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Don't give up!

Hope is not lost with comotose loved ones

Greta Emling, author of “Wounded Trapped and Voiceless.” (click for larger version)
May 05, 2010 - By Leah Yanuszeski, Review intern

Greta Emling, an Oxford dental hygienist, never thought herself to be a writer.

That is, until she met Phyllis K. Klenk and her husband. Klenk, after a brain bleed, went into a coma. Doctors and lawyers defined her as a vegetable, however Emling's book reveals that Klenk was indeed able to comprehend, feel, and think during the months of her coma. Klenk can now describe the lawyers that visited inside her hospital room, and can account for the time she was a 'vegetable.'

Emling, who first saw Klenk and her husband at her church where she particpates in women's ministry, was invited to 'stop by sometime' and meet Klenk.

"After what felt like spiritual nudging, I finally went over to see them. It took me a while to obey," Emling recalls.

Klenk opened up to Emling about her time as a 'vegetable.' Emling asked, "Did God put deposits in you while you were sleeping?" curious as to why Klenk was fortunate enough to be alive. Klenk's response: "Jesus walked with me."

"Eventually I came to realize that she is not the only one who is labeled as a vegetable, but is conscious. The medical community and general public needs to know about this. . ."
From then on, Emling knew she was on an assignment, of sorts. She started to really listen to Klenk, recording her stories and the details of her coma. "Time went by, about a year, and I had a notebook full of stories," Emling stated.

Emling's notebooks later translated into the basis for a book. "Eventually I came to realize that she [Klenk] is not the only one who is labeled as a vegetable, but is conscious. The medical community and general public needs to know about this," Emling commented.

When two-thirds of the book was written Emling herself sustained a concussion, thereby inhibiting the continuation of her writing. However, with aid, the book got back on track and was shipped off to publishers.

Emling's manuscript was selected by two publishers, which would have her book available for purchase nine months later. However, due to the recent media stories concerning similar comatose patients, Emling decided to team with a self publisher, "to get the story out into the market much quicker."

Through Xulon Press, Emling's "Wounded Trapped and Voiceless" was available mid-March of 2010.

By publishing this book, Emling said she wanted to accomplish two things: raise the funds to take care of Klenk (who is now cared for at home by family and friends), and raise awareness on Klenk's condition. There is no money for in-home care, Emling said, and many times there is minimal insurance.

"Further rehab is approved if you show progress," Emling explains, "but progress can be so slow and not noticeable."

Also, Emling wanted to communicate to the public to not give up on comatose patients, and to keep talking to them. "Quality of life is something that is relative. Phyllis' children are very grateful to have her, even though it's a challenging situation," Emling says.

Emling believes Phyllis has the opportunity to release what she was sent back to do. This text handles the spiritual experiences Klenk recalls, and her identification with God.

Books are available for purchase at; links are located at the bottom of the page to and

Emling's next book signings are May 22 at Borders in Auburn Hills and May 23 at Lake Orion's Flower Show.

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