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Thank God she wasn't married to Mike Schiavo

Woman talks after 20 years in a coma

A woman in Kansas who was knocked into a coma by a drunk driver 20 years ago has begun to speak and remember her past.

A hit-and-run driver struck Sarah Scantlin, then 18, when she was walking to her car in September 1984.

Her brain was injured so badly that doctors first feared she would spend her life in a vegetative state. For years, she has been aware of her environment but unable to form words or make any sounds other than loud cries.

That changed last month, when she suddenly told employees at the nursing home where she lives, "OK, OK."

"You condition yourself to be able to try to deal with something like this, and then all of the sudden, the world instantly changed from despair to joy," her father, Jim Scantlin, told CNN.

"It's amazing how important communication is between human beings."

The woman can now speak words and count, and has begun to remember people and places, staff at the nursing home say. ...

I hope for Teri Schiavo's sake this miracle changes her outcome.

Evie Happy

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Not at all the same case, Evie.

"For years, she has been aware of her environment..."

Terry Schiavo, OTOH, has been in a peristent vegetative state without substantial improvment since the accident, as discussed here.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
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The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Read the facts ...

Lying about Terri Schiavo

Does somebody just want her dead?

Was Terri Schiavo Beaten in 1990?
Will There Be an Investigation in Time?,hentoff,48738,6.html

Thirteen years ago Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage from a sudden collapse. She receives her food and water by means of a feeding tube. Terri's other bodily functions are stable. She responds to voices, and is capable of smiling, laughing and crying. She vocalizes well.
Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, has denied her any rehabilitation treatment since 1993. On Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003, Michael Schiavo directed that Terri's feeding tube be disconnected, subjecting her to starvation and dehydration that will result in an anguishing death in approximately 10 to 14 days.

Fight-for-life bombshell: Woman 'trying to talk'!
Husband of brain-damaged wife seeks starvation despite claims

Husband protests video showing alert Terri

barred a revered Roman Catholic priest from visiting his wife.
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Very similar cases ...

... otherwise healthy women in PVS. How do you know Schiavo might not become more aware of her environment. She is NOT unresponsive.

Here's why this woman is lucky to not have been married to Michael Schiavo.

(1) Why did Schiavo tell a medical malpractice jury in 1992 that Terri would live a normal life span? After Terri's collapse, Schiavo sued for medical malpractice. Under civil law, the longer Terri was expected to live, the larger the verdict would probably be. This fact of legal life could explain why Michael presented evidence to the malpractice jury not only that Terri would likely live a normal life span but also that he intended to be a good and loyal husband and care for her for the rest of his life.

(2) Why did Schiavo have a rehabilitation expert testify in front of the malpractice jury to present a detailed plan of therapy for Terri? Schiavo and his lawyer claimed that Terri is incapable of improving physically, but during the 1992 trial, a rehabilitation plan and its anticipated undertaking provided one of the underpinnings for the jury's $1.3 million award. Of that money, Schiavo received $300,000, lawyers' fees were paid, and about $750,000 was put in trust to pay for Terri's rehabilitation.

(3) Given that the jury awarded $750,000 to be used in part for Terri's therapy, why hasn't Schiavo provided any rehabilitation for her since 1991? When asked by King about the issue of rehab, Schiavo described some early efforts to help Terri, such as an experimental surgery in 1990. But he never identified when this rehab took place.

Which is an important point. The only efforts ever undertaken to improve Terri's condition took place in 1990 and 1991. They had ceased by the time of the malpractice trial in 1992 because her insurance coverage had run out. Indeed, the pressing need to restart therapy was an urgent part of the malpractice case. It could have--and should have--paid to restart the rehabilitation that had been abandoned due to lack of funds.

The man is using this money to provide for his girlfriend and children. He could end his obligation to Schiavo by divorcing her, but he would lose what's left of that 3/4 million judgment.

Evie Happy

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But she wasn't in a coma

I guess the media strikes again Sad

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Never depend on regular reporters for medical or technical

accuracy. They don't know the difference between aphasia (the inablility to talk at all), from dysphasia (the inability to communicate with words in English, or to relate those words correctly to objects and wants), or from coma to persistent vegetative state.

Additionally this is a very very unusual occurrence, for somebody to regain speech after so long. She has a lot of motor skill deficits and handicaps which are not likely to, but might improve somewhat.

Rob Boyter

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Yep ... headline is misleading

Also would have been nice to know how many years she was aware of her environment. It's apparently been a few weeks (understandably they probably waited to see if this lasted) so one would think more details might be available.

Evie Happy

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