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Mom shares heartbreaking photo after daughter dies from heroin overdose

The American opioid epidemic claimed another victim Monday

>> Watch the news report here

The mother of 22-year-old Elaina Towery shared a gut-wrenching photograph of her clutching her daughter just moments before she was taken off life support at a Detroit hospital.

>> See the photo here

Elaina reportedly died due to an overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl. She fell into a coma on Thursday.

Cheryl Towery, 49, told WJBK that her daughter had been battling addiction for seven years.

“She’s my only daughter, my best friend,” Cheryl said. “She was supposed to start her new job today; now she’s on life support.”

>> Doctor saves woman overdosing on flight

She told WJBK that her daughter and a friend had stopped at a Detroit Burger King last week. Elaina went inside to use the restroom. After about 20 to 25 minutes, her friend thought it was odd that she had not returned. Shortly afterward, a Burger King employee found Elaina unconscious on the bathroom floor.

Only moments earlier, Cheryl said, she had received a text message saying her daughter would be home soon.

“By 6 p.m., 6:30, 7, I finally got a message on Facebook,” Cheryl said.

>> How heroin changes our brains and more things to know about the drug

She said her daughter had gone into cardiac arrest.

Elaina had survived five previous overdoses and visits to five different treatment centers, Cheryl said.

“I wasn’t prepared for what I saw in the emergency room,” Cheryl said. “Because that’s the worst I’ve ever seen her.”

She said her daughter’s addiction began in 2010, when she started to abuse prescription drugs to deal with an abusive boyfriend. That boyfriend, who was convicted of domestic abuse and other crimes, is also the father of Elaina’s 5-year-old son, Christopher. She gave up her son due to her addiction, Cheryl said.

Cheryl believes Elaina giving up her baby contributed to her addiction problems. She was also working as a prostitute, Cheryl told WJBK.

“[She was] beat up, being pimped out, being kept in a hotel room on heroin,” Cheryl said.

>> Read more trending news

Cheryl said she made the decision remove Elaina from life support on Monday after it became clear that her daughter's vital organs were failing and that there was no brain activity.

“I’m going to fight for the rest of my life to make sure the people down here on the street selling this to people need to be locked up,” she said.

Read more here.

Report: Aetna in talks with Apple to provide Apple watches to millions of customers

A partnership between Apple and Aetna could bring Apple watches to the insurance company’s more than 20 million customers, according to a report. 

>> Read more trending news 

The two companies held private meetings Thursday and Friday in southern California to discuss options for such a move, CNBC reported, citing unnamed sources.Aetna already offers an Apple Watch to its 50,000 employees as part of its corporate wellness program and to individuals with Aetna plans under “select large employers.”

According to CNBC, Aetna is negotiating with Apple to try to provide a plan in which its 23 million members could receive an Apple watch for free or at a discounted price.

The perk would benefit both Aetna, which has increased efforts to get its members more health-conscious, and Apple, which has begun to promote health and fitness-tracking as a primary use for the Apple watch.

Apple, which reportedly surpassed Fitbit as the top-selling wearable fitness tracker, may have plans to develop its watch to better cater to wearers with chronic diseases, making the gadget even more desirable and multifunctioning, CNBC reported.

An unnamed source told CNBC that Aetna is pushing to have the plan developed by early next year.

Read more at CNBC.

Doctor saves woman overdosing on flight

A Boston cardiologist saved a passenger who passed out after a believed overdose 30,000 feet in the air.

>> Watch the news report here

Dr. Anil Punjabi was about to fall asleep on his flight from Boston to Minneapolis on Friday when he heard the Spirit Airlines attendant shouting for a doctor.

Other passengers alerted the crew when a woman a few rows back had been in the bathroom for a long time. When she got back, she was turning grey and slumped over, and passengers noticed she didn't have a pulse. Punjabi said he was working with an OBGYN nurse also on the flight to give her mouth-to-mouth CPR when they discovered a needle hidden in her bra.

"We were down on the ground within 25 minutes, but at that time she was completely unresponsive,” Punjabi said.

For those 25 minutes, the crew, Punjabi, the nurse and an EMT trainee all worked to keep the woman alive.

The situation is putting a spotlight on the gravity of the opioid epidemic in Boston.

It’s also raising serious concerns for Punjabi about whether action should be taken by airlines across the U.S. to prevent this from happening again. Punjabi and the crew kept the woman alive until the plane was on the ground 25 minutes later, but in other situations, that may not be possible, he said.

>> Read more trending news

"You need to talk to your union, you need to talk to Spirit, you need to talk to the company. I said the one thing you need to get in your med kit is Narcan,” Punjabi said.

Helen Tederous, the spokesperson for Buffalo Niagara International Airport, said a Boston flight bound for Minneapolis made an emergency landing in Buffalo on Friday night, and a woman was taken to the hospital for an overdose.

Needles are allowed on flights, but must be declared and screened through TSA. Click here for more information.

– WFXT has reached out to Spirit Airlines for comment on the incident and has not yet heard back.

After losing son, 'American Ninja Warrior' contestant and wife adopt sick baby from same hospital

A family is sharing their story of heartbreak and joy after losing one son and gaining another.

>> Watch the news report here

Katie and Josh Butler of Nashville, Tennessee, welcomed baby boy Dewey in May 2015. He was born with a rare genetic disorder and lived for only 100 days.

The couple told WLBT that it was a devastating time, but the experience of caring for Dewey perfectly prepared them to care for a baby they later adopted from the same hospital.

After Dewey’s death, a nurse told them about another baby at the hospital who had similar medical issues as Dewey, the “Today” show reports. The nurse said the baby’s family abandoned him.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Katie and Josh fostered and adopted the baby boy, Braxtel. He’s now 2 years old. He relies on a breathing tube to get enough oxygen and communicates with his parents through sign language.

“Caring for Brax has not in any way replaced our loss of Dewey,” Josh told “Today.” “Rather, Braxtel has given us a reason to keep fighting and to keep loving. It would be so easy to lose hope and to be depressed. Even though we tend toward selfishness, Braxtel helps us to remember that our lives are not about us first but putting others first.”

>> Read more trending news

Josh competed on “American Ninja Warrior," where people fell in love with the family’s story.

“Through sharing our story on 'ANW,' we want others to know that there is a purpose to your life, that God has a purpose for you, in the good and especially the bad,” Josh said.

Your kitchen sponge is filthier than your toilet, study says

The toilet bowl holds quite a bit of muck, but according to a recent report, there’s another item in your home that’s even filthier: your kitchen sponge.

Researchers in Germany conducted a study to determine the different types of bacteria found on a sponge. To do so, they sequenced the DNA of 28 samples of bacteria collected from 14 sponges. 

 >> Dirtier than the toilet? These 5 items are among the filthiest in your home

They found 118 genera of bacteria. That’s more than what’s found on toilets. 

"Despite common misconception, it was demonstrated that kitchen environments host more microbes than toilets. This was mainly due to the contribution of kitchen sponges, which were proven to represent the biggest reservoirs of active bacteria in the whole house," the study said.

>> On AJC.com: Toothbrushes can be more germ-ridden than a toilet seat

However, the scientists noted that most of the genera of bacteria discovered was not harmful. The pathogens that were found were most concerning, because those can cause infections among humans. 

>> On AJC.com: How well are you cleaning the 10 filthiest places in your kitchen?

"Kitchen sponges are likely to collect, incubate and spread bacteria from and back onto kitchen surfaces, from where they might eventually find their way into the human body," the study said. “Direct contact of a sponge with food and/or the human hands might transfer bacteria in and onto the human body, where they might cause infections, depending on their pathogenic potential.”

Although many boil or microwave sponges to rid of toxins, analysts found that the latter method only kills 60 percent of bacteria. Plus, the bacteria could increase after cleaning, because the microbes re-colonize. 

>> Read more trending news

To minimize the spread of germs, researchers suggests that people replace their sponges at least once a week.

Suicide rate for teen girls hits 40-year record high -- is social media to blame?

According to new data released Thursday by Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates among 15- to 19-year-old girls doubled between 2007 and 2015, reaching a 40-year high.

» RELATED: Michelle Carter guilty of involuntary manslaughter in boyfriend's suicide, accused of convincing him to commit suicide via text messages 

That means for every 100,000 American girls in 2015, 5 died by suicide.

Additionally, the suicide rate among teen boys in the same age group and year range rose by more than 30 percent.

>> Read more trending news

The analysis mirrors a rising national trend in suicide rates across all age groups, CDC suicide expert Thomas Simon told CNN.

» RELATED: Read the full CDC report

So, what’s going on?

Experts such as Simon and Carl Tishler, adjunct associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at the Ohio State University, said there are a lot of possible factors.

» RELATED: How to keep your kids safe on social media 

Some factors include substance abuse, relationship conflicts, lack of emotional support, the stigma associated with mental health, exposure to violence and economic instability.

Tishler specifically cited the rise of the opioid epidemic as a possible factor.

“Some of the opiate or heroin overdoses in adolescents may be interpreted by emergency departments as suicides. There may be more internet suicides,” Tishler told CNN.

» RELATED: The more social media you use, the lonelier you feel, study says

What about social media?

While some public health studies have shown negative effects of social media on young people’s mental health and well-being, Simon said social media isn’t always negative.

“Social media can help increase connections between people, and it's an opportunity to correct myths about suicide and to allow people to access prevention resources and materials,” he told CNN.

» RELATED: This social media platform is the worst for cyberbullying 

Still, he acknowledges that cyberbullying can greatly impact vulnerable youth.

Additionally, cyberbullying in social media may negatively influence teenage girls more than boys, according to Emory University School of Medicine professor Dorian Lamis.

» RELATED: Should kids be watching new Netflix series on teen suicide? 

“Some research has suggested that the timing of puberty in girls is a contributing factor for the increased suicide rate,” Lamis told CNN.

Lamis said the hormonal, mental and physical changes associated with puberty may leave teen girls “vulnerable to depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders earlier on in life.”

“The message for parents, teachers, coaches and religious leaders is to not be afraid to talk to a young person when they are concerned,” Simon said.

Read more from CNN.

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, or if you are concerned for someone else, here are some helpful resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24 hours)

Call 1-800-273-8255

Online chat

Suicide prevention resources for parents, guardians and families

Suicide prevention resources for teens

Suicide prevention resources for survivors of suicide loss

More resources and programs at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Feeling depressed? Hot yoga could help

If you want to help put an end to your depression, a new report from the American Psychological Association suggests giving hot yoga a try. 

>> Read more trending news

“Yoga has become increasingly popular in the West, and many new yoga practitioners cite stress-reduction and other mental health concerns as their primary reason for practicing,” Lindsey Hopkins, one of the analysts, said in a statement. “But the empirical research on yoga lags behind its popularity as a first-line approach to mental health.” 

That’s why the scientists from the APA conducted a study to determine how the practice could combat symptoms of depression including anxiety, stress, rumination and worry.

To do so, they led several different studies. In the first one, they rounded up 23 male veterans to participate in twice-weekly yoga classes for eight weeks. The subjects gave the exercise an average enjoyment ranking of 9.4 out of 10, and those with elevated depression scores had a significant decrease in depression symptoms.

» RELATED: Need to relieve stress? Try talking to yourself

For the second one, scientists gathered 52 women ages 25 to 45 and asked more than half of them to attend twice-weekly hot yoga classes for eight weeks. The others were placed on a wait list. At the end of the experiment, those who tried yoga saw a reduction in their depression symptoms compared to those in the control group. 

And in another, they examined 74 mildly depressed university students, giving them a 15-minute instructional video to follow at home for two months. They found that their symptoms had also subsided significantly.

Researchers noted that the practice isn’t a cure-all but should be a complimentary practice to traditional forms of therapy. 

“However,” Hopkins said, “based on empirical evidence, there seems to be a lot of potential.”

Mom warns of sunless heatstroke after toddler almost doesn't wake up from nap

A Canadian mother is warning other parents about the dangers of indoor heatstroke after her daughter endured a frightening ordeal.

Jennifer Abma of Edmonton, Alberta, told "Today" that she was keeping her daughters inside when a heatwave hit their town.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Dad shares photo of daughter’s foot to warn others about scary mistake

Her 3-year-old daughter, Anastasia, went upstairs to take a nap a few weeks ago after playing with her 1-year-old sister.

An hour and a half later, Jennifer went to check on the her and discovered the room was roasting hot. She panicked when she couldn’t wake Anastasia.

Jennifer shared a photo of the scary moment in an Instagram post that has since been deleted. In the photo, Anastasia’s skin is red and swollen.

“THIS is clear proof a child doesn’t need to be in the sun to get heatstroke,” Jennifer wrote.

>> Protect your kids from the heat

First responders quickly arrived and discovered Anastasia’s blood sugar was dangerously low and her body temperature was at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, according to "Today."

“They administered sucrose and in minutes she started crying, clearly scared,” Jennifer wrote.

The temperature inside the room was around 122 degrees.

>> Read more trending news

“Hopefully other parents can take something from this & make sure you are checking the rooms in your house because they can be as dangerous as a hot car,” Jennifer wrote.

She said she’s grateful for the first responders’ swift action to revive her daughter.

“We definitely had god on our side yesterday,” Jennifer wrote.

Kathy Griffin shaves head in support of sister's cancer fight

Kathy Griffin is back in the news with more pictures of a head — this time her own. The comedian shaved her head bald in support of her sister, Joyce, who is battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.

>> Kathy Griffin says she's no longer under investigation for photo of severed Trump head

For the past few months, Griffin has undergone criticism for photographs that depicted her holding a faux bloody, severed head that was supposed to be that of President Donald Trump. Those photos cost Griffin her New Year’s Eve gig with CNN.

>> Read more trending news

This new batch of photos should, at the least, grant her some praise. She showed off her stubby scalp in a couple of photos, one standing outdoors in front of some bushes, and another sitting next to her surprised mother Maggie Griffin.

>> See the photos here

Afterward, Griffin’s mom took to Twitter to commend her daughter for showing solidarity with her sister.

>> See the post here

This is not the first time the Griffin family has grappled with this disease. Griffin’s older brother, Gary, died in 2014 at 63 after more than two years battling stage IV esophageal cancer.

Transgender man gives birth to baby boy

A transgender Oregon man has given birth to a healthy baby boy.

According to CNN, Portland man Trystan Reese, 34, and his partner, 31-year-old Biff Chaplow, welcomed their first biological child, Leo Murray Chaplow, on July 14. The newborn joins the couple's two adopted children – Chaplow's niece and nephew.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Transgender man 8 months pregnant with son

"WE ARE HEADING HOME!!!" the couple wrote on Facebook. "Leo has received a clean bill of health (and so has Trystan) so we are happily heading back home to settle into our new life with our newest little addition."

>> See the post here

Reese, who was born biologically female, stopped taking male hormones while trying to conceive, KATU reported last month.

"We've been under medical supervision the entire time to make it as healthy and safe as possible," Reese told CNN in June.

Chaplow told KATU that Leo's birth was "a pure moment of bliss, like the happiest moment of my life," adding, "To see the very beginning of Leo, of his life, was just amazing.”

Read more here or here.

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