San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Wonder Woman

Public relations senior Shannon Freedman is proof that miracles dohappen.

She suffered a traumatic head injury with seven skull fractureswhen she was involved in a car accident on Interstate 163 North atthe Genesee exit, Dec. 7.

Her rear tire exploded after she pulled onto the shoulder to avoidhitting a car in front of her. Her car rolled five times and she flewhead first through the driver side window 20 feet into the freeway.

By luck, a fire truck returning from a rescue happened to be onthe scene immediately after the accident. She was taken to SharpHospital and put into a chemically induced coma.

When Freedman’s parents arrived to the hospital doctors told themto say their goodbyes because she wasn’t going to live through thenight.

“They told me medically there was nothing they could do,” said hermom, Sheri Freedman. “They told me she would be in a coma for monthsand that if she ever woke up at all she would be a vegetable,child-like at best.” Freedman proved the doctors wrong.

On Christmas Eve, she came out of her coma. Doctors wanted to puther in a nursing home, but her mother refused. She started testingher daughter with puzzles and letters. Freedman amazed doctors bybeing able to identify shapes and spell even though she could nottalk yet.

Doctors did not expect Freedman to recognize faces, shapes orremember numbers because a part of her right temporal lobe wasremoved. Damage to the right temporal lobe can affect the recognitionof visual content such as faces. It can also affect memory ofnon-verbal material such as music and a loss of inhibition oftalking.

Today, she is able to talk, write and read. Her long-term memoryis intact and she is aware of her surroundings. However, she does notremember the accident and is still learning to fully walk on her own.She is able to walk for brief periods at a time.

Doctors were stunned at Freedman’s recovery.

“Even the trauma doctor who admitted her into the hospital came upabout a week later and said ‘I hope you appreciate the miracle inthat bed because there’s no medical reason why she survived, letalone intact — emotionally, cognitively, educationally,” SheriFreedman said. “He said she should be a rambling idiot and she’s noneof the above. And he said there’s no medical reason why she’s doingany of this.

“Every day my prayers changed and every day they were answered.And I got to sit here and actually watch this and it just blew meaway.”

Doctors and nurses have called Shannon their “Christmas miracle.”The nurses have even called Room 710 the “Shannon Freedman miracleroom.”

In fact, after she was moved to rehabilitation, a patient put inRoom 710 was expected die. The patient survived and four days latershe left the hospital.

Freedman said not being able to remember things is frustrating,but said her experience has been very surreal.

“The whole thing hasn’t sunk into me that I could have died,” shesaid. “I’m very thankful every day I wake up.”

She is expected to fully recover in 18 months to 2 years. However,doctors said that judging by her amazing recovery, they don’t want togive a timeline.

She went home from rehabilitation last Friday and is expected toreturn for physical therapy three times a week. She also plans toreturn to school after she recovers. She was supposed to graduatethis May.

Freedman said she is looking forward to the most simple thingssuch as riding her bike and surfing.

“I can’t wait to be able to walk by myself and go to the beach bymyself.”

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Wonder Woman