Skip to comments.Brain-Damaged Woman Talks After 20 Years
Posted on 02/12/2005 3:56:49 PM PST by stacytec
Brain-Damaged Woman Talks After 20 Years
By ROXANA HEGEMAN, Associated Press Writer
HUTCHINSON, Kan. - For 20 years, Sarah Scantlin has been mostly oblivious to the world around her the victim of a drunken driver who struck her down as she walked to her car. Today, after a remarkable recovery, she can talk again.
Scantlin's father knows she will never fully recover, but her newfound ability to speak and her returning memories have given him his daughter back. For years, she could only blink her eyes one blink for "no," two blinks for "yes" to respond to questions that no one knew for sure she understood.
"I am astonished how primal communication is. It is a key element of humanity," Jim Scantlin said, blinking back tears.
Sarah Scantlin was an 18-year-old college freshman on Sept. 22, 1984, when she was hit by a drunk driver as she walked to her car after celebrating with friends at a teen club. That week, she had been hired at an upscale clothing store and won a spot on the drill team at Hutchinson Community College.
Scantlin still suffers constantly from the effects of the accident. She habitually crosses her arms across her chest, her fists clenched under her chin. Her legs constantly spasm and thrash. Her right foot is so twisted it is almost reversed. Her neck muscles are so constricted she cannot swallow to eat.
A week ago, her parents got a call from Jennifer Trammell, a licensed nurse at the Golden Plains Health Care Center. She asked Betsy Scantlin if she was sitting down, told her someone wanted to talk to her and switched to phone over to speaker mode:
"Sarah, is that you?" her mother asked.
"Yes," came the throaty reply.
"How are you doing?"
"Do you need anything," her mother asked her later.
"Did she just say more makeup?" the mother asked the nurse.
Scantlin started talking in mid-January but asked staff members not to tell her parents until Valentine's Day (news - web sites) to surprise them, Trammell said. But last week she could not wait any longer to talk to them.
The breakthrough came when the nursing home's activity director, Pat Rincon, was working with Scantlin and a small group of other patients, trying to get them to speak.
Rincon had her back to Scantlin while she worked with another resident. She had just gotten that resident to reply "OK," when she suddenly heard Sarah behind her also repeat the words: "OK. OK."
Staff members brought in a speech therapist and intensified their work with Sarah. They did not want to get her parents' hopes up until they were sure Sarah would not relapse, Trammell said.
Scantlin's doctor, Bradley Scheel, said physicians are not sure why she suddenly began talking but believe critical pathways in the brain may have regenerated.
"It is extremely unusual to see something like this happen," Scheel said.
Jim Scantlin understands that Sarah will probably never leave the health care center, but he is grateful for her improvement.
"This place is her home ... They have given me my daughter back," he said.
Now all the non-verbal people will think they have some sort of a right to not be starved to death.
Then you have brain damaged women who haven't been able to shut up in 20 years.
Was that really necessary?
Nope, it's gratuitous cruelty! Just for contrast...
Yes it is a heartwarming story however, I wouldn't call it a recovery. This poor soul will never leave the nursing home or lead a normal life. I sure hope they caught the drunken scum that did this to her!
This happened in Hutchinson. I know people in Hutchinson, KS. It's a good community. It's affectionately called Hutch here in Kansas. Not many small towns have a nickname. It's also home of a space camp. Our adopted daughter was fostered there by a wonderful family.
I'm going to feel that in the morning...
Seriously, this is good. If we get this out in public and relate it to Terri Schiavo's condition, she might have a stay of execution.
That's what I was going to say, is her husband reading this, and why is he chomping at the bit so hard to pull the plug on her?
Ping of Hope
When I saw her photo she looked like she once was a very attractive young girl! All I could feel was anger towards the drunk and sympathy for her.
WoW! What a Blessing for this woman and her family. Miracles do still happen. God is so awesome!! :)
ching through her "husband" is impossible. IMO, that POS is trying to kill her. On the day of the collapse, Terri was covered in multiple bruises and fractures, not that consistent with a "fall". Now despite pleas from Terri's family to divorce her and let her brothers take care of her, the POS insisted ongoing ahead with the murder. In an unrelated story, if Terri dies, Mikey will get hundreds of thousand of dollars (sorry, not sure about exact number) in settlement and insurance.
This demonstrates that Mikey is an abusive, murdering, greedy, POS scumbag. If he truly is a loving husband, we would have never heard of Terri Schaivo in the first place. Mikey put Terri in her present condition.
Unfortunately we can't prove any of this but it is more than likely that this is how things happened.
No one knows how far her recovery will come. Talk about miracles.
The Lord is Sahah's Shepherd --- That's Relationship!
She shall not want --- That's Supply!
He maketh her to lie down in green pastures --- That's Rest!
He leadeth her beside the still waters --- That's Refreshment!
He restoreth her soul --- That's Healing!
He leadeth her in the paths of righteousness --- That's Guidance!
For His name sake --- That's Purpose!
Yea, though Sarah walks through the valley of the shadow of death --- That's Testing!
She will fear no evil --- That's Protection!
For Thou art with her --- That's Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort her --- That's Discipline!
Thou preparest a table before Sarah in the presence of her enemies--- That's Hope!
Thou annointest her head with oil --- That's Consecration!
Her cup runneth over --- That's Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow Sarah all the days of her life --- That's Blessing!
And she will dwell in the house of the Lord --- That's Security!
Forever --- That's Eternity!
Face it ---- the Lord is devoted to Sarah !!!
Further --- the Lord is also devoted to Terri Schiavo !!!
Question: Why would the Lord continuously deliver Terri from
the evil hands of her attempted murderers ???
Answer: So Terri also can learn to speak again !!!
And now you, dear reader, can surely figure out the rest
of the obvious answer regarding Terri Schiavo !!!
They caught the guy right after the accident. He served six months. Isn't that nice?
Although Terri is immobilized for the most part and can not speak, she is still able to move slightly, express emotions, and is very much aware of her environment.
Not that I believe in Euthanasia, but judging from these standards, she is the candidate least suited for such an action. That and the fact that her face expressed horror when her parents tell her what is in store for her.
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