• Please be advised there is a potential issue with DD collections, which may result in an excessive amount being taken. Please read the stickied thread in Fortean Times Magazine > General Discussion, Subs etc

Remarkable Recoveries, Cures & Remissions


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 18, 2002
This is a general thread for impressive and inexplicable recoveries which might be claimed as miraculous in other contexts e.g.:


American girl, 15, is first rabies patient to survive without vaccine

By Andrew Buncombe in Washington

26 November 2004

Little more than a month ago 15-year-old Jeanna Giese was critically ill with rabies after a bat bit her during a service at her local church. She had failed to obtain medical treatment immediately and by the time she did see doctors they decided that because her symptoms had already developed, it was too late to use the usual vaccine.

Instead, they tried a radical experiment, placing Jeanna in a drug-induced coma and injecting her with a mix of anti-viral drugs. At the church where she was bitten, family and friends turned to prayer.

Now Jeanna's doctors say she is cured, the first person to have survived rabies without the vaccine. Only a handful of people - perhaps as few as five - have survived after developing even the earliest symptoms of rabies, and all of them were given the vaccine.

The specialist who prescribed the cocktail of drugs described it as a "miracle". Stacey Muller, a spokeswoman for the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where Jeanna was treated, said: "This is the first documented case where someone has survived without the vaccine. After being bitten by a bat you absolutely should get treatment but she did not.

"By the time she was admitted to hospital her symptoms had already developed so the doctors wanted to try to do something to boost her immune system. She was admitted directly to the paediatric intensive-care unit."

Jeanna, from Fond du Lac in eastern Wisconsin, contracted the disease on 12 September after she picked up a bat from the floor of the town's St Patrick church and it bit her on her left hand. Her family said that because the bat was able to fly away people presumed it was healthy and they did not go to a doctor. By the time she was admitted to hospital a month later she had double vision and slurred speech, and was slipping in and out of consciousness.

Dr Rodney Willoughby, the hospital's associate professor of paediatrics, said: "As society has developed, people have forgotten the folklore about not playing with stray animals, or staying away from bats."

Doctors had agreed that because Jeanna's symptoms were so advanced, prescribing the vaccine would weaken her. Dr Willoughby said he also decided to induce the coma because there is evidence that rabies did not permanently damage any part of the brain but it caused temporary dysfunction of those areas which control critical functions such as breathing.

This week doctors said they expect Jeanna to be home by Christmas. She is conscious, breathing on her own and is able to sit up in a chair. She is not yet speaking, but doctors said she could communicate.

Doctors declined to list the drugs they prescribed until the results appear in a medical journal. Dr Willoughby told The New York Times: "You have to see this therapy repeated successfully in another patient. Until then, it is a miracle." The Centres for Disease Control, in Atlanta, Georgia, have confirmed Jeanna's unique status. Dr Charles Rupprecht called the recovery "historic".

But the teenager's family said they believed their prayers made the crucial difference. Her father, John Giese, told reporters: "The day after we found out, I called on everyone we knew for prayer. We believe a lot of that snowballed and it really made a difference. Miracles can happen. We really believe that it did."

In 2001, the latest available yardstick, 7,437 cases of animal rabies were reported in the United States but no humans were affected. The most frequently reported animals are raccoons (37.2 per cent), skunks (30.7 per cent), bats (17.2 per cent), foxes (5.9 per cent), and rodents (0.7 per cent).



Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 18, 2002
Tough Talk Snaps Man Out of Coma

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A tough boss is credited with saving a man's life in Boston.

Bill DiPasquale, an amateur crossword-puzzle maker and sometime actor, lost his job at the upscale Abe & Louie's steakhouse (search) in November, reports the Boston Herald.

The 44-year-old waiter's drinking problem had made him unreliable, and he was let go after six years.

Sinking into a deep depression, DiPasquale locked himself in his apartment and drank himself into a coma. He was found by relatives Dec. 2.

Doctors told the family all hope was lost — until a friend decided to call DiPasquale's former boss.

"You tell him to wake up, get out of bed, and get his a** back to work," Charles Sarkis recalled saying.

A co-worker passed on the order and whispered in DiPasquale's ear: "Charlie says to get out of bed and get your a** back to work."

About five minutes later, DiPasquale uttered his first words in over two weeks: "I've got to get to work."


No if a priest had told him to wake up and he had...........


Android Futureman
Aug 7, 2002
Rabies Victim Survives Without Vaccine

1st Unvaccinated Rabies Survivor Goes Home

WAUWATOSA, Wis. - A teenager who became the first person known to survive rabies without a vaccination went home Saturday after nearly 11 weeks in the hospital, officials said. Jeanna Giese, 15, was infected when a bat bit her at church in September but she did not immediately seek treatment. She began showing symptoms of rabies in mid-October.

"My biggest goal when this started, when I walked through those doors downstairs, was to someday take my daughter through those doors back out, and today that gets to happen," Giese's father, John Giese, said Saturday before the family left the hospital. A team of physicians at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin gambled on an experimental treatment and induced a coma as part of efforts to stave off the usually fatal infection.

Only five people besides Giese are known to have survived the rabies virus after the onset of symptoms. But unlike Giese, they had either been vaccinated or had received a series of rabies vaccine shots before showing symptoms. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites) has said it is re-evaluating its approach to human rabies because of the results.

In recent weeks, Giese has worked to regain her weight, strength and coordination, although she will need physical and occupational therapy. One of Giese's doctors, Rodney Willoughby, said the girl's treatment must be duplicated in another person before it can be credited as a rabies treatment.

"I don't recommend you do stuff before you try them on animals but in this case we didn't have time," he said. "This was stitched together in four hours, discussed in an hour. It just turned out we were very lucky. Jeanna was very lucky."


[Emp edit: Fixing BBcode to stop link from brekaing the board.]


Disturbingly familiar
May 28, 2003
According to this report, rabies has a higher mortality rate than ebola! While the chances of 'natural' survival were slim, I didn't think it was 99.9% fatal!
However, this wasn't untreated rabies - they were treating her but with a different method to vaccination, i.e. induced coma.
Anyhow, I thought vaccination was a preventative, not a cure. And what made the doctors, or her family, willing to take the risk of 'new treatment' if the chances of non-vaccinated survival were that slim?
One of Giese's doctors, Rodney Willoughby, said the girl's treatment must be duplicated in another person before it can be credited as a rabies treatment.
So ... anyone who wants to risk death on an uncertainty, one step forward!


Gone But Not Forgotten
Mar 24, 2002
They probably didn't have any choice, Stormkhan.

The vaccines have to be administered immediately following a bite from an infected animal. When the girl arrived at the hospital they must have realised that she'd been infected weeks ago and decided upon this experimental treatment.


Gone But Not Forgotten
Sep 25, 2003
When doctors believe in miracles

By Chanan Tigay
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

In the 1980s, when Rabbi Leonard Sharzer was still working as a plastic surgeon, he treated a patient suffering from a debilitating neurological disease. Sharzer and his colleagues agreed that the man wasn't long for this world.

"It was clear to everybody taking care of him that there was nothing more that could be done," said Sharzer, who was ordained as a Conservative rabbi in 2003. "His family expected this. We didn't know how long he would survive. He was on a downhill course and the outcome was clear."

But then something strange happened.

"He just lingered and lingered and lingered for six or eight weeks -- and he got better," Sharzer recalled.

"There was no way to explain that medically."

"Looking back on it today," Sharzer added, "I think I probably would have called it miraculous."

As it turns out, Sharzer is not alone: According to a new survey, the majority of American physicians believe in miracles.

The study, carried out by HCD Research and the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, found that 74 percent of U.S. doctors believe miracles have happened in the past, and 73 percent believe they can occur today.

full article available here:
http://www.juf.org/news_public_affairs/ ... p?key=5653

and a related news report that also details the findings

Poll: Doctors believe in miracles
3 out of 4 physicians think supernatural events still happen

Posted: December 23, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

A new survey of America's doctors reveals three out of every four are believers in miracles.

The poll of 1,100 physicians found 74 percent of doctors believe miracles have occurred in the past, and 73 percent believe they can occur today.

The survey was conducted by HCD Research and the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

"The picture that emerges is one where doctors, although presumably more highly educated than their average patient, are not necessarily more secular or radically different in religious outlook than the public," said Dr. Alan Mittleman, director of the institute.

The poll also indicated American physicians are "surprisingly religious," with 72 percent indicating they believe religion provides a reliable and necessary guide to life.

Those surveyed represent physicians from Christian (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox Christian and other), Jewish (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and secular) Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist religious traditions.

"Perhaps the most surprising result of the survey," the report notes, "is that a majority of doctors (55 percent) said that they have seen treatment results in their patients that they would consider miraculous (45 percent do not). Most physicians pray for their patients as a group (51 percent). Even more, 59 percent pray for individual patients."

Two-thirds encourage their patients to pray. Of those physicians, 5 percent did so for God to answer their prayers, 32 percent for psychological benefits and 63 percent for both reasons. One-third did not encourage their patients to pray.

Regarding their views on miracles and the source of the Bible:

37 percent physicians believe the Bible's miracle stories are literally true, while 50 percent believe they are metaphorically true. Twelve percent indicated that they did not believe in the Bible's description of miracles;

9 percent believe the Bible was written by God, 58 percent believe the Bible was inspired by God and 34 percent consider it human ancient literature;

and 55 percent believe that medical practice should be guided by religious teaching (44 percent do not).
Additional findings indicate:

Over half, 58 percent, attend worship services at least once per month;

A plurality, 46 percent, believe prayer is very important in their own lives



Gone But Not Forgotten
Sep 17, 2001
8) :yeay: And only a bit over 100 miles from here, too.

Kan. Woman Resumes Talking After 20 Years

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - A woman unable to talk since she was hit by a drunken driver 20 years ago has begun to regain her memory and form words, sending her father ``from despair to joy.''

Sarah Scantlin's family and friends plan to celebrate the development on Saturday at the health care center where she lives.

``She's 100 percent Sarah again. The family is back together, and it's just simply a joyous situation,'' her father, Jim Scantlin, told CNN.

Scantlin was 18 when she was struck while walking to her car in 1984. She had been aware of her surroundings but unable to make any sounds other than loud crying until a month ago, when she told staff members, ``OK, OK.''

``It just happened one day and nobody really knows why,'' said Sharon Kuepker, administrator for the Golden Plains Health Care Center.

She is now forming other words, counting and remembering people and places, staff members said.

``You condition yourself to be able to try to deal with something like this, and then all of the sudden, the world instantly changed from despair to joy because it's amazing how important communication is between human beings,'' her father said.

The driver who struck Scantlin, Douglas Doman II, served six months in jail after being convicted of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an injury accident.

02/11/05 12:19

© Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.



Abominable Snowman
May 1, 2004
did anyone see that thing on channel 4 the other week, about the bloke who was a "vegetable" for 19 years and suddenly started talking again?
it was quite sad, he still thought he was 19, and kept trying to hit on his own daughter because he thought his daughter was still a baby.


Gone But Not Forgotten
May 19, 2004

These miracles do happen. I know they do. Why do they happen to some people and not others?


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 18, 2002
fluffle said:
did anyone see that thing on channel 4 the other week, about the bloke who was a "vegetable" for 19 years and suddenly started talking again?
it was quite sad, he still thought he was 19, and kept trying to hit on his own daughter because he thought his daughter was still a baby.

Although I didn't get to see the whole ahow it was scary - more info:

The Man Who Slept for 19 Years

Dr Martin Brookes

January 2005

Terry Wallis' 19-year journey back to consciousness is a remarkable story. But in June 1984, the time of his car crash, he was just another statistic; one more name on the list of 1.5 million Americans who sustain a brain injury each year. Perhaps it's going too far to say that Wallis was one of the fortunate ones, but he did at least survive his brain injury. Each year in America, 50,000 people are not so lucky.

Brain injury is the great silent epidemic. In the US alone there are estimated to be 5.3 million people (more than 2% of the entire population) living with disabilities brought on as a direct result of brain injury. It is the leading cause of death among children and young adults, and it kills 1.5 times more people annually than AIDS.

The UK has its own unnerving statistics. Each year, almost 12,000 people will suffer a head injury so severe that they will remain unconscious for six hours or more. After five years, only 15% of these people will have returned to work. Most head injuries are less severe of course. Of the one million people who visit a UK hospital with head injuries each year, the majority will arrive with only small bumps and knocks.

But even relatively minor head injuries can have serious consequences for the brain. The common symptoms of dizziness, nausea, headaches and memory loss can be complicated by depression, anxiety and mood swings. Most people will make a full recovery after three to four months, but in some cases the changes can be permanent.

The fragile organ

The brain can be damaged in a number of ways: through a stroke, tumour, infection, or a degenerative disease like Alzheimer's, for example. But probably the most common forms of brain injury stem from a physical trauma to the head.

The brain is an extremely delicate organ, with the consistency of firm blancmange. Any sudden jolt causes it to slide around, compressing and expanding as it goes. For the billions of neurons that make up the brain, this is bad news. If the jolt is serious enough, these long fragile nerve cells will be stretched, twisted and sheared.

The extent of internal damage can confound expectations. A gunshot wound to the head, for example, might seem catastrophic, and often is, but when an external object penetrates the skull, the impact is often localised. Contrast this with the kind of serious jolt to the head that might occur in a car crash. Though the skin might remain unbroken, the impact on the brain can be more diffuse, and more devastating as a consequence. The brain will be thrown backwards and forwards against the walls of the skull, causing extensive damage at the points of impact. A bad situation is made worse by the fact that the bones at the front of the skull have a rough, irregular texture that can literally shred the frontal cortex.

The initial impact is often only the start of the brain's problems. With nowhere else to go, blood escaping from burst arteries in the brain will gather in pressurized pools (called haemotomas) and squeeze the life out of neurons. The nerve cells come under further pressure from the swelling that occurs at the site of the injury (known as a cerebral oedema). If the swelling is serious enough, it can kill more neurons by cutting off their supply of blood and oxygen.

The brain bounces back

The brain is extremely sensitive to damage, but it is also surprisingly robust when it comes to recovery. Stroke victims, for instance, often suffer from partial paralysis or speech problems, but they usually regain some or all of their faculties over time. The speed and extent of recovery will depend on the location and extent of the injury, but the chances of improvement are generally much greater for the young than for the old.

A serious brain injury may condemn millions of neurons to death, but amazingly, new neurons may grow in their place. Recent research has shown that regeneration can occur in the hippocampus, a relatively primitive part of the brain that's associated with learning and memory. Elsewhere, the powers of neuron replacement seem restricted. Even so, the brain still has other strategies to overcome the injury.

When neurons die they release toxins that can paralyze neighbouring and otherwise healthy areas of the brain, exacerbating the effects of the initial injury. The job of cleaning up the toxins falls to the glial cells – the neurons' own support network. Once this mopping up operation is complete, millions of neurons are back in business. The disposal of toxic waste together with the rebuilding of damaged blood supplies can do much to aid the brain's initial period of recovery.

Elsewhere, surviving neurons themselves get in on the act, sprouting new lines of contact to help patch up damaged circuits; while the contacts themselves can become more sensitive to compensate for the loss of synaptic inputs. There is also evidence that the brain has circuits which are ordinarily silent but can be switched on in times of crisis.

Concussion and coma

Head injuries are often accompanied by a loss of consciousness. In mild cases, this means concussion lasting a few minutes or seconds. Concussion is caused by temporary neuronal paralysis, but strictly defined, there is no damage to the brain itself.

At the opposite end of the scale, comas are usually measured in terms of hours, days and weeks. They are typically caused by damage to the brain stem, an arousal centre located at the base of the brain. Injury, which can come from a direct hit or from pressure caused by swelling in other parts of the brain, effectively shuts down consciousness. Since the brain stem is a central hub for neuronal circuits, damage to this area can also have drastic knock-on effects that extend throughout the brain.

Comas are poorly understood and difficult to define. But in general, someone with their eyes closed all the time, who is unable to communicate or respond to instructions, is in a coma. Whether comatose people really are oblivious to the outside world is a moot point. People who have recovered from comas claim they had at least some awareness of their surroundings; they were just unable to demonstrate it. One apocryphal story even tells of a comatose Terry Wallis shaking his head when his family were presented with a massive doctor's bill.

Officially, the end of a coma is signalled by the opening of the eyes. Although it is a good sign that some functionality is returning to the arousal centre of the brain, people can remain trapped in so-called 'vegetative states' for months or even years after they open their eyes for the first time. In truth, people do not suddenly 'wake-up' from a coma; they make a slow and sometimes painful return to consciousness, via incremental improvements to their sense of themselves and their environment.

Healing power

When doctors first got a look at Terry Wallis after his car crash all those years ago, they knew that his prospects were not good. With extensive damage to his temporal lobe, frontal cortex and brain stem, the prognosis looked bleak. Days turned into weeks; weeks into months; months into years. The longer it went on, the worse his odds became. But his mother, Angilee, stuck by him on his 19-year journey back to consciousness, and his story became a real victory for the family who never gave up hope.

The doctors were right, of course: Wallis had all the symptoms of a lost cause. But the brain remains the most enigmatic of organs, tender yet tenacious, vulnerable but strong. It may be fragile, but it is nothing if not resourceful. Even in the most hopeless cases, it can still bounce back and surprise us.

But the brain doesn't get better just on its own. Like a muscle, it requires mental exercise to regain some of its strength. Specialised therapies are vital to the treatment of people recovering from brain injury. Even in older people, the brain retains a certain degree of plasticity, and faculties lost can sometimes be regained through the training and reworking of the brain pathways that remain. Angilee's routine visits to Terry's bedside may have been made more in hope than expectation, but who knows what essential nourishment her gentle but regular inputs provided?

Of course, Terry is not out of the woods yet. His awareness of himself and his surroundings are still distorted, and he seems to lack a short-term memory. Perhaps these faculties will never be regained. But if the Terry Wallis story teaches us anything, it is never say never.

Find out more

Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of third party sites


Brain Help
Offers support for patients and their families overcoming physical, mental and social difficulties experienced as a result of a brain injury, or a related condition. The website has contact details.

Brain Plasticity
http://enchantedmind.com/html/science/b ... icity.html
Article that looks at how plasticity is thought to work in the human brain.

Rewiring the Brain
www.action.org.uk/touching_lives/2004/s ... the_brain/
A research programme in Newcastle has shown that if damage occurs to a baby's or young infant's brain, its functions can be reorganised and any effects of brain damage can be greatly reduced.

Stem cells could repair brain damage
Scientists have found that immature cells from bone marrow are able to travel to the brain and become fully functioning brain cells. This could inspire novel treatments for brain injury.


Child Brain Injury Trust
The Radcliffe Infirmary
Woodstock Road
Tel: 01865 552467
Helpline: 0845 6014 939
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.cbituk.org/
Aims to improve the quality of life for all children and young people with a brain injury. The website has a good FAQ section and some useful diagrams of the brain and its functions.

4 King Edward Court
King Edward Street
Tel: 0115 9240 800
Helpline: 0808 8002 244 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday, 9am-7pm Wednesday)
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.headway.org.uk
Provides information, support and services to people with a brain injury, to their family and to carers. The website has information, personal injury solicitors and details of local groups.


Apprentices of Wonder: Inside the neural network revolution William F Allman (Bantam Books, 1990)

Accessible book on the scientists who are creating startling new theories of how the mind works.

Brain Repair by Donald G Stein, Simon Brailowsky and Bruno Will (Oxford University Press, 1997)

Written in a highly readable style, the book looks at how the damaged brain can be repaired and reconstructed and covers the field of neuroplasticity.

Head Injury: The facts by Dorothea Gronwall, P Wrightson and P Waddell (Oxford University Press, 1998)

The authors of this book have had many years' experience working with head-injured people in both research and rehabilitation roles. The effects of injury are explained in non-technical terms and, where possible, practical ways of overcoming these effects are described.

Over My Head: A doctor's own story of head injury from the inside looking out by Claudia L Osborn (Sheed and Ward, 1998)

Autobiographical account that details a physician's experience from the moment of impact in a car accident to her remarkable comeback to resumption of teaching and research responsibilities. Her story shows the effect of a severe head injury on behaviour and personality.



Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 18, 2002
And manage one extra year:

Woman talks after 20 years in a coma

Last Updated Fri, 11 Feb 2005 14:50:41 EST
CBC News

HUTCHINSON, KAN. - A woman in Kansas who was knocked into a coma by a drunk driver 20 years ago has begun to speak and remember her past.

A hit-and-run driver struck Sarah Scantlin, then 18, when she was walking to her car in September 1984.

Her brain was injured so badly that doctors first feared she would spend her life in a vegetative state. For years, she has been aware of her environment but unable to form words or make any sounds other than loud cries.

That changed last month, when she suddenly told employees at the nursing home where she lives, "OK, OK."

"You condition yourself to be able to try to deal with something like this, and then all of the sudden, the world instantly changed from despair to joy," her father, Jim Scantlin, told CNN.

"It's amazing how important communication is between human beings."

The woman can now speak words and count, and has begun to remember people and places, staff at the nursing home say.

"It just happened one day and nobody really knows why," said Sharon Kuepker, administrator for the Golden Plains Health Care Center.

Scantlin's family and friends plan to gather at the centre on Saturday to celebrate the change.

"She's 100 per cent Sarah again," her father said. "The family is back together, and it's just simply a joyous situation."

The man who hit Scantlin, Douglas Doman, was jailed for six months after being convicted of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.



Aug 19, 2003
Psychologist credits 'Spiritual Fitness' in recovery from le

Psychologist credits 'Spiritual Fitness' in recovery from leukemia

By Marjorie Wertz
Sunday, February 20, 2005

When Nancy Mramor learned she had leukemia nearly six years ago, the Pittsburgh-based licensed psychologist turned to mind-body medicine to help herself become well.
She refers to the mind-body approach as spiritual fitness and used various techniques, including prayer, faith, and visualization during her struggle with the disease.

"A big part of physical healing is attitude and faith," said Mramor, who holds a Ph.D. and has worked in private practice, schools, and hospitals for over 30 years, and appears monthly on KDKA-TV's "Pittsburgh Today Live" as a regular contributor. "If you have a strong attitude and faith that you will recover, the brain sends a message to the body that you will heal. Visualizing yourself in a healthy condition sends a message to the body to lead you in that direction."

In addition to applying mind-body medical practices, Mramor also heeded the advice of Dr. Carl Srodes, an oncologist affiliated with the West Penn Allegheny Health System, and underwent aggressive chemotherapy for several months.

"Her leukemia was a serious problem that a majority of people would not be cured of, but there are certainly cures that occur," Srodes said. "Establishing a dialogue between science or medicine and the humanities and not dismissing the importance of the spiritual in coping with disease and the problems associated with it are essential."

Mramor was very clear about making decisions regarding her treatment, he added.

"In the long run, giving people information in terms of data that they are emotionally receptive to, empowers them, and gives them a feeling of being in control," Srodes said. "This is something physicians should encourage with their patients. Asking questions is something that's typically frowned upon. Yet, an open dialogue between physician and patient should be integral in the overall decision-making in regards to treatment."

As she recovered from her illness and utilized her spiritual tools she has taught others, Mramor decided to write a book. "Spiritual Fitness" details the mind-body techniques she uses in her practice and those that helped her survive leukemia.

The book features practical exercises so that readers will learn how to break old patterns and learn how to access intuition for a renewed sense of self, purpose, and well-being.

"Spiritual fitness places the spirit at the center of your life and gives practical tips, tools and techniques to take care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally," Mramor said. "I was raised Catholic and I did feel very committed to spirituality growing up. Then when I was 21, I took a meditation and healing class and what I learned through that class heightened what I had already been experiencing."

As part of the spiritual fitness aspect of her practice, Mramor teaches her clients relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques.

"Once they can relax their bodies and let go of all their issues, healthier ideas emerge," Mramor said. "For many people it's about stuffing old beliefs and adopting new practices."

Scientists have also taken up the mind-body cause and began work on identifying the body's pathways that link emotion to health. According to an article in the Sept. 27, 2004, issue of Newsweek, the federal government's 5-year-old Integrated Neural Immune Program will spend $16 million this year on mind-body research, and private foundations will spend millions more. HIP USA, a managed-care organization, has started covering mind-body practices, and Medicare now reimburses patients for certain relaxation techniques administered by psychologists.

The Newsweek article also pointed to a recent government survey that showed nearly half of all Americans in 2002 used mind-body interventions, including deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, hypnosis and guided imagery. Close to half of them also said they prayed, the oldest and most basic form of mind-body medicine.

"There are studies that have suggested that prayer seems to promote healing," Srodes said. "It is my belief that prayer and dealing with the spiritual is important to a person's well-being."

Nancy J. Wintner, president of GWN Consultants, Pittsburgh, likens Mramor's spiritual fitness to a personal training program that works from the inside out.

"Millions of Americans are devouring self-help books and tuning into the television makeover shows. To feel truly comfortable with yourself over the long term you have to look at yourself from the inside and that's what Dr. Nancy is focusing on," said Wintner, Mramor's publicist and friend. "I find her to be very compassionate. She is sincere and is truly dedicated to helping people. She has an extreme dedication to children."

Mramor began her career as a special education teacher in 1976. She then turned to working as a psychologist in the public schools teaching stress management to teachers and children. Mramor's nonprofit corporation, Inner Spaces Network Inc, is dedicated to stress management for children and include relaxation training, conflict resolution, bully prevention, self-esteem building, disability awareness and relationship building. Her multimedia program, "Mastering Relaxation: A Stress Management Curriculum for Children," is endorsed by the Pennsylvania School Counselors Association.

"Today, as a result of her work with children, she is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in children's stress management," said Wintner.

In addition to her work with children, Mramor has been on staff at Shadyside Hospital since 1999 and has presented more than 200 lectures and workshops in hospitals, clinics, schools, conferences and corporations on the mind, body, spirit and spiritual fitness. Her book is a culmination of 30 years' experience as a clinical psychologist in the classroom, in psychotherapy sessions, workshops, seminars and conferences.

"People need to know that the spirit is a real part of the self and that there is a spiritual path to life," said Mramor. "The exercises in my book will teach people how to let go of pessimism, disbelief, negativity or blocks within themselves that interfere with optimum health and wellness. But achieving spiritual fitness is much like becoming physically fit. You have to practice and build up your system.

"People are working hard at becoming happier but they aren't looking on the inside. By improving your spirituality, you will improve your mind and body. If you aren't at peace with your soul, anything that you do on the outside won't matter.

"Everyone has a spirit. It does live eternally, so why not nurture that part of you that will last forever."

"Spiritual Fitness" is available at Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Journeys of Life in Shadyside, Open Mind in Sewickley, through Amazon.com or her Web site at www.drmramor.com.

Mramor will be talking about "Spiritual Fitness" during two upcoming book signings -- Barnes and Noble at the Waterfront on March 5 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and at Borders in Monroeville on March 12, also from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune ... 04951.html


Android Futureman
Aug 7, 2002
Man Dies 100 Times in 12 Hours

The Man Who Died a Hundred Times

None of the Piedmont Hospital doctors or nurses had ever seen anything like it, nor had any of their colleagues anywhere in the country, nor was it in any of the scientific literature.

For 12 hours on November 20th, circumstances threw Piedmont's emergency department and cardiac staff together with Atlantan Jim McClatchey to make medical history.

McClatchey’s normal, daily routine is, well, routine. He sits behind a desk, most often, at his family's aluminum finishing business. It is generally routine -- except for the day his life turned upside down. "The first thing I remember is waking up and having my wife standing there, talking on her cell phone to 911," he said.

McClatchey had collapsed and was unconscious. He thought he'd had a seizure. Instead it was "V-Fib" -- ventricular fibrillation – or what is commonly known as cardiac arrest. "The survival rate is between one and five percent, and so most -- 95 to 97 percent -- die at home and they don't never get to the hospital,” said Dr. Charles Wilmer, a cardiologist at Piedmont.

The fact that McClatchey got to the hospital alive was amazing enough. What happened next made medical history. "He was so unstable that he would literally be shocked, go back into regular rhythm ong enough to start to wake up and then he would fibrillate again, and lose consciousness and we'd have to shock him again,” Dr. Wilmer said.

In the first hour, McClatchey's heart stopped 50 times and he could see it coming. "I remember seeing the heart monitor. It's kind of amazing to watch your own heart….And you know you have about three or four seconds before you're gonna black out," he said. Dr. Wilmer and his team had never seen anything like this before. "We really were sort of thinking on the go -- how can we save this man's life? -- We've tried all of the proven therapies, he's not living, so let's take a chance, let's take a step [and] see if we can advance the science,” he said.

They would simultaneously be checking McClatchey's heart for damage, while trying to stabilize it and while shocking it back into rhythm. McClatchey died a hundred times on November 20h and was shocked so frequently and so severely that he sustained second degree burns to his chest.

"You just keep shocking him because you realize that if you don't shock him back into a regular rhythm, you're gonna lose him,” Dr. Wilmer said. McClatchey, fortunately, was brought back each time. "Not only do I feel fortunate I survived, I feel fortunate it happened,” he said. “I really have been given a great gift, I've had an experience that very few people get to have.”

McClatchey was in perfect health with no family history of heart disease at the time of his attack. His doctors believe a flu-like virus attacked his heart and believe the cardiac arrest triggered by over the counter medicine. His story will be told to heart specialists around the country and the how and why of he survived could lead to advances in the treatment of cardiac arrest.



Gone But Not Forgotten
Sep 17, 2001
Brain damaged for 10 years, firefighter makes astounding recovery

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 Posted: 8:13 AM EDT (1213 GMT)

ORCHARD PARK, New York (AP) -- Ten years after a firefighter was left brain-damaged and mostly mute during a 1995 roof collapse, he did something that shocked his family and doctors: He perked up.

"I want to talk to my wife," Donald Herbert said out of the blue Saturday. Staff members of the nursing home where he has lived for more than seven years raced to get Linda Herbert on the telephone.

It was the first of many conversations the 44-year-old patient had with his wife, four sons and other family and friends during a 14-hour stretch, Herbert's uncle, Simon Manka said.

"How long have I been away?" Herbert asked.

"We told him almost 10 years," the uncle said. "He thought it was only three months."

Herbert was fighting a house fire December 29, 1995, when the roof collapsed, burying him under debris. After going without air for several minutes, Herbert was comatose for 2 1/2 months and has undergone therapy ever since.

News accounts in the days and years after his injury describe Herbert as blind and with little, if any, memory. Video shows him receiving physical therapy but apparently unable to communicate and with little awareness of his surroundings.

Manka declined to discuss his nephew's current condition, or whether the apparent progress was continuing. The family was seeking privacy while doctors evaluated Herbert, he said.

"He's resting comfortably," the uncle said.

As word of Herbert's progress spread, a steady stream of visitors arrived at the Father Baker Manor nursing home in this Buffalo suburb.

"He stayed up till early morning talking with his boys and catching up on what they've been doing over the last several years," firefighter Anthony Liberatore told WIVB-TV.

Herbert's sons were 14, 13, 11 and 3 when he was injured.

Staff members at the nursing facility recognized the change in Herbert, Manka said, when they heard him speaking and "making specific requests."

"The word of the day was `amazing,"' he said.

Dr. Rose Lynn Sherr of New York University Medical Center said when patients recover from brain injuries, they usually do so within two or three years.

"It's almost unheard of after 10 years," she said, "but sometimes things do happen and people suddenly improve and we don't understand why."

Manka said visitors let Herbert set the pace of the conversations and did not bring up the fire in which he was injured.

"The extent and duration of his recovery is not known at this time," Manka said. "However we can tell you he did recognize several family members and friends and did call them by name."

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/HEALTH/05/03/fi ... index.html


Gone But Not Forgotten
Sep 17, 2001
A longer piece prompted by the story above, looking at these cases in general. I'm not so sure about the last quote, though. Sounds pretty explaining away-ish to me. It seems clear that in some cases, no matter how much information we have, we don't know how or why these things happen.

Firefighter begins to talk 10 years after injury left him mute

Doctors are speechless about rare recovery

By Malcolm Ritter - Associated Press Writer

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

New York — Nearly 10 years after a brain injury left a firefighter virtually mute, he suddenly started talking to his wife and sons last weekend. A couple of years ago, it happened with a severely injured car accident victim who'd spent 19 years in silence.

And before that, a paralyzed policeman whose brain had been damaged in a shooting suddenly regained his speech after eight years.

Normally, brain-injured patients who get better do so within the first five years, especially in the first two years, and usually the change is gradual.

So what's the explanation for these reports of long-delayed, sudden improvement?

"We really don't know for sure what's going on," says Anthony Stringer, director of neuropsychology in the department of rehabilitation medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine.

While the answer might involve some long-delayed change in the brain, experts said Tuesday, a sudden improvement might also result from a far different cause, like a change in medications or treatment of some other medical condition that's been suppressing mental function.

Experts say such cases are so rare they don't have much to study, and note that news accounts usually leave out the details needed to evaluate possible causes.

Catching up

The latest case involves firefighter Donald Herbert, 43, who has lived at a nursing home in suburban Buffalo for more than seven years.

In December 1995, the roof of a burning home collapsed on him. He went without oxygen for several minutes before he was rescued, and he ended up blind with little, if any, memory. He was largely mute and showed little awareness of his surroundings.

But last Saturday, he suddenly asked for his wife, Linda. And over the next 14 hours, until he fell asleep early Sunday morning, he chatted with her, his four sons and other family and friends, catching up on what he'd missed.

"How long have I been away?" Herbert had asked.

"We told him almost 10 years," said his uncle, Simon Manka. "He thought it was only three months."

The nursing home and the family have declined to describe his condition since then or discuss medical details of the case.

Other cases

There have been a few other widely publicized examples of brain-damaged patients showing sudden improvement after a number of years. In 2003, an Arkansas man, severely disabled and largely silent for 19 years after a car accident, stunned his mother by saying "Mom" and then asking for a Pepsi. His brain function remained limited, his family said months later.

And Tennessee police officer Gary Dockery, left paralyzed and mute after a 1988 shooting, began speaking to his family one day in 1996, telling jokes and recounting annual winter camping trips. But after 18 hours, he never repeated the unbridled conversation of that day, though he remained more alert than he had been. He died the following year of a blood clot on his lung.

None of these people were in a "persistent vegetative state" like Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman whose feeding-tube case raised anguished end-of-life ethical discussions.

Recovery possibilities

So what might explain long-delayed, sudden recoveries from brain injury?

One possibility is that the brain may have been impaired not just by the injury, but by some other condition, such as an infection or unrecognized seizure. When that other condition is treated or removed, the person's mental status improves, even though the effect of the brain injury itself is unchanged.

"Something is holding them down further" than the brain injury itself does, said Dr. Ross Zafonte, chair of the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh.

For example, some people have longstanding but subtle seizures after a head injury that can induce confusion, and when they are treated, "Boom, people get better," Bernat said. "I've seen that happen."

Liver disease, lung problems, anemia, infections and diabetes can also contribute to neurological problems, he said. So can side effects from certain drugs, and so a change in medication might bring about a sharp improvement in mental status, he said.

"I'm not saying that's the case here (with the firefighter)," he said, "but these are the kinds of details we would need to know in order to properly interpret what happened."



Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Awaking from long-term coma

The big sleep
By Tom Geoghegan
BBC News Magazine

What's it like waking up after 10 years "asleep"? After a New York fireman who barely said a word for a decade began talking profusely, what are the experiences of people who wake up from comas and vegetative states after long periods?

"I want to talk to my wife," was Donald Herbert's first sentence in a decade.

The 43-year-old then began speaking at length to loved ones, who feared he would never recover after a roof collapsed on him in 1995. He was initially in a coma, then he regained consciousness, but his speech was slurred and his vision unclear, with no memory of relatives.

Another American, Terry Wallis, who came round in 2003 after a 19-year coma, still thinks it is 1984 and has severe memory problems.

There is a fascination with this deep state of unconscious, a "twilight zone" between life and death and a place few of us ever explore.

It comes from the Greek word "koma", meaning deep sleep
It is a state of deep unconsciousness, in which an individual is unable to respond to external stimuli. The eyes are usually closed and there is no speech.
In a vegetative state, the eyes may open and close and individuals may respond to visual and aural stimuli.
When minimally conscious, patients may track objects, grasp things and respond to words
Even fewer have lived to tell their stories, but two women in the UK who recovered after weeks in a coma give a rare insight.

Julie Bridgewater, 56, from north London, suffered severe head injuries after being hit by a car in 1988. She was in a coma for three-and-a-half weeks and unusually, she does have some recollection of it.

"During that time, something occurred that I had a sense of, it's a sort of lost time-and-space thing," she says. "It's not like I was very aware of what I was doing, as I am now.

"I was looking at myself from a great height, observing myself but not necessarily knowing that was myself or my unconscious or subconscious. I can't define it as conscious intelligence."

Some noises like bleeps on television hospital programmes take her back: "It's burned in my body somehow, hardwired in my body."

Ms Bridgewater also remembers making a choice to live rather than die: what she calls a "contract with myself".

Events going on around her while she was in the coma also registered, like the woman Christine in the bed next to her who, she already knew, had died. And Ms Bridgewater's first words were in Farsi, a language she had learnt many years before, as if her brain was retrieving knowledge long forgotten.

Although her physical recovery has been good, mentally it feels like the Body Snatchers have planted her in someone else's body, she says. And there are more personal changes too.

"On some level, I'm wiser, stronger, harder, but on another level extremely vulnerable and volatile. A grumpy old woman sometimes too.

"I was happy in myself pre-injury, but post-injury, it's like an alien landing on a planet without a map to show your way around. Or seeing the deep sea for the first time."


This feeling of having no purpose or niche still persists, she says. "It's an odd experience and I still feel like that a lot of the time. One tries to be out there, in amongst it all, but there's necessary sanctuary time and disconnectedness as well."

She has suffered from depression, but not to the point of ending it all because of the promise she made to herself to live.

This experience contrasts with that of Sarah Kemp, 26, who was in a coma for six weeks after a horse-riding accident in 1999. At first, doctors said it would be a miracle if she lasted 12 hours and in the following days they gave her parents the option of switching off the life-support machine because they feared the brain damage would be so severe.

"For me it was crystal clear, it was like waking up from a night's sleep, clicking your fingers and being fully there," she says. "I looked at my dad and I knew I couldn't speak so I indicated to him. I don't know how I knew I couldn't speak and I didn't attempt to but I must have heard."

Ms Kemp also had picked up on things around her - she knew what had happened to her, that it was her 21st birthday in two weeks and that her two best friends were coming back from the US in a week.

Four months later, she had made a full recovery after hard work to recover her movement - learning how to eat, drink and speak again - although intense fatigue prevents her working full-time.

Doctors are stunned that even her memory is good despite the fact that, as she puts it, "50% of my brain is just mush". But there was a social gap in her knowledge.

"I had forgotten how to be in the real world. I gave one-word answers to 'How are you?' and it wasn't until I went to the brain injury charity Headway that I learnt how to be me again, socialising and helping people out."

Personality changes

Her chatty personality returned and her appreciation of natural beauty has been enhanced ever since.

Although Ms Kemp's success shows the resilience of the brain and its ability to re-route signals around damaged areas, some injuries can change personalities, says Rebecca Watson of Headway.

"They could become a complete stranger to a friend or partner and can change personality. They could become violent and aggressive or go the other way and become passive."

Some people need prompt cards to help them shop, or help dealing with crowds. Depression is also a problem for the injured and their carers.


Not yet SO old Great Old One
Jul 7, 2004
Warwickshire, England.
The Terry Wallis case is very sad indeed. I remember seeing a documentary on it earlier this year.

He may have come out of his coma 19 years later, but his brain is so damaged that he has next to no short term memory. He kept on making inappropriate comments and advances to his daughter - who he cannot accept is not a small baby.


Gone But Not Forgotten
Oct 3, 2004
Cases like these just make me wonder. What's this life for? Are we indeed spiritual beings with a soul separate from our physical selves or are we just matter subject to the vagaries of chance to determine how we will be in this world? Where is the soul, if it exists, during these coma stages? And if the recoverer suffers tragic behavioural and personality changes then what becomes of their original soul - the "true self" they once felt inside? It's so hard to find meaning when indications suggest only that there is no meaning. Maybe we are just "human clay" being manipulated by fate until we finally expire into nothingness.


Not yet SO old Great Old One
Jul 7, 2004
Warwickshire, England.
Dana said:
Cases like these just make me wonder. What's this life for? Are we indeed spiritual beings with a soul separate from our physical selves or are we just matter subject to the vagaries of chance to determine how we will be in this world? Where is the soul, if it exists, during these coma stages? And if the recoverer suffers tragic behavioural and personality changes then what becomes of their original soul - the "true self" they once felt inside? It's so hard to find meaning when indications suggest only that there is no meaning. Maybe we are just "human clay" being manipulated by fate until we finally expire into nothingness.

Well, I'm about ready to hang myself, now. How about you?

I prefer to think of the body as a vessel for the soul. The brain is just part of that body. It may deteriorate over time, or from outside damage, but it is just part of the body.

Think of it a bit like a PC, made up of components and cards, and memomory drives. Sure, parts of the PC may need replacing now and then, hard drives lose clusters of information from wear, DVD drives may packu up, but switch it on and it will always TRY to work, even if part of it can't...


Gone But Not Forgotten
Oct 3, 2004
Well, I'm about ready to hang myself, now. How about you?

I didn't mean for my post to cause such dejection. I was merely stating my genuine thoughts on the matter. My apologies if I made anyone depressed.


Not yet SO old Great Old One
Jul 7, 2004
Warwickshire, England.
Dana said:
Well, I'm about ready to hang myself, now. How about you?

I didn't mean for my post to cause such dejection. I was merely stating my genuine thoughts on the matter. My apologies if I made anyone depressed.

I was being just a wee bit ironic there... :lol:


Aug 19, 2003
Italian man "understood everything" during 2-year

Italian man "understood everything" during 2-year coma

Oct. 06 (CWNews.com) - An Italian man who had been in a coma for 2 years has awakened, reportedly that he had been fully aware of his surroundings while he was comatose.

"I was lying in a coma, but I understood everything," said Salvatore Crisafulli of Sicily. The 38-year-old man, whose case had been compared with that of Terri Schiavo in the US, recently regained his ability to speak. With physical therapy he has also been able to move his head and left arm.

Crisafulli received traumatic head injuries in a motorcycle accident on September 11, 2003. For two years his wife Rita, his daughters Rita-Maria and Angela, and his mother and siblings took care of him as he lay in a coma, unresponsive.

“The doctors said that I was unconscious, but I understood everything,” Crisafulli declared. “I cried because I couldn’t manage to make myself understood.” He also recalled hearing how his brother tried to explain to the doctors that the comatose patient understood everything that they were saying.

He now spends time telling his family about his experiences during the past two years. Crisafulli said that during the final months before his “reawakening” he remembered overhearing a telephone conversations. “I cried, because I couldn’t answer,” he calls. His brother Pietro remembers, “He cried in the presence of the doctors, and they interpreted his tears as an involuntary response to an external stimulus. But in reality everything was genuine.”

Wakey Wakey[/url


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 18, 2002
Blind woman regains sight after heart attack

By ROBIN YAPP and ANDY DOLAN, Daily Mail 08:37am 20th January 2006

A woman who was blind for a quarter of a century has baffled doctors by regaining her sight after suffering a heart attack.

Great-grandmother Joyce Urch, 74, awoke from a coma to find her vision restored.

Doctors are describing it as a 'miracle' because they can find no medical explanation for the phenomenon.

Mrs Urch, from Coventry, lost her sight in 1979, apparently because of glaucoma. After more than 25 years, she was admitted to the city's Walsgrave Hospital with chest pains.

A few days later, she suffered a cardiac arrest and was not expected to live. But she recovered - and left doctors and her 77-year-old husband Eric astounded when she shouted: "I can see, I can see, I can see."

Mrs Urch said: "Eric came over and I said, "Oh, you've got wrinkles on your face. You must be old.

"And I said, "Well, I must be old as well then."

The last time the mother of five from Coventry could see, Margaret Thatcher had just been elected Prime Minister and Nottingham Forest were European football champions.

Now she says that every time she looks out at her garden she cannot believe her luck.

'Is that really me?'

"I love going out now. I can look around and see the trees and squirrels and pigeons. The first time you look in the mirror you look at yourself and think, "Is that really me? I never used to be like that."

"A lot of things, such as shops, have changed. Coventry has changed. There are roads everywhere where they weren't before."

Mrs Urch has seen her three great-grandchildren for the first time and last weekend celebrated her golden wedding anniversary.

Her husband, a former miner, said: "I didn't believe it at first, she was still alive for one thing and all I could think was, well, somebody up there must love Joyce.

"When she said she could see me, I said, "What colour pullover am I wearing?" She said "grey". And she was right. It must be some sort of a miracle because I never thought Joyce would ever see again."

Mrs Urch went blind after she was diagnosed with glaucoma - a complex group of disorders which involve damage to the optic nerve and can lead to permanent blindness. She is also arthritic and diabetic.

Dr Martin Been, her consultant cardiologist, said he could not explain her sight returning. Asked whether it was a miracle, he said: "It seems so. I am baffled."

Ian Murdoch, a consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, said the blindness might have been caused not by the glaucoma but by cataracts - where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy.

"The heart attack itself or the treatment she received as a result could have put pressure on her eyes, causing the cataract to drop away to the back.

"But if this was the case, I would expect Mrs Urch only to have regained unfocused sight, such as being able to perceive between light and dark."


The mysteries of restored vision

By Celia Hall Medical Editor
(Filed: 20/01/2006)

The unexpected restoration of Joyce Urch's eyesight following a heart attack remains a mystery to her doctors.

By her own account she suffered from glaucoma, a condition in which abnormal pressure in the eye damages the optic nerve. But she also said there was a family history of blindness and, despite many tests, there had been no firm explanation for her loss of sight.

Specialists said yesterday that a reversal of glaucoma was not likely since the damage caused was irreversible.

"The only rational explanation would be that very dense cataracts dislodged spontaneously, but that is a bit outlandish," said Kerry Jordon, consultant ophthalmologist and a member of council of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. There were, he said, only anecdotal accounts of "psychological blindness" and of sight regained following trauma.

In 2000 there were reports of a 76-year-old man, also from Coventry, regaining vision after being blind for 12 years. One day, in his armchair, he realised that he could see colours and his sight returned. Again there was no medical explanation.

Four years ago a young woman from New Zealand, blind for 10 years, banged her head on a table as she stooped to kiss her guide dog. The next day she could see.

Guide dogs and "short sharp shocks" feature in several anecdotes. Tripping over guide dogs and being injured were cited in reports of restored sight in 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1988.

Another story, possibly an urban myth, relates to a blind Indian who, in 1985, hit his head against a door and regained his sight, but lost his hearing at the same time.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2006.



Disciple of Marduk
Aug 24, 2001
HM The Tower of London
The BF's father had a head injury and lost some of the sight in one eye. It was put down to a partially detached retina. About a year later, he banged his head again (on the same cupboard door at home!) and the sight came back, almost completely.


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Unexpected Cures and Remissions

Couldn't find a suitable thread for this story (although I'm sure similar tales have cropped up here), so have started a new one for this type of 'Medical Miracles:
Ski holiday ride 'cures' deaf man

A former soldier who lost his hearing 15 years ago has suddenly regained it on a ski lift in the Italian Dolomites.
Derek Glover, 72, from Bourne, Lincolnshire, was 7,000ft up on holiday with his daughter when he heard a loud pop and his hearing returned.

Mr Glover's hearing was first damaged while on National Service 50 years ago and gradually worsened until he had to have a hearing aid fitted 15 years ago.

Doctors have so far been unable to explain what happened.

'Believe in miracles'

Mr Glover said: "I'd been skiing all morning and we'd decided we'd had enough so we were coming down in the cable car with my daughter and son-in-law.

"All of a sudden my ears went pop and their voices were dead clear, it was unbelievable.

"The doctors can't explain anything and he's starting to believe in miracles I think."

Mr Glover put his poor hearing down to firing rounds on the army shooting range when he was a soldier on National Service.

But he added that the army had also taught him to ski which was a very fortunate thing.

David Reid, of Deafness Research UK, said: "Regaining your hearing because of a change in altitude is very unusual - and the NHS aren't going to be prescribing holidays to the Alps anytime soon!"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/linc ... 665494.stm


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 18, 2002
Spontaneous remissions do occur

3/12/2006 7:26 AM
By: Jennifer Matthew, News 14 Carolina

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Now, you see it -- now, you don't. For centuries, so-called "medical miracles" have fascinated the greatest minds in medicine. Magicians can make objects disappear, but can our bodies make tumors go away?

Alice Epstein says hers did. Epstein's doctor said she had only a couple of months to live after her kidney cancer spread to both lungs.

"By the time the tests came back, there was really no hope," she said.

Epstein had surgery to remove the tumor in her kidney but didn't have any treatment for the other lesions. She says they just disappeared! Her doctor gave back her X-rays and admitted he didn't know why or how it happened. That was 20 years ago.

"Now, there will be people who won't believe the sort of thing I'm saying, but we believed in the psychological approach. But it was more than psychology. I meditated twice a day. I calmed myself down. I really became a different person," Epstein said.

But can cancer just go away without treatment? Researcher Caryle Hirshberg, M.S., of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, Calif., says yes. And it even has a clinical name -- spontaneous remission.

Hirshberg has studied the phenomenon for 25 years and compiled the world's largest database of reported cases from 800 journals.

"Cancer can bypass the body's surveillance system," she said. "It tricks the system."

Some patients develop a fever and an infection right before spontaneous remission. Doctors believe this triggers a powerful immune response that also destroys tumors.

More research on the subject could help doctors find cures to different diseases.

"We look at people when they're sick, and we try to make them better, but we don't look at the group of people that get better and figure out why," Hirshberg said.

Researchers used to believe these remissions occurred in about one in every 100,000 cases, but her research shows they may be much more common, about 10-fold.

Stephen Barrett, M.D., a psychiatrist with QuackWatch.org, admits spontaneous remissions do happen, but says they are still rare.

"Most people who recover from cancer do so as a result of standard medical treatment," he said.

Epstein says her recovery was the real deal, and she's written a book about her experience. And she says that "miracle" is why she's here today.

www.news14charlotte.com/content/top_sto ... rID=115190


Aug 19, 2003
Coma Patient Recovers After Twenty Years
Main Category: Neurology / Neuroscience News
Article Date: 04 Jul 2006 - 9:00am (PDT)

Terry Wallis was barely conscious for twenty years after a car accident - three years ago he started speaking again. A short time later he was able to move his arms and legs.

Doctors say his brain gradually started rewiring itself. Scientists found that cells in a relatively undamaged part of his brain had created new axons. Axons are long nerve fibres that pass messages between neurons.

When Wallis came out of his semi-conscious state he thought it was still 1984.

You can read about this in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

At first his speech was slurred. The first word he uttered was ‘Mom'. His doctors were amazed that he managed to make any recovery at all after so many years. They started tracking the areas of his brain for growth and changes in activity levels.

Even though he has recovered movement of his limbs, he is not yet able to walk or feed himself unaided.

Wallis had tumbled over a guardrail in his pickup truck and fell 25 feet into a riverbed. He was 19 years old. Doctors had given him little chance of survival.

Henning Voss, Weill Medical College's Citigroup Biomedical Imaging Center, lead author, said "I believe it's a very, very slow self-healing process of the brain.”

The researchers believe that Wallis' brain may have been seeking out new pathways to re-establish functional connections.

Even though what happened to Wallis is extremely unusual, scientists say doctors may have to rethink how they treat comatose patients.

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/healthn ... wsid=46558


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Sleeping pill Zolpidem awakens girl from coma
By Aislinn Simpson
Last Updated: 2:07am GMT 31/10/2007

A girl who has spent six years in a coma is showing signs of life after taking a sleeping pill.

Amy Pickard, 23, had lain in her bed, unable to eat or breathe for herself since falling unconscious in 2001.

But after being enrolled in a study of the side-effects of the sleeping pill Zolpidem, her eyes have begun to sparkle and she has even managed to stand.

Amy's mother, Thelma Pickard, 54, has visited her every day at the Raphael Medical Centre in Tonbridge, Kent, and claims that she can see her "feisty and determined" daughter fighting her way to recovery.

She reacts to strong-tasting foods, can breathe unaided, focus on objects in her room and is beginning to formulate words.

"When she takes the pill, I see her face relax and the old sparkle return to her eyes. It truly is remarkable," said Mrs Pickard.

Amy, who is the subject of a BBC1 documentary The Waking Pill to be broadcast tonight, was 17 and studying for her A-Levels at Filsham Valley School in East Sussex when she was persuaded to inject heroin by her then boyfriend.

She is one of 360 people taking part in a worldwide trial of Zolpidem as a treatment for people in comas. Sixty per cent of patients taking part in the study have started showing signs of life.

The drug's side-effects were first discovered after a 24-year-old South African cyclist suffered a serious brain injury after being hit by a lorry in 1994. Doctors told his parents that he would never regain consciousness.

Five years after his accident, nurses noticed he was involuntarily grabbing at his mattress and gave him Zolpidem to help him sleep more deeply. Instead, just 25 minutes later, he sat up in bed and said: "Hello, mummy."

The British firm ReGen Therapeutics began a trial and, as one of those involved, Amy's mother was flown to South Africa to meet other patients who had tried it.

She said: "I've had so many disappointments in my life, so I didn't set my expectations too high. When I came back from South Africa, I was exhausted, but the hope in my heart was intense.

"But the more I saw, the more I heard and the more I experienced, the more I realised Amy must try this new treatment."

Barely four weeks after taking her first pill, Amy, who has an older brother David, 27, is making good progress.

Doctors have warned Mrs Pickard it could take months for a breakthrough, but she believes her daughter is already on the road to recovery.

"When I look at her now I can see the old Amy coming through, fighting to get out. It's a day-to-day waiting game to see what will happen next, but I just know she's going to speak any day," she said.

"Every day she takes the tablet, it gives me more and more hope. My life is better now than it's ever been over the past six years."

The story echoes the plot of the film Awakenings, which stars Robert de Niro and Robin Williams. It is based on real events, in which a research physician uses an experimental drug to "awaken" the catatonic victims of a rare sleeping sickness.



Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 7, 2001
Husband's love and a rollicking save coma wife
Last Updated: 3:57am GMT 23/02/2008

A mother who fell into a coma after losing her baby son during a difficult labour came back from the brink of death after her husband gave her "a bloody good rollicking".

Yvonne Sullivan, 28, lost consciousness suffering from severe blood poisoning moments after being told that baby Clinton had died.

Despite grieving for their lost son, her husband Dominic, 37, kept a round-the-clock vigil at her bedside for two weeks as she lay in intensive care.

But when doctors told him they could have to switch off her life support machine, Mr Sullivan took drastic action - by giving his wife a firm telling-off.

He held his wife's hand and demanded: "You start fighting. Don't you dare give up on me now. I've had enough, stop mucking around and start breathing. Come back to me."

Two hours later she started to breathe steadily again.

Within five days doctors were able to switch off her ventilator, and she regained consciousness to see her husband standing beside her.

She even remembers hearing her husband yelling at her as she lay in a coma and says it gave her the strength to pull through.

She said: "I can't remember exactly what he said but I never liked getting told off by Dom. Something inside me just clicked and I began to fight again. When I came round I thought he'd been gone a few minutes, then he told me I'd been out for two weeks. It's a miracle. I owe him so much."

Mrs Sullivan, of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, discovered she was pregnant shortly after her marriage in September 2006.

However, her baby was diagnosed as anaemic and had to undergo regular blood transfusions while still in the womb.

Mrs Sullivan went into labour two months early on July 5 last year and gave birth to Clinton at St Michael's Hospital in Bristol after a traumatic 14-hour labour. Clinton died after contracting a blood infection.

Doctors realised that Mrs Sullivan had blood poisoning and her body was going into septic shock, which makes all the vital organs shut down.

She was taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary where her condition worsened rapidly. Her last memory was her husband leaving her bedside to get a cup of coffee.

Mr Sullivan, a lorry driver, kept a vigil by her bed until doctors told him that his wife might not survive. He said: "I got angry. I grabbed her hand and began shouting at her 'start fighting, don't you dare give up on me'. I gave her a bloody good rollicking.

"I kept telling her to pull through. Then I left the room to get some air. I came back two hours later and she had started to breathe. It was incredible. Sometimes you find powers you just didn't know you had."

Dr Narendar Ramnani, a reader in cognitive neuroscience at Royal Holloway University of London, said the brain processes information when in a coma. He added: "It is entirely possible that her husband provided her with some stimulus which helped her to come back."

After leaving hospital Mrs Sullivan had to relearn how to perform basic tasks and struggled to put the kettle on or tie her shoe laces for weeks.

Now thanks to her husband's support and her determination, she has made a full recovery.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... oma123.xml