Skip to comments.'It's a new world'
Posted on 08/05/2005 12:36:56 AM PDT by kathsua
It's a new world' Sarah Scantlin making gains in regaining control of her arms in infinitesimal increments By Clara Kilbourn
The balls of gauze that protected Sarah Scantlin's feet for two decades have been traded in for a pair of high-top sneakers.
A welcome spot of breakfast lingers on her T-shirt, and she smiles when her mother, Betsy Scantlin, talks about Sarah's newfound fondness for Zingers and French fries.
"Where's the catsup?" Sarah asked when the French fries were served, Betsy said.
In the six months since she spoke her first "OK" - after 20 years of no verbal communication, Sarah Scantlin's name has traveled around the world.
Her story: a tragic pedestrian accident when she was struck by a drunken driver, a massive brain injury, month-long coma and finally - nearly two decades of being bedridden at Golden Plains Health Care Center, unable to control her thrashing arms and legs while receiving food through a tube in her stomach.
While TV cameras, radio and print media have repeated the miracle of Sarah speaking a "Happy Valentine's Day" greeting to her parents, Betsy and James, Sarah's life has remained focused on the extensive effort of daily therapy.
In infinitesimal increments, the 39-year-old lifetime Reno County resident is regaining control of her arms, legs and torso, and relearning to eat.
On Wednesday, dressed in a T-shirt and shorts, with her brown hair pulled back in double ponytails, Sarah was in her special wheelchair, ready for the 60-to-90 minute therapy session that is her daily life.
While Betsy talked about her daughter's progress, Sarah added smiles in response to a "good morning, Sarah." Betsy mentioned Sarah enjoys bingo, is reading, in speech therapy and watching TV.
Last week, Sarah communicated her wish to go swimming. That sent her and Jennifer Trammell, Golden Plains director of social services, on a shopping spree that put a bright red swimsuit in Sarah's closet.
It's one piece, she said. The swim session awaits delivery of a special head and neck float.
In the therapy room, Sarah was surrounded by the trio of therapists, Robin Kenyon, Kalwant Singh and Joel Thomas. Strapped to a frame and standing up, she yowled her protest until they added music and turned on a fan.
With her mother coaching, Sarah painstakingly lifted her arm, and then stacked four plastic pyramids.
As part of her treatment, Sarah spent March and April at the University of Kansas Medical Center for evaluation and therapy. An ultimate goal, achievable by taking baby steps, is that she'll be able to raise her torso using her elbows, Trammell said.
During activity time, Sarah sings along to the music. She likes nursery rhymes from her childhood, like "Mary had a Little Lamb," said Golden Plains' Activities Director Pat Rincon.
Immediately after she was fed her breakfast Wednesday, Sarah's wish for "outside" was granted.
As lunchtime approached, and with the therapy complete for the day, Betsy reached out and took Sarah's tightly clasped fists into her own hands. "It's a new world," Betsy said.
Sarah Scantlin, her parents, Betsy and James Scantlin, and her brother, Jim Scantlin, are scheduled to appear at 7:40 a.m. Thursday and Friday on the CBS Early Show. The segments were filmed at Golden Plains Health Care Center.
I guess that we will never know, will we???????
Your post implies a privileged certainty of facts. Were you there? How do you know where Mark Furman has been or not been? Are you a career homicide detective, or just an keyboard apologist for state sponsored murder?
The ME's claims are questionable. He mistakenly claimed that the visual cortex was gone. He fails to understand that the size of the brain has nothing to do with the level of consciousness which can only be determined while the patient is alive. Moreover, Terri was dehydrated to death which would have significantly reduced brain mass. We don't know the size of the brain before the massive cell damage associated with dehydration occurred.