Kayaker’s craft cut in two by boat


MEREDITH, N.H. (AP) – A kayaker from Vermont had a terrifying close call when a boat sliced his kayak in two on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Stephen Spitzer, 46, of Brattleboro was kayaking around 1 a.m. Saturday when a 27-foot powerboat ran over his boat, cutting the front part of the kayak off, the Marine Patrol said.

Spitzer’s kayak had no lights. No one was hurt.

Face transplants offered in Boston

BOSTON (AP) – Brigham & Women’s Hospital has given a surgical team permission to perform partial face transplants to certain disfigured patients, according to a published report Sunday.

Brigham and Women’s is the second U.S. hospital to make public its plans to offer the controversial and rare medical procedure. The first is the Cleveland Clinic.

To date, only three partial face transplants have been announced worldwide. Two were performed in France, and one in China.

Critics argue that it’s unethical to expose patients to the risks of a transplant for a non-lifesaving procedure, but The Boston Globe reported that Brigham and Women’s would sanction transplants only for patients already taking immunosuppressant drugs. That would minimize the risk of tissue rejection and infection.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, who is associate director of the hospital’s burn unit, said he’s motivated in part by the “helplessness I feel when I have a very difficult case.”

He said he has seen four patients in recent years who might qualify.

Isabelle Dinoire received the world’s first partial face transplant. Dinoire was severely disfigured in May 2005 by her pet Labrador. In November 2005, surgeons grafted the lips, nose and chin of a brain-dead woman onto her face in groundbreaking surgery.

Man survives 2nd bolt of lightning

HAMLIN, Pa. (AP) – Lightning can strike twice. Just ask Don Frick.

Frick said he survived his second lightning strike Friday – 27 years to the day of his first – and emerged a bit shaken with only a burned zipper and a hole in the back of his jeans.

“I’m lucky I’m alive,” Frick told The Associated Press in a phone interview Sunday night.

Frick was attending Hamlin’s Ole Tyme Daz festival on Friday afternoon when a storm came up quickly.

He and six others sought refuge in a shed shortly before lightning struck the ground nearby.

The strike sent a shock through Frick and four others in the shed.

“It put me up against the wall,” said Frick, 68. “When I came to and realized I was alive, the first thing that came to my mind was that I’m pretty lucky. “It burned my zipper off, burned my pockets, but didn’t burn me.”

None of the others in the shed were seriously injured, Frick said.

Twenty-seven years earlier, Frick was driving a tractor-trailer in Lenox, Pa., when the antenna was struck by lightning, he said. He said that his left side was injured in that strike and that he was laid up for 3 to 4 weeks.