Alfie Evans’ dad giving toddler mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to ‘keep him alive’

Alfie Evans’ parents are tonight giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in a desperate bid to keep him alive after a court ruled he cannot be flown to Italy for treatment.

Tom Evans said he and Alfie’s mum Kate have been forced to help Alfie’s breathing after “his lips turned blue.”

Speaking outside Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool, U.K., heartbroken Tom added: “We were doing what a nurse should have been doing to sustain his life.

“Now they are saying that he looks really good but we all know he should be in Italy right now.”

Tom Evans y Kate James, padres de Alfie Evans, un niño con una enfermedad terminal, en Inglaterra, el 19 de diciembre de 2017. (Philip Toscano/PA via AP,file)

Alfie Evans’ parents, Kate James and Tom Evans, have said they want to take their ill son to Italy but British courts have blocked their efforts.


A High Court judge earlier made the devastating call to reject a last-ditch attempt to take Alfie abroad — but asked doctors if it is possible to consider letting the 23-month-old tot go home.

Alfie’s parents have been embroiled in a lengthy battle for their son – who is suffering an unknown degenerative brain condition – to continue receiving treatment.

He has been in a “semi-vegetative state” for more than a year and is currently only receiving oxygen after being taken off life support last night.

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Doctors argued that it was in Alfie’s best interest to end his life support — a view consistently backed by the courts.

Responding tonight, a weary Tom said: “I’ve got an uncle that could just do everything that the nurses do down to a tee and he’s medically trained to do this so I’m just going to keep on fighting for Alfie.”

Read more from The Sun.

Florida girl, 4, recuperating after ‘inhaling’ pool water

A Florida girl is recuperating days after she “inhaled” pool water in an incident her mother has described as a “freak accident.”

Elianna Grace, a 4-year-old from Sarasota, is now receiving oxygen therapy at Sarasota Memorial Hospital after ingesting pool water on April 14, according to a Facebook post by her mother, Lacey Grace.

Grace said Elianna was playing around with a pool noodle in her grandmother’s pool, and as “many children do every day, she was blowing in one end and blowing water out the other,” when another swimmer happened to blow water into the pool noodle at the same time she was blowing out.

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This caused the pool water “to shoot directly down [Elianna’s] throat,” her mother wrote. The 4-year-old quickly threw up, but didn’t show any odd symptoms — until two days later, when she developed a fever.

Initially, the mother said she didn’t think much of it. “Kids get fevers, this is normal,” Grace stated. But days later she took her child to an urgent care, where a doctor told her to get Elianna to an emergency room immediately.

The young girl was diagnosed with “aspiration pneumonia and is now on oxygen and relying on it to breathe,” her mother wrote in the April 19 post.

Elianna Grace, 4, has been receiving oxygen therapy at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

The family is hoping that the antibiotic Elianna has taken will kick in so that “her lungs can find a way to get rid of the pool chemicals.”

Lacey Grace is urging other parents to “immediately get help” if their children inhale pool water. According to a GoFundMe page the mother created, Elianna has since been released from the hospital and is being treated at home.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.

Biden Cancer Initiative encourages data sharing, tries to put an end to cancer

In 2016, President Obama appointed Vice President Joe Biden to lead the national “Moonshot” initiative to eliminate cancer. Today, Biden continues those efforts with the “Biden Cancer Initiative,” a non-profit with a goal to double the rate of progress in preventing, detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer.

One of the focuses of the initiative is on clinical trials, and making them more accessible to all patients. Greg Simon, President of the Biden Cancer Initiative and cancer survivor, noted the challenges they need to overcome to make the transformative solutions needed to end cancer as it is known today.

“You shouldn’t have to commute from where you live hundreds of miles to be in a [clinical] trial. So what we’re talking about is creating more virtual trials where people can be tested where they live by having people train people where they live to do the exact same thing they would do if they were 300 miles away in a big hospital,” Simon said.

Having virtual trials may also help when it comes to data sharing.

“We have all this data on patients with cancer. We have genetic data. We have clinical data. If we were able to share it among all the different groups, we would have a huge data base to begin to really understand why some patients respond, why others don’t,” Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee, president of the American Association for Cancer Research, said. 

“And more importantly, or as importantly, we would be able to learn more about the cancers,” she added.

However, not everyone in the cancer community is ready to share their research.

“The problem we run into is people say ‘why should I share my data? It’s my data.’ Well it’s actually not your data. The government funded it, it comes from patients most of it. It’s our data if it’s anything,” Simon said. “It’s time to think about how we all work together to solve this instead of how I work in my lab and you work in yours.”

As Jaffee points out, the sharing of information is huge is helping answer cancer patient’s questions.

“I also personally know people who if they didn’t know me they would not know how to access the health care system, to access what they need and these are people with means. What about people who don’t have the means to access. So personally I think this is helping many groups of patients who are getting quicker information, quicker access to care and also support systems,” she said.


The sharing of information is crucial at a time when the cost of new anti-cancer drugs have skyrocketed more than five-fold from 2006-2015. According to a recent study, the monthly cost for anti-cancer drugs can range from $5,000 to $45,000.

“The people who determine the price are the drug companies, the insurance companies, and the pharmacy benefit managers. They need to figure out not only how to lower the price but how to limit what the copay is for any patient, any patient for any drug so that we no longer hear stories of people choosing hospice over bankruptcy because those are their only alternatives,” Simon said.

“Health is the one area where you go to pay for something and instead of asking what does that cost, they ask you who you are, what insurance do you have, are you military, Medicare, Medicaid, private insured, uninsured? And as they ask you those questions the price changes. So you don’t know the price until it’s too late. We have to fix that system,” he added.

Georgia newborn’s only hope is heart transplant, dad says

The parents of a 2-month-old baby in Georgia are anxiously waiting for a heart transplant that could save their daughter’s life.

Avery, born on Feb. 23, has spent every day of her short life in the hospital, her father, Steven Moore of Augusta, told Fox News on Thursday.

The young girl has multiple ventricular septal defects, or numerous holes “in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart,” according to the American Heart Association. She has also been diagnosed with Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), or an “abnormally fast heartbeat,” and cardiomyopathy, a disease that makes it difficult for the organ to pump blood to the rest of the body.

Alison, Steven’s wife and Avery’s mother, carried Avery for 41 weeks. The couple was under the impression that their baby daughter was “perfectly healthy.”

But the day after she was born, Avery turned blue. She was transferred to the Children’s Hospital in Augusta, where the family is from, then to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Shorty after, Avery’s parents learned of their child’s severe heart conditions.

avery 2

Avery was born on Feb. 23 and has never been out of the hospital.

 (Courtesy of Steven and Alison Moore)

“It was a shock to us,” Steven, 35, said.

On Tuesday, Avery underwent a risky procedure to close the holes in her heart. The procedure, which typically takes two to four hours for older patients, took Avery’s doctors nearly seven hours to complete.

While the procedure was a success, it’s not a cure-all. Steven described it as a “bridge to get us to the transplant,” adding that it was a way to buy Avery more time.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, it can take months to years before a heart becomes available. And even then, not just any heart will do. According to the hospital, “an adult donor heart cannot be transplanted into an infant because the infant’s chest is simply too small to accommodate the large organ. Children must wait for an appropriately sized organ to become available.”

Roughly 2,000 children under the age of 18 in the U.S. are on the national heart transplant list.


“When we hold her, we treasure that moment,” Steven said.

 (Courtesy of Steven and Alison Moore)

Alison, 31, and Steven have spent every day in the hospital with Avery, hoping at the end of each day that the next will bring good news. But that much-anticipated call has not yet come.

In the meantime, the couple, who are celebrating their first marriage anniversary next month, “wake up, go to [Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta] and sit with her,” Steven said. “We want to make sure she knows that we’re there for her.”

“It’s pretty irrational, but we sit around [with the hope] that a heart with show up, and they won’t have to come and find us,” Steven added.

Unlike parents of healthy newborns, Steven and Alison rarely get to hold their daughter. And when they do, it’s only for a few minutes.

“When we hold her, we treasure that moment,” he said. “It makes the smaller stuff so much more important.”

avery 1

Avery has several different heart conditions. The next step is a heart transplant.

 (Courtesy of Steven and Alison Moore)

The family hasn’t been back to their home in Augusta since Avery was born; Steven said family and friends have been taking care of their two dogs and other responsibilities.

The support the couple has received has been “overwhelming,” said Steven. Strangers have reached out to them with words of encouragement via Avery’s Facebook page, others have donated to their fundraiser. Steven said he and his wife have also “fallen in love” with the nurses at the hospital.

“They love her as much as we do,” he said.

But the most significant source of support the couple has found is from each other.

“It has brought us closer together as a married couple. When she [Alison] breaks down, I find myself being stronger in those moments,” he said, adding that his wife has done the same for him when it all becomes too much.

avery finger

It’s unclear how long Avery will have to wait for the right heart.

 (Courtesy of Steven and Alison Moore)

Steven and his wife acknowledge “what it would mean” for another family to give Avery their child’s heart. But when that day comes, “it’s an opportunity for their heart to live on through our daughter,” he said. “It would mean so much to us.”

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

US experts back marijuana-based drug for childhood seizures

A medicine made from the marijuana plant moved one step closer to U.S. approval Thursday after federal health advisers endorsed it for the treatment of severe seizures in children with epilepsy.

If the Food and Drug Administration follows the group’s recommendation, GW Pharmaceuticals’ syrup would become the first drug derived from the cannabis plant to win federal approval in the U.S.

The 13-member FDA panel voted unanimously in favor of the experimental medication made from a chemical found in cannabis — one that does not get users high. The panelists backed the drug based on three studies showing that it significantly reduced seizures in children with two rare forms of childhood epilepsy.

“This is clearly a breakthrough drug for an awful disease,” said panel member Dr. John Mendelson, of the Friends Research Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.


The drug carries a potential risk of liver damage, but panelists said doctors could monitor patients for any signs. More common side effects included diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue and sleep problems.

FDA regulators are due to make their decision by late June. Approval would technically limit the drug, called Epidiolex, to patients with hard-to-treat forms of epilepsy. But doctors would have the option to prescribe it for other uses and it could spur new pharmaceutical research and interest into other cannabis-based products.

More than two dozen states allow marijuana use for a variety of ailments, but the FDA has not approved it for any medical use. The FDA has approved synthetic versions of another cannabis ingredient for other medical purposes.

Several patients and parents at Thursday’s meeting spoke about the benefits of Epidiolex. Sam Vogelstein, 16, said he experienced daily seizures — at times more than 100 per day— before enrolling in a study of the drug.

“I just went to South Africa for two weeks without my parents on a school trip,” said Vogelstein, who lives in Berkeley, California. “I would not have been able to do that if I had not tried this medication.”

It’s not yet clear why the medicine reduces seizures.


Epidiolex is essentially a pharmaceutical-grade version of cannabidiol, or CBD oil, which some parents have used for years to treat children with epilepsy. CBD is one of more than 100 chemicals found in the cannabis plant and it doesn’t contain THC, the ingredient that gives marijuana its mind-altering effect.

CBD oil is currently sold online and in specialty shops across the country, though its legal status remains murky. Most producers say their oil is made from hemp, a form of cannabis that contains little THC and can be legally farmed in a number of states for clothing, food and other uses.

It’s unclear how FDA approval of a CBD drug would affect products already on the market. Executives for the British drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals say their goal is to provide a more standardized, research-backed version.

“We’re not looking to impact the availability of other products on the market,” GW executive Steve Schultz said before the meeting. “Our goal is to provide an additional option for patients and physicians who desire a purified version of CBD for treatment of seizures.”

The company declined to comment on the price of the drug before the approval decision. Wall Street analysts estimate it could cost more than $25,000 per year.

Sick dog’s ‘cancer’ revealed to be chewed up teddy bears

The owners of a sick St. Bernard dog were left stunned when a mass which vets thought was cancer turned out to be four half-chewed teddy bears.

Maisy, who bears similarities to loveable pooch Beethoven in the series of comedy films written by John Hughes, had the soft toys removed during an intricate procedure.

The 8-year-old now has a “new lease of life” and is thriving at home, said her relieved owners who admit they feared the worst.

The chewed up teddies. The owners of a sick St Bernard dog were left stunned when a mass which vets thought was cancer turned out to be four half-chewed TEDDY bears.  See ROSS PARRY story RPYDOG.  Maisy, who bears similarities to loveable pooch Beethoven in the series of comedy films written by John Hughes, had the soft toys removed during an intricate procedure.  The eight-year-old now has a “new lease of life” and is thriving at home, say her relieved owners who admit they feared the worst.  They today (fri) revealed how a CT scan showed Maisy had an unusually full stomach and a mass on her spleen – an issue which was initially put down to her food not being digested properly.  This led her vet to diagnose possible cancer and the adorable dog was rushed in for surgery to remove her spleen.  But in an amazing twist, during the operation a vet found Maisy had actually devoured four teddy bears which had become lodged in her stomach.  Thankfully, Maisy has fully recovered following the cancer scare and a histology report has shown no signs of cancer.

But they later discovered the mass was actually half chewed teddy bears


They revealed how a CT scan showed Maisy had an unusually full stomach and a mass on her spleen – an issue which was initially put down to her food not being digested properly.

This led her vet to diagnose possible cancer and the adorable dog was rushed in for surgery to remove her spleen.


But in an amazing twist, during the operation a vet found Maisy had actually devoured four teddy bears which had become lodged in her stomach.

An x-ray showing the teddy bears within the stomach. The owners of a sick St Bernard dog were left stunned when a mass which vets thought was cancer turned out to be four half-chewed TEDDY bears.  See ROSS PARRY story RPYDOG.  Maisy, who bears similarities to loveable pooch Beethoven in the series of comedy films written by John Hughes, had the soft toys removed during an intricate procedure.  The eight-year-old now has a “new lease of life” and is thriving at home, say her relieved owners who admit they feared the worst.  They today (fri) revealed how a CT scan showed Maisy had an unusually full stomach and a mass on her spleen – an issue which was initially put down to her food not being digested properly.  This led her vet to diagnose possible cancer and the adorable dog was rushed in for surgery to remove her spleen.  But in an amazing twist, during the operation a vet found Maisy had actually devoured four teddy bears which had become lodged in her stomach.  Thankfully, Maisy has fully recovered following the cancer scare and a histology report has shown no signs of cancer.

Her owner said that Maisy now has a new lease on life.


It’s thought Maisy had stolen the soft toys from the family’s pet chihuahuas’.

Thankfully, Maisy has fully recovered following the cancer scare and a histology report has shown no signs of cancer.

But owner Jane Dickinson, from Roberttown, near Dewsbury, West Yorks., feared the worst when her beloved pet went under the knife.

“When Maisy went in I did think ‘is she coming out?’,” Dickinson said. “But she is loving life now – it’s like she’s got her youth back. The toys weren’t even hers. She will steal the chihuahuas’ toys and play with them but I’ve never seen her trying to chew them.”

“Her eating habits had been completely normal,” she said. “I didn’t even recognize one of the toys – my brother also keeps chihuahuas and it turns out it belonged to his dog.”

The loveable pooch is enjoying life back at home with Dickinson, James and the family chihuahuas, Mabel and Guinness.


“Now it’s like she’s got a new lease of life,” Dickinson said. “She is a good age for a St. Bernard and has lived longer than any of the others we have had. She’s a one-off.”

Wakefield-based vet surgeon Nick Blackburn carried out the operation to remove Maisy’s spleen.

He first found the stomach was still enlarged and, on further examination, discovered a clutch of soft toys in her stomach.

“It’s fair to say this was not something we were expecting to find!” Blackburn said. “We all know certain dogs enjoy chewing things they shouldn’t but managing to devour four full teddy bears is quite a feat.”

“I know Jane was worried about Maisy as she is quite old for a St. Bernard, so we were naturally delighted the operation was such a success and we were able to return a happy, healthy dog to the Dickinsons,” he said. 

Blackburn, who works at Paragon Veterinary Referrals, said Maisy had since made a full recovery from her operation and a histology report showed no sign of cancer.

Michigan couple with 13 sons welcomes number 14

A Michigan family with 13 sons added another one on Wednesday, possibly ending the chances of ever adding a girl to the mix. Jay and Kateri Schwandt, who did not know the baby’s gender before birth, are still working on naming their youngest son.

“We’ve narrowed it down to just a couple,” Jay Schwandt told ABC News. “After 13 boys, we’ve really had to start getting creative.”


Jay said they are still working on naming their youngest son.

 (Fox 8)

The baby arrived five days before his due date, weighing 8-lbs, 4-oz., and is 21 inches long. The couple’s oldest son is 25, with each addition helping to make their family’s name a little more well-known throughout the community.


 “We are crazy,” Schwandt told WXMI. “I mean, to each their own, you know what I mean. We have a lot of friends that have, you know, one child or no children. You know, we get plenty of comments, you know out there online about how crazy we are and how unfair it is and everything. It’s not for everybody. We enjoy it. We love having 12, now 13 kids. It’s fun.”

Schwandt said their newborn’s oldest brothers were traveling back from college to meet him, and that his wife, who is one of 14 herself, is the “glue” that holds everybody together.

“We love this,” he told ABC News. “I can’t imagine not doing this.”

Mom honors stillborn daughter and unborn baby in glitter rainbow maternity photos

An Ohio mother who suffered a miscarriage at eight weeks in August 2016 was thrilled to learn she was expecting again just a few months later. But tragedy struck for Samantha Gadd and her baby, when she learned at 22 weeks pregnant that her daughter, who she named Victoria, was stillborn.

“She was going to be our baby after the storm; our baby after the miscarriage,” Gadd told PEOPLE. “We had clothes and started preparing. I felt her kick. We saw tons of ultrasounds, we knew she was a girl. I felt her hiccups! But she passed away also.”

Gadd, who also has two boys, said that she and her husband were shocked that it happened to them. The grieving parents soon learned they were expecting again, but the death of Victoria left Gadd with mixed emotions. She contacted a photographer friend and began planning a maternity shoot to honor both her pregnancy, and Victoria, who they had been referring to as their rainbow baby.


The term rainbow baby is often used by parents to celebrate a child born after a miscarriage or infant loss.

Samantha Gadd2

Gadd was thrilled when she learned she was pregnant with Victoria after previously suffering a miscarriage at 8 weeks, and had begun referring to her as her rainbow baby.

 (Nicole Dehoff Photography)

“The whole shoot was a rush of emotions,” she told PEOPLE. “It was an emotional battle after losing a child and I was excited and hoping the pictures would catch people’s attention and learn that this could happen to anyone.”

The photographer, Nicole DeHoff, told “Love What Matters” that the inspiration for the glitter rainbow came while she was at a craft store.

“We used Vaseline to help the glitter stick to Samantha’s skin, and then we applied the glitter in a rainbow sequence. This session fell together better than any session I could have planned in my head,” DeHoff said. “The images turned out exactly how I had hoped, and we were able to capture the beauty of pregnancy, and honor Victoria.”

Gadd gave birth to baby Abigail on Dec. 14, 2017, and said that she looks like her sister, Victoria.

Abigail Gadd

Gadd said when she found out she was pregnant with Abigail, she was filled with mixed emotions.

 (Nicole Dehoff Photography)

“I felt accomplished and relieved,” she told PEOPLE. “Holding her in my arms, it was just amazing. We felt like what we worked so hard for was finally here. She’s so perfect and she looks just like Victoria did.”

The family also marked Victoria’s first birthday in February with balloons and flowers. 

A single concussion may increase Parkinson’s risk

Having a single concussion may increase a person’s risk for Parkinson’s disease, a new study suggests — but the overall risk of developing the disease still remains low.

The study, which analyzed information from more than 320,000 U.S. veterans, found that those who’d experienced a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), often called a concussion, were 56 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s than those who’d never had a concussion.

Although the study participants had served in the military, their concussions were often reported to have happened during their civilian lives, said senior study author Dr. Kristine Yaffe, a professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine. “As such, we believe [the study] has important implications for the general population,” Yaffe said in a statement.

Previous research has found a link between Parkinson’s disease and moderate to severe TBIs; however, this is the first large study to show a link between milder head injuries and Parkinson’s, the researchers said. 

However, it’s important to note that, even if participants experienced a concussion, their risk of Parkinson’s was still very low. Overall, 360 out of 76,297 participants with a concussion, or 0.47 percent, developed Parkinson’s; and 543 out of 72,592 participants with moderate to severe TBIs, or 0.75 percent, developed the disease.

Why is there a link?

The researchers analyzed health information from 325,870 veterans, ages 31 to 65, using three U.S. databases from the Veterans Health Administration. About half of the participants had been diagnosed with either a concussion or a more serious moderate to severe TBI at some point in their lives. Participants were then followed for an average of 4.6 years.

During the follow-up time, 1,462 participants were diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Of these, 949 participants with any TBI, or 0.58 percent, developed the disease, compared with 513 participants with no TBI, or 0.31 percent.

The risk of Parkinson’s was higher for those who’d had a moderate to severe TBI. These participants were 83 percent more likely to develop the condition than those who’d never had a TBI.

It’s not clear exactly why head injuries are linked with an increased risk of Parkinson’s. But generally, head injuries can cause inflammation in the brain, which may lead to changes in cells and brain structures that contribute to Parkinson’s, Dr. Barbara Changizi, a neurologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Live Science in a 2016 interview. A person’s genetics may play a role as well, Changizi said.

Some studies have also found abnormal brain deposits of a protein called alpha-synuclein, which is a hallmark of Parkinson’s, in people with traumatic brain injuries, the authors of the new study said.

The study “highlights the importance of concussion prevention, long-term follow-up of those with concussion, and the need for future studies” to investigate the mechanisms behind the link, as well as factors that might reduce the risk of Parkinson’s after a concussion, said lead study author Dr. Raquel Gardner, an assistant professor of neurology at the UCSF School of Medicine.

The study was published April 18 in the journal Neurology.

Original article on Live Science.

Mom who nearly died from Toxic Shock Syndrome warns on dangers of infection

A Philadelphia woman is sharing her harrowing experience with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) in the hopes that it will help spread awareness about the infection that nearly killed her. Aimee Haller Follis, 37, said she had just moved into a new home with her husband and two children last May when she began experiencing symptoms that she thought were the flu.

“Initially I thought I was just rundown from all of the craziness that happens when you move,” Follis told Fox News. “But the fever got higher and higher and higher.”

Follis said when she was admitted to the hospital, her fever had spiked to 106.8F, and she had become lethargic, dehydrated and her vision was affected. Doctors quickly realized that she was septic and knew she was danger of organ failure, but it wasn’t until several hours later that they pinned down the cause.


 “They kept saying ‘Do you have any open cuts, did you have surgery recently?’” she said.


Although Follis was sent home, her ordeal with TSS did not end there. She continued to deal with symptoms like hair loss, and muscle memory issues.

 (AImee Follis)

Finally, when they asked when her last period was –which was about four or five days prior to when her symptoms started — someone suggested the possibility of TSS.

TSS is a dangerous, sometimes fatal illness caused by bacterial toxins. It’s primarily linked to menstruating women who use super-absorbent tampons, but the infection can affect people of all ages, including men, children and postmenopausal women.

“They got the on-call OB-GYN to do a physical examination and that’s when he found the actual infection in my cervix,” she said, adding that nobody on staff had seen a TSS infection before. “I said ‘what are you talking about?’ I didn’t know how severe it was and I credit that to the doctors in the emergency room.”

Follis said a surgical procedure followed and she was given three different antibiotics and medication to address her dangerously low blood pressure. She was given fluids and moved to the hospital’s ICU for five days, where she was told that there was a possibility that she could die, or face paralysis and an array of other complications as a result of the infection.

Follis was given her last rites twice, and her family was told to gather to say goodbye. After five additional days in the hospital’s stepdown unit, the infection cleared. Doctors never found a tampon or any material that could have caused the infection, which is why Follis is imploring others to listen to their bodies.


“Pay attention to your own body,” she said. “I knew I was sick – I was doing all the right things but still getting rapidly worse. It could’ve been too late for me but thank God, it’s not. Always question something if you’re unsure.”

Following her release, Follis continued to deal with health complications including hair loss, vision issues, muscle memory and peeling skin. She said she didn’t realize that after being released she could continue experiencing symptoms. She followed up with her doctor who helped walk her through the recovery, but learned that there is no real timeline for when it will end.

While her hair is growing back and she considers herself to be well today, Follis did suffer a miscarriage at around 10 weeks. She said the miscarriage wasn’t clinically linked to TSS, she believes it’s her body’s way of telling her that it wasn’t healed or ready yet. Through it all she said her support group, which started on Facebook, helped to get her through her toughest moments.

“There’s something to be said for modern medicine, of course, but also for family and support systems,” she said. “I really think the power of positivity was certainly unexpected, but helpful to me in my recovery.”

Why the next generation of cancer researchers need support if they are to find a cure

Paul Northcott, a 40-year-old investigator from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, knows firsthand how early grant money can impact innovative cancer research.

“The type of work we do is very competitive and there’s a limited number of funding for young investigators,” Northcott, an assistant member in the Department of Developmental Neurobiology at St. Jude, told Fox News.

Early- and mid-career scientists face tougher odds than their more experienced colleagues, which can be discouraging for young, creative minds looking for a chance to fight cancer.

“If we don’t fund them, they will leave the field and do something else,“ John Zhang, the senior director of scientific review and grants administration for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), told Fox News. ”We need to ensure the continuous supply of great scientists to fight the war on cancer.”

Northcott was the one of the first recipients of the AACR NextGen grant for transformative cancer research, a grant mechanism intended to support creative cancer research that may not be funded through conventional channels.

Northcott’s research studies the molecular and genetic level of a type of childhood brain cancer called medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children, with five-year survival rates ranging from 30 to 80 percent.

Through his research, Northcott discovered molecular subgroups of medulloblastoma with distinct patient features, outcomes and mutational patterns. These findings changed the way the disease is studied, diagnosed and the way patients are treated, Northcott said.

“There are no clinical compounds or FDA-approved drugs so I think the biggest challenge over the next several years is to take that information that we’ve gleaned from the genomics era and actually translate that into better treatment options for patients,” he said.

The NextGen grant provides young investigators with $450,000 of initial funding for three years so they can embark on scientific experiments that will eventually, and hopefully, impact cancer treatment.


“In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) began to formally recognize and acknowledge molecular subgroups of medulloblastoma as an essential component to the diagnosis of the disease. So I have seen in real time our research impact patient care and change the way the disease is treated in a clinic,” Northcott said.

Grants for early investigators like Northcott may also help them obtain bigger funding opportunities through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“We’re able to recruit, we’re able to conduct studies that we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. This then helps us build the necessary foundation to go after NIH funding and getting that first RO1 through the NCI (National Cancer Institute),” Northcott said.

One of the toughest hurdles for young investigators is securing their first R01, the gold standard of grants that give scientists enough money and time to complete a project and publish results within four or five years. The budget for R01’s is unlimited.

According to the director of the NCI, Dr. Norman Sharpless, the NCI is directing their extramural funders to set aside additional funding to increase the total number of first R01’s given to early-stage investigators by at least 25 percent in 2018.  By training more diverse groups of scientists, organizations like the NCI hope to spur new commitments to basic science that can drive novel approaches and technologies to cancer treatment.

Northcott says supporting the next generation of cancer scientists is crucial to ensuring a talented and creative research workforce for the decades ahead.

“Oftentimes it’s difficult to see how studying a single gene or a pathway or a biochemical mechanism might have a broader impact,” he said. “But I would encourage anyone involved and anyone starting out in this type of field to think about what is the goal of the research? How can this research change health care, or, in this case, cancer research?”

CDC warns people to avoid ‘all types of romaine lettuce’ as E. coli outbreak continues

Following an E. coli outbreak in 16 states, officials are expanding their warning, advising people to avoid buying “all types of romaine lettuce” grown in Arizona.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an updated statement on Friday urging consumers not to buy or consume romaine lettuce “unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region.”

“Based on new information, CDC is expanding its warning to consumers to cover all types of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region. This warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine.”

The new warning comes after investigators discovered that inmates from a correctional facility in Alaska became ill after reportedly eating lettuce “from whole heads of romaine lettuce” from the affected region, the CDC said.

“Unless the source of the product is known, consumers anywhere in the United States who have any store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick,” officials warn.

There have been 53 reported cases in 16 states. Of those infected with the E. coli strain, 31 people have been hospitalized. Although there are not reported deaths, five people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a kind of kidney failure.

Pennsylvania appears to have the highest number of illnesses, but cases have also been reported in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Washington.

Symptoms can appear on average after three to four days, and usually include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Although infections can be severe or even life-threatening, most are usually mild and clear up within a week.

Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.