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April 9, 2005

"Terri Saved My Brother's Life"

Topics: News

From the pages of Life Matters! . . .

As we honor Terri's legacy by fighting for Mae Margourik,
it is encouraging to note one life already spared. -Editor

by Callie S. Baillie

My brother went into acute respiratory failure a year ago September at 45 years old. By the time I got the phone call, he was on a [ventilator] in the ICU of a small hospital several hours from my home. Think SARS without the contagious aspect and you'll get some idea of what condition he was in: as the Merck site puts it:

The survival rate for patients with severe ARDS who receive appropriate treatment is about 60%; if the severe hypoxemia of ARDS is not recognized and treated, cardiopulmonary arrest occurs in 90% of patients.

There was the usual story: long drives, long nights, phone ringing at any old hour--"You'd better come, and do you want us to resuscitate if his heart stops before you get here?"--that sort of thing, but he kept reviving despite every expectation to the contrary.

One or the other of us showed up there every day, right on through Christmas, and he got off oxygen, and then he had his trach tube removed, started eating again, and went to physical therapy. And one January day, lo and behold, he went home. Wobbly, frail, confused, forgetful, but home.

Two months later, he was buying books and shopping at Wal-Mart. He'll be on a lot of medicine for the rest of his life, but that's a minor detail. And the reference to the news?

If I hadn't been seething for weeks over the attempted murder of Terry Schiavo, my brother would now be ashes.

Editor's Note

The newest member of CURE's Board of Advisors, Callie Baillie writes from Winslow, NC, where she hosts Christianity and Middle Earth.

Posted by earl at April 9, 2005 12:37 AM

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