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60+Minutes+Transcript

60+Minutes+Transcript - 60 Minutes Transcript This article...

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60 Minutes Transcript This article submitted by MyotroMan on 3/5/99. 60 Minutes Transcript: Choosing life; patients with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, tell of their love and passion for life, even while their bodies continue to fail them 02/28/99 (Copyright (c) 1999 CBS, Inc. All rights reserved.) http://neuro-www.mgh.harvard.edu/forum_2/ALSF/3.5.9912.26PM60MinutesTra.html CHOOSING LIFE MIKE WALLACE, co-host: In 31 years on the air, we don't remember a story that has brought as much controversy as the one we broadcast last November showing Dr. Jack Kevorkian putting a man named Thomas Youk to death. Tom Youk was suffering from ALS, known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a particularly cruel disease. Patients can become completely paralyzed, but their brains are not touched, so they become, in effect, prisoners in their own bodies. Thirty thousand Americans have ALS and the disease attacks different people differently. Some have more pain, some more paralysis, some cannot talk, but it is always fatal. After our report, many people with ALS let us know they still enjoy productive lives, and they said, `Why don't you come meet us, and see why we are choosing life and not death?' So we did. (Footage of Dan Beacombe painting with the paintbrush in his mouth) WALLACE: (Voiceover) Dan Beacombe became a painter after he got ALS, even though his body, he says, acts like he's buried in sand up to his neck. He is paralyzed and in pain, and you can hear him labor to breathe through the tracheotomy in his throat. Mr. DAN BEACOMBE: In fact, I was left-handed. I found out I'm left-mouthed, too. (Close-up of one of Beacombe's paintings) WALLACE: (Voiceover) Now I've seen some of the stuff. I mean, really very, very delicate, very carefully put together. Mr. BEACOMBE: There's a lot of mistakes in there, a lot of that, though. You--you know, you make mistakes and you cover them up and start again. (Footage of Beacombe painting while his son, Sean, watches) WALLACE: (Voiceover) In front of his son, Sean, Beacombe admitted that years ago, when the disease began to cripple him, he had decided to kill himself. Mr. BEACOMBE: You reach a point where you start thinking you're
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not contributing anymore, you're just a burden, and I was prepared to--to do myself in. WALLACE: And then what? Mr. BEACOMBE: One of my very best friends, he kind of got fed up with me talking down, and he told me that it was a good idea, `Let's do it together.' WALLACE: You mean both of you were gonna go at the same time? Mr. BEACOMBE: He is my best friend. He said, `Yeah, let's do it together.' And he sounded so ridiculous that he made me realize I sounded ridiculous and--excuse me--and he made me realize there was a lot of things to live for. You got a friend like that, you can't die. You gotta hang in there. (Footage of Kyle Hahn listening to music; footage of musical notes on computer; footage of Hahn with Terry Frank) WALLACE: (Voiceover) Kyle Hahn played guitar in a band before getting ALS four years ago. Now he can barely move a finger, but still, he manages to compose on his computer. He calls this piece "Magic." The magic in Kyle's life comes from Terry Frank. She
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