Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
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    Protecting the teeth of a prep athlete can save a smile

    Sports injuries – most parents and athletes are concerned about concussions, but few consider the impact of a head blow on the teeth. With a little protection you can preserve that smile. I know firsthand since my son became a statistic … three days into the soccer season he lost both of his front teeth! They kick the ball with skill – but few kick around the idea that their teeth may be in jeopardy. Cameron Kleinberg, lost teeth on […]

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    Computer science teacher nurtures through technology

    CHICAGO — The lab-like classroom at Chicago’s Wells Community Academy is filled with 3-D models and robotics, but it’s the human behind the all the technology that captivates the students. Shadia Daniels teaches computer science — a required subject, but her students come willingly. Shadia Daniels, May Teacher of the Month: “Students become more engaged when it becomes personal, when they can see themselves as programmers.” Traeshaun Norwood, nominating student: “Ever since the first day I fell in love with […]

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    Special spine procedure leaves young gymnast standing tall

    A cheerleader and a tumbling trampoline accident that seemed almost impossible to bounce back from. But then a local doctor offered a unique spine procedure that has her standing tall without a large scar. Christina Martyniouk: “As I was in the air, I knew that I did something wrong.” It was a combination the competitive cheerleader had been practicing on the tumbling track. Christina Martyniouk: “I was doing a toe back tuck.” But just as Christina Martyniouk launched backwards, she […]

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    New training has loved ones helping those suffering from aphasia

    The word is on the tip of your tongue … but you can’t get it out. Now imagine struggling with that challenge every day in every conversation you have. Picture someone speaking English, but this is what you hear. Leora Cherney, PhD, RIC Director for Aphasia Research and Treatment: “We don’t just mean a problem with speaking. We mean a problem with understanding language, expressing language, reading, writing, even math.” It’s not something you can see, but listen as Ashley […]

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    Experimental procedure may give baby with cancer a chance at fatherhood

    CHICAGO — It was their happiest time: a beautiful baby boy to grow their family to five. But just as the Malooley family was adjusting to their new routine they received devastating news of an aggressive cancer, the likely treatment of which would rob their son of future fatherhood. “At his four month shots the first week in December, afterwards I kind of felt a knot in his leg, and I just chalked it up to it’s just a little […]

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    From crisis to blessing: Update on tiny transport patient

    An update to a story we brought you in February, when WGN took an exclusive ride with the Lurie Children’s transport team. Isabella Beltrame came to the hospital in crisis – life-threatening pressure in her brain prompted an immediate helicopter ride for more specialized care. Within hours doctors found a massive tumor in her brain. Fast forward to today. Bella has come leaps and bounds in the last three months overcoming obstacles to reach heroic heights in her recovery. Melissa […]

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    Magnets helping make back braces a thing of the past for some patients

    A magnetic pull on the spine to get things straight. It’s a technique doctors are increasingly using for growing patients. He shoots, swings and throws. Just like a typical 11-year-old who loves sports. Cal Sorensen, spine magnet patient: “I can play basketball and golf with it.” Holly Sorensen, Cal’s mother: “Even with the twisting with golf he can do pretty much everything.” What he doesn’t feel doesn’t hinder Cal Sorensen. But looking at an x-ray of his spine, you’d think […]

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    Concerns grow over Elizabethkingia

    Elizabethkingia and a growing threat in Illinois. We first told you about the bacteria killing in Wisconsin. Now a half-dozen victims right here in Illinois died and tested positive for Elizabethkingia. The Illinois Department of Public Health is on alert. It’s in the water, it’s in the dirt, but rarely has it made people sick … until now. Various forms of the Elizabethkingia bacteria have been linked to six Illinois deaths and 18 more in Wisconsin. Dr. Nirav D. Shah/Director, […]

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    Is this the cast of the future? Group of U of I students thinks so

    A team of engineering students set out to change the way doctors heal broken bones. It’s an invention that tackles the most common complaints about the common cast. Jason Troutner, University of Illinois mechanical engineering student: “This is our flexible, silicone, lattice mold.” It slips on like a piece of jewelry or a glove — a web-like system of interconnected tubes made from liquid silicone. But it’s not a fashion statement … it’s a cast! Jason Troutner: “Those supports will […]

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    Simulation shows dangers of distracted driving

    Distracted driving is a tragic trend. It’s the cause of nearly 80 percent of accidents. Yet so many people are willing to take the risk, especially younger drivers who have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. In 2010, distracted driving was responsible for more than 400,000 injuries.  Performing tasks such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting make you three to four times more likely to get into a crash. Sending or receiving a text message take’s a […]


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