We both stood anxiously at Maggie Worthen's bedside, trying to determine if this 23-year-old patient might be able to communicate with us. Nearly two years had passed since the cataclysmic stroke that left her almost entirely paralyzed. We asked her if the woman at the foot of her bed was her mom and instructed her to look down if the answer was yes. We waited, watching Maggie carefully. After several seconds, she replied, gazing slowly downward with her left eye. The movement was subtle but deliberate—a clear response, full of meaning and emotion.