March 22, 2005
Husband Recovers after being Diagnosed as PVSTopics: Testimonials
A reader responds to this post about a woman who was PVS but recovered:
My husband was in EXACTLY the same situation after suffering cardiac arrest while in the hospital and suffered anoxic encephalopathy, in fact, 3 separate times. First, they gave him 2 hours to live and told me to call our priest.
He was in a coma and was much worse off than Teri - he had it ALL, ventilator, feeding tube, catheter, then trach. He couldn't breathe off the ventilator for more than 5 minutes at a time. When you would see him sitting up in his chair, he LOOKED so much worse off than her - he drooled, his tongue hung out, his head lolled to the side-he looked totally "not there" - you would never look at him & think there was a chance that he would be okay.
The doctors said if he lived, he would likely be a "vegetable", the social worker called me into a meeting and told me to start looking at nursing homes. His family fought me tooth and nail to pull him off of the ventilator, he was also on a feeding tube- which I refused to do. The neurologists were so convinced & insistent that my husband was severely brain damaged from his anoxic episodes, they insisted on testing him in front of me.
They would keep saying "honey, I know you want to believe he's responding, but he's not, he is in a persistent vegetative state."
They also did EEGs which, at the time, showed only moderate brain waves - that's when they told me that if he survived, he would very likely be a "vegetable". (I hate that description). Once he started to respond, when he showed in front of that neurologist that he knew I was his wife & he knew my name, then they did an MRI - why they waited until then to do it, I don't know - and then they told me "well, it looks likely maybe we overestimated-he is going to have some brain damage, but not quite as severe as we initially thought.
That was 9 years ago & if you didn't know, you would never know anything happened to him. He lost a tiny bit of feeling in his left hand and a slight loss of peripheral vision in his left eye. He is mentally exactly like he was when he was admitted and he has had 9 very happy, very active, fulfilled, loving years. Just imagine if I had pulled him off life support when his family demanded it.
Just from the little I've seen in the videos and things I've heard, just my own opinion, I think that woman is FAR from in PVS. She needs a lot of very, very intensive therapy & I truly believe she could speak and eat & I do believe that right now, she is totally aware of her surroundings and the people around her. I have heard "doctor" Cranford's excuse that her tracking the balloon and opening her eyes is only minutes out of hours upon hours of testing-I don't care if it was 30 seconds out of a month of testing-it proved that she is not PVS and is aware and can be helped.
Posted by tim at March 22, 2005 3:44 AM
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