Marlowe's Shade

Friday, May 13, 2005

Another Severely Brain-Damaged Patient Speaks

From Sherri

A Kansas woman severely brain-injured after an accident in 2002 has begun speaking – to the amazement of her doctor.

On Sept. 3, 2002, Tracy Gaskill suffered critical internal and head injuries when her pickup overturned. Doctors told her relatives that night that she probably would die by noon the next day, her grandfather, Don Gaskill, told the Ark City Traveler.

"That accident scared us to death," Gaskill said. Both Gaskill and his granddaughter hail from rural Winfield, Kan.

According to the report, the Gaskill family and many others in the Cowley County community prayed for Tracy regularly since the accident, and she had daily visits.

Not only did Tracy live beyond the day after the accident, she gradually began to improve.

Then, about three weeks ago, she spoke for the first time since the accident, about the same time she began to swallow on her own.

Previous to that she was fed via a feeding tube, similar to Floridian Terri Schiavo, who died in March of starvation and dehydration after the court-ordered removal of her nourishment.

"It's amazing, isn't it?" Dr. David Schmeidler told the local paper. "I have never seen this happen in my career. I've read about it happening, the severely brain damaged recovering suddenly, but never seen it – until now."

Continued Schmeidler: "She is actually able to speak and to speak coherently. In light of all this stuff on Terri Schiavo ... it makes you pause and think. For three years or so, (Tracy) was fed through a tube, then she swallowed a little bit and now she speaks."

Yes, it does make you pause and think.
papijoe 5:00 PM