(Washington Post) – Nieves Colón wants to show off her son’s recent progress, so she gently turns his swollen face in her direction and mouths him instructions.
“Prichard, cierra tus ojos tres veces.”
Prichard Colón, his bed tilted at a 30-degree angle, silently obliges. One blink . . . two blinks . . . three blinks. Each is deliberate, as if it requires all his strength and concentration, but it’s progress, and Nieves will take all the progress she can get from her 24-year-old son.
“See?” Nieves says excitedly. “He knows how to count. And you can talk to him in Spanish or English. The neurologists say don’t expect anything, and you see he’s taking commands.”
It’s late May and the sun is roaring through the window in the front room of Nieves’s modest home in this Orlando suburb. Prichard spends the bulk of his days here, staring at the flat screen television mounted on the opposite wall, directly in his line of vision, from his bed. His time outside is limited to wheelchair rides around the neighborhood with his father, Richard Colón, and the occasional hospital visit. CONTINUE