A woman put into a medically induced coma was awakened by the sound of her Baby’s voice in Wrexham Maelor Hospital. Karen Morrisroe-Clutton, a 32 year old Librarian from Wrexham UK, was admitted to the hospital in early August after an E. Coli outbreak had infected a local eatery she had been eating at. She is now being released from the hospital after over 67 days thanks to the sound of her baby’s voice.
After the outbreak of E. Coli in a local fish eatery was confirmed to have infected Karen, doctors told her that the only possibility for her survival would be a medically induced coma, designed to slow down the body and allow it to fight infection. The controversial treatment has been known to be a potentially dangerous last line of defense against the deadly E. Coli 0157:H7 bacteria. Karen agreed to the treatment tearfully, and was put on life support as doctors and her family waited for any signs of improvement. The days went on and nothing happened, so Karen’s husband Paul began playing audio recordings of their son, only 10 weeks old at the time of Karen’s admittance.
Karen would later report that she was at the end of her rope, and preparing for death to take her when she heard the voice of their son gurgling and cooing from the tape recorder, and something inside of her shifted. “I did know that I was dying at one point. In fact, because I was having all this treatment I knew it wasn’t working, at least something wasn’t working quite well,” Karen went on to say, “I gave up. I wanted to die. But I heard Ollie”¦ I heard his voice because Paul was playing the tapes and I turned around and said I can’t do this. I need to live. I heard him and thankfully I pulled through.” For the eight weeks she was in intensive care she was unable to see her son, but afterward knew her son recognized her when a ‘massive smile’ broke out on his face after seeing her again for the first time in several weeks. And then Karen heard the little voice that had given her so much hope in person, happy to see her.
In this cynical world of cold scientific calculations, social trends, number crunching, and political action, we sometimes can lose sight of the life essence that brings it all together. This essence, this gene’se qua of human existence is seen in stories such as these and give us a bit of perspective on that indescribable force that makes us all what we are. If a woman’s life can be saved by the voice of a small baby, what then could we accomplish if we could only hold on to that innocence? In hearing this story, maybe we can see past the cold dark universe we are led to believe we live in and find somewhere amidst the stars and complex googolplexes with sizes unfathomable by even our greatest thinking computers, a warm beating human heart.