Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.


Recent Articles
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    Suburban music teacher strikes the right chord with students

    SKOKIE, Ill. – WGN’s Teacher of the Month is on staff at Niles North High School in north suburban Skokie. When his students come to this classroom, they close the books, turn off the computers and turn up the music. Mike Moehlman is the music teacher at Niles North. “If there’s a place that I can be involved and teaching, usually I want to be a part of it,” he says. Under Mike’s direction, the music program at Niles North […]

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    Helping those who are first to help: How first responders cope with PTSD

    First responders save lives. They quickly throw themselves into life-threatening situations, but at what cost? Tonight we continue coverage of a growing problem in this country – PTSD, drug addiction and even suicide among those who devote their lives to others. Dan DeGryse: “I tell anybody, ‘You’ve got to have somebody to talk to,’ and that’s what I’m trying to do.” It’s a conversation Dan DeGryse says is critical among those in the fire service. He’s been on the job […]

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    What you need to know about the over-the-counter heroin overdose antidote

    There’s an epidemic and a major push to stop it from being so deadly. Heroin is plaguing people in big cities across the country. Chicago is among the worst. This week is National Opioid Awareness Week. What anyone who knows a heroin user needs to be aware of is an antidote that can immediately stop a heroin overdose. And it’s as readily available as the drug itself. Seven days a week, the Chicago Recovery Alliance hands it out for free […]

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    Stem cells giving new hope to spinal cord injury patients

    For the first time in history – movement after spinal cord injury! A local doctor has spent two decades focused on this research. We have been following his efforts and today – a report on some very hopeful news. Dr Richard Fessler, neurosurgeon, Rush University Medical Center: “I’ve been doing this for 20 years. It’s nice to get a result.” It’s his life’s work. Rush University Medical Center neurosurgeon Dr Richard Fessler has devoted his career to helping patients with […]

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    Young cancer survivor with Cubs eye up for MLB Fan of the Year

    CHICAGO — WGN first brought you the story of 7-year-old Beckham Zobrist in June. The only way to stop his cancer from spreading was to remove his eye — that’s when the bullying started. “This kid just started calling him a freak and we saw him just shy away,” Beckham’s mom Erin told WGN. For Christmas, Beckham begged his mother for a new eye. When she said that wasn’t possible, he offered another idea – one he and his friends were […]

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    Second pulse, second heartbeat delivers complex care for heart failure patients

    A second heartbeat. It’s a simple concept that delivers complex care for heart failure patients … and all it takes is a little air. Stacey Smith, heart failure patient: “I’m panting, I’m breathing very heavily. I had a hard time walking across the room.” It’s been 16 years since Stacey Smith’s first heart attack. In the years that followed, the father of three grown daughters — and grandfather of two — had a defibrillator and pacemaker implanted … then a […]

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    Cartilage donation helping younger patients avoid joint replacement

    There is a transplant that keeps professional athletes in the game and works the same way to keep regular patients on their feet. For young adults not yet ready for joint replacement and who can’t go the distance living with debilitating pain, donor cartilage comes into play. An intact, healthy piece of cartilage orthopedic surgeon Dr Brian Cole will transplant in his patient’s knee is about the size of a quarter. The procedure is called an osteochondral allograft. But before […]

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    Chicago medical community celebrates two major heart care milestones

    Chicago celebrated some milestones in heart care today. The first was a record-setting transplant.  Zale Walk is just four months old but already he holds a distinguished title. Earlier this week he became the 250th patient to receive a new heart at Lurie Children’s Hospital. Zale was born with a complex condition. His left ventricle, the major pumping chamber of the heart, never developed properly. He’s been in the hospital since birth and for the last several months has been […]

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    Help for those who are first to help others: PTSD takes toll on firefighters, EMT

    Just like soldiers in combat, fire fighters and emergency medical responders share the same increased risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Approximately twenty percent suffer with PTSD. It’s an established statistic – but today, a new report further underscores the growing need for mental health support at the fire house. Think about what they see. Just one example from recent weeks had first responders arriving at what initially appeared to be a burned-out building.  But the scene turned gruesome. Inside, they […]

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    Bella Beltrame, 5, featured on WGN, dies after brave battle with cancer

    CHICAGO — Bella loved life, and even battling an aggressive cancer, she smiled and played. The WGN Medical Watch Team flew with her on her desperate journey to find care and now we have a sad update to a story we brought you in February. A vibrant 5-year-old girl who became ill suddenly during the holidays last year. Her parents had no idea what was wrong. After Bella’s parents took her to the emergency room, WGN began to document Bella’s story. WGN took an […]