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Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
Two investigations–one conducted by an independent company–have both failed to find any evidence to support the reported account that a 3-year-old girl and her grandmother were asked to leave a Jackson, Mississippi KFC restaurant because the girl’s scars and bandages were upsetting other customers.
The findings follow a media tidal wave that began with social media-fed outrage over the story that little Victoria Wilcher, who had survived a brutal attack by three pit bull dogs, had been humiliated and refused service in this way. Then, after KFC’s corporate headquarters had pledged to pay $30,000 toward Victoria’s ongoing medical care, word surfaced that the story could not be corroborated and may have been a hoax. This week, the Jackson franchise where the incident allegedly took place announced it was conducting both internal and independent investigations to establish what actually happened.
More from CNN on the investigators’ findings:
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But Tuesday, KFC said it conducted two investigations, including one by an independent investigator, and neither revealed any proof that the scenario described to reporters and on social media actually occurred, KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said in a statement e-mailed to CNN.
The same day, the Victoria’s Victories page appeared to have been removed from Facebook. Shortly before it was taken down, this posting appeared: “I promise its not a hoax, I never thought any of this would blow up the way it has. … Please do not believe untrue media. I have personally watched this family go without to provide for Victoria. They have not and would not do anything to hurt Victoria in any way.”
After the family’s account became public, donations poured into the family’s fund-raising effort at www.gofundme.com. At the time, KFC left an apology on the Facebook page and pledged to donate $30,000 for Victoria’s treatment.
On Tuesday, the CEO of GoFundMe, Brad Damphousse, said in a statement that the fund-raising webpage was suspending the campaign and offering to refund donations.
“In lieu of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the ‘Victoria’s Victories’ online fundraising effort, GoFundMe has temporarily suspended the campaign until the full truth is made clear,” the statement said.
Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
The Jackson, Mississippi Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant at the center of a social media maelstrom after an employee reportedly asked a 3-year-old girl with drastic scars to leave the restaurant has apparently hired independent investigators to look into whether the alleged incident in fact took place.
Victoria Wilcher’s severe scars come from an attack she suffered a few months ago, apparently perpetrated by three pit bull dogs that belonged to her grandfather. She was at the restaurant with her grandmother following a doctor’s appointment that is part of the girl’s ongoing care. The family posted to its Facebook page that an employee stopped them and asked them to leave, saying that the scars and bandages were upsetting other customers. After word of the incident went viral across social media outlets, the company apologized to the family, and spokesman Rick Maynard pledged that KFC would donate $30,000 toward Victoria’s medical bills.
Now the Jackson restaurant, which is a franchised business, has hired its own investigators because it says it can’t readily verify that that the incident took place as reported. More from The Associated Press:
KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said the company is concerned that the Jackson restaurant’s internal investigation couldn’t verify the incident. An outside investigator will conduct an independent investigation, Maynard said.
KFC’s commitment of $30,000 to help with the child’s medical bills will not be affected by the investigation’s outcome, Maynard said.
Allegations that the child was asked to leave the restaurant were made earlier this month on the Facebook site Victoria’s Victories, which has followed the child’s recovery from the attack. KFC posted an apology the next morning and asked for more details about what happened.
Teri Rials Bates, the child’s aunt, runs the Victoria’s Victories Facebook page.
“I promise it’s not a hoax, I never thought any of this would blow up the way it has,” a post said. “I have personally watched this family go without to provide for Victoria. They have not and would not do anything to hurt Victoria in any way.”
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Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
The KFC restaurant chain is apparently making amends after a 3-year-old girl and her family were asked to leave a Mississippi KFC because of the girl’s appearance as she recovers from a serious attack by three pit bulls. Victoria Wilcher was attacked a few months ago, and she was at the restaurant with her grandmother following a doctor’s appointment that is part of her ongoing care.
After word of the incident went viral across social media outlets, the company apologized to the family, and pledged to donate $30,000 toward Victoria’s medical bills.
“The entire KFC family is behind Victoria,” company spokesman Rich Maynard told WTVR. More from the station’s report:
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“She was on a feeding tube at the time, but I figured she could just swallow (the potatoes). They just told us, they said, ‘We have to ask you to leave because her face is disrupting our customers.’ (Victoria) understood exactly what they said,” [said grandmother Kelly Mullins.]
Victoria cried all the way home, Mullins said.
“She’s got a lot of surgeries to go through and she won’t even look in the mirror anymore,” Mullins told WAPT. “When we go to a store, she doesn’t even want to get out (of the car). She’s three years old and she’s embarrassed about what she looks like. She’s embarrassed and I hate it because she shouldn’t be. It ain’t her fault.”
Victoria’s family recounted the incident in a Facebook page set up to raise money for her medical expenses.
“Does this face look scary to you?” the family posted on the Victoria’s Victories Facebook page. “I personally will never step foot in another KFC again and will be personally writing the CEO.”
The anger spread.
“As soon as we were notified of this report Friday, we immediately began an investigation, as this kind of hurtful and disrespectful action would not be tolerated by KFC,” the company said. “Regardless of the outcome of our investigation, we have apologized to Victoria’s family and are committed to assisting them.”
Friday, May 2nd, 2014
Almost a third of mothers say they like their bodies–stretch marks, scars, and all–after having had babies more than they liked their bodies before pregnancy, according to a new survey of 3,000 moms. More from Today.com:
Although 70 percent of women said they feel worse about how their body looks after having kids, 30 percent of moms like their body better and feel more “powerful and confident” in their looks, according to a 2013 TODAY.com survey of more than 3,000 women.
“I went through the body image thing a lot of girls go through in college, when I was fixated on my body and my weight,” says Leslie Goldman of Chicago, mom of a 2-year-old daughter who is expecting her second child in six weeks. “None of that was a part of my life after my late twenties, but postpartum is still so freeing and empowering for me to watch my body in a whole new light, healing from surgery and still producing food to feed my baby.”
While Goldman felt a bit self-conscious about her C-section scar in the beginning — when it was “very red and kind of puckery” — now, in the gym locker room, she’s happy she has a physical sign of motherhood and views other women with C-section scars as kindred spirits. “I’m sure many women working out are moms,” Goldman says. “But when I see the C-section scar, I know we went through the same thing and it’s a signifier we’re all in this together.”
Image: New mom, via Shutterstock
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Friday, October 12th, 2012
A method of treating the bacteria that causes scarring acne–a major issue for teenagers–is getting more scientific attention even though it has been out of use for more than a half century. Scientists have reportedly identified 11 “good viruses” that could be deployed against the acne-causing bacteria in a treatment that went out of vogue with the advent of antibiotics during World War II. From Bloomberg.com:
The research re-energizes a century-old treatment method that was abandoned with the rise of antibiotics during World War II. As germs have built up a resistance to those drugs in recent years, scientists are seeking alternatives and the virus strategy “is in vogue again,” said Vincent Fischetti, a biologist at Rockefeller University in New York who is one of the pioneers of the revived approach.
The study of the acne-fighting viruses, called bacteriophages or simply phages, was published in the September- October edition of mBio, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
In it, scientists found phages that live side-by-side with the P. acnes bacteria on the faces of people who don’t get bad acne, theorizing that the viruses somehow helped to keep it under control, said Laura Marinelli, the lead author and a postdoctoral fellow at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. The single-celled P. acnes bacteria that resides in pores can grow out of control in an oily environment.
Once they identified the viruses, the scientists found the viruses had the ability to kill isolates of the bacteria in lab dishes, opening the possibility they may one day be the basis for effective treatments for the most common skin disorder in the U.S., with more than 40 million sufferers.
Image: Teenager with acne, via Shutterstock
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