Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The girl who talked to herself

Almost a month ago, a father walked in to the Blue Dragon centre in Hanoi. He lives with his wife and 17 year old daughter, Bi, not far from our centre in a small house. Although his family is very poor, the father had never before come to ask for help: he provided for his wife and child and did his best to keep his daughter in school.

But something had happened and he didn't know what to do. Bi had had an accident on the road - there were no witnesses, so nobody knows if she was hit by a car, or suffered a seizure. What they do know is that her head hit the road, she fell unconscious, and when she woke up she had lost her mind.

Bi became completely unaware of her self and her surroundings. She appeared to recognise nobody; she spoke to herself but did not respond to questions or conversation. Everything around her seemed strange and new. One morning, she wandered away from home and came back three days later. Nobody has any idea where she was or what happened.

So finally the father came to Blue Dragon to ask for help. He couldn't even afford to take her to the hospital; could we give him the money for the doctor's fee?

Over the years, we've had plenty of strange or rare cases walk through our doors. Sometimes we think we've seen it all. Looking at Bi, we were at a loss. We'd never seen anything like this before,
but by all appearances this was not a case we could really expect to solve. Perhaps we should simply give some comfort and support to the family to help them deal with their daughter's strange new condition.

One of our social workers, Huong, took this case on and accompanied the family to a local hospital. They too were fairly bleak in their assessment, but referred us to another hospital which had more expertise in psychological cases.

Huong, Bi, and the parents made an appointment at the next hospital, and with their hopes fairly low they went off to see the next doctor. This time, some hope was offered: Bi would need to stay at the hospital for treatment, but with some medication and therapy there was hope of improvement.

Today, my staff came to me in shock - and I should say that it takes an awful lot to shock my staff. They had just been to see Bi, and to their amazement she has made a dramatic improvement. She was aware of her visitors, she could manage a simple conversation, and she was no longer babbling incoherently. None of us expected such a change!

Bi is not 'out of the woods' yet, and I dare not hope for a full recovery. We still have no idea what to expect. But this was truly an incredible moment for the Blue Dragon staff to see such rapid progress from what seemed like an impossible situation.



Terynn said...

I love it!!! As a speech/language pathologist, I feel there is no greater human gift, than the gift of verbally relating to the world and those around us!

Praises to God and the Blue Dragon for hoping and believing! Your goodness and faith was rewarded!

Michael Brosowski said...

Terynn - have you ever encountered something like this before?

Trang Nguyen said...

Bless her. Im just speechless at her case. But we always hope for the best!