Saturday, February 12

Woman Wakes After 20 Years in Coma

On the news tonight was a story about someone who suddenly came out of a multi-decade coma and began to speak. That reminded me of Terry Schiavo, so I went to google and began to search for the story. I found. . .well, look what I found.

A UK publication, The Salford Advertiser,reports the story of a Latvian man who has been in a coma since he was stabbed in the head repeatedly by gang members on December 3.

When Sergejs Pacejs, 38, first arrived at Hope Hospital for treatment doctors feared the worst and believed the injuries were so severe they could cause catastrophic brain damage.

Since the brutal attack on Friday, December 3, Sergejs spent weeks on a life support machine.But he has now come off the apparatus and is said to be making good progress.

Medical staff now hope to be able to move him to a regular ward in the near future and hope he will now make a good recovery. The investigation into the attack is continuing.

The Coma Recovery Association'swebsite has quite a bit of information about vegetative-state comas and people who have recovered after varying lengths of stays in that condition. (PVS means Permanent Vegetative State, by the way.
In a five year follow-up, 116 of 30 patients in PVS, five recovered from PVS between one and five years though only two recovered to a level where they could communicate.

One was a 61-year-old lady who was vegetative for three years following a subarachnoid haemorrhage. The other was a 26-year-old man who was vegetative for 8 months before beginning to respond. Both reached levels where they could read, watch television, write, calculate simple mathematical addition and subtraction, tell the time, feed themselves, were wheelchair independent and could speak well.

The report I was looking for originally concerns a Kansas woman. Sarah Scantlin, "was 18-years-old when a drunk driver hit her in 1984. She'd been in a coma ever since, that was, until a nurse showed her a children's book for the pictures and Sarah suddenly started to read it out loud."

I hope SO HARD that Terry Schiavo's parents, lawyers and judge see this and take heart. Read more of Ms. Scantlin's story at CKCTV 5 News Kansas City.

It's a great story and living proof (along with a whole bunch of others) that a "vegetative state" does NOT equal death.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Great story! People in seemingly "hopeless" conditions can in fact recover. That is indeed some powerful proof against those who advocate the "termination" of individuals who are in a PVS (among other conditions).