Article on Dr. Webhy’s Controversial Approach to Surgery

OregonLive.com has just published an article about one of the neurosurgeons involved in the Parker case, noting her reputation for performing surgeries when others would not. Dr. Monica Webhy (better known as Dr. W. among Kate’s readers) has reportedly been coming under fire for years for her controversial approach to tethered cord surgeries — an operation that Kate says was performed on Joshua on multiple occasions.

The article, titled ‘U.S. Senate candidate Monica Wehby draws critics, fans with surgery for urinary incontinence,” highlights Dr. Webhy’s history of “stirring controversy in the highly specialized world of pediatric neurosurgery.”

“Starting in the late 1990s, she advocated at pediatric neurosurgery gatherings for use of a well-known surgery on children even in instances where medical imaging didn’t clearly support doing so — but where other clues existed. Other surgeons suspected she was doing some surgeries unnecessarily, and without adequate basis, said Dr. Curtis Rozzelle,  a pediatric neurosurgeon for Children’s Hospital of Alabama,” the article explains.

But Dr. Webhy stands firm on her approach. According to the OregonLive article, “Wehby calls her tethered-cord advocacy her proudest professional achievement….Wehby defends her number of surgeries, saying it’s because she has become well-known among parents and urologists around the country. First, because she was more willing to do the surgery than others. And later, because she does it so well, using a tiny incision to lessen the risk and in just 20-30 minutes on an operating table.”

According to Kate’s writings, Dr. Webhy performed multiple surgeries on her children, including tethered cord surgeries.

Earlier in the investigation into this case, authorities indicated that they were closely examining the medical records in this case, but they hadn’t found any sign of wrong-doing on the part of the physicians. It’s unclear whether this is still the case, but to date, there have been no reports of charges or disciplinary actions  taken against any of the physicians involved in the Parker case.

Dr. Monica Webhy is currently running for a U.S. Senate seat.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

Did Kate Alter Photos to Make Joshua Look Sicker?

Kate was very critical of McKmama for allegedly altering her photos.

But did Kate do the same?

An analysis of many images — particularly those taken when Joshua was said to be terminal — revealed that most had a blue/green cast and washed-out colors, which tend to make Joshua look unwell.

The blue/green cast is very apparent when the image is viewed side-by-side with a color-corrected version. We did not alter the saturation levels; only the color balance.

When color-corrected to remove the blue/green cast, Joshua’s coloring looks more normal, albeit rather pale.

Here are a few comparison images.

 

Joshua Color CorrectedJoshua Color Corrected
JoshuaSleeping

Note that the blue/green tint is not present in many older images from 2012 and earlier.

NormalColoring

So did Kate alter Joshua’s images to make him look sicker?

We did examine the exif data on confirmed originals. Picasa — an image storage and editing program — was listed in the exif data. It’s possible she used this to edit the images or she may have simply exported the images without editing them. It’s impossible to know for certain.

So for now, the jury’s out on this one.

NOTE — One comparison image has been removed pending legal consult to ensure it’s covered under fair use doctrine.

Joshua’s MRIs

These MRIs were posted by Kate on a forum in July 2009.

The MRI scans were captured on June 30, 2009.

On the spinal MRI, you can see a clear defect in his lower back, so this does confirm a spina bifida diagnosis. It’s the site of Joshua’s spina bifida lesion where Kate mentions the presence of fluid, scar tissue and lipoma (a fatty tumor.) Fluid shows up as solid black on an MRI.

On the brain MRI, you can clearly see the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding the brain. The CSF appears as a strip of black between the brain and the skull, which appears white. Kate mentions reduced CSF flow at the back of his brain and it does appear that perhaps there is less CSF in that area, but it’s difficult to perform an accurate layman’s comparison due to the angle of his head (his head is tipped back, whereas other sample MRIs had a more normal orientation.)

There are some comparison MRIs at the end. So you can see Joshua’s scans compared to a normal scan and a chiari malformation MRI compared to a healthy brain MRI.

On July 1, 2009, Kate wrote, in part:

In my nonprofessional opinion, his brain looks similar to his last scan on Feb. 20th, but his back has a lot more scar tissue and lipoma than back in February. The good news is that he doesn’t have a huge collection of fluid outside his spine like he did back in February, so I *think* the leaks he had repaired in April are finally sealed over. Again, I don’t know for sure ~ those are my guesses ~ so I’ll see what the radiologist & neurosurgeon have to say (we see her tomorrow)…

 

Spinal MRI With Notations

…I got the radiologist’s report on Joshua’s MRIs. In a nutshell, the report says there is reduced CSF flow at the back of Joshua’s brain where the skull meets the neck, which is not a good thing (technical speak: “CINE imaging shows restricted CSF pulsations through the posterior aspect of the foramen magnum.”) Will it be significant enough that Dr. Wehby wants to do something about it? I don’t know yet. I’ll find that out tomorrow.

..

Joshua Brain MRI

…The spine MRI showed significant scarring & lipomatous tissue with a low-lying conus (tip of the spinal cord ~ it’s supposed to be at the level of L1 and Joshua’s is pulled down to the sacral level right now). There is no movement of the spinal cord during CINE imaging (it’s supposed to move; the fact that it didn’t means the cord is stretched tight, which is obviously not a good thing). Again, I don’t know if this will concern Dr. Wehby enough to want to do something about it at this time. I’ll report on that tomorrow.
..

For comparison purposes, we obtained “normal” spinal and brain MRIs and put them side by side for a comparison. The angle on the brain MRI is a bit different so it’s difficult to determine if the differences are due to a structural abnormality or the angle/positioning.

Brain MRI Comparison Spine MRI Comparison
Normal MRI vs Chiari MRI

April 24th Family Court Date

On Thursday, April 24, 2014, the Parkers were in family court in Grant’s Pass.

Kate was in court for the proceedings via phone.

According to the docket, this hearing was for a motion to reconsider judgment of disposition. A disposition is the settlement or final ruling on a case, so this motion is essentially asking the judge to reconsider whatever decision was made previously concerning the children’s placement.

This hearing involved the placement of Isaac, Emily, David and Sarah. Bethany and Joshua were not on the docket.

Here’s a link to the docket.

Reliable sources indicated that the Parkers had reportedly planned to plead “no contest” at the prior court hearing; the proceeding that is at the root of this motion to reconsider judgment of disposition. But notably, we have not been able to independently confirm what, if any, plea was entered at that prior court appearance. We’re also working on determining the outcome of this latest court proceeding.

A “no contest” plea essentially means  that the individual is not admitting guilt, but they are in essence admitting that the state has sufficient evidence to win the case.

An Overview of the Charges

We’ve set up a new page where you can find information on the charges, with some basic info on the severity of each one.

If Kate were to receive the maximum penalty, with consecutive sentencing (vs. concurrent sentencing, where she would serve all sentences at once), she would face 276 years imprisonment, along with $5,881,250 in fines.

There’s also a brief listing of the event or surgery that’s associated with each charge.

Learn more by reading “The Charges” page. 

There’s also a more detailed overview of the indictment’s charges, aligned with the corresponding CaringBridge posts.

There is a new Resources page too, where you’ll find relevant info, such as detectives’ contact info, links to background info and other miscellaneous bits of info.

About the Main Players

For those who are new to this case or simply wish to learn more, we have published a series of bios, with basic information about Kate Parker and the others who are mentioned in her writings.

This information has been compiled from multiple sources, including Kate’s writings, eyewitness testimony, courtroom documents, the grand jury indictment and other reputable sources.

Room For More Posts

These are some posts I was sent from the adoption blog.

As you will see under the post on Thursday, July 15, 2010 titled  Good News they were going to receive help from “their” church and instead of just simply saying thank you she makes sure to throw a jab at the Pastor.

 

Room For More

An adoption journey as our family of 9 grows.

Welcome to the Parker family adoption blog!

Hi! I’m Kate, my husband is Charley, and together we have 7 wonderful kids ranging in age from 18 to 4 years old. We are adopting two beautiful little girls from Eastern Europe.

Bethany is 2.5 years old & Hannah is 11 months. Both girls have Down syndrome. They are not biological sisters, but they live in the same orphanage in a region where children with disabilities are sent to mental institutions when they turn 4 years old. Thankfully, our girls will not have to face this horrible fate.

We still need to raise $11,685 for the girls’ adoptions, so donations through my PayPal button or purchases from one of the fundraisers on my sidebar are greatly appreciated.

Thank you for visiting!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dossier Arrived

Our dossier has been delivered & signed for! It made the journey to our in-country facilitator in just under 38 hours! Woo hoo!

The next few steps in the journey will be handled by our in-country team. They will translate our dossier, ensure all the documents are acceptable for the SDA’s (State Department of Adoption) requirements, let us know if any need to be re-done (praying this does NOT happen) or if they need some extra documentation of something (praying this does NOT happen, either), and then they will submit it to the SDA.

After submission, the SDA will approve our dossier & issue an invitation for Charley & me to travel to their country to receive our formal referral for the girls & begin the adoption process over there.

Please join me in praying for a quick translation, for 100% acceptance of the dossier by our facilitation team, for a quick submission date (the SDA accepts new dossiers on specified days only) and for a quick travel date.

Please pray, too, for financial provision to go. If you would share my family’s story with your friends on your blogs, on facebook, on twitter & in real life and ask people in your social circles to consider giving $5 to help us, I would be grateful to you for doing that. I know that if people will help us to get the word out, God will move on enough hearts to raise the needed funds to complete our adoption of the girls.

Posted by Kate at 8:43 AM3 comments

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dossier

Yesterday, our dossier was apostilled. Before putting it in order in preparation of mailing, I took a picture of all of our documents. This represents 5 months, hours & hours of work, and lots of money (apostilles in Oregon are $10 per document). 


Never has 1.1 pound of paperwork meant so much to my family (or cost so much to send somewhere ~ $161.44)! As of my last check of their tracking website, our dossier was in Warsaw, Poland. It is scheduled to be delivered to our in-country facilitator on Friday, the 23rd, less than 48 hours after being mailed. Go UPS!!!

O/T: My little boy’s surgery went well and he is asleep right now. We’re at the Ronald McDonald House and will be leaving tomorrow to head home.

Posted by Kate at 10:00 PM3 comments

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Picture of Bethany

Okay, I know I said I wasn’t going to update here until we got home, but I got something very special in my email this afternoon and I could not wait to share it!

Here is Miss Bethany in a photo taken this month. She is 2 years + 8 months old & soooooooooo totally beautiful to me! I cannot wait to hold this precious munchkin in my arms and kiss those little cheeks and tell her how much she is loved. The number 4 on the shirt she’s wearing is a reminder that the children in the orphanage own nothing… not even a shirt. It’s so sad! I noticed that Bethany’s diaper is on backward, which makes me wonder if she likes to take her diaper off. LOL So many things to learn about my newest daughters… I can’t wait to get started!

One of the in-country facilitators is going to see if he can get a picture of Hannah (hey, Marianne ~ he’s going to try to get a picture of Darya for you, too!) and I am praying he’s successful. I want so badly to see what my littlest girl looks like now that she’s almost 1 year old.

Soon, Sweethearts. Your mama & daddy are coming soon for you both. We can’t wait!

Posted by Kate at 7:23 PM4 comments

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

OT ~ Prayer Request

This isn’t adoption-related exactly, but my youngest son, Joshua (age 4) is having surgery tomorrow (his 20th) and I wanted to request prayer coverage for him. He’s having a minor procedure ~ bilateral inguinal hernia repair (fixing hernias on both sides of his groin) ~ but Joshua is a medically complicated little boy & “minor” doesn’t always equate to “simple” for him.

If you want to learn more about my little guy, please visit his caringbridge page. Please pray for Adam, Joshua & my safe travel (Charley & the other 5 kids stay home) & for Joshua’s peace of mind. He’s had enough surgeries that he knows the routine & gets pretty anxious about the whole thing, and I’m praying that this one goes a lot more easily for him than what he usually experiences.

On our way north tomorrow, we’ll be stopping at the state capitol to get our dossier apostilled & then we’ll go to UPS to mail it to our facilitation team in Bethany & Hannah’s country. I can’t believe the day to send that package of papers has finally come & there are no more delays popping up to stop us yet again! Woo hoo & praise God! If things go smoothly, we could travel very soon!

After the dossier is received by our in-country facilitation team, it will be translated & then, assuming there are no documents that need to be re-done and/or no new documents requested, our dossier will be submitted to the SDA (State Department of Adoptions). They will then issue an invitation to Charley & me to appear at their office to receive a formal referral for the girls & that will determine our travel date, as we will fly out a few days before we have our SDA appointment.

It’s getting closer & we’re getting increasingly excited and nervous, but for the next couple of days, my focus will be on my Joshua and taking care of him, so I will not update here until after we get home from Portland.

Thanks for praying for my little man. I truly appreciate it!!!

Posted by Kate at 11:18 PM3 comments

Monday, July 19, 2010

Added Expense

A few weeks ago, I laid out the expenses we still have as far as raising money for our adoption is concerned.

I just learned that the orphanage fee, which used to be included as part of the facilitator’s fee, is now a separate expense. As such, we have to come up with an additional $1,500.

It’s not an impossible amount of money to come up with, and I know God can provide the extra money we need, but since so many people have donated money to help us get Bethany & Hannah home, I feel it is is important to make sure everyone knows the “why” when they see the amount we need suddenly go up rather than down.

Instead of needing $10,185, the new amount we will need to raise in the next month (before we get our travel date) is $11,685.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us thus far ~ every donation has helped get us to where we are & we are very thankful for your generous support!

Posted by Kate at 2:05 PM8 comments

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Puzzle

We would really like to finish our puzzle fundraiser and we need your help to do it!

This is the 500-piece puzzle that we are going to frame in-between double sided glass & hang on the wall in Bethany & Hannah’s room.

The backside of the puzzle shows the names of people who have sponsored a piece to help get Bethany & Hannah home to us, their forever family (my daughter, Emily, has enjoyed writing the names).

As you can see, there are a lot of blank pieces… 406, to be exact. For a donation of at least $1, you can sponsor a piece of the puzzle & your name will be written on the back.

We’d love for you to be a part of this puzzle ~ we really want to have all 500 pieces filled with names of people who were a part of our adoption, and if we can “sell” the remaining 406 pieces, that will get us closer to our financial goal, too.

Will you join in? 🙂

Posted by Kate at 5:07 PM1 comments

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Good News

Charley & I forwarded the email we received yesterday to the two men who head up the adoption ministry at our church and about a half-hour ago, one of the men called to tell us that the ministry will be covering our facilitator’s fees! They are mailing a check for $10,605 to Reece’s Rainbow tomorrow!

Praise Jesus!!! This is a huge thing in our eyes, as the pastor of our church has not been an avid supporter of adoption & has hamstrung our efforts to get support within the church. It seems that God moved on his heart, though, and he approved the funds being granted to our family. God is amazing!

We will mail our dossier next Wednesday since Salem (where we have to get it apostilled) is on the way to Portland, which is where we have to take our youngest son, Joshua, to have surgery (scheduled for Thursday).

Again, PRAISE GOD!!!

We now have just $10,420 to raise before we travel (probably about 5 weeks as long as our dossier is accepted without our needing to make any changes). I know God will provide what we need when we need it just as He has done every step of the way so far. He is faithful and His will WILL be done, regardless of what obstacles get thrown in our way.

God is so good. He has not let us down despite all circumstances seeming impossible. God is the God of miracles, of impossibilities, and my family’s adoption journey is a testimony to that!

Thanks be to God, from whom all blessings flow!

Posted by Kate at 10:23 PM21 comments

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cold Hard Facts

This is the situation: the executive director for Reece’s Rainbow emailed Charley and me to say that we could mail our dossier and wire $505 to have it translated, but we could not have it submitted until we have the full $10,500 for our facilitation fees.

She is giving us 60 days to raise the funds we need for the rest of our adoption ($23,000) and if we don’t have it by then, we have to release the girls ~ give them up ~ so that other families have the opportunity to adopt them.

I have never heard of anyone else adopting through Reece’s Rainbow having to do this. Other families do not have to have their facilitator fee covered prior to mailing their dossier and having it submitted, and they definitely don’t have to have the full amount needed to cover their entire adoption prior to having their dossier submitted & receiving their travel date ~ that’s why there’s almost always a mad dash to raise the final funds necessary to go! Read any other adoption blog and you will see this is true.

So why are we being singled out for this requirement? Good question. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer. What I DO have is a huge plea ~~ if you are someone who has thought of donating money to our adoption, please… now is the time to do it.

Thankfully, God is not surprised by this turn of events. He knew we would receive that email today. He is not worried or panicked by being given a deadline, so Charley, the kids & I are choosing to rest in Him, continuing to trust that if His will is for Bethany & Hannah to come home to our family, He is going to make it happen. How? We don’t have any idea, but honestly, we haven’t known from day 1 how this was going to work out and that hasn’t stopped God from moving on people’s hearts to donate and He has provided every step of the way. Even when unexpected expenses came up (like the psych evaluation), the money did, too.

Ultimately, no matter what gets thrown our way, we know without a doubt that God is in control, so we don’t have to fret. “Who by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Luke 12:25)

My family and I are looking forward to seeing how God moves. We are praying that we will be given the gift of bringing Bethany & Hannah home, but more than that, we pray that God’s will be done.

Posted by Kate at 6:28 PM8 comments

All Gone

All of the personalized squares are sold for both Bethany & Hannah’s quilts! THANK YOU so much for filling up those last 5 squares. I can’t even tell you how excited Megan, Emily & Sarah are! There were lots of big smiles in my house this morning as I told them the last square had sold. 🙂

For anyone who wants to participate in this fundraiser that my girls are doing for their sisters, it is not too late. There are still 20 squares available for sponsorship for a $5 donation. We would be thrilled to have every square spoken for by the end of July when Megan, Emily & Sarah will be putting the backs on the quilts and finishing them.

Thank you for helping to make my daughters’ fundraiser a success ~ they are so happy to be helping to raise money to bring their little sisters home!

Posted by Kate at 8:35 AM2 comments

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Last Call

This is a “last call” for sponsoring personalized squares for the quilts that Megan, Emily & Sarah are making for Bethany & Hannah.

As you can see, the girls have worked hard to get the quilt fronts put together & to hand-stitch the names of the families who have sponsored personalized squares. There are 5 squares still available for personalization and my girls would really love to fill all of them! Also, there are 22 regular squares that can still be sponsored, too.

For a donation of $25, my daughters will personalize a square on each quilt from you. A donation of just $5 will sponsor another square of the quilt. Donations can be made through PayPal by clicking the picture of Bethany & Hannah on the right.

Megan, Emily & Sarah are requesting that anyone who wants to sponsor a personalized square on Bethany & Hannah’s quilts please do so by July 25th ~ two weeks from today. They plan to finish the quilts by the end of this month, so if there are 5 people out there who want to have their name on a square in our Eastern European princesses’ quilts, please make your donation by July 25th. If you want to sponsor a regular, non-personalized square, there is no time limit for that ~ those squares will be available until all 22 are spoken for (or we get the girls home; whichever comes first).

Thank you!

Update: There are now 4 personalized squares & 20 regular squares available. Thank you, Dean family! 🙂

Update again (7/13): There is now 1 personalized square remaining & 20 regular squares available. Thank you, Carbone family, Ainsley’s mom & Aquila’s mom! 🙂

Posted by Kate at 4:02 PM7 comments

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Make a donation to help us bring our girls home by clicking here:

TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donations can be made online or mailed to Reece’s Rainbow, PO Box 4024, Gaithersburg, MD 20885.

Please specify that your gift is for “Vivienne/Laura for the Parker Family”.

My friend, Sarah’s, Etsy store

100% of sales will be donated to our adoption until we bring the girls home!!!

My friend, Jenni’s, Etsy Store

100% of all sales will go to our adoption fund!!!

Megan, Emily & Sarah’s Fundraiser

The girls are making quilts for their sisters. Please help them with their project!

Puzzle Pieces For Bethany & Hannah

A donation of just $1 will ‘buy’ you a puzzle piece that will have your name written on the back. The puzzle will be hung in the girls’ room & we’ll have up to 500 names of people who contributed to helping bring our girls home. Please be a part of this project!

Just Love Coffee Fundraiser

$5.00 of every bag of coffee sold benefits our adoption fund!

Scentsy Fundraiser

Click on “buy from party” next to “Parker Adoption” on the left side of screen. 20% of each sale benefits my girls!

Gurrlie Girl Fundraiser

40% of each sale goes to Bethany & Hannah! Email your order to sherry.corrigan@gurrliegirl.com & pay by check, credit card or PayPal.

Total Funds Needed For Our Adoptions

This amount includes money we’ve put into our adoption, money raised through fundraising on my blog & money donated to our grant fund at http://www.reecesrainbow.org/sponsorparker2.html & to the girls’ individual grant funds (http://www.reecesrainbow.org/myfamilyfoundme.html ~ scroll to almost the bottom of the page).

My Kids

Megan (18), Adam (17), Emily (11), David (8), Sarah (8), Isaac (6) & Joshua (4)

“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be broken.” – my social worker shared this with me

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

“Faith is not believing that God can, it is knowing that He will.” – Unknown

God doesn’t give children with special needs to strong people; He gives children with special needs to ordinary, weak people and then gives them strength. Raising a child with Down syndrome doesn’t TAKE a special family, it MAKES a special family.

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About Me

Kate

I’m a saved by grace, married, homeschooling, SAHM to 7 special kids. My family is in the process of adopting 2 beautiful little girls with Down syndrome from Eastern Europe & we can’t wait to bring them home!

View my complete profile

Time Line of Important Dates

January 21st: led to “Vivienne” & “Laura” on the Reece’s Rainbow website… announced our desire to adopt them on this blog.

February 13th: officially committed to the girls.

March 19th: home study complete.

April 5th: sent I-600A to USCIS.

April 17th: got fingerprinting appointment from USCIS for 5/5.

April 26th: got letter from USCIS requesting statement from licensed professional (ie: psychologist) that our history of childhood abuse does not affect our ability to adopt.

May 3rd: met with psych. He said he had no concerns about our adopting & would write a letter telling the USCIS just that.

May 5th: USCIS fingerprinting appointment.

May 12th: received letter from psych for the USCIS. Waiting for social worker to come back from vacation & amend home study.

May 28th: received home study addendum from social worker. Mailed it + supporting documents to USCIS.

June 16th: heard from an officer at USCIS that our case has been approved! Woo hoo! Waiting to receive I-171H in the mail.

July 1st: got our I-171H!

July 2nd: getting ready to walk out the door to mail dossier & found out the SDA has changed requirements, so we have to get 3 more documents. Small delay, but still a delay.

July 8th: was going to mail dossier until we found out the SDA made more changes in their requirements, so now we have to re-do multiple forms & get new copies of our marriage license. Delayed again.

July 14th: given 60 day deadline from the executive director of Reece’s Rainbow ~ we have to have the money for the adoption by September 15th or she will make us release the girls to be adopted by someone else. She also said we cannot have our dossier submitted until we have the full $10,600 to cover the facilitator’s fee. We’re the first family that we know of to have this requirement placed on them. It is not a standard “rule” for adopting through Reece’s Rainbow.

July 15th: received a donation of $10,605 from our church’s adoption ministry to cover our facilitator’s fee. We now have the green light to mail our dossier!

July 21st: mailed dossier!

Apostille Fees

Heartfelt thanks to Sarah, Jenni & Julie for spending a day at a craft show selling their handmade jewelry, soaps & other crafts to raise money for Bethany & Hannah!

Psychologist Assessment (per USCIS request)

This assessment was requested because of Charley & my history of childhood abuse. The USCIS wanted assurance that our past would not affect our ability to adopt/parent the girls.

State clearance letters & fingerprinting fees

This step was done at the end of April. Thank you for helping with these fees!

Amount needed by April 1st for USCIS application & fingerprinting fee

Thank you to everyone who helped us reach this goal on March 16th!

Passports, medical appts, apostille of 6 documents, postage to eastern Europe of 6 documents

Thank you to everyone who helped us to reach this goal on March 22nd!!!

Amount needed by January 31st to commit to the girls

Thank you to everyone who helped us reach this goal on January 31st!

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