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Brain-Damaged Woman Talks After 20 Years

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  • Brain-Damaged Woman Talks After 20 Years

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...covering_woman

    Brain-Damaged Woman Talks After 20 Years

    59 minutes ago Top Stories - AP

    By ROXANA HEGEMAN, Associated Press Writer

    HUTCHINSON, Kan. - For 20 years, Sarah Scantlin has been mostly oblivious to the world around her the victim of a drunken driver who struck her down as she walked to her car. Today, after a remarkable recovery, she can talk again.

    Scantlin's father knows she will never fully recover, but her newfound ability to speak and her returning memories have given him his daughter back. For years, she could only blink her eyes one blink for "no," two blinks for "yes" to respond to questions that no one knew for sure she understood.

    "I am astonished how primal communication is. It is a key element of humanity," Jim Scantlin said, blinking back tears.

    Sarah Scantlin was an 18-year-old college freshman on Sept. 22, 1984, when she was hit by a drunk driver as she walked to her car after celebrating with friends at a teen club. That week, she had been hired at an upscale clothing store and won a spot on the drill team at Hutchinson Community College.

    Scantlin still suffers constantly from the effects of the accident. She habitually crosses her arms across her chest, her fists clenched under her chin. Her legs constantly spasm and thrash. Her right foot is so twisted it is almost reversed. Her neck muscles are so constricted she cannot swallow to eat.

    A week ago, her parents got a call from Jennifer Trammell, a licensed nurse at the Golden Plains Health Care Center. She asked Betsy Scantlin if she was sitting down, told her someone wanted to talk to her and switched to phone over to speaker mode:

    "Hi, Mom."

    "Sarah, is that you?" her mother asked.

    "Yes," came the throaty reply.

    "How are you doing?"

    "Fine."

    "Do you need anything," her mother asked her later.

    "More makeup."

    "Did she just say more makeup?" the mother asked the nurse.


    Scantlin started talking in mid-January but asked staff members not to tell her parents until Valentine's Day (news - web sites) to surprise them, Trammell said. But last week she could not wait any longer to talk to them.

    The breakthrough came when the nursing home's activity director, Pat Rincon, was working with Scantlin and a small group of other patients, trying to get them to speak.

    Rincon had her back to Scantlin while she worked with another resident. She had just gotten that resident to reply "OK," when she suddenly heard Sarah behind her also repeat the words: "OK. OK."

    Staff members brought in a speech therapist and intensified their work with Sarah. They did not want to get her parents' hopes up until they were sure Sarah would not relapse, Trammell said.

    Scantlin's doctor, Bradley Scheel, said physicians are not sure why she suddenly began talking but believe critical pathways in the brain may have regenerated.

    "It is extremely unusual to see something like this happen," Scheel said.

    Jim Scantlin understands that Sarah will probably never leave the health care center, but he is grateful for her improvement.

    "This place is her home ... They have given me my daughter back," he said.

    Well that's nice.

  • #2
    The cake is NOT a lie. It's so delicious and moist.

    The Weighted Companion Cube is cheating on you, that slut.

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    • #3
      Wow.
      Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...

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      • #4
        good!

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        • #5
          Wow
          The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power.

          Join Eventis, the land of spam and unspeakable horrors!

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          • #6
            I didn't know brains could regenerate after being so badly damaged. I always thought brain tissue was like nerves. Once gone they were gone.
            Try http://wordforge.net/index.php for discussion and debate.

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            • #7
              I bet she was just pretending to be brain-damaged the whole time

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              • #8
                They do not regenerate as such, they reform neural networks to bypass damaged sections, usually it would happen much quicker, or not at all, to do so after so long is truly amazing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This begs the question... what would your first words be after 20 years?

                  "Get me a beer!"
                  To us, it is the BEAST.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Actually , the first words of a guy who came out of a coma after 20 years were something to do with Pepsi .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What a heart-warming story. Certainly puts things in perspective...
                      "Chegitz, still angry about the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991?
                      You provide no source. You PROVIDE NOTHING! And yet you want to destroy capitalism.. you criminal..." - Fez

                      "I was hoping for a Communist utopia that would last forever." - Imran Siddiqui

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                      • #12
                        just got done reading this story.

                        all I can say is wow.

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                        • #13
                          let me be the first to spark the debate though.

                          euthanasia. If it was legal, this woman would not be alive possibly. Although this woman is still disabled, and will never be able to hold a job. It is still heartwarming to hear that she can talk.

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                          • #14
                            the point of Euthanasia is that she should be able to choose if she wants her life to end or not...whether she can talk 20 years later, while amazing and certainly inspiring, doesn't make a difference....if she would want her life to end 20 years ago, she should have that choice (although there is some grey area with someone who is perhaps not in a position to make an informed decision about Euthanasia). If she chooses to stay alive, all the power to her! She is living proof that hope should always be kept alive, even if it's the hope for something that everyone else takes for granted.
                            "Chegitz, still angry about the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991?
                            You provide no source. You PROVIDE NOTHING! And yet you want to destroy capitalism.. you criminal..." - Fez

                            "I was hoping for a Communist utopia that would last forever." - Imran Siddiqui

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dissident
                              let me be the first to spark the debate though.

                              euthanasia. If it was legal, this woman would not be alive possibly. Although this woman is still disabled, and will never be able to hold a job. It is still heartwarming to hear that she can talk.
                              Yeah, god forbid we make one mistake.

                              What's the current count on how many we're wrongfully fried on the chair again?
                              Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing?
                              Then why call him God? - Epicurus

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