21 Feb
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Climbing Out of the “Wall” like Helen Keller

Helen KellerSo here is a really beautiful thing that happend last week. Sara Ann and I were listening to this NPR show about a young madly in love couple. The segment was called “Finding Emilie”http://www.radiolab.org/story/110206-finding-emilie/

The girl got in a bike accident and had a severe brain injury resulting in coma and when she revived, loss of memory, sight and hearing. The docs wanted to put her away becsue she couldn’t respond yes or know to be rehabbed, but the young lover believed she could be reached. Her parents sided with the doctors and wanted to take her away to another state to be instituionalized so the boy could go on with his life. He got wind of it and had to do soemthng. He read Helen Keller’s story and decided to try writng in her hand the way Anne Sullivan wrote in Helen’s hand. He wrote “I love you” and still not recognizing him as her lover responded. She said ” I am in the WALL and can you get me out of here?” They began a conversation. He recorded it and played it for the doctors and they agreed she was there after all. He got her into a rehab porgram in NY and now she is at home with him and he is totally dedicated to her. He tries to continue helping her break hrough.

So after my 9 year old Sara Ann heard this, she wrote (her only form of communication which we do slowly hand over hand so the pencil doesn’t fall out of her fingers) to me,” Mom, I am in the wall too!” I said, “I know honey and Dad and I have been trying to get you out.”

A few days later I read to her a book about Helen Keller. She got very excited. She wrote. “Mom, Helen got out of the wall!” I asked, ” What was your favorite part of the story.” She wrote, “W-A-T-E-R”. “She really got it,” I thought. I said, “Honey everytime you do something on your own, like push your foot, or write or try to talk, you are getting out of the wall.” After that she no longer let me help her complete the letters she started as we wrote. She wanted to do it completely by herself. She pushed the pen into the letter shapes much harder than previously. Looking round, I said out loud,”Where did I put the end of the pen?” She suddenly blurted out, “You drop” I was astonished. She speaks so rarely.

We continued to read the book the next 2 nights. She asked to keep a journal like Helen did. She wrote. “I want to be like Helen and help people all over the world. I am so excited. I have so much to learn.” The next night she wrote, ” I know how I can come out of the wall…I can ride my bike!” She is on fire with this idea. I’m telling you if any brain injured child can do it…it will be Sara Ann with her indomitable spirit!


  • Wow, that is a beautiful story and tear-jerking! What a wonderful spirit your daughter has. And what warrior parents she has.

  • Sara Ann is child who has intelligence and insight far beyond her years. She is an inspiration to all of us. Her parents are not to be left out of the equation. I admire Sara Ann’s talents and strength. She has always pushed and she is continuously giving those of us who know her the courage to look for measures she finds to “get out of the wall.” She Will help people all over the world. That’s a goal inside of her young spirit. This Girls on Fire. I look forward to her readings. This will be a wonderful journey for Sara Ann. She is God’s child.