Sackler family may retain majority of wealth even despite opioid crisis settlement
The Sackler family has reportedly agreed to give up ownership of Purdue Pharma, in addition to paying $3 billion of their own funds to settle thousands of lawsuits from various U.S. states that allege the company has fueled the U.S. opioid crisis. However, new information suggests the family may not pay dime of its own money, will not go to jail, and will likely weather out the storm.
The settlement will address between $10 to $12 billion in lawsuits, while the Sacklers, renowned for their ability to dodge financial responsibility for their actions, are reportedly worth an estimated $13 billion.
A Texas couple, married for 51 years, just exchanged the ultimate gift. Diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, Peggy Nipper was heading for kidney failure and was in need of a transplant. With only one functioning kidney, and that only working at 14 percent, what Peggy needed most was a match.
Because Peggy was 74, so the odds of her getting a donor were slim. Those on the U.S. national transplant list usually wait about 7 years before locating a match and receiving the donated organ. It was a surprise when Peggy’s husband Mike Nipper, 74, turned out to be a perfect match. The double surgery was performed at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center’s Kidney Transplant Center.
It was surprising for the couple to find that they were a match. “We didn’t even think there was a possibility for him to be a direct match,” Peggy remarked. Peggy’s mother also died from polycystic kidney disease, which is inherited, and her brother has it, too. He is at stage three kidney failure.
“If you carry babies from your husband, your blood has been mixed and very often you develop antigens against that blood because of bearing children. So we didn’t even know it was a possibility,” Peggy said.
Mike was a match on both blood type and the six necessary tissue antigens.
The pair were high school sweethearts, and Mike notes that “We’re different people, I’m from Mars and she’s from Venus but our differences will always complement each other.” Peggy is reacting well to the kidney, and Mike jokes that she should consider it her Christmas gift. “I think I’m really committed now,” Mike said. “We promised each other, in sickness and in health until death do us part, and that’s how its going to be. We’re just trying to extend that death do us part for as long as we can.”
A resident of Kitchener, Ontario is having a nightmare of a situation. What was supposed to be a nice vacation with his wife has turned into the kind of story only an insurance company could print, finely. Now he’s stuck in Thailand with a fatal brain tumour.
Alex Witmer and his wife Jennifer Witmer had been living in Moncton for the last five years before quitting their job and travelling to Thailand for a six-week excursion. The plan was to return home and relocate to Toronto. Alex, 30, unfortunately, began suffering from a migraine.
“He got a migraine that didn’t go away,” Jennifer Witmer told CTV News Toronto from a hospital in the southern Thailand.
Jennifer Witmer was expecting to acquire some pain medication for the migraine however a brain scan revealed that is was a “massive tumour deep inside his brain” that was cancerous.
“My husband was extremely healthy, he was an international athlete. He has never had any issues,” said Jennifer.
Alex Witmer was given medication to reduce the pressure inside his brain that was causing the headache but was told that it was only a temporary solution. Doctors told him he needs immediate brain surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Alex was told furthermore that the medication they gave him would only work for a couple of days and it was in that window of time that he best fly back to Canada.
“We have travel insurance, so we opened a claim and there was no issue we just got the go-ahead yesterday. They were sending an air ambulance,” Jennifer told CTV news.
“A few hours later they called back and said they received his medical records and it showed he checked into an emergency room in Moncton a month ago and had symptoms of the flu. He reported a mild headache and because he said that they cancelled our claim based off having a pre-existing condition.”
“They offered to still send an air ambulance service and quoted me $265,000 but that’s obviously not an option.”
“We are right now waiting for them to call and give the final word on our claim but they have been telling me it doesn’t look good.”
“It’s just cruel. Our neurosurgeon here said his flu symptoms are not pre-existing conditions. It’s insane they are flagging this.”
A GoFundMe page has been organized to help raise funds for Alex Witmer’s care and has received more than $10,000 in six hours.
Ryan Straschnitzki, a 20-year-old hockey player who was involved in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash is home after undergoing surgery in Thailand. Straschnitzki was paralyzed when the team bus hit a westbound semi-trailer truck on April 6, 2018. 16 people on the bus were killed due to the awful accident.
On Sunday night, Straschnitzki made his way into the Calgary airport from Thailand. He told Global News, “It feels good. I mean I felt that cold, cold wind hit my legs, so I’m feeling good. It’s good to be back.”
Straschnitzki was paralyzed from the chest down in the accident and had to have an epidural stimulator inserted into his spine along with having stem cells injected.
Straschnitzki is quoted saying, “It was incredible. I mean the last time I walked beside my dad was before the accident and before I moved away. So doing that again and just seeing the look in his eyes is motivating to me.”
His father, Tom, said, “When I actually saw him move his leg, it just took me back to imagining his last steps going onto that bus on that fateful day. And I was just thinking maybe he can go back on the bus one day.”
The surgery that Straschnitzki required is not yet approved by Health Canada, or covered by public insurance, so it can cost close to $100,000. Because of this, Straschnitzki and his family had to make the trip to Thailand, unhappy with the Canadian health-care system.
“Our health-care system is kind of lacking in this area for spinal cord injuries and I think it’s huge that Thailand and some other places are getting this started.” Said Straschnitzki hoping to help get the ball rolling on the issue.
Licenced Spinal Cord stimulators are given by Health Canada but are just for pain relief and not for the recovery of motor skills.
“Just getting that feeling of being able to move something that I wasn’t able to move before, and I know core is a huge part of my disability, so anything below my chest is crucial. And after the programming it really helped,” said Straschnitzki.
He is planning to take some time to rest before getting back to the ice and physiotherapy. Straschnitzki is also optimistic about making the Canadian Olympic team for sledge hockey in the future.
Family who moved to Canada with $48, makes the largest single donation to Scarborough Health Network
A family who emigrated to Canada 50 years ago with only $48 in their pocket has made the largest single donation in the history of the Scarborough Health Network’s history, according to CTV News.
Moving to Canada in 1972, Deepa and Narinder Lal worked numerous odd jobs, before saving up enough money to found a company called Metro Label from their basement. Metro Label managed to become one of North America’s largest label making companies.
Speaking to CTV News, the Deepa and Narinder Lal’s children said that they hoped that “this will start a trend of other people donating to Scarborough institutions.”
They went on to say that “there are a lot of immigrants in the Scarborough area and many of them did well and we are hoping that we can provide some leadership for these people to donate.”
Despite donating a vast sum of money, the Lal’s have requested that the precise amount of their multi-million dollar donation be hidden from public knowledge.
In response to their donation, the Scarborough Health Network General hospital renamed their emergency room, the Deepa & Narinder Lal Emergency.