Monday, October 09, 2006

True-Life Miracle: Boy Awakens from 22-Month Coma

An Oregon boy diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state has awoken from his coma:

Until Oct. 7, 2004, Devon Rivers was an active, happy child, who loved Scouts and sports, school and church, riding his bike and playing with his baby brother, Brakken. He was the kid of kid that when he ran out of things to put together, he took things apart so he could put them together again.

All that changed the day his mother and father rushed him to the emergency room, where doctors made an initial diagnosis of rheumatic fever and prescribed antibiotics.

Five days later, Devon's condition worsened and he started having trouble breathing on his own. On Oct. 17, he lapsed into the coma.

Medics sent samples of Devon's spinal fluid to labs across the country, trying to figure out what was causing his illness. But every test - from West Nile virus to lead poisoning - came back negative.

Doctors guessed he had a viral illness. But they never were able to pinpoint what it was or what had caused it.

Eventually, he was moved to a pediatric nursing care center, where he received daily physical therapy that kept his muscles from atrophying and his joints from locking up.

Yet every time doctors checked on him, they had the same prognosis: Devon was in a persistent vegetative state, and it was doubtful that he would ever recover.

For two years, friends and family members shuttled back and forth between Yamhill and the nursing home, bearing stuff animals and posters, blessings and prayers.

Carla Rivers visited her son at least twice a week, carrying on a one-sided conversation on the assumption that coma victims retain their hearing.

One Friday in late August, she told Devon the family was heading for Utah for a wedding.

As she spoke, she remembered, it seemed as though her son was actually looking at her, and that his breathing seemed different, as if he weren't relying so much on the tracheal tube.

A few days later, the Rivers family got the news: Devon was indeed breathing on his own, a very positive sign.

In the weeks since then, Devon has made a great deal of progress, so much that his parents are hoping he'll soon be able to relearn skills like using a spoon and brushing his teeth.

During his coma, Devon received daily physical therapy to keep his joints from locking up. Family and church members decorated his room with things he loved, visited with Devon frequently, and carried on one-way conversations with him.

Devon was also the subject of prayers and faith healing services from members of the local church.

More details of this heart-warming story here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gina, what a wonderful, positive storty this is. It is great to have people in your life that will never give up on you.

Thanks for this very encouraging post!