'Back from the dead' coma girl could testify against her stepfather
An 11-year-old girl American girl who was beaten into a coma two years ago and nearly died when a court ordered she be removed from life support has made such a remarkable recovery that she may be able to testify against her alleged abuser, according to reports.
Haleigh Poutre, now 14, from Westfield, Massachusetts, was so close to death after the beating in September 2005 that state officials sought a court order to remove her from life support, the Boston Globe reported today.
Her stepfather Jason Strickland, who is accused of beating her, battled in the courts to save her life - but authorities dismissed his efforts as a calculated attempt to avoid a murder charge.
The order to remove Haleigh from life support was granted when doctors said she had no chance of any meaningful recovery - but, one day later, doctors noticed that she was breathing on her own.
Now, after a dramatic turnaround, she has communicated painful memories. "She could be a terrific witness," a source, who asked not to be identified because of a court prohibition against speaking to the media about the case, told the Globe. "She's recalling most of the past."