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Meet Preston, the therapy dog comforting Larry Nassar's victims
Courtesy Small Talk Childrens Assessment Center (LANSING, Mich.) -- Outside the Michigan courtroom where all told 144 victim impact statements will be read by a victim or on a victim’s behalf when the sentencing for former Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar is complete, there sits a comforting face.Preston, a therapy dog, sits outside the Ingram County Circuit Court in Lansing and waits to be able to comfort the victims of Nassar's sexual abuse."Having Preston here has just been a joy," said Samantha Ursch, 29, who testified last week about abuse by Nassar in 2011 while she was a gymnast...
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After Gronkowski injury, here's what you need to know about concussions
Allen Kee / ESPN Images (NEW YORK) -- New England Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski absorbed a crushing tackle in Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars -– a blow that led to him being immediately removed from the game and taken to the locker room for medical evaluation.The diagnosis: Concussion.Here are a few things you need to know about concussions and why they keep making headlines.Let’s get to the important point: Will Gronkowski be able to play in the “Big Game?"The National Football League has not established a time frame for players returning after sustaining a concussion, especially since each...
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Woman battling brain cancer gets puppy surprise
Front Street Animal Shelter - City of Sacramento/Storyful (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Courtney Gessford has been battling brain cancer for the last three years.For over a year, it was Gessford’s dream to be showered with puppies.So when the 28-year-old’s friends and family reached out to the Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento, California, the shelter was “thrilled” to make her dream come true.Gessford had no idea what was in store when she arrived at the shelter on Jan 10. Needless to say, she was thrilled with the surprise.“This is like the best day, the best moment, of my life,” Gessford said...
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Seven things pediatricians want parents to know about the flu epidemic
ABC News (NEW YORK) -- The deadly flu epidemic sweeping the nation has closed schools in states from Alabama to Texas and killed at least 30 children since its official start on Oct. 1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Every state except Hawaii is now reporting widespread flu activity, the CDC said.The outbreak has left parents wondering what they can do to protect their families against the flu and what to do once their child is diagnosed.ABC News spoke to pediatricians across the country to find out what they want parents to know about the flu...
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Service dog over the moon after meeting Disney's Pluto
Julian Gavino (ORLANDO, Fla) -- Atlas, a service dog with a stuffed Pluto toy at home, experienced a little magic during one his weekly trips to Disney World. The golden retriever was visiting the amusement park with his owner Julian Gavino and met a giant-sized version of his favorite character at Magic Kingdom. Atlas likes nothing better than chomping on his little stuffed yellow Pluto, Gavino told ABC News, a toy that Atlas "loves so much." That's until he came snout-to-snout with an oversized Pluto at the park. The long-overdue encounter finally came to pass when Atlas and Gavino, 22,...
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After heart transplant, mom hears late infant son's heartbeat in another baby
ABCNews.com (TULSA, Okla.) -- Four years after Nikita Nash was forced to part with her dying baby, she remarkably heard his heartbeat again in the body of another child.Nash lost her son Lucas in 2014 when he was only 6 months old.Incredibly, after the anguish and heartbreak, Nash flew to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and heard a sound she remembered: Lucas's heartbeat.His heart had been transplanted into a 3-month-old boy named Kolton Carter, who had been diagnosed with a slew of heart defects.When Nash heard the beats, it was sublime."That is an indescribable feeling," she said. "It sounded like it did when...
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Adolescence now lasts from age 10 to 24
iStock/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- Adolescence now spans the ages of 10 to 24, scientists say. A new report suggests an earlier onset of puberty and better “understanding of continued growth” well into early adulthood should prompt scientists to up the age of adolescence from 19. Some of the factors in creating an expanded definition of adolescence include biological growth and the delayed timing of major social role transitions, according to the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal. The report argues the “transition period from childhood to adulthood now occupies a greater portion of life” because young adults are completing education,...
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Blind teen meets the woman who saved his life 15 years ago: 'It was beautiful'
ABC News (LEVITTOWN, New York) -- After one New York mother gave birth to her first and only child, she was devastated to learn just four months later that he had a rare genetic disorder that would leave him blind.But, fortunately for Tracey Dones, her then-newborn son, Anthony, was able to undergo a transplant -- thanks to the anonymous donation of another New York newborn's umbilical cord blood.Dones, 43, would often think of that anonymous donation."For 15 years, I’ve thought of this woman and how she saved my son’s life," she said.After her entire family took Ancestry DNA tests --...
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Three easy parenting resolutions for 2018
Creatas/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to be a better parent in 2018, you’re not alone.From screen time to alone time, here are a few easy ways to make the whole family happier in 2018:Problem: Too much screen time.It’s time for a digital detox, and that goes for both parents and kids. Resolve to put phones/screens away at a certain time. Or, if you find yourself relying on them at a particular time of day, like breakfast -- figure out a replacement behavior instead. So, for example, some parents put phones away from 6-9...
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Federal officials say flu epidemic has killed at least 30 children
iStock/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- A deadly flu epidemic spreading across the nation has now claimed the lives of at least 30 children, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.The CDC's latest influenza-associated pediatric mortality report released Friday shows that at least 10 children died between Jan. 6 and Jan. 13, and the others have died the since the flu season started in October.The report also shows that 8,990 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported across the nation between Oct. 1, 2017 and Jan. 13, 2018.A total of 110 died during the 2016-17 flu season, but CDC officials said...
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Workshop gives special-needs children a chance to dance with real-life ballerinas
Orlando Health (ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Sarai Arce loves to dance. The 6-year-old loves the poses. Dancing, she said, makes her "happy."When Sarai was born, her mother, Wanda Arce of Orlando, Florida, said, she was diagnosed with brittle bone disease. Doctors said she may never walk.Sarai started walking when she was 3 years old, yet she could not participate in any physical activities because of the risk to her body. Arce said her daughter was lacking muscle tone and balance.Then, Arce came across Come Dance With Us, a program launched at Nemours Children's Health System and the Orlando Health System by...
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Man saved from sticky situation after fermenting molasses apparently knocks him out cold
alpaksoy/iStock/Thinkstock (HOUSTON) -- Houston firefighters came to the rescue of a man who lost consciousness on a cargo ship after apparently succumbing to the gases released from fermenting molasses, authorities said.The worker was 75 feet deep in the docked ship's cargo hold Thursday when a shipment of molasses in the same compartment started to ferment, the Port of Houston Fire Department told ABC News.When molasses ferments, yeast will consume the sugar, creating not only an alcoholic byproduct but gases as well. Typically, one of those gases is carbon dioxide.Authorities said they believe the increased carbon dioxide in the enclosed area...
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