Straight Up with Sherri

Monday, February 14, 2005

After Two Decades of Silence, She Began Talking..........

I wrestled with what to write about today, as I do everyday. I was going to do a funny little thing poking fun at myself- referring to Valentine’s Day as “Single Awareness Day.” It’s just a GREAT day out of the year to remind all of us single folks how pathetically lonely we are. I also thought about just sharing a lot of awesome pictures of my family…….sharing my heart, so to speak. Then I thought about some stories about our troops, remembering them on this day; hard to pity yourself for being lonely when you think about what their day must be like!

When I found THIS story, I knew it was perfect for Valentine’s Day. It is story of LOVE; the kind of LOVE that transcends ALL reason, ALL logic, and ALL things of the physical realm. THIS is a story of hope, commitment, and spirit………………….




Brain-Damaged Woman Talks After 20 Years

- 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.

"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. After two decades of silence, she began talking last month. Doctors are not sure why.

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.

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 the phone to speaker mode:

"Hi, Mom."
"Sarah, is that you?" her mother asked.
"Yes," came the throaty reply.
"How are you doing?"
"Fine."
"Do you need anything," her mother asked her later.
"More makeup."

Family members say Scantlin's understanding of the outside world comes mostly from news and soap operas that played on the television in her room.

On Saturday, her brother asked whether she knew what a CD was. Sarah said she did, and she knew it had music on it.

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.


Imagine this young lady and her family not having this miracle due to societie's ever growing acceptance of embracing the "quality of life" theme. Even if Sarah were to pass tomorrow. These magical few days were still possible. I cannot express enough how truly valuable this is. Even 20 years of a "coma" could never negate the beauty of these days of full conscienceness. NEVER! Why is society moving steadily closer to devalue life?

I am a strong believer in "QUALITY of LIFE." I believe each life has a lesson for others. I am sure that Sarah's life in the last 20 years has taught more about the lessons of love, dedication, and giving of oursleves than many of us EVER will be able to teach anyone in our own lives. In fact, I believe that QUALITY of life is not what we get out of it, but we give of it; what our life adds to the quality of others.

Please read the entire story. I finally decided upon this story today for two other reasons. 1) This story reminds me so much of Terri Schindler-Schiavo; another woman also in a coma. (who's husband is trying to legally starve her to death so he can marry his live-in fiance that he has already had two children with.) 2) "The driver who struck Scantlin served six months in jail for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident." (quote from the full story)

On this day of love and affection, take a moment to think of what love is truly all about. Think about what each of us has to give. This is the definition of our QUALITY OF LIFE. Most of us by now have discovered that we can't "Save the World." What we can do is affect our own world. We can reach out a little bit. We can get involved. We CAN make a difference. We can love.
As I have done in other posts, I will end with this quote:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for a good man to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

(I hope you take a moment to view the next two posts below)

24 Comments:

  • I believ that the young lady knew how much she was loved. If we have unconditional love no matter what the kind of flaws a person encounters, then we can pull through anything.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:37 PM  

  • I believe love is not all about a man or a woman. It is more to that!Love is spending tome with someone who you really care about and appreciate them for being in your life. (Children, Friend, Family member and spouse). This story is a true miracle and should influence everyone that miracles are real. Humn410 1699

    Professor Mckittrick

    By Blogger Tree842001, at 4:01 PM  

  • What I take from this story-and other's like it, is that Science really hasn't got a good grasp of what they are talking about. This does not stop them from making classifications and diagnosis'. Then lawyers and courts jump in and the person, the individual is lost in the debate.
    Once euthanasia is legal, there will be immense pressure from the system to use it. These patients have no advocate and represent enormous costs for the system. A recipe for abuse if ever there was one.
    I wonder how a socialized (and rationed) system like England deals with these cases.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:25 PM  

  • I agree with you tree82001, love is not all about a man or a woman together. Love is about friendship, trusting, needing, understanding, and so much more. The lady in the article new she was loved in her heart even what happend to her no one stop loving her any less than before. We should love one another, even besides are differences but because of our differences. This might make the world become a better place. I also think that love is a learning experience. Sometimes in this world it takes something bad to happend for us to realize how much we cared or how much we loved. My grandfather passed last year, he raised me when I was young child after he passed I didn't know how much I really loved him until he was gone. Love is what made us. Love is what pulls us together.

    Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!!

    By Blogger SL1693, at 5:19 PM  

  • I agree with you tree82001, love is not all about a man or a woman together. Love is about friendship, trusting, needing, understanding, and so much more. The lady in the article new she was loved in her heart even what happend to her no one stop loving her any less than before. We should love one another, even besides are differences but because of our differences. This might make the world become a better place. I also think that love is a learning experience. Sometimes in this world it takes something bad to happend for us to realize how much we cared or how much we loved. My grandfather passed last year, he raised me when I was young child after he passed I didn't know how much I really loved him until he was gone. Love is what made us. Love is what pulls us together.

    Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!!

    By Blogger SL1693, at 5:19 PM  

  • I agree with you tree82001, love is not all about a man or a woman together. Love is about friendship, trusting, needing, understanding, and so much more. The lady in the article new she was loved in her heart even what happend to her no one stop loving her any less than before. We should love one another, even besides are differences but because of our differences. This might make the world become a better place. I also think that love is a learning experience. Sometimes in this world it takes something bad to happend for us to realize how much we cared or how much we loved. My grandfather passed last year, he raised me when I was young child after he passed I didn't know how much I really loved him until he was gone. Love is what made us. Love is what pulls us together.

    Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!!

    By Blogger SL1693, at 5:19 PM  

  • I agree with you tree82001, love is not all about a man or a woman together. Love is about friendship, trusting, needing, understanding, and so much more. The lady in the article new she was loved in her heart even what happend to her no one stop loving her any less than before. We should love one another, even besides are differences but because of our differences. This might make the world become a better place. I also think that love is a learning experience. Sometimes in this world it takes something bad to happend for us to realize how much we cared or how much we loved. My grandfather passed last year, he raised me when I was young child after he passed I didn't know how much I really loved him until he was gone. Love is what made us. Love is what pulls us together.

    Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!!

    By Blogger SL1693, at 5:19 PM  

  • I agree with you tree82001, love is not all about a man or a woman together. Love is about friendship, trusting, needing, understanding, and so much more. The lady in the article new she was loved in her heart even what happend to her no one stop loving her any less than before. We should love one another, even besides are differences but because of our differences. This might make the world become a better place. I also think that love is a learning experience. Sometimes in this world it takes something bad to happend for us to realize how much we cared or how much we loved. My grandfather passed last year, he raised me when I was young child after he passed I didn't know how much I really loved him until he was gone. Love is what made us. Love is what pulls us together.

    Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!!
    HUMN 410

    By Blogger SL1693, at 5:20 PM  

  • What a wonderful story, Sherri. I heard about it this morning on the radio on my way in to work. Absolutely astounding. She's got a lot of catching up to do!

    My Valentine's Day card to my wife read thusly:

    "If we were being chased through the woods by an axe murderer, and you suddenly fell and twisted your ankle..."

    [open the card]


    "...I'd come back to help you."

    Now THAT'S love, right there! ;-)

    By Blogger Sloan, at 5:41 PM  

  • Oh, and her card to me?

    On the cover, two people dressed in full head-to-toe penguin suits...beaks, wings, flipper feet, the whole bit. All you can see of them are their eyes. Open the card, and it says:

    Birds do it.
    Bees do it.
    Even freaks dressed like penguins do it.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    By Blogger Sloan, at 5:47 PM  

  • Okay...I don't mean any disrespect.

    First, let me start by saying that Love is truly about spending time, understanding, compromising and so much more. And, it's truly a miracle that this lady was able speak after 20 years.

    Assuming that this was me and I had been in a coma for 20 years, and I had exhausted all my health insurance benefits.

    1. Is it fair for my family to sit and hope that I come out of a coma? In my opinion, No.

    2. Is it fair to put them through having to bare the responsibility of taking care of me in this situation? In my opinion, No.

    3. Is it fair for me or my family to receive government assistance in hopes that I may come out of this coma? Humm.......What do you think?

    Humn410 - 3814
    SC3814

    By Blogger SC3814, at 6:01 PM  

  • I agree with you tree842001 but I look at it from another perspective. But my definition of love is passion, unconditional, caring, friendship, ect. Love to me is portrayed towards the opposite sex, because what I can get from a female, I can’t get it from a male. Love is something you just can’t forget.

    By Blogger AB7463, at 7:58 PM  

  • "In 1966, Dr. Sacks began working as a consulting neurologist for Beth Abraham Hospital, a chronic care facility in the Bronx where he encountered an extraordinary group of patients, many of whom had spent decades in strange, frozen states, like human statues, unable to initiate movement. He recognized these patients as survivors of the great pandemic of sleepy sickness that had swept the world from 1916 to 1927, and treated them with a then-experimental drug, L-dopa, which enabled them to come back to life. They became the subjects of his second book, Awakenings (1973), which later inspired a play by Harold Pinter ("A Kind of Alaska") and the Oscar-nominated Hollywood movie, "Awakenings," with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams."

    The movie will break your heart.

    Link to Oliver Sacks site:

    http://www.oliversacks.com/cvprint.htm

    By Blogger levi from queens, at 9:02 PM  

  • Humn410 - 3814
    SC3814
    You obviously have a whole different perspective of love than I do. To me love comes as the greatest gift from God. It is a participation in His divine existence that has been extended to a mankind that He made in His own image. I can appreciate your concern for not being a burden to others that you may feel love toward. But are you cheating them of the feelings thay may have for you. Have you ever known anyone who has committed suicide? Have you known the senseless loss of life for no real purpose? Have you felt the grief of a loss of love so intense that money becomes absolutely meaningless?
    My guess is that there are people who love you that much in this world. We sometimes rationalize that it is not our intention to burden others, but love knows no such bounds. God knew of no limits when He gave His only Son to die for our salvation - that we may know His love for us. We must share that. If you cannot give your love to me, at least do not deprive me of the love I feel for you.
    The government is a social construct. Whether we choose to include it in the need to redistribute our own wealth to ameliorate the costs of providing care for the long-term disabled is an issue worth debating. Whether their lives are worth saving is not.
    You bring up an issue worthy of debate and consideration. Thank you. But in your attempt to be unselfish, you may be hurting those who love you most. Please think about this.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 10:28 PM  

  • This story is a great motivator for someone who's ready to give up. Today most people try to accomplish things or set goals and expect to see an immediate improvements or results. If an individual can witness a setback to this extent (almost resulting in death) what could be any worst for those of us out here having minor difficulties with our lives. I admire her strength and courage and will pass this on to my friends.. Great story.

    By Blogger d4336, at 10:53 PM  

  • This story is a great motivator for someone who's ready to give up. Today most people try to accomplish things or set goals and expect to see an immediate improvements or results. If an individual can witness a setback to this extent (almost resulting in death) what could be any worst for those of us out here having minor difficulties with our lives. I admire her strength and courage and will pass this on to my friends.. Great story.

    By Blogger d4336, at 10:54 PM  

  • That story was very touching. It makes think about what is important in life . Without the love of your family their is no reason to go on.And becuase she was surrounded by so much Unconditionally it was easy for her to come back.

    lj30988

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:51 PM  

  • I think that was a very touching story and any miracle is a blessing from god . Everyone has there different view on love and how they experience love. You can not criticize someone if they don't know what love is. They may not have the privilege to love someone. People are neglected this kind of affection from others or to themselves. Just like this story some people are less furtunate to have others care about them. She was lucky that she had a family that care about her so much. And I think very one deserves someone to love.

    KBD7098

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:55 AM  

  • KBD7098
    There is one other thing that must be considered. It is more blessed to love than to be loved. Consider "the perfect one", Jesus Christ. They crucified Him. Hardly an act of love. Even St. Peter rejected Him in His greatest moment of need. Do not spend your life waiting for someone else to make you complete by giving you their love. You will most assuredly be disappointed (again & again). If you can be the one to give love, it is within your power to find happiness, but not necessarilty satisfaction. Be the one to spread love, and you will find peace. The family of Sarah Scantlin (original story) was not overwhelmed because Sarah loved them, but because they loved her.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 2:34 AM  

  • So somebody raised the issue of "Is it fair to your family to make them take care of you?". As opposed to what, putting her on a sled and towing her into the woods for the wolves to find (your kids are measuring you for your sled as we speak).
    My Parents gave me life, shared their home, wiped my poopy ass and got out of bed everynight to make sure I was fed and safe.
    If I, at the end of their lives have to do the same, then by God it's a fair deal.
    PK

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:05 AM  

  • I think this was just an amazing story. The love that surrounded this young lady was a blessing from God. God has shown us all if we just have faith in Him there is nothing we can't accomplish. This story is a great example of what God wants us to do, never give up on life, because He didn't give up on us. Thanks for the story and thank God for His mercy and grace

    By Anonymous dor9190, at 1:12 PM  

  • That is such a beautiful story. I have a collection of those "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books and this story reminds me of several other stories that are in those books. I love reading these types of stories because they can be so inspirational.

    HUMN410 2271 Professor McKittrick

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:21 PM  

  • This story is full of Grace.
    Love is an intangible gift, devine, and who are we to question that gift?
    Love changes us, inspires us, strengthens us - and it's source is without measure. The more love you give, the more there is to give.

    levi from queens,
    I thought of the same movie when I read about this young woman. A truly remarkable and moving film - well worth the time.

    Can you imagine what the mother was feeling when she heard her childs' voice on the phone?
    Overwhelming joy and thanksgiving!

    sc3814 -
    You post suggests you are a very logical person...thinking about the practical things in life.
    ..but consider these questions -
    Have you ever been in love?
    Truly?
    Do you have children?
    Have you ever felt the love of and for a child who gives you their complete trust?
    These emotions can erase any worry about the tangible concerns of this world. It comes down to spirit and grace and all the wonderful gifts we have been blessed with as humans being. Some things transcend all, despite our efforts to put a label upon it.

    By Blogger la6868, at 8:34 PM  

  • Love is an everlasting emotion. A lot of people mistaken love as a feeling, and feelings is something that can change instantly. This story was definetly a miracle, and it shows people never to give up.

    By Blogger RW4341, at 11:58 PM  

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