We Should Have Seen FedererNadal At The US Open By Now

The men’s semifinals of the U.S. Open are annually appointment television for tennis fans around the world. But in the case of Friday’s second semifinal, it’s the tennis match that no tennis fan on the planet wanted to see — except, perhaps, for those in Argentina. To be sure, all signs point to Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro having a highly competitive, entertaining semifinal — del Potro is actually a respectable 5-8 all-time against the No. 1-seeded Nadal. But this one was supposed to be Nadal versus his longtime rival Roger Federer, on the hard courts of Flushing for the first time ever.Federer-Nadal at the U.S. Open is tennis’s white whale — and once again, it slipped away.On Monday, Federer and Nadal appeared to be on a collision course; both reached the quarterfinals, and both were in the same side of the bracket. Nadal held up his end of the bargain, beating Andrey Rublev in straight sets to secure a semifinal berth. But late Wednesday, Federer was unceremoniously defeated by the Argentinean del Potro, ending his bid for a third Grand Slam championship of 2017 — and crushing the hopes of everyone who has followed the game in the past 15 years.Along with Novak Djokovic, Federer and Nadal are the two most successful players of their era.1If not any era. Between them, the pair have won 34 Grand Slam titles and appeared in the semifinals of 33 other major tournaments. They’ve gone head-to-head 12 times at the other three Slams — three times at Wimbledon, four at the Australian Open and five times at Roland Garros. So it’s astonishing that their paths have never crossed at the U.S. Open. Do the math, and the odds of the colossal clash never happening are minuscule.Let’s focus on Grand Slam semifinals, since all of the actual Rafa-Fed matchups have happened at that stage of a major or later. Federer first made the semifinals of a Grand Slam in 2003, and since then, he’s advanced at least that far in 74 percent of all non-U.S. Open majors. Nadal made his semifinal debut in 2005 and has made it that far in 53 percent of non-U.S. Open majors ever since. So, if we simply used the other three majors as a guide, we’d expect Federer and Nadal to have about a 39 percent chance of simultaneously making the semifinals of any given U.S. Open. And in non-U.S. Opens when both made the semis, they ended up facing each other 86 percent of the time, whether in that round or the final.Based on those numbers, then, we’d expect there to be a 34 percent chance that Federer and Nadal would end up facing each other at a given U.S. Open. (Indeed, they’ve faced each other 12 times in the 38 non-U.S. Open Slams since 2005, including their first head-to-head meeting at Roland Garros — good for a rate of 32 percent.) If we apply that 34 percent mark to each of the 13 U.S. Opens staged since 2005, we would expect there to be only a 1-in-204 chance (0.5 percent) that they wouldn’t end up facing each other at least once in that span. So the odds that we would never get this U.S. Open matchup are truly microscopic.Now, some of this can be attributed to both Federer and (especially) Nadal enjoying comparatively less semifinal success at the U.S. Open than at the other three majors. Since his first semifinal breakthrough at a Slam, Federer has only made the semis 67 percent of the time on the Flushing hardcourts, and Nadal has only made it that far 38 percent of the time. If you use those rates instead of the non-U.S. Open numbers as your baseline, the odds against ever seeing a Federer-Nadal clash rise to 4 percent.Still, even that is a fairly small probability. Any way you cut it, it’s positively shocking that American audiences have never been treated to seeing two of the greatest players ever play each other in person before. read more

Novak Djokovics Chase Of Tennis Records Is Speeding Up

Three factors are speeding Djokovic’s chase:1) He’s playing outstanding tennis, the most dominant of the Open era. Our Elo ratings at the end of last year showed Djokovic topping all other men since 1968, an era that encompasses just about every contender for the greatest career of all time, though it omits many of Laver’s best years. More conventional stats confirm Djokovic’s dominance. Men’s tennis has three types of events that feature nearly all of the best players who are fit to play: the four majors, nine Masters and the World Tour Finals. Djokovic has reached the final of 21 of the last 22 of these events he has entered, winning 17 of them. No man has ever had a stretch that dominant.Andy Murray should be Djokovic’s biggest rival. Murray was born exactly a week before Djokovic, has an eerily similar game and has dealt him three of his biggest recent losses: in the finals of the 2012 U.S. Open and 2013 Wimbledon, and in the 2012 Olympics semifinal. But since Murray’s Wimbledon win, Djokovic has beaten him in 13 of their 15 meetings, including all five of their matches at Grand Slams. The reasons were evident in Djokovic’s defeat of Murray in Sunday’s final: In just about every facet of the game, Murray is great but Djokovic is greater. Murray has an edge in one scenario: When he’s lobbing the ball and Djokovic is smashing it. That doesn’t happen often enough to swing a tennis match.2) The men who used to hold Djokovic back when they were at their peak are fading as he continues to soar. If Federer and Nadal hadn’t been around, Djokovic probably would have won many more majors by 2010. He faced them 11 times at majors through the 2010 U.S. Open and lost nine of those matches. Since then, Djokovic has beaten them in 11 of 17 meetings at majors, including the last five. And he may not meet them many more times at majors, with both men struggling with injuries. Federer withdrew from the French Open before it began, and Nadal withdrew after the first two rounds.3) Djokovic doesn’t yet have any younger rivals. That is stunning for a man at age 29. Players younger than him have won just two majors combined: Marin Cilic and Juan Martín del Potro, both born a year after Djokovic, have one apiece. Neither has made more than one major final. And men born in 1989 or later have not won a single title of note. No major, no Masters, no tour final. The entire generation of men younger than Djokovic who should be leading the sport hasn’t lifted a single significant trophy. By this stage of the season two years ago — when he was the same age as the 1989ers — Djokovic by himself had won six majors, three tour finals and 19 Masters titles.This might look like a chicken-and-egg problem: Have players younger than Djokovic struggled because he is an all-time great who keeps ousting them, or because they’re not very good? The answer is a little of both, but more the latter. Djokovic has ousted men younger than him from Slams in the fourth round or later only 17 times in his career. None were in a final. The primary reason the younger guys aren’t breaking through isn’t because Djokovic keeps stopping them. It’s because other older guys are.While the men ages 23 to 28 might retire as a collective lost cause — a weird void in the tennis record books — the men younger than them show real promise, including Dominic Thiem, who will enter the Top 10 on Monday, and Nick Kyrgios. They will have to grow up in a hurry if they are to slow Djokovic’s run at the record book. At the moment, aging or injury look likely to be his biggest obstacle. Novak Djokovic isn’t just chasing the records of his sport’s all-time greats. He’s accelerating in his pursuit.After winning his first French Open title on Sunday, Djokovic holds all four major titles at the same time, the first man to do so since Rod Laver in 1969. He is halfway to winning all four in one year, leaving him closer to winning a Grand Slam than any man since Jim Courier won the first two in 1992.1Mats Wilander was the only man other than Courier to win the Australian Open and French Open back-to-back since Laver’s 1969 Grand Slam. Wilander did it in 1984-85 (back when the Australian Open was in December) and in 1988. He has won 12 major titles, just two behind Rafael Nadal and five behind all-time leader Roger Federer. And on Monday he will be No. 1 in the rankings by the enormous margin of 8,045 points, leaving him in a strong position to overtake Federer’s record for the most weeks at No. 1 as soon as 2018.History suggests Djokovic should be slowing down, not speeding up, at age 29. Even all-time greats have rarely won many major titles so close to 30. While the sport has become kinder to veterans, just two majors were won by a man 29 or older in the last decade: Federer, at Wimbledon in 2012; and Stan Wawrinka, over Djokovic at last year’s French Open. read more

Mens hockey No 12 Ohio State facing pivotal games against Michigan

Ohio State senior forward Nick Schilkey winds a wrister from the left slot against Minnesota on Feb. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorAfter sweeping Michigan State on the road last weekend, the No. 12 Ohio State men’s hockey team (16-8-6, 7-6-1-1) returns to the Schottenstein Center to welcome the visiting Michigan Wolverines for two conference clashes.The Wolverines (9-16-3, 2-10-2-2) come into these matchups with a 1-7-3 record in their past 10 games, and have won just one game in 2017 — a 5-4 win over OSU on Feb. 3. Despite the string of shaky results, Buckeyes coach Steve Rohlik said the rivalry between the two programs is always prevalent on the field, court or ice, making victories harder to come by.“It is our rival to the north, and no matter what sport you’re playing in one of these 36 here on campus against That Team Up North, there’s going to be the rivalry,” Rohlik said. “You can throw out all the records you want, no matter if it’s football and their records or hockey, the rivalry’s there and both teams know it.”This weekend marks the second series between OSU and Michigan this season, with the first back on Feb. 3 and 4, ending in both teams splitting wins. Additionally, games featuring the Buckeyes and the Wolverines have provided a high number of pucks in the back of the net, with both sides tallying a combined 66 goals in their past six matchups.With that in mind, senior forward and captain Nick Schilkey said that although his coach prefers the opposition to not light up the scoreboard, the Scarlet and Gray’s experience in these high-scoring affairs will be a key to six Big Ten points this weekend.“It always seems to be a high-scoring game,” Schilkey said. “Coach always talks about how we’d rather be in those 3-2 games, those low-scoring games, but we’ve obviously been ready for those high-scoring games in the past. We’ve played in those games, and we’re confident we can get the job done.”Six games remain on the regular-season schedule for OSU, including back-to-back series in Columbus before heading to Wisconsin for a final weekend series before the Big Ten tournament. With that, Rohlik said his squad controls its own destiny with important games down the stretch — starting with the first faceoff Friday night.“To me, every game is a playoff game at this point,” Rohlik said. “From a short-term goal of winning a hockey game, to trying to keep a winning streak going, to try to catch your ultimate goal at the end of the year, it all comes down to winning hockey games — and right now, Friday is pretty important.”Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center on Friday night and 5 p.m. on Saturday. read more

Ohio States poise against Purdue could carry over

For as deafening as Purdue’s Mackey Arena can be, it wasn’t enough to unnerve Ohio State’s men’s basketball team. Rowdy Boilermakers fans donning same-color shirts in sections of the stadium to create a gold and black design were silenced as the Buckeyes stole a road victory, 74-64. Junior forward Deshaun Thomas said it didn’t faze him. “I didn’t hear the crowd. I didn’t really care about the boos,” Thomas, a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., told the Associated Press. “That’s about being on the road.” OSU staved off the hostile environment at Purdue, but life away from the confines of the Schottenstein Center has otherwise been inhospitable to the No. 15-ranked Buckeyes. OSU’s first road game was a loss to then-No. 2 Duke in late November. That game could be viewed as a moral victory because a young OSU team only fell short in the game’s waning minutes. That notion likely no longer exists, though. Not after Saturday’s 74-55 shellacking against Illinois. And recent history suggested OSU would falter again on Tuesday. Additionally, the Boilermakers beat the same Illini team that easily dispatched the Buckeyes. on Jan. 2. Against unranked Purdue (7-8, Big Ten 1-2) squad, OSU hardly looked like the team that was rocked by Illinois mere days earlier. After the game, Matta said he spent that time in between contests preparing his team for what would inevitably be “coming down the pipe.” “I thought we had an element of composure about us … we had to have it,” Matta told reporters after the Purdue victory. “This was a team win as you could possibly have.” It couldn’t have come at a better time. “We came out with toughness and our offensive execution was going well. We knew we needed to do that after the Illinois game and that’s what we did,” Thomas told reporters. “We came out with toughness and executed really well.” While it’s probably an exaggeration to call Tuesday’s game a “must-win,” had the Buckeyes faltered, it could have had a lasting effect on the psyche of a team that doesn’t always seem secure of itself. The win against the Boilermakers didn’t answer all of the questions about OSU – it won’t exempt them from the many deficiencies they’ve shown against quality opponents. That’s an issue that could reappear throughout conference play, but Tuesday felt like a step in the right direction for a team that’s lacked the fortitude to play its best in the most critical of times. read more

Opinion Adrian Petersons downfall a sad sight

Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings walks on the field on a rainy day during the team’s training camp on July 27 at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn.Credit: Courtesy of MCTA perfect public image often can  be manufactured, but beneath all the smiles might be something much darker.In the case of Adrian Peterson, a star running back for the Minnesota Vikings, the darkness has begun to rise to the top. Peterson’s personal life has been splattered all over major media outlets in recent weeks.On Sept. 12, Peterson was indicted in Montgomery County, Texas, on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. The case stemmed from an incident where Peterson disciplined his son by hitting him with a branch known as a switch.Whether or not you agree with his idea of parenting and discipline, it’s clear Peterson has a different persona than the one conveyed to the country throughout the first seven years of his professional football career.A stand-out high school football player in Palestine, Texas, Peterson entered his freshman season at Oklahoma with a lot of hype and anticipation. He lived up to it, gaining 1,925 yards on the ground en route to a second-place finish in the Heisman Trophy race in 2004.Peterson was a sensation coming out of college. His strong handshake became almost as famous as his infectious smile. When he was drafted by Minnesota seventh overall in 2007, he brought a work ethic to the team worthy of his nickname “All Day.”All the while, Peterson seems to have lived a much different life when away from the field and the cameras.The running back has fathered six children by six different women, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The same article said Peterson used a credit card from his charity organization All Day Inc. to fund a “night of drinking, arguing, and sex” that involved a minor and four women.Peterson’s behavior can only be explained in his upbringing and his quick rise to fame. Under the microscope of national attention, it’s only natural for a young athlete to make mistakes. These mistakes seem unfathomable, but we must not judge all things we cannot understand.Peterson grew up in a Southern household with strict guidelines. According to the New York Daily News, his father harshly beat him in front of 20 classmates when he was a child.But Peterson says the discipline helped him become the man he is today. There’s no wonder the Texas native has continued the cycle of abuse, he went through it when he was young, so he believes the method works.As for his other off-the-field escapades, Peterson is not too different than many young athletes who come into a lot of money and fame at an incredibly young age. He slipped up and made some tough decisions, which he has had to live with.He was likely too immature to start a nonprofit company and didn’t have the right people in his corner helping him run the organization. He proved his immaturity even more when he used funds from All Day Inc. for irresponsible causes.This revelation shouldn’t be surprising. ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” reported in March 2013 that athlete charities often lack standards and efficient use of money.Peterson is just another athlete caught in a ring of lies and scandal. Now he has to live with the entire country knowing his deepest and darkest secrets. He has to live with his personal life being judged on a daily basis.Peterson’s child abuse trial likely won’t begin before the end of the 2014 season. He would probably like to continue playing for the Vikings, but he could face an NFL ban even if cleared of charges, according to ESPN.More than 2,000 carries and more than 10,000 yards of production seems like a distant memory at this point. It’s unlikely we’ll ever see the same “All Day” running rampant in an NFL backfield again. And that’s sad. read more

Football Dwayne Haskins is a legend in the making

Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) passes the ball during the first quarter of the game against Indiana on Oct. 6. Ohio State won 49-26. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorOhio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins completed 33 of 44 passes for 455 yards, three yards away from breaking quarterback Art Schlichter’s record of 458 yards set in 1981. He threw six touchdown passes, tying a single-game record shared by quarterbacks J.T. Barrett and Kenny Guiton. These are the numbers that Haskins puts up, and his reaction is the same. There is still more the offense can do, what he can do, to help Ohio State get to where its expectations lie: a Big Ten championship, a College Football Playoff appearance and a national championship. Haskins views himself as the face of this offense and, with the struggles in other areas, like the running game on offense, he left Ohio State’s 49-26 win over Indiana on Saturday less than satisfied. “You know, even though we won, it didn’t feel like one of the best games we played,” Haskins said. “Gotta keep getting better. But let down, no, but room for improvement.” To Haskins, this was an offense that was still tired from its performance against Penn State on Sept. 29, saying the practices leading up to the game against the Hoosiers were “low energy,” finding a way to win despite having to overcome adversity and an offense that “wasn’t pretty.” As the redshirt quarterback strives to improve, strives to lead this Ohio State team to the promised land, players around him see something else.“I think you guys are witnessing a legend in the making,” redshirt senior wide receiver Parris Campbell said. “The things that he can do throwing the ball, the leader he’s becoming, he’s just really developing into a great leader, and obviously the stats speak for themselves, but beyond that, just the player he’s become and the person he’s become it’s really legendary status.” In six games as a starting quarterback, without any prior experience in that role before Sept. 1 against Oregon State, Haskins has thrown 26 touchdowns, which is No. 1 in the FBS. Completing 70.8 percent of his passes, he has thrown at least four passing touchdowns in four of six games played, the same number of games he has thrown for more than 300 yards in. Even without the statistics, redshirt senior wide receiver Terry McLaurin said he has done things on the field first-year starters rarely accomplish. “I feel like a guy who is a first-year starter. I’m not going to take any credit from the guys doing what they’re doing at other schools, but he’s beat two top 15 teams on the road in tough environments and through a lot of adversity,” McLaurin said. “For a first-time quarterback to come in do that with our offense, the numbers he’s putting up… helping him out as receivers. The more plays we make for him the more confidence it gives him and his ability takes over the rest.” However, Haskins said he is not worried about his personal numbers, even though he is happy about the statistical performance he put up. He said he’s happy Ohio State got its sixth win of the season. In the opinion of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, this is the head space he wants his starter to stay in. Even with a record in Haskins’ clutches, Day said the coaching staff called the game like they would any other game: trying to secure the victory. “Do what you do no matter what,” Day said. “If you start getting worried about all that stuff, bad things happen, in my opinion. I think there are football gods out there and I don’t think that works well.” One of the main ideas of the Ohio State football program is focusing on improving things that players and coaches themselves can control. Head coach Urban Meyer said after the game that he doesn’t want to hold Haskins back from talk about postseason accolades. He wants him to focus on what he can control, which is a matchup with Minnesota next week. Day said Haskins has continued to show poise inside the pocket, but said it’s much more than just the quarterback, crediting the pass protection and the receivers making plays as a contribution to his success. However, only six starts into his tenure as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, Day said every start for Haskins is a learning experience. “Dwayne is a talented young man. Hasn’t played a lot of football, but obviously has had some success this year,” Day said. “That doesn’t mean anything if you don’t go and win the next game and continually get better.” However, if Ohio State continues to win on the shoulders of Haskins, leading a high-powered offense to meet the expectations others have set for it, Day said anything could happen. “If we keep getting better, then I think the sky’s the limit,” Day said. read more

Mens Hockey Ohio State relies on bounceback opportunities

Ohio State’s student section looks on toward senior goalkeeper Sean Romeo (30) during a game break in the second period of Ohio State’s game against UMass on Oct. 19. Ohio State lost 6-3. Credit: Nick Hudak | For The LanternAfter splitting its home series against Michigan, Ohio State remained the No. 4 team in the country in the USCHO.com poll released Monday.The unranked Wolverines stole the first game of the series in a 2-1 win behind 22 saves from Michigan junior goaltender Hayden Lavigne.The defeat seemed like an upset for Ohio State, who fell to 12-5-4 before coming back and winning the second game of the series 4-2.This is a pattern the Buckeyes have maintained all season long.Ohio State is 5-4-2 in the first game of its series this season, scoring 32 goals while allowing 32 goals in the 11 games.In the 12 games to close series, the Buckeyes are 8-1-2, outscoring opponents 35-16.“We bounced back for sure, like we always do,” junior forward Ronnie Hein said on Wednesday. “We do a good job of that, we saw that at the very beginning of the season and we did it again against Michigan State.”Before the series against Michigan, Ohio State gave up a 7-4 lead late in the third period during the first game against Michigan State, leading to a 7-7 tie, which the Buckeyes lost in overtime, costing them a point in the Big Ten standings.“I don’t think anybody was too happy about the result on Friday,” head coach Steve Rohlik said about the series against the Spartans. “Certainly wasn’t the prettiest of ties for us, and I think we were just more detailed the next day, but again I attribute that to our seniors and our leadership group.”The key difference between the first and second games comes at the back end. Redshirt senior goalie Sean Romeo has started the first game of every series, while sophomore goalie Tommy Nappier has started the following night.Romeo has a .904 save percentage, while allowing 2.63 goals per game.Nappier, on the other hand, is boasting a .945 save percentage and allowing 1.58 goals per game, both No. 2 in the NCAA.But Rohlik won’t blame his goaltenders. Instead, he said it has to do with the rest of the players in front of him, regardless of the outcome.“It’s never a goalie’s fault. It’s a team’s fault, and certainly we gotta be five-man connected with our goaltender instead of sometimes leaving him out to dry,” Rohlik said. “I think it has a lot to do with our team and our focus and our detail.”Senior forward Mason Jobst leads the team with 13 goals and 25 points. Seven of his 13 goals came in the second game of Ohio State’s series.Jobst said the tie against Michigan State was “unacceptable,” and that the focus in the next game was the reason for success.“I think everyone was on the same page.We were all focused,” Jobst said. “It wasn’t like we’re on a five-game skid or anything like that, it was just let’s nip it in the bud right now before things get out of hand.”Things haven’t gotten out of hand for the Buckeyes all season, but the team has yet to figure out how to consistently win when in front of Romeo.Nappier’s stats outshine the redshirt senior goaltender, and Romeo has regressed from his previous year, in which he ended with 2.06 goals against and a .927 save percentage.Still, Rohlik doesn’t see it as a problem with the guy in goal.Ohio State’s head coach is looking to his leaders, to his captains, Jobst and senior defenseman Sasha Larocque.And for all the struggles the Buckeyes have had in their first games this season, they have not lost consecutive games this season.“It’s the culture of this group. No one wants to lose a hockey game and especially doesn’t want to lose two in a row,” Rohlik said. “We want to turn things around on Fridays. Certainly the resilience of this group, the guys have been around a long time, we’ve got a great leadership group. They’re just determined not to let it happen back-to-back.” read more

Musketeer nurse at heart of Morecambe Bay baby death scandal significantly overpaid

first_imgThe midwife at the heart of a scandal where 11 babies avoidably died was “significantly overpaid” in a farewell deal which also prevented investigation of her conduct.Jeanette Parkinson, the former maternity risk manager at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust, received up to 14 months’ salary as part of a 2012 redundancy agreement after the deaths came to light.A review by the trust last year, seen by the Health Service Journal, found Ms Parkinson, one of a group of midwives calling themselves the “Musketeers”, also received more than 470 hours in overtime pay. I am desperately disappointed that we have got a midwife here who was not investigated by the trustJackie Daniel, chief executive of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img The scandal prompted a national examination of maternity services safety after it was revealed the midwives had failed to call doctors at critical moments because they were determined that mothers, 19 of whom died, should have a “natural birth”.They then colluded to cover up the critical blunders, with Ms Parkinson providing “model answers” to her colleagues before an inquest hearing into the death of baby Joshua Titcombe.The new leaked documents indicate Ms Parkinson received such a large pay-out because Morecambe Bay was worried it might be sued for wrongful dismissal because of early blunders in its handling of the case.The manager who signed off the deal, Roger Wilson, now works as director of Human Resources at Warrington and Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust.Last night his new employer said they were being called before the Care Quality Commission to discuss the case.Jackie Daniel, the trust’s current chief executive who joined after the midwife’s departure, said last night: “I am desperately disappointed that we have got a midwife here who was not investigated by the trust and that was a massive missed opportunity.”“Jeannette Parkinson clearly played an important role at the time of Joshua Titcombe’s death and we know from Joshua’s case that answers have come too late or sometimes never.”last_img read more

Treatment that can cure sickle cell denied to severe sufferers

first_imgAdawele Lawal, sickle cell anaemia sufferer at home in Cambridge The patients we are referring for transplant have tried all our current treatment options and they have not worked for them.Dr Jo Howard, Guys and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust One member of the British group has already suffered two strokes linked to his condition and fears he could die if he has another.Another was admitted to hospital 40 times last year as her condition deteriorated, causing her extreme pain. On some occasions, the 24-year-old’s condition has become life threatening.The patients have been told their cases are not ‘exceptional’ enough to justify the transplant, even though doctors have said they need the treatment urgently.Although there is a possibility of clinical trials being set up in the next few years doctors fear these could come too late for some patients. Other treatments – new medications and the possibility of gene therapy – are several years away.Dr Jo Howard, consultant haematologist at Guys and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust in London, said: “The patients we are referring for transplant have tried all our current treatment options and they have not worked for them.“They are coping with recurrent hospital admissions, severe pain and are desperate to get on with their normal lives. They are aware of the risks of transplant but see this as their only option of living a fulfilling life.”Dr Howard said that while she agrees that a clinical trial is needed to show who would benefit most from a transplant, a handful of patients are already extremely unwell and need urgent treatmentShe pointed out there is only a small number of patients in this position, around 1 in 400, who do not respond to the drugs used as part of current treatment and therefore approving transplant treatment will not open the floodgates to large numbers.Sickle cell patients have a genetic condition which affects their red blood cells, causing them to become sickle-shaped and making it difficult for them to pass through blood vessels and to deliver sufficient oxygen to all parts of their bodies.Patients who have a sickle cell crisis – characterised by severe pain – often end up in hospital and can find it hard to live a normal life. Severe cases will be life threatening, with sufferers at high risk from infections and also from strokes.  Trials in the US have seen severe sickle cell disease reversed in 87 per cent of adults who underwent a stem cell transplant from a sibling. Half of the patients treated were able to stop immunosuppressant drugs – taken to stop their body rejecting the transplant – after a year.Children with sickle cell disease are treated with transplants but, because their bodies have not been weakened by many years of sickle cell crises, they are able to tolerate chemotherapy better than adults.However, US trials have successfully treated adults with less powerful chemotherapy drugs before transplant.An NHS England spokesman confirmed there had been fewer than 10 applications for funding and they had all been turned down.The spokesman added: “While stem cell transplants for sickle cell disease in adults may offer the chance of a cure for some carefully selected patients, the treatment can also lead to a number of complexities, some of which can be severe and life threatening.“For this reason, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has called for research proposals on the topic, and NHS England will use the clinical evidence gathered to inform future policy and ensure patients continue to receive the highest standards of treatment, care and support.”Adewale Lawal Adewale Lawal’s wife Julie is terrified each time he leaves their house in case he succumbs to yet another sickle cell crisis.The 46-year-old IT director has had two strokes since his sickle cell disease ‘exploded’ 18 months ago – and doctors have told him he has an 80 per cent chance of having a third one which could be fatal or leave him crippled. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Adawele Lawal, sickle cell anaemia sufferer at home in CambridgeCredit:Si Barber Desperately ill sickle cell sufferers in Britain are being denied a potentially life-saving treatment which is readily available to patients in the US.A handful of British adult sickle cell patients have been put forward for stemcell transplant treatment by their doctors because their condition is so severe.But they have all been turned down by the NHS, despite the treatment – which involves a bone marrow transplant – being used regularly on children in this country and successfully trialled with adults in the US.The consequences for the patients could be fatal, as they generally do not respond well to the drug normally used to treat severe sickle cell disease – hydroxycarbamide – and may not tolerate regular blood exchanges to replace the damaged red blood cells. He now has to have weekly blood transfusions to reduce the risk of his bloodcells sticking in blood vessels; he is allergic to the drug hydroxycarbamide.“Every time it is getting harder to transfuse me,” said Mr Lawal. “Three doctors have said I am a critical case – yet the NHS says I’m not clinically exceptional enough.”In October last year a specialist recommended a stem cell transplant but Mr Lawal has twice been rejected by NHS England, despite having a second stroke in April.“Being turned down was a blow,” he said. “The decision was no because I am not clinically exceptional enough. But I have not told what they would class as clinically exceptional.”His wife Julie has launched an appeal to fund the estimated £105,000 cost of the stem cell transplant. The couple are also considering re-mortgaging their Cambridgeshire home to raise the money.If the treatment was carried out in the US he would have to spend several weeks in a Washington hospital and return for regular checks for three years.The alternative would be to have it done in the UK where surgeons have said they would be happy to carry out the procedure. His brother Adegbenga is prepared to donate the stem cells.“My wife is at the point where she is frightened every time I leave the house, every time I go to work, every time I have a twitch she thinks something is wrong.”Fatuma MayembeFatuma Mayembe would love the normal life of a 20-something living in London – but frequent sickle cell crisises have meant she has had to take a break from university and leave her in hospital every couple of weeks.“I call it my handcuffs – it is really hard,” said the 24-year-old business studies student from Colindale, north London.“I am struggling to finish university because I have missed out so much when I was in hospital. I am so fed up and tired of it.’Her frequent crises – which can be so bad she has to be admitted to an intensive care unit – occur despite medication.But her doctors’ application for a transplant was rejected, despite her 11-year-old brother agreeing to be a donor. “As much as I am scared about the transplant I still feel the opportunity to live a normal life has been snatched out of my hands. I’m a young woman who just wants to live,” said Ms Mayembe.last_img read more

Laura Trott and Jason Kenny expecting their first child together

first_img@JasonKenny107 @LauraKenny31 congratulations to you both, highly recommend it.— Chris Boardman (@Chris_Boardman) February 14, 2017 Kenny, Britain’s most successful female Olympian, posted a photograph of two adult bikes and a child’s bike on Instagram.The post was greeted with messages of congratulations, with the news made public after the couple’s 12-week scan.The picture was followed by another image featuring the couple’s pet dogs, with thought bubbles suggesting their opinions on the news.  @LauraKenny31 does that mean we have a new future gold medalist to look forward too??— Andrew Reynolds (@mrandyreynolds) February 14, 2017 The couple pictured on their honeymoonCredit:Instagram Others were excited about the future of Team GB cycling  @JasonKenny107 @LauraKenny31 congratulations to you both!❤ Future cycling champion on its way!🚴🏽— minnie✌️ (@swiftlyme13) February 14, 2017 Trott and Kenny on honeymoon  @LauraKenny31 I wondered why this leaflet came through the post… pic.twitter.com/OBSY9DRNlj— Jason Kenny (@JasonKenny107) February 14, 2017 @JasonKenny107 @LauraKenny31 congratulations!! ❤️👶🏼— Rachel James (@rachyjames1) February 15, 2017 British Cycling in January announced Kenny (nee Trott) would miss the Six Day Berlin and British Championships events with a hamstring strain. But now the full reason for her absence is apparent.It means Kenny will take an enforced break from the bike, missing April’s Track World Championships in Hong Kong. @JasonKenny107 @LauraKenny31 Hey @octopus43, I think the 1st GB gold of the 2036 Olympics has been confirmed— David Dawson (@dawson8r) February 14, 2017 @LauraKenny31 @JasonKenny107 Woooohooo amazing news! Congrats to you both 😘 xx— Dannielle Khan (@DanniKhan) February 14, 2017 The couple both triumphed in Brazil Credit:Bryn Lennon/Getty  @LauraKenny31 congrats to you and Jason!— Jolien D’hoore (@JolienDhoore) February 14, 2017 @JasonKenny107 @LauraKenny31 I’m expecting at least 4 Olympic Golds! Congratulations!!!— Len (@LenM4) February 15, 2017 Chris Boardman and Team GB cyclists were among those who congratulated the couple  @paddypower What are the odds on the @JasonKenny107 & @LauraKenny31 baby winning gold in the Olympics within 30 years?— Grundy 🏃 (@GrundyOxford) February 15, 2017 Mr Kenny, 28, made a light-hearted nod to the news in a message to his wife on Twitter.Alongside a cartoon picture of a flyer on pregnancy captioned So You’ve Ruined Your Life, he wrote: “I wondered why this leaflet came through the post.” Kenny will hope to emulate athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill and 14-time Paralympic champion Dame Sarah Storey, a fellow cyclist, by continuing her career as a mother. @LauraKenny31 Massive congratulations guys.— Magnus Backstedt (@Maggy_PR) February 15, 2017 @LauraKenny31 @JasonKenny107 O.M.G CONGRATS! 😍— Victoria Williamson (@VicsWilliamson) February 14, 2017 The couple’s agent Luke Lloyd-Davies said in a statement: “I can confirm that Laura Kenny is indeed pregnant and that she, Jason and their respective families are absolutely thrilled and delighted with the news.”They very much appreciate all the kind wishes and messages of support that they have received already.” @naomi_mitchell2 @LauraKenny31 It would appear so. One hell of a future combination #minimitch #summer #minikenny possible nickname #kemini— Rowan Elliott (@FentonDjango) February 15, 2017 However the timing of the pregnancy means that she could make a return in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Rio Olympics The couple’s relationship became public at the London 2012 Olympics, where they each won two gold medals in the velodrome and were pictured kissing at the beach volleyball competition at Horse Guards Parade.It was joked that British Cycling’s famed marginal gains approach had thought of everything, even a breeding programme. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. After winning two gold medals at last August’s Rio Olympics, when husband-to-be Jason also claimed three golds to move level with Sir Chris Hoy as the Briton with the most Olympic titles, the couple were asked about the prospect of becoming parents.Speaking in Rio, she said: “We haven’t exactly thought about it.”I guess I am still quite young. I only put it out there because everybody kept going on about it.”So I was just like: ‘It could be the best omnium rider in the world, couldn’t it? Bit of sprint, bit of endurance. You never know.’ In 20-something (years) down the line, you never know.” Four-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny is pregnant, her agent has confirmed.The 24-year-old married six-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny in September and the couple are now expecting their first child.last_img read more