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65 Year-Old Woman Diagnosed as “Brain Dead” Walks and Talks after Awakening February 20, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in God, health care, life, materialism, news.
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Writing for LifeSite.com, Hilary White reports that Raleane “Rae” Kupferschmidt was 65 year old when she had a massive cerebral haemorrhage in January. Doctors told her family she was “brain dead” and would not recover. Based on her her wishes, the family had all vital support–breathing and feeding tubes–removed and they took her home to die.

While friends and family gathered to say a last good bye, Kupferschmidt’s daughter Lisa Sturm used an ice cube to wet her mother’s dry lips. When her mother sucked on the ice cube, she thought it was only an instinctive reaction. She said, “I knew suckling is a very basic brain stem function, so I didn’t get real excited.” “But when I did it again she just about sucked the ice cube out of my hand, and I looked at my aunt and said, ‘Did you see that?’ So I leaned down and asked, ‘Mom… Mom, are you in there?'” Sturm said. “And when she shook her head and mouthed, ‘Yes,’ we all just about fell over.”

Rae was rushed back to the hospital and underwent surgery to drain the blood clot from her skull. After surgery, she recovered her strength and is now undergoing physical therapy and can walk with the aid of a walker. Doctors expect her to be walking on her own within weeks. Rae says she does not remember anything during her coma.

She told family that she had seen angels in her room. “I said these angels are not here to take me home to my father. They’re here to help me, to help me get over this.”

I imagine atheists and agnostics would argue she was dreaming and that the angels merely represented a childlike need for rescue by a parent figure. Those who have studied the life-after-death literature by practicing medical doctors realize the wishful thinkers are those in denial–denial based on evolutionary or naturalist materialism that this is all there is. No, the life-after-death studies reveal human life continues beyond death. (See also Easter Among the Living and the Dead)

White continues her report by pointing out a problem with the current medical criteria of brain death or PVS and organ donation. Physicians and bioethicists who support the brain death criteria claim that such a diagnosis is reliable and means that a patient is beyond any hope of recovery. Under new bioethics criteria, “brain death” can be used as a condition under which organs are removed from a patient while his heart is kept beating. Organ transplant requires that tissue be recovered from donors as close to physical death as possible and physicians are under heavy pressure to procure more organs.

The problem is in many cases patients who have been unconscious, semi-conscious or severely neurologically disabled, such as Terri Schiavo, have been declared “brain dead” or “PVS” only to recover, has undermined public confidence in the medical system. Others like Terry Wallis, who experienced a car wreck in 1984, woke unexpectedly and began to recover after 19 years in a minimally conscious state. In 2005 in Italy, Salvatore Crisafulli woke from a coma he had suffered for two years. He had been declared “nearly dead” by doctors after a serious auto accident that left him unresponsive. In Poland in 2007, a railway worker astonished his family and doctors when he awoke spontaneously after 19 years.

If there was no living will specifying not to remove vital support or not to donate organs, family members of the people previously mentioned could have insisted both on letting them die and on donating their organs. Another scenario is when people whose driver’s license indicates their wish to donate their organs are diagnosed as brain dead, the state may attempt to permit doctors to harvest organs unless specifically prevented by family members. Under the new bioethics rules, patients who would recover from PVS would be killed for their organs.

The point here is that medical doctors have no clue when or if a PVS patient might recover. That is why all available information about all of the possibilities must be provided to all inquirers when making decisions about life and death. Limiting such information to naturalistic and current medical diagnoses is not acceptable. Information must include the exceptions and the spiritual possibilities as well.

According to White, doctors at United Hospital said they are amazed by Rae Kupferschmidt’s recovery. One told Good Morning America, “I’ve been here for ten years and I’ve never seen anything quite like this.”

Miracles do happen!

Rae told Good Morning America, “God’s got something for me to do. When I learn it, I’ll unfold it and follow it.”



1. Bladis - February 21, 2008

[This post is pretty important. If I understand what is being said, Salvatore, who was PSV like Terri Schiavo, is attempting to communicate his experience by means of a computer as he still recovers very slowly from it. Once he awakened, he was aware of everything, could feel all throughout his body, tried to move and communicate but could not. All he was capable of moving his eyelids, which his family eventually figured how to communicate with him. The all-knowing doctors persisted that we was PVS and incapable of anything including knowing or communicating. His family had to fight and eventually won against the ignorance of doctors. His message below is not in proper English–he is an Italian, but it is effort to tell the world about his experience in hopes it will prevent any more people like Terri and himself from being helped to live.]

Who am I: “The Italian Terri Schiavo” (http://www.myspace.com/salvatorecrisafulli)

(so they said famous physicians, in a popular Telecast as “Hands to Door”) I am Salvatore Crisafulli, today 42 years in Catania that I have lived for almost two years in been Vegetative Permanent (for the medical science) and that I/you/they have succeeded, (thanks to the help of my relatives) to go out of the tunnel of the Permanent Vegetative State and subsequently telling that me, in that period I understood and I felt everything. I succeed in communicating only thanks to a computer, selecting with the eyes the letters on the screen.

I were born so, with my direct testimony, the book “With the blocked eyes” that it reconstructs footstep for footstep the whole story of that that I/you/they then have been nicknamed the «Italian Terri Schiavo».

My history, is a history done of hope and of courage of tenacity and of will power. After years I have succeeded in convincing physicians to have returned to the life.

The morning of 11 September of 2003, to Catania, I am accompanying to school, in wasp, one of my 4 children, 13 year-old Anthony. Then my awful impact against the van of a gelataio: both in the hospital and in coma.

My child wakes up again him after few days, me after 7 months but I find me imprisoned in my same body. I don’t remember anything of the accident, but I understand to be at home of my brother Pietro in Tuscany, finding again me incapable to move me and to speak. I saw my relatives stir around my bed, I wanted to recall their attention shouting, but from my mouth it didn’t go out some sound.

In the house of my brother Pietro in the province of Pistoia, we lived in eleven with the only economic support of the pension of my mother. Varied hospitals they refuse my refuge, the physicians spoke of is vegetative permanent and irreversible. I felt the physicians say that my death was only matter of time, and I began to open and to close the eyes to attract the attention of whom was around me. Plain Pain began the phase of my awakening, that traveled on two plain parallels, that physically personal, of which plain pain I took conscience of what you/he/she was happened me, slowly tasting my return to the life and that extreme, in which I try to convince to whom is around me to be really still alive and flourishing, but I was me unable prisoner in my body that didn’t answer me.

I understood what happened around me, but I could not speak, I didn’t succeed in moving legs, braccia anything wanted to do, “I/you/they are imprisoned in my same body.” I try with all of my desperation, with the weeping, with the eyes but nothing, the physicians truncated every hope, for them I was a “vegetable” and that my ocular movements were alone casual, in short I was not conscious. But it was not this way. And’ is my mother to realize for of it before.

One day they enter the room, my mother, my brothers, my sister-in-law and a cousin, asking to open me and to close the eyes to answer to their questions. The experiment succeeds, in fact they realized that I understood them and I felt, but I could communicate only through the movement of the eyelids. From this moment, all of my family, with in head my brother Pietro they will fight for over one year with the sanitary institutions to succeed in making to hospitalize me, trying in every way of showing that I was conscious.

In that period, my brother Pietro equips a room of his/her house as a hospital and is improvised nurse keeping on fighting.
With a camper it brought around me for Italy and for Europe, looking for the confirmation of an expert. We arrived thin to Innsbruck, in Austria, from a luminary: and I remember everything, the famous physician began to beat me with a hammers on my knees, and you/he/she stung me with a needle under the nose, but also this teacher affirms that I was not able to understand nothing. And’ an awful mazzata.

In my slow repurchase to the life, the role of my family has been fundamental that have not lost never the hope attending with trust toward god my awakening. An immense praise goes to my brother Pietro that during the debate of Terri Schiavo, it launched a dramatic appeal to the institutions, with my consent. “If nobody helped us it disconnected the plug” so it said my brother.

Someone finally listened to my family: it intervened in first person the Minister of the Health and, after few days, the I am hospitalized to “St. Donato” of Arezzo. The refuge, is recognized here, finally, two months later conscious. The cares bring notable improvements.

To this point, I ask a further effort myself. Through a computer, selecting with the eyes the letters on the screen, I affirm that: “I want to tell my experience to the world. I want that all know what he/she means to live paralysed on a bed, without being able him to move neither to speak, with the physicians that say that you don’t understand anything. I want to make to help him myself, the people as me and their relatives.”

To compose the words, has to attend every time that all the letters of the alphabet flow me in front of the eyes to be able to select that volute. To give the answer to a single question, at times it takes a whole day, especially in the first times, when memoirs and tears of emotion mix together him. It’ is fatiguing. With the help of a journalist and my brother, it is born so my book “With the blocked eyes.” I edit from l’Airone.

Today my actual conditions are: I don’t succeed in speaking yet, I am putting her/it all, the morning as soon as I wake up myself, I for example send forth some syllables as but-but pa-but pe if. I communicate thanks to a computer and really thanks to the new technology I can make to listen communicate with the external world. I want what has happened to me, not to happen anymore. So many have written me speaking of their relatives to the same conditions that don’t even come assisted. Idea is to create a foundation to which you/they can be turned for asking help and possession a best life. Today I am completely contrary to the euthanasia.

2. Anonymous - February 21, 2008

“Yes To Life”

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