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Remarkable Recoveries, Cures & Remissions


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
The little boy who cheated death when his heart healed ITSELF to the astonishment of doctors
Last updated at 00:49am on 14th April 2008

When Gaynor Bearder took her baby home from hospital, she was too frightened to love him - because she feared his damaged heart meant he had just days to live.

But Joel, whose condition was said to be incurable, has astounded his mother - not to mention the medical profession - after his heart fixed itself.

Now eight months old, he has overcome the deformities to the left pumping chamber of his heart and made a full recovery.

Mrs Bearder, 34, said: "I brought him home from the hospital and I would hold him close, not daring to love him as I thought we were going to lose him.

"We knew that the doctors couldn't do anything, so we thought we were on borrowed time with him.

"When they told us that his heart had started to mend itself with no explanation we just couldn't dare believe it.

"They told us he wouldn't live to see his first Christmas, but now he's doing wonderfully well. We can't believe how lucky he has been."

Joel was born weighing 6lb 14oz at Calderdale Royal Infirmary in Halifax. But when he was only a few hours old, doctors saw he had started to turn blue.

He was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, where a problem was found with his aortic valve - it was too narrow and not able to pump blood properly around his body.

Mrs Bearder, a former building society manager, said: "They told us he was too weak to operate on at first and we were just waiting for him to die.

"The doctors said it was a miracle he had even survived this long. We thought there was no hope."

The following day, doctors said they would try to widen the valve using a balloon - although there was a risk the needle would pierce his heart because he was so tiny.

Mrs Bearder and her husband Antony, a 36-year-old electrician, knew that it was Joel's only hope.

The operation was initially a success, but then the left ventricle of his heart stopped working and doctors said there was nothing they could do, apart from give him drugs to try to keep him alive as long as possible.

Joel was pulled back from the brink of death twice in the next few weeks. After the second time, Mrs Bearder was allowed to take him home to Huddersfield, but the family had little hope of a happy outcome.

Then, after two weeks, they learned that his left ventricle had started pumping by itself, and as each day passed it was working better and better.

Mrs Bearder, who has another son, Lucas, four, said: "I couldn't believe it. The doctors said they didn't know what had happened. His heart had mended itself and no one knew how."

Further scans have shown the chamber functioning normally, although Joel may need more surgery when he gets older.

Mrs Bearder added: "We thought we were asking for a miracle when we were told there was nothing that could be done to save him - and we got one."

Dr John Thomson, the consultant cardiologist who treated Joel, said: "This family must think that all their Christmases have come at once.

"We thought he probably wouldn't survive. But, with no explanation, his left ventricle started to gradually work by itself. We haven't seen this happen before."


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/a ... ge_id=1770


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Coma victim woken by granddaughter's scream
By Andy Bloxham
Last Updated: 8:01AM BST 06/06/2008

A woman who was in a coma for six weeks was woken from her condition by her granddaughter’s scream.
Devbai Patel, 56, was left unconscious after she was hit by a lorry in a crash which killed the driver.

Doctors reduced her sedatives to try to rouse her and her family talked to her, but she showed no reaction, so the medical staff suggested she might respond to her granddaughter Leela, aged 23 months.

When they brought Leela in, she screamed to see her grandmother looking so ill, and Mrs Patel immediately opened her eyes.

Her husband Kunverji, 57, said: "It's a miracle. We had tried everything but still she did not respond.

"We brought in Leela and she was shocked to see her grandma like that, so she screamed and as soon as she did my wife opened her eyes.

"The doctors could not believe how quickly she got better once she had woken up."

Mrs Patel, a mother of four, of Neasden, north London, was walking near her home on January 16 when a lorry mounted the pavement, hit her and smashed into a veterinary surgery, killing the lorry's driver and leaving Mrs Patel with brain, stomach and arm injuries.

Mrs Patel , now recuperating with her family, said: "I'm glad to be home."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... cream.html


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Windowcleaner walks again after surviving 47-storey fall from skyscraper
By Laura Clout
Last Updated: 6:42AM BST 10/06/2008

A windowcleaner who survived falling 47 storeys from the roof of a New York skyscraper has made a 'miraculous' recovery – and is walking again.
Alcides Moreno, a 37-year-old Ecuadorian immigrant, plummeted almost 500 feet when cables connecting his cleaning platform to the roof failed.

His brother, 30-year-old Edgar, was killed, but Alcides survived, and after months of operations and physiotherapy, the only physical reminders of his ordeal are a limp and a long scar on his left leg.

The accident last December left Mr Moreno a critical condition with a collapsed lung, damaged kidneys and bone fractures.

During six weeks in hospital he underwent 16 operations and doctors pumped 24 units of blood into his body – about twice his entire blood volume.

On Christmas Day, he opened his mouth and spoke for the first time since the accident, and six months on, he is able to walk his dog.

His wife, Rosario Moreno, cried as she thanked the doctors and nurses who kept him alive.

"Thank God for the miracle that we had," she said after the accident. "He keeps telling me that it just wasn't his time."

Mr Moreno has now returned home, although he requires intensive physiotherapy three times a week.

Dr Philip S Barie, chief of critical care at the New York Hospital which treated the window cleaner, said: "Above ten storeys, most of the time we never see the patients because they usually go to the morgue.

"This is right up there with those anecdotes of people falling out of airplanes and surviving."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... raper.html


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Cancer patient recovers after injection of immune cells
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 10:01pm BST 18/06/2008

A cancer patient has made a full recovery after being injected with billions of his own immune cells in the first case of its kind, doctors have disclosed.

After two years he is still free from the disease which had spread to his lymph nodes and one of his lungs.

Doctors took cells from the man's own defence system that were found to attack the cancer cells best, cloned them and injected back into his body, in a process known as "immunotherapy". After two years he is still free from the disease which had spread to his lymph nodes and one of his lungs.

Experts said that the case could mark a landmark in the treatment of cancer.

It raises hopes of a possible new way of fighting the disease, which claims 150,000 lives in Britain every year.

Ed Yong, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "It's very exciting to see a cancer patient being successfully treated using immune cells cloned from his own body. While it's always good news when anyone with cancer gets the all clear, this treatment will need to be tested in large clinical trials to work out how widely it could be used."

However, the treatment could prove extremely expensive and scientists say that more research is needed to prove its effectiveness.

Genetically altered white blood cells have been used before to treat cancer patients but this is the first study to show that simply growing vast numbers of the few immune cells in the body to attack a cancer can be safe and effective.

Normally there are too few of the cells in a patient's body to effectively fight cancer.

Dr Cassian Yee, who led the team at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, said: "For this patient we were successful, but we would need to confirm the effectiveness of therapy in a larger study."

The work raises hopes that this approach could not only offer a more effective treatment for skin cancer, or melanoma, which kills around 2,000 people in Britain alone, but be applied to other cancers too.

The patient was one of nine with metastatic melanoma, that is skin cancer that has spread, who were being treated in a recently completed clinical trial to test bigger and bigger doses of their own white blood cells.

Larger, more elaborate, trials are now under way.

Almost 9,000 new cases of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, are diagnosed every year in Britain, and nearly 2,000 patients die from the disease.

Prof Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK's chief clinician, said: "This is another interesting demonstration of the huge power of the immune system to fight some types of cancer.

"Although the technique is complex and difficult to use for all but a few patients, the principle that someone's own immune cells can be expanded and made to work in this way is very encouraging for the work that Cancer Research UK and others are carrying out."

Immunotherapy, in which a patients own immune cells are used to treat cancer, is a growing area of research that aims to develop less-toxic treatments than standard chemotherapy and radiation.

Because cancer occurs when the body's own cells grow out of control, the immune system only responds weakly.

The ability of the body's own defences to tackle cancer in this case is all the more remarkable because most deadly feature of the disease is its ability to colonise other parts of the body, when it becomes much more difficult to treat.

A dramatic example of immunotherapy was reported two years ago by one pioneer of the field, Dr Steven Rosenberg of the US National Cancer Institute, who eradicated cancer from two dying men using genetically modified versions of their own cells.

Both Mark Origer and "Thomas M" were suffering from advanced melanoma but the hope is that such methods could be customised to attack other common cancers, notably breast, colon and lung.

Dr Rosenberg told The Daily Telegraph the new work is an "interesting study that helps to confirm the effectiveness of cell transfer immunotherapy for treating cancer patients. We have now treated 93 patients with metastatic melanoma using their own anti-tumour cells with response rates up to 72 per cent. Mark Origer remains disease free now over three years after treatment."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.j ... anc118.xml


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Drumming 'cures' man's arthritis

An 86-year-old man claims to have been cured of his arthritis by taking up the drums after more than 60 years.

Brian Heath of Wimborne, Dorset, used to play professionally in his youth but gave up playing the drums when he became an RAF pilot during WWII.

Feeling depressed after the death of his wife last year, he was persuaded to dig out his drum kit and impressed an audience at an open mic night.

He says there has been little sign of his arthritis since.

He said: "I was fascinated by the drummer in my father's band but when he left the area I was brought in to the band. I was 11 years old."

He met his wife while training in the RAF but she died of a long-term illness last year.

Of the open mic night he said: "I came down and got more applause than anyone else. There were young spiky-haired kids saying great man, cool, and I really enjoyed it."

On Saturday he will perform a drumming marathon at St Leonard's Hospital, Ringwood, in aid of Julia's House Children's' Hospice in Dorset.

"I'm going to play for four hours and I'm quite happy with that, I can drum all night," he said.



Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Pietro_Mercurios said:
Exercise wouldn't 'cure' his arthritis, but regular exercise does help keep the worst symptoms in check and even improves some of them.
I wonder also if there is an element of mind over matter in this case - to take up drumming again after 60 years must take him back mentally to when he was a fit young man....


Disciple of Marduk
Aug 24, 2001
HM The Tower of London
I agree. Perhaps, understandably depressed after his wife's death, he's now found helpful support through the drumming. :D

People can cope with quite a lot of pain and restricted mobility if they have something to live for.


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Dementia patient makes 'amazing' progress after using infra-red helmet
By David Derbyshire
Last updated at 2:26 AM on 15th July 2008

Two months ago Clem Fennell was fading fast.

The victim of an aggressive type of dementia, the 57-year-old businessmen was unable to answer the phone, order a meal or string more than a couple of words together.

In desperation, his family agreed to try a revolutionary new treatment - a bizarre-looking, experimental helmet devised by a British GP that bathes the brain in infra-red light twice a day.

To their astonishment, Mr Fennel began to make an astonishing recovery in just three weeks.

"My husband, Clem, was fading away. It is as if he is back" said his wife Vickey Fennell, 55. "His personality has started to show again. We are absolutely thrilled."

While the helmet has yet to be proven in clinical trials, the family say the effects of the 10 minute sessions are incredible. Mr Fennell can now hold conversations and go shopping unaccompanied.

The treatment is the brainchild of Dr Gordon Dougal, a County Durham GP. He believes the device could eventually help thousands of dementia patients.

"Potentially, this is hugely significant," said Dr Dougal, who is based in Easington, County Durham and is a director of Virulite, a medical research company.

Developed with Sunderland University, the helmet has 700 LED lights that penetrate the skull. They are thought to be the right wavelength to stimulate the growth of brain cells, slowing down the decline in memory and brain function and reversing symptoms of dementia.

Clem Fennell - the head of a family engineering firm in Cincinnati, Ohio - travelled to the UK after neurologists told him nothing could stop the decline of his dementia. The family's friends had seen a report about the helmet on CBS.

"Honestly I can tell you that within ten days, the deterioration was stopped, then we started to see improvements," said Mrs Fennell, from North Kentucky. "He started to respond to people more quickly when they talked to him."

Three weeks later, the father of two is still making gradual improvements.

His daughter, 22-year-old Maggie said: "When we go to the restaurant we usually have to order his meals for him, now he can order for himself."

"Now we are okay about letting him go to the bank or the post office but he would not have been able to do that three weeks ago.

Mr Fennell could hardly string two words together. But since using the infra-red helmet, he can hold a conversation.

"Dr Dougal has been a godsend to our family. There was nothing anyone could do to help Clem until now."

It is too soon to say whether Dr Dougal's invention could help other sufferers. The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and dementia can vary from day to day - and relapses are not unusual. And not all patients may benefit from the treatment.

Dr Dougal stressed that a full, clinically controlled trial would be needed before his anti-dementia helmet could be licensed for public use. A trial of 100 patients is expected to start later this year.

"I made it clear to the Fennells that I didn't know for a fact whether it would work or not, but the results are good," said Dr Dougal.

"He was monosyllabic when I first saw him, but if I ring up now he will answer the phone. He didn't have the verbal skills to do that three weeks ago."

The Fennells have been told they can take the prototype helmet back to the US with them so they can continue the treatment at home.

Commercial versions of the helmet will include 700 LEDs and cost around £10,000.

The Alzheimer’s Society said: "’A treatment that reverses the effects of dementia rather than just temporarily halting its symptoms could change the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people who live with this devastating condition.

‘Non-thermal near infra-red treatment for people with dementia is a potentially interesting technique. We look forward to further research to determine whether it could help improve cognition in humans. Only then can we begin to investigate whether near infra-red could benefit people with dementia.’

One in three people will end their lives with a form of dementia. Around 700,000 suffer from dementia - with more than half having Alzheimer's disease.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... elmet.html


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
WARNING: detailed X-ray

Toddler makes miraculous recovery after getting key lodged in brain
A toddler has baffled medical experts by making a miraculous recovery after a key became lodged in his brain.

By Murray Wardrop
Last Updated: 11:16PM GMT 25 Nov 2008

Nicholas Holderman accidentally fell on his parents' keys while playing at their home, forcing one of them through his eyelid.

Remarkable X-ray scans show how the car key penetrated the 20-month-old's brain, leaving him in a critical condition.

The American boy's parents Chris and Staci heard his screams and immediately called for emergency services.

He was rushed by helicopter from the family home in Perryville, Kentucky, to hospital where doctors initially believed the toddler's right eye had been ruptured.

Medics were able to remove the key during surgery without Nicholas suffering any damage to his brain.

But they were astounded when just 15 minutes after the operation they discovered that the boy's eyesight was unaffected.

Reliving the ordeal, Mrs Holderman said the accident happened while Nicholas was playing with brothers Caleb and Isaac in the living room on September 2.

She said: "I'll never forget that moment. Nothing can prepare you for something like that. We knew that he was injured seriously."

His brother Isaac said: 'When I looked at it close I saw the key in his eye."

Mr Holderman added: "It was a very horrifying sight to see this happen to your baby."

After just six days in hospital, Nicholas was allowed home and has now made a full recovery. His eyesight is perfect, his parents say.

Relieved Mr Holderman said: "Fifteen minutes later for another doctor to say nothing was wrong, we knew it was a miracle from the Lord."

His wife added: "We all grin and look at him and are so thankful, and are reminded every day of what a miracle it truly is."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... brain.html

I expect he was just trying to unlock his true potential... 8)


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
‘Miracle’ recovery after arm severed by chainsaw is reattached
Chris Smyth

Most people are less than happy to be working at Christmas, but John Stirling was thrilled to be back at his desk just ten weeks after cutting off his arm with a chainsaw in a gardening accident.

Mr Stirling, 59, who described his swift recovery as a miracle, has surprised doctors with the speed at which his arm has healed, allowing him to get back to work as manager of New-haven marina in time for the Christmas party season.

“It was delightful because it’s a very social job and I can participate in the festive spirit,” he told The Times yesterday. Mr Stirling cut off his left arm below the elbow in September when he slipped while cutting back a tree in his garden.

He described how he searched desperately for help - and how he apologised for disturbing his neighbours as he stood bleeding in the street. “When the arm was gone I realised that to survive I had to stem the bleeding,” he said. “I was so preoccupied with surviving that I discounted the arm. I left it on the lawn and thought, ‘That’s the last I’ll see of that’.”

Gripping his wound with his right hand, to stanch the bleeding, he ran along the road in Peacehaven, East Sussex, trying to get help. “I went to five houses and everyone was out. I remember standing in the middle of the road, thinking, ‘Isn’t there anyone around?’ ” Eventually he found a neighbour, Steve Francis, who was at home. Rather than take his hand off his injured arm, he kicked the door.

“So the first thing was I apologised for kicking his door and then said, ‘I’ve cut my arm off’. But he could see that.” :shock:

Mr Francis tied Mr Stirling’s arm with a belt and a towel while they waited for an ambulance. Then Mr Francis managed to recover the arm from Mr Stirling’s lawn, putting it in a bag of frozen sausage rolls to keep it cold.

Twelve surgeons at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex, reattached the limb in two operations lasting a total of almost 18 hours. Mr Stirling returned home two weeks later.

“It’s quite surprising the things you take for granted - like tying a shoe-lace for one,” he said. “Some things take a bit of thinking about, like pulling your trousers up.”

Mr Stirling already has some movement in his fingers and can pick up large objects two-handed, which he says is “incredibly promising”.

He is hoping to start driving again early next year as his nerves continue to grow back, and he is working regular half-days at the marina while having intensive physiotherapy. He described his treatment as “amazing”.

Despite his traumatic experience, he is even working in the garden again. “I was trying my fork and spade one-handed over Christmas - and I’m very optimistic about putting my tomato seeds in in January,” he said.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_a ... 415539.ece


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Toddler survives pool 'drowning'
By Clare Murphy
BBC News health reporter

A two-year-old girl has made an almost complete recovery after spending nearly 20 minutes at the bottom of a pool.

Scans showed Oluchi Nwaubani had been starved of oxygen for some 18 minutes - three times longer than the brain can usually survive - in Bromley, London.

Despite being warned that even if she were to live she may never walk or talk again, her parents say she can run around and say "what she wants".

Doctors say while the case is highly unusual, it is not unprecedented.

Prompt response by both ambulance and helicopter to the scene of the accident in south London last September may well have made the difference between life and death.

Oluchi was rapidly airlifted to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel before being transferred for specialist care to Great Ormond Street - after three days she was breathing again on her own.

As well as the rapid, high level of intensive care Oluchi received, her youth combined with the cold water may also have helped her beat the odds.

"Contrary to popular belief small children are quite strong - they have very healthy hearts, lungs and brains," says Ffion Davies, an A&E consultant and member of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

"On top of that, the cold water will have slowed down the body's metabolism and so you can actually survive quite a long period without oxygen."

Children cool faster than adults because they have a higher ratio of surface area to weight than adults.

Oluchi's case may be unusual but there have been several such cases of both children and adults surviving prolonged periods under water in recent years.

Last year, a 35-year-old London architect was found floating in the water off Cape Town: when dragged to shore he was not breathing and had no pulse.

While it is not clear how long John Deeks spent under water, it is thought he was without a pulse for as long as an hour.

Cool water is thought to have played a part in his survival - the water he was swimming in was likely to have been around 15C (60F).

There have also been a string of cases documented in the US. Oluchi's case is put into perspective by that of Michelle Funk, who was also two when she was submerged in a cold Utah river for nearly 70 minutes in 1986.

Doctors published an article on her progress in 1988, by which time she had essentially returned to normal.

Three months on from the accident, Oluchi's parents are hopeful of a full recovery. They say movement is currently the main problem.

"Nevertheless she is now on her feet - she's walking, she's running, and her speech is very good," says her mother, Tayo.

"She's all over the place. You can't keep her down." :D



Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
The miracle survivor: I was given months to live... then my terminal cancer vanished
By John Naish
Last updated at 8:45 AM on 21st April 2009

Sharyn Mackay and John Pattison belong to an extraordinary club - people told they have terminal cancer only for their tumours to disappear inexplicably, to the astonishment of patient and doctor alike.
It's tempting to see these stories as medical miracles. But drug companies are hard on the trail of a more rational answer - that the tumours were 'killed off' by the patient's own immune system - and are developing new therapies to harness this power.

Sharyn knew there was something wrong when she began suffering pain in the right side of her stomach in April 2003. She was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour on her kidney, which proved so rare that the doctors at Craigavon Area Hospital in Northern Ireland sent samples of it for examination by specialists in London, Glasgow and Harvard.

'They said it was spindle cell sarcoma, which is normally a bone cancer. I was one of only ten known cases where it had become a kidney tumour,' says Sharyn, a 46-year-old mother of four from Newcastle, Co. Down. 'The surgeon kept a watch on my kidney. But in April 2004, he told me the cancer had rattled through my kidneys and lungs and I was a terminal case.'

The cancer was inoperable and chemotherapy, even if it worked, would add only a few weeks to Sharyn's life. 'The hospital said treatment was an option, but not a cure, and that I had a year to live, at best.'
Sharyn and her family were devastated. But she felt determined to beat the diagnosis and started to pray. Three months later, something astounding occurred.

'Further scans to see how the cancer was progressing showed the cancer was gone. The doctors were astonished, and said it could not have been due to anything they'd done.'

Sharyn is convinced that what happened was a miracle. 'When the doctors said my cancer was terminal, I put my faith into practice and attended a Christian healing ministry.'

Rather than try health regimes such as special diets, she says: 'The situation was out of my hands and I just believed in the power of prayer. I was absolutely terrified.

'But I was also convinced that this was not my time. I told my husband, William, I wasn't going to let my youngest girl, Olivia, who was then eight, grow up without a mummy.

'Four radiographers studied the scans and none of them could quite believe it. The tumours had gone and I was told to leave the hospital and live a full life. The cancer has never come back and I have never felt better.' :D

When John Pattison was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease - a cancer of the lymphatic system - in 1974, he, too, was told his case was terminal.

Thirty years ago, the outlook for such cancers was poor and treatment involved only basic chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Whenever John thought he was on the mend, the tumours would come back. In 1977, he suffered his fourth relapse. 'This time they said it was now just a case of palliative care, to make me feel more comfortable, rather than a cure.'

Aged only 21, he decided to make the most of the time he had left. He flew to North Carolina and stayed with an aunt for two months. When he reluctantly returned to England to face the doctors again, the news was astonishing.
'They did a few tests and when I saw the consultant, he had a big smile on his face,' says Pattison. 'He shook my hands, saying: "You are clear, all bloody clear."'
John was told he had gone into spontaneous remission. Taking the opportunity of the reprieve, he gave up work as a shipyard worker and entered nursing, eventually becoming a specialist haematology nurse at the same hospital where, as a terrified 18-year-old, he was first told he had cancer.

Now 52, and working as a Macmillan Cancer nurse specialist at South Tyneside District Hospital, he says: 'It is a privilege that I can do this job - although there are times when I feel guilty that I survived and some of my patients do not.'

New research shows these kinds of stories happen more often than one might imagine. For example, a recent study of Norwegian women concluded that spontaneous remission of breast cancer may have occurred in more than 20per cent of cases.
The study, in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, compared 100,000 women who had received regular two-yearly breast screens over six years, with 100,000 similar women who had not.
At the end of the study, the tumour rate in women who didn't have regular screening was 22 per cent lower.
After exploring all other possibilities, the investigators concluded that the difference could be explained only by spontaneous regression of their tumours - over the six years these women had developed tumours that simply vanished on their own before being detected by a doctor.

Doctors have long known of occasional instances of skin and kidney cancers that just vanished. Neuroblastoma, a rare childhood tumour, can also disappear without treatment.
Why does this happen? 'I'm a great believer in fate,' says John Pattinson. But he also believes his immune system may have been his saviour. 'There has long been a belief in the theory that some people have an immunological ability to remove cancer from their bodies, but that most people don't have that response.'

New research seems to confirm this. In February, the journal Lung Cancer reported on a man whose tumours had spontaneously disappeared. They found his blood had high levels of an antibody to a molecule called NY-ESO-1.
This molecule was also found where his tumours had been, so it seems that his immune system destroyed them, say doctors at Japan's Nagasaki University.
Normally, our immune system attacks only things that it recognises to be alien invaders, such as cold and flu viruses. It won't attack anything in our own bodies such as cancer (although this safeguard can fail, leading to auto-immune diseases such as arthritis, where antibodies assault the lining of the joints).
Based on the new understanding about the immune system and cancer, scientists are working on drugs to boost the power. After all, why use devastatingly strong drugs to kill cancer cells if you can enlist the body's own defences to do it?

One of the first scientists to try to recruit the immune system to fight cancer was the New York surgeon William Coley in the 1890s. He was inspired by a patient who recovered from sarcoma after suffering a serious bacterial infection.

Coley started vaccinating other cancer patients with bacteria, claiming his toxins spurred immune system to destroy tumours in a minority of cases.

Yet many doctors did not believe the results. The scepticism, plus the development of radiotherapy, caused Coley's approach to disappear.

Now it is being explored again. In 2006, Dr Wolf Fridman, working in Paris, analysed colon tumour cells.

He found the level of white blood cells - the cells of the immune system - inside their tumours was a strong predictor of recovery. Those with the highest number of the cells rarely relapsed; those with the fewest almost always did.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... ished.html


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Pensioner ditches jam jar specs after stroke gives him 20/20 vision
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:58 PM on 02nd September 2009

A 'blind as a bat' pensioner has told of his gratitude for the massive stroke that left him with perfect vision.
Retired architect Malcolm Darby, 70, had worn thick glasses since the age of two after a bout of measles caused inflammation of his optic nerves and almost completely blinded him.
But decades later he was stunned to come round after a lifesaving operation to remove a blood clot in his neck and find that he could see clearly for the first time in his life.

Mr Darby suffered the stroke on May 13 last year when he was at home in Oakham, Leicestershire.
He managed to tell his wife Sylvia, 68, to dial 999 before he collapsed and was taken to Kettering General Hospital for surgery. A team of five surgeons worked for two hours to remove the clot that was blocking 80 per cent of his right carotid artery.

Mr Darby presumed his vision was worse in the Intensive Care Unit when his glasses made everything look blurry.
He said: 'I was still a bit fuzzy from the surgery but reached for my glasses and put them on and I couldn't see a thing.
'I thought, 'oh no' I'm going to have to spend more money on new glasses.
'Then when I took them off I noticed a nurse carrying a newspaper upside down and I could read what it said. It didn't register at first and then suddenly I realised I could see. :D
'The stroke meant I couldn't speak so I was pointing at things on the ward and shouting gibberish at people. I wanted to tell people I could see.
'Eventually a nurse gave me some paper and a pen and I wrote down that my sight was back.'

Doctors are unsure why Mr Darby's vision has been restored, but one theory is that the operation eased swelling on the nerves damaged by the measles.
The grandfather-of-four now has better sight than most 20-year-olds.
However he has lost his aptitude for mental arithmetic and can no longer speak French fluently.
'It's a small price to pay to have perfect vision,' he said.
'It's absolutely amazing. I think what has happened is a miracle.
'Odd as it may sound, having a stroke was the best thing that happened to me.'

Wife Sylvia said: 'It's amazing. He can read things I need glasses for. He only uses his reading glasses for very tiny print.
'After 50 years of marriage and seeing him wearing glasses every day, it's strange to see him without them.'

Dr Martin Fotherby, consultant stroke physician at Leicester Stroke Centre, said: 'It's pretty unusual. It's a mystery.
'I don't know why vision should improve after a stroke. I've never heard of it. A stroke may cause double vision, but generally it will cause loss of part of vision.'

But Joanne Murphy, of the Stroke Association, said: 'We do hear about survivors who have developed new skills after their stroke.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... z0Q2BFSKL4


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
A bit slo-mo, but still remarkable.. 8)

Man grows new skull after decades

The severely damaged skull of a Northumberland man involved in a car crash 50 years ago has regenerated itself, a process thought to be rare.

Doctors operated to treat an infection in Gordon Moore's head and found the bone had grown back beneath the metal plate inserted after the accident.

This would not be unusual in a child, whose bones are growing, but there are very few documented cases in adults.

Doctors said it was particularly remarkable given the size of the area.

Mr Moore, from Ridsdale, made headlines previously by becoming among the first tourists to visit Iraq and Afghanistan.

The former postmaster flipped his car while driving near Berwick in 1955.

The metal plate which was inserted was itself dented three years later in a subsequent car crash.

His new skull reportedly follows the contours of this dent. :shock:

Mr Moore said the plate had never bothered him, but he was relieved he would no longer "set the alarms off at the airport". 8)

His consultant, Param Bhattathiri, told the Newcastle-based Evening Chronicle: "It was a great surprise to find the skull had grown back.

"You would expect it in a child, but not in an adult, certainly not in an area of bone so big."

But he added it was unusual in any event to remove a metal plate after so many years.

Tests are to be carried out to ascertain the thickness and strength of the new bone.



Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Coma mother wakes after hearing gurgles from 11-week-old son
By Liz Hull
Last updated at 8:35 AM on 09th October 2009

As she lay in a coma after contracting the lethal food poisoning bacteria E.coli, Karen Morrisroe-Clutton felt ill enough to slip away and die.
But when she heard the gurgling of her newborn son, she knew she had to fight on.
Mrs Morrisroe-Clutton, 32, amazed doctors by making a full recovery.
She credits her husband Paul with saving her life, by playing her recordings of 11-week-old Oliver's voice.

'I knew that I was dying,' she said. 'I confess that at one stage I gave up. Frankly, I wanted to die.
'But then I heard Ollie. I remember lying there thinking that I wanted to hold him, to see his face and to stroke his little hands.
'I knew that I had to live and that he needed his mother.'

Mrs Morrisroe-Clutton, a librarian, fell ill at the end of July after eating a vegetarian burger from a fish and chip shop in her home town of Wrexham.
She was admitted to intensive care at the town's Maelor Hospital where doctors diagnosed she had contracted E.coli.
They put her into a medically induced coma and placed her on a dialysis machine to try to control her seizures and kidney failure.

She spent five weeks unconscious in a critical condition before doctors began reducing her sedation and slowly eased her from the coma.
It was during this crucial time that Mr Clutton, 33, a business adviser, started playing his wife tapes of Oliver's voice.
He also took in photographs and videos of their son and talked to her about his progress.
'I was having all this treatment but I knew it wasn't working,' said Mrs Morrisroe-Clutton.
'But when Paul played the tapes it changed.
It is the most natural thing in the world for a mother to feel those pangs of love when you hear your child. I turned around and said: "I can't do this. I need to live".'

Mrs Morrisroe-Clutton was discharged after 67 days in hospital and is back home with her husband and Oliver, who is now five months.
Apart from some slight liver damage, which will repair itself, she is almost back to full health.

She added: 'Now I just want to enjoy every day with Ollie and Paul. I've lost weeks of my life and seeing my baby grow up.'

Three-year-old Abigail Hennessey, also of Wrexham, was struck down with E.coli in the same outbreak along with two other adult victims.
All had eaten from the Llay Fish Bar. They have all since recovered. The takeaway was shut down and an investigation is ongoing.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z0TQgX08I1


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Australian girl's jellyfish sting survival 'rewrites medical history'
A 10-year-old girl has stunned doctors in Australia after she survived being stung by the world's most venomous creature.
By Bonnie Malkin in Sydney
Published: 7:00AM BST 27 Apr 2010

Rachael Shardlow was swimming upstream from the ocean mouth of Queensland's Calliope River when she was stung on her legs by a box jellyfish.

Her 13-year old brother pulled her onto the shore and she told him that she could not see or breathe. Moments later she fell unconscious with the tentacles still wrapped around her limbs.

The venom of the box jellyfish is so overpoweringly painful that victims often go in shock and drown or die of heart failure before reaching shore.

There is no effective antivenom for its sting, which attacks the heart, nervous system and skin, inducing shooting muscle pain, vomiting and a rapid rise in blood pressure.

But Rachael survived. :D

Jamie Seymour, Zoology and tropical ecology associate professor at James Cook University, said her recovery after such an extensive sting was unheard of.

"I don't know of anybody in the entire literature where we've studied this where someone has had such an extensive sting that has survived," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"When I first saw the pictures of the injuries I just went, 'you know to be honest, this kid should not be alive'. I mean they are horrific.

"Usually when you see people who have been stung by box jellyfish with that number of the tentacle contacts on their body, it's usually in a morgue." :shock:

Rachael's father, Geoff Shardlow, said his daughter had suffered short-term memory loss and scarring, but was otherwise in good health.

"We've noticed a small amount of short-term memory loss, like riding a pushbike to school and forgetting she's taken a pushbike," he said.

"The greatest fear was actual brain damage [but] her cognitive skills and memory tests were all fine."

Scores of beaches in Queensland and the Northern Territory are closed each year due to box jellyfish, which are common in Australia's northeast waters during the wet season from October to April.

Some beaches are netted to prevent stings, but snorkellers on the Great Barrier Reef are also advised to wear protective full-body stinger suits.

The jellyfish have shells measuring 20cms long, with up to 15 tentacles trailing 3 metres behind.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... story.html


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Cornwall surf therapy for Plymouth amputee Marine
Page last updated at 10:02 GMT, Monday, 31 May 2010 11:02 UK

Royal Marine Ben McBean, who lost an arm and a leg when he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan, has taken up surfing.

Marine McBean took part in a surf therapy course for armed services amputees at Polzeath in Cornwall.

Organiser Surf Action was set up by Cornishman Rich Emerson who suffered from post traumatic stress disorder following his service in Iraq.

He says surfing gives people back their confidence and helps beat depression.

Marine McBean, 23, from Plymouth, Devon, said: "It's one of those things that I'd never thought I'd do.

"It is weird surfing with one arm and a leg.

"But my aim is two or three seconds standing up."

He was joined by another Marine, Nicholas Gibbons, 19, from Sheffield, who lost his right lower leg in Afghanistan in 2008.

He said: "You think your life is at an end.

"But I've done more stuff than I've ever done before.

"I'd never done surfing before but it's awesome."

Mr Emerson said: "They are quite anxious to start with.

"But once they are in the water you can see the difference on their face. They are smiling and laughing.

"All their woes are left behind and they are just having fun.

"That's what we are trying to do."

This is the second year the camp, based on scheme set up for US marines, has run in the UK.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/corn ... 196714.stm


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Italian man shot in head sneezes out bullet
An Italian man who was struck in the head by a stray bullet during New Year's Eve celebrations is recovering after sneezing the projectile out of his nose.
By Nick Squires, Rome 4:58PM GMT 10 Jan 2011

Darco Sangermano, 28, was hit in the temple by the .22 calibre bullet while wandering with his girlfriend through Naples – a city in Italy notorious for its rowdy New Year celebrations, often involving firearms and powerful fireworks.

The bullet went through the right side of his head, behind his eye socket and lodged in his nasal passage but miraculously did no serious damage.

Bleeding heavily, he was taken to hospital in an ambulance shortly after midnight, but while waiting to be seen by doctors he sneezed and the bullet shot out of his right nostril. :shock:

Mr Sangermano, a craftsman from Turin, returned to his hometown after being released from hospital.

"The route of the bullet broke his temporal bone, near his temple, and this slowed down the bullet which grazed his eyeball without hitting it directly," Dr Guglielmo Ramieri told Gente magazine.
Surgeons operated on the eye, removing splinters of bone that the bullet left in its wake.

"The operation lasted several hours but he is fine," said Mr Sangermano's uncle, Vito Sangermano. "The doctors agree that he will not lose the use of his eye, even if for now his sight is blurry."

In the next few weeks Mr Sangermano will undergo laser surgery to repair damage to his retina and is expected to make a full recovery.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... ullet.html

maximus otter

Recovering policeman
Aug 9, 2001
Indiana priest says he's cured of brain tumor after trip to Lourdes: 'Thanks be to God'

A priest in Indiana says he was cured of a brain tumor after he made a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, in June 2022.

Fr. John Hollowell, a priest in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in Feb. 2020, he shared in his video.

He underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation to treat the tumor.

Despite the extensive treatments, Hollowell said that things were trending downward for him before he made his trip to France.

"I had a pretty negative MRI about two-and-a-half months before I left for Lourdes," he said in the video. "The MRI showed that [the tumor] was starting to grow back … The MRI that I had also had found a tumor on my pituitary gland, as well," he said.

"Like Naaman the Syrian in our first reading, who washed and was cleansed from leprosy in the Jordan, I washed in the river at Lourdes and was cured," said Hollowell in an Oct. 28, 2022 homily.

Following an MRI on Nov. 3, 2022, Hollowell said he was told that his tumor "may never grow back" and that "all that is showing up on the MRI is scar tissue from your initial brain surgery."


maximus otter