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Friday, January 14, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords's Brain-Damage, Frightening

Brain damage is a very complex, spooky topic.  As a parent and teacher we wonder how/if any illness or accident can effect a child's mind, learning capabilities.  My youngest was very ill with osteomyelitis at the age of two weeks, and the doctors suspected brain damage.  He then surprised them by quickly catching up and even being advanced including high IQ.  But is his mild learning disability from that or just a genetic quirk?  There are mild learning disabilities in both mine and my husband's families.

Now all over the world people are following the press releases announcing the amazing progress in the recovery of Gabrielle Giffords.  We get excited that she keeps her eyes open for fifteen minutes and moves her limbs on command.  And then, wham, reading a little further there's this statement:
“I believe one day she will be able to think,” Dr. Rhee said.
Oops!  If all she may end up doing is follow simple physical instructions, the situation is really bad. That means that there's nothing left of her personality, opinions, intelligence.

Of course, all of this is hard to know just days after the shooting.  Neurological damage, whether from injury, illness or age is so very individual.  May G-d give strength to her family and friends.


JDL London Canada said...

Rufa Shlema to Gabrielle. It is frightening. I wonder sometimes if this is a way of downplaying reality because the US is in so much denial lately. They don't want to believe they can be vulnerable in the slightest way nu?

Batya said...

The doctor's statement really threw me, because the rest of the article was so positive sounding.