Friday, October 13, 2006

Another Reason Not to Pull the Plug!

Boy in So-Called "Persistent Vegetative State" for Two Years Awakens

by Steven EditorOctober 11, 2006
Yamhill, OR (

A 11 year-old Oregon boy who entered into a coma after he was diagnosed with a mysterious illness has awoken from the incapacitated state. Devon Rivers isn't unique but his case is typical of the battle hopeful families fight with doctors who are quick to declare patients in a persistent vegetative state and say there is no hope of recovery.

In October 2004, Rivers' mother Carla rushed him to the emergency room where doctors determined he had rheumatic fever.

They gave him antibiotics but his condition worsened five days later and Devon began to have problems breathing on his own. On October 17 he entered into a coma.
According to an AP report, doctors contacted research labs across the country trying to determine what happened to the young boy but were never able to determine what was causing Devon's problems.

Devon was eventually moved to a pediatric nursing center where he received daily physical therapy. But doctors kept telling his family the same thing: He is in a persistent vegetative state and there is little or no hope of recovery.
In August, Carla remembers telling Devon that his family would be gone for a few days and, as she spoke to him, she told the Associated Press that she recalled he appeared to be looking at her and that his breathing was different.
Days later, doctors confirmed the good news that Devon was indeed breathing on his own.

Within days he was off his breathing tube and seizure medicine and he has regained movement in his arms and body.

Devon has also been trying to talk and Carla says he has been saying "ma ma" as if trying to say mother and "ho" as if trying to say home.
Devon does other things to show he's on the way back -- whether it's shooting a small basketball through a hoop, listening to a book being read to him and wanting to see the pictures, or playing with a remote control car.

In the weeks that have followed, Devon has made considerable progress and they hope he will be able to relearn skills such as brushing his teeth and eating on his own with a spoon.

"We want to know what's going on with him, when he can come home, what more we can expect," Rivers told AP.

"Devon may make a full recovery or what we see today may be what we get," Rivers added in an interview with the Oregonian newspaper. "God's plan is greater than ours. There's nothing we can do to force it any sooner or hold it back."

"He's still a little boy," Carla said. "I know at some point he's going to realize he's not at home. He needs to be home with his mom."

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