Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.


Recent Articles
  • ‘The fight has to continue’: ‘Hamilton’ star’s family opens up about tragic loss

    CHICAGO — They arrived in the city to embark on a new chapter, career-changing opportunity in a mega-hit musical. But at home, a life-altering diagnosis took center stage. One month after their daughter Adelaide’s passing, Chicago “Hamilton” star Miguel Cervantes and his wife Kelly opened up about their daughter’s journey and how they’ll keep fighting for her and all those impacted by epilepsy. Each night, as her husband told the story of Alexander Hamilton on stage, Kelly Cervantes documented her […]

  • ‘Each one stings’: Officer opens up about mental health struggles, suicides within CPD

    CHICAGO — There have been a half-dozen police suicides this year. Recently WGN’s Dina Bair sat down with a Chicago police officer who shared his thoughts on the mental health struggles and stressors he and his fellow comrades face each day on the job. Officers are not allowed to speak out publicly without permission from higher command so he asked that his identity be protected. He did not want WGN to use his voice. But he wanted his words to […]

  • Man who survived breast cancer becomes voice for those struggling in secret

    He’s a voice for those struggling in secret. John Falk received a rare diagnosis, one typically associated with women. But he’s made it his mission to share his story and shred the silence. The 61-year-old retired corrections officer, who spent 22 years looking after inmates in the county jail, had swelling in his left breast and was referred to a specialist. “When I arrived at his office, he asked me, ‘Why did your doctor send you to me?’” he said. […]

  • Rock star dreams lead man to teach band at suburban middle school

    NILES, Ill. — As a young boy he wanted to be a rock star, but watching Eric Bachmann at work at Emerson Middle School in northwest suburban Niles, it’s pretty clear he’s living the dream. He’s been teaching for more than 30 years in a career that started off with the drums and a dream of playing in a rock and roll band. But a music education class at Northwestern University changed his tune. “I was born in Las Vegas […]

  • Is a volatile winter on the way? Tom Skilling looks at the facts

    CHICAGO — With flurries and maybe even some snow in the forecast for some areas this week, it’s a reminder winter is on its way. It doesn’t feel like too long ago that a brutal blast in late January 2019 sent temperatures plunging to more than 20 below in some areas. And while the arctic chill didn’t stick around too long, it was colder than usual well into spring. Kevin Birk is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “The […]

  • A troubling trend: Young athletes plagued by injuries commonly seen in the pros

    They’re suffering the same injuries that plague the pros, but they’re only teenagers. A local orthopedic surgeon said overuse injuries a dangerous trend in youth sports. Maggie Carpenter’s recently returned to the pitcher’s mound. It had been seven months since the 16-year-old last threw a pitch, but it was an overhand throw that ultimately knocked her out of the game. “I was warming up and throwing overhand from the outfield and I felt a snap in my elbow,” she said. […]

  • Facebook adding blood donation tool to help with country’s dwindling supply

    Someone needs blood every two seconds. There’s a constant demand but not a steady supply. With regular donors dwindling, the system is hemorrhaging. It takes more than 30,000 units of blood a day to keep shelves stocked across the country. Vitalant, formerly known as Lifesource, is one of the largest blood service providers in the country. On a recent quiet morning, just a few dozen bags of blood were trickling in. A steadier flow was expected in the afternoon. “Right […]

  • A Chicago mother’s miracle baby and the making of a saint

    CHICAGO — A pregnant woman in crisis, a baby in jeopardy and absolute healing. Melissa Villalobos believes it was a miracle. Her doctors have no medical explanation, and now the Catholic Church is canonizing Cardinal Newman thanks to a Chicago woman’s experience. “I was supposed to miscarry, or she’d be born prematurely, but she was born full term,” Villalobos said of her daugher Gemma, born full-term, 8.5 pounds and perfectly healthy. “I feel so blessed. It’s really overwhelming.” The joy […]

  • Cary native comes up with a new way to freeze dry blood

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A local young man makes a discovery that could save lives all over the world and even in space. The science breakthrough is remarkable, but this is also a story of how a struggling boy saw great success thinking differently, and how caring teachers helped him realize his potential. The development of freeze-dried blood cells could extend the 42-day shelf life of a regular bag of blood by months to years. A brilliant discovery from a young […]

  • Doctor’s blood donation comes full circle to help sickle cell patient in need

    Every couple of months Dr. Kyle Mack makes sure to donate blood, often stopping in before work. He’s a regular because as a hematologist at Lurie Children’s Hospital, he’s acutely aware of the need for donations, particularly for his patients with sickle cell disease. “Patients who have sickle cell disease can have serious infections, they can develop strokes, they can develop really bad pneumonias, they can have problems with their spleen, so there are a variety of complications in sickle […]

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