A terminally ill 2-year-old western Pennsylvania boy who served as his parents' best man at their wedding last weekend has died, according to his mother's Facebook page and a family friend.
Christine Swidorsky Stevenson's Facebook post said little Logan Stevenson died Monday night in her arms at the home she shared with the boy's father, her new husband, Sean Stevenson. The couple live in Jeannette, about 25 miles east of Pittsburgh, and were wed Saturday at a ceremony at their home.
The boy, who had leukemia and other complications, was dressed in a tan pinstripe suit and orange shirt for the wedding. His mother carried him on her shoulder, before he stood and was held by his grandmother, Debbie Stevenson, to witness the 12-minute ceremony.
A family spokeswoman, Sylvia Johnson of Youngwood, confirmed Logan's death for The Associated Press on Tuesday. She later released a brief statement from his parents saying: "Logan passed away at 8:18 yesterday evening, surrounded by his family and loved ones. He was very comfortable."
His mother said on Facebook, "He is with angels and he's in no more pain."
The post indicates the boy's breathing became labored before his mother called a hospice worker who told the couple he was dying.
"Sean and I held him all day he was comfortable with his medication then at 8:18 my son took his last breath in my arms," his mother wrote.
She also thanked those who supported the couple during the boy's illness and wedding plans.
"We love all of u for all your prayers thank u all for caring god bless u all!" she wrote. "And most of all god bless Logan I'll c u in my dreams my son."
The Stevensons abandoned an original wedding date of July 2014 after learning from doctors late last month that their son had two to three weeks to live. The couple wanted Logan to see them marry and to be part of family photos.
Logan, who was born Oct. 22, 2010, was diagnosed shortly after his first birthday with acute myeloid leukemia. He had Fanconi anemia, a rare disease that often leads to cancer.
He underwent a stem cell transplant in July 2012. Last March, he had surgery to remove a kidney ravaged by a tumor.
During a trip to Disney World in June, Logan fell ill. He was hospitalized in Florida before he was flown back to Pittsburgh.
During a trip to the emergency room last month, a test revealed a mass in his remaining kidney, which led to his terminal prognosis.
The boy's parents kept him at home in his final days, after doctors told them he'd likely be more comfortable there, provided he was properly medicated.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - (AP) The State Department on Tuesday ordered the U.S. Embassy in Yemen evacuated as a result of the threat by al-Qaida that has triggered temporary shutdowns of 19 American diplomatic posts across the Middle East and Africa.
The department said in a travel warning that it had ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Yemen "due to the continued potential for terrorist attacks" and said U.S. citizens in Yemen should leave immediately because of an "extremely high" security threat level.
"U.S. citizens currently in Yemen should depart. As staff levels at the Embassy are restricted, our ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency and provide routine consular services remains limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation," the travel warning said.
The U.S. Embassy is located in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen.
A U.S. intelligence official and a Mideast diplomat told The Associated Press that the current shutdown of embassies in the Middle East and Africa was instigated by an intercepted secret message between al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri and Nasser al-Wahishi, the leader of the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, about plans for a major terror attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
AQAP has been widely considered al-Qaida's most dangerous affiliate for several years.
Even though the group lost Anwar al-Awlaki — one of its key inspirational leaders — to a U.S. drone strike in 2011, al-Wahishi and the group's master bomb maker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, remain on the loose and determined to target the U.S. and other Western interests.
The group is linked to the botched Christmas Day 2009 bombing of an airliner bound for Detroit and explosives-laden parcels intercepted aboard cargo flights a year later — both incidents involving al-Asiri's expertise.
"Terrorist organizations, including AQAP, continue to be active throughout Yemen," the travel warning said. "The U.S. government remains highly concerned about possible attacks on U.S. citizens (whether visiting or residing in Yemen), and U.S. facilities, businesses and perceived U.S. and Western interests."
CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick (AP) — A python escaped from its enclosure at a pet store in Canada, slithered through a ventilation system into an upstairs apartment and killed two young boys as they slept, police said Monday.
The boys, ages five and seven, were visiting the apartment of a friend above Reptile Ocean Inc., an exotic pet store in Campbellton, New Brunswick, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Const. Julie Rogers-Marsh.
Police arrived at the apartment around 6:30 a.m. and found the two boys dead. A friend of the boys was sleeping in another room and was unharmed, Rogers-Marsh said. She said the owner of the pet store lived in the apartment.
Rogers-Marsh said the snake escaped from its enclosure sometime during the night and was believed to have made its way into the apartment through the ventilation system.
"It's believed the two boys were strangled by the snake," she said.
The snake was captured and is in the possession of police, Rogers-Marsh said. Calls to the pet store were not returned Monday.
Rogers-Marsh said autopsies were to be performed on the two victims on Tuesday. She couldn't confirm whether the two boys were related.
"It's very, very unusual and very tragic and difficult for everyone involved," Rogers-Marsh said.
The town's deputy mayor, Ian Comeau, said Reptile Ocean was licensed to operate and "everything was according to our bylaws, to the provincial guidelines."
The deaths of the boys have been "a shock ... it is unbelievable," Comeau said Monday evening. Comeau said he saw alligators, crocodiles and snakes when he toured the shop with the fire department about two years ago.
Associated Press Writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.