October 27, 2014

You are so loved’: Last words spoken to dying Ottawa soldier

‘You are so loved’: Last words spoken to dying Ottawa soldier by lawyer who tried to save him after shooting

Barbara Winters was on her way to a meeting on Wednesday morning when she passed the National War Memorial, stopping to take a few photos of the guards on duty before heading off on her way.  Seconds later, she heard four shots and, knowing exactly what had happened, ran not away from the noise but back towards the Memorial and Cirillo.  Winters said she had an instinctive feeling that the guards had been targeted.

With four people already laying over the solider, and doing everything they could to help him, Winters also got involved.  A nurse on her way to work, Margaret Lerhe, and another solider who was on guard were busy applying pressure to his wounds so as to stop his bleeding.  A fellow passerby was working to elevate the 24-year-old's feet while a fellow corporal was by his head talking to him.  'You’re doing good, you’re doing good, buddy,' he told Cirillo.  'You’re breathing - keep breathing.'

 Barbara Winters By Dying Cirillo

Winters, who was recounting her story for The Globe and Mail, she got down, loosened the solider's tie, said a prayer, and also began speaking to the brave young corporal, telling him, 'You’re a good man, you’re a brave man.'

He soon stopped breathing and lost his pulse, but the team of five strangers kept doing everything they could for Cirillo. They started compressions and lifted his legs higher and alternated giving the man CPR.  And Winters kept on talking.

You are loved. Your family loves you. You’re a good man,' she told him.
'Your family loves you. Your parents are so proud of you. Your military family loves you. All the people here, we’re working so hard for you. Everybody loves you.'

Unfortunately her words, and the hard work of the five strangers, could not save Cirillo.He died in their arms as paramedics arrived and began to work on him.

If you ever come upon the scene of a fatal accident, for the love of God don't take cellphone photos.  Kneel by the dying. Do what these people did.  Express love to the dying.  Don't let them die alone

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:45 AM | Permalink

October 23, 2014

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, RIP


Bruce MacKinnon in the Chronicle Herald

About Nathan Cirillo in Toronto Star

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of Hamilton loved plenty of things about life, but nothing more than being with his five-year-old son.  His face routinely glowed when he talked about his son, whom he raised alone as a single father.

 Nathan Cirillo+Son.Jpg.

Lotsberg recalled his face lighting up when he spoke of his role in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He graduated from being a 13-year-old cadet to a spot as part-time reservist with the Highlanders and dreamed of becoming a full-time soldier. “When he spoke of military, you could see the passion,” she said

This fall, he received what seemed like a perfect assignment: guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Parliament Hill.

He was shot dead there by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau at 9:52 a.m. on Wednesday. Since it was a ceremonial posting, the gun Cirillo carried that morning wasn’t loaded.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:52 PM | Permalink

October 21, 2014

Death from the sky

1. The boy who was killed by a falling sacrificial goat
2. The philosopher who died after a flying eagle dropped a turtle on his head
3.The woman who was crushed to death by huge Taco Bell sign
4. The woman who was killed after being hit by a falling gargoyle from a historic church
5. The man who was killed by an air conditioning that fell from the 7th floor
6. The football fan killed by a flying lawnmower
7. The Colombian man who died after a coconut fell on his head
8. The Brazilian soccer fan who was killed by flying toilet
9. The two Canadians who were fatally hit by a flying bear

9 People Killed By Unexpected Things That Fell From The Sky has all the details.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:12 PM | Permalink

October 20, 2014

Glimpses of the afterlife?

Top brain surgeon who claims he saw heaven while in a coma reveals the stories of others who say they have had similar life-changing experiences

Neurosurgeon Dr Eben Alexander was convinced out-of-body experiences were hallucinations — until he went into a coma himself and had what he now believes was a glimpse of heaven.  In this second extract from his book The Map Of Heaven, Dr Alexander, who has taught at Harvard Medical School, reveals many others have also seen what he described.
A man called David experienced exactly that, when his father died. With his three siblings, he was sitting in a private room at a hospice where his dad had been for 13 days. They had kept a constant bedside vigil, and it was plain that the end was near.  At 4am, with the room in darkness except for a single night-light in the wall, their father took his last breath — and as he did, a speck of glowing dust seemed to settle on his temple. It was like a pinprick of gold.

No light was shining on the old man’s face, yet this particle of dust was vivid and luminous. As David watched, it began to swell into a pea-sized orb. Now it was a translucent blue, like the light underneath a candle flame. White rays sparkled from it.

The orb lifted, hovered, and then drifted across the room, still effervescing with sparks, until it disappeared through the ceiling. David followed it with his eyes, not daring to speak, until it was gone — and then he turned to one of his sisters. ‘Did you see that?’ he asked.

His sister said: ‘You mean that light that just came out of the side of Dad’s head?’
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:58 PM | Permalink

King Tut had buck teeth and a club foot

A virtual autopsy of King Tut reveals the Pharaoh had girlish hips, a club foot and buck teeth and that his parents were brother and sister

With strong features cast in burnished gold, Tutankhamun’s burial mask projects an image of majestic beauty and royal power.

 Kingtut Burial-Mask

But in the flesh, King Tut had buck teeth, a club foot and girlish hips, according to the most detailed examination ever of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh’s remains.

A ‘virtual autopsy’, composed of more than 2,000 computer scans, was carried out in tandem with a genetic analysis of Tutankhamun’s family, which supports evidence that his parents were brother and sister.  The scientists believe that this left him with physical impairments triggered by hormonal imbalances. And his family history could also have led to his premature death in his late teens.

 Kingtut Clubfoot

And rather than being a boy king with a love of chariot racing, Tut relied on walking sticks to get around during his rule in the 14th century BC, researchers said…..Evidence of King Tut’s physical limitations were also backed up by 130 used walking canes found in his tomb.
Earlier this year, egyptologists from the American University in Cairo shed light on some of the bizarre burial rituals discovered in the tomb, including the fact the king’s penis was embalmed at a 90-degree angle – the only mummy to have ever been found with this feature. …to make the young pharaoh appear as Osiris, the god of the underworld….The mummy was also covered in black liquid to resemble Osiris' skin.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:50 PM | Permalink

October 16, 2014

Autopsy on 2500 year-old tattooed virgin princess

Mummy's MRI scan reveals 2,500-year-old Siberian princess died from acute breast cancer - and smoked cannabis to dull the pain

A unique MRI scan on a 2,500 year old mummified Siberian 'princess' has revealed she died after suffering from acute breast cancer.

Preserved in ice in an elaborate grave in the Altai Mountains, the ancient woman - famous for her remarkable tattoos - took cannabis to dull the ravages of her illnesses, experts have also discovered.
'Her use of drugs to cope with her illness may have given her "an altered state of mind", leading her Pazyryk culture kinsmen to the belief that she could communicate with the spirits,' said The Siberian Times.

Dug from her permafrost burial chamber on the high Ukok Plateau in 1993, analysis of her remains earlier highlighted sophisticated tattoos of 'great artistry' of fantastical creatures, while in her tomb was also found clothing and headdresses, a make-up bag, and a stash of cannabis, enabling experts to build a detailed picture of her life and looks.

Separately from the MRI, academics also conclude she was a virgin who lived a deliberately 'celibate' life.

'Her ecstatic visions in all likelihood allowed her to be considered as some chosen being, necessary and crucial for the benefit of society.'She can be seen as the darling of spirits and cherished until her last breath.'

'Evidently, shamans could often assume their powers after a significant illness: a woman might be physically weakened but able to develop her powers of concentration and meditation,' explained the website.

'This would explain the care her people took to care for her and not leave her to die, or hasten death. It also helps to understand the way her burial was conducted in a style similar - but different - to royalty.
'She was buried not in a line of family tombs but in a separate lonely mound, located in a visible open place.

'This may show that the Ukok woman did not belonged to an exact kin or family, but was related to all Pazyryks, who lived on this lofty outpost, some 2,500 metres above sea level. 'This is an indication of her celibacy and special status. Besides, three horses were buried with her. In a common burial, one would be sufficient.'

In her vault was a 'unique mirror of Chinese origin in a wooden frame'. There were also coriander seeds, previously found only in so-called 'royal mounds'. Her mummification was carried out with enormous care in a comparable manner to royals.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:57 AM | Permalink

October 9, 2014

Two young women face death in different ways

Cancer patient Brittany Maynard, 29, has scheduled her death for Nov. 1 She is suffering from a malignant brain tumor, stage 4 and wants to die "on her own terms" in Portland where she and her family relocated because Oregon law allows terminally-ill patients to end their lives. She is using her last days to advocate for physician-assisted suicide and explains her choice in  My right to death with dignity at 29.

Kara Tippets, a woman of faith and a mother of four, writes a blog called Mundane Faithfulness and just published on October 1, The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard.  Diagnosed with breast cancer at 36 which two years later has metastasized into her entire body and into her brain, Kara posted an open letter to Dear Brittany : Why We Don't Have to Be So Afraid of Dying & Suffering that We Choose Suicide.

………So hear these words from a heart full of love for you.

Brittany, your life matters, your story matters, and your suffering matters. Thank you for stepping out from the privacy of your story and sharing it openly.

We see you, we see your life, and there are countless lovers of your heart that are praying you would change your mind.

Brittany, I love you, and I’m sorry you are dying. I am sorry that we are both being asked to walk a road that feels simply impossible to walk.
Dear heart, we simply disagree. Suffering is not the absence of goodness, it is not the absence of beauty, but perhaps it can be the place where true beauty can be known.

In your choosing your own death, you are robbing those that love you with the such tenderness, the opportunity of meeting you in your last moments and extending you love in your last breaths.
Brittany, when we trust Jesus to be the carrier, protecter, redeemer of our hearts, death is no longer dying. My heart longs for you to know this truth, this love, this forever living.

You have been told a lie. A horrible lie, that your dying will not be beautiful. That the suffering will be too great.
I pray they reach the multitudes that are looking at your story and believing the lie that suffering is a mistake, that dying isn’t to be braved, that choosing our death is the courageous story.

No – hastening death was never what God intended.

But in our dying, He does meet us with His beautiful grace. The hippocratic oath matters, and those that are choosing to walk away from it need to be challenged.

These two women illustrate two very different approaches to suffering and death.  Brittany doesn't want to put herself or her family through protracted suffering and fears she would become resistant to pain-killers and linger on in hospice.  By choosing physician-assisted suicide, she is seeking some control over her death.

Kara is a remarkable witness to how faith can transform suffering into 'Big Love'.  As she writes in Kept

Here is my hope, here is my heart. There are certainly people who vehemently disagree with my stance on this. Can we speak kindly to one another in our disagreement. We are talking about possibly the most tender moment in the life of another- let’s care for one another as we disagree with gentleness.

I’m bringing as much love to this topic as I am able.  And, of coarse my faith is intertwined. If I believe something- wouldn’t it be an unkindness for me not to want to share it with another. I believe each breath of Brittany matters, is important, is seen. I want her to know I love her, my faith asks me to share my love. My big love matters. And I pray it will meet her- not the endless unkindness that surround her. This is not a Kara vs. Brittany issue. This is one broken and sick woman looking upon another and saying she matters.
This is not a simple journey. These steps towards my last breath are not simple, easy, fearless, but we are kept. We are carried. Our story matters. Our brokenness is seen.

Yes she evangelizes and if your heart is not hardened, you can hear what she says

I would say before cancer I was a shy evangelist. But now- now that I know there is a limit to my days- I’m giving what was never mine to keep. Why would I hold tightly to this Jesus that asks me to open my hands and pour out His big love. Why? No- I delight that I get this opportunity to share the love I know. If I were in this bed, and you knew unbelievable, overwhelming, overflowing, unbelievable love and you didn’t share it with me- Well friends- I simply can’t be quieted. I have love to share.

"The extreme greatness of Christianity lies in the fact that it does not seek a supernatural remedy for suffering
but a supernatural use for it,"
  Simone Weil.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:21 PM | Permalink

Ebola burial teams back to work picking up abandoned corpses on the street in Sierra Leone

The world's bravest undertakers aren't being paid on time so they are now on strike.

Bodies of Ebola victims lie abandoned in streets of Sierra Leone after burial teams strike over backlog in hazard pay

 Women Faint  As Bodies-Taken-Away
Bodies of Ebola victims are lying abandoned in the streets of Sierra Leone's capital it has emerged, as burial teams strike over a backlog in 'hazard' pay.  The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation reported bodies of those who had died from the virus were being left in homes and on the streets of Freetown.

Burial teams took strike action, complaining they had not received hazard pay for a week.

The dead bodies of Ebola victims are highly contagious, raising fears more people were at risk of contracting the virus.
Although officials today said the issue had been 'resolved', organisers of the strike action could not be reached to confirm it was over.

UPDATE: The grimmest of clean-up operations begins: Festering bodies of Ebola victims finally removed from streets of Sierra Leone after burial teams' strike over backlog in hazard pay

Lying at the side of the road in a busy marketplace in Sierra Leone the body of an Ebola victim is left abandoned.  The corpse was covered with leaves as dozens of people looked on, unsure what to do in the wake of a strike by burial teams in the capital, Freetown.  Bodies were left in homes and on the streets after a row over a week-long backlog in hazard pay. …At the point of death, the virus is at its most virulent.
Officials today said the dispute had been 'resolved', paving the way for teams to return to work and clear the backlog of bodies amassing as a result of the strike.

Deputy health minister Madina Rahman told a radio programme this morning the dispute centered on a one-week backlog for hazard pay, which had been deposited in the bank, but was not given to the workers on time. The health ministry is going to investigate the delay in the health workers not receiving their money,' she said.

The burial teams make up a total of 600 workers organized in groups of 12, health ministry spokesman Sidie Yahya Tunis said.
Tunis described the situation as 'very embarrassing'.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:42 PM | Permalink

October 8, 2014

Medical study of clinically dead people later resuscitated

Life after death? Largest-ever study provides evidence that 'out of body' and 'near-death' experiences may be real

There is scientific evidence to suggest that life can continue after death, according to the largest ever medical study carried out on the subject.

A team based in the UK has spent the last four years seeking out cardiac arrest patients to analyse their experiences, and found that almost 40 per cent of survivors described having some form of “awareness” at a time when they were declared clinically dead.

Experts currently believe that the brain shuts down within 20 to 30 seconds of the heart stopping beating – and that it is not possible to be aware of anything at all once that has happened.

But scientists in the new study said they heard compelling evidence that patients experienced real events for up to three minutes after this had happened – and could recall them accurately once they had been resuscitated.
Dr Parnia’s study involved 2,060 patients from 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria, and has been published in the journal Resuscitation.

Of those who survived, 46 per cent experienced a broad range of mental recollections, nine per cent had experiences compatible with traditional definitions of a near-death experience and two per cent exhibited full awareness with explicit recall of “seeing” and “hearing” events – or out-of-body experiences.

Consciousness is not the brain.  Because it is non-material, scientists cannot explain it or how it came into being.  b  By contrast, people of faith have no difficulty in speaking of the soul and the spirit.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:16 PM | Permalink

October 6, 2014

"Dead right!"

It’s silly to be frightened of being dead
At the age of 96, the legendary editor Diana Athill writes, the idea of death has never been less alarming. The process of dying is another matter.

I live now in an old people’s home with 42 others, our average age being 90, or perhaps a little more. When one makes the difficult decision (and difficult it is) to retire from normal life, get rid of one’s home and most of one’s possessions, and move into such a place (or be moved, which doesn’t apply here I am glad to say) it means that one has reached the stage of thinking, “How am I going to manage my increasing incompetence now that I’m so old? Who is going to look after me when I can no longer look after myself?” Death is no longer something in the distance, but might well be encountered any time now.

You might suppose that this would make it more alarming, but judging from what I now see around me, the opposite happens. Being within sight, it has become something for which one ought to prepare. One of the many things I like about my retirement home is the sensible practical attitude towards death that prevails here. You are asked without embarrassment whether you would rather die here or in a hospital, whether you want to be kept alive whatever happens, or would prefer a heart attack, for instance, to be allowed to take its course, and how you wish your body to be disposed of. Though when a death occurs in the home it is treated with the utmost respect, and also with a rather amazing tact in relation to us survivors, so that I doubt if anyone has ever been disturbed by such activity as I suppose surrounds the moment of a death, and the removal of a body: a carefulness of our peace of mind which must involve very well-planned management.
I think that most of the people here would consider it foolish to be frightened of being dead. All of us, however, feel some degree of anxiety about the process of dying.

That process depends on what you are dying of. The body can fail in ways that are extremely distressing, slowly and painfully, demanding much stoicism, or it can switch off with little more than a flash of dizziness. In my family we seem to have been uncommonly lucky in that respect. There was the 82-year-old uncle who was at a meet of the Norwich Stag Hounds, enjoying a drink with friends, when crash! And he fell off his horse, dead. There was the cousin in her eighties who fell dead as she was filling a kettle to make tea, and the other cousin, 98, who slipped away so gently that the sister who was holding her hand didn’t realise that she had stopped breathing. There was my mother, a week before her 96th birthday, who had one nasty day which, to my relief, she couldn’t remember the next morning, then slept her way out after speaking her last words, “It was absolutely divine,” about a recent drive to a beloved place. My father, alas, had a whole week of unhappiness after a blood-vessel in his brain had ruptured. He looked up as one came through the door, obviously about to greet one, then when he found he couldn’t speak, his expression became one of pain and puzzlement: he understood that something was badly amiss but he didn’t know what it was. The moment of his dying, however, was sudden and painless. My brother was the only person near me who clearly resented death, and that was because he had achieved a way of life which suited him so perfectly that he wanted more. He was not frightened of it. “No one after 80 has any right to complain about death,” he had said to me not long before.
A little while ago I took part in a television programme about death that was designed by the photographer Rankin, to help him overcome his fear of it, to which he bravely admitted. Whether it served his purpose or not I don’t know – possibly not, because that fear is brewed in the guts, not in the mind ….The contributor to the programme I remember with the most pleasure is the man who said that not existing for thousands and thousands of years before his birth had never worried him for a moment, so why should going back into non-existence at this death cause him dismay? Everyone laughed when he said that and so did I, and as I laughed I thought: “Dead right!”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:21 PM | Permalink

Colleen Hufford, the Oklahoma woman who died by beheading RIP

The smiling grandmother beheaded by Muslim convert in the Oklahoma food factory where they both worked

 Colleen Hufford
Smiling with her whole family beside her, beheading victim Colleen Hufford (far right) looks every bit the loving wife, mother and grandmother.  The 54-year-old is pictured here for the first time since she was killed at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, last Thursday in an apparent ISIS-style beheading.

Since the brutal killing, her family and friends have set up a Facebook tribute page, on which they are asking users to donate to a special fund or to charity……People wanting to donate money to the Hufford family are asked to visit the family fundme.com page.

They can also give money to Catholic Charities in Oklahoma or OU Children's Hospital. ….On a link to a donation page for the family, the site administrator wrote: 'Colleen Hufford was beautiful soul who will be remembered for always having a smile on her face and a kind word to offer.  'She was a loyal wife, mother, and a doting grandmother.'
Mrs Hufford, who had been married to her husband KC for 25 years, had only just recovered from the trauma of losing her family home in the devastating Moore tornado last year.

Her neighbors described her as 'quick to smile' and said her husband picked her up from the food processing plant every night and he was outside when he found out she had been killed…..Neighbor Donna Myers said Colleen's husband KC had told her he was 'overwhelmed' by the tragedy but he was 'really grateful' for all the support he had received.

No word from the President on the beheading of Colleen Hufford

One would think that the beheading of a woman on American soil would warrant some sort of comment from the President Obama. At the very minimum, he could offer a few kind words. As of this writing, he has not said word one about it. His silence speaks volumes.
The Obama administration’s rationale for not commenting on the death of Colleen Hufford is that it is currently being investigated by the FBI. Well, when I last checked the FBI is also conducting an investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. These legal niceties apparently do not apply in the Brown case because President Obama not only commented on an ongoing FBI investigation, but did so in front of the UN General Assembly no less.

But the President did have time to pen a thank-you letter to the beheader's mosque and a White House official flew to Oklahoma to deliver it.

for their hard work in helping rebuild the Moore community after a destructive tornado tore through the city in 2013.

“Your service is a powerful example of the powerful roots of the Abrahamic faiths and how our communities can come together with shared peace with dignity and a sense of justice,” President Barack Obama said.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:56 PM | Permalink

The last thing he ever saw

 Last Photo

Final photograph:

Izumi Noguchi took this incredible photograph of a huge cloud of ash from Japanese volcano Mount Ontake just moments before he was killed. His body and camera were found near Mount Ontake's summit shrine compound

His wife Hiromi has now opted to make the images public as a tribute to Mr Noguchi's memory.
The images emerged as doctors determined that almost all of those killed  on Mount Ontake died of injuries relating to rocks flying out of the volcano.

Rescuers have retrieved 47 bodies from the ash-covered summit area of Mount Ontake since Saturday's eruption. Authorities this morning announced that another 16 people are still missing, with search efforts suspended once again due to rain.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:52 PM | Permalink

October 2, 2014

Your Nose Knows

When you lose your sense of smell, it's definitely time to make sure your affairs are in order since that lose of the sense of smell predicts death within five years, according to new research.

People who can no longer smell peppermint, fish, rose or leather 'may have only five years left to live'

Men and women who have lost their sense of smell are almost six times more likely as others to die within the next five years, a study found.  The inability to identify fish, rose, leather, orange, and peppermint – the five scents used in the experiment – could predict death within five years, scientists said.  While the finding may seem odd, a poor sense of smell raises the odds of death more than established medical conditions including cancer.


The U.S. researchers said that while the dulling of the sense does not directly cause death, it provides ‘early warning that something has gone badly wrong’.

They believe that a simple smell test could be used to identify pensioners most at risk of an early death.
University of Chicago researcher Jayant Pinto said: ‘Of all the human senses, smell is the most undervalued and underappreciated – until it’s gone.’
In the first study of its kind, more than 3,000 men and women aged between 57 and 85 were put through a three-minute smell test.  They were asked to sniff the scent given off by felt tip-pen like gadgets and given four possible answers.
They did this five times.

The fragrances used were, in order of increasing difficulty, peppermint, fish, orange, rose and leather.

Most of the men and women got at least four of the five right, meaning they had a normal sense of smell.
Almost 20 per cent only identified two or three of the smells – indicating a mild loss of the sense.

Some 3.5 per cent got one or none right – and were judged to be ‘anosmic’ – or to have lost their sense of smell.
Five years later, 430 of the men and women had died. Those who had failed the smell test were almost six times as likely to have died as those with a healthy sense of smell, the journal PLOS ONE reports.

The finding could be partly explained by age, gender and socio-economic status. But, even when these were taken into account, someone without a sense of smell was more than three times as likely to have died.

In fact, not being able to smell things provides a more accurate warning of an early death than cancer or heart failure. Only severe liver damage is more strongly linked to dying within five years.

Dr Pinto said: ‘We think that loss of sense of smell is like the canary in the coal mine.
‘It doesn’t directly cause death, but it’s a harbinger, an early warning that something has gone badly wrong.’
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:40 PM | Permalink