Joellen Huntley, third from left, with her grandfather Homer Steele, mother Louise Misner and late sister Charlotte Huntley.

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HALIFAX—In what her mother calls a “Christmas miracle,” a Nova Scotia woman who suffered a catastrophic brain injury in a 1996 car accident communicated one-on-one with her mother for the first time in 21 years.
Louise Misner said her 37-year-old daughter, Joellan Huntley, used eye-motion cameras and software on an iPad to respond to a comment from Misner about her clothes.
Huntley has been severely disabled since she was 15, unable to walk or talk and fed through a tube. She has always responded to family members’ presence by making sounds, but was unable to communicate any thoughts.
The breakthrough occurred during a Christmas Day visit at the Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Waterville, N.S.
“I said ‘Joellan I like your new …