Archive for the ‘Georgia’ Category

Besse Cooper, Paul Cooper

 

The 116-year-old woman believed to be the oldest person in the world passed away yesterday afternoon.

The Associated Press reported that Besse Cooper, a retired Georgia school teacher with a passion for politics, died quietly in her bed at a Monroe, Ga. nursing home about an hour’s drive from Atlanta. Cooper had recently battled stomach flu, but she had reportedly recovered by Monday. On Tuesday, Cooper had her hair set and watched a Christmas movie, but then she experienced breathing problems. She expired at about 2 p.m. after receiving oxygen.

“With her hair fixed it looked like she was ready to go,” Sidney Cooper, Besse Cooper’s 77-year-old son, told the AP.

(MORE: World’s Oldest Dad, 96, Fathers Another Child)

The younger Cooper said his mother was a determined, strong and intelligent individual. CNN reported that just five years after her birth in 1896, Besse Cooper started walking from her family’s Sullivan County, Tenn. log cabin to school in order to make sure one of her brothers got to class. Her time in the classroom developed into a love for school, and she eventually studied education at Johnson City’s East Tennessee Normal School (now East Tennessee State University).

After graduation, she started teaching in Tennessee for $35 an hour, but she moved to Monroe during World War I after her friend informed her she could make more money in the Peach State, according to CNN.

In addition to her appreciation for education, Besse Cooper also developed a fondness for politics. CNN reported she joined the suffrage movement when she was 24, speaking about the importance of having a voice in politics and registering women to vote. After the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote, she never missed a chance to cast her ballot — except twice (In 2012 and in 1948, when she and her husband — who died in 1963 — believed Thomas Dewey would easily win).

Sidney Cooper told CNN that his mother cherished her 80s most out of the nearly 12 decades she lived. He said she loved to garden, watch the news on TV and read — despite her declining eyesight. But Besse Cooper still had it going on, even during the last years of her life. As an 111-year-old, she impressed Robert Young, Guinness senior consultant for gerontology, with her abilities.

“It’s a sad day for me,” Young told AP of Besse Cooper’s death. “At that age she was doing really well, she was able to read books.”

AP reported the supercentenarian was distinguished as the oldest person on the planet in January 2011. In May of the same year, however, Guinness World Records discovered another woman who was 48 days older, Brazilian Maria Gomes Valentin. After Valentin died the following month, Cooper reclaimed the honor no other Georgian has ever received. She told Guinness in 2012 that her secret to longevity was staying out of others’ business and abstaining from junk food.

Besse Cooper’s death makes 115-year-old Dina Manfredini, who lives in Johnston, Iowa, the new record holder. Only seven other people in history have bested Besse Cooper’s time on this Earth — 116 years and 100 days, according to Guinness. The oldest person ever documented — France’s Jeanne Calment, who passed away in 1997, lived to be 122.
Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/12/05/besse-cooper-worlds-oldest-person-dies-at-age-116/#ixzz2EDha9BwH

After surviving a near-fatal car accident, Kaitlin Hunter found herself battling a devastating bacterial infection in her colon that also threatened her life.

The persistent infection was beaten through a little-known technique involving the transplant of fecal matter from Hunter’s mother, which put healthy bacteria back into her colon.

Following the July procedure, “I’ve been so happy,” said Hunter, 20, of Marietta, Georgia. “I’m cured.”

Her struggle began more than a year earlier when she was released from a hospital in Sacramento, California.

A June 2011 car accident fractured her lower spine, lacerated her liver and colon, and broke all 10 toes. Emergency crews used the Jaws of Life to cut Hunter from her dad’s car, and then she was flown to the hospital, where she spent the next month.

Upon her release, Hunter flew home to Georgia. It hadn’t been the summer vacation she imagined, but she thought she was getting better.

But “right when I got off the plane, I went to the hospital. I was having extremely bad stomach pain. A month later, we found out it was C. diff,” Hunter said, using the abbreviation for the bacteria clostridium difficile.

How it began

In the hospital after her accident, doctors followed standard care and put Hunter on antibiotics to prevent an infection.

In spite of the antibiotics — or possibly because of them — C. diff infected her colon, causing severe stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting.

Hunter, who stands 5 feet 7 inches tall, lost 40 pounds during her struggle. Her weight plummeted to 85 pounds.

It’s believed that antibiotics, which kill harmful infection-causing bacteria, also weaken the beneficial, healthy bacteria percolating in the colon. With the colon’s defenses down, C. diff grows rampant, releasing a toxin and inflaming the colon.

C. diff infections kill about 14,000 people in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the number and severity of total cases have increased dramatically over the past decade.

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Even though antibiotics put someone at risk of developing a C. diff infection, standard treatment still calls for prescribing more and different antibiotics to kill the C. diff and allow healthy bacteria to recolonize.

But for many people such as Hunter — who went through nine rounds of antibiotic treatments — the healthy bacteria never get the upper hand, and the C. diff just keeps coming back.

‘Brand-new’ treatment

Increasingly, doctors are taking a different approach. Instead of continued assaults on bacteria, “fecal matter transplants” recolonize the colon with new bacteria from a healthy donor.

“This is brand-new for most gastroenterologists,” said Dr. Suku George, Hunter’s treating physician. “We are very excited about this.”

George had never deposited fecal matter by colonoscopy into a patient until Hunter wanted to try it.

Hunter’s mother “donated” one of her stools for the procedure. Next, the hospital lab carefully diluted it, and George pumped the foreign fecal matter right into Hunter’s colon.

The result ended Hunter’s struggle with C. diff.

A study published in March reported a 91% cure rate after just one fecal matter transplant, and a 98% cure rate when combined with an additional round of antibiotics.

Remarkably, that study only included the sickest of patients. All 77 of the study participants already had a recurring C. diff infection, having tried and failed five rounds of antibiotic-only treatments over 11 months, on average.

The study used the colonoscopy method, which many believe is the most effective, because relatively large amounts of fecal matter can be placed deep inside the colon.

Other methods use either an enema or a nasogastric tube, which sends fecal matter through the nasal passage, down the throat and into the stomach.

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George tried the nasogastric tube on Hunter, using fecal material from her father, but the C. diff infection returned. He then asked for and received permission to perform the hospital’s first colonoscopic fecal transplant.

Looking ahead

Gastroenterologists pioneering the practice unanimously seem to agree that eventually a cleaner, commercially developed suppository will replace the crude feces and water mixtures currently in use.

“It’ll become a little more acceptable to hospitals and patients and more widely performed,” said Dr. Lawrence Brandt, a professor of medicine and surgery at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine who was the lead author on the March study.”But for people that have recurring C. diff, it doesn’t really much matter, because these patients are so ill and so much want to get better. The fact that it’s stool, it doesn’t matter to them.”

To enroll in a fecal transplant study, visit clinicaltrials.gov.

Thanks to the future Dr. Goldman for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.