Tracy Gaskill, Severely Brain-damaged - Speaks After 2-1/2 Years
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.
"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."
Lynda Marshall is a registered nurse who has worked with Tracy.
"It's really quite amazing (that Tracy can speak)," she told the Traveler. "After they've been without speech and the ability to eat that long, it's very rare they're able to come back."
Marshall said Tracy will get speech therapy, continue working on improving cognitive functions and eat on her own.
Tracy received what Schiavo did not – at least in the last several years – therapy.
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