Monthly Archives: January 2017

Girl who died after contracting E. coli

The family of one of two children who died after contracting an E. coli infection said the 6-year-old had recently been cleaning debris in their housing complex yard. Gabriella Fullerton, of Hildale, Utah, became sick shortly after coming in contact with dogs who had been around discarded dirty diapers in the yard, Fox 13 reported.

Fullerton and a close male friend, whose name and age have not been revealed, both died after becoming sick at around the same time. Fullerton’s mother, whose name was not disclosed, was also sickened after cleaning the yard, but has recovered, Fox 13 reported. Fullerton died of kidney failure as a result of the E. coli infection.


“Our entire family and all of our friends are completely devastated at the loss of our little Gabriella,” the Fullerton family said in a statement, according to Fox 13. “The family would like to thank everyone for the prayers, love, support, and donations from everyone. While we are grieving this tremendous loss we are trying to make sure this does not happen to another child. Our hearts are also with the other child’s family.”

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department has been investigating the outbreak, but said the greater community is at little to no risk of being affected. A spokesman told Fox 13 that water samples in the area confirmed that it was not the source of E. coli contamination.


“We’re looking at either exposure to an infected animal or to contaminated food, like food poisoning,” David Heaton, the department’s spokesman, told Fox 13.

E. coli can cause intestinal infections resulting in diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some severe cases may cause patients to suffer from bloody diarrhea, dehydration or kidney failure. Individuals with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, young children and older adults are most at-risk for complications related to an E. coli infection.

How The Prosthetic limbs offering pets

A 7-year-old German shepherd dog named Star has some new pep in her step. She lost part of her right hind leg at birth, leaving her unable to walk comfortably. Then two months ago she was fitted with a customized prosthetic leg. Star’s owner, Elaine Diasparra, says the difference has been drastic.

“She’s amazing and she can actually go for walks now,” she said.

Star is one of a growing number of injured dogs whose owners are turning to human-like prosthetics and orthotics to improve their quality of life.

“In the last decade I would say there’s been an explosion, at least in my practice,” said Dr. Leilani Alvarez, who specializes in sports medicine and rehabilitation at the Animal Medical Center. She fits at least one dog a month with assisted devices.


“[Previously] when there would be an injury like Star had, the knee-jerk reaction is ‘Let’s amputate,’ because they say ‘dogs do great on three legs,’ But that’s not really true,” Dr. Alvarez said. “Dogs really struggle as they get older, particularly a German shepherd. So being able to retain a limb and allow them to walk on that limb can be the difference between them living through the end of their life expectancy to them having to be euthanized.”

A lot of time and technology goes into making devices like Star’s. Hers was made by OrthoPets in Colorado, one of the biggest manufacturers of animal prostheses and orthotics in the country.

“We have about 20 different devices that we can fabricate,” said OrthoPets founder Amy Kaufmann. The procedure is multi-step and involves advanced computer scanning and 3D printing.

“During that 3D carving machine we’re actually carving out an exact replica of the patient’s limb and then we go through the process of fabricating that custom-made device,” Kaufmann said.


OrthoPets has worked on more than 13,000 animals from 35 different countries since 2003. And not just dogs; peacocks and llamas are among the animals they’ve built devices for.

“Anywhere from as small as a mouse up to a 2,000-pound horse,” Kaufman said.

Their business goes beyond artificial limbs to high-tech orthotic braces.

The company created what is called a stifle brace for Fievel, a black Lab mix who suffers from a painful torn ACL. He’d been doing physical therapy at Water for Dogs in TriBeCa, where veterinary medical director Dr. Jonathan Block decided to fit him for the brace.

The Leadville Trail Marathon

Tony Hofmann says he has one goal: to put himself out of a job by making PTSD a thing of the past.

“But we’re a long way from that,” he said.

The 51-year-old retired army colonel works with Warriors Ascent, an organization that helps veterans and first responders cope with post-traumatic stress using holistic techniques that target the mind, body, and soul.

This past Saturday, Hofmann and his team of 10, made up of military personnel and civilian family and friends, tackled the Leadville Trail Marathon, a high-altitude 26.2-mile trail race that winds through one of the highest incorporated cities in America, with an elevation of 10,152 feet, and its highest point peaking at 13,185 feet. The trail courses through an old mining district, with terrain varying from flat paved dirt roads to rocky slopes.

Hofmann, a public works engineer in Kansas City, Missouri, has been running since 1990. He has since completed 32 marathons and ran the Boston Marathon 10 times. He said he partnered with Warriors Ascent after seeing the success of the program and knew running could fit into the message.

The Warriors Ascent program features a five-day “Academy of Healing,” where members go through mental and physical training and group therapy. It is rooted in ancient warrior methods that combine physical and mental training.

Despite the organization being only three years old, the results have had a huge success rate, with all of the program’s applicants rating the academy as 100 percent effective and highly recommending the program to others with PTSD.

And with June being recently designated PTSD Awareness Month, Hofmann said the marathon holds timely significance at a time when veteran suicides are high.

“Our goal this year was to raise funds to help 15 veterans and first responders to go through the Warriors Ascent program,” Hofmann said. “The program teaches them mindfulness, proper nutrition, meditation, and really helps them train those with post-traumatic stress to overcome it.”

But the program’s real strength, Hofmann said, comes from the support network it provides to those who are suffering from PTSD. “It’s not just a single effort, like, okay you go through this Academy of Healing and now you’re on your own,” Hofmann says. “It’s a community of support that mimics the ancient warrior tradition of teamwork.”

Hoffman extends these teachings to training his runners. To prepare his team for the race, he sent out a 16-week training schedule. Most of the group members are from out of state, so he encouraged them to train on trails when they could and checked in weekly on everyone’s progress via phone.

Hofmann said the reason for picking a tough trail like Leadville is it helps drive home the importance of teamwork.

Daniel Keyser, a 30-year-old veteran from Alabama who has deployed twice to Afghanistan, has suffered with PTSD for over four years. Keyser, who used running to stay in shape before running his first marathon with Hoffman three years ago, completed the Leadville Trail Marathon on Saturday with the group. He says he appreciates how Hoffman’s marathon training mirrored the values of Warriors Ascent.

“The stuff that I did to try and overcome my post-traumatic stress and work through it was all disjointed. I did a lot of it on my own,” Keyser said. “Warriors Ascent brings it all together making it so much easier for folks struggling from PTSD to have the access to care. I wish I had known about it earlier when I was at the height of my trauma.”

And at the race, the mission was to get all 10 participants through the miles, together.

Are you had a parathyroid condition

You may have heard about the function of the thyroid, or at least about people dealing with thyroid issues. You might not know, however, about another group of glands in your neck called parathyroid glands. Like the thyroid, these can sometimes run on overdrive too, resulting in hyperparathyroidism.

More specifically, the parathyroid controls your body’s calcium and potassium levels. They achieve this by releasing its hormone into the bloodstream as needed. If you have high levels in your blood already, the glands won’t release the parathyroid hormone.

Every once in a while, one or more of these little glands will overproduce its PTH hormone. The excess PTH will signal the body to release more calcium from the bones and absorb more of this nutrient from food, elevating your levels above normal.


Depending on how elevated your levels are, this condition can prove quite dangerous. Severe cases can lead to increased bone fractures and may need surgery to correct due to its life-threatening nature.

Identifying Hyperparathyroidism

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 100,000 people develop hyperparathyroidism each year, and women have a much higher tendency for the condition. Female cases total as many as 75,000 women in the United States. In addition, women between ages 50—60 are diagnosed with it most often.

To identify this condition, you have to pay close attention to your body’s signals. If any of the following signs seem out of the ordinary, consult your doctor.

Symptoms for this condition include the following: osteoporosis, depression or trouble focusing mentally, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, bone or joint pain, stomach pain, and frequent urination. Because many of these symptoms can also be attributed to other health problems, you should look into them right away.