Skip to comments.Life-or-death Choices (Stories of survivors of brain injury)
Posted on 03/29/2005 3:33:04 AM PST by jocon307
When Sandy Burke looks at Terri Schiavo, she sees her son.
Fifteen years after his car crashed into a tree, Richard Burke hovers between what doctors say is a persistent vegetative state and minimal consciousness. He sits propped in a wheelchair during the day, his face largely blank, his eyes flickering open and shut. At 43, he relies on others for every need.
When his mother speaks to him, he sometimes turns his eyes in her direction and smiles or offers a thumbs up or down. Sometimes, he doesn't. No one knows how much he understands.
A few years ago, Sandy Burke asked doctors not to revive her son if he went into cardiac arrest. But the Middleborough woman can't bring herself to withdraw his feeding tube. ''I know he wouldn't want to live like this, but I couldn't do it."
Many families with a brain-injured loved one face such a struggle. But the road to each family's life-or-death decision is unique. Here are three of their stories.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
Hmmm... looks like the WPPFF motto applies here:
"When in doubt, snuff it out!"
Don't let Judge Greer near him. He'll be gone in about 20 days.
The next Terri look alike they bring out for martyrdom needs to be better than the original, or the ratings will plummet, the sponsors will pull out, and the TV screen will be blank.
''On the seventh day, I said, 'No more,' " Kim said. ''I told the doctors, 'You made a mistake.' "
They are always making mistakes! In fact, it is very difficult to assess exactly the state of someone with a brain injury.
A month later, James blurted out his first word since the accident -- ''Mom" -- and began the slow climb out of what doctors had called a persistent vegetative state. Now at Middleboro Skilled Care Center, a nursing home specializing in head injuries, James, 22, is entirely dependent on others. He is unable to see more than shadows and has little control of his body. Yet, he understands more than he can express. He roars at jokes and follows the sound of his mother's voice.
I have heard other stories like this, of people who do come back - at least partially. And some stoke victims say that they were aware of everything, while people talked across them and assumed they were insensible.
I like this one, as well, the husband actually made sure his wife got therapy, etc. And she woke up 30 years later.....