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'It's a new world'
The Hutchinson News ^ | 8/04/05 | Clara Kilbourn

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.

TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: braininjury; coma; sarahscantlin; terrischiavo
Might Terri Schiavo have been able to do this if she had received treatment from the start instead of being put in a "warehouse" to die? For those of you who have forgotten Sarah she had a huge blood clot removed from her brain after being hit by a drunk driver. She was placed in a nursing home and given limited treatment until she began talking again last Feb.
1 posted on 08/05/2005 12:36:57 AM PDT by kathsua
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To: kathsua

I guess that we will never know, will we???????

2 posted on 08/05/2005 1:02:36 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, Over there, we will be there until it is Over there.")
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To: kathsua
The medical examiners report did not leave much to question about Teri's condition. Her doctors, the ones who actually examined her were exactly right on each and every point of contention. The courts appointed an attorney to represent Teri, to review her medical situation and represent her wishes and this situation went through court 6 different times.
Michale made a horrendous decision in support of his wife's wishes and then had to fight everyone who could get their face in front of a TV camera to deal with what should have been a private matter.
The media got filthy rich by keeping this story on the front page. They had to make up a lie per week just to keep it on the front burner.
The media in this country have turned into vultures. The worst of which is Mark Furhman who is down there doing a book right now. He wasn't there, he knows nothing about this case, but he is griding out his dirty dollars on the tragedy of this family's pain too.
3 posted on 08/05/2005 1:08:59 AM PDT by oldenuff2no
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To: oldenuff2no

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?

4 posted on 08/05/2005 2:10:47 AM PDT by Treader (Hillary's dark smile is reminiscent of Stalin's inhuman grin...)
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To: oldenuff2no

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.

5 posted on 08/09/2005 1:11:48 PM PDT by reasonmclucus (solving problems requires precise knowledge of the cause and nature of the problem.)
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