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Kayla Vitale’s heart stopped for more than 15 minutes as she was being transferred from one hospital to another after overdosing on heroin. “I wasn’t supposed to live,” she said recently
Now Vitale is five-months sober – and sharing her story. She hopes that her near-death experience will help prevent others from suffering a similar – or worse – fate.
Vitale is from Staten Island, where heroin death rates are 30 percent higher, per capita, than the city average. Experts believe heroin use skyrocketed following the 2012 passage of the I-STOP law, which made opiates harder to get.
Opiate addicts were forced to look elsewhere in order to feed pill habits, with many moving onto heroin, experts say.
Suzanne Schwing tried for months to get health insurance through New York’s Affordable Care Act marketplace last winter—calling, sending documents, calling again.
Schwing, 45, works a dozen jobs as a freelance classical singer, which stumped marketplace representatives as they tried to estimate her future income. By the time they agreed on a figure, she’d missed the March 31 deadline. So when enrollment reopened on Nov. 15, Schwing decided she needed face-to-face help from an expert.
“I’m really up against a deadline, and I don’t have time to play around anymore,” she said.
On the outside, Pietro Joseph Scarso looks like an ordinary kid.
On the inside, though, the 5-year-old Brooklyn boy is deteriorating.
That’s because Pietro is one of 3,500 boys worldwide born annually with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a fatal degenerative disease that weakens muscles at an aggressive pace.