THEY may have been just three short words but they were ones that the mother of Scott Vineer has been waiting to hear for over two months.
‘I want drink’ were spoken in a whispery voice but the words made Helen Louise, who has been keeping a constant bedside vigil at the Royal Victoria Hospital, ‘so happy.’
It is yet another small step on Scott’s road to recovery. Described by many as a ‘gentle giant’ Scott was savagely beaten and left for dead in early September.
The 17-year-old, who is autistic, went missing for 24 hours after he left the local college and was found unconscious at a furniture showroom close to the Lagan Towpath the following day. He has remained in a coma ever since.
“Scott is still at level 11,” wrote Helen Louise in the ‘Get Well Soon Scott Vineer’ Facebook page. “He is progressing though. He has physio every morning which they (the doctors) are pleased with. Today he managed to say three words.
“First time. He gets very frustrated and agitated but Paul and I calmed him down and he said ‘I want drink’ in a husky whispery voice. We are so happy. He responds to commands like lift leg and stick out tongue among others.
“He laughs too! He is now waiting for a feeding tube to be attached to his diodenum and then he can be moved to the brain unit. He has a long way to go yet though but we are sure he will get there in time.”
The previous week, Helen-Louise spoke on the same Facebook page that Scott had his tracheostomy removed.
“Today he has been at level 9 on the coma scale for some time but they assessed him at level 10,” she wrote. “But today he was assessed at level 11. How fantastic. Paul and I are so pleased. He has a long way to go yet but he is slowly going in the right direction.
“We even wheeled him in his chair along the ward corridor today to give him a change in scenery. He was so great. He can smile, squeeze our hand, stick his tongue out and raise his legs up! It is amazing. His left arm is very weak and he can’t move it as well as his right and he still starts to cry when he gets agitated and when we have to leave but it such good news.”
At that time she believed that with a lot of work with the speech therapists, her son would eventually speak.