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Florida man is airlifted to hospital after being attacked ‘by a 10 foot gator’ in a national reserve

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A man had to be airlifted from a Florida national reserve on Saturday when a large alligator attacked him, leaving him with a ‘substantial injury to his leg’.

The unidentified man, reported to be in his 30s, was airlifted to hospital after the alligator attack at DuPuis reserve, which bridges between southwestern Martin County and northwestern Palm Beach County.

Officers from the Martin County Fire Rescue crew searched desperately for the man for more than an hour when the call first came in, but their initial hunt came up empty.

Officers from the Martin County Fire Rescue crew searched desperately for the man for more than an hour when the call first came in, but their initial hunt came up empty

Officers from the Martin County Fire Rescue crew searched desperately for the man for more than an hour when the call first came in, but their initial hunt came up empty

Officers from the Martin County Fire Rescue crew searched desperately for the man for more than an hour when the call first came in, but their initial hunt came up empty

Rescuers were eventually able to locate the man in heavy marsh in the DuPuis Management Area.

The man had suffered a ‘substantial injury’ to his leg and needed immediate assistance, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said.

Martin County Fire Rescue’s LifeStar took the man to St. Mary’s Medical Center for treatment, but his condition is still unknown.

The unidentified man, reported to be in his 30s, was airlifted to hospital after the alligator attack at DuPuis reserve, which bridges between southwestern Martin County and northwestern Palm Beach County

The unidentified man, reported to be in his 30s, was airlifted to hospital after the alligator attack at DuPuis reserve, which bridges between southwestern Martin County and northwestern Palm Beach County

The unidentified man, reported to be in his 30s, was airlifted to hospital after the alligator attack at DuPuis reserve, which bridges between southwestern Martin County and northwestern Palm Beach County

A witness told authorities that the gator responsible was around 10 feet long (file photo)

A witness told authorities that the gator responsible was around 10 feet long (file photo)

A witness told authorities that the gator responsible was around 10 feet long (file photo)

A witness told authorities that the gator responsible was around 10 feet long.

It was unclear what the victim was doing in the reserve when the gator attacked, but the area is known for recreational activities like hunting, fishing, camping and hiking.

Florida wildlife officials have launched an investigation into the incident.

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Australia to be scorched by once-in-125-year heatwave as bushfires continue to burn

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Australia is set to be scorched in a blistering heatwave this week that could break a 125-year record. 

Melbourne will experience two days of early summer as it begins to heat up on Wednesday, before hitting one of its hottest November days ever with temperatures forecast to reach 39C on Thursday.

The heat will continue overnight, with temperatures staying in the high 20s to low 30s on Wednesday evening.

‘For Melbourne, the last time it reached 39 degrees was in 2012 and the all time record for November is just over 40,’ Bureau of Meteorology senior meteorologist Richard Carlyon said.

‘Normally at this time of the year we start to see some summery weather with temperatures reaching the mid 30 degrees, but it is unusual to see them into the high 30s,’ 

This sudden heat will be especially tough in the northern part of Victoria, where northerly winds will leave temperatures well over 40C both on Wednesday and Thursday. 

These scorching days, affecting all of Victoria, prompted the CFA to declare a total fire ban for the Mallee region on Wednesday.

‘Tomorrow’s hot and windy conditions could make it difficult for firefighters to suppress a fire should one start, therefore we are asking people to take heed of the Total Fire Ban conditions,’ state duty officer Craig Brownlie said.

‘People need to be aware of the increased fire danger and ensure your fire plan covers all possible contingencies.’

The ban is forecast to be lifted by Thursday.

In Queensland, temperatures are set to soar to mid-to-high 30s near some of the major bush fires on Wednesday, and some parts of the state’s interior will hit 40C.

The sweltering temperatures will only increase the fire danger, as more than 70 fires are still burning across the state.

Firefighters are facing weeks of testing conditions, with no forecast of significant rain until January.  

Firefighters in Queensland face weeks of testing conditions as temperatures continue to rise, with no significant rain in sight until January

Firefighters in Queensland face weeks of testing conditions as temperatures continue to rise, with no significant rain in sight until January

Firefighters in Queensland face weeks of testing conditions as temperatures continue to rise, with no significant rain in sight until January

A total of 16 homes have been lost in the recent fires, but that figure will rise with firefighters confirming homes were lost in the Pechey fire north of Toowoomba.

Fires of primary concern include the Pechey blaze, a cluster of fires in the Border Ranges region, from Cunninghams Gap to Mount Barney and Mount Lindsay, and one on Moreton Island.

Residents who fled Crows News were allowed to return home after an emergency alert was downgraded.

Toowoomba mayor Paul Antonio is fearful of the weather conditions ahead, saying his community is facing dangerous times.

Residents are currently on water restrictions while work continues to restore power to pumps at the city’s main reservoir after it was cut by fire.

South Australia is also facing horrific fire conditions, with the danger level raised to ‘catastrophic’ across most of the state. 

More than 100 schools will be closed, as well as national parks and reserves, as Adelaide braces for a 42C day, while the temperature is expected to hit 45C at Murray Bridge, 44C at Renmark, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln and Whyalla, and 43C at Port Pirie.   

The hot temperatures will be accompanied by strong winds and possible dust haze.

Seven districts have been labelled catastrophic fire danger zones – including the Mount Lofty Ranges and Mid North near Adelaide – while two were rated ‘extreme’ and six ‘severe’.

CFS assistant chief officer Brenton Eden said emergency services would spend the day on high alert.

‘We don’t take seven catastrophic fire danger warnings lightly – that is as bad as it gets,’ he said.

‘That means when a fire starts it’s not possible for us to control it, so it places the community at great risk.’

The CFS has eleven fixed wing aircraft available for firefighting, including one from New South Wales, but windy conditions may prevent them from flying. 

The Bureau of Meteorology said several November heat records could fall, including Adelaide’s hottest November day of 42.7C set in 1962.

SES chief of staff Graeme Wynwood advised the public to take simple steps for health protection during the hot weather.

‘Make sure you are drinking plenty of water (on Wednesday) and keeping cool by avoiding going out in the heat of the day,’ he said.

A total fire ban will be in place across the state.

Canberra is facing an unusually warm spring, with the temperature not expected to drop below 30C until Sunday, with a high of 39C forecast for Thursday.  

The Australian Capital Territory will face a ‘high’ fire danger for the entire week.  

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Tiwi Island kidney patient to return home

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Like all Tiwi Islanders Anne-Marie Puruntatameri feels a deep connection to country and to her family.

However the 67-year-old grandmother has been forced to live across the Timor Sea in Darwin for more than four years to access life-saving dialysis treatment because of her kidney disease.

That has kept Mrs Puruntatameri separated from her husband of 42 years, four children, three grandchildren and one great-grandson.

She has lived in crowded hostels with other indigenous renal patients paying $200-$300 a week, a hefty sum for people from the Tiwis.

Some patients even end up “living in the long grass” in Darwin – which means homeless – according to local Arafura Labor MP and Tiwi Islander Lawrence Costa.

However this week Mrs Puruntatameri said she was excited to be moving back to her home and hoped other Tiwi Islanders in Darwin would do the same, with the opening of a renal facility with dialysis at Pirlangimpi on Melville Island.

“It is very important to me and my people because this is the first ever renal unit,” she told AAP.

“So I can come back and be with my husband and my children and grandchildren and see them grow.

Kidney disease is a major problem in the Northern Territory, especially among indigenous people who are more than twice as likely to have renal failure because of poorer health outcomes.

One of the most successful ever indigenous musicians Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was suffering from kidney disease when he died in 2017 at age 46.

NT Health Minster Natasha Fyles, who along with local Arafura MP and Tiwi Islander Lawrence Costa opened the $700,000 Pirlangimpi Renal Ready Room, said 700 people in the Territory currently needed dialysis but the number was predicted to go above 1000 in coming years.

Dialysis performs the role of kidneys when they fail by filtering the blood and removing waste and excess fluid.

Gideon Pangiraminni, whose mother Marcia died from kidney failure and had led the campaign for a dialysis room in town, gave an an emotional speech to open the centre .

“It is up to us mob to stop this, we have got to educate our kids on eating good food and exercise and all that stuff,” he said.

“If we don’t do that we’ll get really sick.”

“It’s a big thing having dialysis here, we want to help our people to come back home.”

Ms Fyles said all residents with kidney disease would receive training along with a loved one/carer in how to use the dialysis machine.

A key part of tackling kidney disease was supporting pregnant women, Ms Fyles said.

“We know that the higher the birth weight of a baby, the better the health outcomes they have,” she told reporters.

“So we’re working with women when they’re pregnant so that they can look after themselves and their unborn baby and then following that through into those vital first 1000 days.”

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Single woman due to give birth in the new year after her lotto win funded two rounds of IVF

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A single woman who was told by doctors to ‘have children sooner rather than later’ is due to give birth in the new year after a £1million lottery win funded two rounds of IVF. 

Rebecca Brown, 39, from Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells of the cervix last year, which could lead to the need for a hysterectomy.

After two rounds of IVF, made financially possible due to her share of a lottery win, Ms Brown is now due to give birth on January, 25, 2020, as a happily single mother.

‘I was poorly last year and I thought, I want to do it, I’ve got to. I was able to pay for it so I did,’ she said.

Rebecca Brown, from Eastwood, was told by doctors to 'have children sooner, rather than later' after she was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells of the cervix last year (Pictured: Rebecca with her sister Julie, 36, mother Yvonne, 62, and father David, 64)

Rebecca Brown, from Eastwood, was told by doctors to 'have children sooner, rather than later' after she was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells of the cervix last year (Pictured: Rebecca with her sister Julie, 36, mother Yvonne, 62, and father David, 64)

Rebecca Brown, from Eastwood, was told by doctors to ‘have children sooner, rather than later’ after she was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells of the cervix last year (Pictured: Rebecca with her sister Julie, 36, mother Yvonne, 62, and father David, 64)

Ms Brown scooped her share of £1 million back in August 2016 as part of a family syndicate with father David, 64, mother Yvonne, 62, and sister Julie, 36.

The four divided their windfall evenly. 

Since then, the family claim they’ve been living their normal lives. Aside from jointly buying a holiday home at Lincolnshire’s Tattershall Lakes Country Park, as well as a four-person Surrey bike they festively decorate and use to distribute sweets over Christmas, there have been no extravagant outgoings.

But Ms Brown does admit the family’s good fortune made IVF an affordable option for her.

‘I always thought I might have wanted children but I was never motivated enough to make it happen,’ she said, ‘The hospital told me if I wanted to have children I had to do it sooner rather than later.

‘Then at my last check up they said they might have to do a hysterectomy so that’s when I said to them, if I don’t have to have it, I’m going to have a baby.

Ms Brown scooped her share of £1 million back in August 2016 as part of a family syndicate

Ms Brown scooped her share of £1 million back in August 2016 as part of a family syndicate

Ms Brown scooped her share of £1 million back in August 2016 as part of a family syndicate 

‘My dad said “But you need a man first” I said, “no I don’t”‘.

Seven months later, the mother-to-be and bump are doing well, with Ms Brown choosing to keep the gender a surprise.

‘We do refer to it as a boy and call it Percy but whether it ends up being a Percy remains to be seen,’ she added.

Once born, ‘Percy’ will be the family’s first grandchild but Ms Brown insists there will be no spoiling going on.

She said: ‘I don’t want it to be spoilt but everyone has been really generous. Not just mum and dad but my friends and my neighbour.

‘Everyone has been really generous in giving me things and buying me things for the baby.’ 

Ms Brown’s mother Yvonne added: ‘This baby is going to be brought up normal, it should be like these were brought up.

‘Birthday? Yes. Christmas? Yes. That’s when you get presents. You don’t just have things when you want it.’ 

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