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Suzanne Chin (Friday Success Story)

I have to admit I was so excited to read the story of Suzanne Chin, the incident happened in 2009 but was not wildly reported until March of this year.

suzanne chin and john alabasterSuzanne is a mother of two and a practicing attorney in Singapore. Her husband is John Alabaster a private investigator.

After getting her children off to school with the usual morning routine she went out for her usual morning hike with her dog. Not feeling well she returned home and told John something was not right.

The last thing she remembered was telling her husband to not call an ambulance.

The head of the intensive care unit, two neurologists and a cardiologist told her husband to prepare for the worst.

Soon, he was advised to take her off life support because, simply put, there was “no hope.”

It was a huge shock for her husband. One day, everything had been normal for the couple, both in their 40s, and their children then aged 12, and seven. The next day, she was in a coma and it looked very bad.

The neurologist told Mr Alabaster she had suffered brain stem death and he had to prepare himself for “letting her go”. In their opinion – and they were very firm – there was absolutely no chance of any sort of recovery,” he recalled.

The next day, a doctor asked him if he had thought about it because his wife was neurologically lifeless, a valve in her heart had been severely damaged and there was no point keeping her alive.

Things looked “worse than bleak” but he refused to say yes to switching off his wife’s life support, even though the doctor had been well-intentioned.

“But his demeanor when I told him of my decision to reject his opinion was one of patronizing incredulity coupled with an un-said “oh, you’ll come around’,” he said.

Mr Alabaster recalled mounting pressure from the medical staff treating his wife to “put Suzanne – and ourselves – out of our misery by switching off machines that were keeping her alive.” Even when she made an occasional twitch, they quashed his hopes by insisting that it was purely a reflex. Their talk always returned to “saying goodbye” and “letting go”.

Dr. Alan Chin

Dr. Alan Chin is the brother of Suzanne Chin and a devote Christian, he flew to Hong Kong and prayed for his sister when she was at her worst. “Suzanne had been pronounced with “brain stem” death and was given no hope. But, my faith in Jesus Christ said there was hope.”

Dr. Alan Chin’s comments on his sister from Citizen’s Watch,  “When I saw Suzanne in ICU, she did not look good. She was on a ventilator; her pupils were 4mm fixed and dilated. Her limbs were flaccid. The respiratory physician advised that the prognosis was very poor with evidence of brain stem death and pituitary gland failure. The room temperature in ICU was kept low to slow down the metabolic processes.”

That afternoon, her condition remained unchanged. The temperature in the ICU was now turned up in a not-too-subtle hint that the doctors had given up.

The respiratory physician again advised that there was no improvement and confirmed that Suzanne had brain stem death (BSD).

It is a term equated with death to describe a person on life-support system when faced with a decision whether or not to switch off the ventilator or to harvest organs for organ transplant.

She advised John to consider switching off the ventilator as Suzanne was now dead and there was no hope of recovery.

and on the third day…

she woke up!

The doctor treating Suzanne added that in medical history there were no cases of anybody recovering from BSD. We were told this too about Jamie.

Of course we know this isn’t true based on the may posts I have posted of Friday Success Stories.

Why are stories of people waking up from brain death not reported here in the United States?

Singapore has an opt-out program for harvesting of organs, this is where we are headed in the United States. It basically means “unless” you opt OUT your organs can be taken when pronounced “brain dead”.

Please click on  the links in this post and read the entire story of Suzanne Chin, you’ll be glad you did read all the details.