Nation in brief
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 20, 2003
Doctors at Duke University Hospital ordered a CT scan Wednesday to look for signs of brain damage in Jesica Santillan, the 17-year-old girl who was mistakenly given a heart and lung transplant there from an organ donor with the wrong blood type.
Santillan is rejecting the transplanted organs and is unconscious, in critical condition and on life support.
A spokeswoman for the family said that as a result of news coverage, the Santillans had received many messages from the public about accident victims who might be donors.
But, the spokeswoman said, doctors warned the family Wednesday that it might already be too late. Santillan has had several seizures since the errant transplant and may have suffered brain damage from a stroke or a brain hemorrhage, the spokeswoman said. She said that doctors tried to wake Santillan on Tuesday night but that she was not responsive.
Rain and rising temperatures in the forecast over the next few days threaten to melt this week's mammoth snowfall in the East and cause disastrous floods.
In Pennsylvania, emergency management officials urged people to prepare for high water by selecting an evacuation route, clearing snow from flat roofs and stocking up on supplies.
Nationally, the death toll from the storm rose to at least 59 Wednesday after a preliminary autopsy showed a woman whose body was found Sunday in Newark, Pa., about 30 miles east of Columbus, Ohio, died of exposure.
CHURCH SCANDAL: A judge refused to dismiss more than 400 sexual abuse lawsuits Wednesday against the Boston Archdiocese, rejecting arguments that the Constitution bars the courts from interfering with church operations. Superior Court Judge Constance Sweeney's ruling clears the way for the lawsuits to move forward. However, settlement talks are under way.
CHILDREN LEFT ALONE: Police are waiting to question a Greeley, Colo., woman suspected of leaving her six children home alone while she vacationed in Italy for 21/2 weeks. The woman, who left with her boyfriend Feb. 3, is expected back today. The children are between 6 and 14; the four youngest have been placed with an aunt, and the older girls are in a foster home.