the emoji. The emoji should be available on your phone later this year.

While this is a more inclusive move, it isn’t the first emoji showing off aspects of womanhood or women’s empowerment. In August of 2016, women playing sports and doing jobs previously only available to male emoji were also added.

Among the new emoji include Woman with Headscarf, which was proposed in September of last year by 15-year-old Rayouf Alhumedhi. Last fall, she sent seven-page proposal for a hijab emoji to Unicode Consortium.

“Emojis can seem like a trivial topic but people use emojis to represent themselves and their lives,” she said at the time.

A Bearded Person, and food items such as Sandwich and Coconut will also be available. Animals like a T-Rex and a Zebra will also be heading to your iPhone soon, as will a Zombie and an Exploding Head smiley face.


Photo courtesy of Apple

This article originally appeared on People.com.

Courtney Waldon vividly remembers sitting by a campfire on September 30, 2016, cooking tuna steak and asparagus. The 27-year-old mom was on her phone using Facebook as her husband of two months got up to relight the fire. After swinging a can of gas, some of it got on her body. The next thing she knew she was engulfed in flames.

“I stopped, dropped and rolled while screaming bloody murder,” Waldon of Tallapoosa, Georgia, tells PEOPLE. “I thought I was dying.”

Waldon, who is mom to 5-year-old daughter Caroline, miraculously survived but was left with fourth-degree burns on her face and third-degree burns on her hands, legs and feet. Then two weeks after she got home, she dealt with another devastation when her husband left her.

“My hands got so burnt because I was trying to put out my face,” she says. “I felt every inch of my flesh burning off that night.”

After yelling to call 911, Waldon only survived because of how close she lived to the hospital.

“They said if the ambulance arrived one minute later I wouldn’t have made it,” she recalls. “I just started praying to God in the ambulance.”

Waldon was in the hospital for 51 days. After waking up from a 30-day induced coma, she started to panic.

“I just wanted my daughter,” she says. “She’s the reason I live.”

Waldon’s family only told Caroline what had happened as the date got closer for her mom to come home.

“They said, ‘Mommy got badly burned and she will never look the same,’ ” she says. “When I got home, she looked at me really weird and was standoffish. But then I said, ‘It’s me baby. It’s your momma.’ After that she came and gave me a hug. She hasn’t let go since.”

Hope and Healing

Throughout her entire stay in the hospital, which included 40 days in the ICU — and every day since — Waldon has managed to stay positive. But she admits the first time she saw her burned face was difficult.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” she says. “I got sick to my stomach and almost passed out.”

Waldon — who has had over 20 surgeries since the incident — says that because of God and her daughter, she’s taking advantage of her second chance at life.

“I shouldn’t be here but I am,” she says. “I know that there are people out there who have it worse than I do. I’ve always been a believer that everything happens for a reason and I still believe that.

“God saved my life and now I have work to do on earth to help others. I received a message three days ago from a lady who said she didn’t kill herself because of my story.”

Waldon wants to go on and help people who have been through traumatic situations.

“Whether it be burns, a car wreck or even if it’s just that someone’s husband cheated on them,” she says. “That’s my goal.”

She has even found the strength to focus on the good in her life after her husband left her following the incident.

“Two weeks after being home from the hospital my husband left us,” she says. “He said he couldn’t handle or deal with me any longer.”

She could barely walk at the time and was unable to even open up a bag of chips for her daughter.

“It was a blessing in disguise,” says Waldon. “I think if he was around he would be holding me down. I wouldn’t be as strong as I am today and wouldn’t have made as much progress.”

Because Waldon is currently unable to work because of her disabilities, a GoFundMe was created to help with medical bills and lack of income. She’s currently living with her parents who have been by her side ever since the fire.

Refuge Ministries of West Georgia is also in the process of building her a new home free of charge on her parents property.

“The support I’ve received has been unbelievable,” she says. “I am so blessed.”


Courtesy Walden/Go Fund Me

This article originally appeared on People.com.

A single family of six, along with another group of four swimmers, was almost swept away by a powerful rip current in Panama City, Florida beach on July 8.

Beachgoers, who had seen the family struggle against the tide, were determined to save them and formed a human chain leading back to shore.

Roberta Ursrey, 34, was caught in a violent rip current after she entered the water trying to rescue her two sons, Noah, 11, and Stephen, 8. They had gone into the water with their boogie boards, but found themselves swimming for their lives.

“I saw that they had left their boogie boards in the water,” she tells PEOPLE. “All of a sudden they were screaming and crying and calling me. I thought, ‘Oh my God,’ and I just ran in.”

She was followed in quick succession by her husband, 31-year-old Albert, who goes by Bryan, her mother Barbara, 68, and her nephew Justin, 28.

Her daughters, Haley, 18, and Bethany, 9, remained on shore.

It was a harrowing experience for Ursrey, who fought desperately to maintain her strength as she swam against the rip current.

“Every time I tried to get to them, I kept getting sucked back,” she says. “It was like Mother Nature was playing tug-o-war with us.”

She adds, “I honestly thought I was going to die that day, and my boys were going to come with me.”

The moments in the water seems to last forever, Ursrey tells PEOPLE. Just as she was giving up hope of leaving the water alive, she says she saw something remarkably strange.

“I see people lining up, coming into the water,” she says. “I thought, ‘What in the world?’ I didn’t know what the h— they were doing.”

The human chain grew to about 80 people and stretched out over 100 yards, according to the Panama City News Herald.

The Washington Post reported there was no lifeguard on duty, and law enforcement on the scene was waiting for rescue boats.

Ursrey says she passed out soon after, the exhaustion of attempting to swim to her children, and the energy to keep herself afloat finally taking its toll.

Her husband, mother, nephew and two sons were also saved by the chain of beachgoers. Her mother remains hospitalized with a chest infection, and will be receiving a CT scan on Thursday, she tells PEOPLE.

“She just swallowed so much water. When I woke up, I heard someone say she was having a heart attack,” she says.

She adds that the experience has taught her a “newfound respect for the ocean,” but that she and her family won’t be going back into the water anytime soon.

“Eventually, we’ll go back. Mother Nature, she don’t play. She can take you when she wants to. We’re going to be extra cautious of the water in the future,” she explains. “I’m not going to let it beat me like that.”

She adds that the humanity and kindness shown to her by beachgoers continues to amaze her.

“All those people on the beach… they risked their lives to save me and my family,” she says. I’m forever grateful for it.”


Courtesy Roberta Ursrey

This article originally appeared on People.com.

A 14-year-old Texas girl is dead after she was electrocuted while trying to use her cell phone as she took a bath on Sunday, the family says.

Madison Coe, of Lubbock, was at her father’s home in Lovington, New Mexico, over the weekend when she either plugged her phone into a bathroom outlet or grabbed the already-plugged-in device as she sat in the tub, her mother tells PEOPLE.

“[Her father] found her. He had knocked on the door to tell her it was time to get out [of the tub] and she said, ‘Okay,’ ” Coe’s mother, Angela O’Guinn-Downs, tells PEOPLE. “He went back 20 minutes later, she didn’t respond and he went in.”

O’Guinn-Downs says Coe’s father is an emergency medical technician and did everything he could to save his daughter.

Coe’s grandmother, Donna O’Guinn, told KCBD that officials found a burn mark on the teen.

“There was a burn mark on her hand, the hand that would have grabbed the phone,” O’Guinn said. “That was just very obvious that that’s what had happened.”

Coe had just graduated 8th grade from Terra Vista Middle School and was expected to attend high school in Houston, the family told KCBD. The teen was a basketball player and played tuba with the school’s band.

“She was such a bright, vibrant, very intelligent, loving, caring young lady,” O’Guinn-Downs says of her daughter. “She had such a huge heart. Always willing to help others.”

A GoFundMe page has been created to cover funeral costs for the girl, with the creator noting that services are planned for Friday in Lovington.

Now, the family is working to share Coe’s story in hopes of preventing a similar situation from happening to anyone else.

“This is such a tragedy that doesn’t need to happen to anyone else,” O’Guinn told KCBD. “We want something good to come out of this as awareness of not using your cell phone in the bathroom as it is plugged in and charging.”


Dougal Waters/Getty Images

Every once in a while, a very “real” private moment pops up on social media, garnering a very public response. Case in point: “BBC Dad.” Amid the deluge of images showing perfectly curated rustic weddings and Pinterest-inspired birthday parties, there is something comforting and universal about this kind of blooper caught on film—one that captures the exact moment when real life crashes in.

Not long ago, I posted such an image on Facebook. Here’s what happened: Gloria Steinem, an alumna of Smith College, where I was teaching, was in Northampton, Massachusetts, to speak. I wasn’t able to attend, because I had in tow my two children: my infant daughter, Sydney, and my 5-year-old son, Marlow. We were in a café when Steinem walked in—as elegant as ever at 82.

It wasn’t my first time meeting her. While working on my biography of Helen Gurley Brown, Enter Helen, I interviewed Steinem about the late Cosmopolitan editor, who popularized the tiresome phrase “having it all.” Now, as my still-nursing baby smacked her lips in her stroller nearby and my son began smelling individual packages of Airheads candy, I reintroduced myself to Steinem. To my delight, she remembered me. But hearing Sydney’s wails, I cut her off midsentence—”That’s my baby!”—and took off. A few minutes later, baby calmed, boy bribed with chips, I asked Steinem for a picture, and she graciously obliged.

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Well, nothing’s perfect

I knew the image was funny when I posted it along with the caption “Well, nothing’s perfect.” (I mean, my maternity bra is photobombing Gloria Steinem!) But the reaction I’ve gotten since has been pretty surprising. It’s not just comments. People have been stopping me in the street to talk about The Photo. In a way, it says as much about them as it does about me. It’s a bit like a Rorschach test. Everybody sees something slightly different.

“You are being photographed: ‘the woman who has it all’ with the woman who fought for your right to have it,” one girlfriend said. A male colleague saw it and focused on my son, who’s competing with the most famous feminist of all time for my attention.

“I could not have dreamed up a more perfect picture to sum up the complexity of being a woman in this moment… the challenges of being a mother, a professional,” commented a single friend who’s in her mid-30s.

“The expectation that we should always be perfectly composed is unrealistic.”

RELATED: Women Are Judged Whether They Take Maternity Leave or Not

Let’s share more unfiltered stuff

When I saw the photo, I thought, “Whoa, hot mess.” But also: “OK, I’ll let myself off the hook—it was a tough day, and at least I’m smiling.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but in accepting myself, foibles and all, I was actually practicing an essential element of self-compassion, which I learned about only recently from Melissa Miller, PhD, a therapist in Amherst, Massachusetts. Miller uses this mindfulness-based approach with her clients, many of whom are women in their 30s and 40s. As she explained to me, “Self-compassion comprises three main parts: being kind to ourselves, like we might be to a friend or loved one; recognizing the reality of our ‘common humanity’ or shared experience; and being aware of our current experience-slash-emotion without judging it.”

Like many people, I have a love-hate relationship with social media, but occasionally it really helps to have those “friends” chime in, offering I’ve-been-there’s. Everyone can relate to feeling exposed, vulnerable, less-than-perfect, but we just don’t see these images enough—not in magazines or in newsfeeds. My snapshot with Steinem seemed to be saying something about this common humanity. I just wasn’t sure what. In an attempt to decipher it, I asked a few friends why the photo struck a chord. One friend, a college professor in her 40s, confided that she always felt like “a giant leaky boob” when she was breastfeeding, so my shot made her remember feeling exposed as a new mom.

RELATED: Two Moms Say Everything We’ve Ever Wanted About Wearing a Swimsuit

Yep, that’s my bra showing

My former neighbor Jen, onetime “fashion PR gal” who is now a mom of two living in the burbs and working in corporate communications, took it a step further, noting the photo “laid bare a fear we have as working mothers: that we may be exposed—as frauds, as not being good enough, not pretty enough, not put-together enough, not doing enough. And in your photo, you were exposed in a shot with a feminist icon! Plus, you’re wearing the dreaded mom bra: flesh-toned, wide straps, the workhorse of over-the-shoulder boulder holders. It’s not a bra meant to be seen in public; it’s the bra that’s hidden under stained tees and loose dresses. We all have that bra.”

Another working-mom friend, Nancy, used her subway commute home to send me a stream-of-consciousness screed against the impossible expectations and double standards that working mothers face: “As women today, an insane amount is asked of us! Work like you don’t have kids. Parent like you don’t have a job. Be a sexpot in the bedroom. Lose the baby weight in six months! Nurse for a year (preferably on Instagram). Even feminism is harder than it used to be! You have to read about inter-sectionalism, reflect on white privilege…we are now judging each other on how well we protest. So here you are literally leaning in to the woman who started it all. You look tired, and a little resigned.”

RELATED: Feel Like You’re Failing at Work and Home? Here’s How to Cope

It’s just life—no apologies needed

Suzannah, a mom of two girls who works as an assistant principal at a Brooklyn, New York, high school for immigrant students, talked about guilt. She and her husband both work full-time, but as she put it, “He doesn’t arrive at work with an apology on the tip of his tongue. Nor does he hem and haw over the time he spends with our girls or brood over having been too exhausted to give them quality time when home. That’s all me. Women are just socialized this way. When I saw your photo, it really captured that struggle for me. But you did not apologize. And for the next day, as I carried that image with me, neither did I.”

I carried that image with me, too—literally. Shortly after it was taken, I interviewed for a new position to be an arts and culture editor at my local newspaper. I still had to figure out childcare and, well, everything. “This is my life right now,” I told my prospective boss, showing him the The Photo on my phone. “It’s not easy,” I said, but I assured him, “I can do this.” I got the job. I start next month.


Courtesy of Brooke Hauser

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This article originally appeared on People.com. 

Blake Lively knows its better to be safe than sorry, and she’s encouraging others to take the same approach to parenting.

The mom of two – 2-year-old daughter James and a 9-month-old daughter – shared a selfie with two CPR dummies to Instagram on Monday, addressing “ALL MAMAS AND DADDIES OUT THERE.”

“I can’t recommend this enough, I took a CPR class with a focus on babies and toddlers,” wrote Lively, 29. “Google ‘infant CPR class near me’ and you’ll see lots of listings.”

She added, “For those of you who haven’t done it, you will love it. It’s so helpful by giving you knowledge, tools, and some peace of mind.”

Lively and husband Ryan Reynolds, 40, are often candid about parenthood – and all the ups and downs that come with it.

In an interview with Good Morning America earlier this year, Reynolds joked about trying to travel with his young daughters, admitting, “I’ve always had empathy for parents, especially flying. I remember before I had kids, I was always like, ‘God, that’s hard.’ ”

“Because you can see they’re sweating and they’re nervous because their kids are yelling and everyone’s mad at them,” said Reynolds, adding, “I’m the same way.”

Still, the actor has said he wouldn’t change a thing. He told eTalk last December, “It’s the best thing. It’s the best thing that could ever happen to you.”


Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

This article originally appeared on Time.com. 

Senate Republicans revealed new legislation—a much-anticipated follow-up to the American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives last month—intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Senate’s version of the bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, keeps much of the framework of the ACHA, with a few changes.

But many health care experts and medical groups are voicing concern with the Senate’s version of the bill—especially with its potential impact on low-income Americans, people with pre-existing conditions and specifically women.

“This legislation deliberately strips the landmark women’s health gains made by the Affordable Care Act and would severely limit access to care,” said Dr. Haywood Brown, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), in a statement. “If enacted, this legislation will turn back the clock on women’s health.”

Many top health groups said they tried to offer their input on the bill but were turned down. Haywood, too, said ACOG tried many times, but their “women’s health expertise was rejected,” as the legislation was crafted behind closed doors. Now, Haywood urges the Senate to “reject this bill and begin anew.”

Other health experts that TIME spoke with agree. Here are four ways they say the bill, as it stands now, would affect women and families across the country.

Many women could lose basic benefits

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans sold on the individual market must cover “essential health benefits,” often at no cost to the patient. These include many women-focused services like maternity coverage, contraception, mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, well-woman visits, breast pumps and domestic violence screening and counseling. Large employer plans aren’t required to include these benefits, but if they do (and almost all do), they must provide the same level of coverage without annual or lifetime limits.

But the House bill would allow individual states to decide which essential health benefits would be covered for their residents and at what level. While the language in the Senate bill isn’t quite the same, it appears to offer a similar loophole, says Leighton Ku, professor of health policy and management at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. “It’s certainly possible you could have health insurance being sold in a state that does not provide maternity coverage or really limits prescription drug coverage,” says Ku—a scenario that could apply to employer-sponsored plans as well as private insurers. “It’s too early to predict exactly how that will play out and what the government will allow for, but it’s a possibility that would not really be permitted under the existing system.”

Medicaid would suffer deep cuts

Like the House Bill, the Senate’s new legislation calls for cuts in federal funding to Medicaid expansion, which many states have used in recent years to reduce their numbers of uninsured residents. It also places caps on the amount of money each state can receive for Medicaid and uses a funding formula that would leave the program even more underfunded than under the House bill. (Currently, Medicaid is funded based on how many people are enrolled and what their health-care costs are.)

Medicaid covers more women than men, and it also covers half of all births in the United States. “These cuts are going to either mean coverage for fewer people or fewer services,” says Dr. Michelle Moniz, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan. “And if those essential health benefits like maternity care and contraception aren’t protected, women and children could be in real danger of losing care.”

Ku points out that the Senate bill, like the House bill, also lets states add requirements that a person must be working in order to be eligible for Medicaid. “This could affect, for example, a young mother,” he says. “Medicaid would not cover the costs of her child-care needs, which could create a problem.”

Preventive care could be curtailed

Under the new Senate bill, Medicaid reimbursement to Planned Parenthood would be eliminated for at least one year. Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood because the organization provides abortions—even though it’s already illegal for federal money to be used toward these procedures (except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger).

With the elimination of Medicaid reimbursement, however, women on Medicaid would not be able to use any of Planned Parenthood’s services, which include well-woman visits, cervical cancer screenings, access to low-cost contraception and testing for sexually transmitted infections. Funding cuts could also lead more Planned Parenthood locations to close.

“The bill includes some money to boost community health centers as an alternative, but many of those centers don’t have the trained professionals who can provide long-acting contraceptives and ongoing health-care services that many women need,” says Dr. Hal Lawrence, executive vice president of ACOG. “They’re not equipped to fill that gap.”

Fewer women may have insurance

The Senate bill also eliminates the individual mandate that required all individuals to have health insurance or pay a tax, as well as the requirement for companies with 50 or more employees to provide health coverage for their workers. While the Senate bill does follow the Affordable Care Act’s policy of providing financial assistance based on income (unlike the House bill), those subsidies will be smaller, and eligible to fewer people, than under the current plan.

“Because of this, I think we’ll see more people who are uninsured, some by choice and some because they no longer have access to affordable health insurance,” says Moniz. While this is a gender-neutral issue, women face unique circumstances, especially around childbirth, that make health insurance especially important for them, she says.

The United States already has the highest maternal mortally rate in the developed world, she says, and reducing coverage for women is very likely to make the problem worse. “It is clear that access to a doctor before and during pregnancy—screening for complications like hypertension and diabetes, having appropriate care during labor and delivery—saves lives and improves health for women and children,” she says. “It’s the foundation of the future of that family’s health.”


J. Scott Applewhite—AP

Last June, 18-year-old Lauren Seitz, a 2016 high-school graduate from Ohio with plans to head to college that fall, went on a church-sponsored rafting trip at a water park in North Carolina. 

Eleven days later, she died, a victim of a rare infection caused by brain-eating amoeba—which was later found to be present in water samples taken from the park’s rafting channels and tested by the Centers for Disease Control.

RELATED: What You Really Need to Know About Brain-Eating Amoebas

On Sunday, the one-year anniversary of Lauren’s death, her father filed a lawsuit against the U.S. National Whitewater Center, the water park where the lawsuit maintains Lauren contracted the deadly infection. The suit alleges that the park’s water channels were dangerous, and that park operators showed “conscious disregard for the safety of visitors,” reported the Charlotte Observer.

It’s thought that Seitz contracted the infection when her raft tipped over in one of the channels. According to the suit, the water channels were neither regulated nor treated properly, and Whitewater “negligently breached its duty of care owed to Lauren.”

If this tragic story has you swearing off water parks and vowing to stick to dry ground for your summer vacation this season, take a breath and let us fill you in on the facts about this scary-sounding parasitic infection. 

To get our best wellness tips delivered to you inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter

For starters, the amoeba, known as Naegleria fowleri, is typically found in warm, fresh bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, and hot springs—not pools or manmade channels. That said, it’s possible the organism can thrive in manmade channels like the one Lauren rafted in, but only if the water wasn’t chlorinated properly.

While Naegleria fowleri can be deadly, it won’t harm you if it’s swallowed. The only way for the parasite to enter the body and infect you is via the nostrils—say you get dunked underwater or wipe out on a jet ski. If this happens, an infection called  primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) can possibly set in, then infiltrate the central nervous system.

When a person is infected with PAM (as Lauren Seitz was), it’s almost always fatal. Symptoms typically present anywhere from one to nine days after exposure and can initially include headaches, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Within days, patients may experience seizures, hallucinations, and even comas.

RELATED: 3 Things You Can Catch From a Pool

As terrible as PAM is, keep in mind that the infection is extremely rare. According to the CDC, only 138 infections were found to occur in the U.S. between 1962 and 2015. This is partly because the parasite prefers to remain in the environment, rather than in humans, where it will likely die. 

If you plan on swimming in fresh water this summer, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to diminish your chances of contracting the highly uncommon infection. First, avoid submerging your head in warm, non-chlorinated water. If you’re spending an extended period of time in a lake or river—say by going rafting or tubing—wear a nose plug to block your nasal passages. Doing so will drive down your already low risk of infection. 


Media for Medical/Getty Images

This article originally appeared on People.com. 

Last year, the iconic Barbie doll got a much-needed body positive makeover as part of the parent company Mattel’s #TheDollEvolves campaign. That’s when the to brand rolled out an array of diverse Barbie dolls available in be available in tall, curvy and petite sizes, as well as a range of skin tones, hair colors and hair textures, widely regarded as a step in a more inclusive direction.

Now, it’s Barbie’s boyfriend Ken’s turn to get a fresh, 21st-century makeover.

Today, Barbie announced the expansion of its Fashionistas line by introducing 15 new Ken dolls. The new Kens have three body types — slim, broad and original. In addition, the dolls will feature seven skin tones, eight hair colors, nine hairstyles and chic, modern fashion looks unlike any other Ken dolls you’ve seen before.

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“By continuing to expand our product line, we are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation,” said Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Barbie. “Evolving Ken was a natural evolution for the brand and allows girls to further personalize the role they want him to play in Barbie’s world.”

Ken’s style has come quite a long way since he was first introduced to the world in 1961.

The original Ken doll was dressed quite skimpy, sporting only his tiny lifeguard suit, towel and sandals. Over the decades, he has evolved — including Totally Hair Ken in the ’90s — but this is the biggest range of Ken types the brand has ever released.

And every iteration of dream Kens are included, whether it’s a surfer boy with a man bun or plaid-loving college bro. Check out Ken’s full transformation over the years below.

What do you think about Ken’s new look? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. 



This article originally appeared on Time.com.

A new report has found that 20% of baby food contains traces of lead — a higher amount than what is found in all other foods.

The Environmental Defense Fund analyzed 11 years of data between 2003 and 2013 from the Food and Drug Administration as part of its Total Diet Study, which also found traces of lead in 14% of all other food samples.

“While we evaluated all types of food collected by FDA, we focused on types of baby food because infants are most vulnerable to lead,” the report states.

The analysis found that at least one sample in 52 of the 57 types of baby food had detectable levels of lead.

Baby food versions of apple and grape juices, as well as carrots, had more samples with detectable levels of lead than the regular versions, according to the report. Grape juice most often contained lead, with 89% of samples showing detectable levels.

Fruit juices, root vegetables and cookies were found to most often contain lead — 86% of sweet potato baby food samples and 43% of carrot samples contained lead, respectively.

Teething biscuits and Arrowroot cookies were also found to contain traces of lead, with 64% of the cookie samples testing positive.

The EDF listed goals and recommendations for manufacturers to reduce the amount of lead in food, including testing for lead more regularly and prioritizing limiting lead exposure.


Photograph by BSIP—Getty/UIG

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