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Doctors use 3D printer to save baby's life

At Children's Hospital of Atlanta, a baby boy is breathing a lot easier, thanks to a life-saving procedure involving a 3D printing machine.

Eight-month-old Amir is sleeping peacefully and breathing easy now, something he couldn't do when he was born.

"He was just a baby that, he would always cry," said his mom, Linda Long. "So we knew something was wrong with him, but we didn't know exactly what was wrong with him."

What Linda and Quantavious didn't know is that their son was born with flimsy airways and two holes in his heart. One day, at just 2 months old, Amir stopped breathing.

"That's my baby," said Long. "Don't know what to do but, I wanted to help him but I couldn't."

>> Read more trending news 

Amir was rushed to Children's Hospital of Atlanta, to a team that knew they needed to work fast.

"The child at the time was about as sick as you possibly can be," said Dr. Kevin Maher, a pediatric cardiologist. "He was on a ventilator, sedated, medication to keep him paralyzed." 

Maher, a team of doctors, technicians and even engineers from Georgia Tech got involved, and came up with a big plan to help their tiny patient. They used a 3D printer to make small custom splints to repair his airways.

"They were able to use sutures to pull the airway open and then attach it to this custom made splint to hold the airway open," Maher said.

Then, they patched the holes in his heart. 

"The difference from the morning to the night was one of the most dramatic things I've seen in medicine," Maher said.

Doctors had to get rush FDA approval, as it was the first time this type of technology and surgery have ever been used in Georgia.

"It was really one of the more stunning things I've seen in my career," Maher said, "to take a child that was that sick and to really provide a treatment that otherwise did not exist."

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

A treatment that has mom and dad looking forward to Amir's future.

"Hopefully we can get him home and eating and just like a regular baby," said Long. 

Doctors say Amir's prognosis looks good. The splints will stay in until the airways are strong enough to stay open on their own. Even though they had to get rush FDA approval for this surgery, Maher hopes one day it will be widely available.

Parents feel pressured when making child safety choices, study says 

More than 90 percent of parents are overwhelmed when researching child safety products, a study released this week asserts.

>> Read more trending news 

The study -- “Shifting Gears: How Becoming A Parent Changes Driving Forever” -- conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Volvo Car USA and coinciding with Child Passenger Safety Week, said that 66 percent of parents are more stressed than last year, when that number was 57. Fifty-seven percent of parents are also more distracted than they were five years ago, up 12 percent from 2017, the study found.

The study also found that 92 percent of parents found it overwhelming to research child safety products, and that rises to 97 percent for first-time parents.

The results come from a survey that was conducted online in the United States by Harris from July 11-17, 2018. There were 1,083 parents age 18 and older who were polled, and these people had children under 18 living in their household.

Other results from the study:

  • Nearly 84 percent of parents surveyed believed that people are more judgmental about the way they care for their children, as opposed to 10 years ago.

  • The top concern regarding child safety involved the car seat. According to the study, 71 percent of parents found the number of models overwhelming, and 58 percent found research frustrating.

  • Buyer’s remorse is sometimes an issue, the study found. Once a car seat was bought, 32 percent wish they had bought a different model. That percentage increases to 41 percent among new parents and to 47 percent among millennial parents.

47 dogs died after PetSmart grooming, investigation says

An investigation from NJ.com has found that nearly 50 dogs have died after visiting PetSmart for grooming.

According to a report from Sophie Nieto-Muñoz and Alex Napoliello, families have claimed that their dogs have died during or soon after a grooming at the retail chain. The investigation found 47 documented incidents of pet deaths across 14 states since 2008.

>> Read more trending news 

The NJ.com investigation found that 32 cases happened after the start of 2015, adding that 20 of the 47 documented deaths are English bulldogs and similar breeds with short noses and smushed faces.

In 2017, PetSmart announced new standards at grooming salons, including an express service solely for English bulldogs, French bulldogs, pugs, boxers Boston terriers and animals mixed with those breeds to minimize risk. The company also said cameras would be installed in all grooming salons and emphasized that pet stylists must be trained for a year.

Related: Two dog owners say their pets died at same PetSmart after grooming appointments

“Some former employees allege PetSmart’s groomer training — which the company touts as the industry’s very best — can fall short of what’s advertised,” the investigation said. “They say they have seen unprepared trainees rushed into stores because of short-staffing, putting dogs at greater risk of injury.

“Increasingly, the company is pressuring groomers to meet sales quotas, the employees said, and many felt either ignored or retaliated against when they spoke up about safety concerns or wrongdoing by colleagues.”

The report added that many owners whose pets died were offered out-of-court payments. In accepting the payment, some had to sign nondisclosure agreements. Those agreements, the investigation said, required them to delete negative comments and social media posts.

Related: Dog owners sue PetSmart after dachshund dies

The report said that individual groomers are not required by any state to be certified, meaning training and safety are not standardized. Owners get little money, should they go to court, because pets are considered property, and causes of death are hard to prove.

PetSmart said it has considered reasons that may be out of the groomer’s control -- such as unknown medical conditions, old age or natural causes -- for the deaths of some animals.

Related: Dog dies during grooming at NJ PetSmart; pet's owner wants answers

“As a company of pet lovers who are dedicated to the health and happiness of all pets, we empathize with these grieving families. Nevertheless, we are not aware of any evidence suggesting that PetSmart services caused the deaths of these pets,” the company said in statement issued Thursday in response to the NJ.com report. 

“In the case of this story, there are 14 names provided for which we have no record of a groom or incident occurring. For the remaining incidents, many of the dogs were advanced in age, overweight or are suspected to have suffered from pre-existing medical conditions. Finally, one specific case involves a pet parent who has repeatedly hidden veterinary records and necropsy reports from PetSmart and the public, but we expect the truth will be revealed through the ongoing litigation process.

“PetSmart works every day to be the trusted partner to pet parents. If an accident or policy violation occurs while a pet is in our care, we take immediate action and full responsibility. We maintain the highest standards in the industry, but by no means are we perfect. That’s why we’re always exploring enhancements to those standards. Our stylists complete at least 800 hours of hands-on instruction and safety certification, working with at least 200 dogs of all breeds and size.”

On Sunday, the company hosted an open house event across the country, inviting pet owners to tour salons and meet groomers.

The full investigation can be read at NJ.com Projects & investigations.

Holy Guacamole! 200-pound turtle to be released after treatment at Florida zoo

Florida's Brevard Zoo will release a 200-pound sea turtle named “Guacamole” into the ocean Monday.

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

The green sea turtle was found in February at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach. Guacamole had several cuts and was missing most of one of her flippers.

She was treated at the Brevard Zoo for seven months.

>> Read more trending news 

The zoo’s website said Guacamole is the first adult green sea turtle zoo employees have released.

Visitors can attend the release at 3 p.m. at Lori Wilson Park. Zoo officials said attendees are encouraged to wear green to show their support.

Fire department surprises 3-year-old with birthday party after guests cancel at last minute

The Harrisburg Fire Department in North Carolina surprised a 3-year-old with a birthday party after several of his classmates canceled Sunday. 

>> Watch the news report here

Melissa Reid said she received several text messages the morning of her son's birthday party from parents, letting her know her son's classmates couldn't make it. 

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

"Around 7 in the morning, I started getting text messages that children are sick, that they weren't going to be able to go,” she said. “Out of the eight families we invited, we had seven that canceled.” 

Reid said she didn’t know what to do. She wanted her son to have a special birthday bash.

So she called the Harrisburg Fire Department, which is about a mile away from her house, and asked for a quick tour to entertain her son, Jackson, who loves fire trucks.

"I said, ‘Would you mind just a couple minutes, just pop in,'” Reid said. “I told them what happened with his birthday party."

Harrisburg Fire Capt. Joe Yowler said he called all three crews to surprise the family.

He said he quickly grabbed birthday balloons and cupcakes and waited, along with other firefighters, for Jackson's arrival.

>> Read more trending news 

"As a parent, I was thinking about how devastating it was on both sides,” Yowler said. “Like, a 3-year-old is thinking all week about it being their birthday and having this big party and then not having it. So how could we make this better for the parent and the kid, and I think it worked out pretty well."

Reid said she's thankful the firefighters went out of their way to show Jackson love.

"There's just no words for how much I appreciate them making my son’s day as special as they did. This is definitely the best party he's ever had."

Yowler said his team is thankful they got the opportunity to make Jackson's third birthday a memorable one.

"It was definitely emotional for her and uplifting for all of us just to see the appreciation,” Yowler said. “That they appreciated it and he had a heck of a time going through the ladder trucks and the engines and just climbing all over."

Which personality type are you? New study reveals 4 core groupings

You may be familiar with Myers-Briggs’ 16 different personality types, but new research published this week in the journal Nature Human Behavior shows there are four distinct personality clusters most individuals around the globe adhere to best.

>> On AJC.com: Hate those job personality tests? Here's how to hack them

Psychologists and engineers at Northwestern University in Illinois sought to “develop an alternative approach to the identification of personality types” from the existing methods, many of which have led to inconclusive results. 

Their research included 1.5 million participants around the globe who answered 44 to 300-question surveys over a span of several decades.

>> On AJC.com: 7 ways introverts can succeed on their strengths in the workplace

Using participant responses and computer-generated algorithms, the researchers grouped together buckets of people with matching Big Five OCEAN traits: extroversion, neuroticism, openness, conscientiousness and agreeableness — traits first endorsed and then widely accepted by the scientific community in the 1990s.

Here’s how the scientists defined each trait:
  • Neuroticism: The tendency to frequently experience negative emotions such as anger, worry and sadness, as well as being interpersonally sensitive. 
  • Extraversion: The tendency to be talkative, sociable and enjoy others; the tendency to have a dominant style.
  • Openness: The tendency to appreciate new art, ideas, values, feelings and behaviors.
  • Agreeableness: The tendency to agree and go along with others, rather than assert one's own opinions and choices.
  • Conscientiousness: The tendency to be careful, on time for appointments, to follow rules and to be hard working.

>> On AJC.com: 7 struggles every extrovert understands

At first, the researchers noticed 16 personality clusters overall, but after additional constraints, they narrowed them down to four: average, reserved, role model and self-centered.

The results suggested an individual’s personality type could also shift as they aged. For example, older people tend to lose the neuroticism and gain conscientiousness and agreeableness.

Things to know about each personality type

Average

  • High scores in neuroticism and extraversion
  • Low scores on openness
  • Most common personality type

Reserved

  • Have some of the least socially desirable traits
  • Typically score low when it comes to openness and neuroticism
  • Only cluster with little dependence on age and gender
  • Typically extroverted, but agreeable

Role model

  • Tend to be among the most stable
  • Good leaders, dependable and open to new ideas
  • Have high scores in all traits but neuroticism 
  • Strongly overrepresented group: Age 40 and older
  • Slightly underrepresented group: Age 21 and younger

Self-centered

  • Have some of the least socially desirable traits
  • Typically score low when it comes to openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness
  • Score high in extraversion
  • Strongly overrepresented group: Young males
  • Underrepresented: Women age 15 and up

You can take this online quiz to contribute to the research.

Don’t feel like you fit into one single cluster? No big deal. All the researchers are suggesting is “you can group more people in these four clusters than you’d expect by chance,” study co-author William Revelle wrote in a university article.

>> On AJC.com: Character traits you wouldn't believe give you an edge in your career

Study limitations

While the data is robust, researchers note their samples are not representative of the population. The research also doesn’t conclusively answer the minimum number of items needed to reliably assess personality types.

Still, the data, researchers said, showed there are certainly higher densities of certain personality types.

>> Read more trending news 

“People have tried to classify personality types since Hippocrates’s time, but previous scientific literature has found that to be nonsense,” Revelle said. “The data came back, and they kept coming up with the same four clusters at higher densities than you'd expect by chance, and you can show by replication that this is statistically unlikely. The methodology is the main part of the paper's contribution to science.”

Researchers hope their findings can benefit mental health professionals, hiring managers or even folks looking for a partner in life.

Read the full study at nature.com.

Nordstrom's taped-up, $530 'distressed' shoes sell out

Update 11:11 a.m. EDT Sept. 23:  They looked like trash, but they sold like gold.Nordstrom's "Golden Goose Superstar Taped Sneaker" has sold out, according to the department store's website. The shoes sold for $530 online and were manufactured to look worn out and scuffed with duct tape across the wearer's toes.

Original report: If you're looking to buy a pair of trashed sneakers with duct tape across the toe, Seattle-based Nordstrom has you covered. 

For $530, Nordstrom is selling the Superstar Taped Sneaker made by Golden Goose. 

>> See the shoes here

"Crumply, hold-it-all-together tape details a distressed leather sneaker in a retro low profile with a signature sidewall star and a grungy rubber cupsole," a description for the shoe reads

>> Read more trending news 

Not “distressed” enough for you? Nordstrom shoppers also can buy the Maison Margiela Fusion Sneaker for $1,645.

"With style pieced together from an array of options, this eye-catching Italian sneaker offers an edgy twist on a classic look,” the description reads.

>> See the shoe here

Customers with questions are asked to chat with Nordstrom representatives here or call 1-877-543-7463.

Click here for more information on shipping and returns. 

Hurricane Safety: 6 scary, infectious illnesses you can catch from floodwater

Hurricanes can leave behind tons of damage, including flooding. But did you know that treading through the wrong kind of water can cause illnesses or even death?

Floodwaters and standing water are often contaminated, posing several risks, such as infectious diseases, chemical hazards and injuries.

Here are six sicknesses you should beware of in the aftermath:

Diarrheal diseases

Drinking or eating anything that has come in contact with floodwaters can lead to cryptosporidiosis, E. coli or giardiasis. While cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis are brought on by parasites, E. coli is caused by bacteria.

Symptoms from each include diarrhea, gas, nausea and vomiting. Cryptosporidiosis, however, can even be fatal for those with weakened immune systems, such as AIDS or cancer. 

Wound infections

Open wounds and rashes that are exposed to floodwater can cause tetanus or Vibrio vulnificus. Tetanus is a bacterial infection, and it can enter the body through breaks in the skin like a cut.

>> 10 tips to stay safe when returning home after a natural disaster

Vibrio vulnificus, another bacteria, can be contracted the same way. Many people become infected by consuming undercooked shellfish or exposing an injury to brackish or salt water.

Other illnesses 

People affected by flooded areas can also get trench foot. It occurs when your feet are wet for long periods of time. It can cause pain, swelling and numbness.

>> Read more trending news 

You should also be aware of chemical hazards from materials that may have spilled into the water. And be cautious of electrical hazards, since there are puddles that may be electrified due to fallen power lines.

Curious about other diseases you can catch? Take a look at the full list at CDC’s official website

Orlando Melbourne International Airport reopens after security breach; man arrested

Florida’s Orlando Melbourne International Airport has reopened after an early morning security breach Thursday morning, and a 22-year-old college student is now in police custody, authorities said.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 1:25 p.m. EDT Sept. 20: Airport officials said the suspect was a 22-year-old part-time college student from Trinidad and Tobago who had a pilot’s license. Authorities had earlier said the suspect was 26.

The man parked his car outside the terminal and left it running, police said. He then ran through the grass and jumped the barbed-wired fence to gain access, officials said.

"This is a first for me. I fly out of here two to three times a year. This is an odd incident," traveler Lenny Rife said.

An airport employee saw the man enter the Airbus 321, and called airport police, who then called the Melbourne Police Department, MIA representative Lori Booker said.

The man was confronted by two airport maintenance workers inside the cockpit, but he managed to get away. The man was later tackled by the workers and held on the ground near the maintenance hangar until police arrived, officials said.

Florida Institute of Technology released this statement: “Florida Institute of Technology has monitored this morning’s incident at Orlando Melbourne International Airport. The university has confirmed that the suspect from Trinidad & Tobago is a part-time Florida Tech student studying aviation management who had completed some flight training in the past. It would be inappropriate for the university to release the suspect’s name, and law enforcement is continuing its investigation. University officials will collaborate with authorities to further review this matter. No additional information is available at this time.”

Update 7:59 a.m. EDT Sept. 20: Airport officials said a college student with a pilot’s license breached airport security and boarded a full-size passenger jet that was undergoing maintenance.

The student jumped the fence to gain access, officials said. An airport employee saw the man enter the Airbus 321, and called airport police, MIA representative Lori Booker said.

Airport police apprehended the man and called Melbourne police.

>> On WFTV.com: Check your flight status

"Melbourne Police Department responded within two minutes, " Booker said.

The student's car, which was parked outside the terminal, was towed after a robotic device searched it, Booker said. 

The FBI and the Terrorist Task Force also assisted in the investigation. 

The man, whose name has not been released, was born in Trinidad and entered the U.S. through Canada, Booker said. 

Booker also said the man had a Florida driver's license.

Update 7:08 a.m. EDT Sept. 20: The airport has reopened, Melbourne police tweeted just before 7 a.m. EDT Thursday. Travelers should check with their air carriers to see whether their flight was delayed, police said.

Original report: Florida’s Orlando Melbourne International Airport is closed due to police activity, officials said Thursday morning.

>> Read more trending news 

All flights have been suspended, officials said.

Police are asking people to avoid the area.

The airport will be closed until further notice, police said.

Melbourne officials said that a college student with a pilot’s license breached airport security and boarded a full-size passenger jet that was undergoing maintenance.

The student jumped the fence to gain access, officials said.

The student was apprehended by airport police.

The airport is being secured, and the student’s car that is parked outside the terminal is being investigated. 

The student’s name has not been released.

 – Visit WFTV.com for the latest on this developing story.

National Public Lands Day 2018: Get free admission to national parks Saturday

Want to experience the great outdoors this weekend? You're in luck: Hundreds of parks across the country are offering free admission Saturday, Sept. 22, for National Public Lands Day.

According to the National Park Service, the event, held each year on September's fourth Saturday, "celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation and general health." The event is marking its 25th anniversary this year.

>> See a list of participating parks here

Although participating parks will waive admission fees Saturday, they may still charge for concessions, camping, tours or other services, KGUN reported.

Several parks also will be holding volunteer projects. If you'd like to participate, "you will receive a fee-free day coupon to be used on a future date," the National Park Service said.

>> Read more trending news 

Park-goers are encouraged to share photos on social media with the hashtags #NPLD, #FindYourPark and #NPSVolunteer.

Read more here or here.

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