• iStock/Thinkstock(WATERBORO, Maine) — Three good Samaritans rescued a teenage girl after she was thrown off a snowmobile into a frozen lake in Waterboro, Maine.The three rescuers — Brandon Jackson, Bill Rodgers and Taylor Dion — were fishing and snowmobiling near Little Ossipee Lake Feb. 4 when they saw someone struggling in the frozen water.Jackson, Rodgers and Dion threw a thick rope out to the victim in the water, who turned out to be a 16-year-old girl, and yelled instructions to her, saying, "Hold on tight. Get both hands. Kick your feet really hard.""All three of us pretty much decided, 'Hey let's get out there,'" Jackson said, adding he and the other rescuers were there at the "right place and the right time.""We were there and we helped and we had what we needed to get the job done and it worked out very well."Jackson, who captured the video on his helmet camera, Rodgers and Dion were able to pull the victim, who was not named, safely to shore.The teen's dramatic rescue demonstrates the dangers that can come with riding snowmobiles on ice.Snowmobiles can reach top speeds of over 90 mph and weigh over 600 pounds. Ice needs to be at least 5 inches thick in order to support the weight of the snowmobile, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.Individual drivers' own decisions, not the machines, may be responsible for a portion of the 14,000 reported injuries that occur on snowmobiles each year, according to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association."Snowmobile safety is the responsibility of all snowmobilers to conduct themselves in a safe manner and follow the snowmobiling laws and regulations," association president Ed Klim said in a statement to ABC News.Individuals who fall into frozen water, whether caused by a snowmobile accident or other things, should try to control their breathing, remain calm and focus on putting their arms on top of the ice and kicking their legs to pull themselves back onto the ice.The teen who was rescued in Maine also made a potentially lifesaving decision to remove her boots while in the water so they would not wear her down, according to police.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/ThinkstockDR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical ContributorResearch suggests that 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. But now, researchers from Stanford University have turned to artificial intelligence to develop an app for distinguishing a common form of skin cancer -- carcinoma -- from the deadly melanoma. Their study showed that the app had a 70 percent accuracy compared to a 65 percent accuracy for the 21 board-certified dermatologists used in the study. Despite the results, there is no substitute for a doctor’s interaction and judgement. Here’s my take when it comes to your skin: You should regularly check all parts of your body for changing moles or marks on your skin. Also, ask a friend to check your back, scalp and any areas you can’t see.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- A Texas woman is hoping to raise awareness about heart disease after she survived two near-fatal heart attacks, underwent a heart transplant and lost her mother to a heart attack in a single year.Kristen Patton, 41, suffered her first heart attack with no warning on Christmas Eve 2015. She had just brought home her fourth child after giving birth two days prior and the family enjoyed a normal Christmas Eve. She first noticed something was wrong when she was feeding her infant daughter."I had this horrible pain in my jaw ... it felt like it was drilling into my jawbone," Patton, of Austin, Texas, said. She instantly knew something was wrong and put her child back in the bassinet before calling for her husband."He came into the room to find me unresponsive and called 911," Patton said. By the time paramedics arrived she no longer had a heartbeat and they had to use a defibrillator to get her heart started again.Once she was at the hospital, the doctors were able to stabilize her heartbeat but they remained mystified to why her heartbeat had been dangerously irregular.Days later, after multiple tests and no clear answer, they planned to let her leave the hospital with a defibrillator vest that could shock her heart if she had another heart attack. But before they could prep her for that device, Patton had a second heart attack."It was the same exact pain and progression," Patton recalled. "But I felt like I was drowning and I could not get a breath."During the second heart attack doctors realized that Patton had a rare heart condition called spontaneous coronary artery dissection. The layered walls in her artery had partially torn, cutting off desperately needed oxygen to portions of the heart muscle, effectively killing the heart tissue.Dr. Mary Beth Cishek, a cardiologist at Seton Heart Institute in Austin Texas, treated Patton and said the heart was so damaged doctors knew she would need a transplant in the future."It was so extensive and damage to her heart was so great ... it was no longer able to support her body," Cishek said.To save her life doctors performed a triple bypass and attached Patton to a machine that can oxygenate blood called an ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.)After the surgery, Patton remained unconscious at the hospital for weeks on life support. She could not be put on the transplant list because her kidneys started to fail and her heart could no longer effectively pump her blood. The ECMO machine and later a similar more portable device called an LVAD (left ventricular assist device) used to pump blood were the only way she could stay alive.After her diagnosis, Patton's doctors realized that her pregnancy, with the accompanying rise and fall in hormones, was the likely cause of the rare and dangerous heart condition."It's thought that the shifting hormones in a way may kind of loosen the cell to cell connections," Cishek explained.In late January, weeks after arriving in the hospital, Patton finally woke up, but was unable to speak due to a tracheotomy."It was a really horrible feeling to not be able to communicate effectively with the people around me," she said. "I also just felt pretty horrible ... I had lost all strength in my arms and legs."Slowly she was able to recover to the point that she could get into a rehab facility as she gained her strength. The LVAD meant she had to be connected to a battery 24 hours every day to keep her blood pumping through her body.Over the course of 2016 Patton continued to get stronger and was even able to return home where she went on a hike with her family and started to get back to her normal life. In November, her doctors were able to put her on the wait list for a heart transplant, giving her hope that a new heart could mean no longer relying on the LVAD to stay alive."You walk around with your cellphone in your hand waiting for your call," Patton said, explaining that every call from an unknown number was exciting.
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  • Lauren Walker/Facebook(THE WOODLANDS, Texas) -- One Texas couple is finally expecting not just one, but two babies, after struggling with infertility for two years.Lauren Walker shared her story, with a moving photo featuring two onesies and 452 needles used for her In-Vitro Fertilization treatments in a photo that has since gone viral on Facebook."We prayed for 953 days...452 Needles, 1000's of tears, 1 corrective surgery, 4 clomid/letrozole attempts, 2 IVF rounds, 3 failed transfers and & 1 Amazing GOD," the yoga instructor wrote as a caption before explaining her inspirational journey.Walker, 28, had been trying to have a child with her high school sweetheart, Garyt, since 2014."When we started, we knew off the bat that I was having issues," Walker told ABC News, "which I guess is a blessing."So Walker decided to undergo IVF treatments at Houston Fertility Institute "and we expected it to work." Still, she miscarried two embryos on Sept. 10, 2014. After another round of treatment, Walker miscarried two more embryos three months later."It's every mother's job to be able to protect their children and keep them safe," Walker said through tears. "And every time they kept putting them inside me I couldn't do it."The couple had one embryo left and decided to "give it one more shot," Walker said. But two days before Christmas in 2014, they discovered they still weren't pregnant.After two years of struggling with infertility, Lauren and Garyt Walker are welcoming twins in August.Walker said she made her husband take the call from her fertility nurse because she was too afraid to hear any more bad news."He went into the bedroom to take the call. He came out and just looked at me and he started to tear up [and said,] 'I'm so sorry, sweetie,'" Walker recalled. "We just held each other and I let out this blood curdling scream. I was completely broken."It didn't help that, by then, they had spent approximately $30,000 on treatments. Thankfully, their marriage was still in tact."We have heard stories of how going through infertility can really cause wear and tear in a marriage," Walker said. "[We decided] we come first. We need to make sure we are always taking care of each other first and foremost."After two years of struggling with infertility, Lauren and Garyt Walker are welcoming twins in August.The couple credits the strength of their marriage and their faith in God for giving them the courage to try to have a baby again.They moved to The Woodlands, Texas, from Houston, in May 2016. After taking out a $14,000 loan, they began treatments again last October.This time, they decided not to tell family and friends they were trying again to have a baby.Instead, they surprised their family with the news that Walker was indeed pregnant -- with twins -- just a week before Christmas by handing them the pregnancy test wrapped in a bow.Walker said that despite her long journey, she wouldn't want it any other way.After two years of struggling with infertility, Lauren and Garyt Walker are welcoming twins in August."Life happens the way that it's supposed to happen," she said. "Had this all happened the way I wanted to back in 2014, we would have different children and we would have a different life, and I know that these babies right now are meant to be here.""The reason why we were waiting so long is that we were waiting for them," she gushed.Walker is due in August and she said she's looking forward to introducing her twins, that she's named Duke and Diana Walker, to her 6-year-old goldendoodle, Fenway -- and of course they rest of their family."They're the first grandchildren," Walker said. "Everyone's just so excited."Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • DigitalVision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you've been spending flu season living in fear of getting sick every time someone near you coughs or sneezes, researchers have good news about the flu vaccine.The current seasonal influenza vaccine has been found to be 48 percent effective in preventing flu-related medical visits, according to a preliminary report in the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.The researchers looked at data between late November to early February from the 3,144 children and adults, 1,650 of whom were vaccinated, to see who sought medical treatment for flu-like symptoms.While the vaccine was found to be 48 percent effective in preventing flu-related medical visits for all ages, it provided slightly better protection for young children between the ages of 6 months to 8 years and older adults between the ages of 50 to 64, according to the report. The vaccine was found to be 53 percent effective in preventing flu-related medical visits for the young children and 58 percent effective for the older adults.Meanwhile, it was found to be less effective in children between the ages of 9 to 17 years old (32 percent effective), those 18 to 49 (19 percent effective) and those over the age of 65 (46 percent effective)."We know that influenza vaccine is a good but not perfect vaccine," Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News.Schaffner pointed out that it is especially important that the elderly, and those who will be around the elderly, get the vaccine, since the dominant flu strain A(H3N2) spreading across the country is more likely to cause severe complications among the elderly.The current flu vaccine has been found to protect against the A(H3N2) strain 43 percent of the time, and it can also lessen the chances of an infected person developing serious symptoms, according to the MMWR report."It disproportionately affects older people and makes them sicker," Schaffner explained of the A(H3N2) flu virus strain. "There is a perfect match between that strain and what is in the vaccine."The flu vaccine is developed every year to try and match the virus strains that are expected to be most common during flu season in the U.S. Currently, the U.S. is in the middle of a flu epidemic, which occurs almost every year. The CDC report found that high levels of flu activity is likely to continue for the next few weeks.Flu can cause symptoms of headache, fever, joint pain and cough. The seasonal flu generally spreads across the U.S. from November through March, with the peak number of cases often occurring in February. The number of people affected every year can vary widely, but generally, the CDC reports that "millions of people are sickened, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu every year."
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  • Handout via WLS(CHICAGO) — Three children have died from gun violence in Chicago this week, a city that has seen a record number of shootings and homicides in the last year.There were 762 homicides and 4,367 shootings in Chicago in 2016, police said. Of those shot, 76 where children younger than 15 years old, according to data from the Chicago Tribune.Since Jan. 1, 2017, shootings are up 8 percent in the city, and nine children younger than 15 years old have been shot, the Tribune reported.The recent killings have taken a toll on the community, and even the most hardened of law enforcement officers."When this violence touches the innocent or the young, that is when it is no longer just a part of your job," Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a news conference on Wednesday. "It becomes personal."Johnson announced the arrest of a suspect in one of the three shootings. He said that Antwan Jones, 19, was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of 11-year-old Takiya Holmes, who was struck in the head by a stray bullet on Saturday while sitting in the back seat of a car. She died in a hospital on Tuesday.Just less than 30 minutes before Holmes was shot, a 12-year-old girl named Kanari Bowers was caught in a crossfire, according to authorities. Kanari had been playing basketball outside at an elementary school when a stray bullet struck her in the head. She died in the hospital on Wednesday.On Tuesday, a 2-year-old boy named Lavontay White was fatally shot in the head in a gang-related incident that was streamed in part on Facebook Live, according to police.The deaths this week are a window into the violence many young kids in Chicago face on a regular basis.For those who do survive — and for those who have to live with the pain of losing a friend or classmate, or witnessing a violent incident — the road to recovery and healing can be a long and difficult one, according to child trauma experts."We think that the incident is over after their bullet wounds recover, but really, this is just the beginning of their suffering," said clinical psychologist and Loyola University Chicago criminology professor Arthur Lurigio of children who survive gun violence."When the physical wound is repaired, there's still another wound -- one that can be lifelong," Lurigio told ABC News. "Once a child has been shot, their illusion of safety is completely and utterly shattered."That shaken sense of safety can lead to a wide array of symptoms, including many that are a part of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to Maryam Kia-Keating, an associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of California Santa Barbara."They may be struggling with distressing memories of what happened, such as having nightmares and flashbacks, and this can make it difficult to concentrate and pay attention," Kia-Keating told ABC News. "They can experience hyper-arousal, which is when you are more likely to have a startled response or be very frightened in situations where you are not necessarily facing the same threat, but you feel like that same threat is there."Other symptoms include trouble eating and sleeping and experiencing aches and pains that aren't related to an acute illness, Kia-Keating said.Both Kia-Keating and Lurigio emphasized that trauma almost always extends beyond the child who has survived being shot."It's important to view trauma as happening to an entire community," Lurigio said. "Classmates and friends of a child who was shot can also feel traumatized ... so it's also important that schools have the necessary resources to help kids cope with these kinds of tragic incidents."Moreover, adults who are parents of a child who survived a shooting can also be affected."It's important for parents, teachers and caregivers to know that if they're not taking care of themselves first, they will be compromised in their ability to take care of children," Kia-Keating said. "These incidents can be just as frighten
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