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Logan Boulet Effect: Death of player in Broncos crash highlighted organ donation

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A couple who lost their son in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash continues to advocate for organ donation registration as part of his legacy.

Logan Boulet was one of 16 people who died after the junior hockey team’s bus and a semi truck collided in rural Saskatchewan in the spring.

His parents, Bernadine and Toby Boulet, were about 15 minutes behind the team’s bus on April 6. Hours after coming across the horrific crash, the couple from Lethbridge, Alta. still hadn’t seen their son. 

They stopped and searched through the wreckage, but they couldn’t find him.

They later found out the 21-year-old defenceman had been taken to the closest hospital in Nipawin before being rushed to Saskatoon.

“He was one of the most critically injured,” his mom said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.

As the Boulets made the three-hour drive to Saskatoon, they knew their son had a spinal-cord injury and a severe head injury. They remember being thankful he was still alive when so many others on the bus hadn’t survived.

What happened next would change their lives forever and spur a national movement known as the Logan Boulet Effect.

When the Boulets arrived at the hospital, they were brought to a small room in the intensive care unit to hear details of their son’s injuries from doctors, a social worker and a nurse.

Humboldt Broncos hockey player Logan Boulet is seen in this undated handout photo. (Toby Boulet/The Canadian Press-HO)

The spinal-cord injury was bad — probably paralysis from the waist down.

The brain injury was much worse.

“His prognosis was that he would not recover,” said his mother, her voice cracking. “Their goal was just to keep him comfortable until the time came when he would pass away.

“I turned and looked at (a doctor) and said, ‘What about donating his organs? Is that a possibility?’ They just looked and said, ‘Is that something you want to do?”‘

Her husband immediately piped up.

“Logan had directed me that he wanted to give his organs,” said Toby Boulet.

Logan was serious

Less than a year earlier, he and Logan had a heart-to-heart talk while hanging out in the backyard one summer evening. His friend and his son’s fitness trainer, Ric Suggit, had died in June 2017 and donated his organs.

“He told me that he was going to sign his donor card in honour of Ric,” his dad recalled. “I said, ‘That’s awesome, but no one’s going to want your organs when you’re 80 years old.”‘

They both laughed, but Logan made it clear to his dad that he was serious.

Toby Boulet hadn’t mentioned the conversation to his wife at the time — she would only hear about the father-son talk in the hospital.

They both knew what they needed to do.

“Logan is fit and he’s healthy and he’s young and he has organs that other people can use and he wasn’t going to need them anymore,” said Bernadine Boulet.

Heart kept on beating

Their decision was reinforced when one of their son’s friends showed up at the hospital and said Logan had signed his donor card on his 21st birthday — only five weeks earlier.

Logan Boulet’s brain stopped working just before noon on April 7. He was on a ventilator to help him breathe, but his heart kept beating on its own.

“It never stopped,” said his dad.

His organs were harvested about 27 hours after he was admitted to the hospital.

“That was his number in hockey,” said Toby Boulet. “There were all these little signs.”

Six people across Canada benefited from his organs and the Logan Boulet Effect soon followed. Nearly 100,000 Canadians signed up to become organ donors after learning he had signed his own card.

Almost 100,000 organ donor sign-ups in April

Canadian Blood Services said there were 99,742 registrations in April alone — a number that only included provinces with online registration: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island.

Other provinces reported receiving a lot of phone calls from people wanting to register.

The rest of the 2018 statistics won’t be available until the new year, but the Boulets have heard countless stories about how their son prompted people to register as donors.

“We continue to get messages every day,” said Toby Boulet, who noted he talked to a woman whose husband benefited from an organ donor. But she had only signed up after hearing his son’s story.

“He’s triggered people from all ages, all walks of life.”

The Boulets have also heard from parents of other children who died about wanting to be donors after hearing the hockey player’s story.

They said they will continue to honour their son’s legacy by giving back to the community.

Green Shirt Day

“It’s been somewhat comforting, somewhat helpful,” said Bernadine Boulet.

“We’d ideally like to go back eight months and change everything but we can’t.

“We have decided that one of our things that we are going to pull out of all this tragedy is we are going to work with organizations to promote organ donor registrations.”

An event called Green Shirt Day — similar to Pink Shirt Day for anti-bullying or Orange Shirt Day for reconciliation — will be held on April 7, the anniversary of Boulet’s death, to promote organ donation.

The Boulets hope to one day meet some of the people who benefited from their son’s organs, particularly the person who got his heart.

“That’s the one thing I would really like to know about,” said his mom.

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Herbal remedies: Saw palmetto for hair loss prevention

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(Natural News) Saw palmetto is a small, shrub-like palm endemic to the United States. Known for its medicinal properties, saw palmetto has been used for centuries to treat reproductive issues and hormonal imbalance.

Today, saw palmetto is used as an ingredient in many hair growth products and supplements, as it is thought to prevent hair loss. This could be due to saw palmetto’s influence on the hormones that dictate hair growth.

Saw palmetto for hair loss

There is evidence to suggest that saw palmetto can help treat hair loss and prevent its occurrence. According to a 2012 study, saw palmetto could inhibit 5-alpha reductase (5-AR). 5-AR converts testosterone, a male sex hormone, into a more potent hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Research shows that high levels of DHT can shrink hair follicles and result in hair loss. DHT also makes it harder for hair follicles to grow new hair once the old hairs fall out. By inhibiting 5-AR, saw palmetto blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT.

In another 2012 study, researchers evaluated the effects of saw palmetto supplementation in men with mild or moderate androgenetic alopecia, or male-pattern baldness. One group received 320 milligrams (mg) of saw palmetto every day for two years, while another group took one mg of finasteride, a conventional drug used to treat hair loss.

The results showed that 38 percent of participants who supplemented with saw palmetto experienced improvements in hair growth, compared to 68 percent of those who supplemented with finasteride.

While the experiment showed that finasteride was more effective, the researchers noted that saw palmetto may be less likely to work in people with more severe cases of hair loss. More research is needed to confirm this.

Saw palmetto is available in several forms, including oral supplements and hair care products like conditioners and shampoos.

Due to limited research on the use of saw palmetto for hair loss, there is no official recommended dosage for it. That said, a study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery cited a recommended dosage of 160 mg twice daily for saw palmetto tablets. Researchers often use this dosage when studying with saw palmetto.

Take note that saw palmetto has been reported to sometimes cause mild side effects, such as headaches and stomachaches. If in doubt about using saw palmetto, consult a natural health practitioner.

Other natural remedies for hair loss

Hair growth depends on several factors, including a person’s genetic makeup. Still, some home remedies might help prevent hair loss and/or encourage hair growth. These remedies include:

  • Jojoba oil – Jojoba oil helps nourish hair follicles without leaving any residue behind. It also stimulates hair cells to grow faster.
  • Aloe vera – Aloe vera helps get rid of sebum buildup in the scalp. Sebum is a natural oil that helps keep the scalp moisturized. It can build up on the scalp and clog hair follicles due to poor hair hygiene.
  • Garlic – The pungent compounds in garlic help increase blood circulation in the scalp, which stimulates hair growth. These compounds also stimulate the synthesis of collagen, a protein that gives structure to hair.
  • Onion – Like garlic, onions boost blood flow in the scalp for better hair growth.
  • Licorice root – Licorice root helps relieve dry and irritated scalp. It also strengthens weak follicles.
  • Rosemary oil – Rosemary oil has antiseptic properties. It is ideal for treating scalp issues that slow hair growth, such as dandruff and bacterial infections.
  • Coconut milk – Coconut milk helps moisturize a dry scalp, which is a leading cause of hair loss.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Apple cider vinegar works as a clarifying agent, ridding the scalp of extra sebum and other residues that can clog hair follicles and inhibit hair growth.

Some hair loss is natural. But for mild to moderate cases of hair loss, it might help to use herbal remedies, such as saw palmetto, to strengthen hair or encourage hair growth.

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Scientist that condemned coronavirus lab leak theory admits he squashed it to protect Chinese scientists

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(Natural News) An American scientist who criticized theories that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) might have accidentally escaped or leaked from a Chinese laboratory has admitted that he was denouncing the idea in order to protect Chinese scientists.

Dr. Peter Daszak, the president of the EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based nongovernmental organization that conducts scientific and policy research regarding emerging diseases, led an endeavor in February 2020 to quash any kind of suspicion that COVID-19 might have accidentally escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a research and academic institution supported by the Chinese state.

This culminated in a statement published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet that condemned the “conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 doesn’t have a natural origin.”

The Lancet article was written during the very early stages of the global pandemic, during a time when there wasn’t any kind of rigorous research on the origins of the virus.

Daszak further reiterated his support for China in a statement released on Feb. 6, stating that he stands with other scientists to “strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that 2019-nCoV does not have a natural origin. Scientific evidence overwhelmingly suggests that this virus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging diseases.”

In June, Daszak also wrote an opinion piece for the Guardian titled: “Ignore the conspiracy theories: scientists know COVID-19 wasn’t created in a lab.”

But on Friday, Jan. 15, Daszak’s spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that his statement, which has been used to silence anybody with a dissenting opinion regarding the origins of the coronavirus, was published to protect Chinese scientists from criticism.

The Lancet letter was written during a time in which Chinese scientists were receiving death threats and the letter was intended as a showing of support for them as they were caught between important work trying to stop an outbreak and the crush of online harassment.”

WHO team heads to Wuhan to probe virus origin

The situation surrounding Daszak’s initial statements and his sudden retraction are being compounded by the fact that the doctor is part of an international 15-member team of experts sent by the World Health Organization (WHO)to Wuhan to figure out the origins of the coronavirus.

According to the WHO, the team’s official mission is to determine how, where and when the virus crossed from animals to humans.

Daszak has been tweeting about the mandatory quarantine period he and his team are going through. During day four of quarantine, he said that the day, like the previous days, is “packed” with virtual meetings.

Day 6 of quarantine lockdown in Wuhan & it’s that special time for our friendly health care workers to swab for our PCR tests – they go deep, but they’re very cheerful about it. Xie xie! pic.twitter.com/QvKzgC0Lng

— Peter Daszak (@PeterDaszak) January 20, 2021

Peter Ben Embarek, team leader and WHO food safety and animal diseases expert, said that the team will be granted permission “to move around and meet our Chinese counterparts in person and go to the different sites that we want to visit,” once they’re done with the mandatory quarantine period.

It is unclear whether the WHO team will be looking into the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the theory that the coronavirus was engineered. Embarek has stated his desire to visit the “famous Wuhan market” to try and determine “everything that went in and out” of there in the weeks before the first confirmed cases.

Embarek is referring to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, where many wild animals were often sold. This place is being investigated as a likely setting for the supposed “animal-to-human jump” of the coronavirus, or a place where that jump was accelerated.

“We know the virus originated in bats at some point, and then we know that human cases appeared in Wuhan in December 2019,” said Embarek. “But what happened in between, how many other animal species were involved in between, and where, remain to be found in more detail.”

“We don’t really know what happened in that period of time, and that’s what we are looking out for.”

Questions will remain regarding the role of the institute in the initial outbreak; questions that will continue to linger if WHO team does not conduct its investigation.

Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even said that the government has reason to believe that several researchers working for the institute “became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses.”

Pompeo said that this calls into question the claims made by Shi Zhengli, the institute’s senior researcher on bat-related viruses, that there had been “zero [COVID-19 or SARS-related] infection” among the institute’s student body and staff.

Pompeo noted that the possibility of an “accidental infection” in a lab is more likely than people might think, especially considering that such an incident has already occurred in China. In 2004, a SARS outbreak in Beijing that infected nine people and killed one originated in a research facility.

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California healthcare workers suffer severe allergic reactions following coronavirus vaccination

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(Natural News) Six healthcare workers suffered allergic reactions after getting a shot of Moderna coronavirus vaccine in San Diego, California. Their symptoms were considered severe and required medical attention.

The doses administered to the six healthcare workers were part of the Moderna Lot 041L20A distributed to 287 providers across the state earlier this month. That batch of shipment, which arrived in California between Jan. 5 and Jan. 12, is composed of 330,000 shots.

Moderna said in a statement that it is cooperating with California’s health department to investigate the allergic reactions.

“Moderna acknowledges receiving a report from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that a number of individuals at one vaccination center were treated for possible allergic reactions after vaccination from one lot of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine,” the statement read. “The company is fully cooperating with CDPH in investigating these reported adverse events.”

Dr. Erica Pan, California’s state epidemiologist, said Sunday, Jan. 17, that providers should err on the side of caution and stop using the doses until federal, state and company officials finish an investigation.

“Out of an extreme abundance of caution and also recognizing the extremely limited supply of vaccine, we are recommending that providers use other available vaccine inventory and pause the administration of vaccines from Moderna Lot 041L20A until the investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Moderna and the state is complete,” she said.

Monterey, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz have already paused distribution while two Covid-19 vaccine clinics have been canceled in Stanislaus County following the allergic reaction reports.

The delay was a huge blow to California’s vaccine distribution efforts. California currently has the second highest number of coronavirus cases per capita in the United States, with Los Angeles being a particular hotspot.

All cases of apparent allergic reactions occurred at San Diego County’s drive-through mass vaccination site at Petco Park. No other providers have reported allergic reactions to vaccines administered from the same batch of doses.

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