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Heartbreaking: Man with ALS grieves beside terminally ill 5-year-old granddaughter

It’s a photograph that will break your heart. 

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A 5-year-old Florida girl lies in a hospital bed, connected to a ventilator as she fights against an aggressive brain cancer. Her grandfather sits nearby, himself ravaged by Lou Gehrig’s disease, crying even though he no longer has the ability to speak.

Six weeks ago, Braylynn Lawhon was preparing to celebrate her fifth birthday when she was diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma tumor, a form of brain cancer that most commonly affects children between the ages of 5 and 9. According to the Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Hospital, approximately 300 children are diagnosed with DIPG each year.

The girl’s grandfather, 49-year-old Sean Peterson of Gulf Breeze, has been battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis for two years and has taken a turn for the worse, The Pensacola News Journal reported. Peterson is now unable to talk and can barely move his hands, the newspaper reported.

Both illnesses have been difficult for Ally Parker, who is Braylynn’s mother and Peterson’s daughter.

“Last year was hard for us, but I can't even begin to explain how difficult this year will be and has already been,” Parker wrote in a Facebook post on Jan. 9. “In a few days I will have to bury this beautiful little girl. Months, maybe even weeks, later, I will have to bury my father. Both of my heroes, gone, within the same year.”

When Peterson visited his granddaughter at the Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola, he could not hide his grief.

“Tears were coming out and this horrible noise was coming out, but that's all he could do,” Beth Peterson-Hickman, Braylynn's grandmother and Peterson's ex-wife, told the News Journal. “I had to turn around. I thought maybe it upset him because I know he hasn't wanted me to see him like this.”

Parker has been giving updates about Braylynn’s condition on Facebook and is punctuating them with the hashtags #BraylynnsBattallion and #FightLikeAGirl, among others.

“DIPG is a monster,” she wrote in a Jan. 9 post on Facebook. “It seems as if it targets the people who have the most to lose, who are supposed to be the happiest, but also the people who are strong enough to deal with this gracefully and courageously.”

Because Braylynn’s condition has deteriorated, Parker is resigned to the fact that her daughter -- nicknamed Princess Belle -- has precious little time to live. 

“I nicknamed her 'Belle' before she was even born because her initials were 'B-E-L,'" Peterson-Hickman told the News Journal, referencing the character from the Disney movie “Beauty and the Beast.” 

Peterson-Hickman said the family plans to hold a Disney-themed funeral. 

“She's gotten five or six Belle dresses mailed to her from complete strangers because we want to bury her in a Belle dress,” Peterson-Hickman told the News Journal. “They've sent tiaras and slippers and little gloves and all kinds of stuff to her.”

Parker, in a Facebook post on Thursday, wrote that “someone needs to find a successful treatment for this so our kids stop dying.”

“It may be too late to help my princess, but it gives other kids a little more hope,” she wrote.

GoFundMe account has raised more than $69,000 for Braylynn, as of early Saturday morning.

Man declared dead by 3 doctors starts snoring on autopsy table

A Spanish prisoner who was declared dead by multiple doctors began snoring on the autopsy table just as a pathologist was preparing to begin cutting, according to news reports. 

Gonzalo Montoya Jimenez, 29, was jailed in northern Spain when he was found unconscious in his cell Sunday, according to Live Science. Three forensic doctors reportedly examined him and determined that he had died.

Prison officials told Spanish news outlet La Voz de Asturias that Jimenez was found sitting in a chair, showing signs of death, including discoloration of his face and what appeared to be rigor mortis, or the stiffening of a body shortly after death. 

“Officials, seeing the cyanotic prisoner blue, alerted the medical services,” one official told the outlet. “All signs pointed to the prisoner being dead.”

>> Read more trending news

Four hours later, however, Jimenez started making noise while on the slab at the morgue and the pathologist found that he was still alive, Live Science reported. He was taken to the Central University Hospital of Asturias in Oviedo, where he remained in the intensive care unit through the week. 

Jimenez’s family told La Vos de Asturias that he suffers from epilepsy. They believe that, being jailed, he may not have been able to take his medication properly.

It is unclear if his epilepsy contributed to the episode. 

Live Science reported that some people with epilepsy can suffer episodes of catalepsy, described as a trancelike state in which they become unresponsive to stimuli and their muscles become rigid. That rigidity may have been taken to be rigor mortis in Jimenez’s case. 

Catalepsy can also result in a slowing down of vital signs until they’re nearly imperceptible.

La Voz de Asturias reported that the first thing Jimenez did upon regaining consciousness was to ask for his wife. Doctors at the hospital told his family that his ability to talk and remember his past are good signs, but it is too early to determine if a lack of oxygen will result in permanent problems. 

Prison officials are investigating how all three doctors who examined Jimenez found no signs of life. 

Flu kills Massachusetts mother of 2 as outbreak affects majority of U.S.

A well-known Massachusetts mother of two who thought she had a simple cold is dead after a bout of the flu turned fatal last week.

Jenny Ching, 51, of Needham, went to a hospital when her symptoms grew worse, The Needham Times reported. Doctors there diagnosed the flu.

The flu quickly turned to pneumonia, and she developed a severe bacterial infection. Ching died Friday, two days after being admitted to the hospital, the Times said. 

She leaves behind her husband, Matt Ching, and their two young sons. 

Ching was a beloved hostess at a Needham Chinese restaurant, and the restaurant’s patrons were among the mourners at her memorial service Wednesday. 

“Such an outpouring of support for the Jenny Ching family tonight,” Tom Keating posted to Facebook on Wednesday night. “The lines of people at the Eaton Funeral Home (were) literally around the corner.”

The owner of Ray’s New Garden, the Chinese restaurant where Ching worked for 28 years, also mourned her death on the establishment’s Facebook page

“Jenny always had a smile on her face and was one of the kindest people to touch so many lives,” the post read. “Please keep Jenny and her family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

A GoFundMe page established to help her family with expenses described Ching as a beautiful woman with a huge heart.

“She would do anything for anyone,” the page read. “If she wasn’t greeting you with a big smile at the New Garden restaurant where she worked, she was stopping you on the street to find out how you’re doing. She was a wonderful mom, and will be truly missed by everyone who knew her.”

>> Read more trending news

Ching’s obituary read that she would be remembered for her smile, her kindness and her devotion to her family.

“Most importantly, Jenny will be remembered for her boundless love for her two sons, David and Dennis, of whom she was so proud,” the obituary read

Her family asked that, instead of flowers, mourners contribute to an education fund for Ching’s sons. 

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the current flu season is a dangerous one, spreading quickly across the country. Dr. Daniel B. Jernigan told ABC News on Wednesday that the season, which began earlier than usual this year, is reaching near-epidemic levels.

Part of the problem is that this year’s most prevalent flu strain is H3N2, or Influenza A. That strain is particularly severe and harder to contain than other strains of the virus. 

“Whenever (H3N2) shows up, it causes lots of disease, lots of hospitalizations, lots of cases and lots of deaths,” Jernigan told ABC News

This year’s flu strain has been particularly hard on younger patients. 

Kyler Baughman, 21, of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, died Dec. 28 of complications of the flu. The bodybuilder succumbed to organ failure brought on by flu-related septic shock, his family said.

In Ohio, Jonah Rieben, 4, died Saturday of complications of the flu. An 18-month-old boy from the Toledo area also died of the flu Monday. 

Girl dies of infection after flu misdiagnosis, family says

A 12-year-old California girl is dead after being misdiagnosed with the flu, according to her family.

Alyssa Alcaraz, of Visalia, died Dec. 17 of cardiac arrest, which was brought on by septic shock from a strep infection in her blood, KFSN in Fresno reported

The preteen’s family told the news station that she came home from school one day with what appeared to be food poisoning. A trip to the doctor resulted instead in a flu diagnosis.

When Alyssa did not get better after several days of rest at home, her mother again took her to an urgent care clinic. When the doctor there saw that her oxygen levels were low, she was rushed to a hospital, KFSN reported

Alyssa’s organs began shutting down within hours, and she later died. 

>> Read more trending news

Family members mourned the girl on social media. 

“Please continue to pray for me. My baby went to be with her God and her Grandma Rachel,” Alyssa’s father, Jeremy Alcaraz, wrote on Facebook the day after she died. “I’m so torn right now, it’s killing me.”

Her mother, Keila Lino, wrote on Christmas Day that the family visited Alyssa’s favorite spot, bringing along some of the girl’s stuffed unicorns, which she took everywhere.

“Christmas won’t be the same without you,” Lino wrote. “It was your favorite holiday, and you always looked forward to it every year.” 

Lino wrote earlier this week that she misses her daughter every day.

“Alyssa was a brave and strong young woman her entire life, even until her last breath of air,” her family wrote in her obituary. “(She) had a passion for music, (and) not a day went by that she wouldn’t sing her little heart out.”

“Now she’s singing with the angels.”

The Green Acres Middle School student, who enjoyed science and choir, loved cooking, baking and spending time with her family, the obituary read. 

Two GoFundMe pages were established, one on behalf of Alyssa’s mother and the other on behalf of her father, to help the family pay for her funeral and burial arrangements. The two pages have raised more than $15,000. 

Couple, 2 young children found dead of probable carbon monoxide poisoning

An Arizona couple and their two young children were found dead Monday in what authorities said was a case of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Anthony and Megan Capitano, both 32, Lincoln Capitano, 4, and Kingsli Capitano, 3, were found during a welfare check performed after family members were unable to reach them for several days. Officials with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said that the family from El Mirage was staying in a cabin belonging to a family friend in Parks, which is located west of Flagstaff in the Coconino National Forest.

A deputy sent to check on the family found their vehicle parked outside the cabin and, when he approached the home, smelled a strong odor of gas coming from inside, Sheriff’s Office officials said. Additional deputies were called in, as were firefighters from the Ponderosa Fire Department. 

Firefighters wearing self-contained breathing equipment went inside and found the family dead, fire officials reported. Anthony Capitano’s older son, Ashton, was home with his mother in Texas when his father, stepmother and siblings died. 

Sheriff’s Office investigators called in a heating and cooling provider to investigate the gas heating system in the cabin. 

“The contractor found a significant failure in the heating system which would be consistent with carbon monoxide overcoming the residence,” investigators said in a statement. “The heating unit was the only gas appliance in the home. This provides additional evidence regarding a possible carbon monoxide-related event.”

The Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office was still working to confirm the manner and cause of death, investigators said. 

Jon Paxton, a spokesman with the Sheriff’s Office, told KPNX-TV in Phoenix that the family drove up to the cabin late Friday evening. Investigators believe the gas leak killed them early the following morning. 

Friends of the couple told the news station that the family had stayed at the cabin several times before. One friend, Rhonda Alsobrook, said that she and Megan Capitano texted back and forth multiple times just hours before the family likely died. 

“I sent her this snap, ‘I love you more,’” Rhonda Alsobrook said. “I won this conversation because I said, ‘I love you more,’ and I was the last one to say, ‘I love you more.’”

Alsobrook, a professional photographer, told the news station that she was up late Friday night and into Saturday morning, finishing up the Capitano family’s Christmas photos, which were taken about two weeks before their deaths. 

She said she didn’t hear from Megan Capitano again. Days later, she received the devastating news.

“I got a phone call from her sister,” Alsobrook said. “She called me and told me, and it didn’t really set in.”

Alsobrook said she believes the family went to sleep, unaware of the danger they were in, and never woke up. 

Carbon monoxide is a particularly potent danger in the winter, when cold temperatures have people turning on their heat to stay warm. Though the gas is odorless, it is sometimes possible to smell a leak from a propane gas furnace, Ponderosa Fire Chief Lee Antonides told KPNX

“It depends on how strong the smell is, how rich, and when the furnace was last serviced,” the fire chief said. “Sometimes you can smell it, and sometimes you can’t.”

Antonides said anyone with gas heat should have a certified heating contractor inspect their home’s system before using it each winter. He said a yearly inspection is also important in rental properties. 

“It’s important, if you’re renting a place you’re not familiar with, to ask when the last time the furnace was inspected,” Antonides told the news station. “Ask if there’s a carbon monoxide detector in the house and, if there is, make sure it functions.”

>> Read more trending news

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 400 people die of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning each year. Another 20,000 people visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 of those people are hospitalized. 

Symptoms of carbon dioxide poisoning, which are often described as “flu-like,” include headaches, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. The CDC said on the agency’s website that people who are asleep or have been drinking can die from poisoning before any symptoms appear. 

Homeowners who have gas heating systems or other gas appliances should install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors, or electric detectors with battery backup, the CDC said. Detectors should be placed where residents can hear them if they go off at night, and the batteries should be replaced at least twice a year.

Carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every five years. 

Gas heating systems, along with gas, coal or oil burning appliances, should be serviced annually, the CDC said. Chimneys, which can become blocked by debris, should also be serviced each year. 

Portable gas heaters and other gas-burning items like generators, should never be used indoors. Generators also should not be used within 20 feet of windows, doors or vents. 

Click here for more safety tips from the CDC.

Friends of the Capitanos expressed shock and grief on social media.

“This is so hard to process,” Dan Matock wrote on Facebook. “My friend and his family will be sorely missed. I love you, Tony Capitano, Megan Capitano, Lincoln and Kingsli.”

Christle McGinnis described the family as “beautiful, caring souls.”  

A man named Marty Gallo wrote that he was devastated by the deaths. 

“My heart breaks that I wished I spent more time with you and your family,” Gallo wrote. “Tony Capitano and Megan Capitano were above and beyond the greatest souls to be around. Unwavering good in them, and it showed in their two beautiful young humans, Lincoln and Kingsli.”

Another friend, Anthony Martinez, described Tony Capitano as an incredible person.

“Hug your loved ones,” Martinez wrote. “You never know when it’s your time. RIP.”

Miracle plant or threat? Kratom users say it helps addiction, pain

Florida resident Ali Noble has a 2-year-old boy and is a recovered opioid addict and a frequent victim of panic attacks. She credits her sobriety and serenity to working the 12 steps and a little green leaf getting a lot of attention from the federal government in the past few years — kratom.

>> Read more trending news

When she left substance abuse treatment in September 2014, the Boynton Beach resident received Suboxone. Used routinely for the treatment of opioid addiction, Noble’s experience with Suboxone almost drove her back to drug addiction, she said.

“Suboxone is 10 times harder than heroin to kick. Thank God I knew of kratom,” Noble said. “I was a zombie. I was a dead person walking. I couldn’t comprehend thoughts. It was not pretty and I wanted to be productive. Who wants to be like that?”

The Food and Drug Administration in a November public health advisory said kratom was a health risk and may contribute to the opioid crisis. Many kratom users believe the agency was clearing the way for the Drug Enforcement Agency to revisit banning the plant, which can be purchased at kava bars, vape shops and even gas station convenience stores.

In Palm Beach County, a Delray Beach woman has made it a crusade to regulate kratom, saying it led to her son’s suicide. The New York Times two years ago visited Palm Beach County for a story on kratom, painting it as a new addictive substance taking the kava bars by storm. CNN, though, countered in October with its own report, asking, “Can the kratom plant help fix the opioid crisis?”

Christopher McCurdy, president of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, is one of the foremost experts on kratom and is a professor at the University of Florida. He has said there is a wealth of information that shows the medical potential for the plant.

He told CNN that the debate about kratom is really a debate about profits for pharmaceutical companies, partly because they can’t patent a plant. “There’s no financial incentive for any drug company to really pursue developing this into a drug,” he said.

Kratom proponents say Big Pharma is behind it being unfairly demonized. Kratom users are on fire to get the word out about what they say is a good alternative to prescription pain medication for a host of ailments, such as fibromyalgia, and has helped addicts get off opioids. They are not opposed to regulation but say that making kratom illegal would fly in the face of common sense — and science.

They say they fear the FDA is carrying water for the pharmaceutical industry, which makes billions off the sale of opioid painkillers like OxyContin and anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax.

“There are many pharmaceutical companies who find kratom threatening,” Noble said. “There are few big ones who can lose lots of money if this becomes more popular.”

In South Florida, where there is a large drug recovery community, kratom also poses a paradox. For some recovered alcoholics and drug addicts, it’s a mind-altering substance and using it is akin to a relapse. For others, it is no worse than coffee, cigarettes or caffeinated energy drinks — all of which populate 12-step meetings.

For some kratom users, the drug has been a godsend.

When Noble was pregnant with her son, her anxiety got to the point that she asked her OB-GYN if was OK to drink kratom. He gave his consent.

“I can do kratom and in 10 minutes feel better,” she said. “With prescription medication, if you are in mid-panic attack, it’s like a half an hour to kick in.”

When The Palm Beach Post reported the FDA’s decision, the reaction from kratom users in the comment section was swift:

“This plant has saved so many lives and improved quality of life for so many,” posted a reader. Another commented: “I have depression, bipolar, CMT, degenerative disc disease and anxiety. Kratom helps me with all of it. … This stuff saved my life.”

Kristina Guerriero was one of those who posted comments. On her Facebook page, she has one profile photo with the tagline #Iamkratom.

“I have def benefited from kratom — more for anxiety use,” she said in a text interview. “I do not have a history of drug abuse or alcoholism. I merely use kratom to help with energy and really bad anxiety. I managed to come off my antidepressants. It has changed my life.”

One of the more adamant proponents of kratom in South Florida is attorney Elizabeth Gardener. The owner of two kava bars in North Carolina is ready with numerous examples of users — including law enforcement — who take it for chronic pain. She says it can be a vital tool in harm reduction when it comes to fighting the opioid epidemic.

“They feel it is the reason they are not using. There is no desire to go out to use,” she said. “I saw a woman change her entire life in just a couple years. She just blossomed. I see healing going on.”

She said kratom has also helped those in chronic pain who couldn’t work because they were on painkillers.

Gardener drank kratom for the first time on her birthday in 2011. She wanted to celebrate it in a place that didn’t serve alcohol and ended up at the kava bar.

“I saw the environment. They weren’t stumbling. They weren’t fighting. You could have a conversation there,” she said. “There was a mix of all types of people.”

The social scene at the kava bar allows people in recovery to enjoy camaraderie in an alcohol-free environment, Noble said.

“I met my fiance at a kava bar and I’ve met the majority of my best friends there,” she said. “It really is a family. I know if I’m in need of any shape or form, someone there would help me.”

Now there is one aspect of kratom that is fairly agreed upon. It tastes awful. The Mitragyna speciosa plant is in the coffee family, hails from Southeast Asia, and is often mixed with water or brewed into a tea. It can also be put in capsules and taken like a pill.

“Everybody is panicked,” Gardener said. “They are worried how they are going to continue with their life because if they stop drinking the tea, they are going to feel the pain or not be able to sleep as good at night.”

The DEA put the kratom debate into overdrive in 2016 when it tried to designate it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance on the same level as heroin or LSD. The agency backpedaled after congressional lawmakers urged the agency to give the public a chance to comment.

Then in November the FDA said calls to U.S. poison control centers regarding kratom increased 10-fold from 2010 to 2015, and attributed 36 deaths associated with products containing kratom. The federal government also reports that acetaminophen — the active painkiller in Tylenol — killed 1,500 people between 2001 and 2010.

The FDA concluded that kratom could make the opioid epidemic worse.

“We have a critical point in the opioid epidemic,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “The increasing use of kratom as an alternative or adjunct to opioid use is extremely concerning.”

Marc Swogger, an associate professor in University of Rochester Medical Center, said there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that government moving to make kratom illegal “doesn’t make any sense.”

“People are reporting that they are using kratom to successfully get off of opioids,” he said. “It helps with the withdrawal symptoms and helps them dial back their opioid use and some of them say it helped them quick.”

Swogger said kratom, like caffeine or any drug, does have its own withdrawal and that studies through controlled trials need to look at the plant objectively.

“The science is in its infancy,” he said. “But cutting it off as an option is hurting people and potentially worsening the opioid crisis.”

In Palm Beach County, the person most associated with kratom is Linda Mautner, who blames the plant for leading to her son’s July 2014 suicide. She has lobbied the County Commission to ban it or at least force businesses that sell it to post warnings.

Mautner is a lightning rod for kratom proponents, but there is common ground. Mautner says kratom users have no idea what they are getting because it is unregulated. Noble agrees and would welcome regulation to make sure that kratom sold is pure.

“There is some bogus stuff coming from companies trying to jump on the bandwagon,” she said. “I’m all for some kind of system where it has to pass a test to be sold in the U.S. and not having anything in it. I hate that there are some companies that are trying to take advantage of good people just trying to find relief.”

Pedialyte for a hangover? Company says yes

Did you party this New Years Eve? If you have a hangover, Pedialyte wants you to turn to its drink for relief.

The hydration drink, usually targeted at infants and children, also aims to alleviate your nausea, dry mouth and pounding headache.

The company says its drink is for both kids and adults for rehydration as part of its “see the lyte” campaign.

>> Read more trending news 

Dr. Robert Swift, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University told NBC News that hangovers are complicated, and no one cure fits all.

“The thing about Pedialyte, Gatorade and things like that, there is an optimal concentration to absorb glucose and electrolytes and fluid from the intestines,” he said. 

According to Nielsen research, adults are now a third of Pedialyte’s users, and adults have increased their use of Pedialyte 57 percent since 2012, NBC News reported.

Florida surgeons to remove 10-pound tumor from Cuban boy's face

What began as a mere pimple on his son's face two years ago has grown into a life-threatening 10-pound tumor, Emanuel Zayas' father said.

The Zayas family, who live in Cuba, received a medical visa so the 14-year-old boy can have a complex procedure performed by surgeons in Miami, the Miami Herald reported. Dr. Robert Marx, chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery for the University of Miami Health System, said the tumor is life-threatening because of its weight and its position, which is pressing down on the boy's trachea.

>> Read more trending news 

Zayas has trouble getting nourishment because of the tumor, and Marx said if left untreated, the tumor could fracture the boy's neck. The tumor is not cancerous, doctors said.

It will take a surgical team approximately 12 hours to perform the surgery, the Miami Herald reported. Zayas will face future surgeries to reconstruct facial features.

The cost of the surgery is expected to be approximately $200,000. The Jackson Health Foundation is raising money on the family's behalf to help cover medical costs. According to the foundation, Zayas was "born with a disorder called polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a condition that replaces multiple areas of bones with fibrous tissue and may cause fractures and deformity of the legs, arms, and skull." 

The surgery will take place Jan. 12 at Holtz Children's Hospital, the Miami Herald reported.

Woman gives birth to baby frozen as embryo for 24 years

A Tennessee woman gave birth last month to a baby girl who was frozen as an embryo in 1992, when her mother was just a year old.

Tina and Benjamin Gibson became the proud parents of Emma Wren on Nov. 25. Emma weighed a healthy 6 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 20 inches long. 

According to staff at the University of Tennessee Preston Medical Library, Emma holds the all-time record for the longest-frozen embryo to come to birth.

The Gibsons had Emma through the National Embryo Donation Center, a faith-based embryo adoption program in which couples hoping to conceive are paired with embryos that will not be used by their genetic parents. The NEDC said in a news release that it has received donated embryos from all 50 states, as well as foreign countries. 

A “baby counter” on the NEDC website tallies its live births at 686 babies. 

Emma was frozen in October 1992, when Tina Gibson, 26, was 18 months old. The embryo was thawed in March of this year and implanted two days later. 

“Emma is such a sweet miracle,” Benjamin Gibson said, according to the news release. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.”

Carol Sommerfelt, director of the NEDC’s lab, thawed the embryos implanted into Tina Gibson’s uterus. Sommerfelt said it was “deeply moving and highly rewarding” to see embryos frozen using early cryopreservation techniques survive.

“I will always remember what the Gibsons said when presented with a picture of their embryos at the time of transfer: ‘These embryos could have been my best friends,’ as Tina herself was only 25 at the time of transfer,” Sommerfelt said

>> Read more trending news

The organization’s website lists its overall pregnancy rate per transfer at 57 percent. About 49 percent of transfers result in live birth.

About three-fourths of the donated embryos survive the freezing and thawing process, the website states

Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, medical director of the NEDC, said the organization was privileged to help the couple become parents.

“We hope this story is a clarion call to all couples who have embryos in long-term storage to consider this life-affirming option for their embryos,” Keenan said

CVS agrees to buy insurance giant Aetna

CVS has agreed to buy Aetna in a $69 billion deal, The New York Times reported.

>> Read more trending news

The deal would combine the drugstore chain with one of the United States’ largest health insurers.

Under the terms of the deal, CVS will pay about $207 a share, the Times reported, quoting an anonymous source. Roughly $145 a share of that would be in cash, with the remainder in newly issued CVS stock.

An announcement could come later Sunday, the Times reported.

The deal would transform CVS’ 9,700 pharmacy storefronts into community medical hubs for primary care and basic procedures, The Washington Post reported.

If approved, the merger would allow CVS to provide a broad range of health services to Aetna’s 22 million medical members at its nationwide network of pharmacies and walk-in clinics, the Post reported.

“I think it will create more consolidation among the insurers and retailers, blurring the lines,” Ana Gupte, an analyst at Leerink Partners, told the Post.

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