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Johnny Ruffo heartbreakingly reveals brain cancer has returned

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Tributes from fans and celebrities are flowing in for former <em>Home and Away</em> star Johnny Ruffo after he revealed that his brain cancer has returned.</p> <p>He battled the illness in 2017 and was given the all-clear after rounds of chemotherapy, but unfortunately, the illness has come back.</p> <p>Ruffo shared the news on his Instagram page.</p> <p>"After an unexpected week of seizures and excruciating headaches it is with a heavy heart that i have to let you know i now have another huge battle ahead of me as my brain cancer has returned," he wrote.</p> <p>He added: "Though i will dig deep and beat this sh<em>t disease again 👊🏽💜 #f</em>ckcancer"</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CH94l3tFD6S/" target="_blank">https://www.instagram.com/p/CH94l3tFD6S/</a></p> <p>A number of his former co-stars and other celebrities offered their support on the post with<span> </span><em>Home and Away</em><span> </span>star Penny McNamee sending her love.</p> <p>"Will be praying for you Johnny. You have so much love and support behind you. Xxx"</p> <p>Dan Ewing, who also acted alongside Johnny on the hit soap added: "Let's get after it Ruffo!!"</p> <p>Carrie Bickmore offered her support as well.</p> <p>"Oh Johnny....Sending so much so love. Kick it's arse 👊🏻"</p> </div> </div> </div>

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"Bubble boy" Thomas Collins dies after being unable to return home to QLD

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>A young boy who struggled with an auto-immune disease for most of his life passed away on Saturday.</p> <p>Thomas Collins was just 3 years old when he died after being diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) just days after he was born.</p> <p>The deficiency means he has no ability to fight off diseases and makes the risk of infections life-threatening.</p> <p>He spent 858 days in the hospital and was kept in a "plastic bubble" to stop him from catching diseases.</p> <p>Tom's conditions worsened while in a Melbourne hospital and the young family weren't able to move back to Queensland for support from their other family members due to COVID-19 restrictions.</p> <p>Tom's parents Leah and Morgan Collins have been fighting for their son to be let into Brisbane as he was nearing the end of his days but were unable to get a response from Queensland Health in time.</p> <p>The reason the family were in Melbourne was due to a specialist in a Melbourne hospital being the only person who could deliver the treatment Tom needed.</p> <p>The family shared their heartbreak on Facebook.</p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftomsbattle%2Fposts%2F913107189094286&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=552&amp;height=760&amp;appId" width="552" height="760" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" allow="autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share"></iframe> <p>“It is with deepest sorrow and fractured hearts that we tell you of Thomas’s passing this evening,” the Collins family posted on Facebook.</p> <p>“He passed peacefully in the arms of his parents.</p> <p>“Despite our best efforts we were unable to get him home to Queensland.</p> <p>“No response from Qld was received in time. We understood the potential conditions were very distressing and would have separated our family during transport.</p> <p>“We would then be forced to quarantine in the room he would have passed in as he was unlikely to survive 14 days quarantine.</p> <p>“We chose to do what our son needed most, which was to be with his parents in a peaceful environment to the end. We were able to do that for him.”</p> <p>“Sadly, we now have a choice between 14-day hotel quarantine, or wait 14 days south of the border to get back to Queensland, via NSW,” they said.</p> <p>“We wished we could be surrounded by family during this time but this is the hand we have been dealt.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Nurse slams South Australians complaining about six-day lockdown

<p>A “drained” South Australian nurse working on the coronavirus frontline has slammed those complaining about the state’s six-day lockdown after an increase in COVID-19 cases.</p> <p>Danielle Abbott, who works at Lyell McEwin Hospital, posted a video to Facebook where she is seen wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).</p> <p>It was accompanied by a caption criticising those who were “too entitled to stay home for six days”.</p> <p>“This is what we wear. New PPE as we enter a patient’s room, and we throw it out as we leave; repeat,” she wrote.</p> <p>“It’s not about you.”</p> <p>Ms Abbott received an outpour of support with one Facebook user writing: “Thank you for taking this risk for everyone.”</p> <p>The nurse’s poignant post comes as South Australians wake up to their first day in lockdown after a “dangerous” strain of coronavirus spread rapidly through the state.</p> <p>The detection of the strain was thanks to one young doctor’s tireless efforts after they insisted on testing an elderly woman for coronavirus after she came into emergency with a cough.</p> <p>The situation unfolded at Ms Abbott’s workplace – Adelaide’s Lyell McEwin Hospital.</p> <p>Yesterday, chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly paid tribute to the hardworking doctor.</p> <p>“There was a young doctor in the hospital in northern Adelaide who was absolutely essential in picking up that first case,” Prof Kelly said.</p> <p>“The family member that went to that hospital and went to the Emergency Department with something else completely different, no respiratory symptoms, one of the doctors heard that person coughing and did the test and that is how we know that there’s something going on in South Australia very early.</p> <p>“And they’re getting on top of [it] very early, I am confident they will get on top of it.”</p> <p>There are now 22 cases linked to the cluster.</p>

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Heartwarming update on F1 legend Michael Schumacher

<p><span>Former Ferrari boss Jean Todt has given an incredibly heartwarming update on F1 legend Michael Schumacher.</span><br /><br /><span>Todt told media outlets that he has been closely following the motorsport career of his son Mick.</span><br /><br /><span>Schumacher is one of the world’s most successful F1 drivers, but his career came to a screeching halt when he suffered severe brain injuries while on a skiing trip in the French Alps back in 2013.</span><br /><br /><span>The formula legend has not been seen in public since.</span><br /><br /><span>Information on the 51-year-old’s condition has also been a tightly kept secret, with only tiny snippets of information being released so far.</span><br /><br /><span>However, Todt has always been a reliable source of information given his extremely close relationship with the Schumacher family.</span><br /><br /><span>The 74-year-old was team principal at Ferrari during five of Schumacher’s seven titles, and has revealed that Michael is closely watching the meteoric rise of his 21-year-old son Mick.</span><br /><br /><span>Mick Schumacher is currently on the verge of securing an F1 seat at Haas in 2021 after an extremely successful stint in FIA Formula 2.</span><br /><br /><span>“Of course he is following him,” Todt told <em>RTL France.</em></span><br /><br /><span>“Mick is probably going to race in Formula 1 next year which will be a great challenge.</span><br /><br /><span>“We would be delighted to have a new Schumacher at the highest level of motor racing.”</span><br /><br /><span>The comments have led the public to believe the F1 legend is conscious, following years of speculation he’s been in a vegetative state ever since his skiing accident.</span><br /><br /><span>Todt however has not given much details on the health of Schumacher.</span><br /><br /><span>“This is a question on which I am going to be extremely reserved,” Todt said of the former Ferrari superstar.</span><br /><br /><span>“I see Michael very often – once or twice a month. My answer is the same all the time – he fights. We can only wish for him and his family that things get better.”</span><br /><br /><span>The Frenchman is one of just a few family and friends allowed into Schumacher’s mansion on Lake Geneva, where the German racing legend is believed to be recovering.</span><br /><br /><span>The former Ferrari boss revealed back in 2019 that he watched an F1 race on TV with Schumacher.</span><br /><br /><span>“I’m always careful with such statements, but it’s true. I saw the race together with Michael Schumacher at his home in Switzerland,” Todt told <em>Radio Monte-Carlo.</em></span><br /><br /><span>“Michael is in the best hands and is well looked after in his house.</span><br /><br /><span>“He does not give up and keeps fighting.”</span><br /><br /><span>“His family is fighting just as much and of course our friendship can not be the same as it once was.</span><br /><br /><span>“Just because there’s no longer the same communication as before.”</span></p>

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Unlikely new weapon in the war on COVID

<p>A new study in the UK has shown that mouthwash has been shown to kill coronavirus in just 30 seconds.</p> <p>Scientists at Cardiff University found that there were "promising signs" that over-the-counter mouthwashes may help to destroy the virus.</p> <p>Dr Nick Claydon said the study could lead to mouthwash becoming an important part of people's routines.</p> <p>Dr Claydon, a specialist periodontologist, said: "If these positive results are reflected in Cardiff University's clinical trial, CPC-based mouthwashes... could become an important addition to people's routine, together with hand washing, physical distancing and wearing masks, both now and in the future."</p> <p>Dr Richard Stanton, lead author on the study, said: "This study adds to the emerging literature that several commonly-available mouthwashes designed to fight gum disease can also inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (and other related coronaviruses) when tested in the laboratory under conditions that are designed to mimic the oral/nasal cavity in a test tube.</p> <p>"This study is not yet peer reviewed and published which means it has not yet been scrutinised by other scientists as is the usual process with academic research. It has now been submitted for publication in a journal.</p> <p>"People should continue to follow the preventive measures issued by the UK government, including washing hands frequently and maintaining social distance."</p> <p>Prof David Thomas, from the university, said the initial results were encouraging, but the clinical trial would not produce evidence of how to prevent transmission between patients.</p> <p>"Whilst these mouthwashes very effectively eradicate the virus in the laboratory, we need to see if they work in patients and this is the point of our ongoing clinical study," he said to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-54971650" target="_blank" class="editor-rtflink"><em>BBC</em></a>.</p> <p>"The ongoing clinical study will, however, show us how long any effects last, following a single administration of the mouthwash in patients with Covid-19."We need to understand if the effect of over-the-counter mouthwashes on the Covid-19 virus achieved in the laboratory can be reproduced in patients."</p>

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Samantha Armytage blasts Daily Mail for sharing videos of private funeral

<p>Samantha Armytage has blasted the <em>Daily Mail</em> for published a sad video of her delivering an emotional eulogy at her mother’s private funeral.</p> <p>The <em>Sunrise </em>Host has accused the news website of gaining access to a live stream that had been set up for family members who could not attend due to COVID restrictions.</p> <p>The website recorded the service and uploaded a now-deleted clip of the star paying tribute to her mum under the headline  “Samantha Armytage breaks down in tears delivering touching eulogy at mother Libby’s funeral.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CHmWh9tHbw3/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CHmWh9tHbw3/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Samantha Armytage ⭐️ (@sam_armytage)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Despite her grief, the morning show host took time to call out the senseless act.</p> <p>“Lawmakers, where are the privacy rules in this country?” she wrote.</p> <p>Daily Mail had did not only publish a clip from the funeral but also transcribed Armytage’s full eulogy and posted other private details – including names of those in attendance and songs that were played during the service.</p> <p>“Again, I urge you all to not visit these websites.”</p> <p>“Don’t click on their rubbish. Put them out of business. They are vile,” Armytage continued.</p> <p>“And for the people who work for them, well, karma’s a b*tch.”</p> <p>Samantha also mentioned in her post the Daily Mail employee whose name is credited as having penned the article.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CHRwJcjn7Tn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CHRwJcjn7Tn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Samantha Armytage ⭐️ (@sam_armytage)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>It’s not yet known how <em>Daily Mail</em> got access to the Armytage family’s private video feed, but it has become increasingly popular to broadcast a funeral to family and friends through livestream.</p> <p>Samantha’s Instagram post has received hundreds of comments of support.</p> <p>“So sorry to hear this honey. Sending all the love to you at such a terribly painful private time,” Logie-winning actress Rebecca Gibney wrote.</p> <p>Samantha’s mum, Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Armytage died on Melbourne Cup day after a long battle with an autoimmune illness.</p>

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High honour for Hannah's last heroic act

<p>Queensland mum Hannah Clarke has been posthumously honoured as one of Australia’s Women of the Year after she was was murdered along with her three young children by her estranged partner.</p> <p>Hannah was dropping her kids off to school when her estranged partner Rowan Baxter, 42, jumped into the passenger seat of her car and doused the family in petrol in a suburban Brisbane street on February 19.</p> <p>He set them all alight before telling people in the street not to help. He then took his own life.</p> <p>The three children died in the car while Hannah jumped out screaming: “He’s poured petrol on me.”</p> <p>She died later in the hospital but was able to give police a detailed statement beforehand outlining the horrific incident and years of abuse.</p> <p>Now, the 31-year-old has been recognised in the annual Marie Claire Women of the Year list for her bravery in bringing attention to a lesser known form of abuse - coercive control.</p> <p>“Though she had burns to 97 per cent of her body, Hannah still managed to give police a clear and articulate statement,” Hannah’s mother, Sue Clarke, told Marie Claire. “She pushed herself to repeat it; the police were in awe. It was truly to make him pay – she was going to fight for her babies to the end.”</p> <p>Before Hannah was killed, she was living with her parents to escape Baxter’s controlling behaviour.</p> <p>Nicky Briger, Marie Claire editor, said Hannah displayed “incredible bravery and resilience during those last horrific hours of her life to ensure her story was told” and it was important her efforts were recognised.</p> <p>“Because of Hannah, coercive control was given nationwide attention, and now her parents – Sue and Lloyd – are carrying on her legacy by fighting to make coercive control a crime in Australia,” she said.</p>

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Roger Federer on the devastating tragedy that rocked his world

<p>Roger Federer may be considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion has revealed the obstacles he had to face during his time as a junior.</p> <p>Speaking to BecomingX, an organisation started by Bear Grylls to showcase the stories of influential stars to help inspire people around the world, the athlete spoke about his doubts over making it professional.</p> <p>The 39-year-old opened up about his challenges as a junior and the hardships he faced as he played tennis away from home at such a young age.</p> <p>Federer recounts the first game he played, which he lost 6-0, 6-0, and was doubting his talent.</p> <p>“I kept on practicing hard, I started playing more tournaments,” Federer said.</p> <p>“I started to become very successful also, even as a junior, at least in my area. Nationally, I became Junior Swiss Champion for the first time when I was 12 years old.”</p> <p>But a few years later, Federer left his family to join the National Tennis Centre in Switzerland.</p> <p>The Swiss maestro said he became very homesick during this period.</p> <p>“And off I went at 14 to the National Tennis Centre. I was in a great family from Monday to Friday and then I would only come home on the weekends, and I'd be incredibly homesick for the first nine months,” he added.</p> <p>“Results dropped, I lacked confidence, couldn't speak the language, I really struggled.”</p> <p>Federer says those years shaped who he has become today.</p> <p>“It was quite a rough journey,” Federer said.</p> <p>“I think those were the two most influential years of my life, from 14 to 16. Being away from home, persevering and having that responsibility to figure out the things, sort of on my own sometimes.”</p> <p>But Federer also owes his success to his former mentor Peter Carter, who died in a car accident in 2002, a tragedy which changed Federer’s life forever.</p> <p>The Swiss maestro said the tragedy prompted him to “switch gears” and take tennis more seriously.</p> <p>“When I was 16, Peter Carter joined the NTC and he became my mentor,” Federer said.</p> <p>“If I play the way I play today, it's probably because of Peter.</p> <p>"Obviously, the news totally shocked me and rocked my world.</p> <p>“In some ways, it was truly a wake up call.</p> <p>This is when I guess I shifted gears and I was just like let's get serious about tennis, very serious."</p> <p>Federer took a back seat in 2020 and announced he would be sitting the remainder out, after the Australian Open, due to a knee injury.</p>

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Sean Connery’s widow shares dying wish

<p>The widow of Sean Connery has revealed the actor's dying wish.</p> <p>Micheline Roquebrune informed the<em> <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/mailonsunday/index.html" target="_blank">Scottish Mail</a> </em>that before her beloved husband passed away, he had asked for his ashes to be scattered across his native Scotland and in the Bahamas, which is where he had lived after retiring. </p> <p>"He wanted his ashes to be scattered in the Bahamas and also in his homeland," she told the outlet.</p> <p>"Whenever it is possible and safe to travel again, then it is the family's intention to return to Scotland with him."</p> <p>Roquebrune, who was Connery's wife of 45 years, also shared that a memorial service for the legendary actor will take place in his birth country.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838716/sean-connery.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/83c2e3779745449fad920b25140a76de" /></p> <p>Roquebrune is a French artist and also revealed that her late husband would be cremated at a private service in the Caribbean island at a later date.</p> <p>"We would like to organise a memorial service for him in Scotland -- that is our hope. But we cannot say when this will happen exactly," she said.</p> <p>On October 31 that Connery died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family at his home in the Bahamas.</p> <p>He was 90 and it is believed that in his last years, he struggled with dementia.</p> <p>"It was no life for him," she told the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8901151/Sean-Connerys-widow-Micheline-reveals-final-moments-Bond-star-died-aged-90.html" target="_blank">Mail on Sunday</a> </em>following his death.</p> <p>"It took its toll on him. He was not able to express himself latterly. At least he died in his sleep and it was just so peaceful.</p> <p>“I was with him all the time and he just slipped away. It was what he wanted."</p> <p>Connery is survived by Roquebrune, whom he married in 1975; his son by ex-wife Diane Cilento, actor Jason Connery.</p> <p>He also has a grandson from Jason's marriage to actress Mia Sara.</p> <p>The Bond star was married to Australian actress Cilento from 1962. The couple divorced in 1973 and Cilento died in 2011.</p>

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Lonely great-grandmother tells family she “wants to die” after 8 months in isolation

<p>A lonely great-grandmother has broken her family’s heart when she admitted she “just wants to die” after spending eight months isolated in a care home during the pandemic.</p> <p>Relatives told reporters that their beloved, sweet grandma Doreen Tilly was “full of life” when she celebrated her 100th birthday at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown.</p> <p>However, after months away from loved ones, the great-grandmother, who lives in a home in Scotland, has made a heartbreaking admission that she doesn’t want to live any longer.</p> <p>Doreen’s family told the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/i-just-want-die-scots-22975283" target="_blank">Daily Record</a> </em>they are “devastated” at her deterioration since March.</p> <p>Sonia Dixon, 37, said: “The difference in my nan is just devastating to see.</p> <p>“Before, she was full of life and thrived on regular visits from her family.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838720/grandmother-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d13c7c14295b478aa8a9e0a42c7e0a2d" /></p> <p>“While she has outlived her own two children, she has eight grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren, almost all of whom live in the area.”</p> <p>The UK Government has said it will review its approach to visiting people in care homes when England’s second national lockdown comes to an end.</p> <p>However Sonia said the government’s response is not enough and the enforced separation has been too much for her great-grandmother.</p> <p>“I can’t bear for this to go on any longer,” she said.</p> <p>“I’m watching her fade away with the loneliness – she has told me she just wants to die during the outdoor visits that I have been allowed.</p> <p>“She has become really down and has been prescribed antidepressants for the first time in her life at 100 years old.</p> <p>“People in care homes should have legal rights to see their families properly and I’d support any move to make it happen.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838721/grandmother.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8863d05dee5e436597ad83512f970636" /></p> <p>Retired pub manager Doreen is a resident at care firm HC-One’s Woodside Court Care Home in Fife.</p> <p>Sonia, a mum-of-one, said the family was offered “very limited indoor visits” for one person – or more outdoor visits for additional people.</p> <p>“In the end, we had to go with the outdoor socially distanced visits so Nan could see all of her family,” she said.</p> <p>“For someone who is 100, surely it should be up to them how much they see family members.</p> <p>“The home say they are just following the rules but, between them and the Scottish Government, they need to get this sorted out.”</p> <p>Doreen’s plea to reunite with her family follows just weeks after another Fife care home resident, 104-year-old Mary Fowler, was recorded begging to see loved ones again.</p> <p>Mary, who lives in the Balfarg Care Home, has only seen her children briefly through a window since March.</p> <p>In her message, she said: “It’s cutting me to bits.</p> <p>“I must see my kids, because time is getting on for me.</p> <p>“I must see my children and make things like they used to be.</p> <p>“Please help me. Help me. Please, please help.”</p> <p>In October, Scotland relaxed the rules of visiting residents.</p> <p>Indoor visits are no longer limited to 30 minutes and can instead last up to four hours.</p> <p>Visitors were also allowed to hold hands with residents as long as they followed COVID rules.</p> <p>Six visitors from two households, including children, were able to attend outdoor visits which can last up to one hour.</p> <p>However, new five-tier rules came into force in Scotland last Monday.</p> <p>Where Doreen lives, residents aren’t allowed to meet anyone who isn’t in their household indoors inside a home.</p> <p>Bosses at care company HC-One said: “Our caring colleagues know every resident in our homes and many relatives.</p> <p>“They understand how important visiting is and how difficult it is for all those who have missed out on precious moments over recent months.</p> <p>“While this is a challenging time for everyone, we must all work together to protect residents.</p> <p>“With safety at the forefront of everything we do, a very difficult balancing act needs to be achieved which considers the health and wellbeing of all residents and the threat of coronavirus.”</p>

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Paul "Fatty" Vautin reveals cancer scare

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Paul "Fatty" Vautin has issued a warning to his fans to get regular skin checks after having a cancer scare.</p> <p>Fans were worried about his absence from the opening State of Origin football game and he has since revealed why he wasn't at the game.</p> <p>He was told he was "on the way to developing skin cancer", he told the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/it-hurt-so-much-i-couldn-t-talk-vautin-s-warning-after-cancer-scare-20201107-p56cgi.html" target="_blank" class="editor-rtflink"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em></a>.</p> <p>“I had a patch of what I thought was dry skin on my face, but I went to the doctor to get it looked at … the next thing I knew I was being told that I was on the way to developing skin cancer,” the 61-year-old said.</p> <p>“With Origin coming up, I spoke to the doctor and said what would happen if I put it off for a few weeks, even three weeks. I said to him, ‘Believe it or not, I work in television and my face is on TV’.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CHU9ZKgBVv5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CHU9ZKgBVv5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A great message from @rugba_leeg_greatness have you had your skin checked recently? Go and get your skin checked, even if you think it couldn’t be a cancer and even if you are being careful. Paul Vautin</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/forever.fab2017/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Forever Fab</a> (@forever.fab2017) on Nov 8, 2020 at 3:06am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“He didn’t give a rats and told me I had to act straight away. I was told not to muck around. They gave me a treatment called Efudix. It’s a cream that they explained to me is like chemo in a tube.</p> <p>“I was told to put it on twice a day for 21 days, but after 13 days, I just couldn’t get any more on, it was too painful. At times it hurt so much that I couldn’t talk.”</p> <p>He's warned others to get regular checks.</p> <p>“Given I’m a ‘ranga’, I’ve always looked after my skin … I am outside a lot, but I am aware the dangers with being a redhead and the sun,” he said.</p> <p>“It just shows you can’t be too careful. Go and get your skin checked, even if you think it couldn’t be a cancer and even if you are being careful.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Samantha Armytage shares heartbreaking family news

<p>Samantha Armytage announced over the weekend that her mum, Libby Armytage, has died.</p> <p>The <em>Sunrise</em> host shared the devastating news to Instagram on Saturday afternoon, writing: “Last Tuesday afternoon, a little while after the Melbourne Cup was run, our beautiful mumma passed away, just 10 days before her 69th birthday.</p> <p>“She had fought bravely for a long time and suffered a lot, but finally her big-loving heart just couldn’t do it anymore,” Armytage wrote. </p> <p>“Mums are the centre of a family and losing ours has thrown us all in a spin &amp; left a huge, irreparable hole in each of our hearts.</p> <p>“We are very, very sad.</p> <p>“She was wonderful; kind, loving, loyal, wildly wicked, funny &amp; formidable.”</p> <p>Armytage posted several photos of her brilliant mum as well as a photo of her rose garden which was “her happy place”.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838672/libby-sam-armytage-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/12cbd93e0ad74b05bcdf962a3f97da28" /></p> <p>“She will be missed forever, but she’s at peace now … forever an angel,” Armytage wrote.</p> <p>A number of Armytage’s colleagues reacted to the heartbreaking post.</p> <p><em>The Morning Show’s</em> Larry Emdur commented: “Ohhhhhhhh @sam_armytage, we’re so so so sorry to hear that news. </p> <p>“I know what a constant and brilliant light your mum was in your life. sending you so much love and huge hugs right now.”</p> <p>Sports presenter Mark Beretta shared his own condolences, writing: “You, Mac and your beautiful family are in our thoughts and prayers Sam. We’re all here for you. Libby was a wonderful lady, with a golden heart. Sending a giant hug.”</p> <p><em>Sunrise</em> executive producer Michael Pell commented: “We’re all thinking of you Sammy.”</p> <p>In August, Armytage revealed in an Instagram post that her mum had been “gravely ill for a while”.</p> <p>“She has an auto-immune disease which has resulted in heart failure,” the TV host wrote.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838673/libby-sam-armytage-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/bfc73a5291374c568e6e1f13b96ba917" /></p> <p>In the same post in August, she announced that her dad had recently had a stroke.</p> <p>“He’s a tough old buggar &amp; he’s in rehab, frustrated but determined,” she wrote. </p> <p>“And giving plenty of cheek to his long-suffering, wonderful nurses.”</p> <p>She ended the heartbreaking post by writing: “To anyone out there with loved ones in the hospital right now or anyone out there near your parents right now, give them a hug for me. </p> <p>“Now, can 2020 just p*ss off already.”</p>

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Prince Harry “deeply saddened” after Remembrance Day request denied

<p>Prince Harry is reportedly “deeply saddened” after his request to have a wreath laid on his behalf at the royals Remembrance Day service in London on Sunday was denied. </p> <p>Harry, the Duke of Sussex, resigned as a senior working member of the British royal family in January 2020. </p> <p>His wife Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex dutifully followed behind her husband, and as such neither of them represent the monarchy. </p> <p>As part of their exit deal, Harry gave up his military titles and walked away from all of his royal duties.</p> <p>This was painful for Harry, according to the authors of the book <em>Finding Freedom.</em></p> <p>"If his grandmother's validation of his experiences served as encouragement, the most demoralising aspect of the new deal was his being stripped of his honorary military appointments that had been awarded to him as a senior royal," they write.</p> <p>"As a retired serviceman, Harry would always be able to wear his medals, but no longer could he wear uniform as Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, and honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Navy's Small Ships and Diving Operations. These roles had come to an end."</p> <p>Harry first laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in 2009 when he was just 25. </p> <p>He and Meghan now live in California in the United States, with their son Archie, where they are pursuing their own projects.</p> <p>Harry has recorded a Declassifed podcast that is set to air this week in which he speaks about the importance of Remembrance Day for him, saying: "Remembrance Day for me is a moment for respect and for hope.</p> <p>"I wear it [the poppy] to celebrate the bravery and determination of all our veterans. </p> <p>“These are the people and moments I remember when I salute, when I stand at attention and when I lay a wreath at the Cenotaph."</p>

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Captain Sir Tom Moore makes a pledge to “help the lonely”

<p>Captain Sir Tom Moore has launched a new campaign to get people walking to help support those who feel “lonely and frightened” during lockdown.</p> <p>The veteran helped raise £33m for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday.</p> <p>His efforts were rewarded by the Queen who knighted him, and he has also released an autobiography which is reportedly set to become a film.</p> <p>Capt Sir Tom said: "We are in a difficult situation but we'll get through it if we all join together."</p> <p>The challenge encourages people to log their walking on social media using the hashtag #WalkWithTom over the next week.</p> <p>He hopes to raise money for his foundation, which aims to combat loneliness and support those facing bereavement. </p> <p>The 100-year-old, who was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, said he has "always been optimistic things will improve".</p> <p>He said the second England-wide lockdown would be difficult but "we will get through it".</p> <p>Capt Sir Tom said: "We've got to consider that during this next coming period there are going to be a lot of unhappy people who are lonely and frightened and we need to go out and help those people.</p> <p>"That's why we've got the Captain Tom Foundation."</p> <p>The initiative works with four charities, the mental health charity Mind, The Royal British Legion, Helen and Douglas House children’s hospice in Oxfordshire and Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes.</p> <p>Capt Sir Tom's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said the family had been "given an incredible gift of a voice and platform to do powerfully positive things with".</p> <p>She said they wanted to "remind people that we are British and we can get through this".</p> <p>"We would like everyone to walk together with Tom so we can help support those who are lonely," she added.</p>

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Maggie Beer's heartbreaking year

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Maggie Beer had a great start to the year as three generations of her family enjoyed time in Noosa.</p> <p>It was Maggie's 75th birthday as well as her and her husband Colin's 50th wedding anniversary.</p> <p>"They're just two days apart, a very special celebration," says Maggie.</p> <p>"So we took the whole family to Noosa. We had the most beautiful time with fantastic food. Usually it's [daughter] Saskia and I who do the cooking together, but we took our chef, Tim Bourke [from Maggie's Barossa Valley restaurant The Farm Eatery], who's like part of the family. I didn't want to go out to restaurants, I just wanted to be with the family."</p> <p>Maggie often reflects on that peaceful time with her family as just four weeks later, her daughter Saskia passed away at the age of 46.</p> <p>"All we know is that it was peaceful," she explained tearfully.</p> <p>"I don't know that you do cope. You find things to do, to engage you. I don't know that anyone really copes. Your life is changed forever and this year has been the worst of my life. But you have to turn your trauma into new things."</p> <p>Helping her three children, Max, 23, Lilly, 21 and Rory, 17 through their grief was a priority for Maggie and Colin.</p> <p>"It's about being there and making sure we all talk about things that Sassy would love, what she would do." </p> <p>The outpouring of love from thousands of people around the nation was something that surprised the Beer family.</p> <p>"I was so taken aback," says Maggie.</p> <p>"It was something that was so extreme – in the numbers of people and the real understanding of Saskia's contribution. She had done so much in that short life. The support was huge and wonderful and really unbelievable."</p> <p>The family decided to create a lasting memorial that will ensure Saskia's memory lives on.</p> <p>"We've created <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.churchilltrust.com.au/" target="_blank" class="editor-rtflink">a Churchill Fellowship</a> in Saskia's honour, so her name will be perpetually there to in some way continue the work she was doing in terms of farming innovation," Maggie says proudly.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8xNdvgjqKt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8xNdvgjqKt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Official Maggie Beer (@maggie_beer)</a> on Feb 19, 2020 at 4:40pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>A Churchhill Fellowship offers Aussies the opportunity to travel overseas for four to eight weeks to explore a topic or issue they're passionate about.</p> <p>"The wonderful thing about the Churchill Fellowships is that they are open to absolutely all walks of life…Our Churchill Fellowship will be called the Saskia Beer Churchill Fellowship, and that's really important to us."</p> <p>The Beer family are joining the judging process.</p> <p>"It's for travel overseas and we're looking for innovation, something new in food or farming. We've made it as wide as that because we can't even predict what might be in somebody's mind, but you want something that's creative and new and will bring benefit.</p> <p>"Having an open mind at this stage is important. It's about someone who wants to research or learn something that's not available within Australia. This is not a junket. An applicant has to have planned where they're going, who they're going to see, what they're going to learn. It's very structured. The necessity is that they write a report when they return to Australia and it's available for anyone to access."</p> <p>"Potential applicants apply on the fellowship site and there is a huge amount of judging done statewide, then nationally. It's a wonderful process."</p> </div> </div> </div>

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The most important letter you'll read this year

<p>Perth woman and Invictus Games competitor Ruth Hunt has passed away just days after penning an open letter to her past self.</p> <p>Hunt was only 34 years old when she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.</p> <p>Following multiple surgeries and 12 months of chemotherapy she went into remission, but unfortunately, her cancer returned.</p> <p>Despite her illness, Ruth joined the ADF Adaptive Sports Program and competed in the United States Air Force Warrior Games trials in Las Vegas just two weeks after finishing chemotherapy.</p> <p>A talented swimmer and rower, she won five gold medals.</p> <p>Hunt was expecting an Australian Sports Medal for her Invictus Games efforts but she tragically passed away before getting her hands on the award.</p> <p>Her co-captain Nicole Bradley confirmed the news on Monday.</p> <p>“Two years on, we’ve received the sad news that one of our teammates passed away overnight,” she told 2GB.</p> <p>“It’s really sad that Ruth never got to see this medal.</p> <p>“We’re hoping that it will still come about so that her family can still receive it in her honour, and then we can all pay our respects in that way as well.”</p> <p>Ruth leaves behind her loving family and her cherished husband Lieutenant Colonel Andy Love.</p> <p>One of Ruth’s final wishes was to publish a letter to her pre-cancer self to remind everyone what is important about living.</p> <p>This is that letter.</p> <p>Rest in peace, Ruth.</p> <p><strong>Ruth’s letter</strong></p> <p><em>Dear Me,</em></p> <p><em>You don’t know this yet but you’re going to have a rough few years in the future - far earlier than you might expect.</em></p> <p><em>Don’t worry – as rough as it gets, it turns out you’re a lot tougher than you thought and you will have a lot more support than you could imagine.</em></p> <p><em>Getting cancer at 34 will teach you a few lessons.</em></p> <p><em>Along the way, you’ll have amazing experiences, so don’t fret it’s not all doom and gloom.</em></p> <p><em>You will get to meet Prince Harry; you will compete for Australia; you will become a lawyer and an Army officer; and you will travel the world.</em></p> <p><em>You will find your human (he’s lovely!) and the friends you have in your early twenties, you will still have in your late thirties.</em></p> <p><em>However, despite all these wonderful things, at age 34 you will unfortunately be diagnosed with stage 3 triple negative breast cancer. And, by the time you’re 37, you’ll be diagnosed with stage 4 terminal breast cancer.</em></p> <p><em>Cancer sucks.</em></p> <p><em>The first time around it’s not the end of the world. The second time around is a more difficult pill to swallow but, again, it’s not the end of the actual world.</em></p> <p><em>It will, however, be the end of you in this world - somewhat prematurely.</em></p> <p><em>Cancer will teach you that you can still train, go out, dance, sing, cook, love, work, be a sister, girlfriend and friend.</em></p> <p><em>The main lessons it taught me are listed below (because what lawyer doesn’t love a good list.</em></p> <p><em>Lesson one – Ask for help</em></p> <p><em>Mum always tells you the story of how you were playing with pieces of cloth as a one year old and that you were getting very frustrated because the cloth wasn’t doing what you wanted but you wouldn’t let anyone help.</em></p> <p><em>There’s also a great photo of you attempting to dress yourself as a two-year-old and failing miserably - again refusing help.</em></p> <p><em>Getting cancer will teach you that, not only is it ok to ask for help, but it will actually make life a lot easier.</em></p> <p><strong>Lesson two – Family is so important</strong></p> <p><em>In your twenties you will be so busy working and training that family gets a little too left behind at times.</em></p> <p><em>You move to the Eastern States and you are not very good at picking up the phone. You send birthday presents but they are usually late and when you do come home it’s for a whirlwind tour.</em></p> <p><em>Cancer will teach you that family is everything. They will be the ones sitting next to you on the chemo ward, flying across Australia just to be with you, sending you care packages and flowers. It will not be workmates.</em></p> <p><em>On top of this, you will find people who aren’t blood related - but they might as well be.</em></p> <p><em>They are the friends who call, even after there’s bad news; there will be friends who support you and love you and accept you, even if you’re a very different person from the one they met.</em></p> <p><em>Treasure your family and spend as much time with them as you can.</em></p> <p><strong>Lesson three – Stress less</strong></p> <p><em>I promise you, you won’t be sweating on the small stuff when you are facing the end of your life.</em></p> <p><em>In the grand scheme of things, missing a day of work because you have a cold is fine. It doesn’t matter that you got 69% in an essay instead of 90%, in the long run no-one looks at your marks.</em></p> <p><em>Working Christmas Eve instead of spending it with family is a really terrible idea. (You don’t even get paid more on Christmas Eve!).</em></p> <p><em>Don’t worry if you’re a tiny bit late - no-one will remember. Same as no-one will remember if you wear the same dress to two functions with the same people.</em></p> <p><strong>Lesson four – Dogs are awesome</strong></p> <p><em>You will make the magical and terrible mistake of buying a puppy two weeks after getting a double mastectomy.</em></p> <p><em>Magical because Dougal is the greatest character ever.</em></p> <p><em>Terrible because you will quickly find out that lifting puppies is difficult post-surgery.</em></p> <p><em>But you will learn that sometimes just cuddling your dog is one of life’s great joys and that, post chemo, having a nice warm body lie with you is just what you need.</em></p> <p><em>You will get your own dog one day. He will be all yours - weird and lovely and he will worship the ground you walk on. He’ll be your only dog ever and he will be wonderful.</em></p> <p><strong>Lesson five – It’s ok to say no</strong></p> <p><em>You don’t know it yet but you are prone to saying yes to everything.</em></p> <p><em>This is one of the biggest lessons cancer will teach you.</em></p> <p><em>You will learn that you do not have to always say yes. Often, there are other people who can do the work.</em></p> <p><em>You will learn that if someone gets a touch cranky when you say no, that’s not actually your problem, but theirs.</em></p> <p><em>Cancer will teach you that a lot of people have been taking advantage of your generosity and kindness for a long time. The earlier you learn to say no, the better.</em></p> <p><strong>Lesson six – Travel</strong></p> <p><em>Travel as far and as wide as you can. Don’t worry about taking time off work - it will always be there when you get home.</em></p> <p><em>As a wide-eyed, borderline fan girl law student, you and your friends will be dumbfounded when the Hon. Justice Michael Kirby tells you how he drove across China and Russia in a Kombi when he was a young lawyer. At the time, you will be so busy applying for law internships that you can’t fathom the idea of taking that much time away from your floundering career.</em></p> <p><em>Do it. There are so many places for you to explore. Go to Africa while you can and yes, Europe is amazing but there are a lot of different places to explore beyond Europe.</em></p> <p><em>There are so many places to go but, by the time you’re 34, cancer means you won’t be able to travel anymore.</em></p> <p><em>These are the lessons you will learn.</em></p> <p><em>You will wish that you had known them before getting cancer.</em></p>

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Do I really need this crown? Dentists admit feeling pressured to offer unnecessary treatments

<p>If your dentist recommends a crown, your wisdom teeth extracted, or some other common treatment, you may wonder whether it’s really necessary.</p> <p>We don’t know how common such over-servicing is. However, our research, which includes interviews with Australian dentists in private practice, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/cdoe.12592">published today</a>, shows it is an issue.</p> <p>Not only is this a problem for patients, some dentists say they feel pressured to recommend unnecessary treatments. And the way dentists are paid for their services actually encourages it.</p> <p><strong>What is over-servicing in dentistry?</strong></p> <p>Over-servicing <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h869">can occur</a> in many types of health care, with various definitions. But in dentistry, our research defines over-servicing as when dental treatments are provided over and above what’s clinically justified, or where there is no justification for that care at all.</p> <p>Over-servicing in dentistry is reported <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/05/the-trouble-with-dentistry/586039/">internationally</a> and <a href="https://www.cdhjournal.org/issues/36-3-september-2019/986-dentistry-and-oral-health-in-online-media-sources-a-discourse-analysis">discussed online</a>.</p> <p>And we’ve known about it in Australia for some time. In 2012, <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/1-7m-fine-for-cheating-dentist-patient-had-75-000-of-unnecessary-work-20120725-22q04.html">a Sydney dentist</a> went to court and was fined more than A$1.7 million for performing almost $75,000 worth of treatment on one patient, knowing it was unnecessary and would be ineffective.</p> <p>In 2013, another Sydney dentist was <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/andrew-istephan-escapes-jail-over-unnecessary-dental-work-on-nursing-home-patients-20131129-2yg62.html#ixzz2m09GwDUz">found guilty</a> of over-servicing elderly nursing home patients, some of whom had dementia. He filed down their teeth to fit them for crowns they did not need, without anaesthesia.</p> <p>However, over-servicing can be less extreme than revealed in these landmark court cases. Dentists we interviewed said they often felt pressured to over-service as part of their day-to-day practice.</p> <p><strong>What we found</strong></p> <p>We analysed interviews with, and diary entries from, 20 Australian dentists working in private practice, the first study of its kind to include their perspectives on over-servicing.</p> <p>Most dentists we interviewed had felt pressure to provide unnecessary care. Pressure came from practice owners, or their own need to meet financial commitments.</p> <p>They spoke about a culture in some practices of “finding treatment” to do, rather than simply treating the issues patients had:</p> <p><em>I quit my first job because they were overly commercial and I figured that out about two weeks in because there it was very much a matter of, “how many crowns are you doing per week? We expect our clinicians to be doing at least a crown a day” and there was no real care factor towards, what does the patient actually need? It was very much a matter of, “Okay, you’re seeing a new patient, see if you can get this much revenue out of that one”.</em></p> <p><strong>Why does this happen?</strong></p> <p>Most private dentists in Australia earn their wage linked to how much treatment they provide. So this fee-for-service model provides <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cdoe.12267">an incentive</a> for them to provide more treatment, rather than less.</p> <p>However, over-servicing isn’t inevitable. Some participants said their professional identities as dentists helped them place patients before profit:</p> <p><em>Look, I’d always put my professionalism first. There’s been a couple of times when I’ve recommended a crown and I sort of thought “OK, am I doing this because the crown is a high-end item or because I really believe it’s the best thing for the patient?”, and I always go with what I believe is the best thing for the patient.</em></p> <p>The dentists we spoke to also said they spent a lot of time considering how they managed patient care in a system inherently skewed to promote over-servicing.</p> <p>So what happens when you shift away from purely a fee-for-service model? This might include a monthly fee for having a patient registered with a practice or service, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cdoe.12544">as trialled in the United Kingdom</a>.</p> <p>The amount of clinical treatment <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cdoe.12544">reduced</a>, with patients noting little change in the service they received.</p> <p><strong>How do we tackle this?</strong></p> <p>We could address the culture of over-servicing by changing the way dentists are paid, away from a pure fee-for-service model. Payments could be linked to measurable improvements in oral health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/two-million-aussies-delay-or-dont-go-to-the-dentist-heres-how-we-can-fix-that-113376">rather than purely just how much dentists do</a>.</p> <p>However, with fee-for-service being so entrenched in Australian dentistry, we admit this would be a difficult task, despite the increased awareness of the topic that research like ours brings.</p> <p><strong>What if I’m not sure I need a recommended treatment?</strong></p> <p>If you’re not sure why your dentist is recommending a certain treatment, ask. You can also ask about the pros and cons of other options, including doing nothing for now and keeping an eye on things.</p> <p>If you’re not satisfied with the answer, you can ask for a second opinion. One thing to consider is that you’ll need to ask your dentist for a copy of your clinical records and x-rays (to avoid these needing to be taken again). And if visiting another dentist, you probably will need to pay for another consultation.</p> <p>If you’re unhappy with your care, the best place to complain to first is your treating clinician; dentists really value receiving feedback and the opportunity to put things right.</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alexander-holden-305567">Alexander Holden</a>, University of Sydney. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/do-i-really-need-this-crown-dentists-admit-feeling-pressured-to-offer-unnecessary-treatments-148638">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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Put the baking soda back in the bottle: Banned sodium bicarbonate ‘milkshakes’ don’t make racehorses faster

<p><em> </em></p> <p>The controversial and banned practice of giving horses baking soda “milkshakes” before a race doesn’t work, according to our analysis of the available research.</p> <p>Racing folklore says sodium bicarbonate milkshakes can boost racehorses’ endurance because the alkalinity of the baking soda helps counter the buildup of lactic acid in the blood when running.</p> <p>But our systematic research review, <a href="https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1bv2Z2dbxqYqLj">recently published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science</a> reveals milkshakes don’t boost horses’ athletic performance.</p> <p>This means any trainer still tempted to flout the ban on this tactic would be endangering their horses’ welfare and risking heavy sanctions over a practice that is basically snake oil.</p> <p>Despite the fun-sounding name, milkshakes are anything but. The process involves inserting a tube up the horse’s nose, down its throat and into the stomach, and then pumping in a concentrated solution of sodium bicarbonate dissolved in water.</p> <p>This can be stressful to the horse, and potential <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2004.08.014">side-effects</a> include lacerations to the nasal cavity, throat and oesophagus, gastrointestinal upset, and diarrhoea. It can even be fatal if the tube is mistakenly inserted into the trachea and the solution is pumped into the lungs.</p> <p>It’s little wonder Racing Australia has <a href="https://www.racingaustralia.horse/uploadimg/Australian_rules_of_Racing/Australian_Rules_of_Racing_01_March_2019.pdf">banned</a> the use of “alkalising agents” such as milkshakes on race day, with potentially career-ending ramifications for trainers caught doing it.</p> <p><strong>No boost after all</strong></p> <p>The effect of baking soda on athletic performance has been studied in human athletes for decades with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31191097">inconclusive results</a>, but has only been analysed in horses since the late 1980s.</p> <p>Our analysis included data from eight experimental trials featuring 74 horses. Overall, sodium bicarbonate administration in the hours before treadmill tests or simulated race trials did not improve horses’ running performance in either type of test.</p> <p>In fact, in treadmill exercise tests in which horses were not ridden by jockeys, sodium bicarbonate actually had a very small negative effect on running performance, albeit not a statistically significant one.</p> <p>Whereas human athletes might gain a placebo effect from sodium bicarbonate, this is unlikely to apply to horses who don’t understand the intended point of the milkshake. And while some racehorse trainers may be educated in exercise physiology and the importance of blood pH, others may believe they work simply because received wisdom and racing folklore say so.</p> <p>Racing aficionados steeped in tradition might respond with scepticism, or argue that research can’t replicate the unique conditions of race day. But given that our comprehensive analysis of a range of research trials shows no evidence that milkshakes work, we argue any recalcitrant trainers have a moral responsibility to listen to the science.</p> <p>Milkshakes are already banned. But our research shows they deliver no benefit anyway. Trainers who are happy to continue this illicit practice and run the gauntlet of potential sanctions should consider whether it is worth it at all, and whether instead they should reconsider on moral, medical and scientific grounds.</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joshua-denham-1165121">Joshua Denham</a>, RMIT University and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adam-hulme-401293">Adam Hulme</a>, University of the Sunshine Coast. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/put-the-baking-soda-back-in-the-bottle-banned-sodium-bicarbonate-milkshakes-dont-make-racehorses-faster-148907">The Conversation.</a> </em></p> <p> </p>

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Fury after Prince William chose to “lie” about coronavirus diagnosis

<p>Kensington Palace is under fire over its decision to keep Prince William’s coronavirus diagnosis a secret for six months.</p> <p>It was recently revealed that the future King contracted the virus in April, just a few days after his dad Prince Charles and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were also diagnosed.</p> <p>William was reportedly left “struggling to breathe” but chose to keep his diagnosis under wraps as he didn’t want to ensue panic.</p> <p>But now royal commentator Rob Jobson has taken a swipe at the Palace, accusing them of lying and undermining trust.</p> <p>Jobson said The Standard newspaper, where he works, asked the Royal Family back in April after hearing of William’s diagnosis and was told that he did not have COVID-19.</p> <p>“It was quite clear in the email that we had it from an impeccable source that he had tested positive to coronavirus,” Jobson explained on Sunrise.</p> <p>“We had an email back saying “we get lots of these impeccable sources and they prove not to be true and this is a case and point here.”</p> <p>“Well If that is not a denial then I don’t know what is.”</p> <p>Jobson said it’s “appalling” that the Palace would “lie” to journalists rather than offer a simple “no comment” which is the standard response when they don’t want to confirm a story. </p> <p>“I understand why they didn’t want to cause panic at the time, but it’s the precedent they’re setting here that is the problem,” he said.</p> <p>“If you start lying to the media about this the what else are you lying about and why should you be believed?”</p> <p>Jobson also took to Twitter to slam the news in a series of strongly-worded posts.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Prince William’s decision to LIE about contracting COVID-19 earlier - for whatever reason - is appalling. KP were are asked several times by the media whether Prince William had contracted the virus and were told categorically “no”. This has created a serious issue of trust.</p> — Robert Jobson (@theroyaleditor) <a href="https://twitter.com/theroyaleditor/status/1323154789178499072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 2, 2020</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">If the palace is prepared to LIE about an issue as serious as Prince William, second in line to the throne, contracting COVID-19 what else have they LIED about when questioned by the press and why should the media believe any denials going forward? This raises serious issues.</p> — Robert Jobson (@theroyaleditor) <a href="https://twitter.com/theroyaleditor/status/1323156062124580866?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 2, 2020</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">The fact is the palace lied about it. KP were are asked several times by several media outlets whether Prince William had contracted the virus and were told categorically “no”. The decision was taken to LIE, thus creating a problem of trust going forward. Poor judgement. <a href="https://t.co/hrJ1LqnAMO">https://t.co/hrJ1LqnAMO</a></p> — Robert Jobson (@theroyaleditor) <a href="https://twitter.com/theroyaleditor/status/1323154036640698368?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 2, 2020</a></blockquote>

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COVID accelerates worrying decline in young people’s mental health

<p>We <a href="https://ourlives.org.au/project-overview/">have been following</a> more than 2,000 Queenslanders from their adolescence into adulthood. The aim of the Our Lives study is to investigate how young people think about their future and how they master their trajectories in a world of rapid change and uncertainty.</p> <p>In 2006, our research team began tracking more than 7,000 students who began high school in Queensland at the age of 13. Since then, the study has become the largest and longest of school leavers in Australia post the global financial crisis. The cohort turns 27 this year.</p> <p>Every two years, we survey this cohort about their developing aspirations and experiences in work, study, housing, relationships and family. We also explore changes in their social attitudes and mental and physical health.</p> <p>We did a <a href="https://ourlives.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/4755-Our-Lives-Infographic.png">special survey in June 2020</a> in response to COVID-19. We wanted to understand how the cohort had been affected since the previous survey six months earlier, in late 2019.</p> <p><strong>How different demographics have fared</strong></p> <p>Research has indicated <a href="https://theconversation.com/young-women-are-hit-doubly-hard-by-recessions-especially-this-one-140943">women are more adversely affected</a> than men by recessions, both economically and psychologically.</p> <p>In line with this, the female participants in our study displayed significantly worse mental health during COVID than their male counterparts. The proportion of 27 year old males who described their mental health as excellent, very good or good in June 2020 was 70.5% compared to 63.5% for females.</p> <p>Young adults living in major city areas, where COVID cases have largely been concentrated, experienced a decline in mental health — from 68.7% in 2019 to 62.2% in 2020. But the proportion of those living in rural areas actually rose from 70.9% in 2019 to 72.2% in 2020.</p> <p>By their mid-twenties, a major gap emerged in the well-being of people with and without secure work. In 2015, when participants were 22 years old, 82.4% with permanent, ongoing work rated their mental health good to excellent, compared to 68.5% in 2020. The results were 77.6% in 2015 for those who were unemployed compared to 54.1% in 2020.</p> <p>Emergency welfare measures, such as the JobKeeper wage subsidy and increase to JobSeeker, may have temporarily prevented this gap from widening.</p> <p>One of Australia’s top mental health experts, Professor Ian Hickie, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/09/we-need-more-than-hope-and-optimism-to-tackle-australias-mental-health-crisis">has argued</a> an extension to JobKeeper and greater financial support for students in post-school education and training are critical for mitigating the predicted surge in youth mental illness.</p> <p><strong>What about relationships?</strong></p> <p>Security in young adults’ housing and relationships appears to provide a key buffer against the negative psychological impacts of COVID-19. Our data show young adults living out of home, or with a partner (married or de facto) report substantially better mental health in June 2020 than those who are single and living with parents.</p> <p>Young people in who were living with housemates during the COVID-19 period experienced the sharpest decline in positive mental health.</p> <p>Social distancing took its toll on the Our Lives cohort during the national restriction period, with 39% reporting feelings of loneliness or isolation. There were also signs of strain and conflict in the young people’s relationships with those in their household.</p> <p>Around one-quarter of the sample reported a lack of personal space or alone time, while 16% reported experiencing greater tension and conflict in the household. These outcomes increased young adults’ chances of experiencing a major decline in mental health during the lockdown period.</p> <p>However, the effects of stay-at-home restrictions were not inherently negative. For many young adults, restrictions provided more time for themselves (38%) and encouraged stronger relationships with partners or family (33%). These outcomes were associated with significantly lower chances of a decline in mental health.</p> <p>It’s vital young people have good access to youth mental health services in the months ahead so their mental health doesn’t continue to drastically decline. This is particularly the case for young people who may be less able to turn to parents, partners or friends for help.</p> <p>Research has consistently found young people with mental health issues are the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19530018/">least likely</a> to seek out mental health information and access professional help when they need it.</p> <p>There is hope that the collective experience of social distancing during COVID-19 may have <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/breaking-news/aussies-prepared-to-get-more-mental-health-help-than-ever-during-covid19-reducing-stigma/news-story/213b772b22e5479e81f8a5a607776ef0">helped reduce some of the stigma</a> associated with seeking help. If this is the case, we must seize the opportunity to learn from the experience of the young people in our cohort and the Australians they represent.</p> <p><em>For mental health, go to <a href="https://www.lifeline.org.au/">Lifeline Australia</a> on 13 11 14 or <a href="https://www.beyondblue.org.au/">Beyond Blue</a> 1300 22 4636</em></p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/zlatko-skrbis-126879">Zlatko Skrbis</a>, Australian Catholic University; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jacqueline-laughland-booy-191894">Jacqueline Laughland-Booy</a>, Australian Catholic University, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonathan-smith-1072199">Jonathan Smith</a>, Australian Catholic University. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/weve-been-tracking-young-peoples-mental-health-since-2006-covid-has-accelerated-a-worrying-decline-147657">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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