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PT on the Run

Locked-In and Speaking Up

Published April 30, 2014 5:29 PM by Michael Kelley

Colleen Shaw, a 20-something aspiring filmmaker living and working in New York. Patrick Stein, a 20-something man living with Locked-In Syndrome. Two lives that couldn't be more different but have come together to tell a remarkable story in a very remarkable way.

Every few months I get a copy of Marquette Magazine, the quarterly publication from my alma mater. This past week, I received the most recent issue. In it I found the story of these two individuals and was completely fascinated. Shaw is a Marquette alum who has taken it upon herself to tell Stein's story, or rather, help him tell his own story.

We all know Locked-In Syndrome can be a life-altering condition, and when one's only way of communicating with the outside world is through eye movements, time can pass at what some might consider an unbearably slow pace. But since suffering a brain aneurysm four years ago that left him paralyzed, Stein and his family have marched on and Shaw is now helping give Stein his voice back.

As the article explains, Stein has "written" a number of journal entries through the use of a letter board and Shaw is using some pretty awesome technology to allow him to "read" these entries out loud through the use of a computer-generated voice. I first read the article a week ago, and I still can't help getting chills when I think of how awesome this is. While I can't imagine what Stein and his family have gone through over these past years, I also can't help but believe that finally getting his voice back must serve as at least some small victory.

My kudos to Shaw on shedding light on Locked-In Syndrome and helping another human being in such an inspiring and meaningful way. Here's a link to the article from Marquette Magazine. There are several YouTube videos as well as the official trailer for the documentary. The documentary itself is still in production, and I for one can't wait to see the finished product.

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