"I would like to give the parents more hope that she won't kill herself."

She catches up to Michael and Susan and unlocks the three heavy security doors that separate the children's unit from the rest of the hospital. Jani's hair is pulled back in a braid. She begins to show off her Littlest Pet Shops.

A boy hospitalized on the unit passes by the open door of Jani's room and slams it shut. A stunned look crosses Jani's face. She pauses for a few seconds, then marches across the room announcing she is going to hit the boy. Michael stops her and tries to redirect her attention to her Pet Shop. But she turns on him, jumping and butting her head under his chin.


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He winces and holds her arms as she kicks him in the legs, butts her head into his chest and tries to bite him through his T-shirt. "I just want to hit him! I just want to hit him!"

Hospital staff rush in and restrain her on the bed.

Jani's wailing rings down the hall. "I just want to hit him!"

About 20 minutes later, a tired Michael emerges from the room to drive home with Susan and Bodhi.

"She's calm now," he says. "But the next time she sees him, she'll hit him."

--

Finally, a break. A combination of Tegretol, Thorazine and lithium has blunted some of the rage and coaxed a few of the phantoms from Jani's mind. Lim discharges her June 1 after 133 days in the hospital.

The two apartments are ready. Jani will live in 925; Bodhi, just across the parking lot in 1035. Jani's apartment is modeled after the psychiatric ward. Her room has only a bed so that, during a tantrum, she can be placed where she won't hurt herself. The living room is called the day room and is packed with toys and games. The kitchen is the supply room.

The Schofields bought walkie-talkies to communicate between apartments. Michael has written Jani's schedule on a large white board, just like the hospital staff did: 14:00, occupational therapy; 15:00, quiet time; 16:00, outdoors; 17:00, dinner; 18:00, recreational therapy.

Whoever stays with Jani at night is referred to as her "staff."

Michael has been worried about paying rent on two places. But, he says, "We want her home. When she's not in Calalini -- where they all are -- we can have a relationship with her. We want to take what we can get."

The Schofields have sought home-based special services but aren't hopeful. They've tried to get respite care from a center that helps people with developmental disabilities but were told the service was available only for parents of autistic children.

"We've developed sort of a bunker mentality," Michael says. "Every time Susan and I have relied on other people, we've been disappointed."

Jani's school, however, will take her back, in a special-education classroom.

The family arrives at Jani's new home around 3 p.m. on a Monday.

"Honey!" Jani shouts, running across the parking lot to hug the family dog she hasn't seen in 4 1/2 months.

The wide-eyed, penetrating gaze Jani wore in the hospital -- when she stared as if trying to see into a person's brain -- is gone. She has spoken little of 400-the-Cat in recent days. But she flaps her hands and rarely stops moving as Michael and Susan show her a cupboard full of prizes she can earn with good behavior. As she becomes familiar with the three small rooms, she begins to relax. She laughs when Bodhi fusses. Friends have come by to visit and share in the homecoming.

"This is actually a very happy day," says Michael, as he takes in the scene. "She has beaten back probably the most severe mental illness known to man. My hope now is that we can maintain this stability for a while."

Jani opens the door to a small balcony where her parents have set up an easel with paper, markers, paints and chalk. She grabs chalk, scribbles on the board and looks up at her parents, grinning.

"Oh-oh," says Susan, with a sigh. She steps back and calls for Michael to have a look. He does. He says nothing.

400.

shari.roan@latimes.com