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Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
  • Man’s unlikely approach for Parkinson’s disease? Stand up comedy

    CHICAGO — Laughter as medicine. Joe Antonacci is making others laugh and it’s is giving him a special gift when it comes to facing Parkinson’s disease. On a recent Tuesday night in Rosemont, the room glows, the drinks flow, and the lone mic awaits. Antonacci’s journey here, pacing the floor in the back of Zanie’s Comedy Club, started in an unlikely place, a doctor’s office after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2017. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever […]

  • Researchers developing AI to detect breast cancer in mammograms

    Mammograms interpreted by the skilled eye of a radiologist are highly effective and accurate when it comes to detecting cancer, but one in five women may have her cancer missed. A local researcher says artificial intelligence shows real promise when it comes to improving outcomes. Northwestern Medicine researcher Dr. Mozzi Etemadi partnered with Google software engineers to develop the artificial intelligence model. Using programming code, they taught a computer how to interpret a mammogram. As it identified cancers or missed […]

  • Plenty of books help this teacher connect with students, spark their curiosity

    Our Teacher of the Month has spent 28 years building a culture of curiosity in the classroom. Angela Matteson’s 5th grade classroom at River Woods School in Naperville is filled with books, as she wants her students to be lifelong learners and readers. “Read aloud is probably my very favorite part of the day because we can all snuggle up together and talk about what we’re thinking and feeling and learning about life through the characters we read about,” Matteson […]

  • Surgeon uses 3D printing to help patients heal

    CHICAGO — Modern technology meets craftsmanship in cancer care. A tumor in the bone requires precise removal and reconstruction — that’s why a local surgeon is harnessing the power of 3D printing to help his patients find better healing. Patient Michael Swiercz walks around with the help of a cane, but something a bit more modern is helping him heal after surgery. Dr. Alan Blank, a doctor at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, made a 3D model of Swiercz’s tibia. It’s […]

  • Veteran shares challenges, pain of PTSD in hope of helping others

    Last month we honored our veterans. But long after the celebrations end, the fight for healing continues. WGN’s Medical Watch team first met marine David Meza when he was seeking treatment for his debilitating anxiety and PTSD. He opened up to us about his struggles, and his honesty was so captivating, there was an opportunity to learn more. “As a young 18-year-old kid, you’re handed this rifle, you think you’re going go do all this cool stuff. And then when […]

  • Don’t kiss the baby: Warning issued to help prevent dangerous illness

    They look so sweet and cuddly. You’ve been waiting to see the precious bundles. But unfortunately, mild adult illness can be a huge hurdle for the tiniest babies. So do not kiss the baby this holiday season. It may seem a harsh warning but it could save lives. Dr Ravi Jhaveri is an infectious disease physician at Lurie Children’s Hospital. “It is possible that one contact is enough to transmit the virus. And babies are incredibly susceptible,” he said. “The […]

  • ‘It was all legal … then I got sick:” Woman warns of vaping dangers after lung illness sends her to ICU

    CHICAGO — As national health officials continue to sort out the e-cigarette health crisis, a survivor speaks to WGN News and shares how the popular habit blew up her life and landed her in intensive care struggling to breathe. Allison Herger thought she was bettering her health. After 28 years of smoking regular cigarettes, a habit she tried to quit four times, Herger made the switch to vaping last year. “I loved the buzz and I loved smoking,” she said. […]

  • Average age of hip replacements drops as parts, procedures improve

    Better parts means younger joint replacement procedures, opening the door for more patients to get pain-free with new joints that last longer. Matt Gray was told he had hip dysplasia, an abnormality he was likely born with, but identified relatively recently. His joint never formed properly, and it was wearing out. “I went through physical therapy, injections. I tried everything under the sun to make this go away without surgery,” Gray said. While he worked out regularly, Gray said due […]

  • New app allows parents to check on baby in NICU from home

    CHICAGO — It’s certainly not what Brianne and Thomas Harper expected — they’ve been in the Prentice Women’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) since July. That’s when their son Waylon arrived more than three months early after Brianne experienced complications from pre-eclampsia … her blood pressure dangerously high. “He was one pound, eight ounces. Really little,” Brianne said. Like many preemies, Waylon struggled with respiratory and feeding problems. Brianne takes the day shift at her son’s side, while her […]

  • ‘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 […]

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