Little Girl – Big Miracle: A Girl Born Blind Proves Doctors Wrong And Makes Incredible Recovery

Little Girl – Big Miracle: A Girl Born Blind Proves Doctors Wrong And Makes Incredible Recovery

A blind girl has baffled doctors after she regained her sight and 'cured herself' of a usually life-long brain condition. (Amy Geurts/Zenger)



By Michael Leidig

A blind girl has baffled doctors after she regained her sight and ‘cured herself’ of a usually life-long brain condition.


Evie-Mae Geurts was registered blind at just a few months old, and when her head started to swell a few months later, her mum Amy, 28, demanded answers.

Doctors discovered she had hydrocephalus – the build-up of fluid in the ventricles deep within the brain – at just eight months old.
The pressure inside her head was 32 times the normal level, and doctors warned while they could help relieve the pain and build up, the damage to her brain was done.

The continued pressure meant her sight was gone forever, and she’d likely never learn to walk and talk, her mum says doctors claimed.

She had a series of brain operations – including shunts fitted and needles prodded through her skull.

Against all the odds, not only did her sight return when she was a toddler – she also learned to walk and talk.

More than that, her hydrocephalus bizarrely disappeared last year.

Usually, hydrocephalus is a life-long condition that can’t be cured and requires shunts to drain fluid from the brain forever.

Evie-Mae, now seven, is top of the class and can see perfectly without any glasses.

Proud full-time mum Amy, who lives in Bristol with Evie, her husband quarry operative Martyn Geurts, 49, and her two sons Archie, eight, and George, five, said: “Evie is phenomenal.
“We’re so proud of her.

“The doctors admitted because of a delay in diagnosis, they weren’t sure what would happen. They didn’t know if she’d ever be able to see or walk or talk.

A blind girl has baffled doctors after she regained her sight and ‘cured herself’ of a usually life-long brain condition. (Amy Geurts/Zenger)

“Now, she’s living shunt free, talking, walking and she’s ahead of her age in learning.

“They can’t understand – she was globally delayed and now all of a sudden, she’s very forward.

“She’s an amazing little girl, and so brave.”

Amy first took Evie to Bristol Children’s Hospital after a bad cold left her with really red eyes in 2014. The doctors shone a torch in her eyes and found that she had no visual responses, and said she was blind. With Evie’s head continuing to swell, mum Amy repeatedly took her back to the doctors with concerns it could be hydrocephalus.

She said: “I knew of hydrocephalus because my brother has it, and I thought that might be why she had no vision, but I was told I was wrong because she was a smiley baby.

“Even though she was pulling her hair out, I was told that if she did have hydrocephalus, because she’d be worse.

Desperate, Amy turned to her brother’s neurosurgeon for help who diagnosed Evie, aged eight months.

Amy returned to Bristol Children’s Hospital in April 2015 with the diagnosis and said she refused to leave until Evie was seen.

She claims she waited ten hours in A&E before Evie was checked and they were finally told that her soft spot was full of fluid.

She had surgery the next day.

Amy said: “When she came out of theatre, the doctor said it was lucky that I brought her in when I did because she had really high pressure in her brain.

“It’s such a horrible pressure. The pressure in your brain should be at zero, and on a bad migraine, it’ll be five, and Evie’s was 32 and higher when they measured.

“She could have died.

“They said there was a chance that she could never walk or talk because a delay in diagnosis can prevent children from being able to walk or talk. I was devastated.”

Evie had a shunt fitted inside her brain to drain the fluid into her bladder.

She returned home and over the next year, she slowly started to gain vision as the shunts worked to drain the pressure from her brain.

Amy said she was told this is highly unusual for a child who was left untreated for such a long time.

Evie began walking at two years old and after learning Makaton, she even started to speak.

Amy said: “The doctors admitted because of a delay in diagnosis, they weren’t sure what would happen. They didn’t know if she’d ever be able to see or walk or talk.

A blind girl has baffled doctors after she regained her sight and ‘cured herself’ of a usually life-long brain condition. (Amy Geurts/Zenger)

“She learnt Makaton and then eventually, she started speaking, so, amazingly, she gained vision, was signing and then speaking.

In April 2019, Evie started getting headaches again and doctors had to drill through her skull to put in a needle.

The pressure was 40 times the expected amount, and it turned out her shunt was blocked, so she was fitted with a new one.

“The scream she let out when they removed the needle,” said Amy.
“I’ll never forget it.”

In January 2021 the headaches returned and they feared the worst.

But bizarrely, medics discovered they had returned because they no longer needed the shunt, which was “splitting” the no longer pressured ventricles.

Amy said: “The doctor couldn’t believe it – he thought we’d be in and out of hospital every few years because the shunts kept blocking, but it turned out that somehow she’d cured herself!

“He said he’d never seen it before and certainly didn’t expect to see it in her.”

Doctors made the decision to remove both of the shunts inside Evie’s brain – an uncommon procedure due to the risk of shunt removal causing a stroke or bleed on the brain.

Thankfully, the surgery was a success, but Evie contracted viral meningitis and had to be hospitalized with antibiotics for four more days.

Incredibly, Evie, now seven, is now living life as a healthy girl with perfect vision.

She is still undergoing eye tests every six months to monitor her progress but doctors have been amazed.

Proud Amy said: “They can’t believe it.

“They had to shave her hair back to access the devices so she refers to herself as Rapunzel.

“In the hairdressers, they told her she’d been brave and she said just like Eugene cuts Rapunzel’s hair to save her in Tangled, the doctors cut my hair off to save me.

“Evie is phenomenal.”

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Second Chance: Mom Celebrates Cancer All-Clear By Posting Pictures With Daughter

Second Chance: Mom Celebrates Cancer All-Clear By Posting Pictures With Daughter



By James King

A mum who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant shows she’s all clear – by posting three identical pics of her with her daughter over her eight-year journey.


Roisin Pelan, 40, was told she had a breast cancer diagnosis while 34 weeks pregnant with her first baby.

She then had to have a mastectomy just six days after her daughter Ivy was born – and fought to kick cancer with intense chemotherapy.

Despite the cancer going away after a year, it returned again in 2018 and doctors warned her she wouldn’t live past three years – but incredibly, Roisin got the all-clear again in February this year.

Now a mum-of-two and awaiting her wedding to partner Michael Brown, 37, Roisin told how her daughter, born days before her diagnosis, has never known a life without her mother’s cancer.

Roisin, from Preston, Lancs., celebrated her clear scan with a moving Facebook post showing three identical pictures of her and her daughter throughout the eight-year cancer battle.

The online business owner said: “These past eight years have without a doubt been the most difficult years of my entire life, but also some of the best.

“Dealing with your mental health is the hardest part – trying to believe you have a future when it feels like you don’t.

A mum who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant shows she’s all clear - by posting three identical pics of her with her daughter over her eight-year journey. (Michael Brown/Zenger)

A mum who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant shows she’s all clear – by posting three identical pics of her with her daughter over her eight-year journey. (Michael Brown/Zenger)

“Cancer is all my daughter, and later my son, have ever known. But having a cancer diagnosis twice really makes you want to live your life.

“We’re only here once and I have been given second and third chances.”

Roisin first noticed a lump in her left breast in May 2014 while moisturizing to help to avoid stretch marks during her 34th week of pregnancy.

She visited a doctor to check out the olive-sized lump, and ultrasound and biopsy revealed she had breast cancer.

She and now-fiance Michael were given options and chose to induce an early birth of their daughter, who they named Ivy, before having a mastectomy.

Just six days later, on June 6, Roisin had the procedure followed by six months of chemo as she juggled the grueling process alongside raising her baby daughter.

The year of her diagnosis, she had a photo taken with baby Ivy – which would later become an emotional reminder of her lengthy cancer journey.

The new family was thrilled to get a clear scan in January 2015, and began the process of applying to adopt their second child.

They believed a second pregnancy would risk bringing the cancer back due to the hormones and in November 2017 they were finally approved to adopt.

They planned to begin the matching process in January of 2018 – except at that point, things went downhill.

She said: “Days before I would have been celebrating three years in remission, I found another lump.

“I had been talking to someone and I just felt it, and my stomach lurched.

A mum who was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant shows she’s all clear – by posting three identical pics of her with her daughter over her eight-year journey. (Michael Brown/Zenger)

“I knew straight away the cancer had come back. When I went for a scan which confirmed it, couldn’t even look at Ivy.

“I didn’t know what I was about to put her through – usually when you have a recurrence, it comes back in the later stages.”

A week later Roisin was back in the chemo chair and was horrified as doctors told her it had spread beyond the original area, although not to another organ.

They warned her she would likely have just three years to live, and there would be little chance of surgery.

She said: “I walked out without an ounce of hope I would live. I thought I was dying, and that was it.”

But after going to a different hospital for a second opinion, different doctors agreed to continue with aggressive chemo and radiotherapy to eradicate the cancer a second time.

By 2019, she had a clear scan once more and was able to adopt her son at nine months old – and he and Ivy quickly became the best of friends.

And three years later she has proven the doctors wrong by outliving their three-year prediction – which she celebrated with a third identical photo with Ivy, who is almost eight.

While the first two photos from her cancer journey show her with no hair due to chemo, in this year’s photo she wears the biggest smile as she sports a full head of hair.

The trio of pictures serves as a reminder of how far she has come – a journey Ivy has been on alongside her from the very beginning.

She said: “Ivy knows words like chemotherapy, and she knows what CT and MRI scans are.

“At seven years old, she shouldn’t know these things.

“I will be on chemo forever but it’s just become our life now – it’s keeping me alive.

“These past eight years have without a doubt been the most difficult years of my entire life, but also some of the best.”

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VIDEO: Broken Sails: U.S. Coast Guard Medevac 4 Men From Broken Boat

VIDEO: Broken Sails: U.S. Coast Guard Medevac 4 Men From Broken Boat

4 coastguards standing in front of their helicopter after the rescue, Montauk, New York on May 8, 2022. (U.S. Coast Guard Northeast/Zenger).



By Pol Fernandez

The U.S. Coast Guard went into action to save the crew of the 39-foot sailing yacht Calypso after it encountered a rogue wave that toppled its mast in rough seas some 80 nautical miles from New York’s Long Island Sound.


The foundering yacht had four crew members who had been on a jaunt from Bermuda to Connecticut.

Some of them had sustained serious injuries, including concussions and broken ribs, and after the wave damage they were left with no means of communication other than text messaging and an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).

The brisk winds and 17-foot waves off the New York coast complicated the rescue, but it did not stop U.S. Coast Guard air rescuers from heading out to sea to relieve the stricken yachtsmen.

On 8th of May 2022 39-foot sailing vessel, Calypso needed U.S Coast Guard assistence 80 nautical miles south of Montauk, New York.  (U.S. Coast Guard Northeast/Zenger).

Body cam footage provided by the Coast Guard showed the MH-80 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod approaching the Calypso, which showed that its sails and mast were dangling dangerously in the sea.

A Guardsman leaped into Long Island Sound, wearing a specialized thermal suit and gear as he swam to the stricken vessel and aid the hapless yachtsmen.

The rescue swimmer’s bodycam showed him enter the stricken boat and signal the helicopter crew to lift the crew from the sea.

On 8th of May 2022 39-foot sailing vessel, Calypso needed U.S Coast Guard assistence 80 nautical miles south of Montauk, New York.  (U.S. Coast Guard Northeast/Zenger).

Once secured, each one was taken in a rescue basket and winched aboard the helicopter as it bucked and swerved in the gusting winds and into the night.

The crew were then flown to Gabreski, New York, to receive emergency medical care at a hospital there despite the risky weather conditions and dwindling light.

According to U.S. Coast Guard Station Cape Cod: “Battling heavy seas and challenging hoisting conditions, our MH-60T crew effectively rescued all four individuals.”

FEBRUARY 17: U.S. Coast Guard crew members work on the Cutter James. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The U.S. Coast Guard rivals most of the world’s navies in size, and is unique among the U.S. military for its maritime security, search and rescue, and law enforcement duties.

As the largest and most powerful coast guard service in the world, it has jurisdiction in domestic and international waters, seeing service along the maritime coasts of the U.S. and the Great Lakes where it conducts rescues and interdiction services.

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A Digital Way To Stop Evictions: Buy Real Estate In The Metaverse

A Digital Way To Stop Evictions: Buy Real Estate In The Metaverse

HomeStart is launching a project called INVERSE to help families on the brink of eviction by selling digital apartments in the metaverse, shown here. (HomeStart/ICON)



By Michelle D. Madsen

It is digital to the rescue.


HomeStart, a Boston-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness, is launching a project called INVERSE to help families on the brink of eviction by selling digital apartments in the metaverse.

The apartments start at one Ethereum (ETH), around $3,000 and roughly equal to what it costs to stop an eviction and provide a family with 12 months of support in a major U.S. city.

Due to rising housing expenses, nearly 600,000 Americans were habitually unhoused in 2020. Today, there are twice as many households behind on their rent and at risk of eviction than there were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s where HomeStart comes in.

In the last 25 years, HomeStart has helped secure permanent housing for over 14,000 individuals living on the streets and in shelters. It also worked to prevent over 4,000 families from experiencing homelessness by way of eviction. HomeStart’s clients include survivors of domestic violence, single parents and their children, veterans and persons with disabilities, all living at or below the poverty line.

Now, HomeStart is partnering with Cornerstone to build an apartment complex in its new virtual world.

The price of the NFT apartments starts at one Ethereum (ETH), which is around $3000, and about what it costs to halt an eviction. All profits go to HomeStart. (HomeStart/ICON)

Cornerstone, the first photorealistic metaverse, will create an apartment complex in this new virtual environment. Those who purchase apartments will be among the first to visit the virtual world. ZOAN, a virtual studio based in Helsinki, Finland, is creating Cornerstone, which will open by the end of 2022.

“One of HomeStart’s initiatives is to prevent homelessness from occurring in the first place by assisting high-risk households in maintaining their residence and avoiding resorting to shelters or the streets,” said Matt Pritchard, HomeStart’s president and executive director.

“HomeStart is continually seeking for novel methods to engage more community people to help prevent homelessness, just as we uncover and incubate innovative solutions to homelessness,” he said. “INVERSE is a large-scale project that gives the metaverse a purpose by establishing a never-before-seen link between the virtual and physical worlds, with the goal of raising awareness of a situation with ready-made remedies.”

The building is designed by the award-winning Boston-based architecture firm ICON.

Each apartment will be represented by a non-fungible token (NFT), a digital asset representing real-word objects, with the buyer becoming the owner of that property after acquiring the NFT. There will be 49 NFTs or units available for purchase, with eight different floor plans to choose from. Prices will vary from one to five ETH, roughly equivalent to the cost of defending one to five families from eviction at present rates.

The building will also have two community floors for future brand partnerships.

The NFTs can be purchased here.

Produced in association with MetaNews.

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Facecrooks: Credit Agencies To Look At Clothing And Travel Purchases On Facebook To Decide On Loans

Facecrooks: Credit Agencies To Look At Clothing And Travel Purchases On Facebook To Decide On Loans

In this photo illustration credit debit cards are seen on November 3, 2017 in Bristol, England.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)



By Darko Manevski

Credit organizations are looking at your Facebook page to see what you spend on clothes or travel rather than using more traditional and strictly-regulated rating methods when deciding on loan applications.


That is according to experts at the University of Georgia, who say that big data now make it possible for more sophisticated modelling programs that include using social media without even needing to ask. It is part of a growing trend of taking into consideration non-financial factors when rating creditworthiness.

SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 04: In this photo illustration, the Facebook and Instagram apps are seen on the screen of an iPhone on October 04, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Traditional credit scoring is based on a person’s demonstrated ability to take on debt and pay it off.

But all that is changing with the ability of computers to crunch the data, and social media is proving particularly useful for those without an extensive credit history.

Increasingly, lenders are scraping information from public records or social media accounts to build a credit profile without borrowers’ knowledge.

University of Georgia (UGA) financial regulation researcher Lindsay Sain Jones said: “There are also fringe alternative data that companies gather without your permission.

“There are companies that specialize in pulling data from online sources – your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles – and feed into their credit model.”

In this case, borrowers do not know what criteria they are evaluated on and do not have a way to contest inaccurate information.

Jones, who is an attorney and assistant professor of legal studies at the UGA Terry College of Business, said: “There’s no appeals process.

“With your traditional credit score, you can appeal inaccurate information. Say you had a credit card with Bank of America, and your report says that you had a charge off. If you didn’t, there’s a process for appealing that error set up by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. They have to address your concerns.”

There is no way to appeal if the lender does not like how often you travel or buy clothes, she said.

According to Jones, the problem is that the systems developing these alternative scores can be like a black box.

A person holds an iPhone displaying the Facebook app logo in front of a computer screen showing the facebook login page on August 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

With the pool of personal data available growing, Jones argues that it is time to take a second look at how the credit scoring system works and is regulated.

She said: “While use of alternative credit data is touted as a means to broaden access to credit – an admirable goal – its use has, at times, resulted in disproportionately negative impacts on borrowers in protected classes and allowed for precision marketing of predatory loans to vulnerable borrowers.”

Jones and co-author Janine Hiller of Virginia Tech argue in a new paper that the US Congress should institute new regulations to prevent alternative credit scoring services from abusing consumer data in the nation’s credit reporting system. Their paper, ‘Who’s keeping score?: Oversight of Changing Consumer Credit Infrastructure’, is available in the April 2022 issue of the American Business Law Journal.

New alternative credit scoring systems present challenges not covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act or the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

These rules allow consumers access to the data that affects their credit score and prevent discrimination against borrowers based on race or gender. However, they do not directly apply to certain alternative credit data and leave Americans unable to access the credit system.

In their recent paper, Jones and her co-author argue further regulation of financial reporting entities – both large credit bureaus and new data collectors – is needed in the same way gas, electric and water providers regulated their services. They argue participation in the credit system has become as necessary as having a phone or electricity.

While companies developing alternative credit reporting services argue that their products give underserved populations access to these vital services, the opaque nature of their operations makes them ripe for abusive lending practices, Jones argues.

With new products, borrowers do not know what information is used for calculating the score, so they cannot contest erroneous information.

Some credit scoring agencies offer consumers a ‘credit boost’ in exchange for access to their utility or rental payment histories. But there are few regulations on what agencies can do with this information and how long they can keep it, according to Jones.

She said: “So, as an applicant, you’ve technically given them permission to do this, but you’re in a vulnerable position.

“Your loan has been denied. You still need the loan. So, you give them all of your data, and you may gain as little as a single point on your credit score or none at all. You may or may not have a better chance of getting your loan, and what they do with that data is all in the fine print.”

Jones and her co-author are also concerned that much of the lifestyle-related data points lenders correlate with creditworthiness can connect to race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, a person’s ZIP code or where they attended college. Successfully challenging this kind of disparate impact under the ECOA is nearly impossible.

A Universal Credit sign in a Job Centre in Westminster on May 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

One agency pulled information on how often people pay for gas at the pump versus paying inside the store. People who paid at the pump were deemed more creditworthy.

Jones said: “There are all kinds of factors that can be correlated with creditworthiness, but that doesn’t mean they should be used.”

She argues there is a need to expand access to lending markets, but access should come with the same protections applied to traditional credit data.

Jones said: “Where do you draw that line?

“Are you opening up new credit opportunities for people, or are you preying upon vulnerable people?”

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