Forty PVS patients were studied. They were given therapy to promote communication. Seventeen of the patients (43%!) were found to be able to communicate. The conclusions? These patients were all originally misdiagnosed as PVS, and such a diagnosis cannot be easily made and requires a team of specialists.
Perhaps this is an argument of semantics. Were they misdiagnosed or did they emerge from a PVS? It doesn't really matter. What matters is that in this sample 43% of people thought to be in a PVS were able to improve and learn to communicate. Another thing this study revealed is that a disproportionate number of those "misdiagnosed" were those that were visually impaired. The fact that Terri reacts to her mother's face when she gets very close to Terri may indicate that Terri does not see her well at a distance due to her brain damage.
Even after Terri dies (and I've basically accepted that it WILL happen), we who have been involved in the fight will find that it's really not over.
For most people, once she dies, it's gone from their radar. For those of us who have been part of Blogs for Terri, the experience has changed us.
When I originally signed up, I thought I would make a brief post each day, linking to others who had thought more deeply about the issue, or who had specific knowledge of the case. I honestly didn't expect it to take over my life the way it has.
As the weeks have gone by, I found that I spent a great deal of off-line time mulling over the subject. I talked to others, and found that my input was useful and persuasive. I began to look for ways to raise interest and awareness, and started to write to the MSM, to provide corrections to mis-statements.
I hope you, who are reading, take this the right way, but perhaps this fight wasn't meant to save her life. Perhaps the larger meaning of Terri's life is that the process took some of us off the fence of apathy. Now that her life is drawing to a close, I have been changed - I can no longer stay aloof from these issues and live with myself.
I have been touched by Terri. It surely isn't what her parents wanted for her, but it is part of the measure of her life. Her martyrdom led me down the road of activism, and I will never be the same.
Thank you, Terri, and may God bless you.