Health

Glow-in-the-dark brain helps UM doctors find tumors

For Miami Herald.

Last year, Shawn Monti and his wife, Kathy, drove two hours from their home in Port St. Lucie to the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in complete silence.

Shawn, 46, father of five, had just been diagnosed with glioblastoma, a fast-growing brain tumor. Doctors told him he had six months to live.

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Health

Weight-loss surgery can help obese people get back on track with their diabetes

For Miami Herald.

Linda Fairchild, 62, tried many diets — Atkins, Weight Watchers, liquid shakes —but she couldn’t lose a single pound.

Diagnosed with pancreatitis in 2001 and showing symptoms of both Type 1 and 2 diabetes in 2003, Fairchild found herself taking an increasing amount of insulin every year, while gaining more weight than her 5-foot-3 body could handle.

At one point, she was taking two types of insulin into her body every day, Lantus for 120 units and NovoLog for 25 units, four times a day.

“It just kind of snowballed,” said Fairchild, who weighed 160 pounds when she was diagnosed with diabetes and gained about 63 pounds.

“You get to a point where you get so disgusted when you try to do physical activity. You’re so heavy that your body can’t do it.”

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Health

A day of smiles at Baptist for children who need their faces fixed

For Miami Herald.

When Romana Akhter was just a couple days old, she developed a hemangioma, a build-up of blood vessels in the skin. It quickly spread, leaving disfigurements on her face, particularly her right side.

Now 19 and in her first year of college at Miami Dade College, Akhter is on her way to a new look, thanks to Baptist Children’s Hospital’s 13th Annual Day of Smiles. Four surgeons, with the assistance of nurses, planned to perform corrective facial surgeries on six children Saturday at the hospital, which donates its facilities for the procedures.

“I never used to talk to anyone,” said Akhter, “I thought I would have to deal with this for the rest of my life.”

Because of her family’s financial strains, Akhter didn’t think her family could afford to pay for the corrective surgery. Saturday’s surgery is free.

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