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Nurse Adopts Prior Patient With Birth Defect

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“As a nurse, sometimes you bond with patients,” Amber Boyd, 28, told ABC News. She is a pediatric nurse from Albuquerque, New Mexico who has worked babies with a wide array of birth defects, like her now-adopted daughter, Nicole, who spent over a year in her hospital.

“I’ve had that frequently happen throughout my career, but nothing as strong in the way I feel for this child,” Boyd said. “She was on her own and really sick. I guess it was that motherly instinct. I think it was a bond that was meant to happen.”

PHOTO: Nicole Boyd, 3, was adopted on Feb. 24 by her nurse Amber Boyd after spending over a year in the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. Courtesy Camille Walker
Nicole Boyd, 3, was adopted on Feb. 24 by her nurse Amber Boyd after being in the hospital for over a year in the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. 

Nicole was born on Dec. 26, 2012 with an omphalocele–a birth defect where the gastric organs are outside of the body. Why she was still a baby, Nicole was transferred from a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to the pediatric unit where Boyd works in the Spring of 2013. “Nicole was pretty sick that whole first year and a couple of months of her life,” Boyd said. “Right around her first birthday, she was making progress, [but] her needs were beyond anything anyone could’ve accommodated at home. Her biological parents, their rights were taken away and her twin sister had already gone home with another family. They just weren’t medical professionals and she essentially needed ICU care at home. [The hospital] was looking into medical foster care.”

“I said, ‘Well, that’s something I could do from home,” Boyd added. “But then I said, ‘This is crazy, am I crazy?'”

PHOTO: Amber Boyd said she adopted Nicole one year after becoming her primary nurse in the hospitals pediatric unit. Courtesy Camille Walker

She proposed the idea of adoption to her husband, Taylor, who immediately got on board with the idea. Shortly thereafter, the Boyds obtained a foster care license and, in June 2014, Nicole went home with the couple. Nicole’s adoption was made final this year, on February 24.

PHOTO: Nicole photographed with her adoptive father, Taylor Boyd. Courtesy Camille Walker
Pictured above: Adoptive father, Taylor Boyd, with Nicole.

“We had always planned on having children and I’m adopted,” said Boyd. “But I don’t think we talked about this one coming down the road. We took her home and she was 18 months old. She just kind of fit right in. She’s just a trooper and embraced everything.”

Currently 3 years old, Nicole has now been living with the Boyd’s for more than 20 months. Her parents are happy to report that her transition has been seamless.

“She’s spunky, she’s sassy, she’s just a fighter and you could tell that in her spirit,” Boyd said. “She’s always happy. It’s very rare to see her upset. She’s seriously the strongest kid I’ve ever met. She takes everything on with a smile and fights through, no problem.”

Boyd’s colleague in the hospital, Camille Walker, reflected on the day that Nicole was transferred to their hospital. “I remember the day she came down from the NICU,” Walker, 27, of Albuquerque said. “She was one of the hardest patients we’ve ever taken care of. She was with us for so long.”

The hospital’s policy is to give long-term patients a primary nurse. “Amber was the first one to step up,” said said.

Walker fondly remembers the day that Nicole met Amber, noting their instantaneous connection. “That was always the big thing surrounding [Nicole] was ‘Who’s going to take her?’” she said. “Knowing Amber and all her siblings were adopted made it that much more special,” Walker added. “Taylor, at the time, he was a special needs teacher.”

“Everything this little girl needed they had,” she added. “It was like she won the lottery with the parents that she got.”

Jesse Anderson has written extensively about legal matters and current events. She offers fresh perspectives on controversial issues and consistently reports objectively on notable political cases. Anderson grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and frequently volunteers for organizations like Civic Works, RAINN and Kids Against Hunger. She hopes to change the face of politics and make a positive impact on the world around her.

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80 Million Stimulus Check Direct Deposits Have Been Processed. When Will They Arrive?

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80 Million Stimulus Check Direct Deposits Have Been Processed. When Will They Arrive?

Americans will start to see their stimulus payments this week, a centerpiece of the $2.2 trillion rescue package meant to provide a buffer against the coronavirus pandemic that’s shuttered much of the U.S. economy.

The Internal Revenue Service has begun sending $1,200 payments to middle and lower income adults, plus $500 for their minor children, though it could take until September for every eligible person to get the money.
The first payments “should be deposited directly into individuals’ bank accounts; the precise date you will see payments in your account depends on how long individual banks typically take to process direct deposits,” according to a press release from House Ways and Means Committee Republicans.

The IRS will first send the money to individuals for whom the agency has direct deposit information. The remainder will be mailed as checks. That process is expected to begin April 20 but could take until the fall to complete.

The IRS processed more than 80 million payments on Friday that should be available in bank accounts early this week, Sunita Lough, the IRS deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, said in a video conference Monday.

Payments will be made first to those earning the least.

The IRS has launched a tool for non-tax filers, such as those who had income under $12,200 last year and weren’t required to file a federal return, to enter direct deposit information to get their payments.

The agency plans to have a second website up by April 17 that will show people the status of their payments, including the date the money is scheduled to be deposited or mailed. That tool will also let people who’ve typically gotten their tax refund in the mail to provide their bank account details to get their stimulus payment more quickly.

The IRS is using information from 2018 and 2019 tax returns to process the payments. It says taxpayers who’ve yet to file a return this year should do so as soon as possible, and elect to receive the refund via a direct deposit. The information can then be used to distribute the stimulus payments. Social Security and disability recipients will receive their payments automatically.

The tax deadline was extended to July 15 from April 15 to give people more time to file and pay during the pandemic.

Taxpayers who don’t need extra time and who expect to get a stimulus payment should file as soon as possible so the agency has their most up-to-date details on file, said Christina Taylor, head of operations for Credit Karma Tax.

“The quicker, the better,” she said.

Americans earning $75,000 or less, or $150,000 and below as a couple, are eligible for the full $1,200 payout per adult, plus $500 for each child under 17. Those amounts are reduced for people with higher incomes, and people who make $99,000 or more in earnings (or $198,000 for a couple) get nothing, even if they have children. Individuals must have a Social Security number to receive a payment.

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A Case of Hantavirus Has Been Reported in China. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry.

A man who died in China Monday reportedly tested positive for a hantavirus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should worry another pandemic is coming…

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A Case of Hantavirus Has Been Reported in China. Here's Why You Shouldn't Worry.

A man who died in China Monday reportedly tested positive for a hantavirus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should worry another pandemic is coming.

Hantaviruses are a family of virus that spread through rodents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Yunnan Province, a man died on his way back to Shandong Province, according to Global Times, an English-language Chinese news outlet.

“He was tested positive for #hantavirus. Other 32 people on bus were tested,” the news outlet tweeted.

The tweet, sent amid a pandemic caused by a new coronavirus, has been shared more than 15,000 times.

Though countries across the globe are on high alert due to uncertainty around the coronavirus, there is no indication that the hantavirus poses a global public health threat.

According to the CDC, hantavirus cases are rare, and they spread as a result of close contact with rodent urine, droppings or saliva.

Certain kinds of rats and mice in the United States can carry the virus, which is transmitted when someone breathes in contaminated air.

“The hantaviruses that cause human illness in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another,” the CDC says on its website. Rare cases in Chile and Argentina have seen person-to-person transmission when a person is in close contact with someone sickened by a type of hantavirus called Andes virus, the CDC says.

In the U.S., the virus can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a severe respiratory disease that can be fatal. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems. Coughing and shortness of breath can occur later in the disease as the lungs fill with liquid, the CDC says,

Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, found mostly in Europe and Asia, can also occur, which causes pain, fever, chills, nausea, and blurred vision, the CDC says. More serious symptoms include acute kidney failure.

Cases in the United States have typically been concentrated in the western and southwestern states.

From 1993 to 2017, there were only 728 confirmed hantavirus cases in the United States, with most being non-fatal, according to CDC data. In comparison, since late January, when the first known coronavirus case was identified in the U.S., there have been 46,805 confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

In May 1993, a hantavirus outbreak occurred in an area between Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. A 2012 outbreak in Yosemite sickened 10 people. In seven states, 17 people were infected in a 2017 outbreak.

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Syria al-Qaeda Leader Attacked, Unsure of His Survival

An air strike struck Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, based on unconfirmed reports.

The Egyptian is second-in-command to overall al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to BBC News.

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An air strike struck Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in the Syrian province of Idlib on Sunday, based on unconfirmed reports.

The Egyptian is second-in-command to overall al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, according to BBC News.

Syrian opposition forces, the Local Co-ordination Committees, posted a photo of the car which was targeted for the attack, as stated by them.

Car with roof shattered is shown in photo taken from Syrian opposition activists

The car, in the town of al-Mastuma, was targeted by “international coalition aircraft”, the group said.

Additionally, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that an al-Qaeda official was killed in a strike, but did not confirm it was Abu al-Khayr al-Masri.

The Egyptian, whose real name is Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abd al-Rahman, was reportedly released from custody by Iran in 2015 as part of a prisoner swap.

Last year, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri was reported to have given his blessing to a decision by al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front, to cut formal ties with the global jihadist network.

The Syrian jihadist with ties broken with al-Qaeda had renamed its name to Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham, as reported by CNN.

According to Ahmad Hasan Abu al Khayr al-Masri, al-Qaeda has embraced the split. The man Masri would replace as an upranking to No. 2 of the leadership position in the terror group, is al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri expressed his opinion on the split in a supportive manner and called for infighting between jihadist groups to end.

Although Jabhat Fateh al-Sham was no longer linked to an external entity, the U.S. still kept it on its list of foreign terrorist groups and continued to target air strikes.

Therefore, in January, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham dissolved itself and formed an alliance with four smaller Syrian jihadist groups called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. The move seemed to deem an attempt by the group to distance itself from al-Qaeda.

Tahrir al-Sham as since then fought rebel groups for control of the Idlib province in Syria, implying that it was them who had instigated suicide bombs on Saturday against the military in the government-controlled city of Homs.

Although the death of Abu al-Khayr al-Masri is uncertain, the Guardian has stated that he has been killed based off of what jihadists are stating.

The immediate circumstances of Masri’s death were unclear. Video online showed a tan four-door Kia sedan destroyed at a roadside with a large hole in its canopy but its windscreen mostly intact. The location of the attack was unusually far west for a US drone strike.

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