According to David’s Dr., Roger Bracchi, very much the same if
Terry Schiavo suffered loss of oxygen after collapsing in the hallway of her St. Petersburg, Florida, apartment.
David was thrown a sickening 39 feet in mid air and then skidded 20 feet more on the hi-way (these are the State Patrol measurements). His helmet was completely cracked and his face guard was in shreds. The Drs. felt his cortex was probably destroyed from such a hard landing coupled with the brain pressure which reached the mid fourties. We had to take 5.5 cm of brain out on his lanquage side to save his life. He suffered diffure injury and swelling to his entire brain. Dr Bornfleth, felt he also suffered a lack of oxygen at the scene of the accident.
I can't help but feel that David's head injury could have been as severe or worse than Terri Schaivo's.
David was not a candidate for much rehabilitation so our only option was to bring him home and do our best to stimulate his damaged brain. We set up our own rehab in our garage and stocked it with everything we had seen in professional rehab units. Standing table, parallel bars, mat table, therapy balls etc.) A year later we heard of a therapy that was based on early child development. Glen Doman of the Philadelphia Institute For Achievement of Human Potential pioneered this method. We read his book “What to do about your brain damaged child.” It made perfect sense to start over again as an infant. For information on this patterning therapy look in the resource section of this website. This therapy has done more for David than anything else we have tried.
Knowing when to stop pursuing treatment is not a question I can answer for others, but I believe that every effort should be made to ascertain the person’s potential and provide whatever therapy is possible before ever stopping treatment.
In my book “Fighting for David” I have included a story about Adam Hart. His mother, Cindy, was a single mom and Adam was her only child. After we started patterning Adam he began trying so hard to move when he was on his tummy, that he even dug his chin into the floor to propel himself forward. Sadly his heart began having problems and he was rushed to the hospital. When they attempted to re-trach him he aspirated and had to be put on a ventilator. For the next three years she cared for him on the ventilator at home still hoping and praying he would improve. When he developed children’s Diabetes they had to take his toenails off. It was certain the Dr.’s would have to keep cutting tissue when he worsened; toes, feet, and etc. It was unbearable and obvious to us all that he was not going to make any progress. After he aspirated his brain was completely unresponsive. She fought the most courageous fight with head injury I have ever witnessed, and when it was clear the battle was lost, she had the love and the courage to let him go. She will always cherish the fourteen years she had with him before his accident. He was the light of her life, and she will never stop missing him. *** TERRI SHAIVO WAS NOT ON A VENTILATOR AND SHE DID NOT HAVE A TERMINAL ILLNESS. She obviously responded to her family and they to her. She was able to love and be loved. I question, as many others did, why did this have to happen to her? Why was she denied the help she needed in the early years by the ones who wanted to give it, her family?
We were devastated, but we were determined to see for ourselves what state David would remain in. We have learned so much about head injury these past years, especially how many times PVS is misdiagnosed. A British study has estimated they are wrong about 43% of the time. Some other studies have even estimated it to be even higher at 40 to 60% of the time. Traumatic Brain Injury is a wait and see situation. The brain takes time to refocus and reorganize! Some longer than others. PVS: Eyes may be open but the parient has not awakened from coma. They can also have normal sleep patterns. This statement is from The Yakima Neurology Science Clinic.
This is one of my most favorite questions to answer. From the very beginning of David’s accident in ICU and later on, it was the nurses who were always there rooting for David, and bursting with excitement when they could report and new progress. I have special place in my heart for all of them, especially one gifted nurse, Cara Anderson. It is amazing what a keenly observant nurse can accomplish. She was a pivotal person in our life and helped us secure a different future for David than what the Drs had predicated. When you read “Fighting for David” you will see the dedication of this nurse.
As stated in question two, the therapy which helped David the most was the patterning method pioneered by Glen Doman. We also have used some of the new conventional rehab ideas of Dr. Sean Mullin, at Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center. It involves a treadmill and a climbing harness and pulleys. We lift enough weight off with the rock climbing pulleys to enable David to get a lot of exercise and improve his walking skills. Dr. Marjorie Henderson has been in the rehab department at Regional for many years and is wonderful and supportive person and Dr. *** It seems like medical experts are learning more all the time about the brains ability to adapt and reorganize after trauma if it is efficiently stimulated.
David’s first EEG reports were so grim that he was not expected to wake up. Dr. Roger Bracchi, David’s family Dr. is thrilled with his recovery. Though still handicapped, David is a wonderful human being and is a blessing to all who know him. After seventeen years, David is still improving, especially with walking and talking.
As Tonya Stoneman so eloquently noted in her article for “In Touch Magazine. ”The truly extraordinary part of David’s story is not so much his miraculous recovery as it is the 40 people who went to extreme measures to help him. Terri Shaivo was not so fortunate.”
Tyndale Publishing House wrote the inside cover of “Fighting for David” stating “If you’ve ever wondered whether faith and persistence can be more powerful than a doctor’s diagnosis, look inside*** David’s faith is unmistakable, he shines from the inside out. A good friend and patterner, Cheryl Strauss, recently said, “David gave us more joy than we could give him. God blessed him with the fruit of the Spirit. It only comes from God.”
Thanks to Linda Sharp who was at the accident scene, we knew that the accident was not David’s fault. With her testimony we were able to win a settlement for David. This enabled us to purchase David a duplex. Everything he has is in a Irreversible Special Needs Trust. David lives in one side with a supervisory caregiver, and the other side is used for maintain the property. He has lived there since 2001. We cared for him at home for 12 years. Somehow the Lord stretched our income, as we trusted Him. When you read, “Fighting for David, you will see how the Lord used this incredible women to help David and our family.
It has been estimated that as many as 1.4 million Americans
sustain traumatic brain injury every year.*** As Stated earlier
as many as 43to 60% are diagnosed as PVS. I found a book called
Traumatic Brain Injury (a guide for the patient and family) to be
very helpful when David was still in a coma. This book outlines
the different coma levels. It can be ordered by writing to:
Interactive Therapeuitics, Inc.
P.O. Box 1805
Stow, Ohio, 44224
Our experience was to either bring David home or put him in
a nursing home. Even the social workers stated he would die there
in a few years. When we brought David home he was in diapers, was
almost completely paralyzed (except for his left arm), was mute,
and still had his stomach tube in. He was eating but the Dr.’s
kept it in just to be on the safe side. There aren’t many suitable
choices that we know of for someone as damaged as David was in the
beginning. However, I have recently heard of a wonderful facility
called Providence Mountain View Adult Family Home. They do take
Medicade, and can be reached at:
4831 35th Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98126-2799
Phone (206) 938-6025