A few weeks ago we heard that a young man we know was in a horrible road accident and although he was still alive, in a hospital a few hours from here, there was no hope of him surviving. A while after that, we heard that he’d survived but was in a coma and the doctors were saying he’d never wake up. They were, we heard, urging the family to “pull the plug” as they charmingly put it, but the family is a God-fearing one, and they weren’t having any of that.
Then we heard that J. was fluttering his eyes and showing other signs of nearly coming to, and the doctors were saying that it was too late to pull the plug now, but that there was still no hope.
Then we heard that J. had come awake, but didn’t recognize anyone and didn’t understand a bit of what was going on around him, and was totally paralyzed to boot. The doctors were saying, or so we were told, that there was no hope of him becoming coherent, and that he’d be paraplegic for life.
So, when I ran into J.’s father at the post office a couple of days ago, I braced myself before I walked up to see how things were going and to offer my condolences and see if there was anything my husband or I could do besides pray, which of course we’d been doing, along with untold numbers of others.
The father grinned. He told me that J. had come fully awake, recognizes everyone, and has progressed to using a walker. His short term memory isn’t so hot, but he’s aware and functioning and seems to be improving all the time.
The father stopped in his narrative and shook his head. “A month ago… a month ago…” He paused and took another run at it. “A month ago they were saying there was no hope…”