Her eyes fluttered open yesterday as my colleague and I walked in the door with our cheery hellos. She looked at us, from one to the other as we spoke, telling her the funny things going on at work: who’s saying what, who’s doing what, who’s wearing what. I asked her to grip my hand, and she did. I told her a funny thing about an aspect of her job, and she tried to laugh.

I’ve never seen eyes like that, frankly. Scared, confused. I’m not sure anyone has told her what happened to her. I’m guessing a lot of people are talking about her as if she’s not there. We didn’t do that, asking her permission to tell her aide that she responded, telling her when we would be speaking to a nurse who came in the door.

She needs to feel empowered. She needs to be reminded of who she is — strong, determined, a 27-year-old with many reasons to live.


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