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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Brain-Damaged Child's Family Mulls Life And Death

--posted by Tony Garcia on 3/31/2005

See here, there is always hope. There is always hope. And the doctors are wrong...often.

Thor had a car accident 11 years ago. He was in a coma for months and impaired by brain damage.

At one point Thor told his mother, "If this is what my life is going to be like, Mom, I don't want it." What if it came down to making that decision? Would Thor want to live or die? No one mustered the courage...until this Easter.

The whole family got together (some via phone) to get Thor's matter resolved clearly.

What does Thor's mother think about 'quality of life'?
She has her own strong opinions about what makes a life worth living and when to say "enough." When doctors over the years asked if she would want to sign a do-not-resuscitate order on Thor's behalf, the answer was always, "Absolutely not."
A great quote from her: "If you kill all hope, then you'd never see miracles."

Now, Thor is not leading an easy life.
He is legally blind, deaf in one ear and suffers memory loss. He has endured bouts of pneumonia that put him back on a ventilator, and an agonizing procedure to drain spinal fluid. Though he can talk, his speech is badly distorted. Knowing that, his family watches his lips as he searches for the right words.
So, what are Thor's wishes? I would think his previous comment would make it clear, right.

"I don't want to die."

Are you sure, Thor? "Whatever it takes," Thor replies, speaking slowly to enunciate each syllable. "An-y-thing."

What about if there is a need for extrodianary intervention? "I'd rather be alive than dead."

What about that now infamous "Vegetative State?" "I'd rather have that, too,"

Thor, while brian damaged does also understand how wrong doctors can be.

The said he might never speak again and he does. He would never walk, they said, but he does.

"They were wrong," he says. "They were wrong every time. So, don't make that decision from what they say."

You see, Thor's comment about not wanting the life as it is comes from a natural reaction during adversity. The same way a new runner might say they cannot finish their run or how people proclaimed after 9/11 that they would never fly again, people deny what they are willing to overcome. They doubt their strength in adversity often while proving themselves wrong.

How many movies, stories and anecdotes have a person who is re-learning to walk proclaim, "I can't"? It happens naturally and is not indicitive of a person's true beliefs, wishes or abilities.

We cannot take as word of fact these types of flippant remarks...ever. It is not evidence enough and should never be taken as such again.


Blogger CmptrBug said...

Good points.

April 03, 2005  

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