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  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Kent strongman raises funds for cancer patient

A woman from Kent who's been diagnosed with incurable cancer could soon be on the way to Disneyland with her family after fundraising efforts by local people. Rebecca Watts hopes to give her young boys some specially happy memories to remember her by in years to come.

David Johns reports, speaking to Rebecca Watts, strongman fundraiser Rocky Troiani and fellow strongman Andrew Gower.

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Doctors make breakthrough in brain injuries study

Doctors in Southampton have developed a brain pressure test that can detect life-threatening head injuries and infections - without the need for surgery or spinal procedures.

The method involves patients wearing headphones with an ear plug linked to a computer, which enables doctors to measure fluid pressure in the skull.

The device known as the cerebral and cochlear fluid pressure (CCFP) analyser is being used to study healthy volunteers at Southampton General Hospital in Hampshire.

"We know that high pressure inside the skull resulting from injuries and infections can be fatal, so it is essential it is detected as early as possible to avoid exacerbating symptoms and ensure treatment can begin promptly.

"Current methods for testing ICP (intracranial pressure) require procedures to be carried out under sedation or anaesthetic, which means they are limited to the most severe cases and those with less obvious initial symptoms often go undetected until their symptoms have worsened.

"However, as our CCFP (cerebral and cochlear fluid pressure) device does not require a patient to do anything other than wear a set of headphones with an ear plug, it has the potential to provide rapid, accurate and safe assessments to patients in much larger numbers than is currently possible."

– Dr Robert Marchbanks, consultant clinical scientist


The scientists mending broken hearts

There's been another medical breakthrough at Oxford University. Scientists in the city really have learnt how to mend broken hearts.

They've identified new ways to help the heart repair itself after a cardiac arrest.

Just a week ago we reported on how researchers in Oxford were close to finding a way of preventing malaria, which kills 650,000 people a year across the planet.

Now Oxford scientists have given hope of a cure to Britain's half a milion sufferers from heart failure, as Penny Silvester reports

36-year-old woman dies two weeks after attack

Police have launched a murder investigation after a 36-year-old woman died two weeks after she was the victim of a street attack in Eastbourne.

The woman was found on the pavement in Chawbrook Road at the junction with Dudley Road and Havelock Road, near her home address, just before 11pm on Sunday April 26, having sustained a head injury.

She was taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital and was transferred to Hurstwood Park Hospital at Haywards Heath suffering from a fractured skull.

Sussex Police appeal for information Credit: ITV Meridian

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "Police inquiries were carried out and it is believed that she may have become involved in an altercation with an unknown man in the street where she was found.

"On Monday (May 11) we were informed that the woman's condition had worsened and very sadly she died late that evening."

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Ashcroft of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, who have now taken over the investigation, said: "This is a tragic incident. At first the victim appeared to be making progress but her condition suddenly worsened over last weekend.

"This has now become a murder investigation, We would like to hear from anyone who was in the Dudley Road, Chawbrook Road area on the late evening of Monday 26 April, and who saw anything suspicious, perhaps an argument, or a man walking away from the scene."

Families of poorly children get new place to stay

Former Southampton FC footballer Francis Benali has opened a new accommodation facility for families of children in hospital.

The new Ronald McDonald House Southampton is a "home away from home" for families who need to stay near their children while they are being treated at Southampton Children's Hospital and nearby Princess Anne Hospital.

Francis Benali has lent his support to Southampton facility for families Credit: PA Images

Benali was joined by Fiona Dalton, chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, and Dr Simon Fradd, trustee of Ronald McDonald House Charities, for a ceremony to mark the opening of the house, which has 53 en-suite bedrooms as well as communal kitchens, lounges and playrooms.

The full-back said: "It's an honour and a privilege to be here to open such an incredible facility. I want to do alI I can to encourage people to support the house and spread the word about how much it helps families in their time of need."

During the opening ceremony, guests heard from Sandra Brown, a mother from Jersey, who is among the first to stay at the Ronald McDonald House while her son Jack, 15, is being treated for bleeding on the brain.

She said: "The Ronald McDonald House has brought normality back into our life. It's been a godsend. I have been able to stay near Jack while he is being treated in hospital and not worry about the expense of travel to and from Jersey or paying for accommodation. It will always have a special place in my heart".

There are 14 Ronald McDonald Houses in the UK that in 2014 provided a place to more than 6,000 families who had children in hospital.


Sewing 'could help soldiers' mental health issues'

Sewing requires skill and attention

A soldier from Salisbury enjoys sewing so much that he is now determined to encourage others to take up the pass time.

Lieutenant Colonel Neil State believes it could help veterans with mental health problems overcome their issues. His belief centres around the fact that creating something can give people a boost, and a sense of fulfillment.

"I've done everything from modifying ammo pouches to carry mortar bombs, sniper suits and then making curtains for soldiers' accommodation and of course as you heard in Bosnia I actually started making my driver's wedding dress and then in Afghanistan was helping the female engagement teams with the US Marine Corps to teach Afghan ladies how to sew."

– Lieutenant Colonel Neil State
Col Lt State has been spreading the word about sewing's therapeutic benefits

New accommodation block for child patients' families

Accommodation will house families visiting sick children

A seven million pound new accommodation block at Southampton General Hospital will be officially opened today.

The fifty-three bedroom Ronald McDonald House provides a place to stay for the relatives of children in hospital. Families who have stayed there say it has been 'invaluable'.

Malaria vaccine breakthrough could save thousands

Scientists in Oxford have made a breakthrough in developing a new vaccine that could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year.

Malaria is one of the world's biggest killers - causing the deaths of around 650,000 people every year, most of them children under the age of five.

At Oxford University they have been working to prevent the disease for seven years. But now first clinical trials of a new vaccine show it is nearly seventy percent effective. Juliette Fletcher has been to the Jenner Institute to find out more.

The interviewees from the Malaria vaccine trials at the Jenner Institute are: Katie Ewer, Senior Immunologist; and Carly Bliss, Research Assistant.

Can cycling improve mental health in old age?

The University of Reading is asking for the local community's help for a study which will examine the mental health benefits for older people who regularly cycle.

Cycling is known to be very important for older people - not only as a positive effect on their health but as a potential way of retaining a sense of independence.

However, while cycling accounts for 23% of all journeys for people aged 65 and older in the Netherlands, 15% in Denmark and 9% in Germany, it represents only 1% all journeys in the UK.

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