AMAZING MIRACLE RESCUE

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Thank God Almighty for this amazing miracle rescue of the coach and Wild Boar team boys trapped in the cave in Thailand has made headlines all over the world. This miracle surpassed any past cave rescue missions so involved numerous international cave diving experts. Thanks to excellent teamwork, all managed to overcome overwhelming challenges to rescue team successfully. It is beyond any other previous daring rescues without precedence yet worked together to rescue the team and experts who risked their lives to save them. The poignant issue that stood out for me is a miracle of ability to communicate with  the two British cave divers who helped to rescue the team. How on earth would they understand each other without the only English speaker among. It would probably have caused further delays or complicated matters. In counselling the concept of entering cave means getting into the most painful areas of life one does not want address. The mountain in this case described as sleeping woman so symbolically her womb was entered. The flood birth water had to be drained so human life is born. Like a birthpang labour pain is unpredictable and time-consuming the process was daunting but by the Grace of God team delivered safely to the Glory of God. unnamed (1)The 12 boys were all rescued and taken to hospital to be checked with the coach and later released press conference. On 23 June, 12 boys and their football coach walked into cave after football practice in northern Thailand. The boys, who are part of the Moo Pa – Wild Boars  football team became trapped when heavy rains flooded the Tham Luang cave to cut off their escape route. All 12 boys and their coach have been freed from the cave. A few details about the group have been released. Here is what we know about the boys and their coach:Chanin VibulrungruangChanin Vibulrungruang (Nickname: Titan), 11 is the youngest in the team, who played as a forward. Titan started playing football at seven before joining his school’s sports club. He was later invited to join Wild Boars football club.Panumas SangdeePanumas Sangdee (Nickname: Mig), 13. According to Nopparat Kantawong, the head coach of the football team, Mig is bigger than other kids his age, but he is agile. He is a defender for Wild Boars.Duganpet PromtepDuganpet Promtep (Nickname: Dom), 13 is a striker, and captain of the Wild Boars, Dom has reportedly been scouted by many professional clubs in Thailand. He is said to be motivator and respected by team for his football skills. Players on field need captain like him because sometimes a coach can’t get in to solve their problems,” Nopparat told the BBC.

Adul Sam-onAdul Sam-on, 14 born in Myanmar’s self-governing Wa State and left his family behind to get a better education in Thailand, according to reports. The left defender speaks Thai, Burmese, Chinese and English, and was the only one able to communicate with the British divers when the group was first discovered. While trapped in the cave, the boys and their relatives exchanged letters, carried by the rescue divers. Adul told his parents he missed them and not to worry. “Mum and Dad want to see your face,” his parents wrote. “Mum and Dad pray for you and your friends, so we can see each other soon.”  Adul is also a talented volleyball player – and part of a local team that came second in all of northern Thailand two years in a row, local teacher Bunjob Chai-arm told BBC. Adul said he learnt as a Christian in Church. So an amazing miracle the team gets on well together despite being from different faiths. This mutual respect is a great advantage and so its good to learn basic English.  Somepong JaiwongSomepong Jaiwong (Nickname: Pong), 13 is a cheerful boy who likes football, and all sports. He dreams of becoming a footballer for the Thai national team,” his teacher Manutsanun Kuntun told AFP. The left winger wrote to parents from inside the cave, saying: “I love Dad and Mum. Don’t worry about me, I’m safe.” His parents replied: “Take good care of yourself and be strong said Dad and Mum and all are waiting for you.”Mongkol BooneiamMongkol Booneiam (Nickname: Mark), 12. Mark has been described by his teacher as a “very respectful” boy. He cheerful, energetic, very friendly, and likes football and volleyball, Bunjob Chai-arm told the BBC. Mark and his mother had moved to Thailand from Myanmar. He plays in same volleyball team as Adul. His father Thinnakorn Boonpiem told AFP that his son is a “good boy” who loves to study – almost as much as football.Nattawut TakamrongNattawut Takamrong (Nickname: Tern), 14. In a letter to his parents, Tern told them not to worry about him. The defender wrote he missed his parents and grandparents, but “Tern can take care of myself. “Dad and mum are not angry at you and do not blame you,” his parents replied, adding that they were waiting for him “in front of the cave.”Peerapat SompiangjaiPeerapat Sompiangjai (Nickname: Night), 17. Night plays as right winger on the team. He went missing on his birthday and his parents say they are still waiting to hold his party. According to reports, the boys went into the cave to celebrate Night’s birthday. They were said to have brought treats and snacks along with them. The supplies probably helped sustain group in the many days spent trapped inside the cave. Sittthisak Sawanrak, who goes to the same cycling club as Night, describes him as “a great lad who just loves to cycle and play football.“He’s a quiet boy – doesn’t talk much, but a very good, polite boy,” he told the BBC. In a letter to his parents from the cave, Night wrote: “Night loves everyone” and drew several hearts.Ekarat WongsukchanEkarat Wongsukchan (Nickname: Bew), 14. Bew is the goalkeeper of the team. In a letter to his mother, Bew promised to help her sell things at her shop once he was rescued.Prajak SuthamPrajak Sutham (Nickname: Note), 15. Note is described by family friends as a “smart, quiet guy who loves sport and supports Chiang Rai United.” Family friend Ponrawee Tachavandee told the BBC he was “shocked” when he learned Note was trapped. “I didn’t expect he would go inside cave.” Rinlinee Sombat, who works in the same garage as Note’s father, describes him as a kind boy who takes care of his two-year-old sister, and enjoys playing with her young son. He is a smart kid, when you teach him how to fix something in garage learns how to do it after just one go,” she told the BBC.Pipat PhoPipat Pho (Nickname: Nick), 15 in his letter, Nick told his parents he wants to go for Mookatha, or Thai barbeque, when he comes out of the cave. “Nick loves Mum, Dad and siblings,” he wrote, alongside a drawing of a heart.Pornchai KamluangPornchai Kamluang (Nickname: Tee), 16. Tee is a defender for the Wild Boars. “Don’t worry, I’m very happy”, said Tee in a letter to his parents.The mood was tense as people waited for news of high-risk operation. The Assistant coach Ekapol Chantawong (Nickname: Ake), 25. Ake reportedly born in Myanmar and lost his parents at a young age. Before becoming a football coach, spent several years as a Buddhist monk, and learnt to conserve energy by restricting movements and meditating. According to local news reports, taught these techniques to the boys in the cave. In his letter, Ake apologised to parents for taking boys into cave network, but many replied to say they did not blame him. “I promise I will take care of the kids as best as I can,” Ake wrote.The found Thai cave boys July 2018The group of boys and their coach were found after nine days. Some media reports suggest that when the group was found Ake was the weakest, having refused to eat any of the food they had brought with them, giving it instead to the boys. His note aincluded a message to his aunt and grandmother, informing them that he was “fine.” Do not worry too much about me. Take good care of your health,” he wrote, adding: “Please prepare vegetable juice and pork rind for me to eat when I get out. Thanks.”A composite image showing the rescued football teamThank God meant finally, they had been found. Two British Mr Volanthen and Richard Stanton were in the cave after being called in by Thai authorities with another British caving expert Robert Harper. The trio arrived in Thailand 3 days after football team went missing. More than 1,000 people were involved in operation from all over the world.Richard William Stanton Robert Charles Harper and John Volanthen(From Left to right) Richard Stanton, Robert Harper and John Volanthen. The British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) – the body for voluntary underground rescue in British Isles in contact with British divers since the return. Bill Whitehouse, council’s vice chairman, said the men described dive as “gnarly” in an email, meaning there were complications and problems.  It was 11 hour round trip, involving a 1.5km passage, flooded open he told BBC’s Breakfast.Cross section of cave showing various hazardsOn hearing the boys were found, Mr Whitehouse said: “It was really quite a moment, I can tell you.” However, he said that “moment of euphoria” for the divers and the boys would have been followed by: “Now what?”Bill Whitehouse of British Cave Rescue Council was in touch with the divers. Around 4,000 volunteers worked to clean up the area around cave which was battered by relays of rescuers, volunteers and news crews.

What we know about trio

Mr Volanthen and Mr Stanton are part of the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team. John and Rick involved in a good number of rescues over the years, and they’ve got lot of personal expertise to take to Thailand,” the team’s chairman, Gary Mitchell, saidIn France in 2010 the pair were part of a team attempting to rescue a trapped diverMr Stanton, a retired firefighter from Coventry, was also involved in the rescue of six British cavers in Mexico in 2004.Richard StantonRichard Stanton was made an MBE in recognition of his cave diving rescue services. During that rescue Mr Stanton was able to persuade one of the group – who was terrified of water – to make a 180-metre dive out of the cave, the West Midlands Fire Service said. In a 2007 interview, he said he became interested in diving after watching a programme called “Underground Eiger” as a child. He joined caving and diving clubs at university. Speaking to the BBC in 2004 he described difficulties of navigating caves: “When people land on the moon they had a map, they knew where they were going but in cave if you’re beyond known limit of the cave, nobody knows where it goes, you don’t know what will happen round the corner.” Mr Stanton was made an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List at the end of 2012 for his cave diving rescue services.John Volanthen at rescueJohn Volanthen is a member of South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team. Mr Volanthen is an IT consultant based in Bristol but who grew up in Brighton. He started caving as a scout. Spoke to the Sunday Times in 2013, said cave rescue required calm heads.“Panic adrenalines are great in certain situations but not in cave-diving,” he said. “The last thing you want is an adrenaline whatsoever.” He added: “cave diving is like a puzzle with fox, chicken and grain, not dangerous if you do it right.” According to an online profile, Mr Volanthen runs marathons and ultra-marathons. He joked “he runs to eat more biscuits.” His mother Jill said she felt ‘absolute pride’ over son’s role in rescue effort in Thailand.img_20180809_162823.jpg

Artists rallied together to create mural to commemorate event by various team members showing cave rescuers and the supporting teams that helped to achieve this miracle. The rescue teams included local divers and a cave doctor from Australia and soldiers volunteers, whole Thailand nation plus all nations helped in the search and rescue of 12 teenage boys and football coach who disappeared into a cave network in Thailand. Professional divers helped to find the group but high water and the mud in narrow passages drove them back when Jonathan Head was with search teams. Eventually the Wild Boar team was safely rescued after 17 days in the cave and now back home, thanks and Glory to God. In life people descend into emotional trauma caves sometimes requiring whole lot of global specialists to understand daring missions to help overcome. Counselling demands people be willing to let in others to dig deeper to deal with the hidden cave issues affecting your life. Despite opening up and feeling vulnerable it is worthwhile getting help. Everyone in life most of the time needs somebody so all others are in it together whether inside or on the outside cave it takes mutual support to survive daily challenges in life.

 

More on this story

  • Thai boys and parents send letters of love & reassurance 7 July 2018
  • Video Thai cave: Wife and father mourn ‘hero’ diver on 9 July 2018
  • Thailand cave rescue: Community united in hope 6 July 2018
  • Brits helped find boys 3 July 2018
  • Thai cave rescue: psychological effects 8 July 2018
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SCHOOL OPENS OWN BANK

Pupils save over £100 in new school bank!

 

Ws4g3Students at Walthamstow School for Girls have thrown open the doors of their very own bank.

11-14 year olds have been trained by MyBnk to get fellow pupils into good financial habits by offering accounts and loans of up to £40. Using real money, their MyBnk-in-a-Box scheme opens once a week at lunchtime and is also accessible online.

“I opened an account today with £2 and I think it’s important to save so you don’t have to worry about your parents spending all of their money on you! I would like to buy things for myself and be independent”. Amy 12, young saver.

Ws4g2Also opening accounts on launch day were the Mayor of Waltham Forest, Saima Mahmud and our patron, broadcaster and campaigner, June Sarpong. Scores of young people deposited over £100 in a single lunch break.

The young bankers now will also run incentivised saving and enterprise start-up drives for their fellow pupils. This is backed up with financial education workshops covering everything from tax and pensions to student finance, supported by Prudential.

“At WSFG we believe that our girls should understand how banks work and understand how to manage their personal finances. We try to build in transferable and lifelong skills that they will use in their everyday lives, as well as ensuring that they achieve the very best academic achievements they can”. Marianna Philippou, Maths teacher, Walthamstow School for Girls.

 

Ws4gSoon, Walthamstow will be joined by another London school bank, run by young people for young people. Savers bank on average £3.64 a week, 59% of their pocket money, an adult would bank £295 a week on an a £26,000 salary!

“The sooner young people are familiar with banking, the better they can develop sound financial habits like saving and navigate the system. We’re going all out for a generation that will have to make smarter financial decisions and create their own opportunities”. MyBnk CEO & Founder Lily Lapenna.

If you are interested in running the MyBnk-in-a-Box financial education programme in your school, get in touch via info@mybnk.org or 0207 377 8770!

financial education

REBUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

Family gatherings stressful?

Sadly, according to a new study, many families the first argument starts just after 10.13 on Christmas morning – with four or five more before the day is over! This can happen in families who don’t see each other very often and are then all together at Christmas. Christmas is a big focus, but other times like Easter or weddings, funerals and other family get-togethers can bring about pressure points erupt into family arguments. And the little things that trigger rows can be simple perhaps even the preparation of lunch, when a cook is trying to prepare a delicious meal and resents doing all the work or the other family members interfering too much. Couples often get into arguments because one or both has had too much to drink. Its particularly difficult where there are stepchildren. A couple may have different ideas about how to bring them up, and big decisions of how much to spend on the Christmas presents can cause disagreements.Six ways to stay close when your children leave home

Blended Family Matters

Blended families with step children can be part of the challenges faced during a Christmas festivity. If you have children from a previous relationship and your partner does not, you might disagree over the children’s behaviour. Or, if your partner does have children who are with the other parent for a big occasion like Christmas or a holiday, the presence of your children can cause resentment. The disciplinary lifestyles can be different and each parent may be softer in dealing with own child. It is good to be self conscious and aware of a child’s needs to treat them equally well.

Repairing family relationships

In the cold light of January try to make up with the family members you have fallen out with, even if you think it’s not your fault or that they might not react well. Pluck up courage and talk to them, face to face if possible, or by telephone or letter. Here are a few tips.My secret to feeling great at 56? Just do it!

  • Don’t restart the argument, wait until the person you need to talk to is in a good mood and then tell them that it is so nice when you do get on together that you would like it to be like that more of the time.
  • Tell them how much you regret the argument, that you are sorry if you upset them and that you love or care about them. It takes courage to say you are sorry.
  • Tread sensitively, no angry voices or unkind words, and make the person feel listened to and hopefully they might respond in a similar manner.
  • Ask what they need from you and say what you need from them.
  • If they don’t feel the same way, avoid another row and say, ‘I just wanted you to know that I am sorry we argued.’
  • Don’t be afraid to go to counselling if things seem really bad, it could make you happier in the long run.
  • Finally, make it your January resolution to think about how you would like life to be different, whether that includes drinking or spending a little less, or to have better relationships with the ones you love.”
  • DIY hair care tips for when you’re starting to go grey
  • Share the work

    babyhk20/11/2016

    Some people like cooking but if all avalanche on you over Xmas I have had to be honest so.I keep Xmas day for my husband and children as I explain i can only cook and cope with so many .Boxing Day is a running buffet which I top up with mainly cold food or things I can cook in 20 mins that just need throwing in the oven. I get decorations together and others sort out the tree . If anyone wants special food or find them something missing ot can shop for it.

    Be Close to kids who left home

    Yes it’s the end of an era, but your children moving out can sometimes bring you closer than ever. Keep in touch with each other daily. It easy if you know how. Meet up regularly if possible and Skype, telephone, visit.

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COCONUT OIL SUPER FOOD?

CoconutsCoconut oil classified is considered a superfood according toCoconut oil is high in saturated fatSales of coconut oil are rocketing, propelled by celebrity endorsements and claims that drinking the stuff will cure everything from halitosis to digestive disorders. Actress Angelina Jolie-Pitt is said to have a tablespoon or so with breakfast most mornings, while model Miranda Kerr says she not only adds it to salads and smoothies, but she cooks with it and splashes it on her skin as well. The health claims that swirl around coconut oil are treated with a great deal of scepticism by scientists. Coconut oil is seen, in the scientific community, as an unhealthy fat. It is very high in saturated fat (86%), even more so than butter (51%) or lard (39%). The reason that foods rich in saturated fats are frowned on is because eating them causes a rise in blood levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein). LDL is known as “bad cholesterol” because high levels are linked with increased risk of heart disease. On the other hand, saturated fats – which are particularly bad for you – also tend to raise HDL, “good” cholesterol, which has the opposite effect. It is possible that a particular food can raise overall cholesterol levels, yet still be heart-friendly.

Cholesterol check

So is coconut oil a cholesterol-busting wonder food, as some claim, or is this all dangerous hype? Despite all the sound and fury that surrounds coconut oil there have been surprisingly few human studies carried out to test specific health claims. So for the current BBC2 series of Trust Me I’m a Doctor, we thought we should help organise a trial. The Trust Me team started by contacting Prof Kay-Tee Khaw and Prof Nita Forouhi, both eminent Cambridge academics. With their help we recruited 94 volunteers, aged 50-75 and with no history of diabetes or heart disease, and designed a study to assess what effect eating different types of fat would have on their cholesterol levels. We began by randomly allocating our volunteers to one of three groups. Every day for four weeks, the first was asked to eat 50g of extra virgin coconut oil – that’s about three tablespoons full.

Type of oil or fat Polyunsaturated (%) Monounsaturated (%) Saturated (%)
Coconut oil 2 6 86
Butter 3 21 51
Lard 11 45 39
Goose fat 11 56 27
Olive oil 10 76 14
Rapeseed oil 28 63 7
Sesame oil 41 40 14
Corn oil 54 27 12
Sunflower oil 65 20 10

The second group was asked to consume the same amount of extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, which is widely seen as being extremely healthy. And the third was asked to eat 50g of unsalted butter a day. Again, that adds up to just over three tablespoons. The volunteers were told that they could consume these fats in whatever way they pleased, as long as they did so every day for the whole four weeks. On the other hand others think that Coconut oil ‘as unhealthy as beef fat and butter’ so the Diet debate: Is butter back and is sat fat good? They were also warned that, because they were consuming an extra 450 calories a day, they might well put on some weight. Before our volunteers started on their new high-fat regime we took blood samples to get baseline measurements, focusing mainly on their levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and HDL (the “good” cholesterol) The importance of these two measures is that your heart attack risk is best calculated, not by looking at your total cholesterol score, but your total cholesterol divided by your HDL score. NHS Choices suggests that this figure should be below four. So what happened? As expected the butter eaters saw an average rise in their LDL levels of about 10%, which was almost matched by a 5% rise in their HDL levels Those consuming olive oil saw a small reduction, albeit a non-significant drop, in LDL cholesterol, and a 5% rise in HDL. So olive oil lived up to its heart-friendly reputation.Olive oil

Early Stages of Studies

But the big surprise was the coconut oil. Not only was there no rise in LDL levels, which was what we were expecting, but there was a particularly large rise in HDL, the “good” cholesterol, up by 15. On the face of it that would suggest that the people consuming the coconut oil had actually reduced their risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Olive oil is a key element of the Mediterranean diet, which is seen as particularly healthy. I asked Prof Khaw, who was clearly surprised by these results, why she thought it had happened. “I have no real idea,” she candidly replied. “Perhaps it is because the main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid and lauric acid may have different biological impacts on blood lipids to other fatty acids. The evidence for that comes mainly from animals, so it was fascinating to see this effect in free-living humans.” So should we be hailing coconut oil as a health food? “I think decisions to eat particular oils depend on more than just the health effects” she said. “This is just one study and it would be irresponsible to suggest changing dietary advice based on one study, however well conducted.” This was a very short-term study and compared to olive oil, research on coconut oil is at an early stage. So the claims about coconut oil being a superfood are premature. But if, like me, you enjoy putting coconut in your curries, there seems no very good reason to stop.

The new series of Trust Me I’m a Doctorcontinues on BBC2 at 20:30 GMT on Wednesday 10 January and will be available on iPlayer afterwards.

AN AMAZING WEIGHT LOSS

Among many people’s priority resolution for the new year is the desire to lose weight. An amazing weight loss plan used by this man transformed his life to shed the extra pounds of weight in a short time. So there is hope for many more people to follow his example to lose weight too. The father-of-two lost 12 stones in under a year in remarkable weight loss effort attributed to low calorie diet. Lorry driver Adam Moffat, 44, sheds half his body mass after adjusting eating habits. The Independent Online shared this story of Adam Moffat with his wife Margaret and daughters Hannah, 13, and Holly, nine Katielee pictured here by Arrowsmith /SWNS. The father-of-two is now half the size of the man he used to be after shedding more than 12 stone in less than a year. Prior to shedding half his body weight Adam Moffat, 44, gorged on pies, cakes and daily double rolls crammed with sausages. He would scoff cakes with breakfast and lunch and would even sneak in a kingsize Mars bar before dinner.

DIVERSITY AND MARRIAGE

uk-scotland-42510187Congratulations on celebration of inter marriage between different groups of people often seen as source of blending families. In the past was not considered able to do so even within same nation a tribe saw other tribes in the draconian age as enemies unable to relate in long term marriage of family members. And many people missed potential marriage of choice thwarted by feuding families of past generations. Today it is good to see the acceptance and tolerance after many years people recognise humans come from one race. Although some people do not really fully understand the challenges involved it is nice to see a successful couple overcome diversity. It is equally challenging to be married in a common social background because all marriages are hardwork, tolerance and forgiveness of each other. No matter the issues faced its good to see marriage on top of the agenda once again. So nation of Britain prepares to celebrate Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan as Queen Charlotte of Portugal married in UK’s past history of a royal mixed marriage. According to PBS, Charlotte “directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a black branch of the Portuguese Royal HoHouse. That distinction goes way back to the 18th century to Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. So a black woman in the royal family in the 1700s history nerds say turns out that, while many Englanders were in denial at the time, the wife of King George III, who was Queen from 1761 until her death in 1818, was of mixed race. According to PBSMmmm, Charlotte was “directly descended from Margarita de Castro y Sousa, a black branch of the Portuguese Royal House.” So not of unsavoury mixed-race origins, but actual black royalty. Her race mostly went under the radar over the course of history until decades later art historians began to take a closer look at distinctly black features in her portraits. Her regal nose, those full lips; as a mixed girl myself who can often spot a person with even a small amount of Black ancestry from a mile away, it’s pretty blatant from looking at her painting.

The fact that her black physical traits were visible in those paintings was, in itself noteworthy because as customary at the time for artists air brushed to “play down soften or even obliterate undesirable features in a subjects’ face,” also according to PBS. Even more controversial is the fact that the artist who depicted Queen Charlotte in all of her portraits was Sir Allan Ramsay, an anti-slavery advocate who went on to marry a black woman himself. All that being said, many historians believe the mere existence of Queen Charlotte and these portraits could have played a major role in the slavery abolition movement of the time. And that makes total sense. I mean, think about it: As we saw on The Crown, Queen Elizabeth II wouldn’t even allow her sister to marry a man who had once been divorced. And that was in the 1950s. Can you imagine the existence of a black queen back in the 18th century. Another major plot twis is Queen Charlotte, the actual first black and bi-racial member of royalty, happens to be Prince Harry’s great-great-great-great-great-grandmother. She’s Queen Victoria’s grandmother, which makes them relatives, several generations removed. So not only is it possible that Prince Harry’s 14th great-uncle may have beheaded one of Markle’s ancestors, but now, it’s looking like Prince Harry himself has some interracial genes. It   turns out Queen Charlotte might not be the lone mixed royal and potentially not the first, either. Philippa of Hainault, a fourteenth-century Queen of England, was also rumoured to have African ancestry. And in 2004, former sheep sheerer and builder Gary Lewis became the first Maori or aboriginal New Zealander to join the extended royal family by marrying Lady Davina Lewis, daughter of the Duke of Glouchester and 28th in line to the British throne. (I know, I know. Let me know if y’all need me to draw a family tree for all of this.)
Regardless, I think it’s long overdue (like, seven generations long) for Queen Charlotte to get some credit for being an early trailblazer among the royals. And even though the official title of the first black member of royalty technically taken a long time ago. Meghan Markle’s recent engagement reminds people that love heart matters for pure happiness.

A FAMILY FEELS NO PAIN?

Letizia MarsiliA family does not feel pain according to the story recently reported in the news. Letizia Marsili and five other members rarely feel pain  Letizia Marsili, 52, first realised she was different when she was very young. She has high threshold for pain meaning she did not feel burns or notice broken bones. Five other family members are also affected by condition which means they are insensitive to pain. Letizia told the BBC: “From day to day we live a very normal life, perhaps better than the rest of the population, because we very rarely get unwell and we hardly feel any pain. “However, in truth we do feel pain perception of pain, but this only lasts for a few seconds.” Scientists believe the condition could be down to some nerves not reacting properly. Researchers who studied the family hope their discovery of a gene mutation in family members could help chronic-pain sufferers in future. “We have opened up a whole new route to drug discovery for pain relief,” said Prof Anna Maria Aloisi from the University of Siena in Italy.

How is family affected?

Letizia’s mother, two sons, sister and niece all show signs of being affected by syndrome that is named after the family Marsili pain syndrome. She said pain was an important alarm signal because they feel it fleetingly, the family often have fractures go undetected and this leads to inflammation in their bones. They also experience burns and other injuries without knowing. Letizia said her 24-year-old son Ludovico, who plays football, has encountered problems. “He rarely stays on the ground, even when he is knocked down. However, he has fragility at the ankles and he suffers distortions, which are micro fractures. “In fact, recently X-rays have shown that he has lots of micro fractures in both ankles.” She said her younger son Bernardo, 21, had a calcification of the elbow without realising he had broken it after falling off his bike. He continued cycling another nine miles. Fractures, broken bones and burns are often not noticed and don’t heal properly.Fractures are often missed because the family doesn't feel the pain

Letizia says when she fractured right shoulder skiing she continued to ski all afternoon, only going to the hospital the next morning because her fingers were tingling. So same thing happened when she broke a bone in her elbow playing tennis. “Because of a lack of pain, it got so stressed that it ended up breaking,” she says. But the worst thing, she says, was problems in her mouth because of a tooth implant went wrong. Letizia’s mother, Maria Domenica, 78, has had a number of fractures which have never healed properly and have hardened naturally. She suffers burns because she doesn’t feel any pain. Her sister Maria Elena often damages the top of her mouth because she burns herself with hot drinks, and her daughter Virginia once left her hand in ice for about 20 minutes without feeling pain. Despite all this, Letizia says she has never seen  condition “as a negative for our lives.”

Do they feel little pain?

Lead study author Dr James Cox, from University College London said Marsili family members had all their nerves present, but “they’re just not working how they should be.” He said: “We’re working to gain a better understanding of exactly why they don’t feel much pain, to see if could help us find new pain relief treatments.” The research team, whose findings are published in the journal Brain, worked with family to find out nature of their phenotype the observable characteristics caused by their genetics. The Marsili syndrome, named after them, means the affected individuals are less than normally sensitive (or hyposensitive) to extreme heat, capsaicin in chilli peppers, have experienced pain-free bone fractures.

Scientists discover genes

The researchers mapped out protein-coding genes in each family member’s genome and found a mutation in the ZFHX2 gene. They then conducted two studies in mice which had been bred without this gene and found their pain thresholds had been altered. When they bred a new line of mice with relevant mutation they found they were notably insensitive to high temperatures. Prof Aloisi said: “With more research to understand exactly how the mutation impacts pain sensitivity, and to see what other genes might be involved, we could identify novel targets for drug development.” The family is believed to be the one in the world to be affected by this faulty gene.

Additional reporting by Mauro Galluzzo