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iStock/Thinkstock(AUGUSTA, Ga.) -- The first American patient to undergo a double hand transplant is speaking out about his experience this week. Seven years after making headlines, Jeff Kepner, 64, is drawing attention to the risks of experimental surgery by revealing he cannot move his transplanted hands at all.

"I have zero mobility with my hands," Kepner, 64, told ABC News. "I can’t hold a pencil."

Before deciding to get the transplant, Kepner, of Augusta, Georgia, spent 10 years as an amputee. Tuesday, he said he's been unable to work because of the trouble with his hands. He said he doesn't want to go through surgery again to remove the hands, since there would a risk that too much tissue would be taken and he wouldn't be able to use prosthetics afterwards.

Kepner's case has highlighted how patients undergoing experimental surgeries can face devastating consequences and risks long after they are hailed as medical marvels. While many patients with hand transplants are able to regain some use of their new hands, others run the risk of having no feeling or losing the transplant organ to immune-system rejection.

Dr. Vijay Gorantla, associated professor of surgery and administrative medical director of the Pittsburgh Reconstructive Transplant Program at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, treated Kepner and said it's key that doctors make sure that patients truly comprehend the myriad of risks behind experimental surgeries.

"Setting expectations for patients is one thing, but making patients understand those expectations is another thing," he told ABC News.

Gorantla explained that in patients where these kinds of tissues are transplanted, the ability for nerves to regrow properly is a huge risk. The nerves must grow before the small muscles that allow for movement wither away after surgery. Gorantla compared it to a broken light bulb.

"You have a wire in the house and it’s connected to a socket and you switch it on but the bulb doesn’t glow because the bulb is dead," he explained. "If you compare the bulb to the muscle it doesn’t matter after some time to have electricity or cable if you lose the muscle."

Gorantla said it's key for patients to do physical therapy to ensure the nerves can get to the muscles again, but that there is always a risk. He pointed out the field of this kind of transplants, including hands, face, abdominal wall and uterus transplants is still new. It began in 1998 with the first face transplant in France.

"As with every procedure in medicine we have known risks and known benefits and known complications," Gorantla said. "There are things we just don’t know because of the novelty of the whole field. The age of the field is 15 or 16 years worth of data and that [data] generates from a few hundred patients."

Gorantla pointed out doctors must be clear about risks for patients and must also avoid "undue risks."

"There are no absolutes here and that’s why you have to face the specter of failure amidst the success," he said.

Kepner said he's frustrated by his lack of mobility and the fact that he feels he is in a worse position than he did before the surgery.

After speaking with doctors about his prognosis, he said, "I really had high hopes I would have feeling my hands."

But Kepner remains an example of the risks both patients and doctors take when heading into uncharted surgeries.

"I was in therapy for almost three years and after the third year I said 'Hey enough is enough,'" he said. "My fingers weren’t moving half an inch they weren’t doing anything."

When asked if he had advice for others considering similar experimental surgery, Kepner said they should consider what is right for them.

"If they want to do this that’s fine. I wouldn’t say anything negative," he said. "They’re getting better."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Make-A-Wish Foundation(RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif.) -- A 6-year-old California boy with cystic fibrosis is seeing his wish to be a garbage man come true thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The special day for Ethan Dean, from Rancho Cordova, California, began Tuesday morning with a surprise assembly at his elementary school.

His classmates did a great job cheering him on! Who is joining on the route today? #EthanCleansUp

— Make-A-Wish of Sacto (@MakeAWishSacto) July 26, 2016

Ethan, who uses a nebulizer and takes enzymes daily to manage his condition, was greeted with his own garbage truck, aptly named “Ethan’s Garbage Truck.”

On our way to pick-up Ethan in his very own garbage truck! Hope he’s surprised! #EthanCleansUp

— Make-A-Wish of Sacto (@MakeAWishSacto) July 26, 2016

Local waste management officials are now driving Ethan in his garbage truck to different stops around Sacramento, where he is met at each stop by a garbage-related superhero.

Look! Superhero reuse was here to show him around the @SacFirePIO station!

— Make-A-Wish of Sacto (@MakeAWishSacto) July 26, 2016

He's a little excited to say the least! #EthanCleansUp

— Make-A-Wish of Sacto (@MakeAWishSacto) July 26, 2016

Ethan met the "Recycle Superhero" at the Sacramento Bee. Other stops during the day include the fire station, to meet the “Reuse Superhero,” and Frank’s Fat Restaurant, a popular restaurant where Ethan will perform a “standard trash pickup,” according to Make-A-Wish.

Ethan loved the crowd at @sacbee_news

— Make-A-Wish of Sacto (@MakeAWishSacto) July 26, 2016

Ethan and his garbage truck will end the day at the capitol building in Sacramento, where Ethan will be recognized for his efforts to clean up the city.

Also along for the ride is Ethan’s dad, Jason, who dressed as a garbage man for the day. Nearly 7,000 people answered a call put out by Make-A-Wish to come cheer Ethan along on his journey.

“Ethan’s wish to be a garbage man for a day is a perfect example that anyone and everyone has the ability to grant a wish," Make-A-Wish America's Josh deBerge told ABC News. "Today we saw a local garbage man alongside thousands from the community of Sacramento, join together to make a six-year-old boy’s wish come true.”

The mayor of Rancho Cordova gave Ethan a key to the city Tuesday morning and Ethan is scheduled to receive a proclamation from the governor’s office.

Thank you to Mayor @dmsander and for Ethan’s key to the city

— Make-A-Wish of Sacto (@MakeAWishSacto) July 26, 2016

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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liquidlibrary/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The rate of cesarean sections and induced births in the U.S. has declined, reversing a decades-long trend of increased rates of obstetric interventions, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers from multiple institutions, including the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, examined data from 25 million birth certificates detailing deliveries. They found measurable drops in the amount of obstetric interventions taking place in babies delivered both late pre-term (34-36 weeks of pregnancy) and early term (37-38 weeks of pregnancy).

Researchers found there was a decrease in obstetric interventions from 33 percent in 2006 to 21 percent in 2014 for early-term infants and a slight decrease -- from 6.8 percent to 5.7 percent -- for infants born in late pre-term births during this time period.

Unnecessary obstetric interventions have been an issue of growing concern because they can lead to additional complications. In 2011, one in every three pregnant women delivered their babies via c-section in the U.S., leading to medical officials becoming concerned that invasive procedures were being overused.

The lower rate of interventions is likely because doctors are now recommended by American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) to delay obstetric interventions to 39 weeks of pregnancy or later. ACOG encourages doctors to do non-medical interventions by providing more support during labor like having a doula.

Dr. David Hackney, a maternal fetal medicine doctor at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, said more research should be done to answer the question of whether there “are fewer patients going into labor [needing obstetric interventions] or if we are intentionally delivering fewer babies this way.”

Hackney, who was not involved with the study, pointed out that medical research has focused on helping mothers later in their pregnancy, from 34-38 weeks, to improve medical and birth outcomes, and that that could have resulted in decreased need for medical interventions.

“It always feels good to have a long-standing public health and educational campaign [of decreasing medical interventions]," he said. You "can actually see the change in ... public health findings."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Tim Smith(FAIRFAX, Va.) — A Virginia baseball player was saved when his teammate administered CPR moments after he was struck in the chest by a baseball.

The Manassas baseball team was practicing for the Southeast Regional Tournament on July 14 when the catcher threw the ball and hit Steve Smith directly in the chest, according to Steve's father Tim.

"His heart stopped immediately," Smith said, who is also the team's coach. "When you get struck in the chest and there is about three hundredths of a second in between each heartbeat and basically if you are hit by something in that time, at the right speed, it stops your heart."

Smith said the whole team ran toward his son as he collapsed on the field.

"When I got to him he was stiff, like his body was trying to breathe but his eyes were rolled back in his head, and he wasn't responding," Smith recalled. "He was basically gone, I guess. He wouldn't wake up, he wouldn't respond. I was shaking him, trying to get him to take a breath. I yelled, 'Does anyone know CPR?'"

That's when Paul Dow, 17, came forward and immediately started performing CPR. Meanwhile, a parent on the sidelines called 911.

Smith said he was "walking around trying to stay calm, but not doing a very good job" as Paul performed CPR on his son.

Eventually Smith put his son and Paul, who was still performing CPR, in the back of his truck and drove them to the parking lot, where an ambulance arrived soon after.

EMS workers pulled out a defibrillator and were able to restart Steve's heart. Smith said 12 minutes had lapsed between the time Paul began administering CPR and when emergency workers successfully revived Steve.

Steve was then airlifted to a trauma hospital in Fairfax, where he stayed over the weekend, remaining mostly unconscious.

Smith said his son woke up on Sunday asking, "What's for breakfast?" and "What am I doing here?" He had no memory of what happened to him.

"If you look at him you'd never know that anything happened. He has a hole in his neck where they put the tube and a few nicks on his arms but other than that he doesn't have a scratch on his body," Smith said. "It's a miracle."

Paul, a close friend of the Smiths, learned CPR to become a lifeguard at the local pool. He received his certification just a few months ago.

Smith said his son's recovery was a miracle.

"Thanks be to God that Paul was there to give the CPR because there would have been brain damage at the very least if he didn't get air. God has his hand on it the whole way," Smith said."

He added that another family friend, who is a retired firefighter, was inspired to start a CPR class in the community after Steve's near-death experience. "There is so much good coming out of this, for the little bit of suffering we did, so much good is coming out of it," Smith said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy Layla Luciano(NEW YORK) -- Layla Luciano is a New York City-based fitness trainer known for her high-intensity and exhilarating workouts. Luciano uses her 20 years of martial arts training to design workouts that activate both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers, ensuring a complete body burning and calorie-torching workout.

The PACT Park co-founder will lead ABC News' Good Morning America viewers Wednesday in a live-streamed workout for “Workout Wednesday.” In the new series, top fitness personalities lead workouts that are live-streamed on every Wednesday morning.

Luciano's workout will feature shadowboxing and body-weight strength training moves.

Here are some of her kickboxing workout tips:

1) To get the most out of your strike, visualize an opponent or target to help you keep focus and keep your strikes from getting lazy and sloppy. If you think you are punching the air, it is definitely going to look and feel like you are punching the air.

2) Stand with your dominant side back.

3) Keep elbows close to your ribs and your knuckles next to your jawline to protect yourself. Never drop your hands even when shadowboxing.

4) Spread the legs slightly wider than your shoulders and pull your shoulder blades down to your back pockets.

5) Push your hips back and bend your knees to sit on your punches. This helps you to keep your legs and hips involved.

5) Take a small step on the jab (this is the only punch you do not turn your hips and shift your weight into).

7) Try to avoid standing in place before or after throwing punches (stick and move). It's a hit and run sport.

8) After you throw a series of punches and/or kicks (combos), get into the habit of adding a slip, duck or weave to develop a defensive habit and keep moving.

9) Shift your weight forward on the front leg while throwing dominant punch or kick: crosses, uppercuts, hooks and slipping to the left.

10) Shift your weight back to the back leg when throwing a lead punch or kick: hooks, uppercuts or slipping to the right.

And here are Luciano's tips to maximize your workout burn:

1) Changing up your training is important. Your body becomes accustomed to your routine so if you find yourself getting stuck in a rut and not seeing any changes, it's time to change it up. For example, simply varying the speed of your reps. Mix fast reps and slow reps to gain strength and muscle mass.

2) If you are training individual muscles, make sure to focus on the muscle you are working on. If you're doing a bicep curl, think about only your bicep doing all of the work. This will help with muscle recruitment and muscle growth.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News (NEW YORK) — Everyone has his or her own way of achieving body-image acceptance. ABC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo and her sister Pia Schiavo-Campo arrived at their goals through different methods.

The two women appeared on Good Morning America on Monday to discuss how they found happiness by pursuing their own fitness goals: Mara lost 90 pounds through diet and exercise, as chronicled in her book Thinspired, while Pia chose to love her 230-pound frame as is. She writes about body acceptance in her blog Chronicles of a Mixed Fat Chick.

The sisters wrote a joint blog for their GMA appearance. Read below for more of their take on their personal fitness goals.

Mara and Pia Talk Self-Acceptance

Like so many women, our path to self-love and acceptance has been a rocky one. We’ve both gone through more than our fair share of fad diets and periods of feeling bad about ourselves. But we’ve come out of that journey stronger and happier than ever. Here are some of the ways we stay focused on body positivity and true self-care.


Best Advice

Be kind to yourself. Tend to your true needs. When you’re tired, rest. When you’re sad, cry. When you’re thirsty, drink. Taking care of yourself makes you feel and look better.

Personal Mantra

“I am strong.” I’m not getting strong. I’m not feeling strong. I am strong. Right now.

Most Rejuvenating Exercise

Running. I actually strongly dislike running, but nothing makes me feel better than when I’m finished. It fills me with energy and endorphins, and makes my body feel relaxed and powerful.


Best Advice

Stay away from despair and compare, and focus on yourself. We’re all different, and what one body needs is very different from what another body needs. You have to seek your own happy place.

Personal Mantra

“I am enough.” No matter where you are, by the very virtue of your existence and humanity, you are enough.

Most Rejuvenating Exercise

I love downward facing dog. It feels so good on my back and my legs. I love pigeon pose too. It allows my hips to open up a lot which feels great.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you’re going to binge on an entire season of your favorite show, try to work in some light exercise between episodes.

According to a Japanese study released Monday in the journal Circulation, researchers found sedentary behavior -- like watching too much TV -- can contribute to death by blood clot.

Researchers at the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine followed more than 86,000 middle-aged to older adults for 20 years, starting in 1988. The included participants reported their daily TV viewing and other lifestyle factors. People fell into three groups: those who watched fewer than 2.5 hours a day, between 2.5 and 4.9 hours a day, and five or more hours a day.

Researchers also collected causes of death from participants who died. During the course of the study, 59 people died of a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot in the lung.

Putting together the data, researchers determined a pulmonary embolism was 70 percent more likely to be the cause of death for moderate TV viewers, rising by 40 percent for each additional two hours of TV-watching. People who watched the most daily TV were 2.5 times more likely to be killed by a clot in their lungs.

Too much sitting and other sedentary behavior causes blood clots form in large veins in the leg. If the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, that's a pulmonary embolism, which can kill you nearly instantly, if it's serious enough. Chest pain, sudden shortness of breath and cough are some classic signs of a pulmonary embolism.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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

Get ready to play doctor with Google's symptom search.

The tech titan's new feature gives you a more accurate list of health conditions when searching for specific symptoms. It's basically a more sophisticated search engine for symptoms, and increased education is always a good thing.

But there are some limitations here. The practice of medicine involves a lot more than plugging a few symptom words in the computer. Doctors and healthcare professionals use judgment and clinical experience, along with a physical exam at times, to make a real diagnosis.

Although every search will likely end with the advice to see your doctor, remember that sometimes more is not better. Sometimes the testing or intervention can actually be worse than the original symptoms.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy Zach Skow(NEW YORK) -- While his rescue may have been “typical”, Hooch is far from a run-of-the-mill dog.

When Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue took the dog from a shelter three years ago, he weighed half of what he does now and was suffering from a bad case of pneumonia. His ears had been sheared off, leaving him with an infection. But all of this seemed minor once the veterinarian finally opened Hooch’s mouth and made a horrifying discovery -– his tongue had been removed.

Hooch had been a victim of severe abuse, and some of Marley’s Mutts’ social media followers urged the rescue organization to euthanize the dog, but founder Zach Skow immediately recognized Hooch’s capacity to persevere and lead a normal life.

“We don’t treat him specially and we don’t enable him to feel sorry for himself, which is how he’s become such an incredible dog,” Skow told ABC News of his beloved canine. Skow eventually adopted Hooch from his rescue, and now refers to him as both his spirit-animal and his wingman.

Hooch’s lack of tongue made eating nearly impossible, but through experimentation and determination, Skow and his team developed an effective technique. To feed Hooch, Skow pours hot water over dry food, rolls it into a ball, and places it in the back of his mouth.

“It's the most therapeutic thing. If you’re feeling lost inside of yourself or feeling sorry for yourself -- all those things that tend to happen to us because of the rigors of life -- if you take the time to feed Hooch, nothing will snap you out of your [rut] like feeding that dog,” Skow said, noting the perspective his dog provides.

Staying cool is also a challenge for Hooch, since dogs rely on panting to regulate their body temperature. And though less detrimental to his health, Hooch’s tongueless mouth is also defenseless against drool.

But perhaps most remarkable of all the obstacles Hooch has overcome, is how he has managed to put his trauma behind him and embrace people.

“He could choose to have [his past] control him, but he doesn’t,” Skows said of his dog's admirable aptitude for people. “He’s a powerful reminder to get out of your pity party and to live.”

Though he is not an officially certified therapy dog, Hooch and Skow take regular trips to local organizations where Hooch works with autistic children, the homeless, and other individuals who could use some canine companionship.

Skow notes that Hooch is especially good with nonverbal autistic children -– a particularly difficult task for most dogs -– because he is able to stay calm when the kids get excited and can adapt to the abnormal body language. His connections with the children are so powerful, in fact, that one of the nonverbal children even began saying Hooch’s name, according to Skows.

Hooch’s work with the community has recently earned him the coveted Emerging Heroes Award from the American Humane Society.

“He’s a testament to how we all ought to live,” Skows said. “A lot of times we search for examples of how to be resilient, and he’s a living, breathing, drooling example of that.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Pregnant women should be tested for the Zika virus with 14 days of suspected exposure to the virus or if they exhibit viral symptoms, according to updated guidelines issued Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC previously advised testing pregnant women within one week of exposure to the virus or if they exhibited symptoms of viral infection. Additionally, the CDC is advising pregnant women to use barrier contraception or abstain from sex if their partners, either male or female, were in an area with ongoing Zika transmission.

The revised guidelines were issued after new studies found the virus can remain in the body longer than previously thought, and earlier this month, the CDC documented the first case of female-to-male transmission through sexual contact. Researchers are continuing to learn about how the Zika virus infects and affects in the body of those with the disease.

The news comes as more infants with Zika-related microcephaly have been born in both the U.S. and Europe.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Just weeks before the Olympics are slated to start in the nation at the center of the Zika virus outbreak, researchers have found new evidence about who is likely to contract the disease.

Two studies published Monday help shed light on the virus that the World Health Organization has called a "global health emergency." Yale researchers modeled the risk for people attending the Olympics and found only a small chance that those visiting Rio de Janerio for the Olympics would contract the virus.

Of the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to visit Brazil for the Olympics, researchers found that just three to 37 attendees will contract the virus and then bring it to their home countries, according to the study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The researchers conducted a mathematical model to understand the risks of an attendee contracting the virus. They examined multiple factors, including the spread of the dengue virus, spread by the same mosquitoes that spread Zika, during the World Cup and found that few people reported illness. They also noted that many travelers are coming from countries where the virus is already spreading.

"The possibility that travelers returning from the Olympics may spread Zika has become a polemic issue that has led to athletes dropping out of the event, and without evidence, undue stigmatization of Brazil. This study provides data, which together with initial findings from Brazilian scientists, show that these concerns may be largely exaggerated," Dr. Albert Ko, co-director of the Yale Global Health Justice Partnership and chair of the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at Yale School of Public Health, said in a statement.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the modeling provides more evidence about who is most at risk for public health officials studying the outbreak.

"Any number of us have also been of the opinion of that the Olympics will offer low risk acquisition by people there and having them bring this infection home," he told ABC News Monday. "It's very, very nice to see that a group quietly and rigorously address this in a structured modeling fashion and have come up with an entirely similar conclusion."

Another modeling study published Monday investigated how many pregnant women either had been infected or are likely to be infected by the end of the recent Zika outbreak. The study, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, found that as many as 1.65 million pregnant women could be infected by the end of the "first wave of the epidemic."

Researchers from various institutions, including the Department of Biological Sciences and Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame, examined past viral outbreaks including chikungunya epidemics that are spread by the same mosquito that spreads the Zika virus to estimate how many pregnant women were likely to be infected. They also looked at different population demographics to estimate how many women were likely to be pregnant.

"Projections such as these have an important role to play in the early stages of an epidemic, when planning for surveillance and outbreak response is actively under way both internationally and locally," the authors wrote in the study.

They did not estimate how many infected pregnant women would give birth to children with microcephaly, a birth defect characterized by an abnormally small head and brain, which can lead to severe developmental disabilities.

Schaffner pointed out these kinds of modeling studies are important to help react to the virus, but that experts are still unsure if the virus will remain endemic to certain areas after the explosive outbreak or if it will largely die out.

"We look forward to another rigorous modeling study," in this area, he said. "We think Zika infection has been so pervasive" it might cause one big year of infections "and then smoldering cases subsequently."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy Derek Mosley(MILWAUKEE) -- A Wisconsin judge is recovering after getting a kidney from an unlikely source: his best friend and fellow judge.

Derek Mosley, 45, was diagnosed two years ago with renal failure. The municipal court judge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin knew that the disease could be deadly.

"Kidney disease runs in my family, my father passed away from it and my [grandmother] passed away from it," he told ABC News.

For two years Mosley stayed on an overnight dialysis so that he could work during the day. But the dialysis, done through a tube in his stomach, took a toll.

"I was hooked up on my machine at night," he said. "Essentially you’re sleeping on your back, on a straight back in a straight wasn’t a fun two years."

Mosley said one of the first people he told that he needed a new kidney was fellow municipal court judge, Joann Eiring. The pair have been best friends for 14 years and when Mosley said he needed a kidney Eiring didn't hesitate to offer to get tested.

"She’s my best friend and we’re close and we do lunch a lot," said Mosley. "She was one of the first people I broke it to besides my wife and family."

Mosley said he was skeptical since he and Eiring are different races and different heights.

"Literally we couldn’t be more opposite of each other," said Mosley.

After Eiring was tested she came back a perfect match for her best friend and agreed to give him her kidney.

"I honestly just froze. I thought it was a joke," said Mosley. "I was probably stuttering and I’m never at any loss for words."

The pair underwent the surgery last Wednesday and both are doing well. Eiring is expected to be out of the hospital Monday. Mosley said as soon as the surgery was over he felt better -- and when he got to see his best friend again he was overcome with emotion.

"I lost it, I completely lost it and I started crying because she literally gave me back my life," he said. "She knows that whatever she needs she’s got it. There’s no way you could repay that."

Mosley's doctor, Dr. Michael Zimmerman, Kidney Transplant Program Director at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, said he hoped the case would give hope to others in search of donors.

"Anybody potentially can be a living donor," said Zimmerman. "Size wise, she’s a small Caucasian female donating to a much larger African-American male...doesn’t mean you can’t be a donor."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Taryn Blair(NEW YORK) — An adorable video captures an Australian baby hearing his mother's voice for the first time and bursting into giggles after he's fitted with a pair of hearing aids.

Jordan Blair was born with hearing loss and failed both of his hearing screenings at the hospital, his mother Taryn Blair told ABC News Monday. The family then went to an audiologist who confirmed that hearing loss runs on the mother's side of the family. In addition, when baby Jordan was only 3 weeks old he got bronchiolitis, which caused fluid to build up in his ears, Blair said.

"He didn't react to a lot," Blair explained, saying that she and her husband feared the worst for their son's hearing.

But last week, the infant was fitted with hearing aids and able to hear clearly for the first time. Blair said when they turned the hearing aids on, "he had this amazing reaction we were so excited to see! He finally laughed which we've never seen before." She added that it brought her husband and her to tears.

Blair also said that her son was born with laryngomalacia (a floppy larynx), which makes it hard for him to breathe, and has endured many other health complications.

"So you can imagine it was lovely to go to this appointment and see him laughing and cooing like a 'normal' baby should," Blair said. She described her son as a "little warrior."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Hypnosis is a clinical technique typically used to treat conditions like anxiety and pain but some say it could also help as a parenting tool.

“Hypnosis and parenting is a natural solution,” Lisa Machenberg, a hypnotherapist and mother of three, told ABC News. "You naturally influence your child anyway, let’s learn how to do it with intention."

Machenberg began hypnotizing her own children to help them get through the night without wetting the bed. She now uses it as a tool to help her kids deal with everything from performance anxiety to difficulties focusing.

“My children are able to use logic and reason,” she explained. “They have a form of diligence or perseverance that you don’t see in other children.”

There is no science to support the idea that hypnosis is an effective parenting tool. The method, experts say, should only be done by trained clinicians.

Machenberg charges $125 per hour for her sessions and said she has worked with more than 1,000 kids in her years of practice. She also works with parents on strategies they can try at home and teaches kids self-hypnosis strategies.

Machenberg’s 17-year-old daughter, Rayna, said she has “always known” that her mom used hypnosis on her and said it has had a positive impact on her life.

“Being able to push back on stress and think about it deeply and do self-reflecting was a skill that I'm really grateful that my mom taught me,” she said. “I think it still influences me a lot today and helped me develop into the person I am right now."

ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser, whose parents are both clinical hypnotists, said hypnosis works for shaping behavior but the evidence is still out on whether or not it is a good tool for children.

"The evidence on the clinical use is really, really strong," Besser said. "I haven’t seen that kind of evidence for parenting and that bothers me a little bit."

Besser said other strategies parents can use to help their kids perform better include offering praise for good behaviors, using a star chart for school-age kids to track achievements and staying consistent on discipline and expectations.

"Not idle threats," Besser said, adding again that hypnosis should only be done by a trained professional.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Summer is a popular time for home improvement projects, but officials are warning of a danger that many people may not be aware of until it’s too late: spontaneous combustion of common household products used to finish furniture and decks.

Oil-based wood stains and linseed oil can combust and burn even without any spark to initiate the fire, officials say.

Shannon Priddy’s Gaithersburg, Maryland, house was destroyed in 2014 after she says contractors left rags soaked in wood stain under her deck.

“We had no idea that anything like this could happen,” Priddy, who was not injured in the incident, told ABC News.

To demonstrate how easily this can happen, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue in Maryland teamed up with ABC News' Good Morning America on the Lookout to conduct an experiment. GMA put linseed oil on some rags and put them into a box and waited.

Donnie Boyd, a Montgomery County fire inspector, explained just how combustion occurs when linseed oil is left on a cotton rag.

“It actually heats up as it dries. It's a chemical reaction,” he said. “So it spontaneously combusts once it reaches its ignition temperature.”

Two hours into the experiment, a probe recorded a temperature of 204 degrees inside the box, and after four and a half hours, smoke appeared. Nearly six hours into the experiment, the box was burning.

Boyd said ignorance of -- or disregard for -- the issue has contributed to many fires in Montgomery County. He urged everyone to carefully read the labels on products used to do housework and home improvement projects.

The label of the container used for the GMA on the Lookout experiment read, "CAUTION! CAN CAUSE SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION. Boiled Linseed Oil generates heat as it dries, which can cause the spontaneous combustion of materials contacted by this product. Oily rags, waste, and other oily materials contacted by Boiled Linseed Oil can cause spontaneous combustion fires if not handled properly.”

Homeowners should also keep rags that have absorbed oils, such as linseed oil, in well-covered metal cans and make sure the rags are thoroughly dried before collection or transport.

It’s a message that Priddy hopes to spread.

“I would never want it to happen to anyone else,” she said.

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