Author: Maureen McCarthy

Winter safety goes beyond ice and freezing temps: Tips to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning - Winter-safety tipsOld Man Winter has been kind to New England this year. Less snow and warmer temperatures have been the norm in recent weeks. But don’t let moderate snow fall and unseasonable temperatures fool you. Protecting your family from carbon monoxide (also known as CO) poisoning is of utmost importance, experts say.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide often called the silent killer, is responsible for more than 20,000 visit the emergency room and more than 4,000 hospitalizations. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless, making leaks and buildups difficult to notice.

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

Getting back into the swing of things: Jake’s journey with Crohn’s disease

Jake-Goodstat-Crohns-Golf

It was a cloudy, September day at the Country Club of Miami in South Florida. Jake Goodstat, a high school sophomore and varsity golfer, approached the ninth green. He walked up to his ball with putter in hand, took a deep breath and gently tapped the ball to make the putt.

He says this was the hole where he cinched second place in the 2016 South Florida Junior Golf Tournament.

“It was the greatest feeling in the world to know that I placed,” recalls Jake, a Florida teen who underwent surgery two months prior to treat his Crohn’s disease. “Before my surgery, I would register for a tournament, end up in the emergency room and be admitted to the hospital.”

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

Christmas with the Applebees: A story of loss, love and gratitude

Applebee-urology
From left, Marc, Ivy, Wyatt, Max and Nicki Applebee

Marc and Nicki Applebee pull their rented, 12-passenger van up to the Boston Children’s Hospital main entrance. The couple, along with family friends and their three bundles of joy — Wyatt, 2, and twins Max and Ivy, 1, travel over five hours from their hometown in Surry, Maine, to deliver several hundred new and donated toys to the hospital.

Their annual holiday visit, called “Christmas for Olive” is a labor of love, and one dedicated to the memory of their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Olive Hope, who passed away in July of 2013, due to complications following her third open-heart surgery.

Nicki and Marc say their visit is also a day of gratitude — an opportunity to visit Dr. Richard Yu and the urological team who repaired Max’s kidney function when he was 6 months old. “We have been donating toys to Boston Children’s in Olive’s memory since December 2013,” says Nicki, whose jacket has a “Christmas for Olive” emblem engraved on it. “We also enjoy visiting with Dr. Yu and the nurses that took care of Max while he was here.”

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment

Overcoming IBD: ‘I am bigger than my Crohn’s disease.’

Camden Vassallo Crohns DiseaseLike most high school seniors, Camden Vassallo of Norwell has a very busy schedule. The 17-year-old Thayer Academy student manages a heavy academic schedule, works at the local YMCA, is a two-sport, three-season athlete and is looking ahead to college.

But like nearly 800,000 children and adults in the U.S., Camden is also managing Crohn’s disease — a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The condition causes intense stomach pain, diarrhea, fatigue, bloody stool and weight loss in severe cases.

Although the disease has uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms, Camden says Crohn’s hasn’t slowed him down or shaken his optimism.

“At first I struggled with having a disease that deals with a gross part of the body,” he says. “But Crohn’s doesn’t consume me and I don’t let it control my life.”

Read Full Story | Leave a Comment