'You aren't alone Stan' - outpouring of grief and well-wishes meets news of Stan Walker's new documentary detailing serious health battle

An outpouring of well-wishes and praise has been sent the way of Kiwi singer Stan Walker today, after a trailer was released for an upcoming documentary detailing his unspecified health battles over the past year.

It is believed the documentary follows Walker as he goes through treatment for a hereditary cancer-causing gene.

NZ Herald has reported that Walker had his stomach removed in response to the gene, which has been responsible for the death of 25 of Walker's family members.

With the release of these details along with the emotional trailer, the response on the 1 NEWS Facebook page has been immense.

"Kia kaha Stan, people of N.Z. are behind you all the way. I wish you all the strength in the world to over come this horrible cancer. God Bless," one commentator said.

""Look at these beautiful comments 😍😍😍 You aren't alone Stan. I'm so amazed on how many beautiful people have walked or are walking the same path as you and are happy to talk about it!" another said.

The genetic mutation which runs in Walker's family is expected to cause stomach cancer in 70 per cent of carriers by the age of 40.

Many of the comments also relayed stories of their own experience of family members who had dealt with stomach cancer, and the associated surgery.

"11 months ago I had my whole stomach removed due to Cancer. I've lost over half my body weight. But am very grateful to be alive and still with my son and husband. It's no easy Stan but you will pull through," one comment said.

"My mokopuna had the operation and is doing awesomely well. She's 22 and is living a great life. Kia kaha Stan. Like my prayers for my mokogirl they are also with you," another said.

"Wow, Thankyou Stan for bravely sharing your experience, I will definitely tune in. As someone with bowel disease, cancer is a real reality that I may one day face, 😢," another comment said.

Since news of the Stan documentary was posted just a few hours ago, the 1 NEWS article has received over 5000 reactions and over 500 shares. 

The documentary will screen on Three. 



Man who beat pensioner to death soon after release from mental health unit jailed at least 13 years

A man who stomped a pensioner to death shortly after being discharged from Auckland City Hospital's mental health unit has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 13 years.

Gabriel Yad-Elohim appeared at the High Court in Auckland today for sentencing for the murder of 69-year-old Michael Mulholland.

Mr Mulholland's daughter told the court that the pain of losing her father was immense.

She said her father was just an old man who enjoyed collecting National Geographic magazines and reading. He treasured gifts and letters from his children like diamonds.

Yad-Elohim had been out of Auckland City Hospital's Te Whetu Tawera for only three days when he killed Mr Mulholland in September last year.

His lawyers argued he had a disease of the mind, was hearing voices at the time and had no way of telling right from wrong.

The Crown said despite having schizophrenia, he knew right from wrong and killed Mr Mulholland for revenge after losing $200 in a methamphetamine deal.

rnz.co.nz

Gabriel Yad-Elohim at the High Court in Auckland today. (Claire Eastham-Farrelly) Source: rnz.co.nz

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Legalising recreational cannabis could stem NZ’s epidemic of ‘zombie drug’ deaths, Peter Dunne says

Synthetic cannabis has killed more than 40 people in New Zealand since June last year, a massive jump from the previous five years, the coroner recently reported.

One way to serve a blow to the market for the so called zombie-drug in New Zealand would be to legalise recreational cannabis, former MP and Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said today on TVNZ1's Breakfast.

But the suggestion came with a caveat.

"It would certainly remove some of the incentive for people to try some of these substances," he said. "But...some of these (synthetic drugs) are so potent and so powerful that people may well feel they'll get a better high from these rather than the real product.

"While on the face of it the answer would be yes (to marijuana legalisation), I don't think it's necessarily that simple."

Cannabis and synthetic cannabis are alike in name only. The synthetic variety, often consisting of dried herbs sprayed with chemical compounds derived from old medical studies, encompasses hundreds of different strains, Mr Dunne pointed out.

Two of the most potent versions, described as up to 10 times stronger that the ones that caused a "zombie" outbreak in the US due to the way users reacted to them, have been targeted by the Government for reclassification as Class A drugs.

That would mean penalties for dealing the drugs would increase substantially, from a couple years in prison to up to 14 years.

"I don't think we ever anticipated we'd get new synthetic drugs that would lead to so much harm," NZ Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell told 1 NEWS yesterday.

They're calling for the drug to be classified as Class A – the most harmful and dangerous. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Dunne agreed that the classification for those two strains should change, but he was sceptical that it would do anything to stem the overdose epidemic.

"They're already illegal, so this doesn't make them any more illegal," he said. "We shouldn't get carried away and assume that's going to resolve the problem...We need at the same time to be beefing up our treatment facilities to deal with the people who are suffering adverse consequences because they will continue to do so."

He also suggested putting in place "a coherent international warning system" and regulating the market for the less potent strains of synthetic cannabis - rather than continuing to outlaw all of them, pushing the market underground.

But even with those solutions, eradicating the drug altogether would be difficult because it's so easy to smuggle, he said.

Police are still trying to identify the men as they want to check on their welfare. Source: 1 NEWS

"The problem is there are hundreds of these, and there are rumours of several hundred more yet to hit the market, so this problem's not going to go away anytime soon," he said.

"If you're seeking to bring this stuff into the country, you bring it all in different bits and bobs so it doesn't look like a finished product. Who knows what's put together to give it its added bite."

But there’s a caveat to the idea, the former MP and associate health minister told Breakfast. Source: Breakfast

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Ozzy Osbourne confirms two New Zealand shows as part of farewell world tour

Ozzy Osbourne has confirmed two final shows in New Zealand in March 2019 as part of his farewell world tour, No More Tours 2.

The former Black Sabbath singer will play shows in Christchurch at Horncastle Arena on March 13 and Auckland’s Spark Arena on March 16.

Heavy metal legends Judas Priest, who are on their first New Zealand tour, will open for Osbourne.

The 69-year-old will celebrate a career which began in 1968 when Black Sabbath was formed alongside long-time collaborators, guitarist Zakk Wylde, Blasko on bass, drummer Tommy Clufetos and Adam Wakeman on keyboards.

Ozzy Osbourne.


US surgeon accused of removing wrong organ and not telling patient

An American surgeon denies he breached the standard of care when he removed an Iowa woman's healthy kidney instead of her adrenal gland.

Dr Scott Baker and The Surgical Institute of South Dakota responded to a lawsuit filed by Dena Knapp last month alleging professional negligence, the Argus Leader reports. The response acknowledges Dr Baker removed Ms Knapp's right kidney instead of an adrenal gland and an associated mass during her October 2016 surgery.

Knapp says she wasn't told about the mix-up until after she was released from the hospital. She developed stage-three kidney disease after the surgery.

Dr Baker and the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, hospital deny breaching the standard of care by removing the kidney, failing to remove the adrenal gland and failing to admit the mistake. They also deny that Ms Knapp suffered damages.