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Urban Moms Find Support, Watch Out for Each Other’s Kids in Local Facebook Groups

Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It was about 9:30 on a recent evening when Stacey Wanicur was reading through her Facebook feed. A post from a woman she’d never met made her stop in her tracks.

“I hope the person that hired my previous nanny is reading this,” it started. It went on to detail how the nanny, a woman we’ll call Mariah, had left the poster’s three-year-old in a bathtub unattended and fallen asleep at the playground while the child ran around.

The post asked that if the woman who had hired Mariah was also in the UES Mommas Facebook group, an active group of 6,000-plus moms who primarily live on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, that she get in touch with the poster.

Wanicur had just hired a nanny named Mariah. “But I thought, it couldn’t be.”

It was.

Wanicur and the poster had a phone call that same night, and identified the woman, Mariah, through some details. Wanicur came to realize that the nanny, Mariah, had been spotted on the playground sleeping by a third woman, a friend of the poster. That same friend then spotted Mariah with Wanicur’s baby, realized the nanny had been hired by another family, and encouraged the poster to reach out on UES Mommas.

Even big-city moms need a village. But in today’s digital age, that village is Facebook.

For Wanicur, mom to a one-year-old who's an attorney and freelance writer, finding a nanny has been a challenge. She’s on the verge of hiring number 11. Some, she said, have been “great” but didn’t work out for logistical reasons. Others wanted more hours per week than even a corporate lawyer could give. One lacked experience. But Mariah seemed great. “I watched her on the nanny cam, she would sing to my daughter. The baby seems to like her. She cleaned up, was going to get the whole family eating healthier.” And Wanicur had checked Mariah’s references. But her previous employer – the poster – had been left off that call list.

It’s not the only story about moms having each other backs. And despite the so-called “mommy wars,” there’s very little stay-at-home mom vs. working mom back and forth. It was primarily stay-at-home moms who took the time to track down the mom of a toddler boy who had been witnessed running into traffic outside a playground while his nanny chatted on the phone, oblivious. (The boy was stopped by a mother who did not know him but watched him until the nanny appeared). The mother of the boy was not part of the Facebook group, but moms that were put together various “clues” over the next few days when they spotted the nanny and the boy out in the neighborhood. Eventually, the moms figured out where the little boy lived, and left a note with the doorman for the boy’s mom so she would know what had happened.

And while these examples are more dramatic and serious than the typical day-to-day chatter, Wanicur called the board “the number-one influential resource for me” since becoming a new mom. “Having a baby can be isolating, but this has been unbelievable helpful. You can be up at 4 am with a fussy baby, maybe teething and post a photo and all of a sudden have 45 other moms’ opinions and advice.”

Mommy Facebook groups exist in cities all over the nation. There’s Boston moms, Los Angeles moms, Long Island moms, Glen Rock, NJ, moms.

And while the popularity of the Facebook moms’ groups is “relatively new,” said Rebecca Michals, BabyCenter.com’s community manager, turning to other moms online for support isn’t. BabyCenter’s been doing it for years.

“Instead of 3-5 local women you have thousands to offer support,” she said. “It does take the place of the village, or your mom or aunt down the street.”

And as with any village, some voices are louder than others. But by and large, the atmosphere – both on Facebook and on message boards like BabyCenter’s – is supportive. Much like the women in that idyllic “village” that, for the most part, is a thing of the past in America.

“Moms respect each other when they know they are doing the best for their families,” said Michals.

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Routine Heart Tests May Be Useless for Many

Monkey Business Images/Monkey Business/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- In a strongly worded statement released on Monday, the American College of Physicians says that common tests like EKGs and radioactive imaging of the heart are largely unnecessary if performed on patients who have no symptoms of heart problems or other significant health issues.

The group's concern, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is not just that these tests are a waste.

There is also the “false positive” problem, according to researchers, which are issues discovered that pose no medical danger, but lead to more unneeded and expensive tests and procedures.

Researchers say that if the patient has no heart symptoms, doctors should instead focus on addressing smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity – all of which might pose actual heart danger in the future.

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Social Media Campaign Reunites Man With Childhood Nurse

Gary Bentley/Alabama Turtle Farmer (KILLEN, Ala.) -- Gary Bentley had open heart surgery when he was only 10 years old.

But it's not the pain or even the fear he recalls from that hospital stay in 1973.

"There was a nurse when I came out of intensive care," said Bentley, of Killen, Alabama. "She was on my floor right after I recovered and she was very sweet to me.”

"She brought me little gifts. I don't really remember what they were, but the one thing she brought was a smile and encouraging words every day. She also played little games with me. I got so attached."

Hospital staff had transferred Bentley from the ICU to another unit.

The now 52-year-old told ABC News he was sad to leave the nurse who originally cared for him post-surgery.

"I tried to go back down to see her, but being a kid, they wouldn't let me," he said. "We took a photo and I carried that picture through three foster homes. It even made it through a house fire."

Forty-two years after his hospital stay, Bentley's wife suggested he share the photo on Facebook in an effort to locate the nurse.

"I said, 'What's the chances of finding her?,' it's been 42 years," he said. "My wife posted it on her page and asked family and friends to share the photos. I was worried that she might not want to be found."

Almost 7,000 shares later, a local news site picked up Bentley's story.

Just two days later, the search for nurse Kathy was over.

"Her daughter emailed us Thursday night and Friday morning we finally made contact," said Bentley. "We met yesterday at a park. She's still the same sweet nurse Kathy I remember from years ago."

"We talked about her family and my family," he said of Kathy, who's still nursing today. "Of course we talked about 42 years ago, we can't believe it went so fast. Looking at the picture brought tears to both of our eyes. She said she was going to keep it on her desk where she would see it every day. She also said that my family and I made her feel like a princess."

While he said he hasn't had a scare, Bentley continues to see his doctor annually for heart checkups.

In addition, he said that he will forever cherish the moment that he and nurse Kathy reunited.

"She went beyond her job. My dad was a non-functioning alcoholic and when mom left, the state stepped in and took over and me and my siblings away. Nurse Kathy didn't know about my situation or my home life. She could just tell there was a little boy who needed a smile."

Today, Bentley owns his own business breeding turtles in Alabama. He's been married for 34 years and has two children and three grandchildren.

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Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Social Media Campaign Reunites Man With Childhood Nurse

Gary Bentley/Alabama Turtle Farmer (KILLEN, Ala.) -- Gary Bentley had open heart surgery when he was only 10 years old.

But it's not the pain or even the fear he recalls from that hospital stay in 1973.

"There was a nurse when I came out of intensive care," said Bentley, of Killen, Alabama. "She was on my floor right after I recovered and she was very sweet to me.”

"She brought me little gifts. I don't really remember what they were, but the one thing she brought was a smile and encouraging words every day. She also played little games with me. I got so attached."

Hospital staff had transferred Bentley from the ICU to another unit.

The now 52-year-old told ABC News he was sad to leave the nurse who originally cared for him post-surgery.

"I tried to go back down to see her, but being a kid, they wouldn't let me," he said. "We took a photo and I carried that picture through three foster homes. It even made it through a house fire."

Forty-two years after his hospital stay, Bentley's wife suggested he share the photo on Facebook in an effort to locate the nurse.

"I said, 'What's the chances of finding her?,' it's been 42 years," he said. "My wife posted it on her page and asked family and friends to share the photos. I was worried that she might not want to be found."

Almost 7,000 shares later, a local news site picked up Bentley's story.

Just two days later, the search for nurse Kathy was over.

"Her daughter emailed us Thursday night and Friday morning we finally made contact," said Bentley. "We met yesterday at a park. She's still the same sweet nurse Kathy I remember from years ago."

"We talked about her family and my family," he said of Kathy, who's still nursing today. "Of course we talked about 42 years ago, we can't believe it went so fast. Looking at the picture brought tears to both of our eyes. She said she was going to keep it on her desk where she would see it every day. She also said that my family and I made her feel like a princess."

While he said he hasn't had a scare, Bentley continues to see his doctor annually for heart checkups.

In addition, he said that he will forever cherish the moment that he and nurse Kathy reunited.

"She went beyond her job. My dad was a non-functioning alcoholic and when mom left, the state stepped in and took over and me and my siblings away. Nurse Kathy didn't know about my situation or my home life. She could just tell there was a little boy who needed a smile."

Today, Bentley owns his own business breeding turtles in Alabama. He's been married for 34 years and has two children and three grandchildren.

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Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Top NFL Rookie Retiring Over Head Trauma Concerns

Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images(BERKELEY, Calif.) -- One of the NFL’s top rookies last season announced on Monday he plans to retire because of concerns over the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland told ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Monday he notified the team of his decision on Friday.

The 24-year-old told ESPN he made his decision after consulting with family members, concussion researchers, friends and current and former teammates, and studying what is known about the relationship between football and neurodegenerative disease.

"I just honestly want to do what's best for my health," Borland told Outside the Lines. "From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk."

Borland now becomes the most prominent NFL player to leave the game in his prime over concerns about brain injuries.

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Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Top NFL Rookie Retiring Over Head Trauma Concerns

Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images(BERKELEY, Calif.) -- One of the NFL’s top rookies last season announced on Monday he plans to retire because of concerns over the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland told ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Monday he notified the team of his decision on Friday.

The 24-year-old told ESPN he made his decision after consulting with family members, concussion researchers, friends and current and former teammates, and studying what is known about the relationship between football and neurodegenerative disease.

"I just honestly want to do what's best for my health," Borland told Outside the Lines. "From what I've researched and what I've experienced, I don't think it's worth the risk."

Borland now becomes the most prominent NFL player to leave the game in his prime over concerns about brain injuries.

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Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.