Girl in PVS reported to improve

Via the Boston Globe – a miracle:

A day after the state’s highest court ruled that the Department of Social Services could withdraw life support from a brain-damaged girl, the agency said yesterday that Haleigh Poutre might be emerging from her vegetative state.

DSS also said it has no immediate plans to remove her feeding tube.

”There has been a change in her condition,” said a DSS spokeswoman, Denise Monteiro. ”The vegetative state may not be a total vegetative state.”

Monteiro said Haleigh is breathing on her own, without the ventilator she has depended on for four months. Monteiro also said that doctors at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield elicited responses from Haleigh during tests performed yesterday.

They will begin more medical tests today to determine her neurological activity. Further tests, Monteiro said, could show whether Haleigh is going to be ”a miracle child.”

Monteiro said that doctors did not tell DSS, which has custody of Haleigh, that her condition had changed until yesterday afternoon. She also said the agency’s decision to seek court approval to remove life support was based on the ”best diagnosis that we thought we had at the time.”

Monteiro declined to give further details about the condition of Haleigh, an 11-year-old Westfield girl who had been on breathing and feeding tubes since she suffered a beating last September, allegedly by her adoptive mother and stepfather.

Last fall, doctors described Haleigh as being in a persistent vegetative state and ”virtually brain dead,” district court records said. Physicians said her brain stem was severely injured, leaving her unable to think or feel and in an ”irreversible coma,” according to an opinion Tuesday by the Supreme Judicial Court.

I know I’ll be saying a lot of prayers for Haleigh tonight and I encourage everyone to keep her in your thoughts and prayers . This little girl has been through so much for someone so young. I believe in miracles, and I hope Haleigh does indeed prove to be the “miracle child.”

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