New Title Says Vegetative Patients Often Experience Active Brain State

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Author hopes to raise awareness about the need for a strong patient advocate

On November 7, 1991, Phyllis K. Klenk went into a coma. Legally deemed to be a vegetable, she heard and understood every word being said when she was asked the questions that determined her diagnosis. She was treated as though she couldn't feel, hear, or comprehend anything--yet she could do all of those things. In Wounded Trapped and Voiceless… All Things Are Possible ($14.99, paperback, 978-1-61579-707-3), co-author Greta Emling chronicles the lessons Phyllis learned while she was out of her body, walking and talking with God. As the unbelievable story unfolded, it became apparent that patients who are labeled "vegetable" often experience a very active brain state.

"I hope readers will be keenly aware that patients diagnosed as coma or vegetable can be clearly aware and processing the things that are going on around them," the author says. "I also hope to raise awareness about the need for a strong patient advocate. The closest loved ones are often in a fog and unable to be a strong advocate for the patient."

Emling, who has lived down the road from Phyllis for years, says that an important earlier experience prepared her for this mission. One of her friends, Maggie Tomion, was involved in a head-on collision with a driver that left her in a coma. The first time she visited her, the author says, "I showed her our high school yearbook and reminisced about our crazy activities, [and] her eyes got big. She was obviously responding. Today she can walk with assistance and communicate." With this knowledge, the author hopes to reach researchers all over the world who are working to develop brain scans that will end the misdiagnosis of "vegetable."

Xulon Press, a division of Salem Communications, is the world's largest Christian publisher, with more than 7,000 titles published to date. Retailers may order Wounded Trapped and Voiceless through Ingram Book Company and/or Spring Arbor Book Distributors. Wounded Trapped and Voiceless is available online through,, and

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Paige Lehnert

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