Miracle baby who arrived after 16 miscarriages killed by meningitis in just 6 hours

“I don’t want other children to die like she did. I don’t want other parents to suffer like we did.”

Lizzie Allen’s daughter Fleur-Rose – who was born two-and-a-half months premature following a difficult pregnancy – woke with a slight temperature and crying

A mum who overcame 16 miscarriages to give birth to her “miracle girl” told how it took just SIX HOURS for meningitis to kill her “perfectly healthy” daughter.

Fleur-Rose Allen died on April 4 this year, just days after she started walking for the first time.

The 15-month-old, who was born on New Year’s Eve 2014 – two-and-a-half months premature following a difficult pregnancy – woke with a slight temperature and crying.

Her mum, hairdresser Lizzie Allen, 32, thought she had a bug and gave her water and Calpol.

But hours later, after suffering four cardiac arrests, she was declared dead.

Her brave mum, in her only interview, said she wanted other parents to know how quickly meningitis can become deadly.

“Fleur-Rose was so healthy,” she recalled. “She was toddling and laughing the day before she died.

“At 1pm on the day we lost her, she was sat on her daddy Matt’s knee, grinning away.

“By 6pm she was taken to the hospital’s resuscitation department.

“At 11.04pm she was dead.”

Fleur Rose with Lizzie on her first birthday (Photo: PA Real Life)

Lizzie, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, told how on the morning her girl died she woke with a temperature and crying.

“It was unusual, because normally she would be laughing,” said Lizzie. “She was a cheeky thing. Friendly, giggly and so well-behaved.”

Shortly afterwards, while still at home, Fleur-Rose suffered a febrile convulsion – a seizure caused by excessive heat.

Rushed to Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital by ambulance, her temperature was measured at 39 degrees Celsius – indicating a high fever.

“She was drifting in and out of consciousness, while on the way to the hospital although she had stopped fitting,” Lizzie continued. “But, on arriving, she seemed to perk up.

“She started playing with toys.”

Around lunchtime she began retching, but her oxygen levels were still 100 per cent.

At 1pm she had an X-ray on her chest, which was clear, but she still was not eating.

“She appeared healthy and was still drinking,” her mum said, remembering her daughter grinning, as she sat on her 34-year-old dad’s lap.

“I remember saying at teatime, ‘Shall we try her with some food.

“She had one mouthful of mashed potato.”

It was at this point that Lizzie noticed a slight red blotch on Fleur-Rose’s neck, which spread down it as she watched.

“I just shouted to Matt, ‘Go and get a nurse.’

“But moments later it had gone and there were only tiny pinprick marks.”

At 5.30pm Fleur-Rose was admitted to a side room.

Tragic Fleur Rose died in just six hours (Photo: PA Real Life)

“She was pale, but conscious and crying,” said Lizzie. “They were trying to get a water sample from her.

“They said they were going to give her an antibiotic, which would treat meningitis .”

It was the first time she had heard mention of meningitis .

“I was terrified,” she said.

Then, at 6pm, Fleur-Rose was moved to the resuscitation unit and a specialist team from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, was called in.

“She deteriorated before our eyes,” Lizzie continued, recalling how her daughter suffered four cardiac arrests. “The rash returned, creeping from her feet to her head and at 11.04pm there was nothing more they could do.

“My darling daughter died.”

It was subsequently discovered that Fleur-Rose had been suffering from streptococcal meningitis , a bacterial strain of the illness.

Her mum now wants to promote greater awareness of the symptoms of meningitis in youngsters.

“People always look for the rash, but her rash didn’t develop until later,” she said.

“At lunchtime she was cheerful, but actually she was being killed from the inside out.

“She was too young to articulate how she felt.

She couldn’t say, ‘Mummy my eyes hurt; Mummy I have a bad tummy’.

“I think every child who is admitted to hospital with similar symptoms should automatically have a meningitis check.

“A child’s life isn’t a lottery.”

Since Fleur-Rose’s death, Lizzie has raised £12,000 for Meningitis Now in her daughter’s name.

“I want people to remember her,” she said. “I had 16 unexplained miscarriages in six years before she was born.

Fleur- Rose on the day she was born (Photo: PA Real Life)

“Time after time, I experienced heartbreak. Then, finally, she was there.

“My pregnancy wasn’t easy. They feared she was disabled because the scan indicated fluid round her neck.

“She arrived early and weighed just 4lbs, but she was a miracle.

“Walking out of the hospital with her in my arms, I was finally a mother.

“And then she was gone. It was heartbreaking.”

Now Lizzie is determined the daughter she adored should be remembered.

“She was a beautiful, strong little girl,” she said.

“I don’t want other children to die like she did. I don’t want other parents to suffer like we did.”

For support and advice on meningitis call the Meningitis Now Helpline on 0808 80 10 388. For more information about the signs and symptoms or to donate visit the website at


Drinking Water On Empty Stomach Immediately After Waking Up!

It may seem strange, but many people in Japan drink 4 glasses of water immediately after they wake up on empty stomach. It has been discovered that this technique is extremely beneficial and useful in treating and preventing many diseases. It will also improve
your health.

You can also use this method for treating and preventing the following diseases: body aches, accelerated heartbeat, blood fat, asthma, meningitis, vomiting, diarrhea, diabetes, all eye diseases, headache, heart system, epilepsy, bronchitis, TB, kidney disease and urinary tract, gastritis, piles, constipation, menstrual disorder, nose and throat, diseases of the ear. This technique is very simple. Just simple instructions are followed.

How to do it:

You need to drink 4 times per 160 ml (640ml) of water before you brush your teeth. After that, you can wash your teeth without eating or drinking anything for 45 minutes. Then, you can drink your morning tea and eat your breakfast. Remember not to drink anything for 2 hours after you eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It works on specific diseases:

With this method you can also cure and treat different diseases and those people who are healthy will enjoy the energy that is given to them from the water. For example, you will need 10 days for gastritis and constipation, 30 days for high blood pressure and diabetes and 90 days for TB.  You can use this method any time you want. You will be healthy and full of energy if you drink water on empty stomach.

Those who suffer from arthritis should use this method just 3 times per week, in the first week, then, take 1 week break and after that, they can use it every day.

Except going to the bathroom often, this treatment has no side effects. So drink water and stay active. We believe that this article is very helpful for you and that you will share it with your friends and family.


Banting? Here Are Five Tips For Fast Weight Loss!

If you’ve decided to try banting to lose weight, replace the crazy amount of animal fat you’re supposed to eat with good fats. These include: Vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avocados and fatty fish.

Soon, your body will adjust to the higher GOOD fat content you’re eating and you won’t crave food between meals anymore. This is the same principle as banting except you limit the amount of unhealthy animal fat you eat and increase the healthy fats instead.

Your body can’t tell the difference – chemically, they perform the same function in the body but healthy fats won’t give you a heart attack!

Now follow these five tips for fast weight loss…

How to keep this weight loss diet working for you…

These five tips will ensure you keep the weight off:

1.   Fat is a MUST: Don’t skip on the healthy fats. You’ll feel hungry after a while and you’ll resort to snacking. A small amount of animal fat is fine.

2.   Eat lots of green vegetables: Fill HALF your plate with leafy green vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, leeks and other healthy vegetables.

3.   Don’t snack. When you first start off, you may need a snack between meals. But as your body adapts to your new weight loss diet, wean yourself off the snacks. They’re just more calories and you don’t need them.

4.   Limit your fruit and dairy: Eat these sparingly. Fruit is high in natural sugar and cheese contains carbs.

5.   Exercise: Don’t try to lose weight with food alone. Get your body moving!

There you have the five secrets to keep banting or ANY other weight loss diet you try working for you.


Top 10 Precious Tips for Banting Beginners

When I decided to take the plunge and start Banting, my very good friend Shireen gave me all the information I needed to get started successfully on the LCHF lifestyle journey. I share those tips and some more I’ve added with you now…
1:What can you eat? Go to the Real Meal Revolution Green List for a list of items you should be eating. There’s an orange list you can eat from occasionally and a red list you should avoid completely.
2:What about things that aren’t on the lists? Go to google and search “how much carbs in xyz” and you will find out how many carbs an item has. It should have 5g or less per 100g to be considered green.
3:How much carb should I be eating? If you’re trying to lose weight or are in any way unhealthy, you should eat no more than 25g of carb a day.
4:Don’t be afraid of fat! The secret to successfully Banting is eating enough fat for you. How much is enough? If your breakfast keeps you going for 8-12 hours, it’s enough fat. If you find yourself needing to have lunch or snack, up the fat content.
5:How often should you eat? Twice a day is plenty. Eat only when you are hungry, don’t eat because the hour hand is somewhere on the clock!
6:How can I make sure I’m eating right? There’s an excellent app called My Fitness Pal which allows you to enter details of what you’re eating and then see the nutritional breakdown. It’s a good idea to use this for a week or two, logging all your food, so you get a feel for whether you’re eating correctly.
7:How can I calculate what I’m supposed to be eating? Go to the keto calculator here, enter all your info and the calculator will give you your proportions and amounts of fat, carb and protein to be eating. For more info about what percentages you should be eating of fat, protein and carb, click here…
8:What size should my portions be? You’ll find over the course of a few days of eating high fat, you’ll start getting full quickly and you’ll start adjusting your portion sizes. Rule of thumb … Only eat when hungry and only until you are full.
9:How much weight can I expect to lose? Remember that Banting is a lifestyle change with the focus on health, it’s not a diet, so focus on how you feel and the positive changes you experience in your body first, and weight loss second. That being said, most people tend to lose about 1kg a week when they start Banting.
10:Take the time to measure yourself. On weeks where the scale doesn’t move much check those measurements, you may find you’ve lost centimeters even though the scale hasn’t moved much and this will help motivate you. At the end of the day it’s how we look and feel that should be important, not the number on the scale.
Educate yourselves, read what you can find, have a good understanding of what banting is all about … You’re the only one responsible for your diet and health.
Listen to your body and be aware of changes, within days of starting banting the lifestyle became about the positive changes we were experiencing, the weight loss is frankly a bonus.


The Diet That Starves Cancer And Reverses Diabetes

Contrary to popular belief, a no-fat or low-fat diet isn’t that good for you. Recently, some conventional cardiologists have stated that one needs healthy fats in order to maintain good cardiovascular health.

They have negated the myth of cholesterol as the major cause of clogged arteries and heart attacks. They also warned about the dangers associated with statin drugs, drugs used to lower cholesterol levels in the body. The truth is that brain and nervous system tissue require cholesterol and similar fats to rebuild and maintain proper function. It is worth mentioning that studies found higher rate of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, in statin users.

Skin cholesterol initiates the conversion process of UVB sunlight exposure to vitamin D3 in the liver. Without the presence of cholesterol, there is no conversion, meaning insufficient vitamin D3 levels.

Recent research suggests that following a high fat diet can reverse aggressive cancers. Of course, don’t expect the cancer industry to reveal these facts. They need to receive funding to study patentable drugs which don’t actually cure, but rather keep killing with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

The High Fat Ketogenic Diet – Tried And True


The best anecdotal cancer reversal regarding this diet involves Dr. Fred Hatfield, a former world powerlifting champion, trainer, and successful business owner. The reason for his doctor title is the fact that he completed graduate studies in kinesiology.

Dr. Hatfield was diagnosed with an aggressive, metastatic skeletal cancer. He was given only three months left to live, and the same prognosis was confirmed by three doctors. He decided to do a little research on his own, and this is how he came across the ketogenic diet as promising alternative treatment.

Dr. Dominic D’Agostino, a metabolic researcher at University of South Florida, has found that mice with induced cancer who were put on high fat non-carbohydrate glucose diets reversed cancer and recovered even more effectively when compared to those on chemotherapy. Although this study may not be saying much, Hatfield decided to give it a try.

He stopped consuming sugars and carbohydrates and started eating a fair amount of good meats and many beneficial fats, not the cheap trans-fatty acid hydrogenated oils or margarine. These products are only a molecule away from being plastic, which means that they are difficult and even impossible to metabolize.


Some of the best sources of good/ beneficial fats include cold pressed olive oil, hemp oils, butter, eggs, and coconut oil. After a few months of following this diet, Hatfields cancer cleared up. A year later, he was still in very good health. Dr. D’Agostino has talked to many other patients who have used a ketogenic diet to reverse cancer. Most importantly, they actually succeeded! Cancer cells rely on glucose to thrive as they are deprived of oxygen that normal cells use for metabolism. When the body cells lack glucose, good fats yield fatty acids that are turned into energy-bestowing ketones. This is how coconut oil manages to reverse Alzheimers disease. The conversion of ketones gives energy to those brain cells that are no longer metabolizing oxygen as well as they did before. Normal cells can convert ketones for energy, while cancerous cells can`t. Therefore, swapping glucose for ketones starves cancer cells. It is worth mentioning that there aren’t any side effects associated with this diet, with an exception of weight loss.

Ketogenic Diet Meal Plans that Kill Cancer

Healthy Fats:

Butter, coconut oil, olive oil, eggs, avocados, raw seeds and nuts;

Low carbohydrate vegetables:

Kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, celery, collard greens, Brussels sprouts;

Protein sources:

Fish and seafood, fermented dairy, wild game, grass-fed beef, grass-fed raw organic dairy, organic pastured poultry;

Unfortunately, despite the well-known fact that cancerous cells thrive on simple sugars, oncologists somehow forget to inform the patients about this! Instead, the patients are fed pastries and ice cream while going through IV chemotherapy. On the other hand, alternative cancer treatments are based on diets that exclude sugar and simple carbohydrates.


Stop Buying Avocados. Here’s How You Can Grow An Avacado Tree In A Small Pot At Home

Eating healthy is a task that isn’t a simple thing to do for a lot of people, but with one simple fruit some may think is a vegetable this task can be made much easier.

The avocado is a delightful treasure that can aid in improving health. They coontain potassium, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E. They can also possess heart-healthy fats. For men, avocados help boost testosterone naturally. It can a perfect side dish and even blend in with most foods. Not to mention gaucamole itself is mae mostly of avocados and is a super healthy snack.

Anyhow, the price for avocados has grown substantially over the years. The market down the road, I can say personally is charging $1.60 for one. So, instead of spending money time after time, investing in an avocado tree would be a brilliant idea.

How To Grow An Avocado Tree


Carefully clean the avocado seed and ensure you know which end is top and which is the bottom. Stick four toothpicks into the seed at equal distances apart about halfway down. From there get a glass of water and set your seed in it, the toothpicks should keep it soaking in an inch of water.
The seed should be placed out of direct sunlight but in a warm place until the stem has grown to six inches and the roots are visible. This growth should take between two to six weeks, at which point the stem should be cut back to three inches. Wait for more leaves to grow and for the stem to reach six inches again before planting.


Get yourself a large plant pot approximately ten inches in diameter, with a small hole in the bottom for drainage. Fill the pot with nutrient rich soil, leaving a small hole in the top of the compost for your seed to go in. Place the seed in the hole ensuring that it isn’t too deep and that half of the seed is exposed above the soil.
Once the avocado tree is planted, move it into a sunny area of your home. Water the tree generously and regularly, ensuring that the water remains moist but not saturated.
If the leaves begin to turn brown and dry, it is a clear sign that the plant isn’t getting enough water. To solve the issue put the pot in your sink, turn the tap on and allow the water to run through the soil for a few moments, ensuring that you drain any excess water before taking the plant out of the sink.
If the leaves begin to turn yellow and droop, you are over watering the plant. To rectify the situation, don’t water the plant for a few days and lower the amount of water you give it in future.
Keep up regular and caring maintenance of your tree in order for it to flourish. You may well have to wait a couple of years before it first begins to bear fruit but when it does you’ll be enjoying your very own fresh and delicious avocados.

13 Weird Thoughts People With Anxiety Have

I’m not trying to say that we are members of an exclusive club or anything like that, but people with anxiety experience life differently. On a very basic level, we don’t see the world the same way as those who have never dealt with an anxiety disorder; we have a different kind of brain. We turn the simplest things into mini-explosions of stress, and we worry about stuff that wouldn’t even make a non-anxious person think twice. Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D., the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Cognitive Therapy and author of over 20 books on mental illness, wrote for Psychology Today about the “intrusive thoughts” people with anxiety deal with. He says it can feel like you’re battling your own mind at times, and that we anxiety sufferers can be plagued by the most bizarre notions. However, treatments like cognitive therapy can be useful tools in separating the thoughts from reality.

In order to raise awareness about what people with mental illness go through on a daily basis, Huffington Post gathered and shared anonymous thoughts from editors and readers who struggle with anxiety. It was an honest look into the brains of people who can feel constantly misunderstood. For example, one person said they often think, “Are they laughing at me? I hope I don’t mess this up. Was that supposed to be funny? Was I NOT supposed to laugh? Can I leave yet?” As someone who has battled acute anxiety for years, I can’t help but laugh a little bit at this, because it’s pretty much the exact transcript to the thoughts that run through my mind a lot of the times. Hey, if I have to deal with it anyway, I might as well find some humor in it.

Here are 13 weird thoughts people with anxiety have.

1. “Maybe Gmail Was Lying And That Email Didn’t Actually Send”

No matter how many times you double-check whether you finished an important task, like sending out a big email or locking your front door, it’s never enough. You still wonder whether it actually got done, even after you’ve received confirmation from a reliable source that it’s been completed.

2. “What Does My Face Really Look Like?”

Folks with anxiety tend to fall into deep philosophical thought about, well, pretty much everything. We may especially struggle with thoughts about physical appearance because we know what we see in the mirror is not necessarily what others see when they look (or stare) at us. So it isn’t uncommon for us to turn over this thought again and again in our heads, wondering how much of the time we look the way we do in photos, and how often we actually resemble a stressed-out alien.

3. “She’s Mad At Me Because I Took Too Long To Text Back, I Just Know It”

We’re always worried about whether somebody close to us is mad at us for some dumb reason. If my best friend and I are messaging back and forth and she suddenly doesn’t respond, I automatically assume that I waited too long to respond, and as a result she is going to end all our years of friendship to trade me in for someone who can type a reply at a more acceptable pace.

4. “What If My Neighbors Can Hear What I Watch On Netflix?”

For someone with anxiety, everything can be embarrassing. It could be the sound of your shoes walking on the sidewalk or what you look like when you bite into a sandwich. One thing we often get really sensitive about is our choice in television shows. What if people find out how much Real Housewives we watch? Can the neighbors hear, and are they totally judging us for it? And so on.

5. “Did That Mole Change Shape??”

As soon as something on our body looks or feels odd, we get nervous about it. Our brains automatically go to the most ominous possibility, which is and always will be cancer. If we’re really on a roll, we immediately hop onto one of the many websites that allow you to jump to horrifying conclusions about your health based on very common symptoms, where there are plenty of hokey medical diagnoses to keep us occupied through the night.

6. “The Whole Office Hates Me Because Of How I Sneeze”

Social settings aren’t exactly where most people with anxiety thrive. I generally think anyone who claims they like hanging out in a large group of people is just lying through their teeth, but when you have anxiety, these situations can be a special kind of torture. You tend to overanalyze everything you do in social settings, especially in the office. It’s a given to speculate about how much your coworkers despise you, but the real fun begins when you start to comb through all the specific reasons they might hate you. Usually, you’ll settle on the smallest things, like how high-pitched your sneeze is or how many times you go in and out of the break room in a day.

7. “Did I Leave Out Something In The Apartment That The Cat Could Eat And Die From?”

Anxiety disorders can cause the most innocent of people to produce gory visuals in their heads. Don’t beat yourself up about it if you think about death every now and again. It’s totally normal! Death happens! But you don’t want it to happen to your cat, which is why you think about it every hour on the hour.

8. “Is There Such Thing As Donut Breath?”

If it paid well enough, worrying about personal hygiene could be a lucrative career for anxiety sufferers. We’re always concerned with how we smell. No matter how much deodorant we slather on in the morning, we still fret about weird armpit scents. Along with the normal body odors, though, we invent new, specific smells to worry about. Because a box of donuts must have some kind of consequences, right?

9. “My Boss Called But Didn’t Leave A Voicemail, So I Must Be Fired”

Thinking about the worst case scenario is second nature to us. All it takes is the tiniest bump in the road to make us presume the most grim outcome. I have this thought pretty much every time my boss doesn’t respond right away. And if my editor writes her notes into my articles in all-caps? She hates me, for sure, according to my anxiety.

10. “I’m Taking Way Too Long To Tell This Story, Aren’t I?”

The general rules of social etiquette often go way over the heads of most folks with anxiety. And not understanding those rules makes us feel a little freaked out. We get distressed about group conversations and being judged for the words that come out of our mouths. We can be particularly harsh on ourselves when it comes to storytelling. We worry about how boring we are and whether we’re totally ruining everyone’s time together.

11. “Do I Get Up To Pee Too Often?”

Everyone is watching you. At least, that’s what it feels like. Plus, your chair squeaks really loud every time you get up to go to the bathroom. You make it to the stall nearly drenched in sweat from all the worrying and spend the rest of the day tallying how many times you pee.

12. “Nobody Liked My Tweet, So I May As Well Delete My Twitter Account!”

A question I ask myself each day: Nobody thinks I’m funny, so why even bother to exist online? Not being acknowledged for a joke you just cracked can really eat away at you when you’ve got an anxiety disorder. Humor is one of the hardest parts of social interaction, especially because there are so many unspoken rules you have to follow. It gets so overwhelming that it sometimes feels like it might be better to just throw in the towel.

13. “I’m So Anxious I Give Everyone Else Anxiety”

I get anxious about how anxious I am, and then I lose sleep thinking about how much my anxiety gives other people anxiety. Is my anxiety contagious? Am I passing it on to innocent bystanders and ruining their lives? I’m sure this is not an abnormal thought for us anxious folk. I hope it’s not, anyway.


Man With Sickle Cell Disease, Not Expected To Live Past 40, Celebrates 70th Birthday

Doctors once told Richard Mitchell he wouldn’t live past age 40. This week, he blew out the candles on his 70th birthday cake.
Mitchell has sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder that used to kill people before age 20. Even with today’s medical advances, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 42 years for men and 48 for women.
“You just take it one day at a time,” Mitchell said during a birthday party thrown for him Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Mitchell’s doctors at Mount Sinai aren’t sure exactly why he’s been so lucky, but they hope he can teach them about surviving to a ripe old age with the genetic disease, which affects an estimated 100,000 people in the U.S.
Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg, the hospital’s director ofsickle cell disease research, calls Mitchell “amazing. He’s the oldest patient I’ve ever known with sickle cell disease, and as far as I can tell the oldest patient who’s currently living.”
SCD results from a genetic mutation that causes red blood cells to be misshapen. The sickle-shaped cells inhibit blood flow throughout the body, causing pain and fatigue.
“What it really boils down to is, your blood behaves differently than people without those mutations,” Glassberg said.
“Every single organ from the skin to the brain needs oxygen, so you get manifestations in every single organ system.”
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Mitchell Is Believed To Be One Of The Oldest Sickle Cell Survivors Currently Living. Life Expectancy For Sickle Cell Patients In The U.S. Is Less Than 50 Years.

SCD takes a progressive toll on the body, raising the risk of infection, organ damage and stroke, and of acute chest syndrome, a life-threatening event in which the lungs fill rapidly with fluid. People with the disease experience regular pain crises that are treated with oxygen therapy and blood transfusions.
Mitchell, who has the most severe form of the disease, “lives with a lot of pain” and ends up in the ER a few times a year, Glassberg said.
To beat the odds, Mitchell says, he learned to take his condition in stride. He was diagnosed at age 20, shortly after moving to Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
He credits his grandparents, who raised him on a farm in South Carolina, and his father, a minister, for keeping him “on the straight and narrow.”
“They were very strict about hanging out and partying and drinking,” Mitchell recalled.
Though his disease kept him at home for long stretches, he worked throughout his adulthood in factories and as a mailroom clerk at a Manhattan law firm. But in the past two decades he’s made an effort to slow down in order to preserve his health.
“The main thing to worry about is dehydration and stress,” he said. “Those two really take a toll on sickle cell people. No stress, drink a lot of fluid, eat right, and go for exercise.”
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Doctors Aren’t Sure Exactly Why Mitchell Has Been Lucky. But He Credits His Low-Stress, Healthy Lifestyle With Helping Him Survive Into Old Age With The Blood Disorder.

He cut out fast food and alcohol in favor of home-cooked meals at his assisted living center in Yorkville.
“The good days are when I can go out and walk and do my own shopping,” he said.
“The bad days are when I come out of a crisis. I have to stay in and get my energy back.”
Now that Mitchell is 70, “his age is beginning to show a little more,” said Dr. Nisha Rughwani, assistant professor of geriatrics at Mount Sinai, who is Richard’s primary care physician. “Any kind of an infection, even if mild, for him it’s a big deal because he has a sickle crisis. But most of the time he’s actually a pretty fit and well man.”
Even as they celebrate success stories like Mitchell’s, experts are concerned that mortality in young adults with sickle cell is rising. This may be because young adults lose access to medical care when they become too old for a pediatric sickle cell clinic, Glassberg said.
“We know there are thousands of young adults with sickle cell in New York who are not under the care of a comprehensive sickle cell center, or any hematologist, for that matter,” Glassberg said.
“It’s really helpful to have a guy like Richard to help inspire the patients and give them someone to look up to.”

Trailblazer: The First Women To Be Cured Of Sickle Cell Disease

Chicagoan Ieshea Thomas is the first Midwest patient to receive a successful stem cell transplant to cure her sickle cell disease without chemotherapy in preparation for the transplant.

University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System physicians performed the procedure using medication to suppress her immune system and one small dose of total body radiation right before the transplant.

The transplant technique is relatively uncommon and is a much more tolerable treatment for patients with aggressive sickle cell disease who often have underlying organ disease and other complications, says Dr. Damiano Rondelli, professor of medicine at UIC, who performed Thomas’s transplant.

The procedure initially allows a patient’s own bone marrow to coexist with that of the donor. Since the patient’s bone marrow is not completely destroyed by chemotherapy or radiation prior to transplant, part of the immune defense survives, lessening the risk of infection. The goal is for the transplanted stem cells to gradually take over the bone marrow’s role to produce red blood cells — normal, healthy ones.

Thomas, 33, had her first sickle cell crisis when she was just 8 months old. Her disease became progressively worse as an adult, particularly after the birth of her daughter. She has spent most of her adult life in and out of hospitals with severe pain and has relied on repeated red blood cell transfusions. Her sickle cell disease also caused bone damage requiring two hip replacements.

“I just want to be at home with my daughter every day and every night,” said Thomas, who depends on family to help care for her daughter during her frequent hospitalizations.

This type of stem cell transplant is only possible for patients who have a healthy sibling who is a compatible donor.

Thomas’ sister was a match and agreed to donate blood stem cells through a process called leukapheresis. Several days prior to leukapheresis, Thomas’ sister was given drugs to increase the number of stem cells released into the bloodstream. Her blood was then processed through a machine that collects white cells, including stem cells. The stem cells were frozen until the transplant.

Last Nov. 23, four bags of frozen stem cells were delivered to the hospital’s blood and marrow transplant unit. One by one, the bags were thawed and hung on an IV pole for infusion into Thomas. The procedure took approximately one hour. Her 13-year-old daughter, Miayatha, was at her bedside.

Six months after the transplant, Thomas is cured of sickle cell disease and no longer requires blood transfusions.

“The donor cells have taken over completely, and blood tests show no sickle cell disease,” said Rondelli, director of the blood and marrow transplant program at UI Hospital. Thomas continues to take medication to prevent rejection of the donor stem cells.

About 25 adults have received a similar chemotherapy-free stem cell transplant for sickle cell disease in recent years at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Approximately 85 percent have been cured.

“Sickle cell disease is devastating — both emotionally and physically,” said Dr. Dennis Levinson, a private rheumatologist in Chicago and clinical associate professor of medicine at UIC, who has taken care of Thomas for the past 16 years. “I’ve been terribly frustrated with Ieshea’s disease over the years, and I’ve cared for many other sickle cell patients who have died.”

Levinson says the stem cell transplant provides new hope for patients who often live day-to-day on painkillers and who are often misunderstood by clinicians. As the former chief of medicine at the now closed Michael Reese Hospital, he said he has cared for many patients with sickle cell anemia and was determined to seek out the best treatment option for Thomas.

Sickle cell disease primarily affects people of African descent. It is an inherited defect of the red blood cells that causes them to be shaped like a crescent, or sickle. These abnormal cells deliver less oxygen to the body’s tissues and can result in severe pain, stroke and organ damage.

Approximately one in every 500 African Americans born in the U.S. has sickle cell disease. The disease affects 80,000 Americans of different ethnic backgrounds.


11 Fat Burning Foods to Keep in Your Kitchen

1. Nuts and Nut Butters

Nuts are excellent sources of MUFAs and other good fats, and pack a little protein, too. A small handful can make a great snack, and nut butter can make a great dip for veggies and fruit. Try making your own nut butters, use nuts to make healthy chocolate pudding, or put it in a smoothie for an extra fat-burning punch! Some of our favorites include: Thrive Market Creamy Organic Almond Butter or Justin’s Hazelnut Butter.

2. Avocado

avocado smoothie

These fruits are MUFA and Omega-3 powerhouses! Try homemade guacamole for a quick snack, or use it to make salad dressings, burgers, soups, and more!

3. Eggs

fat burning eggs

Eggs have the perfect balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. What’s even better, is they cook in minutes and are perfect for adding in a big serving or two of your favourite veggies! Try this avocado egg salad or this fat-burning breakfast.

4. Grapefruit

fat burning grapefruit

Studies show that eating half a grapefruit before your breakfast can help you lose weight faster. While the mechanism is still unknown the proof is evident. Try it as a juice or in this metabolism-boosting ceviche and make sure to check with your doctor first if you are on any medications (9, 10)

5. Canned Salmon

tuna cups healthy snacks

It’s fast, packed with Omega-3s and MUFAs, and can be used in place of mercury-containing tuna in pretty much everything. Always look for organic, wild-caught salmon. Follow those same rules if you are buying Tuna, and be sure to buy skipjack for the lowest levels of mercury. (12)Try these cucumber cups for a quick snack or even just toss it on top of a salad and go!

6. Frozen Fruit

fat burning frozen yogurt

Convenience at it’s best — frozen fruit can be a cool, refreshing snack on a hot summer day, tossed into smoothies, or even used to make healthy, homemade frozen yogurt. YUM.

7. Chia Seeds

fat burning chia seeds

These little seeds (and other super seeds) are fat-burning miracle workers! They’re full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats to boost your metabolism and keep you going all day long. Sprinkle them on yogurt, smoothies, salads, and soups, grind them up to thicken sauces, or try this chia seed pudding for an easy mid-week breakfast.

8. Frozen Vegetables

fat burning frozen vegetables

Frozen vegetables are a great substitute for fresh veggies when you’re on a time crunch, and often flash frozen veggies actually have a higher nutrient level then some produce that has been sitting on a shelf for too long (11). Stop skimping on your veggie intake and scramble them with eggs, toss them in a stir-fry, or blend them in a smoothie. Be sure to choose organic or freeze your own.

9. Ginger

fat burning ginger

This super spice helps fight disease and unwanted weight gain! Try this lemon-ginger-avocado smoothie, or other fat-blasting spices to include are cinnamon, garlic, black pepper,cayenne pepper, turmeric, and parsley.

10. Greek Yogurt

fat burning greek yogurt

Full of protein and healthy fats to keep you full for a long time, plain greek yogurt is easy to add in as a snack or simple breakfast. Have it plain topped with frozen fruit, use in place of mayo or sour cream, and try this 5-minute healthy cheesecake,

11. Cauliflower

That’s right! This vegetable is so incredibly versatile, it makes eating healthy easy and fast. Try it as a substitute for mashed potatoes, rice, or pizza crust for quick mid-week meals.

Losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated! Prepare as much as you can, and keep these ingredients in your kitchen at all times to burn fat with every bite.