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NICU nurse falls in love with preemie, adopts her

Published: Friday, March 25, 2016 @ 7:09 PM

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A pediatric nurse formed such a strong bond with a baby in the NICU that she just had to adopt her.

Amber Boyd had cared for Nicole since she was a few months old.

Nicole suffered from a rare birth defect called omphalocele, which caused her organs to develop in a sack outside of her body, according to the Today Show.

Amber quickly became little Nicole’s primary nurse.

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"She was with us for 18 months and that whole time I was her primary nurse and formed that bond," Nicole said. "She is just a fighter… she is a great kid."

KOB reported that Nicole's medical needs were too much for her family, and her mother's parental rights were terminated.

Nicole, who has a twin sister who does not have the same condition as her and lives with biological relatives, became a ward of the state of New Mexico.

Now 3, Nicole is able to walk, and doctors do not think she experienced brain damage.  (via Today Show)

Posted by People on Thursday, March 24, 2016

As her health improved, caseworkers started to discuss where Nicole would go after she was discharged.

Boyd, who was adopted as a child, realized she could take in the baby girl. Her husband, Taylor Boyd, quickly agreed.

"I don’t think I was surprised at all, honestly," Taylor Boyd said. "I think (Amber’s) just a very selfless personality. It is very much in her nature. Just any chance she gets, she does everything she can to be selfless."

Nicole soon moved in with her new parents, and she underwent surgery in October to close her belly and attach her abdominal muscles.

The Boyds became Nicole's foster parents. In February, they officially adopted her.

Now Nicole is 3years old and is the picture of happiness.

"She's incredible," Amber Boyd said. "She has learned in one short year … to crawl, stand and walk."

The family has had challenges, however.

Nicole has to have her trach changed daily and has dealt with multiple surgeries and cardiac arrests.

But the Boyds are happy to have Nicole in their family.

"I can't imagine a time without her," says Taylor Boyd. "We have only had her for a short amount of time (but) she has become a huge part of the family."

Amber Boyd's older sister, Meli Gonzales, set up a GoFundMe page to help the Boyds buy a new car to help foster more children with special medical needs.

"It is like a perfect fit. I don't know how to explain it, it was just right," says nurse Nicole Boyd, after the adoption of her daughter was official.

Posted by TODAY Parents on Thursday, March 24, 2016

5 things to know about dog flu

Published: Thursday, April 16, 2015 @ 7:07 PM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Dog Flu Fast Facts

For over a decade, outbreaks of the dog flu have been reported across the country. Each year, dog owners report cases of the illness in their canines.

>> Read more trending news 

Barkpost breaks down the dog flu outbreak by responding to the most common questions pet owners have.

What is dog flu?

Dog flu, also known as canine influenza, causes primarily respiratory issues. Most dogs contract a mild form of the virus and only require supportive care to recover.

Is it contagious?

Yes, just like with human influenza, dog flu can be spread by close contact.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms, which may take up to 10 days to appear, include coughing, sneezing, fever, nasal discharge, lethargy and loss of appetite.

Can dog flu be prevented?

To reduce your dog’s risk of getting dog flu, consider the dog flu vaccine. It does not eliminate the risk of your dog getting canine influenza entirely, but like with the human flu vaccine, can reduce illness length and severity. Make sure to keep your dog away from other dogs who appear ill and do the same if your dog shows any signs of illness. If there is an outbreak of dog flu in your community, steer clear of public areas like dog parks.

Can other pets or humans catch the dog flu?

Cats and potentially other animals can become infected with the newer strain H3N2. Humans cannot catch dog flu. 

5 questions every woman in her 40s should ask her doctor

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 10:36 AM

Women are waiting longer on average to have babies. Now there’s a push for women in their 20s and 30s to spend thousands of dollars to have their eggs stored. So they can improve their chances for pregnancy later in life. Freezing tiny embryos is also an option. At Reproductive Biology Associates, a fertility clinic in Atlanta, lab workers fertilize patients’ eggs, one by one, with sperm. This lab worker uses a tube and the suction of her breath to hold the material in place for the delicate pro

Women who are in their 40s are in many cases reaching a new stage in their lives. Your children may be more independent, and you might have a well-established career. It can also be a time of change, when it's easier to gain weight, and you may start to see the first signs of menopause.

»RELATED: 4 questions every woman in her 30s should ask her doctor

Being informed about the changes you may face during your 40s is an important way to protect your health for many years to come. It pays to have regular checkups and discuss any potential issues or concerns with your doctor. In addition, you may want to undergo some health screenings to confirm or rule out problems that may be more common after age 40.

The following are five questions every woman in her 40s should ask her doctor:

What supplements should I take?

It's common for women in their 40s to be deficient in nutrients such as vitamin D, according to DoctorOz.com, so it's important to ask your doctor if you should be taking any supplements. This vitamin helps your body absorb calcium, which protects against osteoporosis-related bone loss – a particular concern as you get older.

A blood test can check your vitamin D levels, and if they're low, you may be advised stop smoking, start resistance training and add a supplement to your daily routine.

Should I be tested for diabetes?

Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases with age, especially after you're 45, according to Healthline. A blood test can determine whether your body is using insulin efficiently enough to help your body maintain consistent blood glucose levels.

You're at particular risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you're overweight, have a family history of the disease or have a history of gestational diabetes. If you have this disease, you're at an increased risk of developing heart disease, blindness and depression.

How can I control my weight?

Women's metabolism slows after age 40, and as a result, you'll need to eat less and exercise in order to maintain the same weight, according to DoctorOz.com. You may also have hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid gland that can result in weight gain. If you're gaining weight, it's worth asking your doctor about, especially if you have dry skin, feel tired and are less able to tolerate cold temperatures.

Your doctor can treat hypothyroidism and also suggest an appropriate fitness plan that takes into account your age, weight and health history.

Should I keep taking birth control pills?

If you're in your 40s, you may think you've left your child-bearing years behind, but that's not necessarily true. Unless you've been menopausal for more than a year, you'll still need to take birth control. The second highest rate of unintended pregnancy is for sexually active women who are age 40 to 50, JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of The North American Menopause Society, told the Chicago Tribune.

Doctors have differing opinions on whether you should keep taking birth control pills after age 40, so talk to your doctor to find out what form of contraception he or she recommends for you.

What about menopause?

You may not be thinking about menopause yet, but it's normal for this process to occur at any age from 40 to 59, according to familydoctor.org. For an indication about when this might happen, look to when the older women in your family reached menopause. Although this can influence when you enter menopause, it's not guaranteed.

After menopause, your body produces less estrogen, and this may increase your risk of heart disease, the American Heart Association says. Heart disease is the number-one threat to women's health. Talk to your doctor about symptoms that could indicate your may be headed toward menopause and whether hormone replacement therapy is recommended.

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Thin Mints, Tagalongs and S’mores, oh, my! 5,155 boxes of cookies sold by this Girl Scout

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 5:52 PM

Phoebe Williams is an eighth-grader from Rogers Park, Chicago. She is a prodigy at selling Girl Scout cookies, racking up more than 5,155 boxes last year. Williams sets up a table at various stores to sell high numbers. Her hard work earned her the title "Cookie CEO."

Like a lot of Girl Scouts, Rogers Park eighth-grader Phoebe Williams is hoping to increase her year-over-year cookie sales this season.

Here’s the thing: She sold 5,155 boxes last year. (And 5,004 the year before.)

“All of my Saturdays and Sundays and after-school days that I wasn’t doing sports or student council I was out selling cookies,” Williams, 13, told me.

She also set up a cooking-selling table decorated with signs and streamers, which she carted to various stores — Jewel, Dollar Store, Walgreens — that allowed her to set up shop.

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“I’m a very competitive person,” she said. “I always want to do more. I want to sell 200 more this year than last year and see if I can put the money toward a college fund or a local food pantry. Something that gives me and the people around me a chance to experience new things.”

The proceeds from Girl Scout cookie sales are passed on to individual Girl Scout councils and troops, who then decide how to spend the money — travel opportunities, group activities, donations to a chosen cause.

“The cookie program is the largest entrepreneurship program in the country for girls,” said Nancy Wright, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. “It teaches them about financial literacy, setting budgets, reaching targets, thinking about the future. They’re running their own business.”

And Williams, by all accounts, is a boss. Her past sales figures earned her the title “Cookie CEO,” which means she spent Columbus Day at Wright’s office, along with other top sellers, shadowing the actual CEO.

“Phoebe is so well-spoken and confident,” Wright said. “One of the joys of my job is meeting these amazing young women. They’re so hungry and eager and curious. They’re just brilliant. Phoebe is brilliant.”

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Williams has six siblings — five older and one younger. Girl Scouts gives her a space to carve out her own identity and use it to set an example for others, her mom, Autumn, told me.

“She’s one of the older Girl Scouts — a lot of them lose interest by now,” Autumn Williams said. “So to see her recognize the impact she can have and make every effort to be kind and helpful and supportive to the younger girls, with absolutely zero prompting, it’s just so much fun.”

Her Cookie CEO gig also landed her in the spotlight at Allstate Arena recently, when 5,000 or so people gathered to watch Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana compete for the official Guinness World Record for most cookies dunked in milk at one time.

They clinched the record, dunking 3,236 cookies simultaneously and beating out the previous record of 1,800, which was set in India.

» Sweet grandma who invited wrong person to Thanksgiving last year has him back again for seconds

Williams dropped the puck for a Chicago Wolves game that took place after the Girl Scouts event and posed for photos with Scouts and their families.

“It was wonderful to watch her in her element and see her so proud of the choices she’s making,” Autumn Williams said.

If your workplace and your social media feeds are anything like mine, you know that cookie sales are well and truly underway right now. I love Williams’ story because it’s the human side, the happy outcome, of those sugar-fueled transactions.

“Selling cookies teaches me people skills and how to be out there with strangers in a way that’s safe, but also allows me to represent myself and show people who I really am,” Williams said.

She wants to open her own diner when she’s older, where she can put some of those skills to work.

“I want to go to business school first and then get a job, so I can pay my way through culinary school and then go open up my diner,” she said. “I don’t really know where. I just want it to be a place where I have regulars, like people who I really get to know.”

I look forward to visiting.

'Tide Pod Challenge': Georgia teen among those sickened in dangerous trend

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 6:04 AM

‘Tide Pod Challenge’ On Social Media Alarms Doctors, Parents Warned

Don’t do the Tide Pod Challenge. Seriously.

>> Watch the news report here

That’s the message poison control officials are urging people after a bizarre trend spread like wildfire online.

The challenge involves people popping the small laundry detergent packs in their mouths and posting videos online of themselves chewing and gagging on the oozing product.

Dozens of people have been taken to the hospital after doing the challenge. 

>> Doctors warn parents about dangerous 'Tide Pod Challenge'

Dr. Gaylord Lopez, the director of Georgia's Poison Control Center, confirmed to WSB-TV that the center has handled one case involving a teen.

“This year, we had a call about a 13-year-old. In fact, it was the mother who called us because the kid was getting sick and vomiting,” Lopez said.

While there's only been one confirmed “Tide Pod Challenge” case in Georgia, Lopez said this is a good reminder about the dangers of detergent pods in general.

There are still hundreds of children under the age of 5 getting sick from them.

“When you’ve got a young child picking up a packet, like I have in my hand, thinking it might be candy or food, you could see why kids are attracted to them,” Lopez said.

>> Read more trending news 

Lopez also wants parents to be aware of the latest social media craze.

“Parents need to know that if their young teens are getting into them, they can easily have problems ranging from just mild upset of the stomach to this stuff getting into their lungs and causing far more problems,” Lopez said.

Last week, YouTube and Facebook announced they are removing “Tide Pod Challenge” videos from their sites.