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Canadian boy home after treatment in U.S.

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A 15-month-old boy at the center of an end-of-life debate on Thursday left the St. Louis hospital that treated him after doctors in his native Canada refused, doctors and family friends said. Joseph Maraachli left Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center before dawn Thursday and flew with his parents back to Canada, exactly one month after receiving a tracheotomy.

The child suffers from the progressive neurological disease Leigh Syndrome. Doctors in Canada had refused to perform the tracheotomy, saying it was futile because the disease is terminal, and an Ontario court decided doctors could remove the child's breathing tube.

His family sought help from American hospitals, and Cardinal Glennon agreed to treat Joseph. Joseph's parents are overjoyed with his progress, said a family friend.

St. Louis doctors said the procedure provides Joseph with increased mobility and comfort while providing a more stable airway. Doctors have declined to predict if the procedure will extend Joseph's life, but his family believes it could add months.


Body of missing teen pulled from river

BALTIMORE (AP) -- After months of searches and appeals to the public, authorities confirmed Thursday that a body found in a northeast Maryland river was a North Carolina teen who went missing while visiting relatives in Baltimore over the Christmas holidays.

Phylicia Barnes, from the small North Carolina city of Monroe, about 25 miles southeast of Charlotte, disappeared Dec. 28 while visiting her older half siblings for the holidays. Her 17th birthday was Jan. 12.

Barnes' body was one of two pulled from the Susquehanna River on Wednesday. The other body was a man, and it is not clear if there is any connection between the two.

A cause of death was not available, Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said.

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