Over a week ago, the WaPo ran this lengthy piece on Sarah Scantlin, severely injured in an accident twenty years ago,
Sarah, lying in this bed nearly 20 years, brain-damaged, blank, speechless, immobile, staring out the same window. Couldn’t talk to the people who came to talk to her. Couldn’t say change the channel. Couldn’t say shut up. Couldn’t say scratch that itch . . .
Sarah, who 20 years ago was run down by a drunk driver, the impact throwing her into the path of a second car that slammed her forehead and left her so damaged nobody understood how her body survived, let alone her mind.
Sarah. They didn’t know that as she lay in that bed, with her mouth gaping, face wretched in a silent agony, body atrophying, feet gnarling, fists clenched across her chest, tight, as if she were afraid, big, blue eyes staring out like she was trapped . . . They didn’t know that as she lay there, something in her brain was mending.
People came and people went. Some grew up and some grew old. Some gave up and went away, guiltily diving into their own lives as Sarah Scantlin lay in that bed. Never believing she would do anything more than lie there and stare into oblivion, or wherever it is that brain-damaged people go, hovering between now and then, nowhere and somewhere, just out of reach.
Then six months ago, Sarah came back.