Hope continues for victim of prescription overdose

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DRAPER -- Three years ago, KSL aired a tragic story about a Draper teenager paralyzed from a prescription error at Walmart pharmacy.

Jessie Scott, now 21 years old, is still severely disabled -- but some remarkable yet subtle changes are surfacing.


April 30, 2008

  • Jessie is prescribed a low-dose of oxycodone hydrochloride for pain relief from strep throat.

  • After filling the prescription, Jessie's mother, Laurie, administers the one teaspoon dose. The dose however, was undiluted by the pharmacist and equivalent to 100 milligrams instead of the five prescribed.

  • Jessie goes into a coma and his organs begin to fail.

May 2008

  • Jessie is moved to intermediate care from ICU and then four days later to HealthSouth for intensive therapy.

July 13, 2008

  • Jessie wakes from his coma and speaks less than a day later.

Nov. 2009

  • Jessie returns home able to talk and feed himself, with some movement in his legs.

July 2010

  • Jessie moves into his new apartment which has special accommodations for him.

In 2008, Jessie -- who was then 18 years old -- was near death in a coma. The pharmacy mistakenly filled an oxycodone hydrochloride pain medication 20 times the dose prescribed by his doctor. Though the overdose fried his brain and left him paralyzed, Jessie today is alive and amazingly alert.

He's had a few years now to mend physically and psychologically.

"Well, I've forgiven. Better to forgive than live in a world of hate," he said from his own apartment in Draper.

Jessie's mother, Laurie, said, "As bad as it was, as horrifying as it was, I never gave up hope."

As an avid ‘Star Wars' fan and collector, Jessie quotes the words of the character Yoda: "Do or do not, there is NO try." And that's exactly the philosophy he follows, pushing the envelope every day.

Three years later, this young man now has his own digs connected to his parents' home -- a place Jessie calls "his own crib."

Though the Scotts can't talk about a court ordered settlement with Walmart, they're satisfied with resources available to their son.

In Jessie's apartment, there's an elaborate rail system allowing those who help to lift and transport him from room to room. At an indoor swimming pool down the hall, the rail lowers him into the water where he can swim his own way, doing doggy paddles with his arms and hands. He has his own elevator between floors.

Jessie has made amazing strides in the years since the incident. He raises his arms, pulls his body from side to side, holds his head upright, plays video games, wiggles toes, slides the legs together and, with an outward push, even kicks.

Though daunting, the dream remains.

"I've always said he's going to walk again," Laurie told KSL. "Even when he was in a coma, I believed he would walk again."

It's hard to believe that might still happen, but Jessie never gives up hope. "Every step I take gets me closer to walking," he said.

Email: eyeates@ksl.com


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Ed Yeates


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