Woman Named Sarah Scantlin Wakes After 20 Year Coma

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 14, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sarah Scantlin was unable to speak after an automobile accident in which a drunk driver crashed into her, leaving her in a coma. Though doctors believed her brain was injured so badly in the accident that should would never be able to talk again and spend her life in a vegetative state, Scantlin began speaking a week ago.


Sarah’s friends and family gathered Saturday at the health care center where she lives to celebrate.


“She’s 100 percent Sarah again. The family is back together, and it’s just simply a joyous situation,” her father, Jim Scantlin, told CNN.


Scantlin was 18 when she was injured and, until last month, she was aware of her surroundings but unable to speak. Suddenly, she began talking to workers at the health care center.

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“It just happened one day and nobody really knows why,” said Sharon Kuepker, administrator for the Golden Plains Health Care Center.


Now, Scantlin is forming words, counting, and remembering people and places.


“You condition yourself to be able to try to deal with something like this, and then all of the sudden, the world instantly changed from despair to joy because it’s amazing how important communication is between human beings,” her father told the Associated Press.