Posts Tagged ‘Octuplets’

Octuplets PR team ‘death threats’


The octuplets were delivered nine weeks early (photo: NBC)

The public relations firm representing the California woman who gave birth to octuplets says it is stepping down after getting death threats.

The Killeen Furtney Group has received dozens of threats, the head of the Los Angeles agency, Joann Killeen, told the Associated Press (AP) news agency.

Nadya Suleman, 33, gave birth to the eight babies on 26 January.

The single mother of six other children has been criticised for using fertility treatments and receiving state aid.

All 14 of her children were born through in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Wood chipper threat

Ms Killeen said she had received more than 100 e-mailed threats and many others that were left on the agency’s voice-mail, AP reported.

“They’d put me in the wood chipper and throw me in the bottom of the ocean and hope I die,” she is quoted as saying.

Some of the threats were also directed at Ms Suleman, she said.

“We’ve never had a public reaction to us representing a client pro bono like this, ever.”

Ms Suleman hired the agency shortly after the octuplets were born. Ms Killeen made a flurry of TV appearances, saying her client had been deluged with offers to tell her story.

But public reaction to the story soured after it was revealed that Ms Suleman was a single-mother receiving state aid to help her raise her other six children, aged two to seven.

Her use of IVF to give birth to 14 children has also been criticised by fertility experts.

They have raised concerns about the number of embryos transferred into Ms Suleman’s uterus and questioned whether medical guidelines were met.

Ms Suleman has said having a “huge family” was her “dream”.

The octuplets were delivered nine weeks early by Caesarean section in a hospital near Los Angeles and all are reported to be doing well.

Original Post

Octuplets mother now has agent but no publicist

LOS ANGELES – The public relations group that has represented octuplets mother Nadya Suleman is stepping down because of death threats, its president said Saturday.

This image made from a 2006 video provided by KTLA shows Nadya Suleman speaking

AP – This image made from a 2006 video provided by KTLA shows Nadya Suleman speaking at a fertility clinic …

Joann Killeen also said the mother now has an agent: Wes Yoder, the same man who arranged book and music deals for the McCaughey septuplets a decade ago and publicity for controversial pastor Rick Warren.

The Killeen Furtney Group was ending its free representation after receiving at least 100 graphic e-mailed threats and swarms of nasty voicemails that went to the Los Angeles agency and even to some of its other clients, Killeen said.

Some messages threatened Suleman but others were aimed at her spokespeople.

“They’d put me in the wood chipper and throw me in the bottom of the ocean and hope I die,” Killeen said. “We’ve gotten her through the worst part of it and now they are putting their venom and anger toward us.”

Word that the 33-year-old single unemployed mother is receiving public assistance to care for the 14 children she conceived through in vitro fertilization has stoked furor among many people.

Police are investigating the threats.

“We’ve never had a public reaction to us representing a client pro bono like this, ever,” Killeen said.

But Michael Levine, a longtime Hollywood publicist who has represented pop star Michael Jackson, said he gets about one death threat a month.

“Death threats have about as much impact on my life as me saying `Happy Valentine’s’ to you,” said Levine, adding that he received multiple threats when he represented Jackson.

Suleman, who gave birth last month, is living at an undisclosed location. She has set up a Web page to accept donations to help the octuplets, who remained hospitalized.

Meanwhile, Killeen said Suleman told her that she had reached an exclusive representation deal with Yoder.

His Ambassador Agency Inc. bills itself as the oldest Christian-based talent agency in the United States.

The agency, which has a Nashville mailing address and a street address in Franklin, Tenn., promotes speaking engagements, publicity and media deals for clients.

Killeen said the agreement with Yoder and her agency’s decision to step down were unrelated. She had not yet contacted Yoder and was unclear on the specifics of Suleman’s deal with him, Killeen added.

A call and e-mail left for Yoder on Saturday were not immediately returned.

A decade ago, Yoder was the spokesman and agent for Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey, the Iowa couple who had the world’s first surviving septuplets on Nov. 19, 1997. They were later involved in book, music and TV commercial deals.

He also has represented Rick Warren, pastor of the evangelical Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest and best-selling author of “The Purpose Driven Life.” Warren gave the invocation at President Barack Obama’s inauguration — a choice that drew criticism from gay activists because Warren supported last year’s successful California ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriages.

original article

Babies’ breathing, eating shows more improvement

By SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, January 29, 2009

(01-29) 12:20 PST Bellflower, CA (AP) —
The nation’s second set of live-born octuplets has taken more steps toward improbable survival.
All eight babies were breathing on their own and more than half were feeding on breast milk, three days after a Southern California woman gave birth to the unlikely octet.
Two of the babies were still receiving oxygen through tubes in their noses Thursday, but they were inhaling and exhaling on their own, the hospital said. All the newborns were expected to have the tubes removed soon.
Six infants were breathing unassisted on room air, said Socorro Serrano, spokeswoman for Kaiser Permanente’s Bellflower Medical Center, where the babies were born nine weeks premature.
The mother, whose identity remains a secret, had not yet been able to hold any of the delicate babies — six boys and two girls — who were born weighing between 1 pound, 8 ounces and 3 pounds, 4 ounces. She has been able to see them all in their incubators.
In lieu of names, the babies have been assigned letters A through H, in the order of their birth Monday morning.
Five babies were receiving tube-feedings of donated breast milk every three hours on Thursday, Serrano said.
The stomach of Baby F didn’t absorb the first feeding he was given Wednesday and it was stopped, said Miriam Khoury, clinical director of inpatient obstetrical nursing at the hospital.
All babies were being given total parenteral nutrition feedings, or TPN, which deliver fluid, electrolytes, calories, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fats into an infant’s vein. Such supplements are routine for premature babies.
The babies still receiving oxygen were E and G. Each was receiving less than one liter of oxygen per hour, a small amount, said Khoury.
The babies were expected to remain hospitalized for several weeks and could face serious developmental problems later on because of their small size.
The mother has begun pumping breast milk in anticipation of eight hungry babies.
And with feedings come diaper changes: those happen every two hours.
Khoury said the addition of eight babies to the neonatal unit had not stressed the hospital, which has handled a higher volume of tiny patients before.
Details about how the octuplets were conceived have not been released, but doctors not involved in the delivery believe the mother was most likely on fertility treatment.
“This shouldn’t happen,” said Dr. Daniel Mishell, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. Mishell recommends carefully monitoring pregnancies involving fertility drugs by ultrasound to avoid a high number of births.
Multiple births can be dangerous for babies and their mother, and in some cases, may result in lasting health problems.
Seven of the nation’s first live-birth octuplets have survived since they were born in Houston in 1998, three months premature.
Mother Nkem Chukwu and father Iyke Louis Udobi had used fertility drugs in the pregnancy.
The tiniest baby, Odera Chukwu, was born at 10.3 ounces and died of heart and lung failure a week after being born.
AP Science Writer Alicia Chang contributed to this report.