California couple welcomes baby during Uber ride to the hospital

KABC-TV(SHERMAN OAKS, Calif.) -- A California couple’s Uber ride took an unexpected turn Friday night after a woman gave birth inside the car.

Niv Davidovich told ABC News that minutes after entering the backseat of the car, his wife, Erica, gave birth to a son.

“Everyone is telling us to name the baby Uber,” Niv Davidovich joked. “But we can’t do that -- as much fun as it would be."

Davidovich, 37, a father of three, said that the couple was at home lighting candles for Shabbat when Erica began to experience strong contractions. Because Davidovich and his wife do not drive while observing the Sabbath, he said he called an Uber to bring them to the hospital. He also wanted to be able to comfort Erica in the backseat, he added.

"We got a minute out onto the road and by that point, she said, 'Call 911. I think the baby is coming right now,'" Davidovich recalled. "We got one block and she said, 'My water broke.'"

"The driver was doing everything he could. He was running red lights, basically trying to get there as quick as possible," he added.

Davidovich dialed 911 and the driver, Raymond Telles, remained on the phone with the police dispatcher.

Soon after, at 8:43 p.m., Telles pulled over in front of a grocery story on West Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks, and Erica gave birth to a baby boy.

Erica, 31, and her son, who weighed 6 pounds, 12.5 ounces, were transported to Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.

"The driver happened to have a big old white towel sitting there," Davidovich said. "I grabbed the towel and covered the baby. He was still on the phone with 911 getting paramedics to come. He pretty much spoke to 911 the whole time. He was amazing."

The Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed on their Facebook page that the Uber driver was the primary assistant in "the successful delivery of a newborn in the vehicle."

An Uber spokesman confirmed Telles was the driver who assisted in the delivery of the Davidovich's baby.

Telles did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Baby Davidovich joins big sisters Chana, 5, Rivka, 3 and Elisheva, 1. The baby's name is not being shared for religious reasons, Davidovich said.

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90-year-old grandmother has made over 2,000 tiny hats for newborns

Courtesy Hillcrest Hospital(MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio) -- One 90-year-old grandmother is keeping herself plenty busy.

Barbara Lowe has hand knit thousands of tiny hats for babies born inside Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, since 2009.

To date, Lowe has delivered 2,252 hats to the hospital, located just footsteps away from her senior complex home, right across the street.

The matriarch, who retired after working 25 years in the "jewelry business," started by knitting hats for her family and friends," she told ABC News. And after a family member suggested she make them for a hospital for newborns, she was on board.

It takes Lowe four hours to knit just one ribbed hat with a brim, which she makes in a variety of colors -- pale pink, pale blue, pale green, pale yellow and even combinations.

"I buy strictly 'baby yarn,' which is a finer, nicer yarn," she told ABC News. "And I have a signature flower that I put on there."

Lowe notes that she makes the flower detachable, just in case the family thinks it's a bit too feminine.

The grandmother said she learned how to crochet and sew from her mother when she was 10 or 11 years old. She had to teach herself how to knit because her mother didn't know how.

"It's my therapy," Lowe said. "When you're 90, you've got aches and pains. You don't want to think about it. Well, you're not thinking about it if you're concentrating on what you're doing."

Lowe, who has two daughters, 11 grandchildren (when you count their spouses), and 11-great-grandchildren, said she has no plans of stopping because "it just makes me feel so good."

Mary Bartos, the director of Women's & Children's Services at Hillcrest Hospital, said it's also making the families there feel good as well.

"They’re just pleased to have a gift. They’re excited to have the uniqueness," she said. "They're touched."

Lowe said for her it's more than just giving a gift.

"When you’re on this earth, you only have a limited time and you want to leave something behind when you leave," she said. "Here am I, 90 years old, [and I asked myself,] 'What have I really accomplished?'"

"Then all of a sudden this breaks through. I can't believe it. It’s almost a dream," Lowe added.

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Students design 3D-printed wheelchairs for kitten with spinal condition

Carrie Barron(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) -- When a cat-loving teacher heard about a friend's feline with mobility issues, she had an innovative idea to use 3D printing to help get the kitten moving a little easier.

Carrie Barron from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, adopted a loving and feisty 6-month-old Maine Coon kitten named Ray from the Odd Cat Sanctuary in Salem, Massachusetts, despite his physical limitations.

Veterinary experts warned Barron that Ray had an inoperable spinal condition that had immobilized the animal's hind legs, but Barron fell in love anyway.

"He's a special little guy," Barron told ABC News.

Her neighbor and fellow cat lover Erin Bakkom came up with an idea that would be beneficial for Ray as well as educational for her students at Portsmouth Middle School.

Bakkom assigned her eighth-graders to split into two teams and create a 3D-printed design concept for a wheelchair for Ray.

"[Erin] came over to visit Ray and proposed the idea -- I thought it was an amazing idea and was on board immediately! I thought Ray would really enjoy it and it was a great opportunity for the students to create something for someone [in this case Ray] in the community," Barron said.

The local public library next door to the school has a 3D printer and encourages the community to send in designs.

"I was obviously very excited when she emailed me," Michaela Pugh, an emerging technologies assistant for the Portsmouth Public Library, told ABC News. "This is what our goal was, to have people come up with real world applications and it gave us a chance to work with students and help them with their designs so they could see the whole 3D printing design and re-design process," Pugh explained.

Just before summer vacation last month, the two designs became a reality. Barron brought Ray to the classroom and he was fitted for two different prototypes.

"He was not a fan at first," Laura Horwood-Benton, a community relations librarian, told ABC News. "He was kind of biting on the Velcro and playing with it," she said.

But Ray's two wheelchairs made with Razor scooter wheels and a 3D-printed frame were both very promising to help the kitten become more mobile.

"He's just going to take some time to get used to it," Pugh said confidently.

And the cat's owner said she is sure that the wheelchairs will be successful for Ray.

"We have been working with Ray and getting him more comfortable with the wheelchair. We are working to modify it a bit as the initial design allowed him to pivot, but we are hoping to have the modified chair ready very soon," Barron said.

The library staff along with Barron and Bakkom all said this was an overwhelmingly positive experience.

"The experience of watching the students connect and create something for Ray was very impactful for both Erin and I. In many shelters Ray would likely have been euthanized. He's an incredibly special guy who is very happy and loves life," Barron said.

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Artificial sweeteners could cause weight gain over time, review of studies says

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Too much sugar, we know, is linked to obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. And people who are watching their weight may choose the artificial sweetness to fight back products like aspartame, sucralose and steviocide (brand names: Equal, Splenda and Stevia.)

But a new analysis of studies in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at the long-term heart health, weight, stroke incidence and blood pressure levels of more than 406,000 people who said they use artificial sweeteners in place of sugar and found that the effects weren't on the plus side.

"We found that consumption of nonnutritive sweeteners was associated with modest long-term weight gain in observational studies,” the study authors found. And it didn't seem to help high blood sugar, either. "Our results also extend previous meta-analyses that showed higher risks of type 2 diabetes and hypertension with regular consumption."

The 30 studies that they reviewed followed groups of people using artificial sweeteners -- which included aspartame (brand name Equal), sucralose (brand name Splenda) and steviocide (brand name Stevia) -- reviewed in this analysis included longer, larger studies with follow ups every four to nine years and found that those who routinely used artificial sweeteners gained weight and had higher risks of obesity, high blood pressure and stroke.

Over ten years, the increases in weight and Body Mass Index, or BMI, was modest.

But those those looking for weight loss help in the short term did not appear to benefit either. People in the seven shorter randomized, controlled studies reviewed in the analysis did not show any consistent weight loss after six months.

ABC News' chief women's health correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton explained that any sweetener can trigger the same response from the brain, which could contribute to the long-term issues found in this study.

"We know from things called functional MRIs that in the brain whether its good old table sugar or honey or agave or anything with a chemical name, it lights up that reward center and what does that do?" Ashton said today on "GMA." "It makes us eat more, want more and we get into that vicious cycle."

The study strongly highlighted the association of artificial sweeteners and increasing waistlines along with other cardio metabolic effects, but not a direct causation. In other words, it could be something linked to the artificial sweetener that makes the weight gain happen, like a change in overall eating habits.

And, as in other nutrition-based studies, the participants self-report what they ate. That means it's not a perfect reflection of what they consumed, and the duration of the study was limited, which may not properly capture chronic dietary exposure.

Dr. Ashton recommends that people with a sweet tooth gradually reduce their intake – and do it slowly.

"Let's say you put two teaspoons of something in your coffee, go to one go to half, slowly taper down," Ashton explained. "A good reminder: maximum 25 grams a day for women of added sugar, for men it's about 37."

Based on the data from the studies, she said, one thing that clearly works for weight loss is portion control.

"Portion control works, diets in general -- lean protein, high fruits, vegetables, watching the sugar -- those work," Ashton said.

In other words, diet sodas and artificial sweeteners may not lower your weight and improve health -- overall diet is still more important.

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McConnell delays vote on health care while McCain recuperates from surgery

Paul Morigi/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- The U.S. Senate will delay its consideration of health care legislation while Sen. John McCain recuperates from surgery, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday night, just hours after the Arizona Republican announced he underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye.

"Elaine and I, along with the entire Senate family, wish John the very best and wish him a speedy recovery," McConnell said in a statement that referred to his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. "While John is recovering, the Senate will continue our work on legislative items and nominations and will defer consideration of the Better Care Act."

McCain's absence from a procedural vote could have put the bill, which needs the support of 50 of 52 GOP senators to advance, in jeopardy. So far, Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Rand Paul have publicly stated they will not support a motion to proceed to floor debate on the legislation.

And McCain has expressed his displeasure with the bill. On Thursday, he said in a statement: "The revised Senate health care bill released today does not include the measures I have been advocating for on behalf of the people of Arizona. That’s why if the Senate takes up this legislation, I intend to file amendments that would address the concerns raised by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and other leaders across our state about the bill’s impact on Arizona’s Medicaid system."

McCain, 80, tweeted Saturday night, "Thanks to @MayoClinic for its excellent care -- I appreciate your support & look forward to getting back to work!"

Earlier in the evening, the Mayo Clinic announced in a statement that the surgery had taken place: "Following a routine annual physical, Sen. John McCain underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot from above his left eye on Friday, July 14, at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix," read the statement. "Surgeons successfully removed the 5 cm blood clot during a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision. Tissue pathology reports are pending within the next several days."

The statement read that McCain is "resting comfortably at home and is in good condition."

McCain's office acknowledged in a statement that he would remain in Arizona: "Senator McCain received excellent treatment at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, and appreciates the tremendous professionalism and care by its doctors and staff. He is in good spirits and recovering comfortably at home with his family. On the advice of his doctors, Senator McCain will be recovering in Arizona next week.

McCain's wife, Cindy McCain, retweeted her husband's statement, writing, "A remarkable man!"

The McCains' daughter, Meghan McCain, tweeted, "Thank you to the incredible team at @mayoclinic Arizona for taking such good care of my father - he will be back soon."

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Baby goes crazy for her first ice cream cone in adorable viral video POINT, Ala.) -- One baby is putting the "i" in ice cream because she loves the cold stuff.

Ashley Cavanaugh's youngest daughter, 9-month-old Emma, was treated to her very first ice cream cone last month thanks to the baby's great-grandmother, who asked ABC News not to identify her.

It all started when Cavanaugh, 27, and her maternal grandmother took a trip to an ice cream store in West Point, Alabama.

"At first she wasn't sure about it ... and then she attacked it," the mother of three told ABC News of baby Emma.

In a hilarious video now gone viral on Facebook with more than 22,000 views, Emma is seen shoving her face right into the ice cream.

"All my girls have enjoyed ice cream but she's the only one that's reacted like that," the mom added.

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Month-old giraffe at Maryland Zoo dies

iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) -- The Maryland Zoo has reported the death of its month-old giraffe calf Julius, saying that it has left the organization with "heavy hearts."

“It’s hard to put our emotions into words right now,” Don Hutchinson, president and CEO of the zoo, said in a statement. “Our veterinary staff and our animal care team put their lives on hold to try and nurse Julius back to health, and every avenue was explored. Sadly, he was unable to survive in spite of their Herculean efforts.”

Julius was born to first-time mother Kesi during the early-morning hours of Thursday, June 15, but was never able to learn to nurse effectively, the zoo reported in a statement on their website.

Staff supplemented the baby giraffe with a special colostrum formula and attempted to teach him to bottle-feed, according to the zoo.

Julius was given two transfusions of giraffe plasma to boost his immune system and received multiple courses of antibiotics, IV fluids and other intensive care in order to provide nutritional support and to stabilize his condition, among other procedures, the zoo said.

“Despite intensive medical interventions, tube feeding and around-the-clock care, Julius remained a critical patient,” Dr. Samantha Sander, associate veterinarian at the zoo, said in the statement. “His condition took a sharp turn downward overnight, and we had to make the difficult decision to humanely euthanize him. This is certainly not the outcome we were hoping for, but we rest assured that we did everything we possibly could medically to prevent him from any distress.”

A postmortem examination of Julius will be performed to try and determine what put him in poor health so early in life, Sander added.

Animal lovers on Twitter, using the hashtag #TeamJulius, have offered love and sympathy to the giraffe as well as zoo workers throughout the monthlong ordeal of trying to bring him into stable health.

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McCain in 'good spirits' after undergoing surgery for blood clot

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had a blood clot removed from above his left eye on Friday, according to the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, and the senator's office.

“Surgeons successfully removed the 5-cm blood clot during a minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision," Mayo Clinic said in a statement. "Tissue pathology reports are pending within the next several days."

According to the hospital, the surgery went "very well" and McCain is in "good spirits."

McCain will remain in Arizona with his family to recover from the surgery, a statement from his office said.

Because of McCain's absence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement Saturday night that the procedural vote on health-care would be delayed. Republicans need 50 votes to advance the bill to the Senate floor, and they would only have 49 votes without McCain, based on two public "no" votes from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

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VP Mike Pence on healthcare: ‘We're on the verge of a historic accomplishment’

ABC News(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) -- Vice President Mike Pence spent his one year anniversary since being announced as President Trump’s running mate working to drum up support for their 2016 campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.

This week at the bipartisan National Governors Association meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, Pence was met by skepticism from state leaders concerned about proposed cuts to Medicaid expansion.

On Saturday night, while speaking to a crowd of cheering young conservatives at the Maverick PAC conference in Washington, Pence said he’s confident the Senate will be able to move forward on the health care bill.

“We're on the verge of a historic accomplishment here in our nation’s capital,” said Pence. “Because in the coming days, President Trump, working with the Congress that you helped elect, is going to keep our promise to the American people, and we are going to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

“Just two days ago, building on the good work of the House of Representatives, Senate leadership unveiled a new version of the Senate health care bill,” said Pence. “The Senate health care bill is the right bill at the right time to begin to repeal and replace Obamacare, and to rescue the American people from this disastrous policy.”

Republicans are struggling to find consensus and enough support to hit 50 “yea” votes on the bill, despite Trump taking to Twitter on Friday to pressure Republican senators currently on the fence, and Pence’s pitches in closed door meetings with governors and in a his speech tonight.

The task of whipping up support for the bill during the crucial week before voting seems to have largely rested on Pence’s shoulders this week, as Trump traveled to Paris and Bedminster, New Jersey. The vice president told supporters tonight to ignore what they’re hearing on cable television, saying he’s certain Republican senators will come together in support of the legislation.

“President Trump and I are confident, that when the time comes as early as next week, that Republicans and Senators are going to come together and they're going to move this bill forward and we will see the beginning of the end of the nightmare of Obamacare,” he said.

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Ohio hospital creates 'infant-cuddle' program for babies withdrawing from opiates 

Photodisc/Thinkstock(DAYTON, Ohio) -- When Floyd Chriswell retired for the second time in 2010, he knew he wanted to volunteer.

"I didn't want to sit down," the 74-year-old told ABC News. "I still wanted to do something."

Chriswell, who had worked in sales, said that after his granddaughter was born at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, he noticed a few elderly people cuddling newborn babies.

"I told my wife that's what I want to do," he said. "I love little babies."

So when the hospital launched its "volunteer infant-cuddle program" for newborns diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome, which affects babies suffering from withdrawal due to their mother's use of opiates or other drugs, Chriswell said he wanted to be the first in line to volunteer.

Amy Clayton, a clinical nurse educator who has worked at Miami Valley since 1998, said the hospital last year admitted approximately 90 newborn babies with the syndrome, often referred to as NAS.

After five years of research on pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatment options, the hospital launched an infant-cuddle pilot program on July 1.

The hospital said the initiative is already making a difference in the lives of its tiniest patients, whose moms are often not available because they are seeking treatment for their opioid use or have returned to work or gone home to tend to their other children.

"The moms’ arms are the best medicine for these babies, but if the mom cannot be there to provide the cuddling social interaction, the cuddlers can help fill that void and help soothe and comfort these babies," Clayton told ABC News.

"I don’t like to see little babies hurt at all. I don’t like to see little babies cry," Chriswell said, tearing up.

He, like the other 14 volunteers in the pilot program, had to undergo a background check, medical testing and a nearly four-hour orientation to “make sure we're safe to handle the little babies," Chriswell said.

Dr. Kruti Jambula, a neonatologist at the hospital, said babies with NAS often show symptoms such as irritability, jitters, high-pitched cries, clamminess and sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises.

"They don't eat very well either, and if they do, they might throw up," she said.

Jambula said it's important that the babies are treated not only with pharmaceuticals but with occupational therapy, such as massages and music.

Since the program launched, the hospital has been "overwhelmed" with interest from prospective volunteers and is no longer accepting applications, Clayton said.

Still, Jambula suggested that people wanting to help could reach out to their local hospitals.

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