06 July 2006

On holiday for 19 years

Brain scans

Terry Wallis spent 19 years in a near-coma before largely recovering in 2003, so now my mere month of coma doesn’t look so unique any more.

Quote from a different report of Terry’s case:

Wallis was 19 when he suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him briefly in a coma and then in a minimally conscious state, in which he was awake but uncommunicative other than occasional nods and grunts, for more than 19 years.
"The nerve fibers from the cells were severed, but the cells themselves remained intact," unlike Schiavo, whose brain cells had died, said Dr. James Bernat, a neurologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, who is familiar with the research.

I wonder what else can recover over time, if supported and left to its own devices?

It’s an amazingly cool healing process, so I also wonder how well medicine could do if we had real interaction with this. If someone with a smashed-up brain can self-recover, perhaps others with degenerative diseases can be deliberately induced to improve also?

2 comments:

lucychili said...

yeh i saw that and thought of you =)
amazing hey.

i noticed on jon oxers blog that your email is still giving you jip.
he is sykwriting to you over there =)

ive been very cheeky and set up a gmail account called penguincycle if youd like to use it. the password currently is the response to pinguin.
you might have something else you could use or might not be up for google, in which case kim is a penguincycle too.

all the best

janet

Leon Brooks said...

Hi, chili lady!

I mainly need to set aside the time to sit down and figure out how one set (of the scores) of email mappings no longer works, but thanks indeed for setting up a GMail account as a standby... "cheeky" is just fine for someone who's basically creative and sensible. (-: