Saturday, September 02, 2006

Haleigh Poutre proves miracles DO happen

Via Michelle:
Relative says girl making progress

Child abuse victim Haleigh Poutre, once deemed to be "virtually brain dead" by medical experts, continues to improve and is even speaking a few words, her biological grandmother said this week.

Sandra Sudyka, of the Feeding Hills section of Agawam, angered over the state Department of Social Services apparent termination of her and her daughter's bimonthly visits to Haleigh at her Boston hospital, said she has decided to speak publicly of her granddaughter's condition.

"She was doing well," Sudyka said of the last time she saw Haleigh on July 18. "She was bright-eyed and smiling. She is always responsive to us."


Doctors initially reported that the battered and emaciated Haleigh was in a vegetative state due to a sheared brain stem. Social services sought to end life support systems, a plan approved by the state Supreme Judicial Court on Jan. 17, before improvements in Haleigh's condition were known.

"They don't want people to know how she is doing after they wanted to pull the plug," Sudyka said.


"I was saying to her 'I love you,' and she was trying to say 'love' and it came out as a vibration...'ove,'" Sudyka said.

The following month, during their last visit with Haleigh, Avrett asked if they could bring anything for her next time around.

"She put her arms up (as if) to say, 'I don't know,'" Sudyka said.

When asked if they could bring books, Haleigh distinctly said "no," Sudyka said.

Sudyka said that during that visit she told Haleigh, "Before I know it, I am going to walk in here and you are going to say 'hello.'"

Haleigh responded to Sudyka by saying 'ello,'" Sudyka said, adding that hello was Haleigh's first word when she was 10 months old.

Sudyka said Haleigh has been communicating nonverbally for some time. Once, when asked 'Who loves you?' she put her hand over her heart and pointed to Sudyka and Avrett, Sudyka said. Another time Haleigh wrote out her name on a "Magna Doodle" toy. Haleigh, Sudyka said, does not walk and is confined to her bed and wheelchair.

Praise God!

Previous posts:

Haleigh Poutre continues to recover
Haleigh Poutre turns 12; receiving physical therapy
Haleigh Poutre continues to improve; Michelle asks where Tookie's supporters are
The sanctity of Haleigh's life

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