PDA

View Full Version : You're not dead until you smell



Perks
05-23-2008, 08:09 PM
Get a load of this -


Doctors are calling Val Thomas a medical miracle. They said they can't explain how she is alive. They said Thomas suffered two heart attacks and had no brain waves for more than 17 hours. At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, her heart stopped and she had no pulse. A respiratory machine kept her breathing and rigor mortis had set in, doctors said. "Her skin had already started to harden and her fingers curled. Death had set in," said son Jim Thomas.

They rushed her to a West Virginia hospital. Doctors put Thomas on a special machine which induces hypothermia. The treatment involves lowering the body temperature for up to 24 hours before warming a patient up.After that procedure, her heart stopped again. "She had no neurological function," said Dr. Kevin Eggleston. Her family said goodbye and doctors removed all the tubes. However, Thomas was kept on a ventilator a little while longer as an organ donor issue was discussed. Ten minutes later the woman woke up and started talking.



http://www.newsnet5.com/health/16363548/detail.html

choppersmom
05-23-2008, 09:07 PM
This is one of those creepy-but COOL things. Lucky woman!

Cranky
05-23-2008, 09:12 PM
Get a load of this -



http://www.newsnet5.com/health/16363548/detail.html


*shudders*

stormie
05-23-2008, 09:14 PM
There's a reason for her living on. (But I still can't fathom a body in rigor mortis, no brain waves for 17 hours....)

Jcomp
05-23-2008, 09:15 PM
Hm... they suspiciously didn't include the rest of the story, where several FBI agents escorted Val Thomas to a mysterious underground compound for further testing and investigation...

steveg144
05-23-2008, 09:15 PM
I saw this and I was totally. freaked. OUT. I mean, the woman had no brain waves for seventeen hours. Rigor mortis was setting in, freaking rigor mortis. And then she sits up and starts talking.

I don't like to think about the question it raises: when are we really, truly "dead"?

Cranky
05-23-2008, 09:16 PM
I saw this and I was totally. freaked. OUT. I mean, the woman had no brain waves for seventeen hours. Rigor mortis was setting in, freaking rigor mortis. And then she sits up and starts talking.

I don't like to think about the question it raises: when are we really, truly "dead"?

Hence my shudder.

Imagine...the embalming process? Oh, okay, I can't go there right now. Maybe later in a suitably horrible short story, though. :D

steveg144
05-23-2008, 09:16 PM
Hm... they suspiciously didn't include the rest of the story, where several FBI agents escorted Val Thomas to a mysterious underground compound for further testing and investigation...

No doubt located directly under Raccoon City! ;)

stormie
05-23-2008, 09:21 PM
Hence my shudder.

Imagine...the embalming process? Oh, okay, I can't go there right now. Maybe later in a suitably horrible short story, though. :D
Yeah! I can just see it now: editors of horror magazines deluged in a few months with this theme running through all the submissions.

Cranky
05-23-2008, 09:25 PM
Yeah! I can just see it now: editors of horror magazines deluged in a few months with this theme running through all the submissions.


LOL! No kidding. But it would be fun to write, regardless. :D

cray
05-23-2008, 09:26 PM
haggis is dead?

stormie
05-23-2008, 09:27 PM
LOL! No kidding. But it would be fun to write, regardless. :D
Oh, I agree. I'll probably be the first with a ms. written, polished, and submitted. That's really one for the books (no pun intended). :ROFL:

Cranky
05-23-2008, 09:29 PM
:roll:

Ain't it, though? *brain percolating ideas*

Siddow
05-23-2008, 09:38 PM
Wow, how'd you like to be that nurse, with your supposedly-dead patient telling you, "That's alright, honey." Gah!

brokenfingers
05-23-2008, 09:53 PM
I found this story fascinating. This raises a lot of questions though.

Like the right-to-die thing and insurance companies demanding patients be taken off life-machines etc.

This only proves, yet again, that medical science doesn’t really understand as much about the human body as it sometimes claims to.

When are we dead? What is death? What comes afterwards?

Do we die when our hearts stop beating and our brain no longer transmits signals?

And if so, do our thoughts, feelings, experiences etc. disappear into the ether once the chemicals stop flowing and the electricity is cut off?

Or, as in the case of this woman, does it yet linger on.

And what does this say about all the legends throughout different cultures and the biblical stories of Jesus, Lazarus etc? Are they the wishful writings of a few fanatics or crackpots or people suffering mental disorders or fanciful writers/taletellers?

Or are they the descriptions of actual events as described by those who weren’t aware of the world around them to the degree that we are today?

What does this imply about what happens afterwards? If anything?

Are zombies actually possible?

Was Frankenstein not so farfetched after all?

Is there really such a thing as resurrection and could it possibly be on the horizon?

Some thoughts to ponder and discuss.

NeuroFizz
05-23-2008, 09:54 PM
Give me a night of drinking beer and eating pickled eggs and I'll give you a room that has that dead mammal smell. And I wouldn't guarantee much in the way of brain waves.

Haggis
05-23-2008, 09:58 PM
I'm sort of curious how she sat up and "talked" when she was on a ventilator.

TerzaRima
05-23-2008, 10:01 PM
I'd like to ask her some questions to check on her mental status, which I somehow doubt is "fine" as reported after that little interlude.

KTC
05-23-2008, 10:04 PM
Incredible story. Lovely thread title. Rigor Mortis, eh? Next she'll be on Geraldo getting buried in a secret tunnel under Times Square, or some such thing.

NeuroFizz
05-23-2008, 10:05 PM
Why doesn't Geraldo smell?

Cranky
05-23-2008, 10:05 PM
I'd like to ask her some questions to check on her mental status, which I somehow doubt is "fine" as reported after that little interlude.

Yeah, I would imagine there's been some brain damage. But compared to dead? Well...

KTC
05-23-2008, 10:07 PM
Why doesn't Geraldo smell?


Because he's deader than that. He's at the after-smell stage of death.

KTC
05-23-2008, 10:08 PM
Yeah, I would imagine there's been some brain damage. But compared to dead? Well...

I know some living people who would not win in that comparison.

Stew21
05-23-2008, 10:09 PM
I'm sort of curious how she sat up and "talked" when she was on a ventilator.


Good point - sort of impossible to talk with a vent tube, isn't it?

Cranky
05-23-2008, 10:09 PM
*snort*

So do I, sad to say. :)

KTC
05-23-2008, 10:09 PM
Mayhaps she spoke with her hands?

Cranky
05-23-2008, 10:10 PM
Or maybe they noticed she was concious, etc., and removed the ventilator so that she could talk...

*shrug*

NeuroFizz
05-23-2008, 10:11 PM
mnhunmth thimnnenth, mutha ffuntka

KTC
05-23-2008, 10:11 PM
I like my explanation better.

Stew21
05-23-2008, 10:14 PM
mnhunmth thimnnenth, mutha ffuntka

With a vent tube down, the air passes through the tube, not across the vocal cords; no noise at all will come out at all, will it?

TerzaRima
05-23-2008, 10:16 PM
Correct. You can't speak when you are intubated.

Cranky
05-23-2008, 10:17 PM
I like my explanation better.

Sorry. I got all accidentally pragmatic and stuff. Won't happen again, I promise. LOL!

Jcomp
05-23-2008, 10:18 PM
I prefer to believe that she "spoke" with her powerful, death-defying mental powers...

Stew21
05-23-2008, 10:19 PM
Correct. You can't speak when you are intubated.


So do you supposed they left the part out about doctors realizing she was alive and taking the tube out before she talked? For dramatic effect?

:)

Cranky
05-23-2008, 10:23 PM
I could speculate, but that would be wrong.

Siddow
05-23-2008, 10:28 PM
Did you guys watch the video? The doc (who seems a bit airy-brained himself) said they went to remove the tube (assuming she was dead, ya know) and she coughed and her eyes fluttered.

I'm guessing that the organ-donor thing was a no-go. Thankfully.

JoNightshade
05-23-2008, 10:35 PM
Did you guys watch the video? The doc (who seems a bit airy-brained himself) said they went to remove the tube (assuming she was dead, ya know) and she coughed and her eyes fluttered.

I'm guessing that the organ-donor thing was a no-go. Thankfully.

The dude that said he removed the tube was I think her nephew? The doc (guy with stethescope) looked so freaked out he could barely talk! Ha!

Wow I can't imagine experiencing something like that and then NOT thinking "There must be a reason I'm still here." What does that lady need to do? She best get on it right away. :)

Stew21
05-23-2008, 10:40 PM
:slaps forehead:

I should have watched the video.

KTC
05-23-2008, 10:43 PM
The video wouldn't work for me. I have since changed my mind, though. I like JCompalompadingdong's version best. That's the one I will believe in my heart.

KTC
05-23-2008, 10:43 PM
There I go arbitrarily throwing out nicknames again. Bad me.

Shadow_Ferret
05-23-2008, 10:47 PM
I had to google this. The story I found said she was only dead 20 minutes, not 17 hours.

KTC
05-23-2008, 10:48 PM
I had to google this. The story I found said she was only dead 20 minutes, not 17 hours.

Potatoes and Oranges.


What is time, anyway? In a hundred years from this moment I will probably have been dead for a couple of years.

benbradley
05-23-2008, 10:50 PM
Gee, now she has a great opportunity to write a great "I died and came back" near-death experience book, whether real or all-made-up. She's now got enough 'cred' and 'platform' for such a book that no doubt publishers and ghost writers are going after her like lawyers chasing ambulances.

Hm... they suspiciously didn't include the rest of the story, where several FBI agents escorted Val Thomas to a mysterious underground compound for further testing and investigation...
Oh well, so much for that book...

I found this story fascinating. This raises a lot of questions though.

Like the right-to-die thing and insurance companies demanding patients be taken off life-machines etc.

This only proves, yet again, that medical science doesn’t really understand as much about the human body as it sometimes claims to.
I think "medical science" is pretty good about admitting what "it" doesn't know, but reporters and other "civilians" generally don't hear it, all they see is people's lives get saved, at least at a greater proportion than in previous generations, people have high expectations and assumptions about doctors, "medical science" and what they know.

Is there really such a thing as resurrection and could it possibly be on the horizon?

Some thoughts to ponder and discuss.
Read some of the recent books and prognostications by Ray Kurzweil. If you stay alive for another 15 years, he thinks you have a good chance to live indefinitely.

So do you supposed they left the part out about doctors realizing she was alive and taking the tube out before she talked? For dramatic effect?

:)
From what I've read of journalists, I wouldn't be surprised.

Oh geez, I'm really ragging on journalists, ain't I...

WriteKnight
05-23-2008, 10:51 PM
What have we learned from this?

That she was only "mostly dead" - which as we all know is still "partly alive".


Guess no one went through her pockets for spare change.

(With apologies to "Miracle Max")

KTC
05-23-2008, 10:53 PM
Gee, now she has a great opportunity to write a great "I died and came back" near-death experience book, whether real or all-made-up.



Gee, can she still hold a pen?

Jcomp
05-23-2008, 11:03 PM
What have we learned from this?

That she was only "mostly dead" - which as we all know is still "partly alive".


Guess no one with through her pockets for spare change.

(With apologies to "Miracle Max")

I read somewhere that her first words upon waking were "True love."

Or was is, "Too blave?" Hm....

Williebee
05-23-2008, 11:10 PM
Anybody with a castle in her neighborhood better be watching their back.

Here's the part I find curious (what, just one?) --

She was rushed to a hospital after some doctors decided she was dead? As in
"Sure, she's dead. But those Docs in Ohio raise the dead everyday!"

NeuroFizz
05-23-2008, 11:15 PM
Gee, now she has a great opportunity to write a great "I died and came back" near-death experience book, whether real or all-made-up. She's now got enough 'cred' and 'platform' for such a book that no doubt publishers and ghost writers are going after her like lawyers chasing ambulances.

This will be the first line of her book (quite a hook, too):

mnhunmth thimnnenth, mutha ffuntka

KTC
05-23-2008, 11:17 PM
This will be the first line of her book (quite a hook, too):

mnhunmth thimnnenth, mutha ffuntka

Hey! Are you making fun of the almost, but not quite... well not really, sort of closely but still breathing dead?

stormie
05-23-2008, 11:17 PM
I'm sort of curious how she sat up and "talked" when she was on a ventilator.
Actually, you can. My sister was in a vent unit for several months. You talk on the exhale or inhale. I forget.

NeuroFizz
05-23-2008, 11:18 PM
Kev, my posts today are in honor of davids.

Besides, I've suspended my full quota of disbelief today.

stormie
05-23-2008, 11:20 PM
Correct. You can't speak when you are intubated.
Through the mouth, you can't speak, but on a ventilator (in the windpipe), yes you can speak. I need a glass of peppermint schnapps. Is it the weekend yet?

KTC
05-23-2008, 11:23 PM
Kev, my posts today are in honor of davids.

Besides, I've suspended my full quota of disbelief today.


I don't have a quota. I live in belief of everything. Disbelief is too frightening for me. I see angels and pterodactyls (and, I suppose... dead people). It's wonderful, really.

DL Hegel
05-23-2008, 11:37 PM
I don't have a quota. I live in belief of everything. Disbelief is too frightening for me. I see angels and pterodactyls (and, I suppose... dead people). It's wonderful, really.
sounds scary to me:) still pink taffeta more so:D

TerzaRima
05-23-2008, 11:49 PM
I should have clarified--I meant orotracheal intubation.

stormie
05-24-2008, 12:02 AM
I should have clarified--I meant orotracheal intubation.
Yep. Exactly. (I have no idea the medical terminology. You clarified it!)

sheadakota
05-24-2008, 12:21 AM
I'm sort of curious how she sat up and "talked" when she was on a ventilator.
yeah I was wondering the same thing- and rigor mortis doesn't set in until all blood flow has stopped for several hours- if she was on a vent- then she was breathing and had a heart rate and blood flow. hmmmm...

Danger Jane
05-24-2008, 01:24 AM
We've all read The Stand, right?


MOTHER ABIGAIL

TOTALLY

KTC
05-24-2008, 01:42 AM
No. I'm thinkin' more like Pet Cemetery. She came back. She came back.

stormie
05-24-2008, 02:21 AM
It's the rigor mortis thing that gets me. I wonder how true that is?

WriteKnight
05-24-2008, 03:15 AM
Okay, she was venilated, her heart STOPPED, then was 'restarted' - then she flatlined? Then they left her ventilated and supposedly her heart is still 'beating' but brain is flatlined while they decided what to do regarding organ donations?

(And somewhere in there, they put her on a 'temerature lowering' regimine,)


RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES!
Okay, if I was writing this as an ER episode - I'd say the 'flatline' was the fluke - the red herring. The flatline was the mistake - it somehow was not attached, got unplugged, somehow mechanically FAILED to show that she wasn't brain dead. That the 'rigor mortis' observed in her toes was some sort of 'muscle cramping' caused by - iduhnno, that's why they pay the medical specialists to look at the scripts - and so she was never really 'brain dead'.

But the kicker at the end of the episode, is the Doctor who found out the 'flatline' indication is false - decides NOT to point it out for two reasons

1) It would expose the hospital to medical malpractice suit

2) It would disprove a 'miracle'.


So he keeps it quiet, and all is well.

Hey, I'm a screenwriter dammit, not a Doctor.

ErylRavenwell
05-24-2008, 07:18 AM
I saw this and I was totally. freaked. OUT. I mean, the woman had no brain waves for seventeen hours. Rigor mortis was setting in, freaking rigor mortis. And then she sits up and starts talking.

I don't like to think about the question it raises: when are we really, truly "dead"?

Don't believe everything you read on the net. Most of them is pure sensationalist journalism. I'm pretty sure she had a brain wave but their equipments aren't sensitive enough to detect it.

EriRae
05-24-2008, 08:05 AM
No doubt located directly under Raccoon City! ;)


Yes, Raccoon City is the place.

WOW. Miracle, or does that just mean that the science of breathing and freezing are more important than blood pumping and brain activity?

ShebaJones
05-25-2008, 12:57 AM
I heard about this one yesterday, and the "rigor mortis" thing grossed me out and for about ten minutes made me rethink whether or not I really wanted to be an organ donor. I think the 17 hours was reported rather than 20 minutes.

20 minutes I can believe. My step-grandmother was in hospice care, in the final stages of brain cancer. Service was provided at home by an RN. Anyway, my grandmother died. The nurse kept listening for a pulse for about three minutes, and decided she was dead-- or as dead as a person can get without a doctor calling the time.

(Bear in mind, please, this is all hearsay; I love my family, but my stepdad gets a wee bit excited and exaggerates things. He'd probably make a great storyteller if he read more than one book.)

Anyway, after my grandma had been "dead" for twenty minutes, she decided not to be dead anymore, and started breathing and talking like nothing ever happened. Serious WTFing all around, and I don't envy the hospice care nurse, but I'm sure she's seen stranger things.

Two weeks later she died for real. And that's my anecdotal evidence of nothing whatsoever.

Kerr
05-25-2008, 02:23 PM
My Mom was on a vent for seven months and they have this thing they do to try to get people to fight harder wanting to get off. They put you in the dark, no outside stimuli going on. They don't know what time of day it is, or if they're dead or alive. The theory is that at some point, they start to get mad out of boredom and want to get their life back. I'm thinking that maybe they achieved the same sort of state without realizing between the life support and freezing and she was shocked back.

On the other hand, no one mentioned if she'd been checked thoroughly for a bite mark. At any rate, I'm guessing if they staked her now, they'd really have a lawsuit on their hands. I guess she can count her lucky stars that she wasn't living in Hungry. I think I remember reading somewhere once, that this is exactly the reason why they made embalming mandatory--that way dead is always definitely dead.

I say this is a case for House if there ever was one.