India: Separated twin ‘opens eyes’ four days after surgery

Conjoined twin boy after surgery

One of twin Indian boys who were conjoined at the head has opened his eyes four days after historic surgery to separate them, a doctor says.

Two-year-old Jaga has also responded to simple commands, including moving his limbs. He is on a ventilator and needs daily dialysis due to kidney problems.

His brother, Kalia, is not yet conscious and has suffered seizures.

The boys were born with shared blood vessels and brain tissues and it took 16 hours of surgery to separate them.

A team of 30 doctors carried out the operation – the first of its kind in India – at a state-run hospital in the capital, Delhi.

Both boys are stable and doctors are satisfied with their progress so far, Professor Deepak Gupta, who was involved in the operation, told the BBC.

  • Living a conjoined life
Conjoined twin after surgery
Image captionDoctors say they are happy with the twins’ progress
Conjoined twins at Delhi hospital
Image captionThe twins before the surgery to separate them

The twins, who are from a village in eastern Orissa state, were joined at the head – a condition known as craniopagus.

Even before the operation they had defeated the odds – craniopagus occurs in one in three million births, and 50% of those affected die within 24 hours, doctors say.

The first surgery was performed on 28 August when the doctors created a bypass to separate the shared veins that return blood to the heart from the brain.

Paralysed woman’s life-sustaining treatment ‘can end’, judge rules

hands holding

A paralysed elderly woman whose care became the focus of a family dispute can have her life-sustaining treatment discontinued, a judge has ruled.

The 72-year-old was left “minimally conscious” after suffering an aneurysm following a fall in 2016.

Doctors wanted artificial feeding to continue but relatives were divided.

A judge concluded the woman would have viewed her “present high level of dependency and minimal awareness” to be a “travesty of life”.

The matter came before a Court of Protection hearing, sitting in Preston, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions are considered.

The woman’s sisters wanted her feeding to carry on in the hope that her condition would improve, but her daughters and partner disagreed.

Mr Justice Hayden concluded that the woman, who is being cared for at a unit in the north of England, would have found her “present circumstances” to be “not only intolerable but humiliating”.

The court previously heard the woman, identified as Mrs P, had sent an email to one of her daughters nearly four years before her fall, in which she wrote about her fear of being left in such a condition.

‘Wishes and feelings’

The judge said evidence from family members had permitted the woman’s “voice to be heard” at the hearing.

He said her “incapacitous state” did not mean that her wishes could be “disregarded”.

Staff at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust had asked for a ruling on whether the treatment should continue.

Following the publication of the judge’s ruling on Monday, a lawyer representing one of the daughters said there were no winners or losers.

Mathieu Culverhouse, of law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “The judge has decided that withdrawing the life-sustaining treatment is in my client’s mother’s best interests given her current quality of life and her previously expressed wishes and feelings.”

“While the court has dealt with the case very sensitively, my client and her sister have found it distressing and painful to have to go to court to fight for their mother’s wishes to be respected, and they hope that in future a different way can be found to resolve cases such as this, so that other families do not have to go through the same ordeal.”

More young adults live with their parents today than 10 years ago

More young adult Americans live at home today compared to 10 years ago.

In 2005, a majority of young adults – those aged 18 to 34 – lived either alone, with a spouse, or with an unmarried partner, according to 2017 report from the Census Bureau . Independence from one’s parents was the majority living arrangement in 35 states.

Fast forward to 2015: Only six states had a majority of young adults living away from home.

Some point a finger at “lazy millennials,” but that characterization misses some of the big socio-economic changes that have occurred over the last several decades.

“Within the last 10 years, the breadth and speed of change in living arrangements have been tremendous,” Jonathan Vespa, a demographer in the Fertility and Family Statistics Branch of the US Census Bureau, wrote in the report . “If one theme describes how adulthood has changed over the last 40 years, it is growing complexity.”

While in the 1970s, people largely got married and started families in their 20s, today, young Americans tend to believe they should finish school, be gainfully employed, and have some sort of financial security before getting hitched.

More young people pursue higher education – instead of getting a job right out of high school – and young women have made strides in financial security. Young men, on the other hand, are more likely to be out of the workforce or in lower paying jobs nowadays, in part because of changes in the US manufacturing sector . Those living at home, consequently, are more likely to be young men, according to the Census.

Young people’s economic fortunes have also changed. In 1970, 92% of American 30-year olds earned more than their parents did at a similar age. In 2014, only 51% did, according to a study by a team of economists and sociologists from Stanford, Harvard, and the University of California.

“Taken together, the changing demographic and economic experiences of young adults reveal a period of adulthood that has grown more complex since 1975, a period of changing roles and new transitions as young people redefine what it means to become adults,” Vespa said.

We illustrated the changing percentage of adults aged 18-34 who lived in their parents’ home in 2005 compared to 2015, using Census data. First up, 2005:

millennials living with parents 2005

And here’s 2015. As you can see, in most states, the percentage of young adults living with their parents has increased.

millennials living with parents 2015

One notable exception is North Dakota. This can likely be connected to its recent oil boom.

The Census also examined the differing economic characteristics of young people who lived on their own compared to young people who still lived at home.

More than half of the 28 million younger millennials, aged 18 to 24, lived in their parents’ homes in 2015. But that group is more likely to be enrolled in school, as opposed to working full-time, than those in other living arrangements. In other words, part of the reason why there are many younger millennials living at home is because they are pursuing further education.

Of the older millennials – aged 25 to 34 – who tended to live in their own households, 41% had at least a bachelor’s degree, and about two-thirds had a full-time, year-round job. Millennials who live alone also tended to have higher incomes.

The report doesn’t talk about this explicitly, but several decades ago young Americans could get a decent job with a decent wage with just a high school diploma. Today, those with a only high school diploma earn about half of what their college-educated counterparts make, on average. So, it makes sense that, in the past, young adults left home without going to college, expecting to make a decent living, while today that option is much rarer.

Older millennials who lived with parents or roommates were less likely to have a degree or a full-time job. About one-quarter of older millennials who live with their parents are “idle,” which the Census defines as people who are neither working nor in school. As for who makes up that group, the report says:

“They tend to be older millennials who are White or Black and have only a high school education, compared with their peers who are working or going to school while living at home. But they may not be idle for want of effort. They are more likely to have a child, so they may be caring for family, and over one-quarter have a disability of some kind. That so many are disabled suggests that they have limitations in their ability to attend classes, study, find work, or keep a regular job. Recent stories on boomerang children returning home focus on economic downturns, unforgiving job markets, and high rents. Though often overlooked in these stories, young people’s health may play an important role in their decision to live with parents.”

In short, more young people today are living at home than in the past, and that trends reflects a wide range of socio-economic changes that have occurred in recent decades.

Fourteenth time the charm? Mother of 13 sons expecting another child

A mom of 13 boys is expecting her 14th child — and as much as she and her husband would love some pink around the house, they say they aren’t too worried about gender.

Kateri and Jay Schwandt’s baby is due in April but the couple has decided to keep the baby’s sex a surprise, just like they did the last few deliveries.

FILE--In this May 6, 2015 file photo, Kateri and Jay Schwandt stand outside their Rockford, Mich. home. The couple, who have 13 boys, are expecting their 14th child, due in April of 2018. They've decided not to know until the baby is born whether it's a boy or girl. (Chris Clark/The Grand Rapids Press via AP, File)

A Michigan couple with 13 sons is expecting another child and they won’t know the sex until the baby is born.  (AP)

Kateri, 42, became a mom for the first time 25 years ago. Her youngest is now 2 years old.

“The thought of a girl, you know, just changes everything, so, you know I’m comfortable with a boy, but whatever we’re given,” Kateri told Fox & Friends.

The chances of having 13 sons is 1 in a whopping 8,192, but the chances of having a 14th son is even more staggering, at 1 in 16,384, according to data gathered by Wolframalpha.

The parents said during the interview that they have no interest in looking at a sonogram to try to figure out the sex of the baby beforehand. “That’d be like opening your Christmas gifts on Thanksgiving,” Jay explained.

The Schwandts added that they really liked the buildup and the anticipation of the younger boys’ births.

When asked how they manage to parent 13 children, Kateri said, “Patience, prayer and time management.”

Earlier in the week, Jay told WOOD-TV that the 14th child would most likely be their last, “It just feels like this is going to be it, and we’re going to enjoy every second of it.”

But Kateri said she and her husband thought their 13th baby would be their last. Growing up in a large family is normal for the mother-of-13, since Kateri is one of 14 children herself.

“If you have three, it’s the same as having 10 at this point, if you ask me,” she said. “It’s just more chaos, more noise. It’s nothing we’re not used to at this point.”

The couple have 10 living under their roof now, two have been to college and two are presently in college.