The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

February 2, 2013

Virginia woman pieces together 17 years lost to amnesia

(Continued)

"She was pretty headstrong; she wasn't going to let anybody run over her," said Marsha, who tells a story of the old Shawnda going to a Halloween party in a pig costume. The host was having trouble with a drunk, belligerent girl who wouldn't leave. Guests asked Shawnda, the deputy, to take care of her.

"She put the girl down to the ground in a chokehold and told her not to come back in," she said. "When Shawnda came back in the pig costume, it looked like she had wallowed in the dirt."

The new Shawnda went to physical therapy and gradually was able to exercise again. Arduous daily sessions restored muscles that had atrophied, eventually allowing her to walk without a cane, and to carry her daughter and the groceries.

Shawnda went to therapy to learn how to speak like a woman her age, rather than with the teenage vocabulary she'd been left with. "She was very intelligent when she was young," Marsha said. "She knew computer technology; she had her schooling. Her vocabulary was a whole lot better. Today it's still not as great — some words she still has to look up. Simple words."

In speech therapy, Shawnda relearned basic arithmetic, performed flashcard exercises to enhance her vocabulary, and learned how to use a checkbook. Outside of therapy, she bought a pocket dictionary and would question Shaylin about the words she learned from the TV show "Dora the Explorer." Finding out that she had known Spanish in her past life was a bittersweet revelation.

"Just like I didn't know how to pump gas, I didn't know how to use a debit card, I couldn't do any of that stuff. So I had to learn."

Text Only
Top News
  • Take a 'National Night Out'

    For one night every year, communities across the country celebrate National Night Out, a nationwide initiative to fight crime and promote safe communities.

    July 31, 2014

  • David Evers Evers' duck decoy hits auction block

    From just a block out of a basswood tree, David Evers creates award-winning pieces of artwork.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Well affected by mercury spill is working again

    Mercury remains in one of Clinton’s Archer Daniels Midland wells, stemming from a November 2013 spill. But according to an independent study, threat levels are below Iowa Department of Natural Resources standards.
    The affected Well No. 4 returned to operation earlier this month.

    July 31, 2014

  • Blake Holovach Holovach converting back to a starting pitcher

    When Blake Holovach takes the mound tonight along the Mississippi River in Davenport, it’ll be in the first inning, which he wasn’t accustomed to in the past.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Relay for Life: Stepping toward awareness

    Statistics reveal that cancer continues to remain the second most common cause of death in the United States, claiming one out of four deaths every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • Holly Youngquist Friends of the Library book sale is underway

    Friends of the Library Book Sale is open now. The sale is open to all until 8 p.m. today and on Friday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Finally, Saturday, Aug. 2, is box day. From 9 a.m. to  3 p.m., books will sell at $3 per box.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cremation service helped pet owner in her time of need

    I wanted to share some positive news about a business located in Clinton that I’m guessing most residents aren’t aware even exists. It’s Northridge Pet Cremation on Main Avenue and for me they were recently a godsend.

    July 31, 2014

  • Darryl Hogue Fulton superintendent settles in to new position

    One month into the permanent River Bend School District superintendent job, Darryl Hogue has experienced the long hours, stress and the learning curve that comes with any new position.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video