CTV medical specialist Avis Favaro and producer Elizabeth St. Philip cover a lot of medical news every year. But a few stories always manage to stand out.

Sometimes, it’s because they brought attention to problems in the medical system, or told us about new advances in treatment, or sometimes, it’s because they simply tugged on our heart strings. Here’s their list of their favourite medical stories of the year.

10. A Lung Story

Helene Campbell changed the game for organ transplants this year. A delightful young woman from Ottawa, she earned worldwide attention when she brought her plea for a lung transplant to social media and helped drive up the number of would-be organ donors, while also helping herself and others get the gift of life. Read the story…

9 (Tie). Yoga goes nude

Two of our favourite and much talked-about stories this year were about yoga.

In March, we took a look at naked yoga, a new way for devotees to gain body acceptance, by shedding their clothes and their inhibitions ahead of a yoga workout. We were thrilled that a class in Toronto allowed us to film them (discreetly, of course) and talk about the practice. Read the story…

9 (Tie). A senior yoga queen

And we loved meeting 96-year-old Ida Herbert, a Canadian who now holds the Guinness World record for the oldest yoga instructor. Ida was truly inspirational. Read the story…

8. The cluster of teen suicides in Sarnia

It was a question no one has yet been able to fully answer: why did so many teenagers in Sarnia, Ont. take their lives in 2011 and 2012? We took a look at what the city was trying do to to stop young people from making the tragic and heartbreaking decision to end their lives. Read the story…

7. Eggs for sale

It may come as a surprise, but for years now, some young Canadian women have been finding ways to quietly sell their eggs with fertility issues, despite laws against it. And with no one prosecuting those who are breaking the law, it appears to be growing. We spoke with a young university student who is helping infertile couples have a child, while helping pay her tuition. Is it right? You decide. Read the story...

6. Ultrasound as the new scalpel in brain surgery

Brain scientists in Canada are among a select group working to revolutionize medicine using ultrasound to treat brain tissue, without cutting open a patient. It’s called MRI-guided focused ultrasound therapy, and has helped a Calgary man go from debilitating tremors in his right hand, to being able to drink a cup of water. Could this new technique be the future? Read the story...

5. OCD hope

Obsessive compulsive disorder affects around one in five people, yet few discuss is. We were granted extraordinary access into the lives of three young patients with OCD and their struggle to control their environment and their fears. We found that the good news is if detected and treated early, there an excellent chance of being freed from this prison of the mind. Read the story..

4. Oxycodone-addicted babies

The abuse of of the powerful painkiller Oxycontin grabbed a lot of headlines in 2012. Governments tried to manage its misuse. Its makers tried to produce tamper-proof versions. We looked at one of the unexpected victim of of "Oxy" abuse:  the babies conceived and carried while their mothers were hooked on the drug. Most of these are babies born with powerful and painful addictions, who must then go through withdrawal. It's a heartbreaking story that needed to be talked about. Read the story...

3. Mammogram debate

One of our more controversial stories of the year was about a U.S study that found that mammograms may be doing more harm than good by picking up too many small cancers that will never harm a woman’s life. They found that over the past 30 years, mammograms have had only a small impact on death rates but have led to more than one million women being “overdiagnosed.” Many women objected loudly, especially those women who felt that a mammogram had save their own lives. A highly emotional debate ensued. Read the story...

2. Annette Funicello’s story on W5

This was a world exclusive story and became one of CTVNews.ca’s most watched videos of the year. A once beloved TV and film star, Funicello disclosed two decades ago that she had multiple sclerosis. But few knew what had become of her. We were honoured to tell her story: about how the disease had ravaged her beauty, and how she and her husband searched for years for treatments to help slow her tragic decline.

Annette’s story also crossed into the heated medical debate over the theory that CCSVI (Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency) might be a possible cause of MS symptoms. Annette was tested and doctors found she had unusual blood flow out of her brain. She under went a balloon angioplasty on her affected veins and her husband helped discuss the procedure’s outcome. Read more...

1. The vaginal mesh mess

This was one of the most troubling stories producer Elizabeth St. Philip and I worked on this year.

The story began as a small piece about two women in Ontario planning to sue the makers of a mesh used to treat their incontinence. They claimed the devices had left them in pain and the implants could not be removed.

We were unprepared for the flood of phone calls and emails from women with similar implants and even more horrific stories of suffering. Some left us in tears.

There are now an estimated 600 women in Canada who are seeking to be part of various lawsuits against transvaginal mesh products. We’ll likely hear more on this story in 2013. Read more...