After a near-fatal hit and run accident robbed her of speech and the ability to walk, no one thought Judy Miles would ever speak again. But thanks to a revolutionary iPad app, Miles is getting her voice -- and her life -- back, USA Today reports.
When Miles, a 55-year-old former nurse from Sioux Falls, S.D., was struck by a pickup truck last year, her head injuries were so severe that part of her brain had to be removed.
"She died on the operating table twice in surgery. It was bleak," her brother Paul Mugge told USA Today. "She had so many broken bones. She didn't move her right arm or right leg for six months."
"Speech was the worst. They couldn't make any promises. They thought she might be a vegetable if she survived at all."
But Miles did survive -- eventually regaining some of the movement she had lost in her arms and legs.
"It gives me a way to talk with others," Miles said. "Without my iPad I wouldn't be able to communicate with family, friends and [rehabilitation center] staff."
A resident of the Quality Living Inc. rehabilitation center in Omaha, Neb., Miles has been taught how to "speak" through her iPad.
By tapping on icons on the screen, she is able to create sentences which are then voiced by the machine, HLNTV reports.
"I felt very excited and relieved at the same time. I finally have a way to talk," she told USA Today. "It has improved my life in many ways such as being able to pick out my clothes in the morning and being able to do simple things such as saying 'hi' to a friend."
According to the Argus Leader, the use of consumer technologies such as the iPad has become increasingly prevalent in rehabilitation programs for people with brain impairment.
To watch a KETV interview with Judy Miles, click here.