It was suggested to her husband, Mike, that he divorce her and turn her over to the care of the state. The state could then make the decision to “pull the plug”. Betrayal of his wife was not a consideration. So, Physsy’s future care was based on the diagnosis of persistent vegetative state. Therefore, she was treated as though she couldn’t feel, hear, or comprehend anything, when in truth, she could do all of those things.
During those three years, two people played a very important role in drawing Physsy out and bringing her into reality. Her friend, Sally, somehow knew Physsy was “in there”, and she worked often with Physsy to draw her out. Mike’s hopes were raised by Sally and he too always treated Physsy as though she was the same person as before the brain bleed.
Very slowly and over time, Physsy was able to respond in such a way that she and Sally could communicate quite effectively. Eventually, Mike requested that Physsy receive IQ testing which revealed Physsy’s cognitive abilities and brain activity. The results of her testing put her in the ‘genius’ category.
Such results opened the door to a change of the diagnosis and the beginning of the weaning process from the trache tube that she had in for three years. It was no surprise to her family that she could breathe on her own and make sounds that were clear enough for the family to distinguish the words that she was speaking. The professional staff was astonished at the results of the testing and began treating Physsy with a great deal of respect.
This story has been written for several purposes:
- To let people know that when a loved one is non-responsive, they should keep talking to them. The patient may be hearing every word being said and be thereby stimulated.
- To encourage medical professionals to continue doing brain scans and active physical and mental rehabilitation to every living patient.
- To let people know that coma can be a very active brain state in which the patient is having memorable experiences that may encourage them to live.
- To share the lessons Physsy learned through her experiences while in the coma, or shall we say, non-responsive state. These include spiritual insights, heavenly experiences and out-of-body experiences.
- To pass on spiritual insights that Physsy acquired through her experiences.
- To stimulate more thought, consideration and action to make additional rehabilitation possible for Physsy and others like her.