Parents Choose to Break Daughter’s Leg Three Times a Day for Four Months to Avoid Amputation

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Parenting is tough at the best of times, but it has been nothing short of harrowing for Jackie and Matt Moravek, from Kalamazoo, Michigan. The young couple had to make the awful decision to have their four-year-old’s leg broken a total of 300 times over four months – that’s three times a day – just to save her from amputation.

Little Elsie Moravek was born with a rare disability known as proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), which caused her left leg to be deformed and much shorter than her right leg. The two treatment options presented to the Moraveks were amputation and prosthesis, but they managed to find a third way that could potentially lengthen Elsie’s leg by just over four inches. Sadly, the gruesome procedure involved breaking her leg three times a day for four months.

“A few local doctors suggested amputation, and we considered it because the leg lengthening process is so difficult to endure,” said Jackie. “We asked ourselves if we were being cruel to put our daughter through this and whether it was worth it. But we knew it was the right decision. We wanted Elsie to have the best life possible.”

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Fatal Familial Insomnia – A Mysterious Condition That Prevents Sufferers from Ever Sleeping Again

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Can you imagine never being able to sleep, thus denying your body and brain the chance to rejuvenate? It’s a scary thought, but sadly it’s what sufferers of a rare condition known as Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) have to go through until it eventually kills them. This mysterious genetic disease affects less than one in 10 million people worldwide and has no treatment or cure.

According to a BBC report, Fatal Familial Insomina is almost unheard of because most families who carry the gene have chosen to remain silent about it. It makes sense, given that most people might not want their children to know about the cruel fate that awaits them. There’s no way to predict when or which family members FFI will strike, and since there’s no cure, they tend to avoid talking about it for fear of tempting fate.

In recent times, however, a few families have chosen to open up about the illness that has plagued their genealogical tree. Like that of Silvano, a Venetian man who lost his father and two sisters to the fatal illness and succumbed to it himself in the 1980s, at age 53. But he left his brain to science in the hope that doctors might discover more about the condition. The family’s story became the subject of the book The Family Who Couldn’t Sleep, written by DT Max, who managed to trace the disease back to a Venetian doctor in the late 18th century.

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Man Has Been Eating Sausages and Potato Chips Every Day for the Last 22 Years

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British lifeguard Daniel Pennock has been eating sausages and chips for dinner every night for the past 22 years. But the 26-year-old father-of-two is now so desperate to kick the habit that he’s pleading for someone to come forward and help him in any way possible.

Daniel says he ate a normal diet as a baby, but his obsession with junk food began at age four, when he simply refused to have anything else for dinner. Worried that he might give up eating all together, his mother agreed to give him sausages and chips every evening, and the habit stuck. “I don’t eat anything apart from junk and I’m fed up,” he said. “I don’t think I have ever eaten a vegetable in my life. I do eat bananas and apples, but anything else makes me physically sick. I have sausage and chips every day. I’ve tried eating other things, but I just can’t keep them down. I want to get it sorted out, once and for all – not just for me, but for my family.”

His current diet consists of toast for breakfast, a chip sandwich for lunch, and four sausages, fries, and bread for dinner. This has caused his weight to balloon up to 266 pounds in the past, although he has managed to lose some weight recently. His bad eating habits have also affected his romantic relationships because he wouldn’t take any of his girlfriends out for meals. “My ex-partner and I have spoken about it and she said ‘if you were normal and we could have gone out for meals and stuff it might have been different,” Daniel told the Pontefract and Castleford Express. “But I was coming home and she was having her food, and I was making mine – it wasn’t really like we were a family.”

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Drinking Plain Hot Water – The Chinese Way to a Perfect Health

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Getting a cold drink might seem like the perfect way to relax after a long, hot summer day, but for most Chinese the opposite is true. They routinely consume hot beverages with their meals and all through the day irrespective of the weather. So don’t be surprised if on a balmy day, you see a Chinese person sipping hot water from a thermos!

While the western world might find this bizarre, the Chinese actually think that the Western habit of chugging ice-cold water is very strange. The idea of consuming anything at room temperature or below is, according to them, bad for your health. “In the big family I was brought up in, no one would dare to pour even room temperature water,” journalist Nicole Liu writes for the LA Times. “Doing so would risk a chorus of criticism, with parents, aunts, cousins, and grandparents chastising you almost simultaneously: ‘Cold water gives you cramps!’”

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Indian Girl Has Ants Crawling Out of Her Ears Every Day

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12-year-old Shreya Darji, from the state of Gujarat in western India, is suffering from a bizarre case of ants. Giant ants crawl out of her ears every single day, much to the bafflement of her parents and doctors. They have no idea where the ants are coming from or how to make them stop.

The problem started in August last year, when Shreya complained of ear pain and her parents noticed ants coming out of both her ears. They rushed her to the hospital where doctors conducted scans and found a large number of insects living in her drum canal. They’ve removed hundreds so far, but to no avail – the ants just keep multiplying at a faster rate.

Dr. Jawahar Talsania, a leading Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeon in Gujarat, tried suffocating the ants with ear drops, but they’ve continued to breed anyway. He also used a camera inside the ear to check for an egg chamber, but didn’t find anything. A video filmed using an endoscopic camera shows him removing dead ants from Shreya’s ear.

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7-Year-Old ‘Bionic’ Girl Is Immune to Pain, Hunger and Fatigue

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Meet Olivia Farnsworth, a British girl who doesn’t feel any pain and never feels the need to eat or sleep. At age seven, she’s able to go for days without sleeping and eating, and comes away from terrible injuries with nonchalance. In fact, she was recently run over and dragged down the street by a car, but she casually walked away from the accident without shedding a tear!

Olivia has doctors baffled. They know she suffers from a condition caused by something called chromosome 6 deletion, but this is the first time they’ve witnessed anyone displaying three rare symptoms at once. According to her mother Niki Trepak, the little girl has no sense of danger because she literally cannot feel pain, and neither does she feel the need to sleep or eat. Her doctors have nicknamed her ‘bionic girl’, while her mother says she’s “made of steel.”

“She got run over and dragged down the street by a car and she didn’t complain,” Niki said, shortly after the accident. “It was horrendous, I don’t think it’s something I will ever get over. I was screaming and all my other children were screaming as she ran out. But Olivia was just like, ‘What’s going on?’ She just got up and started walking back to me.”

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This Swallowable Balloon Pill Is a Less Invasive Alternative to a Gastric Bypass

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Thanks to ‘Elipse’, a swallowable gastric balloon pill, people with obesity can now avoid painful gastric bypass surgeries to curb their appetite. The balloon can be swallowed in the form of a pill that inflates once it enters the stomach filling a portion of it and creating the sensation of fullness that helps you eat less. A few months later, it self-destructs and passes as waste.

Developed by Allurion Technologies, a Massachusetts-based company, Elipse is being touted as a “safe and effective weight loss tool” that “empowers overweight and obese individuals to reclaim their health.” Currently, gastric balloons are used by doctors across the globe to help treat severe obesity through a highly invasive procedure. The balloons are placed in the stomach endoscopically, left in there for several months, and then removed endoscopically as well.

But according to the company’s website, Elipse – the world’s first procedureless gastric balloon – does not require endoscopy and is designed to self-empty and pass through the gastrointestinal tract. The balloon is packaged into a capsule and attached to a thin, swallowable delivery catheter long enough to reach the patient’ stomach. Once the capsule enters the stomach, it disintegrates, releasing the Elipse.

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The Country Where People Actually Like Receiving Injections and IV Drips

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Cambodia is known for its rich culture and history, natural beauty, exquisite temples like the Angkor Wat, the Vietnam war, the Khmer Rouge, land mines, and more. But not many people are aware of the nation’s quirks and eccentricities – like this one particular obsession that locals have with needles.

While most people in other parts of the world would do anything to avoid getting injected, things are quite the opposite in Cambodia, where citizens have a fascination for injections and intravenous drips. The reason for this fascination is unclear, but it seems that a strong belief in needles has become ingrained in the nation’s psyche. So much so that people want IV drips or injections even in situations where they’re not needed at all.

“It’s not just in the village,” a Western doctor, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the BBC. “Everybody who goes to hospital gets an IV because they think it’s important and the doctors and nurses think it’s important. If you walk into a hospital, pretty close to every patient will have an IV. They’ll just get them, you know, ad infinitum, until they leave the hospital.”

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This Woman Can Actually Smell if Someone Has Parkinson’s Disease

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Meet Joy Milne, a woman with a peculiar sense of smell. Scientists in Scotland recently learned that she can actually sniff out people with Parkinson’s disease!

“I could always smell things other people couldn’t smell,” Milne, 65 from Perth, said. But it wasn’t until much later that she began to correlate a particular ‘musky’ odor with Parkinson’s disease. She first got a whiff when her husband Les, an anesthesiologist who worked long hours, began to emit the peculiar smell. She brushed it off as sweat, but six years later, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  “His smell changed and it seemed difficult to describe,” she said. “It wasn’t all of a sudden. It was very subtle – a musky smell. I got an occasional smell.”

Milne still didn’t know that’s what she was smelling. It wasn’t until she attended a meeting for the charity Parkinson’s UK, where she found other patients sharing the same musky scent, that she made the connection. When she mentioned this observation to a few scientists in passing, they decided to investigate.

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ALS Sufferer “Writes” 150,000 -Word Autobiography by Blinking Billions of Times

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Meet Gong Xunhui, a 62-year-old Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patient who recently wrote a detailed autobiography using only her eyes!

Gong Xunhui has been suffering from ALS for the past 12 years. She’s been confined to a wheelchair since 2006, but despite her almost complete paralysis, she has actually managed to write a 150,000-word book on her life – something that even able bodied people might struggle with. And she did it with the only part of her body she still has full control over, her eyes. 

It all started about three years ago, when Xunhui’s family bought her an eye-tracking assistive device that she could use to communicate and also control a computer. After it was installed, the first line she typed was: “I am very happy today, and after I get better at typing with my eyes, I will probably write an autobiography.”

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Mystery Condition Causes Texas Girl to Sneeze 12,000 Times a Day

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Meet Katelyn Thornley, a seventh grade student who spends most of her day sneezing. The 12-year-old from Angleton, Texas, suffers from an unknown condition that causes her to sneeze over 12,000 times a day, preventing her from enjoying a normal childhood.

The mysterious ailment started about three weeks ago, just after she left a clarinet lesson. “I just started in little spurts, sneezing,” Katelyn explained. “I thought it was like, I’m allergic to something or didn’t wash out my mouthpiece the right way.” But it soon snowballed into something a lot worse – about 20 sneezes a minute all day long, making it difficult for her to do anything at all. “I’m constantly in pain with my abdomen, my legs are weak, I can barely eat,” she said.

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Woman Fulfills Life-Long Wish of Becoming Blind, Says She’s Never Been Happier

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Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID) is a serious psychological condition that gives able-bodied people a strong desire to be disabled. It’s what made this woman from North Carolina purposely blind herself by dropping drain cleaner into her eyes!

Jewel Shuping, 30, revealed that she’s been obsessed with blindness since childhood. “My mother would find me walking in the halls at night, when I was three or four years old,” she said. “By the time I was six, I remember that thinking about being blind made me feel comfortable.” So she would spend hours staring at the sun, hoping that it would damage her eyes.

The obsession increased as she aged, and by the time she was a teenager, Jewel had taught herself to move around in thick black sunglasses. She got her first cane at age 18 and became fully fluent in braille by age 20. “I was blind-swimming, which is pretending to be blind, but the idea kept coming up in my head and by the time I was 21 it was a non-stop alarm that was going off,” she said.

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Strange Condition Causes 30-Year-Old Man to Look Decades Older

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Although he’s only 30, Yuan Taiping from Chongqing in southwest China, looks like an 80-year-old man. He suffers from a bizarre medical condition that’s caused his skin to age prematurely. He’s visited numerous doctors, but no one has been able to find him a cure so far.

Yuan, who works as a manager at a construction company, looked normal until the age of 20. But then he noticed changes on his face and body – he developed oedemas on his arms and legs and deep lines on his face. At first he thought it was due to stress, but when wrinkles appeared on his forehead, he realised that something wasn’t right. So he decided to get medical help, but in spite of visiting countless hospitals and taking lots of medication in the past decade, nothing has worked.

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This Woman Has Been Crying White “Crystals” for 20 Years and Nobody Can Explain Why

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Laura Ponce, a nursery school teacher in Lins, Brazil, suffers from a strange condition that causes her to cry ‘crystal’ tears. The white plaques start off as soft blobs inside her eyes, but they harden when she blinks in an attempt to expel them, finally emerging as solid white crystals.

This happens to her for weeks at a time, with a new plaque forming as soon as she expels another. It gets so bad at times that she has to take time off work, to remove as many as 30 plaque membranes from her eye in a day. “A clot starts to swell then I have to open my eye to take out the membrane,” she explained. “When it dries it hardens, it gets really hard, it hurts a lot.”

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Doctor Claims Rare Condition Allows Him to Feel Patient’s’ Physical Pain

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People often use the phrase “I feel you pain” when trying to comfort somebody, but usually it has a figurative meaning. That’s not the case with Joel Salinas, a doctor suffering from a rare condition called mirror-touch synesthesia which actually allows him to feel the physical pain of his patients.

Salinas, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that he has had the condition since childhood. Whenever he would observe other people hugging, for instance, he would feel hugged as well. And when he saw people get hit, he felt the discomfort too. “When I see people, I have the sensation of whatever touches their body on my own body, and it’s kind of reflected as a mirror,” he explained.

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