Childhood cancer survivor reconnects with favorite nurse 30 years later

A child cancer survivor has been reunited with her “life-changing” nurse 30 years after she was told she was dying.

Liz Brown, 43, made a heart warming Twitter appeal to find nurse Debbie Bye who cared for her in 1989 when she was told she had just five years to live.

The search went viral – being shared more than 1,000 times before being seen by a person who put them in touch.

“My prognosis was very poor. I wasn’t expected to live more than five years, but now I’m 43 with three children and there’s not a wheelchair in sight,” Brown, of East Riding, Yorkshire, said. “She might have thought she was doing her job but it went above and beyond that. Those little things you did made me get through that.”

Brown was admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge after she woke up paralyzed on her 14th birthday.

LASER POINTER BURNS HOLE IN BOY’S RETINA

She was later told she was suffering from aggressive osteoblastoma and was not expected to make it into adulthood.

But she defied the odds and now has three children and a successful career working with children who have autism and hearing impairments.

“I remember watching Debbie work and being so inspired by the way that she did things,” Brown said of Bye. “She was so lovely and she inspired me to work with children and I wanted to thank her for everything that she did for me.”

“She showed me that children are children no matter what is wrong with them and she treated us all the same,” she said. 

Liz Brown, 43 who put out a Twitter appeal to find the nurse that cared for her in 1989. See Masons copy MNNURSE: A child cancer survivor has been reunited with her 'life changing' nurse 30 years after she was told she was dying. Liz Brown, 43, made a heart warming appeal to find nurse Debbie Bye who cared for her in 1989 when she was told she had just five years to live. The search went viral - being shared more than 1000 times before being seen by a person who put them in touch.

Brown, who launched an appeal on Twitter to help find Bye, now has three children and said she always wondered if her nurse thought about her.

 (SWNS)

As the years went by Brown said that she always wondered where Bye was, and if she still thought of her.

“After I started to get better I wanted to forget that I ever had cancer and just blocked it out of my life,” she said. “But back then the radiation was brutal and with some people later in life it can shut down their nerves.”

“And when that happened to me I had to face it all again. I started a blog and I began to wonder where Debbie, who changed so much in my life, had gone,” she said. 

When Bye found out that Brown had been looking for her she cried tears of joy, because she knew that her former patient was still alive.

‘MIGRATING’ BUMPS ON WOMAN’S FACE DISCOVERED TO BE PARASITE

“To be there when Lizzy was given her prognosis was something I will never forget,” she said. “She was a teenager in denial and over the years I have often wondered what happened to her and came to the only conclusion I could do and thought she had passed away. I am blown away.”

“I hope we will be able to meet soon- there has been many tears shed tonight,” Bye said. 

The appeal put out by Liz Brown, now 43. See Masons copy MNNURSE: A child cancer survivor has been reunited with her 'life changing' nurse 30 years after she was told she was dying. Liz Brown, 43, made a heart warming appeal to find nurse Debbie Bye who cared for her in 1989 when she was told she had just five years to live. The search went viral - being shared more than 1000 times before being seen by a person who put them in touch.

Bye retired from hospital work, but now works part time at a school. The reunited pair hope to meet up and make up for lost time soon.

“We are delighted to hear the news that Liz and Debbie have been reunited after the social media appeal,” Ann-Marie Ingle, chief nurse at Cambridge University Hospitals, said. “It is always heartening to hear the positive impact our staff have on our patients – even 30 years on – and this example of compassionate care happens on a daily basis at our two hospitals, Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie.”

Unjustified medication shortened 456 lives in a UK hospital, report says

More than 450 patients died prematurely in a British hospital after they were given powerful painkillers with no medical justification, in what a damning report on Wednesday found was a “disregard for human life”.

Britain’s prosecution service said it would examine whether criminal charges could be brought following the deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital in southern England.

An independent panel found that between 1989 and 2000, there was an institutionalized regime of prescribing and administering dangerous doses of opioids at the hospital which were not clinically necessary.

“There was a disregard for human life and a culture of shortening the lives of a large number of patients,” the report said, adding that warnings from nurses had been ignored and there had been a failure by police and medical regulators to protect patients.

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“The families, and indeed the nation as a whole, are entitled to ask how these events could have happened,” it added.

The 387-page report concluded that 456 patients were given opioids without justification and “probably at least another 200 patients similarly affected but whose clinical notes were not found”.

“The events at Gosport Memorial Hospital were tragic, they are deeply troubling, and they brought unimaginable heartache to the families concerned,” Prime Minister Theresa May said in parliament. “The findings are obviously distressing.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt apologized in parliament to the families, and said police would work with the prosecutors on possible charges.

“Had the establishment listened when ordinary families raised concerns… many of those deaths would not have happened,” he said.

MOM WARNS ON VENOMOUS CATERPILLARS AFTER SON’S HARROWING MEDICAL SCARE

The report noted the Gosport deaths and the concerns raised about them occurred at the same time as it was revealed that British family physician Harold Shipman, dubbed “Dr Death” had been responsible for killing patients in his care with lethal heroin injections.

Shipman, convicted in 2000 for murdering 15 patients, killed as many as 250 people in his care according to a later inquiry. But the panel examining the Gosport scandal said the circumstances were different.

“We draw a distinction because Harold Shipman acted alone, apparently, whereas what we are describing … in this report is an institutionalized practice, and that is a significant difference,” Reverend James Jones, the chairman of the independent panel, told reporters.

Michigan girl, 3, hailed hero for saving mom who suffered seizure

A 3-year-old girl from Warren, Mich., has been praised for her quick thinking after her mother suffered a seizure on Saturday.

While walking the family dog with her daughter Savannah, Jessa Lavely fell and suffered a seizure, FOX2 reported.

“We were about a block and a half from our house when I fell to the ground and started having a seizure,” Lavely, who has suffered a seizure before, told ABC News.

Savannah immediately ran back home, finding her way there by retracing her steps, her mother said.

When she arrived, the home’s surveillance footage shows Savannah crying and desperate to get inside. Eventually, she was able to notify her maternal grandparents who were staying with the family at the time.

“I opened the door and there she was and she said, ‘You need to come quickly. My mommy fell and she can’t get up,’” Jan Fleming, Lavely’s mother, told WXYZ.

She then led her grandparents back to her mother while a neighbor, who saw Lavely fall, called 911, FOX2 reported.

Savannah told FOX2 she was “scared” during the incident but she “had to rescue mommy.”

After hearing about her daughter’s actions, it gave Lavely “a lot of anxiety thinking about all the bad things that could have happened,” she told WXYZ. But at the same time, she’s also proud of her daughter.

“We’re still a little bit shocked that she was able to find her way home,” Lavely told FOX2. “She understands what she did and everyone has been praising her. She knows.”

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

Dad battling brain cancer shows no sign of tumor regrowth after clinical trial

A clinical trial currently underway at the Cleveland Clinic is showing promise in treating the most aggressive form of brain cancer that typically kills patients within 16 months. The trial, which involves 55 patients including one dad whose cancer has shown no signs of returning 18 months after diagnosis, is testing an immunotherapy vaccine that’s given in addition to traditional treatment methods for glioblastoma.

Glioblastoma, which Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot in July 2017, can occur at any age, but tends to occur in older adults. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can cause patients to experience worsening headaches, nausea, vomiting and seizures. Available treatment aims to slow the cancer’s progression while reducing symptoms.

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Jeff Tabor, 53, was diagnosed with the cancer in 2017 after he began having trouble speaking, reading and comprehending certain words. According to the Cleveland Clinic newsroom, doctors removed a golf ball-sized tumor which helped alleviate his symptoms. He underwent six weeks of raditation before he enrolled in the SurVaxM trial, which is being conducted at the Brain Metastasis Research Program at Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute.

“The vaccine is unique to this particular trial, and all the stars aligned for me to (be eligible) to get accepted into it,” Tabor said.

jeff_tabor

While glioblastoma patients typically live 16 months post-diagnosis, Tabor has surpassed 18 months.

 (Cleveland Clinic)

The SurVaxM vaccine has been engineered to stimulate patients’ immune response to fend off tumor growth or recurrence. Dr. Manmeet Ahluwalia, one of the trial’s principal investigators, said that while researchers are in the early phases of testing the vaccine, the results are offering hope for patients who are diagnosed early.

Preliminary results show a 12-month overall survival rate of 90.9 percent from diagnosis, and a 70.9 percent from first immunization.

DOCTORS SAVE TEEN WHO LIVED WITH ORGANS OUTSIDE BODY FOR 19 YEARS

“In Jeff’s case, he has gone almost 18 months from his diagnosis, and – on his recent MRI scans – we do not see any evidence of cancer growing back in his brain,” Ahluwalia said.

Researchers are now planning a randomized, prospective trial of the vaccine in glioblastoma patients.

“If you would have told me a year ago that I would feel this great today, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Tabor said. “Every day has been better than the previous day.”

Invasive plant that causes 3rd-degree burns, permanent blindness discovered in Virginia

Officials in Virginia are warning residents to be on the lookout after an invasive plant was found Tuesday in the northern part of the state that can cause third-degree burns and even permanent blindness.

The Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech said in a Facebook post that 30 giant hogweed plants were discovered in Clarke County, located between Winchester and Leesburg.

The plant contains a very toxic sap, that when combined with sun exposure, can cause severe health hazards.

“In brief, the sap prevents your skin from protecting itself from sunlight, which leads to a very bad sunburn,” according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation. “Heat and moisture (sweat or dew) can worsen the skin reaction. The phototoxic reaction can begin as soon as 15 minutes after contact, with sensitivity peak between 30 minutes and two hours after contact.”

The sap can cause painful blisters that can form and become “dark and pigmented,” and scars that can last up to six years, according to the NYDEC.

WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS BELOW

Scars from Giant Hogweed sap can last up to six years, though typically only last a few months.

 (New York Department of Environmental Conservation)

If the sap gets into the eye, it can even lead to blindness.

Environmental officials in Virginia said that while there has just been one confirmed case in Clarke County, they are warning residents in other parts of the state to stay alert for potential sightings.

“There have been reports from VDOT of sightings of Giant Hogweed in the Staunton area and Middlesex County,” Isle of Wight County posted to Facebook. “There is a strong possibility that the Giant Hogweed could find its way into the Tidewater/Coastal Virginia area.”

The plants have hollow stems are generally two to four inches in diameter, with dark purple and red raised spots and bristle-like hairs

 (New York Department of Environmental Conservation)

Besides being a threat to humans, giant hogweed can also impact the environment. The plant can grow up to up to 14 feet, creating a lot of shade in the area and inhibiting the growth of native species. The plants have hollow stems that are generally 2 to 4 inches in diameter, with dark purple and red raised spots and bristle-like hairs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Giant hogweed can grow up to 14 feet tall.

 (New York Department of Environmental Conservation)

Environmental officials say that if you want to remove the plant, do not use a weed-whacker, because the plant’s sap can splatter and then spread quickly. Eradication should be done by physical removal or using herbicides such as glyphosate or triclopyr, according to the NYDEC.

“It may be possible for hogweed seeds to remain viable in the soil for 15 years,” the agency said. “For this reason, long-term monitoring is very important. Check the site and surrounding areas for the next several years for the emergence of any hogweed seedlings or regrowth from previous year’s plants.”

Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed

Why more men are delaying prostate cancer treatment

When Ben Pfeiffer was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April, his urologist noted in the biopsy report that he was leaning toward recommending that Pfeiffer have his prostate surgically removed.

But Pfeiffer, 58, a married construction supervisor from Las Vegas with two grown daughters, said his wife insisted that he get a second opinion.

It’s a good thing she did.

The doctors Pfeiffer subsequently visited at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) did not believe surgery was needed.

Pfeiffer said the results of the tests, which included genomic testing, showed he had a nonaggressive cancer that made him a good candidate for something called active surveillance, also known as “watchful waiting.”

In other words: No need for surgery or radiation at this time. And perhaps never.

This may sound counterintuitive if you haven’t kept up with the latest advances in prostate cancer research.

Less than a decade ago, the standard response from a doctor when a man was given a prostate cancer diagnosis was to schedule a surgery to have the organ removed.

When some members of Pfeiffer’s family heard the news of his cancer, they asked him when he was going to get the prostate removed.

“I told them I was considering not doing the surgery, and they said, ‘What? You need to get this out, you need to get rid of it,’” Pfeiffer told Healthline. “But that is the old way of thinking. Cancer scares people, but they don’t understand active surveillance. A lot of people don’t.”

Watching and waiting

Doctors examine the results of a prostate cancer biopsy using something called a Gleason Score.

Generally speaking, cancers with lower Gleason scores (2 – 4) tend to be less aggressive, while cancers with higher Gleason scores (7 – 10) tend to be more aggressive, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF).

Pfeiffer, who had a Gleason Grade 6, said the doctors he saw after the visit to his initial doctor suggested he keep a close eye on his cancer with regular follow-up checkups with no treatment unless and until it is deemed necessary.

“There are times for some prostate cancer patients when watchful waiting is by far the best option,” Pfeiffer said.

Study of veterans

Pfeiffer is not alone.

Watchful waiting is an increasingly common option for prostate cancer patients.

A nationwide study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that the idea of watchful waiting is now particularly popular by America’s veterans.

In the study, researchers at the New York University School of Medicine and the Manhattan campus of the Department of Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System looked at 125,000 veterans diagnosed with nonaggressive prostate cancer between 2005 and 2015.

The researchers discovered that in 2005, only 27 percent of men under 65 opted for watchful waiting to keep track of their tumors.

By 2015, the situation had reversed, with 72 percent choosing to monitor but not treat.

The study was aided by a look at new genetic testing that enables doctors to give patients a far more specific diagnosis for their cancer.

Researchers concluded that low-risk prostate cancer has a favorable prognosis without treatment.

Current guidelines recommend watchful waiting as the preferred approach for low-risk patients.

However, studies show that this approach, while embraced by the VA, is underutilized in the United States compared with other countries.

“About 20 to 40 percent of newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients should consider watchful waiting and holding off on any treatment,” Jonathan Simons, president and chief executive officer of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, which helped fund the study, told Healthline.

Simons, an oncologist and leader in prostate cancer research, said that when it comes to prostate cancer, the outcomes for patients are better in VA hospitals than in the rest of American medicine.

Simons said watchful waiting is neither irresponsible nor dangerous, as long as patients communicate closely with their doctors and receive regular check-ups.

Trying to spread the word

For study coordinator Stacy Loeb, this research hits home.

“My grandfather was a veteran who died from prostate cancer,” said Loeb, an assistant professor in the urology and population health departments at NYU School of Medicine and an attending urologist at VA New York Harbor Healthcare System.

“I’m passionate about veterans and prostate cancer care in the veteran population,” Loeb told Healthline.

She, along with Simons, is exploring ways to improve public awareness of the viability of watchful waiting for some prostate cancer patients.

“We’re trying to improve prostate cancer care by sending out educational materials, working with the PCF, and just describing to the public what watchful waiting is,” said Loeb.

She noted that at private clinics in the United States, as many as two-thirds of prostate cancer patients at low risk are still unnecessarily undergoing early aggressive treatment.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that 29,000 American men will die from prostate cancer in 2018, with 164,000 new cases diagnosed.

And most of these cancer diagnoses are in the earliest stages.

At the VA, however, the numbers of patients with nonaggressive prostate cancer who opt for watchful waiting “compare favorably” with patients outside the VA.

“The VA is leading in terms of providing good prostate cancer care,” said Loeb.

Leading the charge

Prostate cancer is the number one cancer for men who seek healthcare at the VA.

The person who spearheaded the drive to improve care at VA for prostate cancer patients is former VA Secretary David Shulkin.

“Our objective at VA was to build the most contemporary and advanced approach to prostate cancer,” said Shulkin, a medical doctor who was a hospital administrator before President Obama appointed him to the VA.

“This incorporates a personalized approach that begins with a full assessment of the veteran, including genomic testing,” Shulkin explained.

“For some veterans, this will mean targeted chemotherapies and advanced cellular therapies, for some it will mean surgery or radiation, and for others it may mean watchful waiting and avoiding unnecessary comorbidities associated with therapies,” Shulkin told Healthline.

Shulkin said he “jump-started” the precision oncology program at the VA.

“It was a major focus I had. The program was run by Dr. Michael Kelly out of our Durham VA,” said Shulkin, who also advanced the VA partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

“This led to a $50 million collaboration on precision oncology for prostate cancer,” he said. “Second, we brought in IBM Watson to help with the genomic analyses. And third, we began a cancer survivorship genomic analysis program with Sanford Health.”

Finally, he said, “We prioritized our Million Veteran Program to boost data collection, partnerships with industry and other federal agencies like the NIH and DOE, and we accelerated research projects using this unique data source.”

VA could help find cures

Simons said the VA public-private partnerships could lead to major medical breakthroughs.

“I don’t think most American fully understand that VA is a potential resource for cures,” he said. “This study involved more than 125,000 men with prostate cancer. It is the largest study of its kind.”

Simons said he is focused on getting his research to men and women who have served their country, and becoming a model for how precision oncology should be practiced.

“We’re working hard to have another launchpad meeting to bring nonprofits in to discuss what we can do for veterans with cancer,” he said. “This is all about President Lincoln’s idea of caring for those who ‘shall have borne the battle.’”

Not just for prostate cancer

Is watchful waiting a legitimate and responsible strategy for patients with other cancers besides prostate cancer?

Yes, Simons said, although he cautions more research is needed.

Simons said follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, specifically, as well as some types of early-stage breast cancer and an uncommon form of bladder cancer are just a few of the cancer types that can potentially benefit from the active surveillance approach.

There is also a growing interest for a type of uterine cancer that might not need treatment.

“This area of active surveillance and management is a new form of oncology,” said Simons.

He noted this has a lot to do with the progress made in recent years in the genome and the testing of an individual person’s genetics.

“For now, we see no active surveillance for colon or pancreatic cancer or glioblastoma, but we know that follicular lymphoma, a low-growing, low-grade cancer, does overlap with nonaggressive prostate cancer,” Simons said.

Singer’s widow spreading awareness

Acclaimed singer-songwriter-musician Dan Fogelberg (“Leader of the Band,” Part of the Plan,” “Same Old Lang Syne”) died of advanced prostate cancer in 2007.

According to his widow, Jean Fogelberg, a musician, artist, and now passionate advocate for prostate cancer patients and their families, her husband got “mild symptoms” and went to a clinic and was tested by an on-call doctor he didn’t know.

“We were never notified of the results of those tests, so we just assumed he was OK, and we went on with our lives,” Fogelberg told Healthline in an exclusive interview about her husband’s cancer.

Two years later, she said, when her husband went to his regular doctor for a checkup, he learned that his prostate cancer had dramatically advanced.

“By the time he went in for the physical for the PSA, it was 151, then within a week it was 364,” Fogelberg said.

Since her husband’s death, Fogelberg has dedicated much of her life to supporting prostate cancer patients as well as cancer caregivers.

“I try to do it with grace, I try not to make any missteps,” she said.

Fogelberg hopes more prostate cancer patients will consider active surveillance rather than surgery if it isn’t necessary.

“I encourage people to get second opinions and learn about all their options,” she said.

Fogelberg also wants people to know how courageously her husband fought his prostate cancer.

“He was so brave, he put up such a graceful fight,” she said. “He made me feel like the smartest, funniest, prettiest person on the planet. Whatever I did, he was there for me with advice and support.”

But it’s still not easy to talk about her husband, she admitted, because it is a reminder of what could have been had they heard from the on-call physician and if he had survived long enough to see some of the latest research reach the clinic.

“There are new treatments now, so much progress has been made, and that is great,” she said. “But talking about this is of course bittersweet.”

This article first appeared on HealthLine.com.

Michigan Home Depot employees build mailbox for autistic boy: ‘It was perfect’

Seven-year-old Cameron English is obsessed with mailboxes.

“He is fascinated with opening and closing the door, hiding things inside of it and raising and lowering the flag,” Denise Haight, Cameron’s grandmother, told Fox News on Friday, adding that Cameron, who has autism and is nonverbal, even has a “little people” mailbox that he places near the side of the tub when he takes a bath.

It’s because of Cameron’s fascination that Haight decided to build her grandson a personalized mailbox for his birthday. But there was one issue: she was unsure how to start the project, which two Home Depot employees in Gaylord, Michigan astutely noticed when she was at the store looking for supplies last week.

mailbox 2

Two Home Depot employees show off Cameron’s mailbox.

 (Denise Haight)

“I had an idea of what I was trying to construct — I had gone in to get parts and pieces and try to create something. But I think they looked at me and thought, ‘she looks like she’s confused,’” Haight recalled.

That’s when the Home Depot associates — Store Manager Gary Malak and Territory Operations Manager Lorel Woodard — approached her, offering to help.

“I explained the story about Cameron, and that it was his birthday, and that I had an idea about what I was trying to do,” she said.

Haight said Malak and Woodard helped her to brainstorm, asking a variety of questions about material, height and more.

“Do you trust me?” Haight said Malak eventually asked her. A bit confused, Haight replied that she did. At that point, he told her to come back to the store on Saturday.

So, a few days later, Haight returned. When she arrived, Haight couldn’t believe what she saw: A mailbox that was “exactly what I was imagining,” she said.

mailbox 3

“Never in a million years do you think that something like that will come your way,” Haight said of the kind gesture.

 (Denise Haight)

Haight then asked the associates how much she owed for the mailbox, as there was no price tag attached to it. But Malak was quick to inform her that it was free of charge. 

“He only wanted us to tell Cameron a ‘happy birthday’ from Home Depot,” she said.

What’s more, the three employees who were commissioned to build the mailbox — currently identified only as Gene, Laura and Don — packed it full of toys, a small stuffed bear and a Home Depot apron for Cameron to wear.

“I cried and hugged them,” Haight said of her reaction.

On Sunday, Haight brought the mailbox to Cameron’s birthday party at a local park. After noticing the mailbox, “the look on his face was just amazing,” she said.

“Never in a million years do you think that something like that will come your way.”

– Denise Haight

In return for all the kindness, Haight said she plans to frame a collage of pictures that show the Home Depot employees building the mailbox to the point where Cameron received the gift.

“Never in a million years do you think that something like that will come your way,” Haight said of the kind gesture, adding that she and the rest of her family have been “awe-inspired” by the reactions they’ve received to the story. 

As of Friday afternoon, Haight’s Facebook post detailing the event had more than 7,000 reactions, 3,000 shares and 600 comments.

“It’s breaking our hearts to see the kindness, even when it comes to autism itself,” she said. “Cameron is different than the other children his age, but he is such a special little boy.”

In a statement to Fox News, a representative for Home Depot said that the company “loves to hear these stories” but declined to comment further. 

Malak and Woodard did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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

Doctors reveal rare condition that causes blind woman, 48, to only see moving objects

Milena Canning has been blind for about one-third of her life. Thirty years ago, she suffered from a respiratory infection and a series of strokes, which landed her in an 8-week-long coma. When she finally woke up, her vision was gone.

At first, Canning, a 48-year-old from Scotland, only saw darkness — but soon, she was surprised with a bright flash of green light.

It looked like a “glint of a sparkly gift bag,” Western University in London, Canada, described in an online statement this week.

Canning then began to see glimpses of other moving objects.

“Her daughter’s ponytail bobbing when she walked, but not her daughter’s face; rain dripping down a window, but nothing beyond the glass; and water swirling down a drain, but not a tub already full with water,” Western University explained.

MASCARA KEPT ON FOR DECADES LEAVES ‘EMBEDDED’ LUMPS UNDER WOMAN’S EYELIDS

Confused, Canning began to see a local specialist, hoping to find answers. Eventually, she was referred to Jody Culham, a neuropsychologist at the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University.

Culham and her team conducted several tests, including a functional MRI to measure Canning’s brain activity. The team then noticed something that may explain the gaps in eyesight.

“She is missing a piece of brain tissue about the size of an apple at the back of her brain – almost her entire occipital lobes, which process vision,” Culham said in a news release Tuesday. “We think the ‘super-highway’ for the visual system reached a dead end. But rather than shutting down her whole visual system, she developed some ‘back roads’ that could bypass the superhighway to bring some vision – especially motion – to other parts of the brain.”

LEGALLY BLIND BOY SEES WITH HELP OF SPECIAL GLASSES

The rare phenomenon is known as Riddoch syndrome, which is caused by damage to the occipital lobe. Culham’s findings were published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Neuropsychologia in May.

According to Western University, only a handful of cases have been reported over the years and “none studied so extensively as this.”

“This work may be the richest characterization ever conducted of a single patient’s visual system,” Culham said. “She has shown this very profound recovery of vision, based on her perception of motion.”

Culham plans to continue monitoring Canning to note any changes in brain activity, which may impact her vision. 

“I can’t see like normal people see or like I used to see. The things I’m seeing are really strange. There is something happening and my brain is trying to rewire itself or trying different pathways,” Canning said.

Arizona student paralyzed by rare disorder while on vacation in Spain

A University of Arizona student is slowly regaining control of her limbs after she woke up paralyzed while on vacation in Spain. Kara Dunn, who reportedly contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome, remains hospitalized abroad, but may be medically evacuated to the U.S. this weekend.

Her brother, who is a student at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Arizona, has been keeping supporters updated on Facebook and the family’s GoFundMe page. On Wednesday, he said that his 20-year-old sister cannot move her legs, or sit up in bed, but is stabilizing.

“Every day is another step toward recovery,” he wrote on Facebook. “Kara is still not able to move her legs or sit up in bed, but she is stabilizing and will hopefully be able to board a medical flight in a few days so she can get home and start rehab as soon as possible.”

IDAHO CHILD RECOVERING FROM PLAGUE

A previous update included a video message from the student herself, thanking donors for helping her get home.

“Kara’s speech gets clearer and louder every time we see her,” Ryan Dunn posted on Tuesday. “She can move her arms but is entirely paralyzed from the waist down. We are hoping that she can continue to improve so she can be back in Arizona starting rehab as soon as possible. GO KARA!!”

The trouble started for Dunn on June 5, when, according to the GoFundMe page, she woke up paralyzed and was rushed to the hospital. There, she was reportedly diagnosed with the rare immune disorder that attacks nerve cells and causes muscle weakness or paralysis. The symptoms can last a few weeks, and while most patients make a full recovery, some suffer long-term nerve damage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

MOM CLAIMS SHE FOUND BED BUGS IN DAUGHTER’S HOSPITAL ROOM

Dunn, whose brother and mother have flown to Spain to be with her, was allegedly sedated and intubated for pneumonia while in the hospital, which has complicated her case. As of June 11, the breathing tube was removed and Dunn began breathing on her own. The GoFundMe page is seeking $150,000 to help cover the cost of medical expenses.

On Wednesday, Ryan Dunn told supporters that insurance would cover her flight home, and that as long as she remained stable it could happen as early as this coming weekend. 

“KARA IS COMING HOME!” Ryan Dunn posted on Wednesday. “Contingent upon Kara’s continued improvement, Kara will be on a medical flight bound for Phoenix this weekend. Kara’s travel insurance will pay for the flight IN FULL. We are blown away. A HUGE thank you to On Call International, World Nomads travel insurance and FoxFlight air ambulance.” 

Ryan Dunn said his sister wants any remaining funds raised to be donated. 

World Cup attendees urged to get measles vaccine: Signs and symptoms of the viral illness

Health officials are warning thousands of people who plan to attend the World Cup in Russia from June to July to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of measles — as an outbreak of the viral illness continues to plague Europe.

“We’re advising fans heading to Russia for the World Cup to ensure they are up to date with their MMR vaccine because of measles outbreaks across the continent,” the Public Health of England said in a statement in early June.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said the number of measles cases across the continent tripled last year, with Romania, Ukraine and Italy the worst affected. The outbreak in Romania alone has killed dozens of infants and children, with 200 new cases reported each week.

WORLD CUP SCHEDULE, HOW TO WATCH AND OTHER THINGS TO KNOW

In total, Europe saw 20,000 reported cases in 2017, leading to 35 deaths, according to the BBC.

“Worldwide, 19 cases of measles per 1 million persons are reported each year; about 89,780 die,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, adding that the majority of cases stem from international travel.

Here’s what you need to know about the illness as the World Cup kicks off on June 14.

What are signs and symptoms of measles?

A fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes and white spots inside the mouth are all signs of the measles. A few days after these symptoms begin, a rash then spreads across the body and the fever typically spikes.

“It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body,” the CDC explains on its website.

How does it spread?

Like the common cold, the measles virus is airborne — it can spread through coughs or sneezes. It can also infect people through touch, so those who are in public places where the virus is likely to spread are encouraged to was their hands before touching their face.

“Measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed,” the CDC explains. “Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.”

How do you prevent measles?

Most children receive a measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) shot at 12 to 15 months and another dose a few years later — sometime between age 4 and 6, according to the CDC.

Doctors recommend consulting your family physician to receive your vaccination status. Those who have not received a second MMR shot should get one as soon as possible, health officials suggest.

The CDC says the MMR vaccine is “very safe” and about 88 percent effective with two doses in your system.

“Two doses of MMR vaccine are 97% effective against measles and 88% effective against mumps. One dose of MMR vaccine is 93% effective against measles, 78% effective against mumps, and 97% effective against rubella,” the CDC points out on its website.

There’s no specific treatment for measles, but the Mayo Clinic recommends using fever reducers, antibiotics and Vitamin A to treat symptoms of the illness.

Most of those infected with the virus, without complications, recover within two weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Will medical marijuana replace opioids in war on cancer?

President Trump recently told reporters he will likely support a congressional effort to end the federal ban on marijuana, which could finally help cut through the red tape blocking scientists from conducting large-scale trials on the benefits of medical marijuana in cancer patients.

“We need to be very careful in how we define the benefits of medical marijuana and that’s because there’s been few randomized, controlled, placebo-based trials using medical marijuana,” Dr. Nick Spirtos, an oncologist at the Women’s Cancer Center of Nevada, told Fox News. “I think there are some diseases or conditions that are likely to benefit from the use, such as chemo-induced nausea and vomiting, chronic pain and peripheral neuropathy and anorexia, but studies need to be done properly.”

Medical marijuana is still a controversial topic when it comes to doctors recommending it to their cancer patients. According to new research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, less than 30 percent of oncologists surveyed felt knowledgeable enough about medical marijuana to make recommendations.

“Its upon us as a community to re-up our skills in knowing about this aspect of supportive oncology.”

– Dr. Andrew Epstein

“The amount of information we have is still relatively nascent and evolving and therefore its upon us as a community to re-up our skills in knowing about this aspect of supportive oncology,” Dr. Andrew Epstein, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and an American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) patient care expert, told Fox News.

Spirtos is on a mission to fill that knowledge gap, but he knows that stereotypes and regulations are big obstacles that could take years to overcome.

“The misconception is that people are using that [medical marijuana] as an excuse to get high. The reality is our average patient is 55-years-old,” Spirtos said. “These people aren’t out drug seeking. These are real people with real problems that are looking for an alternative that may be more effective.”

Some doctors like Spirtos are looking into whether medical marijuana could turn into an alternative for opioids. Every day 116 people die from opioid-related drug overdoses in America.

A recent report in JAMA Internal Medicine, found a 14 percent reduction in opioid prescriptions in states that allow easy access to medical marijuana.

“In order to get someone off their opioids you need to duplicate that feeling of satisfaction, of comfort and that you do with the THC, on the other part you need the CBD to actually effect the inflammatory condition that is causing the actual pain,” Spirtos said.

THC and CBD are chemical compounds found in marijuana. For decades’ researchers have known that THC is responsible for the psychological cannabis high, but recent studies have shined light on CBD and its function on treating pain.

A 2017 research review report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine showed there was conclusive evidence that certain oral cannabinoids were effective in preventing and treating adults with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Currently there are 29 states plus the District of Columbia that have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana, but federal regulations have made it complicated to conduct large-scale trials.

“Cancer research and symptom research takes time and when you’re in a constantly evolving landscape that exists on a non-medical level in terms of political and legal landscapes with something like medical marijuana these are the reasons why it will take time,” Epstein said.

Spirtos, who is also the CEO of The Apothecary Shoppe, a dispensary in Las Vegas, presented his own self-funded observational pilot study to doctors at ASCO’s annual meeting on whether using a marijuana-based syrup could help patients with their pain and replace their opioids.

The syrup was developed by Spirtos and uses a combination of THC and CDB. 

Twenty-five patients with chronic opiate use were given the cannabis-laced syrup every four-to-six hours and were allowed to use their opioids only for break through pain.

“We showed that there was a significant decrease from almost 75 percent across the board, with six patients completely getting off their opiates.”

– Dr. Nick Spirtos

“We showed that there was a significant decrease from almost 75 percent across the board, with six patients completely getting off their opiates, which was stunning in a four-week period of time,” Spirtos said.

Although Spirtos’ research seems promising, the oncology community may not be ready to accept marijuana as a substitute just yet.

“We need a lot more research to clearly state whether or not medical marijuana can treat cancer pain as effectively as opiates,” Epstein said. “I think it’s a helpful adjunct to pain medicines, [but] I do not think there are data to suggest or even show that they are just as good.”

Salmonella found in pre-cut melon sickens 60 people, CDC says

Officials urged people to throw out pre-cut melon sold in major supermarket chains after a salmonella outbreak linked to the fruit sickened 60 people in five states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

Caito Foods, LLC recalled its packages of pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and fresh-cut medley products containing these melons after people reported feeling ill after eating the fruits, the CDC said in a news release. The fruit was produced in a facility in Indianapolis, Ind.

Officials said people reported contracting salmonella after eating pre-cut melon between April 30 and May 28. At least 31 people were hospitalized.

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The melon was sold in plastic clamshell containers at Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Payless Owen’s, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods/Amazon. They were distributed in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.

Bunch of sliced watermelons and melons close up.

Pre-cut melon, including watermelon and honeydew, were recalled on Friday after several people reported getting salmonella after eating the fruit.

 (iStock)

Caito Foods has seized production and distribution of the melons. Consumers are urged to throw away pre-cut melon that fall within the recall.

People with salmonella may develop symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. At times, infections could be fatal, especially in young children or elderly people. The bacteria can also cause arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis on rare occasions.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam