We found a baby on the subway … he became our son


Pete, Kevin and Danny in 2001

It was around eight o’clock on 28 August 2000, just past the frenzy of the New York rush hour when a subway train rattled down the track into 14th Street station, in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. Danny Stewart, 34, was late for dinner with his partner, Pete Mercurio, 32.

The couple had met three years earlier through a friend in Pete’s softball team. Later Danny had moved in with Pete and his flatmate, but on this summer evening he had been back to his sublet apartment in Harlem to pick up the post.

As Danny was hurrying out of the station something caught his eye.

“I noticed on the floor tucked up against the wall, what I thought was a baby doll,” he says.

That baby doll turned out to be an abandoned newborn…and the tale of rescue, eventually a couple with a new son, is the stuff of heartwarming engagement. Read and enjoy.

Anti-vaccination nutballs now refusing Vitamin K for their children, as well

Over a single 8-month period, seven infants were admitted to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt for treatment of either cranial or intestinal hemorrhaging due to vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB)…

That report prompted researchers in Canada to investigate local vitamin K refusal rates and predictors.

Of the 214,061 children born in Alberta, Canada, from 2006 to 2011, 0.3% had parents who declined the vitamin K injection after birth, Shannon E. MacDonald, PhD…and colleagues wrote in Pediatrics.

In 2006, the vitamin K refusal rate was 0.21%, but by 2012, that rate increased to 0.39% (P<0.001) of live births.

The highest rates of vitamin K refusal occurred in parents who also refused recommended vaccines throughout the first 15 months of life…

The vitamin K refusal rate for parents who delivered in a hospital was very low, 0.2%, compared with parents who had planned home deliveries, 14.5%…and parents who delivered at a birthing center, 10.7%…

The study authors suggested parental decisions to refuse vitamin K were linked to lack of education and misinformation based on two studies from the 1990s (Golding et al.), which suggested vitamin K injections could increase the chances of developing childhood cancer. Those study results, the Canadians said, were since found to be inaccurate…

Refusal rates have increased in Texas, too. At Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, Tiffany McKee-Garrett said that when parents refuse, they team up with the parents’ primary care provider to counsel the family extensively and provide the parents with written materials to educate them about vitamin K.

RTFA for details of other regional studies.

I know I get too cranky for some folks; but, what kind of parent is so dedicated to 14th Century dogma that they’re ready and willing to accept the prattle from long-discredited studies – generally from some 3rd or 4th-hand source – instead of taking the time to read a little science about disease prevention, proven health maintenance.

Rather, they risk the lives of their newborn in pursuit of purity of their soul. No sense or balance IMHO.

Tests of Enfamil Newborn show no sign of bacteria

Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
Sad to see – the late Avery Cornett of Lebanon, MO

The manufacturer of the widely used baby formula Enfamil said Sunday that its testing shows the product is free of the bacteria blamed for the death of a Missouri infant.

Mead Johnson Nutrition said two tests of samples of its Enfamil Premium Newborn formula found no sign of the bacteria, known as Cronobacter sakazakii. The samples tested were taken from the same lot as the formula given to the baby boy who died…

The Missouri case prompted retail giant Walmart to pull all cans of the same size and lot number from its shelves last week. Another newborn baby was sickened in Illinois, but is recovering from the infection, according to the state health department.

“These new results reaffirm the testing conducted before the batch was made available to retailers and consumers,” the company said in a written statement on the results. “Based on both sets of tests, Mead Johnson can say with confidence that Enfamil Premium Newborn formula, like every infant formula the company produces, is safe.”

State authorities and the federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control have been testing similar samples for the bacteria, which the CDC says sickens four to six people a year…

The company said its findings match those of health agencies that have conducted their own tests. Early indications led authorities to suspect a link to powdered infant formula, but state and federal tests found no Cronobacter, the CDC’s Dr. Robert Tauxe said Friday.

“We really don’t have evidence that the two infections are related to each other,” Tauxe told CNN. “Those two cases that occurred this past month may just be a coincidence.

The next circle of testing – which will press the scientists at the CDC much further – will have to involve the range of products also aimed at newborns and often consumed in conjunction with Enfamil Newborn. A thinner more tenuous connection; but, one which must be examined.

Meet Perth’s newest baby Puggle!

A prickly new arrival made its first public appearance at Perth Zoo yesterday. The Echidna Puggle, the latest breeding success at the zoo, was given a quick weigh and inspection by keepers, before being placed back in its nursery burrow where it will spend the next two to three months. The youngster weighed in at 526 grams and will continue to grow over the next three to four years before reaching the normal adult weight of around 4 kg.

The Puggle, named Kai (Nyoongar for surprise), weighed less than one gram when it hatched in September and spent the first two months of its life in its mother’s pouch. “Once the puggle’s spines started to emerge the mother deposited it in the nursery burrow,” Perth Zoo’s Australian Fauna Supervisor Arthur Ferguson said…

…“Once Kai leaves the nursery burrow, we will take a couple of small hairs for DNA sexing,” Mr Ferguson said “The previous five echidnas born at Perth Zoo were all females, so we are hoping that Kai is a male.” Echidnas are very difficult to breed in captivity. Perth Zoo began studying their secretive breeding habits and reproductive biology a few years ago…

The work undertaken with Short-beaked Echidnas may also help in conserving its endangered cousins, the Long-beaked Echidnas, which are facing extinction in the wild. Perth Zoo’s research provides a solid foundation for a captive breeding program to be established for Long-beaked Echidnas if required.

Delightful. And cuter than some humans.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Woman who abandoned newborn now wants custody


Redbelly the dog receiving award from local coppers

A mother imprisoned for lying to police about her pregnancy is battling for custody of the child she left in the yard of a neighbor shortly after his birth.

Nunu Sung is scheduled for parole in January after serving some of a three-year prison term imposed after she pleaded guilty in October 2010 to felony obstruction of justice. In exchange, prosecutors agreed they would not seek to terminate the woman’s parental rights.

However, prosecutors are now involved in terminating Sung’s parental rights to 2-year-old Joshua in favor of a Wheaton couple who are the child’s foster parents.

DuPage Circuit Judge Blanche Hill Fawell said…prosecutors may have erred in making the promise but were legally obligated to get involved in the parental termination proceedings. The judge said Sung’s only option is to file a post-conviction request to reopen her plea and sentence…

Sung’s attorneys said she hid her pregnancy because she was afraid she would be punished and scorned by her family…

A civil attorney appointed by Fawell as Joshua’s guardian filed paperwork to terminate Sung’s parental rights based largely on her abandoning the child…

The newborn was found in June 2009 by a Wheaton man who noticed the baby with its umbilical cord still attached after his dog spotted the child under a tree and barked. Prosecutors alleged the child might have died if he hadn’t been found.

“The baby, who was left outside on the cold, hard ground, had a body temperature in the low 80s and was hypothermic,” Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Therieau wrote earlier this year in court records. “But for a dog, who was let out in the morning hours, this baby would have died.”

Tough decision for lot of folks. I’d come down on the side of the wee’un who’s been living with folks who loved him from the gitgo. It’s nice that Joshua’s natural mother wants to retake the responsibility of raising him – but, she was equally ready to leave him to die.

Egyptian dad names his newborn ‘Facebook’

A man in Egypt has named his newborn daughter “Facebook” in honor of the role the social media network played in bringing about a revolution, according to a new report.

Gamal Ibrahim, a 20-something, gave his daughter the name “to express his joy at the achievements made by the January 25 youth,” according to a report in Al-Ahram, one of Egypt’s most popular newspapers.

Many young people used Facebook and other social media networks to organize the protests, which began January 25 and ultimately led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power.

Rock on, dude! May your daughter enjoy the fruits from the tree of liberty and democracy.

Mother gives newborn baby girl to California firefighters


Safe Haven logo

A 27-year-old mother surrendered her baby girl to firefighters in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve…

She told firefighters at Fire Station 46 that the newborn was just 6 hours old. The firefighters accepted the girl, wrapping her in a blanket. She was healthy and did not appear to have been neglected or abused.

Firefighters named the newborn Noel, in honor of the Christmas holiday, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott.

“We are happy to state that our last report was that the infant was very healthy, and we are moved that this potentially tragic incident had a pleasant outcome,” he said. “There was a sense of relief…”

The infant was taken to an area hospital, Scott said, and would be placed in protective custody.

In California, a parent or legal guardian can surrender a newborn at fire stations and hospital emergency rooms with no fear of arrest. The law is meant to protect infants from being hurt, neglected or killed.

Common sense prevails. Once in a while.

Mom sold baby to buy car

A Florida woman was charged with trying to sell her infant son in order to pay for a new car

The baby’s grandmother brokered the deal and initially demanded $75,000 but agreed to cut the price to $30,000 when told the prospective buyer could not get a bank loan, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said.

The mother of the eight-week-old boy, Stephanie Bigbee Fleming, 22, of Bradenton, Florida, was to receive $9,000 of the proceeds, the FDLE said.

“Fleming planned to purchase a new vehicle from the money received,” an FDLE spokeswoman said.

Fleming also needed money to pay court costs for an unrelated probation violation, the arrest documents said.

Fleming was arrested Tuesday. The grandmother, Patty Bigbee, 45, was arrested last week

The baby remains in state custody.

The rest of the family should remain in state custody. For a long, long time.

First newborn given xenon gas to prevent brain injury


Riley Joyce with his mom and dad, Sarah and Dave

A newborn baby has become the first in the world to receive xenon gas treatment, pioneered in Bristol in a bid to prevent brain injury.

Riley Joyce had no pulse and was not breathing when he was first delivered by emergency Caesarean section at the Royal United Hospital, Bath. He had a 50:50 chance of permanent brain injury and was transferred to St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol.

His parents agreed to the experimental treatment and Riley is now doing well.

Every year in the UK more than 1,000 otherwise healthy babies born at full term die or suffer brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen or blood supply at birth…

Professor Marianne Thoreson said: “After seven days, Riley was alert, able to look at his mother’s face, hold up his head and begin to take milk.”

She said: “Over the past eight years, we have shown in the laboratory that xenon doubles the protective effect of cooling on the brain.
“However we faced the challenge of how to safely and effectively deliver this rare and extremely expensive gas to newborn babies.”

Dr John Dingley, who invented a machine to deliver the gas, said: “A key design feature of this machine is that it is very efficient, using less than 200ml of xenon per hour – less than the volume of a soft drinks can. “Xenon is a precious and finite resource and difficult to extract so it can cost up to £30 a litre…

The device is now authorised for clinical trials and will be used on a minimum of 12 babies over the coming months in a feasibility trial before it can be used on a larger scale.

Bravo!