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Boy in "Hopeless" Vegetative State Awakens and Steadily Improves
LifeSiteNews ^ | 10/10/06 | Hilary White

Posted on 10/10/2006 4:04:27 PM PDT by wagglebee

GRESHAM, Oregon October 10, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A young boy, who had previously been diagnosed as being in a “permanent vegetative state,” has awakened from a 22 month-long coma and is breathing on his own.

Devon Rivers collapsed in a seizure during a phys-ed class in 2004 and his condition was never explained, though some doctors suggested it was caused by an unknown viral infection. Doctors agreed, however, that he had little hope of recovery.

His mother, Carla Rivers, visited him regularly and, in addition to physical therapy by his paediatric nursing home to keep his limbs supple, she talked to him in the belief that coma patients can retain their hearing and some understanding.

"For two years the doctors said there was no hope," said Carla Rivers. "Everything that happens in Devon's life is a gain. There's no losses."

Despite the doctors’ gloomy prognosis, eleven year-old Devon is now being prepared for occupational therapy to help him re-learn motor skills and is able to play with his siblings. Doctors cannot explain the reason either for his unexpected awakening or for his steady recovery.

In August of this year his mother, Carla Rivers, noticed that he began turning his head to follow movement; instead of a blank stare, he was reacting to his environment. Days later Devon was breathing without a respirator.

Carla Rivers said, “Devon may make a full recovery or what we see today may be what we get…God's plan is greater than ours. There's nothing we can do to force it any sooner or hold it back,” she said.

Coma patients and others with severe cognitive disabilities have been labelled “hopeless” only to recover frequently enough that some doctors and ethicists are questioning the accuracy of the diagnosis of “persistent vegetative state” (PVS).

The diagnosis is ambiguous in that symptoms of patients can vary greatly and still be called “vegetative.” A 1996 study published in the British Medical Journal showed that 43% of patients diagnosed with PVS do not qualify for the diagnosis.

In 2003, Kate Adamson, a former coma patient who had been diagnosed PVS, appeared on the television talk show the O'Reilly Factor. She said that, like Terri Schiavo, the hospital had removed her feeding tube that was only reinserted after eight days when her lawyer-husband threatened to sue the hospital.

Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Diagnosis of Persistent Vegetative State Questioned as Former Patient Speaks Out
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2003/nov/03111207.html



TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: braininjury; cultureofdeath; doanautopsyquick; eugenics; joshuahedreth; letterofapology; prolife; pvs
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The diagnosis is ambiguous in that symptoms of patients can vary greatly and still be called “vegetative.” A 1996 study published in the British Medical Journal showed that 43% of patients diagnosed with PVS do not qualify for the diagnosis.

Yet the Culture of Death would prefer to euthanize them all.

1 posted on 10/10/2006 4:04:28 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: 8mmMauser; T'wit; floriduh voter; BykrBayb

Ping.


2 posted on 10/10/2006 4:05:06 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: 69ConvertibleFirebird; Alexander Rubin; An American In Dairyland; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee or little jeremiah to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]


3 posted on 10/10/2006 4:05:39 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: cgk
Ping!
4 posted on 10/10/2006 4:06:24 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: wagglebee

Miracles do happen. Doctors don't know everything. That's why it's called PRACTICING medicine. Nobody is perfect.

Thank God for this, not medical science. Also send the story to Terry Schiavo's widow.


5 posted on 10/10/2006 4:07:46 PM PDT by rfreedom4u (My Freedom of speech trumps your feelings!)
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To: wagglebee

Terri Shiavo call home. Oh, that's right. Her husband had her premeditatedly killed. Sorry.


6 posted on 10/10/2006 4:07:53 PM PDT by laweeks (I)
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To: EveningStar

Ping, Kenny is alive! His BFF prevails.


7 posted on 10/10/2006 4:11:39 PM PDT by mnehring (http://abaraxas.blogspot.com/)
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To: wagglebee
God's plan is greater than ours

...including the mystery that sometimes the truth cannot be seen until it is written in the blood of a martyr...

8 posted on 10/10/2006 4:12:08 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (* nuke * the * jihad *)
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To: wagglebee
I wonder if they had tried this:

Sleeping pills offer wake-up call to vegetative patients

9 posted on 10/10/2006 4:14:21 PM PDT by Enterprise (Let's not enforce laws that are already on the books, let's just write new laws we won't enforce.)
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To: mnehrling

10 posted on 10/10/2006 4:14:46 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: rfreedom4u

I have that argument with my spouse. He thinks Terry (and others in the state she was) had no chance to "waking up" or having a better life.

I totally disagreed and still do.

Praise God for His miracles.


11 posted on 10/10/2006 4:17:33 PM PDT by Lucky9teen ("I love the smell of strategery in the morning...")
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To: the invisib1e hand

God's plan includes death at this point. Stop fighting Him and accept it.


12 posted on 10/10/2006 4:17:40 PM PDT by DManA
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To: wagglebee
Pinged from Terri OCTOBER Dailies

8mm


13 posted on 10/10/2006 4:20:57 PM PDT by 8mmMauser (Jezu ufam Tobie...Jesus I trust in Thee)
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To: wagglebee
God's plan is greater than ours

...including the mystery that sometimes the truth cannot be seen until it is written in the blood of a martyr...

14 posted on 10/10/2006 4:24:20 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (* nuke * the * jihad *)
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To: wagglebee

bttt


15 posted on 10/10/2006 4:25:34 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: DManA
God's plan includes death at this point. Stop fighting Him and accept it.

OK. That is, if you're speaking for God. How else could you know his plan "at this point?" Can I have your autograph?

16 posted on 10/10/2006 4:26:23 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (* nuke * the * jihad *)
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To: wagglebee

Unlike the brain dead Terri, the kid was merely in a coma.


17 posted on 10/10/2006 4:27:18 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Foley is why we don't allow queers to be Scoutmasters.)
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To: bert; 8mmMauser
Unlike the brain dead Terri, the kid was merely in a coma.

Terri was NEVER diagnosed as being brain dead by anyone. If she had been brain dead, she would have needed a ventilator and other life support systems. Terri died because the vultures decided to starve her and dehydrate her; if you or I were forcibly denied food and water, we would meet the same fate.

This boy was diagnosed as being in a "permanent vegetative state," Terri was said to be in a "persistent vegetative state" (I presume that the terms are synonymous).

18 posted on 10/10/2006 4:33:43 PM PDT by wagglebee ("We are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom." -- President Bush, 1/20/05)
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To: laweeks

I've always been curious about this diagnosis. If I recall, most often the diagnosis is made when the brain has been sufficiently damaged that recovery is not possible. Was that the medical diagnosis in this case?

Anyone have more details than the article provides?


19 posted on 10/10/2006 4:36:30 PM PDT by graf008
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To: Lucky9teen
"He thinks Terry (and others in the state she was) had no chance to "waking up" or having a better life. "

Tell your husband that Terri WAS awake - she interacted with other people. I have a video that proves it - she was laughing with her father in it. He was asking her if she remembered how she used to tease her mother, and Terri said, Yeah, and laughed!!!!. SHE WAS NOT PVS!!!! But, they killed her anyway!

20 posted on 10/10/2006 4:39:08 PM PDT by jackibutterfly (.)
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To: wagglebee

Schiavo had irreversible brain damage that left her brain scarred and shriveled. Now, I don't know if this was stated before the autopsy that confirmed it or afterwards, although the CT scans did show much of this.

Was this child in the same situation?


21 posted on 10/10/2006 4:41:07 PM PDT by graf008
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To: jackibutterfly

Wasn't the Shiavo case resolved after the autopsy that showed her brain to be in a severly damaged condition? This news article is a different case - the Schiavo case is over.


22 posted on 10/10/2006 4:43:31 PM PDT by graf008
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To: EveningStar

Shades of "Buddy" from SNL:


Buddy: Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad! I'm not in a coma any more!

Mrs. Dionosopolis: Thank God!

Mr. Dionosopolis: [ embarrassed ] Buddy..? Buddy..?

Buddy: [ raising finger ] Ohhhhh.. what are you doing? Were you pulling the plug on me!

Mr. Dionosopolis: [ trying to explain ] Buddy, the doctor told us you were a vegetable.

Doctor: I, for one, am baffled!

Buddy: But pulling the plug!

Mrs. Dionosopolis: Buddy, we were just doing what you told your father about "dying with dignity", you know? If you ever got hit in the head with a sledgehammer and had to be kept alive by machines? You remember!

Buddy: I never said anything like that, Mom.

Mr. Dionosopolis: Oh, yeahh.. you remember, don't you? It was that one day, remember? You weren't asking yourself, you were real strange.. I thought, "Gee, that's not like Buddy, wants to die like that.." But I figured, what the heck, okay! You said it, though! You said, it, you just forgot!

Buddy: [ laughing ] I probably forgot about it!

Mr. Dionosopolis: Well, buddy, do you fell good enough to go home?

Buddy: [ excited ] Yeah, that would be just great!

Mrs. Dionosopolis: Alright. I'll fix you a nice big lunch!

Mr. Dionosopolis: And we'll go hunting first thing next week, okay? [ turns to Doctor ] Thanks a lot, Doctor! Thanks for almost killing little Buddy!

[ family exits hospital room ]

Doctor: Well, excuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me!


23 posted on 10/10/2006 4:45:49 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: graf008
Was this child in the same situation?

Likely not, however the dx of PVS is a dx of convenience and economy nonetheless.

24 posted on 10/10/2006 4:46:36 PM PDT by MarMema
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To: MarMema

That is agood point - but the comparisons to Schiavo here are not correct. To say that because this boy 'snapped' out of it, doesn't mean Schiavo would. She was irreversibly brain damaged as shown by the autopsy. Clearly this boy didn't have the same physical evidence for his diagnosis that Terri did.


25 posted on 10/10/2006 4:53:32 PM PDT by graf008
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To: jackibutterfly

Exactly and I have, and therein lies our argument. He still believes she it was just a musculatory response or something stupid like that, and not really HER reacting.

Totally peeved at misperceptions and how it leads to what happened to Terry and others in same circumstance.

Damn Michael Schiavo...


26 posted on 10/10/2006 4:55:17 PM PDT by Lucky9teen ("I love the smell of strategery in the morning...")
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To: graf008

Wouldn't a brain get pretty messed up after being starved and dehydrated to death? It isn't as though they had the ability to examine her brain before she died.

I saw a young man who had MOST of his brains blown out, and his severely slanted skull was proof, but he lived and went to college. Doctors couldn't explain it, as the parts of the brain they KNEW were used for even the simplest tasks were missing, and the boy was completely normal. He is still alive today, if I am not mistaken. Stranger things have happened.


27 posted on 10/10/2006 4:57:45 PM PDT by solosmoke
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To: Lucky9teen

Even so, to murder her, to starve her to death???? So what if she supposedly had "muscle" responses? She's still ALIVE!!!! If you could give me your e-mail, I can send you that video - you'd be absolutely appalled. Cuz you'd see that her response was NOT a "musculatory response"!


28 posted on 10/10/2006 4:59:48 PM PDT by jackibutterfly (.)
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To: graf008

Yeah, wouldn't yours be too if you were starved to death??? They could NOT determine if she was PVS - that was more behavorial than physical. YOU really need to see the video I have - you'd see how responsive she was!


29 posted on 10/10/2006 5:01:55 PM PDT by jackibutterfly (.)
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To: jackibutterfly

If it was the video I saw, it was clearly a non-voluntary response.

I made sure that I had written documents stating that if I am in a persistent vegatative state, similar to Terri were a significant portion of my brain is injurred and no hope for recovery, that all live sustaining procedures are halted (only pain medication is provided). I am certain many people would do the same.

Of course she was alive. She was breathing.


30 posted on 10/10/2006 5:03:33 PM PDT by graf008
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To: the invisib1e hand

You can call it "speaking for God" if you like but I'd call it Christianity 101.


31 posted on 10/10/2006 5:04:10 PM PDT by DManA
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To: jackibutterfly

They had evidence in the CT scan that her brain was significantly damaged. COupled with the behavioral portions of the PVS diagnosis (and the subsequent autopsy that proved it) - I think they got this one right.


32 posted on 10/10/2006 5:04:44 PM PDT by graf008
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To: solosmoke

"It isn't as though they had the ability to examine her brain before she died. "

umm, they did a CT scan. It showed damage. And I would believe that any competent medical examiner would take into consideration the impact of death when making a diagnosis.


33 posted on 10/10/2006 5:05:59 PM PDT by graf008
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To: graf008
Clearly this boy didn't have the same physical evidence for his diagnosis that Terri did.

What would you consider to be physical evidence for a dx of PVS?

34 posted on 10/10/2006 5:16:14 PM PDT by MarMema
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To: MarMema

CT scan coupled with the physical responses typically shown


35 posted on 10/10/2006 5:18:36 PM PDT by graf008
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To: graf008

What autopsy? I thought Mikey had Terri cremated immediately so that there would be no autopsy.


36 posted on 10/10/2006 5:19:52 PM PDT by Fred Hayek (Liberalism is a mental disorder)
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To: graf008
but the comparisons to Schiavo here are not correct.

They are not. However, in the mid-1970's or so we were doing surgery on newborns with no anesthesia, because we thought we knew that they couldn't feel anything.

37 posted on 10/10/2006 5:21:14 PM PDT by MarMema
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To: Fred Hayek

You heard wrong. Google it and pick your source.


38 posted on 10/10/2006 5:26:49 PM PDT by graf008
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To: graf008
You are right. This case ... different!

No Judge ordered the boy to be withheld food and water until dead. The boy lives.

Mrs. Schiavo? She's dead. Killed by Judicial Order per Mr. Schiavo's direction. An American Suttee. She was declared a "widow" for the pyre!

Her husband was reborn! Long live the new Mrs. Schiavo!

Let us, graf008, forget auld lang syne. Let us "Move on."

Let bygones be bygones! This is what you want, eh?

Terri is dead. Micheal, the black archangel of her one-time marriage bed, has had his way with her. He kept his promise.

Oh for the world you live in, graf008! That none of us here, like you, would do to be pollyannahs of optimism, looking forward, enjoyers of the day! Carpe Diem! Never to remember those digested in the bloody frothy maw of the beast. In your blessed world there are no beasts, are there?

Tsk. Here's a tear. We live in the real world, graf008. And so do you. There's beasts among men, and may G-d protect you.

39 posted on 10/10/2006 5:31:39 PM PDT by bvw
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To: graf008

>And I would believe that any competent medical examiner ...

See post 27, and tell me what a "competent medical examiner" is. There is none, that's why it's called *practicing* medicine, and not Supreme Arrogance.


40 posted on 10/10/2006 5:33:58 PM PDT by ROTB (Our Constitution ... only for a moral and religious people... -- John Q. Adams, October 11, 1798)
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To: wagglebee
"“permanent vegetative state,” has awakened from a 22 month-long coma

Pick one. It can't be both.

"Devon Rivers collapsed in a seizure during a phys-ed class in 2004 and his condition was never explained,

A seizure does not result in a permanent vegataive state. It doesn't even result in a vegetative state.

"though some doctors suggested it was caused by an unknown viral infection.

Then they could I'd the virus.

"Doctors agreed, however, that he had little hope of recovery.

Nonsense. The claims sofar is that no one knew, or they were contradictory claims. I think this story is made up and has little ground in reality.

41 posted on 10/10/2006 5:34:47 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: graf008

I am sure the CT showed some damage, but they certainly didn't do one post-humously to compare them, and they never had the chance to visually examine it until she expired.

I am also sure that doctors told the young gunshot patient's parents he had no chance of surviving, let alone recovering fully, and may have showed them the same evidence. No one, no matter how educated, can really know what parts of the brain are required for survival. Some things are just a mystery, regardless of what doctors would like to believe.


42 posted on 10/10/2006 5:35:38 PM PDT by solosmoke
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To: bvw

My point is these were not in the same medical condition. To draw any comparison is, at best, intellectually dishonest. Even using simple logic, it makes no sense - one was in coma, other was not. One snapped out after 22 months, the other did not.


43 posted on 10/10/2006 5:37:58 PM PDT by graf008
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To: solosmoke

Try - my point is this article is very VERY short on facts, especially necessary to draw comparisons. Was the medical evidence the same? Well, this article doesn't say.


44 posted on 10/10/2006 5:38:51 PM PDT by graf008
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To: solosmoke
saw a young man who had MOST of his brains blown out, and his severely slanted skull was proof, but he lived and went to college. Doctors couldn't explain it, as the parts of the brain they KNEW were used for even the simplest tasks were missing, and the boy was completely normal. He is still alive today, if I am not mistaken. Stranger things have happened.

The Montessori education method that is such a great success was first used on children who really only had half a brain.

45 posted on 10/10/2006 5:39:52 PM PDT by HungarianGypsy
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To: graf008

How many months must pass, in your opinion, in non-coma state of awareness before a husband might acquire a Judicial Order for "Cease Life" against his wife. Simple question. How many months?


46 posted on 10/10/2006 5:40:43 PM PDT by bvw
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To: ROTB

Competent means having the skills of a normal doctor. As far as post 27 - I'd be curious on what most is and whether you have any links for reference. I am sure a case like that would at least make it to the medical journals.


47 posted on 10/10/2006 5:41:19 PM PDT by graf008
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To: bvw

When there is no chance for recovery.

Listen - this article above bears little relation to Terri Shiavo. If I was in her state, I'd want my wife to pull the plug years ago. My point is, these are not the same.


48 posted on 10/10/2006 5:42:19 PM PDT by graf008
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To: graf008
I made sure that I had written documents stating that if I am in a persistent vegatative state, similar to Terri were a significant portion of my brain is injurred and no hope for recovery, that all live sustaining procedures are halted (only pain medication is provided).

May I be the first to offer said diagnosis. Based on your total lack of respect for life, I declare that you are already in a persistent vegitative state. Furthermore, a significant portion of your brain (that which contains the natural human respect for all life) is clearly missing.

Based on your written documents, I strongly suggest that you heed your own advise. Take an aspirin, stop eating, stop drinking, and stop breathing.

49 posted on 10/10/2006 5:42:55 PM PDT by been_lurking
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To: solosmoke
"I saw a young man who had MOST of his brains blown out, and his severely slanted skull was proof, but he lived and went to college."

What specifically does "most of his brains" mean?

"Doctors couldn't explain it, as the parts of the brain they KNEW were used for even the simplest tasks were missing,

Nonsense.

"and the boy was completely normal."

Notif he had most of his brains blown out.

50 posted on 10/10/2006 5:43:25 PM PDT by spunkets
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