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his neck brace, a giraffe of a neck brace that reached up and covered the lower half of his face. Gauze wrapped around his head three times over, and two oxygen tubes combining to a single one slithered over him and tapered into a cannula. These wires and tubes were all a new, necessary part of Easton, the only medium in which he was kept alive. Easton was different now. A monitor next to him beeped, reading his pulse, his heartbeat, his vitals. Kristen sat next to him in a cushioned chair with clasped hands, praying for the monitor to keep on beeping. Another week passed, and Easton moved into the green. His eyes opened, and he was able to write his name on an Etch-a-Sketch. EASTON. A work of art. But other than the Etch-a-Sketch accomplishment, Easton seemed to only respond to you from a multiple choice list: (a) Give the middle finger (b) Give two middle fingers (c) Wave arms in frustration (d) All of the above When Easton opened his mouth, when he drew his lips together and opened them wide, only inarticulate jumbles came out. His dyslexic sentences made no sense, and you could tell he knew this. Hence, you received option (c) Waving arms in frustration. Or option (a) or (b). Or, somedays, option (d). The speech therapist told us there was something wrong with his frontal lobe, called Broca’s area. This language-dominant hemisphere was damaged in the accident, and Easton would need extensive speech therapy to regain control of his voice. And: occupational therapy. And: physical therapy. And: cognitive therapy. Different now. I sat slumped in the corner and watched. Easton laid in bed, his head propped up by three pillows. A feeding tube ran through his stomach, his only way of receiving nutrients. Another tube ran from his right nostril, giving him air and fluids. They had removed the neck brace and for the most part, Easton was able to breathe on his own. The doctors believed he’d make a fair recovery, but they said it was going to take time. Around the hospital room, dozens of flowers sat in vases. Hundreds of “Get

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BRAUN

Profile for Oakland Arts Review

Oakland Arts Review Volume 4  

Oakland Arts Review Volume 4  

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