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Girl Brain Dead after Tonsil Surgery; Coach`s Tirade Goes Viral

Aired December 18, 2013 - 19:00:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, rage and disbelief as a routine surgery turns hellish. Could this happen to you?

A family says a California hospital botched a routine tonsil removal on a 13-year-old girl, putting her into a coma and then brain dead. Well, now the family says the hospital wants to pull the plug on life support against their wishes.

Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live. What the hell went wrong?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t pull the plug. Don`t pull the plug.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t pull the plug. Don`t pull the plug.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t pull the plug. Don`t pull the plug.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t even have any tears any more. I`m all cried out. I`m angry.

It was a simple operation that was supposed to improve her quality of life. Instead Jahi McMath lies brain dead just hours after surgery.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t want to take my daughter off of the...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Here he`s my rant. You go in to get a tonsillectomy, a simple elective procedure, and you end up being pronounced brain dead? Are you kidding me? And now the hospital wants to pull the plug, the very same hospital that put 13-year-old Jahi McMath in the this condition in the first place. The family is understandably furious.

In just a moment I will talk live with the little girl`s devastated mother, who complains there was a lack of urgency when her daughter began spitting up post op and claims nurses told her, "Well, just put a cup under your daughter`s mouth." Wow.

The mom says her then had a heart attack and then fell into a coma. She believes her eighth-grade daughter could wake up at any moment, and she insists she saw her child respond. Listen.


NAILAH WINKFIELD, MOTHER OF JAHI: I know when I touch her feet -- I can take my fingernail and run it up her feet, and she`ll move them. The first time when I finally dug up the courage to go see her, I leaned over in her ear and I said, "Jahi, you need to wake up because we need to go home." And she threw both of her arms in the air. And they said, "That`s just normal reflexes. It`s just nerves."

And when I touch her, she`s still warm; she`s still soft. And I kiss her, and I can just feel her, that she will wake up.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So what`s the real story here? The hospital says the child is legally dead and wants to pull the plug on her. They even called the coroner`s office. Well, the girl`s family slapped the hospital with a cease-and-desist letter to keep them from taking their precious child off the ventilator. Who`s right? Could this little girl wake up or is she actually legally dead and incapable of coming back to life? And what we`re asking: should we be more afraid of routine procedures like a tonsillectomy?

Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to our Lion`s Den debate panel. Before we get to the victim`s mom, I want to set up this issue, because it is a complex issue with a quick head-to-head. So starting with Eboni K. Williams, attorney, should this child be disconnected from life support over the objections of the family?

EBONI K. WILLIAMS, ATTORNEY: Absolutely not, Jane. This is a very ethical and highly-charged emotional issue. And in the absence of a clear hospital policy on this, which the Children`s Hospital of Oakland has said they do not have a clear policy on these facts or circumstances, we absolutely have to err on the side of life.

This young lady`s family is entitled to their faith. This mother has come out and said that she believes her daughter can wake up; her heart is still beating. And again, in the absence of set policy against it, the hospital`s first charge is to do no wrong, and they should allow this young lady`s family to give her an opportunity to come back from it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Dr. Cathleen London, board-certified family medical physician, she is in a coma, according to her family, but according to the hospital, she is brain dead. What is the difference?

DR. CATHLEEN LONDON, FAMILY MEDICAL PHYSICIAN: What you`re -- what they`re seeing is the amount of swelling that they see on the imaging of the brain. She doesn`t have any meaningful -- there`s no higher cortical activity. So the things that the family`s seeing -- the fact that her skin is warm and her heart is beating and that she has some reactions -- those are all below the brainstem level of activity.

And we`ve seen cases like this before; and it`s heartbreaking, and it`s very sad. But time is not going to make this go away. And the family wants answers of what happened, and the only way that can happen is if the coroner can get in there and do their job. And the longer you prolong that, the less likely they`ll have the answers that they`re looking for.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, you`re saying because the body, as long as there`s a ventilator, will continue to heal. And so therefore the mistakes that may have been made...

LONDON: Will get covered up.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... will get covered up, because the healing will continue. So you`re saying it`s a race against time if the family, for example, wants to sue and get compensation for this tragedy. That -- the chance of that happening successfully diminishes the longer you keep the child on life support.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: However, let me say this. This is the same hospital that messed up the tonsillectomy, a routine procedure. So how do we know what they`re saying about the brain scans is right? The hospital says the scans show that this child, Jahi, is 100 percent brain dead. And they even contacted the coroner to come and pick up her body.

Jahi`s mother says she thinks this is happening way too fast.


WINKFIELD: I feel her. I can feel my daughter. I feel like she`s trapped inside of her own body, and she wants to scream out and tell me something. That`s why every time I go in there, I let her know I would not let them take you to the coroner`s office. I won`t.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jahi`s mother joins me live now.

First of all I would like to say I am so sorry that you are going through this horror. My heart goes out to you. I know how tough this is. I mean, I can`t really imagine. But reading your case, it`s a tragedy. The hospital says your daughter has no brain activity and therefore is brain dead and therefore is legally dead. What is your response to that? What do you believe and why?

WINKFIELD: I just don`t believe that she`s dead. I don`t. And there`s too many cases out there where people did not pull the plug on their family, and the people woke up. And then they think to themselves later on, "Oh, my God, what if I would have pulled the plug? This person wouldn`t even be here."

My daughter deserves a chance. I don`t believe she`s dead. Her heart is beating. She has a pulse.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You have said that she responded. Tell us about that. What response did you see and when? I mean, this happened nine days ago. So when did you see this response?

WINKFIELD: Even today when I was there with her, I took my fingernail and I rubbed it on the bottom of her foot. And she takes her toes, and she, like, moves them. And every day I go in there and I do that or certain parts of her legs you touch and she moves. And I just really feel like that is not just an involuntary movement. I believe that there`s something in her brain that is making her do that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this. That in terms of people coming out of comas, it`s not just urban legend. People have been in comas and woken up and surprised everyone.

Take a look at this woman from She came out of a coma.

All right well you should be hearing from her, but suffice it to say, that woman who`s talking did come out of a coma. So that is the kind of situation that gives you hope.

But my question is, is that hope false hope? And I`ve got to go back to Dr. Cathleen London. I mean, we`ve heard -- we`ve all heard stories that Mrs. Winkfield, Nailah is referring to, people have been in comas, and they wake up. Why can`t that happen, in your opinion, in this case?

LONDON: It really -- we don`t necessarily have all the details here. But from what we do know, from what -- because of privacy laws and the family has not given permission for the hospital to talk, we haven`t really heard the whole story.

But from the information that we have seen, there`s so much swelling and so much damage, that you have to look at the circumstances of what led someone to land in a coma. And in this case, there was -- there was just a lot of oxygen debt (ph) to the brain. And it`s heartbreaking, and I`m so sorry for this family to have to go through this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen. Here`s the problem. After the surgery, according to her parents, she was fine. She asked for a popsicle. OK? She was not in a coma. And then she started bleeding. then there was allegedly a heart attack, and things really went downhill. So who screwed up what? That`s what I`m going to talk about on the other side.

Stay right there. And we`re taking your calls. They`re lining up. Could this happen to you? Stay right there.


WINKFIELD: I feel her. I can feel my daughter. I just kind of feel like maybe she`s trapped inside of her own body and she wants to scream out and tell me something. That`s why every time I go in there, I let her know I would not let them take you to the coroner`s office. I won`t.



SANDRA CHAPMAN, GRANDMOTHER OF JAHI: I went in, and I said, is this normal? Do you guys find this to be normal? And they said, "I don`t really know."

I said, "Well, then, get a doctor."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The hospital told CNN they are not able to speak about this case. They can`t point out the misperceptions, they say, because of privacy laws. But they are reviewing this case closely.

Now Jahi`s grandmother says she saw a lot of blood and that she was the one who had to tell the nurses to get a doctor.

Tonsillectomies are one of the country`s most common surgeries. I mean, more than 700,000 are done every year and estimates range from one death every 10,000 cases to one death every 29,000 cases.

But I want to go to Sandra Chapman, the grandmother of Jahi.

What is your complaint with the hospital? I understood that, after the surgery, Jahi asked for a popsicle. She was OK, and then all of the sudden, blood. What went wrong? What did they do wrong, in your opinion?

CHAPMAN: A lot wrong. A lot wrong. Any time you have bleeding, you do not take it lightly.

The surgeon should have been called. He operated on Jahi. He should have been called. And there should have been -- it should have been taken seriously how much she was bleeding, and it wasn`t.

And I asked them, I said, "Do you find this to be normal with this type of operation?"

And the nurses said, "I don`t really know."

And I said, "Well, then, go get a doctor."

And then I even asked the doctor, "What are you doing to do about this?" They started some drip that even the nurses hadn`t, you know, knew about and sprayed some sort of aspirin in her nose. And she was profusely bleeding from the nose.

And Jahi and I were both kind of suctioned -- you know, Jahi was spitting the blood out. And I kept monitoring all of the monitors and especially her O2 saturation.

And the O2 saturation should be, from my experience as being a nurse, 96 to 100 percent. It was dropping down 90, 88, and it dropped down to 79. And I said, "Everybody get in here now."

And then the doctors came, and I really trusted that they were going to do all they could for her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this. From what I have read in my research, the family complains that the attitude seemed lackadaisical, that they didn`t have any sense of urgency.

CHAPMAN: They didn`t.

VELEZ-MITCHEL: I believe you said you are or were a nurse. You certainly sound very well-informed about hospital procedure. How would you grade their response to the problems you began noticing?

CHAPMAN: If we did a scale from one to ten, I would say it would be a two, and ten being the highest.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And why do you feel that they had this lackadaisical attitude?

CHAPMAN: I just don`t understand. It really makes me think, who do you got working here? That`s what -- I mean, it leaves me in shock. Who do you have working here?

Because anybody -- any time any type of blood, any type of bleeding, you have to act on it right away. You don`t take a chance. You don`t take a chance. You do all you do to find out where it`s coming from, why. And I would call the surgeon, and I would do what I can while I`m there. And I felt that the doctors were relaxed.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: First of all, I want to invite the hospital on at any time. We want to hear all sides of the story. We understand they`re not commenting due to privacy. And they say that the family hadn`t given them permission to speak openly about all this. So they`re invited on at any time.

But I understand that there was a point where it shifted. In other words, she was in one area, and then they moved her to something like intensive care, and you felt that you didn`t have access to her as things deteriorated? Tell us about that.

CHAPMAN: Yes. She came out of recovery, and then they moved her to intensive care. And they told us to wait, that they were getting her together. And we waited a long time. And I told my daughter, "Go in there and see what`s going on."


CHAPMAN: And then my daughter came back and said, "She`s bleeding. She`s bleeding."

And that`s when I, you know, I came back and I said -- that`s when I came in questioning, "Is this normal for you? Do you find this to be normal? Because I don`t." And that`s when I said, "Get a doctor." So the minute I laid eyes on Jahi, I knew that that was not normal, and I started asking people, "Let`s do something."

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you say when they say they need to end your daughter`s life because she`s legally dead; they need to disconnect her from life support? Your granddaughter.

CHAPMAN: Yes, it`s just tough. I feel, you know, now that you messed up, how badly you messed up and didn`t see about Jahi and assess the situation, how do I know you know what you`re talking about now?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Interesting point. Interesting point. Wow.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: How intense.

CHAPMAN: Exactly. Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How do you feel about them calling, reportedly, the coroner?

CHAPMAN: I think it`s awful. I think it`s rushing someone`s life. You messed up, and now you`re just saying, "We`re going to call the coroner and good-bye?" No way. No way. No way. We need time. My daughter needs time. She -- we need time. We need time for Jahi to heal.

And you wouldn`t believe how many people are praying for Jahi. I have never in my life seen so many prayers for Jahi. And I know they`re only growing and getting bigger and greater.

And I believe in God. I talk to him every day. Every day. I pray for my grandchildren every day. And say God made -- you know, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) against and prosper.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, ma`am...

CHAPMAN: I believe in the...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank you so much.

CHAPMAN: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I`m so sorry that, you know, we`re out of time. But my heart goes out to you and your family. Again, I`m not a doctor. We`re reporting all sides, and the hospital is invited on our show any time to discuss this. We want to be fair.

But one thing I can say for sure: this is a gut-wrenching case. It`s heart-wrenching, and it`s surreal to go in for a tonsillectomy and have this outcome. So I`m so sorry.

CHAPMAN: Thank you. Thank you. And I just ask everyone to pray for Jahi. Just pray for Jahi, please.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side.

CHAPMAN: Thank you.



BARRY HINSON, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS BASKETBALL COACH: I got a bunch of momma`s boys right now. Marcus was absolutely off. That`s about as PG- rated as I can say it.

There was a sniper in the Jeep (ph). Maybe SEAL Team 6 was out there. Nobody around them and just fell down on the ground.

My wife -- my wife can score more than two buckets.

It`s a lot like house training a puppy dog. I have a dog.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In tonight`s "Buzz," check out this verbal tirade gone viral. A college hoops coach delivers an outrageous verbal smack- down, calling out his own players after a seven-point loss. Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson verbally ripped into his team in front of the media. And you heard it: he said his own wife could do better. Is that fair to his wife?


HINSON: Our three starting guards had one assist and seven turnovers. They must think it`s a tax credit. It`s unbelievable how our starting guards played.

And let`s talk about our big guys. Two for eleven. How can you go two for eleven? My wife -- my wife can score more than two buckets on 11 shots, because I know my wife will at least shut fake one time. But those guys aren`t listening. They`re uncoachable right now.

To me when you`ve got a young team, it`s a lot like house training a puppy dog. You know what? When the dog does something wrong, bad dog. I`m not going to hit them. I`m not going swat them, but bad dog. Get on the treadmill.

There was a sniper in the gym. Did you see that? We had guys falling down. We had guys snipered at half court. Two guys snipered at half court. It was unbelievable. I thought Navy SEAL Team 6 was out there. Our guys were coming across -- nobody around them and just fell down on the ground. How does that happen? I swear, I thought one guy...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He might get a smack-down from his wife, his wife. Oh my gosh. Listen to this guy. You might think his team lost my 30 points.

Listen, we all have our moments. I don`t want to be that pot calling the kettle black. We can all say crazy things when we get heated and passionate. But this is a news conference. They`re not in the locker room behind closed doors. This is public shaming.

Coach Hinson says he is absolutely unapologetic about this rant. Except for one thing: he does regret calling out one of his players by name.

Straight out to my buddy Arnie Spanier. You`re a Sporting News radio host. Did this coach cross the line?

ARNIE SPANIER, RADIO HOST, SPORTING NEWS: Jane, of course he crossed the line. Bad coach. Bad coach.

Jane, let me tell you something. He crossed the line, and he didn`t even want to go ahead and apologize. He called out one of his players by name. Here`s a coach that hasn`t take one team to the NCAA tournament in 13 years. Tell him the look in the mirror.

And if this is such a great idea, Jane, how about teachers use this. Could you imagine?


SPANIER: OK now, your kid`s a dog, and she`s an idiot and embarrassing them in front of everybody. Do you think that...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon -- Jon Leiberman, you think this is OK?

LEIBERMAN: Here`s what I think, Jane. Arnie knows this. This is called motivation. This coach knew exactly what he was doing. Did he go too far in doing it? Yes, he did.

But he`s a big-time college basketball coach. They get paid with wins and losses. And this was him trying to motivate a team that he felt he had lost control of.

He admits that he shouldn`t have named the one kid. This is the whole argument for why you should pay college athletes, because they are treated like adults, and there`s a lot riding on these wins and losses, like that coach`s job.

So did he go over the line? Yes, he did.


LEIBERMAN: But this is the psyche of a coach.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa, whoa. Romani.

ROMANI DURVASULA, PSYCHOLOGIST: If he wants him to be -- Jon.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shouldn`t he model adult behavior?

DURVASULA: We talk about -- listen, we talk about wins. We talk about losses. I get that. But they are kids. They`re not pros. They`re not paid.

And honestly, shaming may -- it doesn`t even work with a puppy. If you rub your dog`s nose in it, I don`t know that they`re going to be any better. And I`m not sure that`s going to work with a bunch of college kids playing ball.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Look, I`m an animal activist, but I still think it`s offensive for him to refer to his players as dogs and use that metaphor, that analogy. I think it`s demeaning.

And you know what? One of his players tweeted something like "little man." In other words, I don`t think he has a good relationship with his players, and I think that`s got to be based on respect, doesn`t it, Romani? You`re the psychologist.

DURVASULA: Absolutely. I mean, at the end of the day, that`s exactly -- especially a college coach. A college coach is about respect. They are looking to him to be more of a father figure. And this is no way for a father figure to behave. So I don`t know that he`s going to motivate his players. He just humiliated them in front of the whole country. Any players that are on that team, they look like...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I want to say that he humiliated himself, as well.


Arnie, yes or no: should he be punished by the school? Should he be punished by the school? Yes or no?

SPANIER: Fire him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well you heard it from Arnie Spanier here. I don`t know if he has any power. I doubt it, but that`s his opinion.

I think go into therapy. That`s my answer. Don`t get -- don`t fire him. But make him go to therapy.

Time for "Me, My Pet and I." Tweet us your pet selfies at #JVMpetselfies or send them to

Check it out. Glen and -- that`s my buddy Glen from Puerto Rico with Lolita, one of the many cats that he rescued and cares for. He`s a hero of mine.

Andrew and Toby, now that`s a pair. Very serious but very loving. Oh, are they adorable.

Look who`s goofing around, hanging out, refusing to get out of bed, Patty and Rico. There`s another Rico. We`ve got a Rico, too.

J.T. and Slay (ph). Couple of tough guys, but they`ve got hearts of gold, don`t they?

And a happy family, the Kilduff family. A puppy, a baby, Mom and Dad. The way it should be.




I`ve taken tonight 12 neurontins, two lortabs and I drank a few shots of Jager and a few shots of whiskey. There`s been many times when I`ve taken stuff and the next day I think man, I could have OD`d last night. I am so (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up. I had to eat all those pills because I was afraid the cop was going to search me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well don`t do anything else. I`m not letting you do anything else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t have anything else.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight`s big story. An extraordinary new MTV reality film shines an important light on our nation`s escalating prescription drug epidemic. MTV`s "True Life: I`m Addicted to Pills" follows two young drug users who thankfully are now in recovery. But at the time of this taping, they were in the throes of dangerous addiction to legal prescription pill. The CDC says more people die from popping legal drugs now than illegal street drugs.

A couple of years ago, Florida started to battle one big pill mill capital and they established a computer system that basically stops people from going to doctor to doctor to doctor -- doctor shopping to get mood- altering, very addictive meds Xanax and oxycodone. If they get too many, they`ll be detected. But with so many people in Florida hooked on pills, when they can`t get their usual pill fix, they sometimes turn to heroin. So basically prescription drugs have become a gateway drug to heroin -- scary.

Watch this from MTV.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m starting to feel it, bro, I don`t know about you, but I`m not feeling the greatest right now. My mother only sent me $20 and that wasn`t enough to buy even one roxy (ph) for myself. So we got a couple of bags of heroin, which is a lot cheaper. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) I hate using heroin. I like pills. I use the heroin as a replacement, you know. If I can`t get the pills I do the heroin and I can still function and then I`m not sick.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Straight out to my friend and director of MTV`s "True Life: I`m Addicted to Pills" -- amazing stuff that you gathered there Katherine Linton. What`s the underlying problem here? What`s the government doing wrong? What`s big pharma doing wrong?

KATHERINE LINTON, DIRECTOR, MTV`s "TRUE LIFE": Well big pharma`s coming up with big pills every single day. It`s like whack-a-mole. They come up with new pills. The FDA tries to restrict them. They come up with new pills. I mean that`s -- all of the kids that I talk to, and I interviewed hundreds of kids about this problem. They find more and more pills that are prescribed by doctors. We are on overprescribed nation and that`s the biggest problem.

Big pharma has a big investment in putting all these pills out there and doctors also have a financial investment on prescribing them. So it`s very easy for them to get. And then the kids get hooked and everybody is shocked when they see somebody like Courtney taking her kid on a pill run. We`re shocked when we see the consequences.

But where is it coming from? It`s coming from big pharma and it`s coming from doctors frankly -- a lot of these prescriptions.

Well Dr. Reef Karim, foundewr and medical director of the Control Center of Beverly Hills, I always say when you want to see a mess, follow the money. I mean these are supposed to be very limited, very restricted.

And you know I`m in recovery, 18 years sober from alcohol, I`ve heard many, many people in recovery say, yes, you know I used to go to the doctor. I said I had a bad back and I show them an old x-ray and next thing you know, I`ve got the pills and I sell half of them and I eat half of them. I crush them, shoot them, I snort them. I mean this is outrageous. It`s crazy.

DR. REEF KARIM, CONTROL CENTER OF BEVERLY HILLS: Your story -- I hear that story all the time from my patients. There is definitely a point to pharmaceutical companies and doctors. But there`s another piece to this. The piece is consumer marketing.

Up until the late 90s pharmaceutical companies would advertise to doctors or to practitioner to try to get them to learn more about their medications so that they could prescribe it more. Something happened in the late 90s early 2000s where there was a shift to where pharmaceutical companies were prescribing and advertising to consumers.

And that`s why we see all this crazy commercials like where people are riding horses and hugging each other and saying hey my son got better grades because he took his medication. And so that consumer marketing is bringing in all these people that come to doctors and say I want to be on this. This is the medication I want to be on.

And then the doctors have to deal with confrontation up front. And that confrontation is fine for me, but it`s very awkward for some doctors who don`t want to say no to their patients.

And the other important factor here is the majority of these kids get their medications from medicine cabinets of their parents, their friends and other people they know. It`s really coming from the medicine cabinets more than it is anywhere else. What I would tell your home viewers, get rid of the meds that you`re not using out of your medicine cabinet.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A couple of things. One, I want to applaud these two individuals who are now recovering for having the courage to allow Katherine`s cameras in to video these cases. In these cases it wasn`t from the parents` medicine cabinet. I can say that.

But Ramani Durvasula, you know, I`ve been in therapy. I spent years sitting on a couch talking to a therapist to work on my issues. And what I understand now is that you go to a psychiatrist and because of changes in insurance all they want to do is give you a pill.

They don`t have time to do years. They`re not going to be rewarded for doing years of talking cure. So somebody comes in and says I`m depressed they say here, take an anti-depressant, which is a mood-altering, addictive substance. They don`t get any better, they`re still depressed because they haven`t figured out why they`re depressed and now they`re hooked.

RAMANI DURVASULA, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Jane, the research is clear that the treatment for most psychiatric conditions is a combination of therapy and medication. And that these things are carefully monitored. No pill is going to take I away anything -- sadness, addiction, anxiety, any of those things. But you`re right. It has become a quick fix.

However those years of sitting and talking to someone on a couch, they`re absolutely essential -- an essential part of beating an addiction or a problem with mental health.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s what I`m saying. They`re not doing that anymore.

DURVASULA: No they`re not.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What they`re doing is giving them a pill.

DURVASULA: No they`re not because it`s expensive. It`s expensive, that`s what it comes down to.

KARIM: Jane, most of those pills that you`re talking about for treating mental health disorders and treating addictions are not addictive medications themselves.


KARIM: We need to make that really, really clear. Doctors are not supposed to be giving out Klonopin, Xanax, oxycontin and Norcos to patients that have an addictive or mental health problem. Please understand that there is a separate -- there is a difference.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, somebody`s getting them. I`m going to give Katherine the last word. All right. Katherine -- last word.

LINTON: I would like to say I`m in recovery and I went to see doctors who are not trained in the disease of addiction, doctors are given three to six hours in medical school to study addiction. I went to see a psychiatrist before I got sober. told him I was an alcoholic. He said what can I give you for your depression? I walked out with a prescription for Effexor. How irresponsible is that that a doctor, a psychiatrist gave me a prescription for pills when I said I`m an alcoholic.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I`ve had the same experience.

Got to leave it right there. Such an important conversation.

We`ll be right back with an amazing story and it involves a dog. Not this one.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: #hilarious. Toronto mayor Rob Ford joining the rest of the city council on a holiday dance break or maybe it`s a break dance. This is the crack mayor. Yes, this is the guy who`s in all sorts of trouble and he thinks that the time is right for him to do this little dance.

He`s got incredible judgment, doesn`t he?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A New York man`s canine companion is now also his hero.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw when he was falling down to the track and his dog fell down with him as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I yelled at the man to stay down because the train was coming in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When the train came, I just screamed really loud because I didn`t know what happened to him. I thought he was hit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was semi coherent. He asked us how his dog was doing. We told him that his dog was fine.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, Rico, a scary story but a very happy ending. Little Rico, a brave dog just like you is being called a hero when Cecil Williams, a 61-year-old blind man began to faint on the platform of a Manhattan subway station. His loyal guard dog -- guide dog and guard dog - - Orlando started to bark, tried to pull him back from the edge of the tracks but Cecil lost consciousness and fell right into the tracks. Orlando fell right in after him. Orlando barked and licked his owner`s face trying to wake him up. The train is approaching.

Witnesses are screaming to the motor man, stop, stop. He tried to slam on the brakes but the first two cars run right over Cecil and his dog Orlando. But they were lucky. They were positioned between the rails. Cecil suffered just a few cuts and scrapes and Orlando the dog was up and moving right after the accident -- a-ok.

Cecil thanked Orlando his dog during a news conference just a little while ago.


CECIL WILLIAMS, FELL ON SUBWAY TRACKS: He`s my best buddy. He`s my pal. We run together. He takes me on the train. He takes me on the buses. He takes me everywhere I need to go. He`s a very gentle gentleman; very loyal and very good.

People should recognize that when a dog is out there with a harness, he`s doing a job. He`s not going to try to bite you. He`s not going to try to hurt you. He`s not going to try to do nothing to you. All he`s going to do is just guide me around and take care of me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He was crying. His voice quivering as he told that story. But this miracle story has a tragic twist. At least it did. Orlando is about to turn 11. That means he`ll have to retire as a guide dog. And Cecil`s insurance won`t pay for his care starting next month. Cecil said I don`t have to money to care for this dog myself. So he was going to be forced to give his heroic dog up -- all right, his best buddy.

Cue another holiday miracle. The story went viral, started an Internet firestorm that launched -- well, I`m going to let our producer Mary Cella, you`ve been working on this all day. Explain what happened once the word got out that this hero dog was going to be given away because his blind owner couldn`t afford to keep him.

MARY CELLA, HLN PRODUCER: Jane, as you know, this just happened yesterday around 9:30 in the morning and by this morning the story had gone totally viral. I mean people were sharing it on Facebook and Twitter and two people started campaigns online to raise money to help Cecil care for Orlando so that they could stay together. And these two campaigns by now have raised almost $90,000.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow -- $90,000? So he`s definitely going to be able to keep Orlando. That is great news. So this holiday miracle is not a tragedy. It`s happy story -- Mary.

CELLA: It is. It`s a really happy story. And as you know we cover animal stories all of the time and they`re usually upsetting and sad stories about animal abuse and I frequently produce them. And it`s just really nice to be able to tell a happy story, especially this time of year around the holidays.

And it`s a story that really, you know, represents the holiday spirit because all these people just wanted to chip in and help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mary, you do such a great job producing all those very difficult but important animal stories and watching all that footage that nobody else wants to watch. So I think you deserve a break and a happy animal story. We`re happy that we were able to provide it.

And we`re just so happy that all these folks were so generous and Orlando and Cecil will remain together. Wow. People are good, aren`t they, Rico, after all.

CELLA: Yes it`s great.


CELLA: And the Internet can be used for good.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The Internet can be used for good. Social media is a force for good. Twitter and Facebook saved this man`s life in a sense because now he`s with the dog he loves.

Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey chew on this. Did you know that every single night about 40 million Americans have a very tough time getting to sleep?

Nutritionist extraordinaire and Upwave star, Keri Glassman, what can we do about this?

KERI GLASSMAN, NUTRITIONIST: You`ve got to get your z`s for your weight and your help. Pumpkin seeds one of my favorite sleepy time food; pumpkin seeds are loaded with tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that`s a precursor. So it means it helps produce serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is that feel-good chemical that calms you down and helps you sleep.

These are tart cherries. Tart cherries are one of the few foods that have melatonin in them. Melatonin is that hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle. And then cashews -- cashews I love them, they`re a sweet nut -- have magnesium and zinc. And magnesium and zinc are needed to create that melatonin to regulate your sleep cycles.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Keri, I`m going to sleep here already.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Time for Pet of the Day. Send your pet pics to Hunter -- oh, look at you, very elegant, my dear. And Charlie says I`ve got my Christmas ears on and I might chew on them after. All right. Barney and Fred -- they`re like, ok, you know, the party, it ran on too long. We`re exhausted. Penny -- she says I`m classic portrait.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He got drunk, then jumped behind the wheel of his pick-up truck and plowed down four people in a drunken haze.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need some ambulances, it`s bad. We flipped and oh God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All Ethan Couch got for his actions was a slap on the wrist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s nothing the judge could have done that`s going to lessen the suffering for any of those families.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, backlash erupting still against the affluenza defense that gave this bratty, rich kid no jail time even though he killed four people and left another paralyzed and injured yet another person.

Ethan Couch, the 16-year-old brat at the center of this controversy, was sentenced to a measly ten years` probation, no jail time after he admitted he drunkenly drove his truck into four people.

But is justice on the horizon? The backlash from the ridiculous ruling by Judge Jean Boyd that gave him probation only and a fancy rehab was so intense, that now, even the local D.A. is fighting back. The local D.A., Joe Shannon, using a technicality to try to get this kid locked up and doing some kind of time.

The D.A. says since there was technically no formal verdict in the two cases of intoxication assault, there`s still a chance that Ethan could be sent to jail for up to three years.

You know what? I say yes. Yes. I applaud the D.A. for thinking outside the box. Using whatever means necessary to get some kind of justice.

Laura Dean-Mooney, your husband was killed by a drunk driver. You are a leading crusader against drunk driving. What do you think about the fact that this kid who has a history involving intoxication, got probation and was sent to well, what is expected to be a very fancy rehab at the cost of something like $450,000 instead of any jail time?

LAURA DEAN-MOONEY, HUSBAND KILLED BY DRUNK DRIVER: Well, good evening, Jane. I think it`s an outrage and I have heard from literally hundreds of other victim/survivors of drunk driving crashes across the country and specifically here in Texas that feel just like I do. They think jail time was the only right thing that should have happened to this defendant.

I mean when you make a choice, which drunk driving is, as you and I have discussed before, to drink and drive and kill people, there should be jail time and strong punishment for that and this sets a terrible precedent.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. This is not the only problem he`s been in. I mean before this horror, he allegedly according to cops, stole beer. They say they`ve got it on surveillance tape -- him and his friends going in and stealing beer from a store. He was never apparently prosecuted for that. He wasn`t supposed to be driving -- he`s 16 -- unless he has an adult in the car. There was no adult in the car. He was driving drunk.

I mean the list -- he has prior alcohol related offenses. Why is it that nobody prosecuted any of this?

DEAN-MOONEY: Well, unfortunately, many times, people get away with it. He got caught when he killed so many people and left the Mitchell and Boyles and Jennings families with life sentences but, you know, it does happen way too often. I think a lot of law enforcements do great jobs in catching underage drinking, but this kid as you said, had a history of that.

I found out he had a 4,000 foot unfurnished house that was of his free use, unsupervised.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me just say this 16,000 people have designed a petition saying the judge who said he doesn`t have to go to jail should be yanked from office and I agree.

Enough said.