Triple Tragedy: First his wife died and then his girlfriend was killed in a motorcycle accident

The businessman who died with his partner in a plane crash north of Sydney lost his beloved wife three years ago before his new girlfriend died in a motorcycle accident in May 2016.

Grant Burley and his new partner were killed when the 310 Cessna he was flying crashed near the busy Pacific Highway on New South Wales’ Central Coast about 4pm on Saturday.

The wreckage of the plane and the bodies of Mr Burley and his partner were found near Johns River after setting off from Toowoomba, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Burley’s wife Kym died in her sleep three years ago.

Grant Burley

The grieving widow posted online he would miss ‘her wit, her cheeky smile and sense of humour which was always lurking around’.

‘I have lost my best friend , my wife and many people have lost the light she bought into their life of which there are plenty,’ he wrote.

Kym was remembered as an animal lover, a supportive friend, and a shining light to friends.

On a Facebook tribute page, Mr Burley revealed his wife also flew light planes, taking the pair of them away together for the final time the Christmas before she died.

That was before tragedy struck once again in May 2016 when Ms Sampson, a mother to young children, died in a motorcycle crash.

A once again shattered Mr Burley expressed his grief in an online memorial, noting his new partner ‘filled such a large void in my life’.

‘I will be forever captured by your wit, sense of humour and above all adventurous nature,’ he wrote.

‘Your smile shed a light brighter than all else in every room you entered. You left a lasting and positive impact upon all who came into your life.

Grant Burley‘I love you from the bottom of my heart and there are no words in any dictionary to articulate the sense of loss I endure and nothing that will ease the pain I have.’

Following Saturday’s disaster, Mr Burley’s devastated nephew Lucas Young said the financial executive was being remembered as an ‘exceptional pilot’.

‘All I can say is may he fly high above us all as an angel.’

According to locals Mr Burley had a private airstrip at his rural property at Johns River.

Mr Burley worked for Burley White & Co, and owned a residential village as well as leasing specialty aircraft to the New Zealand Government and had advised the Australian government on laws concerning money laundering.

Grant Burley

In a statement, the Australian Transportation Safety Bureau said they will be investigating the accident.

The light plane narrowly missed motorists on the southbound highway after it crashed at the edge of the road.

It also narrowly avoided a major railway line.

The Rural Fire Service and NSW Fire and Rescue were called to the scene about 4pm, where they are containing a small fuel leak according to Channel 9.

Police are preparing a report for the coroner, while the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will undertake an investigation into the crash.


‘If I don’t have to look at myself in the mirror, I won’t,’ cries breast cancer survivor

A 50-year-old woman from Cairns has hated how she looks ever since her double mastectomy in 2011.

Jeannie Christie was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer and was put on a waiting list for breast reconstructive surgery, but she is still waiting.

On top of the mastectomy, Jeannie underwent chemotherapy which saw all of her hair fall out.

‘There’s nothing left that defines you as a woman. Even today if I don’t have to look at myself I won’t,’ Jeannie told ABC News.

‘I was sitting in the bath with my husband. That was the first time I actually looked down at myself.’

There are currently more than 100 far north Queensland women who are unable to access the surgery they need.

Queensland Health is blaming this on a lack of plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the region.

Now, women affected are working together to ask the proper officials why they are having to wait so long for their surgery dates.

Communications manager for the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA), Kirsten Pilatti, said the main barriers were government funding and hospital communication.

There are not enough plastic surgeons hired in the region and more investments need to be made towards the hospitals.

‘We want to make sure we have open communication between the hospital and women, so there is no sense of false hope or misunderstanding of where someone is on a waiting list, or whether they are eligible,’ Kirsten told the publication.

‘Some of the women say if they had known what they do today they would’ve considered going private.’

This being said, the hospital has two part-time plastic surgeons, with a full-time surgeon to start in January and they are now recruiting another to join the team.

Unfortunately this doesn’t provide immediate hope for women like Jeannie, who have been waiting for years.

On top of this Jeannie’s daughter, Janelle Clarence, recently tested positive for a BRCA1 gene mutation.

This means it is likely the 27-year-old will get breast cancer unless she undergoes a preventative double mastectomy.

After watching what her mother has gone through, Janelle has given up on regional healthcare.

Luckily, she will be receiving breast reconstructive surgery at the end of the year after multiple GP visits and a referral for a double mastectomy.

Sadly this will be before her mother, who still does not know when she will be receiving it.

‘I felt like I was betraying my mum because now I’m able to have both surgeries, while she’s been waiting all this time,’ she admitted to ABC.

‘I Failed To Protect Her,’ Mother Of Popular Singer Mourns After Domestic Abuse Claims Surface

Mel B’s mother Andrea Brown has chided herself for ‘failing to protect’ her daughter amid claims she appeared in 20 sex tapes – some non-consensual – which will be used as evidence in her bitter divorce battle.

Andrea, 60, who is in America supporting the Spice Girl, 42, tweeted on Wednesday: ‘Cried so much lately Melanie was with an abuser but the extent could never imagine.’

Next to a broken heart icon she posted: ‘I 2 failed to protect her.’ Doting grandmother Andrea patched up her relationship with

Mel after years apart following her split from the film producer and restaurateur, who she branded ‘controlling, vile and abusive.’

Property developer Andrea from Leeds, previously told MailOnline:

‘I never fell out with Melanie. I just wasn’t in her life for a time because of him. But now we’re doing OK which is a relief. A girl needs her mum.’

Mel B

Speaking on Wednesday: Andrea, 60, who is in America supporting the Spice Girl, 42, tweeted her emotional message as she blamed herself.

Andrea also posted on Twitter last month: ‘Evil wicked 10 years of hell. And there’s worse to come out’ and ‘Have to be thankful my daughter alive after 10 years of worry she’s finally safe.’ 

The singer’s mother claimed she was shut out of her life for ten years after she voiced concerns over her dislike of her son-in-law.

But the pair healed their rift following the marriage split and the death of Mel’s dad.

Andrea’s tweet came after it emerged that Mel appears in about 20 sex tapes that will be offered as evidence at the upcoming divorce and restraining order trial with estranged husband Belafonte.

In a shocking development lawyers for the America’s Got Talent star say some of the sex acts shown in the videos are ‘non-consensual’.

In total lawyers will present 56 videos as evidence featuring Mel including one which is claimed to show the star snorting cocaine.

The trial – now scheduled to begin November 6 – is set to be explosive with both sides ready to battle it out.

The former Spice Girl will claim that she was drugged during much of her marriage and in some of the videos and didn’t consent to either the sex shown in them or being filmed.

In addition to seeking a divorce from her husband of 10 years, producer and restaurateur Belafonte, also 42, Mel – real name Melanie Brown – is pursuing restraining orders against him and the couple’s one-time nanny, 25-year-old blonde Lorraine Gilles.

She accuses both of conspiring together against her by threatening to release sex tapes and embarrassing videos of the singer and reality star.

Mel B momGilles has claimed that she and Mel had a seven-year sexual relationship that included three-ways with Belafonte.

At Wednesday’s hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court, when Judge Marcus A. Juhas asked about ‘sexually related videos’ relating to the case, one of Mel B’s lawyers, Jacalyn Davis told the court that Belafonte ‘has been showing videos of Miss Brown with cocaine and he is showing videos of sexual activity.’

Asked by the judge how many videos have been placed in evidence for the upcoming trial, another lawyer for Mel, Susan Wiesner, said that there are 56, about a third of which are of ‘a sexual nature.’ And 90% of those feature Mel B.

Wiesner accused Belafonte of having even more videos and refusing to hand them over.

‘Mr Belafonte has many, many videos of Miss Brown. We have asked them (Belafonte and his lawyers) for his entire library but they have objected to that, which is troubling.’

Wiesner said that while some of the sex videos were consensual, ‘many were not – either the act filmed in the video was not consensual or the filming of the video itself was not.’

Belafonte’s lawyer, Philip Cohen, insisted that ‘all the videos’ in evidence were consensual.

‘None of these videos has been edited. None of these videos has been submitted for a prurient interest. These videos are relevant. Miss Brown now takes the position that she was drugged by Mr Belafonte throughout their marriage.’ 

Judge Juhas took issue with Cohen over his ‘entirely inappropriate’ questioning of Mel during a deposition in which she was asked about a sex video in which she was not featured but, claimed Cohen, her voice could be heard and her fingers could be seen on film.

In the deposition, Cohen asked Mel, ‘Is it your position that you were drugged in this video?’ Mel answered no, but said Judge Juhas to Cohen: ‘Why didn’t you ask, did you take this video?’

‘Asking if Miss Brown was there for the filming of this video would have been a more creditable test. This shock value is not what we are looking for here. How do you know that was her voice and those were her fingers?’

Cohen told the judge that ‘no shock value was intended’ and added that he had two witnesses who could verify that Mel was there filming the video in question.

At Wednesday’s hearing, the estranged couple’s lawyers squabbled over each hanging on to personal items that belong to the other.

On October 4 Belafonte handed over all the Spice Girls memorabilia and other material of hers that he had in a lockup storage facility. And Brown handed over 10 boxes of Belafonte’s belonging to him that she had been storing at the LA home they used to share together.

Despite both handovers, both claim that the other is still ‘keeping stuff’ that belongs to the other.

Judge Juhas said that during the trial, ‘videos of a sexual nature’ will not be shown in open court. ‘My intent will be to close the court for that.’


‘I’d rather be dead than live like I was,’ says face transplant survivor who didn’t fear dying on the operating table (Photos)

The man who received the most extensive face transplant in history after suffering from burns working as a volunteer firefighter has spoken out about his recovery.

Patrick Hardison, 43, said that he ‘bet it all’ when he decided to undergo the potentially-fatal operation – but that he won that bet.

Hardison’s chances of surviving were 50/50, and a previous patient who had undergone the procedure in France had died.Patrick Hardison

But, even though he knew this, Hardison said that he never thought about backing out of the operation because ‘death is not the worst thing that can happen’.

The incident that caused Hardison’s disfigurement drastically changed his life because people’s perceptions of him were altered. People were cruel to him in public, pointing and staring when they saw his face.Patrick Hardison

But he said the idea of a face transplant gave him hope, explaining: ‘I had been miserable for 14 years by this time.’Patrick Hardison

Hardison’s facial burns happened in September 2001 when he was putting out a house fire in his hometown of Senatobia, Mississippi, and a burning ceiling fell on him.

His helmet and breathing apparatus melted, and his eyelids and ears were burned off. Hardison had to spend 63 days in a burn unit after the incident and doctors took skin from his thighs to replace the flesh that had melted off his face.

Patrick Hardison He had to have more than 70 surgeries to treat his burn during the next ten years. Hardison said his injury caused people, including his own children, to be afraid of the sight of him.

In 2011 his doctor told him he was at risk for losing his vision because his eyelids were missing, and he then started considering a face transplant. Hardison said that after learning of the surgery he never once got cold feet about having it done.Patrick Hardison

He said to the Detroit Free Press: ‘I never wanted to back out. Death is not the worst thing that can happen. I told the doctor that I’d rather be dead than live like I was.’

‘The only surgery close to mine was attempted in France and the patient died. I knew all that before I went in, but I was willing. All or nothing, that’s what I wanted to do. I bet it all,’ Hardison explained.

The medical team that performed Hardison’s operation in August 2015 at New York University Langone Medical Center was more than 100 strong, and his surgery took 26 hours.

Patrick Hardison He received the face of David Rodebaugh, a 26-year-old bike mechanic who died following a cycling accident.

Hardison expressed gratitude for organ donors such as Rodebaugh who allow sick people and survivors to have a new lease on life at an organ donation conference on Sunday.

He also spoke about how his life has changed since he received the operation, explaining that that the cruel stares and comments have stopped.

‘I can go places with my kids now. I went to Disney World last year, and it’s the first time my two little boys had been anywhere where people didn’t say: “What happened?” and all that stuff,’ Hardison said.

Patrick Hardison

Patrick Hardison

Patrick Hardison


‘I stopped him and managed to get out of the room,’ Real Accounts By Hollywood Actresses Who Refused Sexually Transmitted Movie Roles

Harvey Weinstein was checked into rehab in Arizona on Friday as dozens of women accuse him of rape, sexual assault or inappropriate behavior.

By the time he was admitted, allegedly for sex addiction, more than 30 women – including Angelina JolieGwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan, and Cara Delevingne – have released detailed statements, describing Weinstein’s alleged advances.

It was a swift move by the disgraced movie mogul to save face just days after the scandal erupted.

Gwyneth Paltrow: The star told the New York Times that Weinstein touched her and suggested having joint massages in the bedroom before she started shooting the 1996 film Emma. She said she told her then boyfriend Brad Pitt about the incident and he confronted the mogul.

angelina-jolie-cryAngelina Jolie: Jolie told the Times she had to turn down advances from Weinstein in 1998 and chose never to work with him again. She said she warned other women about him

Cara Delevingne: ‘As soon as we were alone he began to brag about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had made their careers and spoke about other inappropriate things of a sexual nature. He then invited me to his room. I quickly declined and asked his assistant if my car was outside. She said it wasn’t and wouldn’t be for a bit and I should go to his room. At that moment I felt very powerless and scared but didn’t want to act that way hoping that I was wrong about the situation. When I arrived I was relieved to find another woman in his room and thought immediately I was safe. He asked us to kiss and she began some sort of advances upon his direction. I swiftly got up and asked him if he knew that I could sing. And I began to sing….i thought it would make the situation better….more professional….like an audition….i was so nervous. After singing I said again that I had to leave.He walked me to the door and stood in front of it and tried to kiss me on the lips. I stopped him and managed to get out of the room’.

Lea Seydoux: ‘We were talking on the sofa when he suddenly jumped on me and tried to kiss me. I had to defend myself. He’s big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. He tried more than once. This was never going to be about work. He had other intentions – I could see that very clearly. All throughout the evening, he flirted and stared at me as if I was a piece of meat. It was hard to say no because he’s so powerful. I’m an actress and he’s a producer. We are in the same industry, so its impossible to avoid him. I’ve seen how he operates: the way he looks for an opening. The way he tests women to see what he can get away with. That’s the most disgusting thing. Everyone knew what Harvey was up to and no one did anything. It’s unbelievable that he’s been able to act like this for decades and still keep his career.

Asia Argento: The Italian actress has accused Weinstein of forcibly performing oral sex on her when she was 21. ‘He terrified me, and he was big. It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare.’ She said she went on to have consensual sex with him over the years that followed. She documented the alleged attack in her 2000 film Scarlet Diva.

Zoe Brock: ‘Harvey left the room, but not for long. He re-emerged naked a couple of minutes later and asked if I would give him a massage. Panicking, in shock, I remember weighing up the options and wondering how much I needed to placate him to keep myself safe. I told him I was uncomfortable and that I was angry that I had been tricked into this position. He pleaded with me to let him massage me and I let him put his hands on my shoulders while my mind raced. Harvey chased me, d**k, b**ls and all, and banged on the door with his fists, pleading with me to come out.’

Louisette Geiss: Actress was called to a late night meeting with Weinstein in 2008. He allegedly emerged in a bathrobe and told her he would green light her script if she watched him masterbate. She left the meeting.

Judith Godreche: The French actress says Weinstein tried to massage her and pull off her sweater after asking her up to his Cannes suite to see the view in 1996.
Dawn Dunning: Aspiring actress says she was called to a meeting about future film projects in 2003. When she arrived Weinstein presented her with three scripts for his next three movies which he would let her star in, only if she had three-way sex with him. She fled the hotel.

Tomi-Ann Roberts: Weinstein met her when she was serving tables as a college junior in 1984 and told her to meet him at his home. When she arrived, she says, he was naked in the bath and told her she would give a better audition if she was nude. She says she refused and left.

Katherine Kendall: The Swingers actress was told Weinstein had to stop off in his apartment to pick something up after a screening in 1993. He changed into a bathrobe and told her to massage her. When she resisted she said the mogul returned naked and chased her.

Lucia Evans: The actress, formerly known as Lucia Stoller, claims Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004. Speaking to the New Yorker, she said that she suffered years of trauma after the incident which occurred in a ‘casting meeting’ in a Miramax office in Manhattan. He reportedly called her late at night after the incident.

Mira Sorvino: The Mighty Aphrodite actress told the New Yorker that Weinstein tried to massage her in a hotel room at the 1995 Toronto International Film Festival. He then went to her home in the middle of the night but she called a male friend to protect her, she claimed. She said turning down the mogul adversely affected her career.

Rosanna Arquette: The actress also said her career suffered after she rebuffed Weinstein’s advances in the early 1990s. At a hotel meeting he tried to put her hand on his erect penis, she claims.

Rose McGowan: The actress, who made her breakthrough in 1996 in the Weinstein-produced slasher revival movie Scream, reportedly sued Weinstein after he assaulted her in 1997 at the Sundance Film Festival. She signed a non-disclosure agreement at the close of the suit and has only referred to him obliquely in social media since. On Sunday she referred to being abused by a ‘monster’ and has previously referred to being raped by a studio head.

Ashley Judd: Judd’s film roles include the 1997 thriller Kiss the Girls – and says that during the filming of that movie Weinstein repeatedly asked her to watch him shower. She was one of the women who spoke out to The New York Times this week, saying: ‘Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.’

Emma De Caunes: French actress Emma de Caunes said that she met Weinstein in 2010, soon after he told her he had a script he was producing based on a book with a strong female character. Weinstein offered to show her the script, and asked her up to his hotel room, where he began to take a shower. He then emerged naked and with an erection, asking her to lay down with him on the bed and telling her that many had done so before. ‘I was very petrified,’ said de Caunes. ‘But I didn’t want to show him that I was petrified, because I could feel that the more I was freaking out, the more he was excited.’

Lauren O’Connor: A former employee of The Weinstein Company, she told executives there in the fall of 2015 that there was ‘a toxic environment for women at this company’ after one of her colleagues told her that Weinstein had pressured her into massaging him while he was naked, the NYT said.

Ambra Battilana: An Italian actress and model, she told the NYT that in March 2015 Weinstein invited her to his New York office. There, she said, he asked if her breasts were real before grabbing them and putting his hands up her skirt. She reported the alleged incident to police, but they did not press charges. According to the NYT, Weinstein later paid her off.

Jessica Barth: Weintein reportedly pressured Barth, an actress, to give him a naked massage in the Peninsula Hotel from 2011 onwards.

Laura Madden: An ex-employee, she told the NYT that Weinstein had asked her to give him massages from 1991 onwards, while they were both in London and Dublin. ‘It was so manipulative,’ she told the NYT. ‘You constantly question yourself – am I the one who is the problem?’ Weinstein denied knowledge.

Emily Nestor: Nestor was a temporary employee of the Weinstein Company for just one day in 2014 when Weinstein approached her and offered to boost her career in exchange for sex, the NYT reported.

Zelda Perkins: An assistant of Weinstein’s based in London in 1998; then 25, she reportedly confronted Weinstein after she and ‘several’ others were harassed and later settled out of court.


Caucasian Who Turned Herself Into A Dark-Skinned Woman Wants To Come To Kenya

A white glamour model who spent £50,000 on surgery and now identifies as black returned to ITV daytime show This Morning to reveal that she is going to Africa to ‘learn to be black’.

Former air hostess Martina Big, who claims she is 28 and a size 6, has boosted her breasts to a size 32S. She claims it has taken just three tanning injections and her own powerful 50-tube sunbed has achieved her ‘dark, crispy brown’ complexion.

The German tanning addict, who claims her breasts are ‘Europe’s biggest’, was confronted by Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, who spoke to her via live link from America, about how she was offending ethnic minorities with her controversial looks.

She said: ‘I don’t want to fight the black people I do it for myself. I am really proud that this medicine works well.

Martina Big

‘I can feel in myself that I am changing to a black woman. Now I am a black woman I have to learn…

‘That is the reason why In January I want to go to Africa to learn about the culture and so there is no more misunderstanding.

The glamour model also revealed she was going to get surgery on her nose to ‘be like an African nose’.

In January, Martina had three melanin boosting injections that have turned her a deep shade of mahogany.

She first appeared on This Morning with her boyfriend Michael earlier this year and is now darker than ever after having three tanning injections costing £170 each.

Martina appeared to claim that her tastes in food and music had also changed, but then later said ‘hip hop wasn’t my style’.

She also said that all the surgery was helping her towards becoming black much to the disgust of Phillip and Holly.

‘All these steps, having black curly hair. I am going to change my nose to be like an African nose, wider… I am going to have butt implants to be curvier…

Martina Big

‘But also I am going to Africa and different countries. To meet the people in person and more about the histories.

Martina also appeared on The Maury Show last month where she told the host: ‘I am black. That is my race. I can’t wait to go to Africa because I hear the food is tasty.

‘It’s better to be black, the feeling inside is just better.’

‘I am the proud owner of black skin,’ she told the audience. ‘If they start fading, I won’t feel less black. I will ask them for more.’

Martina, describes herself as ’80 per cent black’ because she still ‘has a lot to learn’.

When asked previously if she thinks she’s offending people who were born black, she said: ‘No, I don’t want to. I know some feel attacked but it’s not my intention. I do it for myself and only talk to people who want to talk with me about this.’

Martina first began dabbling with surgery in 2012, when her boyfriend encouraged her to take up modelling.

She once aspired to look like Pamela Anderson or Katie Price but has since decided they’re ‘not curvy enough’.

‘I wanted to look like a Barbie with long blonde hair and long legs but much bigger breasts,’ she explained.

‘I look at Pamela Anderson and I want to look like her. I like her curves. I am making myself a real life Barbie.’

In a recently uncovered video, Martina is seen standing in front of the Hollywood sign in a leopard bikini top and shorts.

She said: ‘ The last time I visited this with blonde hair and white skin… And now I’m a black woman with African hair [sic].’

The video has been slammed by viewers. One wrote: ”I’m not pleased or supporting this mess.

‘I’m a black woman as you can see and I don’t think this is cool. It’s sad. It’s pitiful.’

She recently visited Los Angeles plastic surgeons and asked them to give her enormous butt implants to ‘balance out’ her extreme figure.

Appearing on reality TV show Botched on E!, she said: ‘I have the biggest boobs in Europe but I need my butt to match my boobs.’

However she eventually conceded she needed a less ‘extreme’ procedure.


Source: Daily Mail

I Survived Being Aborted At 8 Month After A Nurse Heard My Cries – Woman Talks About Forgiving Her Mother

Weighing just 2Ib 14oz she lay hooked up to wires and tubes in a neonatal unit on August 29, 1977.

But there was no anxious parent nearby, lovingly holding her minuscule hand, desperately willing her to live.

Because Melissa Ohden’s mother had left the hospital in Iowa, believing the toxic saline solution she’d been given over a five-day period when she was eight months pregnant had aborted her child.

However the procedure had failed but Melissa’s mother had no idea her daughter had survived, against the odds, until 36 years later.

After Melissa learnt about her traumatic start in life, she spent nearly two decades searching for answers and would discover her guilt-ridden birth mother had not wanted to have the termination.

Melissa also learnt that she is alive today because a nurse heard her weak cries, slight movements and gasps for breath as she lay discarded as medical waste and rushed her to intensive care.

Melissa Ohden

And in a macabre twist, it emerged there was another nurse at the hospital who had instructed the others to ‘leave the baby in the room to die’.

Devastatingly, Melissa, who lives in Missouri, US, found out that that woman – one of the supervisors in charge that day – was in fact her own grandmother.

Here Melissa re-tells her astonishing journey exclusively to Mail Online and reveals how she learnt to forgive her mother and grandmother – who she has chosen not to name.

The circumstances around Melissa’s traumatic start in life took her decades to fully unravel.

Such a discovery would drive most people to become bitter and twisted. But Melissa – who was adopted by a loving family and reunited with her birth mother last year after a 17-year search – says she’s found it in her heart to forgive.

Melissa Ohden

‘I discovered that my birth mother, aged 19, had been forced into the abortion by her own mother, who was an educational nurse at the hospital,’ said the 40-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, who has written a memoir about her life. She was heavily sedated and didn’t know that I had been born alive. It would be 30 odd years before she learned the truth. It’s been a long and painful journey from shame and anger to faith and forgiveness. But I refuse to be poisoned by bitterness – that’s no way to live.’


Terminations carried out using saline are a type of ‘instillation abortion’.

This is a method performed by injecting a solution into the uterus during late term pregnancies.

Chemical solutions used can be either saline, urea, or prostaglandin, delivered through the abdomen and into the amniotic sac. This induces contractions that expel the fetus.

Once common practice, abortion by intrauterine instillation has declined dramatically in recent years due to reports of serious adverse effects.

Intrauterine instillation (of all kinds) declined from 10.4% of all legal US abortions in 1972 to 0.1% by 2007.

The rate of mortality reported in the States from 1972-1981 was 9.6 per 100,000 for instillation methods. This is in comparison to rates of 4.9 per 100,000 for dilation and curettage.

Battle to live

The doctors who carried out the abortion at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa, had estimated that Melissa’s mother, whose identity she has chosen to keep private, was about 20 weeks along.

But the fact that she had survived the saline infusion – a method largely no longer used in the US and UK because of its failure rate – led them to believe she was actually 31 weeks when induced.

Melissa suffered jaundice, respiratory distress and seizures. It was expected that even if she did survive she would have vision problems, hearing loss and developmental delays.

Three weeks later, she was transferred to the University Hospital in Iowa City. The nurses who cared for the nameless baby made her tiny clothes and colorful booties.

One, called Mary, decided she needed an identity and named her Katie Rose.

At three months old she left hospital and was taken in by Linda and Ron Ohden, a couple who had already adopted a girl called Tammy, four years older than Melissa.

For years, her adoptive parents and Mary kept in touch, exchanging Christmas cards and letters with pictures and updates on her progress. When Melissa got older, she wrote the letters herself.

‘Mary and I began a friendship that would last for decades,’ she explains. ‘It made me feel so special that this nurse cared for me when no one else did.’

Despite some early struggles, by age five Melissa had caught up developmentally and was given a clean bill of health.

The bombshell moment

Melissa and her sister had been told early on they were adopted by their parents, who had a natural son called Dustin when Melissa was six despite believing they couldn’t conceive.

‘Tammy and I fought like sisters typically do,’ said Melissa. ‘It was during one of these explosive arguments, when I was 14, that she blurted out, “At least my parents wanted me!”’

 Melissa Ohden

Melissa says she always knew she was adopted – but it took decades to know the full truth of her start in life

‘I ran to my adoptive parents who eventually told me the devastating truth – that I had survived a botched abortion. They had never intended for me to know.

‘My world felt like it stopped spinning that night. I felt, angry, scared, ashamed and even guilty for being alive.’

Melissa then spent much of her teenage years ‘in great emotional pain’, developing bulimia and turning to sex and alcohol.

‘I was drinking heavily to numb the pain. But my parents never realized how much I was hurting because I was so good at hiding it.’

Desperate search for the truth

Melissa pulled herself together and headed off to the University of South Dakota to study political science.

She would later learn that her biological mother had attended there as well.

And astonishingly, her maternal grandmother – the very woman who orchestrated the abortion – was a professor at the university during the time Melissa was there.

‘I didn’t know this at the time of course, but I look back and wonder if we ever unwittingly crossed paths,’ said Melissa.

At 19, the desire to know more about her background eat away at her and she began her search to find her birth family.

There was little information on her adoption papers, so their identities were a mystery.

Coincidentally, she soon ended up moving to Sioux City, where the failed abortion had taken place, which gave her the chance to search local records.

She pored over phonebooks, newspapers on microfiche, and year books at the library, not knowing her birth mother’s name but looking for someone who looked like herself.

She also put an advert in the local newspaper appealing for anyone with information to come forward, but to no avail.

After years of futile hunting, Melissa came across a startling lead when she was 30.

‘I knew my maternal grandparents’ surname and where they had been employed, so that was a big piece of the puzzle,’ she said.

‘I was flicking through a nursing college year book when I came across a woman I suspected was my grandmother. I still didn’t know at this stage her full role in what happened.’

She sent them a letter, but only her grandfather wrote back.

‘He said my live birth was not the intention the day I was born. He also made it clear I wouldn’t find my birth mother through them because they were estranged from her.

‘It was evident their relationship with my mother was never the same after my birth. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I knew then something sinister had gone on.’

Finding her father

That same year, Melissa requested her medical records which gave her a breakthrough – the hospital administrators had forgotten to black out her parents’ names.

After discovering she was living in same city as her biological father, she reached out to him by letter.

‘I have every reason to believe he never knew I was born. I simply told him that I was alive, and that I wasn’t angry or bitter. But he never responded.’

Six months later she searched the internet for his name and discovered he had very recently died when she came across his obituary. She then made contact with his brother.

‘His family were aware of my existence, they had come across my letter to him when they were clearing out his office after his death.

‘They told me he once said “I have done something I’m so ashamed of but I can never say what”.

‘Knowing what I know now, I take that to mean that my mother was being forced to have an abortion and he did nothing to stop it.

‘Perhaps he felt too much shame to respond to me, I will never really know.’

Answers at last

Melissa OhdenMelissa gave up her hunt for a while. By then she was married to IT worker Ryan, now 42, with whom she has two daughters, Olivia, nine, and Ava, three. Her oldest was born at the same hospital where she survived the abortion.

Then, when she was 36, her biological mother’s cousin emailed her after learning she’d been in touch with the family.

She was told that her parents were college students – childhood sweethearts – who were engaged to be married when she was conceived.

‘My mother was athletic and as a result had always had irregular periods, so she didn’t realize she was pregnant until the third trimester,’ said Melissa.

‘I was told she didn’t want a termination, but my grandparents didn’t approve of the relationship between her and my father.

‘That was a huge shock, I’d spent so many years thinking my mother never wanted me.

‘My grandmother arranged for the saline abortion within days of finding out about the pregnancy. My heart ached for my mother for having gone through that.

‘I also discovered my mother’s sister visited her in the hospital during the five-day infusion and tried to get her out of there, but the staff said it was too late.’

Melissa wondered how she could be put up for adoption without her mother’s consent, and came to the conclusion her signature must have been forged.

A nurse who worked at the hospital when she was born told her about the staff member who saved her – and her grandmother’s disturbing attempts to deny her a chance of life.

‘I have never met the woman who took me to neonatal but she’s an angel, I owe her my life,’ said Melissa.

Emotional reunion

Finally, after 17 years of searching, the cousin put Melissa in touch with her mother.

‘I can’t even remember now who emailed who first, but I recall we were both so shocked,’ she explained.

‘My mother had no idea I was alive… can you imagine? We chatted for three years before we met. I think we were both scared of rejection.

‘Then I bit the bullet and suggested we meet. Her reply was enthusiastic.

‘When we finally met in May last year, I could see her in the distance getting nearer and part of me wanted to run away. It was scary.

‘Then we hugged and both cried. I said, “It’s been a long time”. She told me, “I was robbed of you”. Then it felt really natural.

‘She carries a lot of guilt and lives with many regrets but I told her I don’t blame her at all.

The book recounts her story of searching for her mother and their eventual re-uniting

The book recounts her story of searching for her mother and their eventual re-uniting

‘I have only forgiveness in my heart, for my father too and even for my grandmother.’

Melissa found out that her grandmother had passed away some years earlier.

She also discovered she has two half-sisters, one of whom she has met and the other she plans to see soon. She has seen her mother a few times since and is in regular contact.

After a career in social work, Melissa is now a motivational speaker as well as an author, and she founded the Abortion Survivors Network to support others in the same position.

‘I have been in touch with 223 abortion survivors, mainly from the US but from all over,’ she added. ‘It has devastated lives.

‘Through my Catholic faith I have learnt to forgive. It doesn’t make what happened okay, but it releases you from the pain. We are all human and we all make mistakes.’



It is no longer a felony to knowingly transmit HIV to your lover or spouse

Knowingly transmitting HIV to a partner will be lowered from a felony to a misdemeanor offense in California as of January 1, 2018.

The new bill was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on Friday, after passing in California legislature on September 11.

Now, instead of facing up to eight years in prison, anyone convicted of knowingly transmitting HIV will server a maximum of six months behind bars.

The change is welcomed by the LGBTQ community as a step forward in the destigmatization of HIV, but opponents are concerned that the reduced sentence will increase high risk behavior and the spread of the disease.

Until now, HIV was the only sexually transmitted disease (STD) in California that carried a felony sentence for someone who knowingly transmitted the diseases. Intentionally donating blood or infecting a partner with any other STD is a misdemeanor.

The bill, SB 239 was written by Senator Scott Wiener and Assemblymember Todd Gloria. Weiner said in a statement that its passage represents ‘a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals.’

California’s new law comes as recently developed drugs for preventing and treating HIV have significantly extended life expectancies and lowered transmission rates in the HIV-positive community.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially announced that people who are on regular viral load suppression medication cannot transmit HIV to their partners, as it is maintained at undetectable levels.

Between 2010 and 2014, the rate of HIV infections fell 10 percent in the US, according to the CDC.

Assemblymember Gloria said that this legislation marks ‘an important step to update our laws to reflect the medical advances which no longer make a positive diagnosis equal to a death sentence.’

According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV. One in seven of those are unaware of their status.


Between 2010 and 2014, the rate of new HIV infections fell by 10 percent.

HIV can be transmitted through blood transfusions, needle sharing, vaginal or anal sex. The risks of transmission through oral sex or other forms of bodily fluid contact are extremely low.

Recently developed drugs like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) drastically decrease the chances of being infected by or transmitting HIV, respectively.

 The bill’s opponents said that many patients living with HIV do not take their medications consistently enough to prevent the disease’s spread, and focused on the ‘intentional’ component of the previously felony offense.

CNN reported that Senator Jeff Stone, who voted against the bill said that ‘If you don’t take your AIDS medications and you allow for some virus to duplicate and show a presence, then you are able to transmit that disease to an unknowing partner,’ on the California Senate floor.


The bill’s authors wrote in a statement that California made intentional transmission a felony offense in the 1980s and 1990s out of fear, during a time when scientific understanding of HIV was very limited.

Recent studies have found that compliance with medication schedules all but eliminates the risk of transmission of HIV. The new law is welcomed by its supporters and members of the LGBTQ community in particular.

Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California which threw its support behind SB 239, said that ‘it is not only fair, but it’s good public health.’

‘When people are no longer penalized for knowing their status, it encourages them to come forward, get tested and get treatment. That’s good for all Californians.’


Nigerian Model Who Appeared In Dove Advert Says, ‘I Don’t Feel It Was Racist!’

A black model who appeared in a Dove advert denounced as racist by many social media users has defended the clip, saying that far from belittling black women it celebrated ethnic diversity.

Lola Ogunyemi unwittingly found herself at the centre of an international furore over a 3-second video posted on Dove’s U.S. Facebook page which showed her removing her t-shirt to reveal a white woman, who then took hers off to reveal an Asian woman.

“I don’t feel it was racist,” she said in an interview with the BBC on Wednesday.

Many Facebook and Twitter users said the clip signalled that white people were cleaner or more beautiful than black people and likened it to 19th century soap adverts that showed black people scrubbing themselves to become white.

Toa Tint: Dove slammed for ad showing black woman becoming white

 But Ogunyemi said the stills from the clip that shot around the internet over the weekend – which mostly showed only her and the white woman, leaving out the Asian woman – gave the wrong impression.

dove soap adShe said there was a 30-second, made-for-TV version that had other images and a slogan that made it much clearer that the intention was to say that all women deserved quality products.

“The screenshots that have taken the media by storm paint a slightly different picture,” she said.

Dove apologised for the Facebook clip, saying it had “missed the mark in representing women of colour thoughtfully”.

Ogunyemi, who is Nigerian, born in Britain and raised in the United States, said in an article in the Guardian that she had “grown up very aware of society’s opinion that dark-skinned people, especially women, would look better if our skin were lighter”.

Lola OgunyemiFar from fitting into this narrative, she wrote, her participation in the Dove advert was a chance to “represent my dark-skinned sisters in a global beauty brand”.

She said Dove could have defended itself by better explaining the concept behind the clip.

That’s a First! Lilian Muli Defends Khaligraph Jones On His Alleged Bleaching, Warns Fans Against Trolling Him

However, she also said that Dove should have spotted the risk that the sequence of images could be interpreted as racist given that it had run into trouble over similar content in the past.

“They should have strong teams there that can point this kind of thing out before it goes to air,” she told the BBC.

Dove, a Unilever brand, was criticised in 2011 over an ad which showed three women side by side in front of a before-and-after image of cracked and smooth skin, with a black woman on the “before” side and a white woman on the “after” side.

Another point of contention was a label on a Dove product that said it was for “normal to dark skin”.

-The Star/ Reuters

8 Very Important Facts About Caesarean Sections You Need To Know

Confused by all of the conflicting information about Caesarean sections?

No matter how you feel about them, it’s a fact that at least 25 percent of all deliveries are by Caesarean section.

Birmingham-based gynaecologist Gabrielle Downey busts the most common myths even the most experienced mothers believe.

Here, in a piece for Healthista, she explains the truth behind most of the myths – and which ones are false.


No. You can have a vaginal delivery if you wish—70 per cent of women are successful the second time around.

The main risk is scar rupture, but it only happens to one in 200 women with a previous Caesarean section.

The risk of scar rupture increases with the number of previous Caesareans you have had, however, you may be advised to have a planned Caesarean.


I think the only time this may be true is a general anaesthetic Caesarean as you do not get to see the baby being born and you are much more ‘out of it’ from the drugs for a number of hours.

In reality, I don’t think that the bond of mother and child is solely dependent on which body part the baby exited from.

Most maternity units practice ‘skin-to-skin’ as soon as possible with mum and baby even if the birth was by Caesarean. Nature does what it needs to do.


Yes, you can.

The baby is usually put to your breast (if you wish) within 15 minutes of the end of the procedure.

The midwife will advise the most comfortable positions.


You will be out of bed the next day, but your mobility will be reduced compared to a vaginal birth.

The scar is painful when getting out of bed, off a chair and twisting.

This reduces with time, although the time varies for each woman. Don’t be a martyr and avoid pain relief.

Avoid anything that puts pressure on the scar, but this is trial and error.


You can actually drive whenever you want, as long as you feel in control of your vehicle, can do an emergency stop safely and there is no clause on your insurance that says otherwise.


They do not as the muscles are not cut at Caesarean but gently pushed apart.

Any lack of tone is as a result of the pregnancy, not the delivery.

Take your time to recover and build up your exercise gently – walk with the pram at first.


This gets me mad as what makes you a ‘good mum’? It is certainly not the way the baby came into the world.

Enter pregnancy with the aim of delivering a healthy baby and remain healthy yourself in order to care for him or her.

That should be your primary aim, so don’t let yourself be bullied or blackmailed into thinking anything else is more important.


You always have a choice; it just has to be an informed choice, being aware of all the risks and benefits.

Whichever way the baby comes out, be proud of yourself.

You have grown this baby from an embryo, kept it safe for nine months and brought it into the world.


In a planned (elective) situation, you have more control over events.

You know the date in advance and can plan.

They are quick (usually less than 45 minutes in total) and most doctors let you see the baby being delivered and take pictures.

Your scar is neat and in a part of your body that you don’t use much.

You have pain relief for the delivery and afterwards.

You don’t have trauma to your vagina (birth canal) and thus sex will feel the same afterwards.

At least 10 per cent of women who have a vaginal delivery will have some form of damage to bowel and bladder function, which may take many years to become evident.


There will be a lot of people in the operating room.

The anaesthetic (usually a single needle in the back that works within 5 to 10 minutes) can drop your blood pressure, give you “the shakes” and you can feel sick – not good when you are lying flat on your back.

You feel movement, and in a small number of women the block is incomplete, that is, uyou feel pain or sharp tugging and have to be put to sleep.

The recovery time is longer than a vaginal birth (a few more days,) and you have to stay in the hospital for at least 24 hours afterwards compared to six hours after a vaginal delivery.

The scar is numb for many months but does eventually heal completely so you are unaware of it.

Source: Daily Mail

George Clooney Reveals Why He And Amal Didn’t Give Their Twins ‘Ridiculous Hollywood Names’

He welcomed twins Alexander and Ella with wife Amal Clooney in June.

And George Clooney revealed why they chose classic names for their children.

The 56-year-old actor said he and his wife ‘didn’t want to have dumb names’ for them, according to Paris Match via People.


Adding: ‘We didn’t want to give them one of those ridiculous Hollywood names that don’t mean anything.’

George told the website that his son and daughter ‘already have enough difficulty bearing the weight of their celebrity.’

The movie star’s interview with Paris Match came days after he and Amal stepped out for premiere of the film Suburbicon at the Venice Film Festival.

George spoke to Entertainment Tonight that he and Amal, 39, ‘just didn’t want to have really dumb names.’


The actor added that he and his attorney wife ‘figured these kids are going to be looked at a lot and watched,’ so they ‘wanted them to at least have a break with the names.’

George and Amal didn’t choose the names Ella and Alexander because of any ‘great inspiration,’ he told the website.

He didn’t name them after anyone or a historical figure like ‘Alexander the Great and Ella Fitzgerald.

George told ET that his kids, who were born on June 6, don’t share the same personality.

Bobby Brown Says He Taught Michael Jackson How To Do The Iconic Moonwalk Dance

Bobby Brown isn’t back-stepping when it comes to the moonwalk.

The 48-year-old singer on Thursday doubled down on his claim that he taught Michael Jackson how to do the iconic dance of the 1980s, when asked by TMZ if he was responsible for originating the King of Pop’s trademark move.

Asked if he taught the late Thriller singer how to do the dance, Brown replied, ‘Of course,’ but made clear that he would be unable to teach anyone else the famed flash of footwork.

‘I cannot, because I forgot,’ the Every Little Step singer told the site as he made his way from Hollywood’s Dream Hotel, where he subsequently demurred when asked about recent reports he withdrew from being a contestant on the upcoming season of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars.

‘Don’t ask me questions,’ said the My Prerogative artist, who initially made the moonwalk revelation in an August 28 chat with The Cipher’s Shawn Setaro.

Brown said that he ‘was the first one’ to do the dance move in his Boston neighborhood of Orchard Park ‘to do the moonwalk.


‘The moonwalk was one of my signature moves,’ he said. ‘Nobody. I had brought it up from down South. It was something that just killed the game once I brought it up the East Coast.’

The New Edition alum then revealed, ‘Actually, I was the one that taught Michael how to do it’ during a time when he and his former bandmates had been invited to Jackson’s home and began to dance in ‘this big room with mirrors.


‘We was all just dancin’ … we was poppin’, he was watchin’ us pop,’ Brown said. ‘He saw me do the moonwalk. And he was just like, “What is that?” And I did it again. He just watched it. And he just started doin’ it.’

Asked how he reacted after seeing Jackson first do it at a 1983 special called Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, the Don’t Be Cruel vocalist called Jackson’s footwork ‘greatness at its finest,’ adding, ‘I thought it was great; he made it look better than I did.’

Beyonce ‘In Talks’ To Sing New James Bond Theme Song Scheduled For Release In 2019

Multi-award winning megastar Beyonce is being hotly tipped to perform on the next James Bond theme song after producers demanded a fresh boost to the franchise.

The past two themes (Skyfall and Spectre) have been sung by British singers Sam Smith and Adele to much critical acclaim and now bosses have decided only a hit from Queen B can match the recent record.


The Bond 25 project is set for release in November 2019 and is said to come at an ideal time for the mother-of-three who who recently released the album Lemonade to a rapturous reception.

A Daily Star source close to Beyoncé, 35, revealed: ‘This is the only project she is remotely interested in right now.’

The source added: ‘The two spoke before Bey’s first meeting with film bosses and Adele told her how co-writing and performing a Bond theme gave her an amazing career hike.


‘Not many of the themes have been as successful – but there are tens of millions of Beyoncé fans out there.’

Beyonce – who is married to Jay Z – welcomed twins Sir and Rumi in June and is also mother to five-year-old Blue Ivy.

Female solo singers have had a golden track record when it comes to Bond with Shirley Bassey, alongside Adele, putting their names to classic theme songs.


Shirley, now 80, recorded 1964’s Goldfinger, 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever and 1979’s Moonraker.

The first two widely considered to be among the best songs among the franchise.

Ako Na Umama! Here is Why Your Man Has Mood Swings…He Has Hit MANOPAUSE

Men also undergo their own version of menopause.

Does you man have any of the following symptoms?

  • Feeling grumpy, miserable and lacking confidence
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lethargy. A loss of excitement about life and career
  • Weight gain, loss of strength and muscle tone, aching joints
  • Memory loss
  • Diminished libido

A blood test and full medical and symptom history will reveal whether a man has reduced hormone levels.

The three sex hormones men need are:

DHEA: Dehydroepiandrosterone, a hormonal precursor produced by the adrenal glands and made into testosterone.

TESTOSTERONE: The main male hormone, although women require low levels too (essential for muscles, bones and libido).

PROGESTERONE: A predominantly female hormone that men need at low levels; it prevents excess testosterone.

Treatment usually involves testosterone (by cream or gel), DHEA (in capsules) or progesterone. After treatment ‘men sleep better, get back their zest for life and their wives get back the men they fell in love with.’ Dr Gluck warns that treatment may not be suitable for men with a history of prostate cancer.

Here is a naration from a man who suffered from male menopause.

For the most part, I have managed to avoid those embarrassing mid-life crisis cliches that afflict so many men of my age: the need to buy a Harley-Davidson; getting down with the kids at Glastonbury; the inappropriately tight trousers worn without irony.

When I turned 40 I briefly flirted with the idea of treating myself to a vintage Ford Mustang. Thankfully, dignity got the better of me and I continued trundling around in my sensible, mid-range, mid-price middle-age-appropriate hatchback.

Now I’m nearing 50, my mid-life crisis (if indeed that’s what it is) has become less about recapturing lost youth and more about dealing with crippling existential anxiety. And when I’m not fretting about my place in the universe, I’ll be raging at the injustice of it all.

Life continues around me and yet I feel strangely locked out; not so much looking through a glass darkly as staring at a steel wall. My mind and body no longer feel connected. Emotionally I’m all over the place; railing against the world one minute, sobbing uncontrollably the next. My body remains in a constant state of achy fatigue.

Although I suffered from mild depression in my early 30s this felt different, more profound. Why, on the eve of my 50th birthday, had I become so irascible, so impatient, so unpredictable and distant around people I cared for? What was this woozy sense of unreality hanging over me and why did I feel so fuzzy and exhausted all the time?

I have a comfortable, interesting life, friends and a wonderful woman who loves me, so why did I find it so hard to focus on the positive? I slept fitfully and most mornings would awake with a sense of foreboding — unable to lift my head from the pillow, let alone leap at the challenges of the day. And when I finally made it through the front door and out into the waiting world, that sense of disconnection rendered me helpless. What was happening to me?

Of course, many Inspire readers will recognise these symptoms, but it was only during lunch with a close female friend, now in her 50s, that the subject of the menopause — or manopause — came up.

For the past six months, Jayne had been suffering from hot flushes, mood swings, irritability, over-emotional outbursts, insomnia and feelings of exhaustion and despair.

After hiding under the duvet for weeks on end, she finally plucked up the courage to seek help and was about to begin a course of HRT. Apart from the hot flushes, her symptoms sounded remarkably similar to mine.

‘Perhaps you’re going through the andropause,’ she suggested with a wry smile.

‘The what?’

‘The male menopause,’ she said, rolling her eyes.

Jayne proceeded to tell me about her boyfriend who was also suffering from menopausal symptoms.

‘His mood swings were becoming intolerable and he found it hard to concentrate on anything,’ she said. ‘To top it all, he lost interest in me physically, so I made him have a blood test and it turned out his testosterone levels were way down.

‘He’s now on supplements and the transformation has been remarkable.’

Jayne explained that like women’s menopause, the andropause is linked to a drop in hormones. After 30, most men experience a 10 per cent drop in their testosterone levels every decade. Unlike women, they probably have no idea it’s happening.

But if middle-aged men really do experience a similar kind of hormonal imbalance to women, why aren’t we more aware of it? Like me, none of my male friends had even heard of the andropause. Most were familiar with the menopause and some could even list a few of the symptoms, but they had no idea that men might be prone to something similar. The mainstream medical profession appears divided. My GP scoffed when I asked him whether the andropause might explain my erratic behaviour.

Although testosterone levels fall as men age, the NHS argues that the decline is steady — less than 2 per cent a year — and that this change is unlikely to be noticeable.

They suggest that menopausal symptoms in men are more likely a result of lifestyle factors or psychological problems. But I have a pretty good life, I don’t smoke or drink too much and as far as I know I have no major psychological issues. So I was surprised when my GP recommended antidepressants without much in the way of consultation.

I’d been prescribed Prozac and Valium during my earlier brush with depression, but had struggled with the deadening effect of the drugs. Better to feel something than nothing has always been my philosophy.

I wasn’t willing to take that risk again so I decided to get my hormone levels tested by one of the leading authorities on the subject.

Dr Marion Gluck is a world pioneer in ‘bio-identical’ hormones to rebalance the body’s endocrine system. She’s the go-to specialist for menopausal women in the know, but has recently seen a steady trickle of men too, which she finds gratifying.

‘The only time I tend to see men in my surgery is when their wives or girlfriends have dragged them here,’ she says, wrapping a tourniquet round my arm in preparation for a blood test. ‘Men find it much harder to admit when something is wrong.’

Marion believes GPs are too quick to dismiss the manopause. She tells me that hormones regulate virtually every function in the body, so it’s important to recognise their significance to physical and mental wellbeing.

When my blood test results are in they reveal my testosterone and thyroid levels are low. Marion isn’t surprised. The exhaustion I’ve been feeling, along with my inability to concentrate, are classic symptoms of a thyroid deficiency. My irritability and mood swings are a sure sign my testosterone levels are on the wane.

Marion is keen to point out my symptoms may not be exclusively down to hormone deficiency; there are probably a number of factors at play, so it’s important these are taken into consideration when diagnosing signs of depression. This, according to Marion, is where the NHS is failing patients. ‘Instead of blithely prescribing anti-depressants to anyone who complains about feeling low, doctors should take a more holistic approach, by asking why patients feel depressed.

‘The diagnosis should be built around contributing factors including hormone levels, lifestyle choices and mental wellbeing.’

For this reason she tends not to rely too heavily on blood test results. ‘I prefer to treat individual symptoms, not statistics on pieces of paper,’ she says. ‘Besides, there is no such thing as “normal” when it comes to hormone levels. What’s normal for a 48-year-old man may not be normal for a man in his 70s.’

Marion describes her diagnostic approach as like building a jigsaw, fitting each piece of the puzzle together until a bigger picture emerges. ‘Before prescribing any treatment I really need to understand the person I’m helping.’

The good news is that none of my symptoms appears to be unusual for a man of my age and Marion is confident that with some carefully planned hormone treatment, I will soon be feeling my old self again.

The middle years can be particularly tough for men as we take stock of our lives and wonder what might have been. It’s when those anxieties impinge on our ability to function that we should start to be more like women and seek help.

It’s liberating to know my symptoms may be down to a simple chemical imbalance.

Read more: 

Marriage Is Indeed Not A Bed Of Roses! City Folk REVEAL The Pains Of Being Married (Funny Tweets)

For most, getting married means making a life-long commitment to the person you love.

But these people have a rather more tongue-in-cheek idea of what marriage actually means to them – from not having to shave their legs anymore, to being able to sit on the toilet with the door open.

Dozens of husbands and wives have been sharing their hilarious insight on what marriage is really like as the hashtag #BeingMarriedMeans sweeps across Twitter.

Many described having to put up with their other half’s annoying habits for the rest of their lives, with one person quipping: ‘If the toilet seat is left up there will be consequences’.

Another joked that being married means ‘allowing your wife to stick her ice cube feet against you when you’re trying to sleep’.


In fact, having to share a bed – and a duvet – was common problem mentioned by the Twitter users.

Others had more philosophical views on what marriage means to them, with one writing: ‘Hating someone so much you want to kill them. But love them too much to do it’.

Another had a less hopeful view on marriage, suggesting that the only possible options are parting in ‘death or divorce’ – ‘so don’t do it’.

In a similar vein, one described marriage as being ‘an institution of three rings’: ‘engagement ring’, ‘wedding ring’, and ‘suffering’.

And in one rather unnerving post, a Twitter user suggested being married means always having a ‘willing accomplice/ alibi.’

Here are the tweets that will make you think long and hard if you really want to jump the broom…


Awwwww, She Is All Grown! Remember Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’s Daughter Suri? She Is Cute As A Button (PHOTOS)

It has been a pretty minute since we last saw Suri Cruise.

And it’s no surprise given that Suri Cruise still looked every inch the cherubic youngster as she stepped out with her mother Katie Holmes in New York City on Thursday.

The 11-year-old – who Katie shares with ex-husband Tom Cruise – looked the perfect amalgamation of her famous parents as she enjoyed a leisurely stroll in an adorable outfit.

Having seemingly adopted her mother’s love of fashion, Suri sported a polka dot yellow dress, which boasted a pretty pleated hem.

The mother-daughter duo looked to be indulging in a spot of shopping in the Big Apple, with Katie toting a large shopping bag.

Their outing came just a short while after the Batman Begins star gushed about her little girl during an interview on The Today Show, where she admitted she was looking forward to her daughter’s teenage years.

She enthused: ‘She is 11½, she’s a great girl and she is doing so well,’ the Dawson’s Creek actress said. ‘I’m enjoying this time. I’m not so worried yet about the teenage years.’

Host Matt Lauer then described losing his edge once his daughter became a teenager and wondered if Katie was right around the corner with her nearly teen-aged daughter.

‘I never was cool so I’ve got nothing to lose,’ the Thank You For Smoking actress said.

‘I’m totally ready for this.’

Check out photos of Suri all grown up.

katie and daughter2

katie and daughter1

katie and daughter


Kylie Jenner’s Surgeon Reveals She Sparked A Huge Rise In The Number Of People Getting Lip Fillers

Love her or hate her, Kylie Jenner is one of the most influential stars when it comes to beauty trends — and according to her surgeon, she’s also ‘singlehandedly’ changed the way young woman approach surgery to enhance their beauty.

The 20-year-old star covers the current digital issue of WWD, in which she talks about her enormous beauty empire (Kylie Cosmetics has done $420 million in retail sales in 18 months).


And her cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Simon Ourian chimes in too, crediting the reality star with inspiring more than just lipstick looks — in fact, he says, Kylie alone has inspired other young women to get work done.

Kylie first shocked fans back in 2014 when she started getting lip injections. At first, she refused to admit it to the public, but has since become more open about discussing it.


‘When she first talked about her minimal cosmetic procedures I saw a new trend of younger women who suddenly felt empowered to unapologetically want to look more beautiful,’ Dr. Ourian told WWD.

‘It’s like Kylie singlehandedly gave a whole generation the ticket to a more enhanced version of themselves.’


Dr. Ourian also got a boost from Kylie’s influence. When she started speaking out about her procedures, she mentioned going to a different doctor for her first injections — but that doctor made her lips too big.

She then sand Dr. Ourian’s praises in a New York Times article, saying ”he’s super natural about it.’

Kelly Rowland Gushes Over Beyonce’s Newborn Twins As She Claims All Of Her Friends Are ‘Having Babies’

She and husband Tim Witherspoon are currently the parents of an only child.

But that doesn’t mean Kelly Rowland isn’t paying attention to her friends’ growing families, as she revealed to Us Weekly on Friday.

The 36-year-old Motivation songstress was clearly quite excited about close friend Beyonce’s recent welcoming of twins Rumi and Sir Carter.

‘Everybody has babies or are having babies,’ she told the publication, ‘it’s a really cool time in our lives as friends and growing up together.’


When asked specifically if she felt the need to offer up advice to her longtime friend and former Destiny’s Child member, she dismissed it out of hand.

‘No one needs’ parenting advice, including the Carters,’ she said, adding ‘all my girls are very smart.’

She then explained how all of the parents share knowledge and parenting tips.

‘They gave me great advice and we flip flop. All of us flip flop on advice, so nothing in particular.’

In terms of her own family, Kelly has been enjoying all of two-year-old son Titan’s many milestones.


‘We do everything together! We go to the park. He’s learning to swim. He’s just awesome. I’m having a good time with him.’

Beyonce has been having a great time with her own family, including taking daughter Blue Ivy, aged five, to a Kendrick Lamar concert recently.

A video posted to Queen Bey’s Instagram feed shows the 20-time-Grammy-winner’s eldest daughter bouncing along to the beat.