The goal: New arms

first_imgWill Lautzenheiser is an organ donor, willing to contribute almost everything. He said so on camera today.“Obviously, I’ve missed the opportunity to donate my own arms and legs, but everything else can be considered a hand-me-down, including my face if need be,” Lautzenheiser said.The pronouncement got a chuckle out of an assemblage of normally hard-boiled newspaper and television reporters, gathered to document Lautzenheiser’s decision to pursue a double arm transplant that may give him greater independence, and which represents the latest foray by the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) into the frontiers of organ and tissue transplantation.Lautzenheiser, 39, is a quad amputee who until several years ago was a Boston University film professor. His trouble started in 2011, as he was beginning a new job in Montana. He developed a streptococcus infection that became necrotizing fasciitis, which destroyed the tissues of his arms and legs and nearly killed him. Doctors had to amputate the limbs to save his life.Lautzenheiser hopes to become BWH’s third double arm-transplant patient, its first involving an arm above the elbow, and one of just a few in the world to undergo the bilateral procedure. Simon Talbot, assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the lead surgeon on Lautzenheiser’s case, said that precise numbers are difficult to find, but there have been roughly 70 cases of arm transplants so far around the world, very few of which were double transplants.Lautzenheiser said his lack of independence was a factor in his decision to go forward with the procedure. With no legs, one arm amputated above the elbow, and one below the elbow, he is dependent on others for virtually everything. Even just gaining another elbow, he said, would help him greatly.If the procedure works as hoped, physicians expect that his right arm, which has its own elbow joint and some forearm muscles intact, will regain a great deal of functionality. The transplanted left arm has more question marks, Talbot said, but some functionality and even a sense of touch are possible.Lautzenheiser said he looks forward to holding his niece, hopes to resume his film work, and wants to cook again, something he misses greatly.He cleared BWH’s Institutional Review Board, which screens potential transplant candidates for a host of physical and psychological factors to ensure that they’re suitable for the procedure, according to Bohdan Pomahac, director of plastic surgery transplantation at BWH and associate professor of surgery at HMS.Pomahac, who led the team that performed the first U.S. face transplant in 2011, appeared at the news conference at BWH with Lautzenheiser, Talbot, and Richard Luskin, president and chief executive officer of the New England Organ Bank. After a century of development, transplantation has been dramatically accelerating in recent years, Pomahac said. Faces, upper extremities, and, more recently, lower extremities are being transplanted, promising restored functionality that was impossible a few years ago.The body’s immune response remains a problem, he said, and recipients must take immune-suppression drugs for the rest of their lives to keep their bodies from rejecting a graft as foreign. In addition to pioneering surgical transplant techniques, BWH is conducting research on ways to help the body accept its transplanted parts, he said, with clinical trials underway examining how to minimize the use of immune-suppression drugs and induce tolerance of the graft by the body.“We feel we are very close, and the future will tell,” Pomahac said. “What we are hoping to provide … is independence, something no prosthesis can provide.”BWH’s program has enjoyed a great deal of support from the hospital administration, Pomahac said, as well as funding from the Defense Department, which is interested in new ways to heal soldiers returning with battlefield injuries. A key partner in the effort is the New England Organ Bank, which will now begin looking for suitable donors for Lautzenheiser.Pomahac, Lautzenheiser, and Luskin expressed gratitude to families who, despite their grief at losing a loved one, decide to donate a body that can be used to save or improve other lives. Donor arms for Lautzenheiser will be matched to him in a number of ways, including blood type, skin tone, size, and gender.There remains a huge need for organ donation nationally, Luskin said. About 18 people die each day awaiting a donor organ, with 4,000 people waiting for organs in New England alone.“Unfortunately, there are just not enough donors,” Luskin said.Once a donor is found, Lautzenheiser faces 12 to 16 hours of surgery by a team led by Talbot. The surgeons will work on each arm of the donor and recipient, first severing and then reattaching bones, muscles, tendons and nerves. After surgery, Lautzenheiser will be in the hospital for weeks, after which he will face months of recovery. Talbot said it is difficult to know how much functionality Lautzenheiser will regain, and progress will likely be slow.Lautzenheiser, who thanked the doctors who treated him in Montana and Utah, said he initially didn’t think limb transplantation was an option. It was only after he had returned to Boston that a physician at Boston Medical Center suggested it and connected him with the BWH program.Lautzenheiser said the people around him kept him thinking positively and looking to the future, rather than fixating on his loss. He worked on a short film of his story, called “Stumped,” which is playing at film festivals, and has done comedy routines poking fun at his situation.With the bilateral arm transplant, Lautzenheiser will still be without legs, though he said new hands would help him manage his leg prostheses. He would consider a leg transplant, he said, though the surgeons said a four-limb procedure is not yet safe.Lautzenheiser admitted he feels some nervousness about the upcoming procedure and the uncertainty ahead. Though a quad amputee, he’s healthy now, he said. He’s looking forward to not just regaining function, but also helping to answer questions such as the long-term effects of anti-rejection drugs, which could aid future patients.“These are important questions, and I’m as curious as anyone,” Lautzenheiser said. “Let’s find out.”last_img read more

Crayon-Green Trees

first_imgEven shoppers who insist on a natural, live Christmas tree almost always take home an artificially colored tree. And in this case, what you didn’t know won’t hurt you, says a University of Georgia scientist. “The pigment in the colorant is the same thing you find in children’s crayons,” said David Moorhead, an Extension Service forester with the UGA D.B. Warnell School of Forest Resources. “There’s not a problem with the colorant in terms of its being a toxic material,” he said. “It’s a very safe product.” Moorhead said farmers spray the colorant on some tree species to helpthem stay a rich, dark green. Many trees lose their color during late falland may turn yellowish- or reddish-green. The spray-on pigment keeps themgreen for the holidays. Tree farmers prepare their trees with colorant long before the holidaysales begin. “We’ve found that gives the colorant on the tree time to mellow out and look more natural,” said Judy Brewer, who sprays trees on her Liberty County farm in early September. Brewer said most shoppers at her family’s 25-acre choose-and-cut farm prefer the colorized trees. “Even if they say they want an unsprayed tree,” she said, “they can see the difference, and most of them change their minds.” Once farmers apply the colorant, it stays put, Moorhead said. “The trees typically are very well cared for in the field,” he said. Applying the colorant early allows the color to dry completely on the needles and stay colorfast through the holiday season. The color won’t come off on you, your children, pets, gifts, ornaments or other decorations, Moorhead said. Brewer said the tree needles absorb the colorant and gain some protection against moisture loss. “It’s kind of like makeup for trees,” she said. “It really beautifies and protects them.” The colorant, though, won’t keep the tree fresh through the holidays. The trick to doing that is to keep the tree stand filled with plenty of water. Sugar, bleach, aspirin or clear sodas can’t help the tree take up water. Dry trees are much less fire resistant, and just a spark can set them ablaze. COLORING CHRISTMAS TREES provides long-lasting, safe color for holiday decorators. Dave Moorhead, a UGA Extension Service forester said the tree needles absorb the color and stay green through the holidays. Though the needles stay green, it’s not a reliable indicator of freshness. Check the water level in the tree stand daily and add fresh water to keep the water level above the bottom of the tree trunk. (Photo courtesy the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) last_img read more

Just what the doctor ordered

first_imgA render showing the view from the top of Skyhomes TaringaIf the views are enough to take your breath away, you are in luck. The Westside Private Hospital will be just a few floors down.Skyhomes Taringa, which is being developed by Evans Long, will be constructed on the top two floors of the new Montserrat Healthcare facility currently under construction on Morrow Street.Skyhomes Taringa“The development provides a unique opportunity to have a hotel, childcare facility, day hospital and cafe on your doorstep,” Dirk Long of Evans Long said.“In addition to the facilities, the property is located adjacent to the Taringa railway station allowing easy access to the CBD, Suncorp Stadium and the airport.” Seven double-storey residences will be built across the two floors, with prices starting from $1.6 million.The project will be launched to the market this month, with six residences for sale.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours ago“The Skyhomes were driven by the mixed- used nature of the site and the height that we were able to achieve in this precinct,” Mr Long said. “The city and mountain views inspired us to create a product that has not been seen in the western suburbs.“The architects were briefed to create a warm and sophisticated space that took full advantage of the city, river and mountain views. A degree of flexibility was built in to create spaces that could be used for a variety of uses as well as catering for ground floor bedrooms now or in the future if desired.”Skyhomes Taringa.Ray White Toowong agent Kris Matthews, who is marketing the project, said larger and more opulent apartments were proving popular with buyers.“Apartments that fill the void between large family homes and your standard size two and three bedroom apartments seem to be the most desired right now, and this is being reflected in the interest and prices achieved,” he said.“Due to the lack of quality, expansive higher- end apartments in Brisbane, buyers are willing to pay top dollar for such properties.”Mr Matthews said Skyhomes Taringa would be most popular with downsizers who wanted to remain in the local area but still have enough space for visitors.“They will want a downsizing opportunity that … doesn’t necessarily feel like your typical apartment,” Mr Matthews said.last_img read more

Nigeria begin campaign in FIBA 3×3 Africa Cup with wins in four categories

first_imgRelatedPosts Access Bank Plc acquires Kenyan bank 172 Nigerians evacuated from Uganda, Kenya arrive in Abuja Kenyan runner hit by motorcycle, suffers fractured leg Nigeria began its campaign for honours in the ongoing FIBA 3×3 Africa Cup in Kampala, Uganda with clear wins in the girls, boys, women and men’s categories.In the girls’ category, Nigeria defeated Mali 9-2, in the boys it beat Uganda 21-7, while in the women’s it trounced Kenya 21-20 and the men won Mauritius 18-15.In the results e-mailed to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Saturday after the first games by Frank Jituboh, Coordinator of 3×3 Basketball in Nigeria, the other match in the girls’ U-18 category saw Egypt defeat Kenya 17-2.Others are: Kenya 5 vs Egypt 21 (men), Kenya 7 vs Mali 21 (men), Egypt 21 vs Bein 11 (women), Madagascar 21 vs Burundi7 (men) Uganda 21 vs Mauritius 5 (men).The rest of the first games results are Mali 21 vs Egypt 8 (women), Madagascar 19 vs DRC 18, Uganda 21 vs Burundi 9, Uganda 16 vs Nigeria 15 (men).  Tags: BurundiFIBA 3x3Frank JitubohKenyalast_img read more

Barcelona Frees Neymar for RIO2016, No to Copa America

first_imgHowever, the former Kano Pillars forward flew out to Israel at the weekend to tidy the deal with Maccabi Haifa even as Akwa United officials are kicking against the manner the agent of Ekpai is going about the contract.“I will not complete the season with Akwa United because I will soon complete my move to Maccabi Haifa,” Ekpai insisted even as Akwa United officials said at the weekend no deal has been reached yet.“It has always been my dream to play in Europe. Israel is just the take-off point of my career outside the shores of Nigeria,” concludes Ekpai with reporters before leaving the Olympic camp in Abuja.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Barcelona has confirmed that Neymar will represent Brazil at the Olympic Games but not the Copa America this summer.A club’s statement last night reads: “FC Barcelona thanks the Brazilian Football Confederation and its President, Marco Polo del Nero, for having accepted the proposal the club made so that Neymar would only play the Olympic Games that take place between August 3 and 21.“As a result, Neymar Jr will be exempted from playing the Copa America that takes place in United States between June 3 and 26,” observed the statement from the Catalan giants wednesday.Elsewhere, Akwa United forward, Ubong Ekpai, has continue his quest to make Nigeria’s final squad to the Rio Olympics football event with his proposed move to Israeli club Maccabi Haifa.Ekpai who scored the goal which sunk Neymar’s Brazil team for the Olympic in a friendly last month believes he has what it takes to make the difference in Samson Siasia’s Dream Team VI.“I will work hard to make the final squad to the Olympics in Brazil,” he declared.last_img read more