Human Exceptionalism

Medical Miracles Do Happen: Girl Survives Rabies

Talk about a tale that demonstrates the power of the human spirit, and the genius of the human mind: When teenager Jeanna Giese contracted rabies after being bitten by a bat, her chances of survival were deemed nil. But…Her doctors refused to give up. From the story:

Rabies, a viral disease spread by the bite of an infected animal, attacks the nervous system and is usually fatal once symptoms develop. The other five people known to have survived it after symptoms appeared either were vaccinated in advance or received vaccine soon afterward. All but one ended up with persistent movement difficulties.

But Giese was not hospitalized until a month after she was bitten by a bat she picked up in church.

In a desperate attempt to save her, Wisconsin doctors intentionally put her in a coma and gave her a slew of antiviral drugs and other medications to prevent a cascade of events that causes nerve cells to die. She spent two months in intensive care before returning home on New Year’s Day, 2005.

Two years of rehabilitation later, and Geise is entering college. Classes can be tough, but what can possibly compare to what she has already been through? Great story. Great doctors. Here’s hoping she has a great life.