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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The parents of a Tennessee newborn say that their infant was mistakenly operated on while they were still in the hospital.

Nate Harper was born on Dec. 16 at University Medical Center in Lebanon, Tennessee, Nate's mother Jennifer Melton said. A day after his birth, he was taken away by a nurse for a routine physical, Melton said, but when a nurse brought him back she started discussing a procedure called a "frenulectomy." The outpatient procedure involves clipping the bottom of the tongue to allow babies to feed more easily.

Melton said she asked the nurse what procedure she was talking about since Nate was just supposed to get a physical. In medical records released to ABC News by Melton and her husband Domonique Harper, the attending doctor wrote that he performed the procedure after he discussed it with "the parents of a different child." The doctor wrote in the notes that he had called to apologize for his "mistake."

"It's so frustrating that a moment that should have been so happy and joyous for us was ruined with this event," Melton told ABC News, noting that the doctor called to say he was "sorry" he operated on the wrong baby. In the medical records, the doctor wrote that he also visited the parents in the hospital to apologize and admitted it was his fault.

The hospital declined to address the operation directly, citing federal privacy laws, but that the hospital always take action to address patient concerns.

"University Medical Center is committed to providing quality care to all of our patients and expect independent members of the medical staff to honor the appropriate directives of their patients and families," said Adam Groshans, a spokesman for University Medical Center.

"Due to federal privacy regulations, we are unable to comment on any specific patient," Groshans added. "However, we can confirm that we take seriously any concerns brought to our attention, and those matters are reviewed pursuant to the hospital's medical staff by-laws. If made aware of a concern, we promptly seek to address it and take action as appropriate to prevent any future concerns."

The family’s attorney Clint Kelly has told ABC News that the couple now intends to file a lawsuit and that the hospital charged them for the procedure.

"We don't want another family to have to go through this," Melton told ABC News.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- An 8-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who uses a wheelchair is now the hottest skateboarder on his block thanks to a bit of ingenuity from his mom and dad.

Atticus Edmunds, 8, got his first feeling of flying down a skate ramp last month after his mom, Tresa Edmunds, saw a video on Facebook of a boy in a wheelchair being pushed around a skate park.

Edmunds recruited her husband, Jared Edmunds, and the family of three went to the skate park down the street from their home near Sacramento, California, to let Atticus experience the sensation of skate boarding himself. Jared pushed Atticus up and down the skate park's ramps as if the two were on a board together.

“I couldn’t see the kid’s reaction in the Facebook video and I wanted to see what Atticus would think of it,” Tresa Edmunds told ABC News. “It was an experiment.”

“Atticus’ reaction was so much more than anything we could have anticipated,” she said.

Atticus, who is limited in his speaking and walking capabilities, is now a regular at the skate park, where the other kids have adopted him as one of their own.

“He’s a local celebrity,” Edmunds said. “What I’m loving about this skating world we’re entering accidentally is that it’s all about getting up and making the attempt.”

“They’ve just embraced him as a skater,” she said. “All the other kids are giving him high-fives.”

Atticus was born at 28 weeks and weighed 2 pounds, 3 ounces. He is now a second-grader.

His parents are using his new love of skating as an incentive for schoolwork, and as a life lesson in determination.

“We’ll say, ‘Do your homework and we’ll go to the skate park,” Edmunds said. “He had his first wipeout and it spooked him a little bit because he’s not used to falling over.”

“We had a talk about, ‘If you’re going to be a skater you have to get back up,’ and he did," she said. “He got right back out there."

Edmunds, a blogger, posted a YouTube video of Atticus and his dad’s “skating” that has more than 50,000 views.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- One of the world's smallest surviving babies is finally out of the hospital.

Born 14 weeks early and weighing just 10 ounces, E'Layah Faith Pergues faced an uphill battle to survive. Her doctors at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, were not sure that she would survive her delivery or the first few weeks of life.

She was born so early that doctors weren't even sure how to feed her.

“Our goal since her birth was to grow her as quickly and as safely as we could,” said Dr. Andrew Herman, MD, neonatologist and chief medical officer at Levine Children’s Hospital in a statement.

Eventually they combined formula and breast milk to keep E'Layah healthy.

“We’ve had to fine-tune our approach with E’Layah,” Herman added. “We are now feeding her a combination of protein, fat, sugar, electrolytes and vitamins that will help prevent infections, mature her intestines and help her gain weight.”

Her doctors believe she is the smallest surviving baby ever seen at the hospital and affectionately dubbed her "tater tot" due to her size.

E'Layah's mother, Megan Smith, had a difficult pregnancy, suffering from high blood pressure and even having two strokes. Although she was on bed rest for a month, she had an emergency Cesarean section after doctors realized that E'Layah had stopped moving.

On Wednesday, after five months, E'Layah is finally spending her first full day at home. Weighing in at a healthy 5 pounds and 7 ounces, she's now "outgrown most of her preemie clothes," her mother said in a statement released by the hospital.

“She is a very busy little lady, always grabbing and pulling things and moving around," Smith said. "We are all very excited to be going home. It’s been a long journey and we are looking forward to the next chapter."

Despite her small stature, E'Layah's parents are confident that their daughter will grow into an active child.

“I know she will be something special, whether it’s running on the track, ballet lessons or even basketball,” Smith said. "We pray for her strength. E’Layah is our miracle baby girl.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Approximately 8.4 percent of women report smoking tobacco at some time during their pregnancy, according to new data from a large national survey.

The statistic is an improvement when compared to past statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on smoking and pregnancy. However, given the risks associated with maternal smoking during pregnancy -- which include low birth weight, preterm birth and fetal/infant mortality -- health officials overwhelmingly agree that any level of this behavior is too high.

The lowest rate of tobacco use during pregnancy was noted to be in California, while the highest rate was in West Virginia.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) — It’s National Heart Month, and Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan sat down for a heart-to-heart conversation with his father, Gene Strahan, about improving his heart health.

In the video chat, Strahan said he decided to talk about his dad’s heart condition to help ensure his dad is “around as long as possible.”

“Sometimes the hardest thing to do is talk to your dad or your hero. Because you admire them,” Strahan said in the new video recorded for Meta, a wellness line, for which Strahan is a spokesperson. “Who doesn't want their father or the person who is most influential in their life to be around as long as possible?”

Have a conversation with parents or loved ones about their health can often be overlooked, according to ABC News Chief Medical Editor, Dr. Richard Besser.

"Looking to your parent, who’s always told you what to do for your health, and then saying, ‘I kind of need to suggest something to them,’ you have to be really sensitive about how you do it," Besser said Wednesday on GMA.

Besser advises including siblings in the conversation and handling the topic of your parents' health with sensitivity and respect.

"First, it’s not one conversation, it’s a series of conversations, so you want to talk early, talk often, and progress with that," Besser said. "If you start the conversation and it’s not going well, you can punt and come back to it and realize there are other opportunities."

Besser said it's also important to remember that health changes made at any point in life can make a difference.

"As you get older you want to make sure that you’re checking your blood pressure and cholesterol more but, more than tests, you want to try and make sure your parents are staying on track with a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise and stopping smoking," Besser said. "You can be in your 70s and 80s and make changes that are going to affect your life."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(STANFORD, Calif.) — While we tend to sigh when we're sad or depressed, scientists have discovered that, unlike the famous song noted, a sigh isn't just a sigh: instead, the deep breath is a lifesaving reflex.

According to the research from the Stanford University School of Medicine that has just been published in Nature, the same tiny clusters of nerve cells in the brain stem that unconsciously regulate our breathing actually call for us to sigh as many as a dozen times an hour in order to keep our lungs functioning properly.

Sighing over-inflates the myriad tiny sacs in the lungs called alveoli, which the research proved turns out is a key -- but until now unappreciated -- feature of healthy lung function.

The researchers noted that the importance of sighs could be why machines used to replicate lung function don't preserve lung function as well as the body's natural mechanisms can.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

It's cloudy, cold, dreary and gray outside -- and all of that can lead to a condition called seasonal affective disorder.

About a half a million people in the United States suffer from S.A.D. Three quarters of sufferers are women, and the condition is more commonly seen in the cloudy parts of the country or areas farther north or south of the equator.

So what can you do to combat these winter blues?

Try an exercise program. Sluggishness, tiredness, lethargy and avoidance are all hallmarks of S.A.D. If you get your body and your brain moving, you'll feel better.

Some people may even want to try light therapy. Simply opening the blinds in the morning or getting outdoors for a few minutes a day can be a step in the right direction.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study that has been published in the Journal of Physiology: London proved that running -- unlike other exercises -- boosts your brainpower.

According to the findings by scientists at the Department of Psychology and the Department of Biology of Physical Activity at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, aerobic exercise fires up the neurons in the hippocampus area of the brain, which is the portion of the brain responsible for learning.

Interestingly, while all exercise is good for your body, high intensity aerobic training and resistance training like weightlifting apparently don't mirror running's brain-boosting effects.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers have discovered a new species of bacteria that causes Lyme disease -- the second species known to transmit the potentially debilitating illness in North America.

The newly identified bacteria is called "Borrelia mayonii," in honor of the Mayo Clinic researchers who assisted with the discovery, along local health departments and scientists at the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

The bacteria species was discovered after six people with suspected Lyme disease ended up with unusual results and researchers did extensive genetic testing to determine that the patients were infected with a newly discovered bacteria. Previously only "Borrelia burgdorferi" was known to cause Lyme disease in North America, according to the study published Monday in the medical journal The Lancet.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the findings show how new technology has helped advance our understanding of emerging infectious diseases.

"This was likely a bacteria that was there all the time but because our scientific tests couldn't identify it," Schaffner said. "It was an unknown infection."

The findings may help many others if they have suffered from a mysterious illness that turns out to be this new species of bacteria, Schaffner said.

"The information will go out to doctors in the communities. They will start to ask for testing for this bug in a wider variety of cases," he said. "The clinical picture will mature as it goes on."

The new bacteria causes slightly different symptoms during the infection, including acute symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diffuse rashes instead of the "bulls-eye" rash associated with Borrelia burgdorferi-caused Lyme disease.

“This discovery adds another important piece of information to the complex picture of tick-borne diseases in the United States,” Dr. Jeannine Petersen, a microbiologist at the CDC said in a statement Monday.

The new bacteria is also spread by the black-legged tick or "deer tick," according to researchers. However, after extensive testing, researchers believe the bacteria is confined to the upper Midwest of the United States, with just six cases found out of 9,000 samples drawn in the Midwest of infected patients. They found infected ticks in two counties in Wisconsin, but believe there are infected ticks throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Researchers also saw no sign of the new bacteria after examining at least 25,000 blood samples from people with suspected tick-borne illnesses in 23 states other than Wisconsin.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(RIO DE JANEIRO) -- The Zika virus may be associated with another birth defect in infants, according to a new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Ophthalmology.

Researchers from Brazil found that some infants exposed to the virus had ocular defects including atrophied retinas, abnormal iris pigmentation and lens that moved out of place.

The Zika virus has spread exponentially across the Americas, and especially in Brazil, since the outbreak was identified in May 2015. Brazil was the first to raise the alarm that the virus could be linked to a rare birth defect called microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head and brain in infants.

This study is the first to possibly connect the virus to eye abnormalities in newborns.

Researchers focused on 29 infants with microcephaly in Brazil. They found that 23 mothers reported Zika-like symptoms during their pregnancy. Of the affected infants, 10 had ocular abnormalities that ranged from minor to "vision-threatening" defects. Both eyes were affected in seven out of the 10 infants.

The most common defects were mottled pigments and atrophy. The optic nerve was also found to be abnormal in some of the infants.

Dr. Buddy Creech, an associate professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said other viruses, including herpes and rubella, are known to cause ocular birth defects in infants.

"This idea of a virus contracted during pregnancy causing damage to the central nervous system is not a shocking finding," Creech said.

Although the case study was small, Creech said these kinds of investigations will be key to uncovering how the Zika virus works and where there are "windows of risk" for pregnant women.

"We’re learning about this virus and we don’t know what to expect," said Creech. "We need papers like this that give us ability to move further down the road."

The researchers said they could not definitively link the ocular defects to the Zika virus until there were more studies to rule out that the ocular lesions were not caused by other diseases including West Nile or toxoplasmosis.

ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser said this early study highlighted concerns that there could be an unknown "spectrum" of effects related to the Zika virus.

“One of the reasons that CDC [Centers for Disease Control] wants to create a registry of potentially exposed pregnant women is the recognition that for most infections that can damage the fetus, there is a spectrum of effects," said Besser, adding that rubella can also cause hearing loss and visual problems even if microcephaly does not develop. "Microcephaly may just be the tip of the iceberg.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) -- New cases of people diagnosed with the Zika virus in Florida has prompted government officials to expand a state of emergency to two additional counties, for a total of seven counties.

The Florida Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong announced Monday that 16 people in total have been diagnosed with the Zika virus.

The counties now under a public health emergency are Broward, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Osceloa, Santa Rosa and St. Johns.

Armstrong urged residents to help stop mosquito activity by draining "standing water weekly, no matter how seemingly small. A couple drops of water in a bottle cap can be a breeding location for mosquitoes."

Meanwhile, in related news, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said on Monday the U.S. is "better prepared" for an outbreak of the Zika virus compared to last year.

"I think we are clearly better prepared for an outbreak like Zika then [we] were, let's say, a year or so ago," Fauci told reporters. "I think that's testified by the fact that we have responded very, very rapidly to this. We had the president of the United States involved in a very thorough briefing and briefings of this very early on."

Unlike the Ebola outbreak, where the outbreak was not identified for weeks to months, the response to the Zika virus outbreak has been swift, Fauci said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(GREENWICH, Conn.) -- Strangers from around the country came together to make over a pickup truck for an 18-year-old kidney transplant survivor.

Nick Cesarini, of Greenwich, Connecticut, was surprised with the truck Saturday in a reveal so dramatic his twin sister flew home from college to attend it. Even his elderly grandfather made a rare trip out of the house to see his grandson's reaction.

“I was blown away,” Cesarini said. “I wasn’t expecting half of the things they’d done to it.”

Cesarini was born with a kidney condition that worsened as he became older. By the time he was a junior in high school, Cesarini had to travel 30 minutes three times each week for dialysis.

“I would get out of school a little early and then by the time treatment was over and I was home it’d be 9 p.m.,” Cesarini said. “I remember it like it was yesterday.”

Cesarini said he received a kidney transplant in December 2014 and has since been rebuilding his life. The college student purchased his own truck, a Ford F-250, last August from a local car dealership.

The teen’s wish was to have the Make-A-Wish Foundation revamp his truck.

“It was always a dream for me to have a truck,” Cesarini said.

The truck landed in the hands of Red Line Restorations, Inc., a Bridgeport, Connecticut, auto shop that specializes in restoring European and race cars. The shop made an exception for Cesarini.

“Nick and his dad came out to us with his truck and showed us the list of all the things he wanted done,” Red Line Restorations’ PJ Pitcher told ABC News. “You’d hope for him to have his dream of what he wants to come true be everything he wanted.”

While reviewing Cesarini’s long wish list, Pitcher discovered that the truck also needed a new transmission. That repair alone would have blown the $5,000 Make-A-Wish budget, according to Pitcher.

“I called Nick and told him and he said, ‘Well, I’d rather have a truck that’s reliable that I can drive than one that looks cool parked in my driveway,’” Pitcher recalled. “I said in my head, ‘We’re really going to go above and beyond for his wish.’”

Pitcher said Scott Johnson, who is involved in the local Make-A-Wish chapter, repaired Cesarini’s transmission for free. The Redline Restorations team then sought help from colleagues around the country who donated tires, rims, windows and more.

“As far as Nick knew, all he was getting back was his truck with a new transmission,” Pitcher said. “That let us surprise him.”

“When he pulled the sheet off it was this beautiful, jet-black monster of a truck,” he said of Saturday’s reveal. “He was literally at a loss for words.”

Cesarini said nothing can hold him back from driving his new truck.

“Unfortunately it’s snowing right now but I’ve already burned through a tank of gas,” he said. “My friends love it. My family loves it. It’s a great experience.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Things are apparently looking up in the effort to provide health insurance coverage to more Americans.

The National Health Interview Survey, which studies civilian populations across the U.S., published its estimates for the first nine months of 2015, based on interviews with a representative sample of nearly 80,000 people.

The report says 28.8 million people were uninsured at the time of interview in 2015, which is 7.2 million fewer uninsured than in 2014. Overall, the percentage of uninsured persons, both adults and children, fell from 11.5 percent in 2014 to 9.1 percent in 2015.

States that expanded Medicaid coverage to those with low incomes saw their percentage of uninsured people drop to a larger degree than those states which did not.

The report shows the largest magnitude of decline was seen in poor and near-poor populations, although non-poor persons showed a decline as well.

Racial difference also remained a prominent factor, according to the report. Hispanics continued to show the highest proportion of uninsured persons, at 27.9 percent.

Researchers note that the proportion of uninsured people had been on the rise from 1997 to 2010, and then stabilized until 2013.  The current decline continues a downward trend that has been detected since 2013.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Wavebreak Media/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Depression can come in many shapes and sizes, and it does tend to affect women more than men. But now, new research shows that there may be a link between the age when a woman enters menopause and whether or not she develops depression.

Menopause itself is not a risk factor for depression, but the hormonal fluctuations that occur during menopause can increase the risk for someone who is already vulnerable.

My prescription: Don't assume that a change in your mood is all hormonal or due to menopause. You could be experiencing both at the same time.

And let's drop the stigma that exists with respect to mental illness and depression. It's common and it can definitely affect your life, so ask for help.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — With concern surrounding the Zika virus at an all-time high, Consumer Reports has re-released its exclusive ratings of mosquito repellents that best protect against the virus.

The new release highlights the results regarding the Aedes Egypti mosquito, the mosquito known to carry and spread Zika.

Officials Monday announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emergency Operations Center had been moved to Level 1, the agency's highest level, because of the risk of Zika virus transmission in the United States.

The Zika virus has been spreading throughout the Americas and the World Health Organization has deemed it a "global health threat."

Consumer Reports found three products to be most effective in combating the mosquito known for carrying Zika: Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula Picaridin, Natrapel 8 Hour and Off! Deepwoods VIII.

Click HERE to read the full list from Consumer Reports.

The magazine said its research found the best Zika-fighting repellents contained either 25 percent Deet or 20 percent Picardin.

The magazine warned consumers against using products made of natural plant oils.

“Some of those even failed our tests immediately and the mosquitos bit right through our testers’ arms,” Sue Byrne, Consumer Reports’ senior editor for health and food, told ABC News.

Common symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, according to the CDC. Approximately one in five people infected with the virus show symptoms.

The virus has also been associated with a rise of microcephaly birth defect cases in Brazil. The birth defect is characterized by a malformed or smaller head and brain and can result in serious developmental delays.

Guillain-Barre syndrome is an immunological reaction that can occur after viral or bacterial infections.

The CDC says it is safe to use insect repellent while pregnant or nursing. The agency recommends choosing an EPA-registered insect repellent and advises paying close attention to the directions on the product label.

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