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Communication is one of the very first skills we learn in order to navigate the world. As infants, we are quick to begin communicating our needs and respond to those around us. However, babies who are born with hearing disorders and children who lose their sense of hearing face a very different communication landscape—one that now involves technology and strategies to help them to communicate with the wider world.
World-class artists are once again coming together for Sing for Siteman, a one-night-only performance to support cancer research for Siteman Cancer Center.
A wedding is one of the happiest days in people’s lives. But at a recent reception, tragedy struck. That's when Dr. Pedro Suarez sprang into action after a fellow guest’s pacemaker failed, causing her heart to stop beating. The local health professional’s medical skills and rapid response saved her life.
I have been a pet owner for many years—sometimes successfully; other times, not so much. I have had a towheaded 3-year-old come to me with a goldfish in his hand, and ask with utter sincerity why Gil doesn’t seem to like playing in the yard. I have had a guinea pig give birth not once, not twice, but three times on my watch. We had an albino gecko. Why, you ask? I wonder the same thing every day. I think it may have taken its own life, but the official cause of death is ‘accidental.’ Apparently, it accidentally stopped eating and drinking. I have had a puppy sit on my lap while I scratched her head and rubbed her back as she—unbeknownst to me—devoured a bird. But now, I fear my patience may have run its course. It appears our puppy—our adorable, precious, impossible-not-to-love puppy—has discovered a nest. Or a herd. Or a pack—of voles.
As the executive director of Nurses for Newborns, Melinda Ohlemiller sees the struggles families face first-hand. “The families that we serve are in need in ways many of us could not imagine,” she says, recalling a recent home visit where a 4-year-old sibling sat on her lap and asked if she had a pencil. “She was so grateful; she had nothing to write with. We take a pencil for granted, and we take diapers for granted.” But despite the lack of basic necessities, “we also see incredible resiliency,” Ohlemiller notes. “Some of these families are beaten down, but they stand up, pick themselves up and move on. We want to be part of the solution. That’s our mission, to support them.”
Dr. Patrick Yeung has a message for women: “Killer cramps are not normal.” Yet women who suffer from endometriosis may assume their pain is par for the course and fail to seek treatment. Yeung, a SLUCare Physician at SSM St. Mary’s Health Center, specializes in minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries, specifically endometriosis with laser excision, and notes that this is one disease that women don’t have to suffer in silence.
Well, we’re almost out of the woods. We made it through the January bilge and a February with nothing but Oscar re-releases that were worth seeing. Spring break is almost over, and the studios know that the time has come to start releasing some movies that people actually will pay to see. Here’s what we have (hopefully) to look forward to this spring:
Tommy Tackett and his daugther Meghan Tackett. Meghan is a very rare child. She is the ONLY child in the world with both Spina Bifida and HLH. Spina Bifida happens to 1 in 1000 births. HavenHouse provide the comfort of home and a community of support during Tackett family stay in St. Louis for Meghan's treatment.
When separation threatened a tight-knit pair of abused and neglected young siblings, a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) stepped in to give them a voice. “Their sibling bond was so strong that the CASA fought for them to stay together, and a family did end up adopting them together,” says Voices for Children CEO Jan Huneke, recalling her first experience leading the life-changing organization. “This had a huge impact on them as children and adults.”
Ethan Eric & Eva Diane Phillips
After living in Chicago for a few years, St. Louis natives Anne Pennick and John Smith returned home shortly before the birth of their son, Evan. Missing the urban, walkable lifestyle that Chicago offered, the couple moved to the Central West End in fall 2011. Anne, a faculty manager for Kaplan’s online classes, and husband John, an attorney with Callis, Papa, Hale & Szewczyk, appreciate the closeness of everything the CWE has to offer, as well as the diversity of their neighbors. We asked Anne to share more about the appeal of the Central West End.
Eight days after giving birth to her son, Cameron, in April 2011, Rachel D'Souza-Siebert’s heart was aglow with love. It also was about to break.
For those children who are in the custody of the state, the need to find them permanent, loving families is great, and local nonprofit organizations are working diligently to fulfill that need.
Dr. Jeffrey Marsh takes the Chinese proverb, Teach a man to fish… a step further. He believes in “teaching men to fish, so they can teach others to fish.”
St. Louis feels like home to Hungarian native Susan Polgar, the four-time Women’s World Chess Champion. “There is a nice metropolitan feel to St. Louis. There are more things to do, the people here are very nice, and the nearby hills and rivers remind me of home,” she says.
Most babies are born healthy, yet the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) estimates that one in 33 infants enters the world with some sort of birth defect. January is Birth Defects Prevention Month, and women are urged to take proactive steps to help ensure a healthy baby.
Some of life’s biggest moments—marriage, the birth of a child and retirement—are a time to celebrate. But local legal professionals say families should also remember that life-changing events mean changes in your life insurance coverage.
Ely Comerio Anderson was living in Baton Rouge, La., and visiting her parents in St. Louis when she met Edward Patrick 'Ted' Thurmond on a blind date. The two hit it off right away and ended up closing the restaurant down at 1:00 a.m. The two were engaged at the Saint Louis Club after what Ely jokingly describes as “a series of deceptions.”
Celebrating? ‘Tis the season. Let’s open some wine and lift the spirits! But remember, there are so many other reasons to celebrate life that we could almost toast with wine every day.
Perhaps I am being naïve. Perhaps my memory has faded. Or perhaps in 1978, I didn’t have 42,000 cable channels. As a kid, there were a handful of Christmas specials to which I looked forward. I should probably say 'holiday' specials—not because it is politically correct but because most of them had very little to do with Jesus’ birth—The Little Drummer Boy being the obvious exception. I mean, the island of misfit toys and Frosty locked in a greenhouse don’t exactly scream Silent Night.
My kids have never lied to me—never! After all, I am a family therapist who knows how to raise truthful children. If I believe that, then my kids are not only telling tall tales, but also getting away with it. In fact, if your child has not fibbed, that may be more concerning than the lie itself. Telling falsities is an important part of one’s emotional growth, and it is not a bad thing, depending on the age of the child.
Story: It’s the holiday season, and an assortment of relatives and friends gather at the comfy, suburban English home of Neville and Belinda Bunker for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Neville’s tipsy sister Phyllis is there along with her husband Bernard, a plodding physician who insists each year on performing a puppet show to the boredom of the children and adults alike. There’s also Phyllis’ and Neville’s Uncle Harvey, a retired security officer with a penchant for absorbing himself in bloody flicks being shown on the telly.
We may think of heart problems only in terms of aging. Yet national statistics show that congenital heart defects are the most common type of major birth defect, affecting tens of thousands of babies born each year and representing the most common cause of infant death due to birth defects.
“On Christmas Eve day, my husband Ray and I take all 24 grandchildren to the mall in the morning and meet in the food court. Then ‘Bud’ (what the grandchildren call Ray) gives each of them an envelope filled with their holiday money. They must then shop for whatever they want, come back and show off their purchases. It’s so much fun to see the kids (and now young adults) run off to shop and see what they can get. It’s even more fun to see how excited they are to show us their purchases! And, every now and then, Bud gets a call to ‘come quick!’ because a special purchase requires just a little more....”
What conjures up when one thinks of port? Try a cold winter’s night sipping by the fire top off a joyful evening.
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