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Longest coma wake up: Waking Up: Famous Coma Survivors – Healthy Living Center


Man shares experience of waking up after 12 years in coma, remembering ‘everything’

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Martin Pistorius with his autobiography. (Photo: MartinPistorius.com)

JOHANNESBURG — In the late 1980s, when he was 12-years old, Martin Pistorius fell into a coma where he remained in a vegetative state for 12 years.

Doctors in South Africa were not sure what caused his illness, but suspect it was cryptococcal meningitis.  His condition grew worse and eventually he lost all ability to move and speak and make eye contact with his family.

Physicians said he would die, but his family proceeded with a routine. Every morning his father would get up at 5 a.m., dress Martin and take him to the care center. At the end of the day, he’d give him a bath, feed him dinner and put him to bed.

His parents set an alarm to go off every two hours to turn Martin’s body so he wouldn’t get bed sores.

It was their life for 12 years.

Today, Martin is able to talk again. He uses a computer to speak and is mobile with a wheelchair. His awareness has fully returned.

In his book, “Ghost Boy: My Escape From A Life Locked Inside My Own Body”, Martin tells what he remembers from those 12 years. He says he thinks he began to wake up about two years into his coma.

He remembers many things from that time, when everyone around him thought he couldn’t hear them and thought he didn’t know what was going on.

“Everyone was so used to me not being there that they didn’t notice when I began to be present again,” he told National Public Radio.

Stuck in his body, without the ability to move or communicate, he felt doomed.

It was especially bad when the care center would sit patients in front of the television all day, to “watch” children’s shows.

“I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney,” Martin said.

Sadly, Martin also heard his mother tell him, “I hope you die.”

Joan Pistorious said she felt guilty afterward, but Martin said he understood it came from her own desperation and sadness for his bleak existence.

2 yrs into a vegetative state, his mind woke up but his body didn’t. @NPRinvisibilia reports: http://t.co/SDjyCLMZaT pic.twitter.com/r0rPsPMYxM

— NPR (@NPR) January 9, 2015


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Woman Wakes After 27 Years Unconscious

LONDON — When Munira Abdulla had last been fully awake, the first George Bush was America’s president and the Soviet Union was nearing its demise. It was the year the Persian Gulf war ended.

In 1991, at the age of 32, Ms. Abdulla, from the oasis city of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, suffered injuries in a road accident that left her in a state of reduced consciousness for most of the next three decades.

After 27 years, she awoke last June at a clinic near Munich, where doctors had been treating her for the complications of her long illness.

“I never gave up on her, because I always had a feeling that one day she will wake up,” said Omar Webair, her 32-year-old son, who was just 4 when the accident happened. He shared his mother’s story with the Emirati news website The National on Monday.

Dr. Friedemann Müller, the chief physician at the Schön Clinic, a private hospital with campuses around Germany, said that Ms. Abdulla had been in a state of minimal consciousness. He said only a handful of cases like hers, in which a patient recovered after such a long period, had been recorded.

Patients in a state of reduced consciousness are usually classified into three categories. In a full coma, the patient shows no signs of being awake, with eyes closed and unresponsive to the environment. A persistent vegetative state includes those who seem awake but show no signs of awareness, while a minimally conscious state can include periods in which some response — such as moving a finger when asked — can be noted. Colloquially, all three categories are often described as comas.

Signs that Ms. Abdulla was recovering started to emerge last year when she began saying her son’s name. A couple of weeks later, she started repeating verses from the Quran that she had learned decades ago.

“We didn’t believe it at first,” Dr. Müller said. “But eventually it became very clear that she was saying her son’s name.”

Dr. Müller said he had not expected such a recovery from Ms. Abdulla.

She had been at the German clinic for treatment for seizures and contorted muscles that made her body hard to handle and that kept her from being able to sit in a wheelchair safely. Part of the treatment was to install a device that delivered medication directly into her spine, a factor that Dr. Müller said could have brought on her recovery.

Only a handful of people are known to have made similar recoveries.

Terry Wallis, from Arkansas, was 19 when he skidded off a bridge in a pickup truck. He uttered his first word since the accident, “Mom,” nearly two decades later, in 2003.

His recovery was so unusual that scientists used it as an opportunity to study how the brain functions and to help determine which patients with severe brain damage had the best chance of recovering.

The issue is often of vital importance. In a landmark ruling in 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court found unanimously that the father of Karen Ann Quinlan had the right to decide to forgo life-sustaining treatment on her behalf. Ms. Quinlan died in 1985, a decade after she slipped into a coma.

The case of Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman who spent 15 years in a persistent vegetative state before her feeding tube was removed in 2005, stoked further debate in the United States and beyond about a person’s right to live or die.

With medical care, some can stay in a state of reduced consciousness for decades. Aruna Shanbaug, an Indian nurse, spent more than 40 years in such a condition until her death at age 66 in 2015. She had been left in a permanent vegetative state after being strangled with a metal chain during a sexual assault.

Mr. Webair, Ms. Abdulla’s son, said he had avoided serious injury in the accident in 1991 because his mother had seen the crash coming and managed to embrace him before the impact.

“To me she was like gold; the more time passed by, the more valuable she became,” he told The National.

According to the newspaper, Ms. Abdulla, who has returned to the United Arab Emirates, is being treated at a hospital in Abu Dhabi.

Can you wake up after decades in a coma? The story behind the headlines

In 1991, a car crash left Munira Abdulla, a 32-year-old woman from the United Arab Emirates, with devastating brain injuries. Doctors reportedly thought she might never regain full consciousness. However, in late 2018, almost three decades after her initial injury, Abdulla showed signs of recovery – including calling out her son’s name.

Abdulla’s story became public on April 22 2019, when an interview with her son was published in The National (a major news outlet in the United Arab Emirates). The following day it was reported by international media under headlines such as “Modern-day miracle: Woman wakes after almost three decades in a coma”.

The story was framed as extraordinary and inspiring – and I received a flurry of calls from journalists asking me to explain what had happened. Was she trapped in her body all along? How will she adjust to the modern world? What does this mean for families considering whether it would be kinder to let a loved one die?

Just like these journalists – working to a tight timeframe – I relied on The National’s report to try to contribute to the public discussion of Abdulla’s case. This is far from ideal but, looking at this original source, there were clues that, although a very unusual case, the “miracle” might have been overstated and oversimplified.


Rather than always being “vegetative” (completely unaware of herself and her environment), the National’s report stated that Abdulla had early on been diagnosed as “minimally conscious”. There were minimal and intermittent signs of some basic consciousness even if this was at a very low level. This meant that she was more likely to recover full consciousness than if she were in a vegetative state.

But this diagnosis was not mentioned in some later reports and, if the term “minimally conscious” was used at all, it often appeared interchangeably with “coma” or “vegetative” in ways which obscured its potential significance.

Media outlets have used different medical conditions as interchangeable terms.
Author provided


Rehabilitation can make a difference to the level of recovery after brain injury – and skilled interventions and reassessment can help ensure that consciousness is not suppressed by pain, compounding clinical factors or, for example, the sedative effects of drugs. It may be significant that before the “miracle” Abdulla had been moved to a specialist centre where she was given treatment such as surgery on her limbs, physical therapy and improved epilepsy control.

However, despite the potential link between this treatment and the recovery (or discovery) of a higher level of consciousness, reporters seemed to prefer the idea of a “magic trigger”. Several secondary articles focus on the son’s comment that his mother became more alert after an argument at her bedside. “She sensed I was at risk,” he told The National, “which caused her a shock”.


Patients who emerge from a long-term minimally conscious state (not uncommon in the first few years) are likely to have profound and permanent physical and mental impairments. They remain dependent on others for day-to-day care and lack the ability to make crucial choices about their own lives. They may also be disoriented, unable to remember what happened a few moments ago, and able to engage in only limited conversation in response to prompts.

The National’s description of Abdulla is consistent with this level of recovery. She is said to be able to communicate “in familiar situations”. Her son says “once I start with the prayer she continues the lines”.

But the language used in some articles – especially the phrase “wakes up” – suggests a far fuller recovery. Indeed, this framing led to journalists asking me how she would cope with the internet, or historical shifts and political changes – quite irrelevant questions given Abdulla is unlikely to be able to understand much of the world around her.

Dedicating a day to interacting with journalists about this story was intense, instructive and had mixed success (you can see examples of my radio interviews here). On balance I think my experience shows the importance of academics trying to contextualise emerging stories, albeit cautiously when we’ve not had the opportunity to research the particular case in detail. It certainly underlines the importance of journalists talking to relevant experts and avoiding recycling cultural myths about “sleeping beauty” coma patients or Rip Van Winkle-style awakenings.

For the general public (and families in this situation) I hope I’ve illustrated the ongoing need for a sceptical approach to media reports. It’s important to reflect on their origins and the realities which may lie behind the headlines. For this particular story it may also be important to look for follow-up reports, to see how Abdulla’s future unfolds and, eventually, any case report from her treating clinicians.

Awake After 20 Years, Sarah Speaks

In a two-part series that starts today, The Early Show national correspondent Tracy Smith tells the story of Sarah Scantlin, a woman who woke up from her coma-like state after 20 years.

After two decades of floating somewhere between life and death, Sarah Scantlin is fully, and finally, awake.

Since February when she awoke from a coma-like state that had kept her silent and unmoving for 20 years, she has undergone surgery on her long-unused limbs and has had intensive speech therapy to unlock her long-dormant tongue.

Her conversations now reveal that she was aware of many of the things going on around her while she seemed to be in a coma.

Shortly after she awoke, her father asked what she knew about events that had occurred years earlier. “Sarah, what’s 9/11?” he asks. She responds, “Bad…fire…airplanes…building…hurt people.”

Sarah is not speaking in full sentences yet, and it’s still hard for her to move. But her family says it’s the same Sarah who left them on a terrible night in 1984 when a hit-and-run accident put her, then 18, in a semi-conscious state.

It’s almost as if Sarah knew that her life would be interrupted because she made the most of every minute, her family says.

“She loved life from the very first breath,” says her dad, Jim Scantlin.

She came of age in the 1980s and was a cheerleader in high school and leader of a dance team in college.

Friday, Sept. 21, was the first day of autumn, after summer that had seen the U.S. triumph in the Los Angeles games and Ronald Reagan nominated for a second term. And as that night gave way to Saturday morning, Sarah Scantlin walked out of a party at a local bar unaware that a new, cruel reality was hurtling toward her.

It happened just after midnight. Sarah was crossing a street with a couple of her friends when a drunk driver careened out of the darkness and hit her. The force of the impact threw her up onto his car and into the path of oncoming traffic. The driver just kept going.

“About midnight the phone rings and Betsy finally answered it,” Jim Scantlin recalls. “She came back into the room and pulled my big toe and said: ‘Get up. We’ve got to get to the hospital. Something terrible has happened to Sarah.’

“I’ll tell you. When I was awakened that night, I woke into a horrible nightmare of a new world.”

Nothing could have prepared the Scantlins for what they saw at the hospital: Their daughter Sarah, the light of their lives and the hope of their world, was gone. What lay on the bed before them was little more than the still-breathing corpse of a young woman. Her face was contorted; her skull was crushed. And her promising life was now shattered beyond repair.

“I take one look in there and it’s just gruesome,” Jim Scantlin says. “She is horribly mangled, especially in the head because she was hit by a teenage drunk driver, slung over in the path of another car, and that’s the one that really got her, right in the head. I couldn’t handle it.”

His wife Betsy Scantlin adds, “To the nurses in there I said, ‘When she wakes up tonight, you come and get me!’ And the doctor told us, ‘Sarah’s not going to wake up tonight.'”

Jim Scantlin continues, “The neurosurgeon sets us down -darkest, darkest day of my life – and said: ‘Alright folks. I think I regret saying this but I think your daughter’s going to live, physically survive, HOWEVER…’ And then he starts to tell us what the head injury is. And I’ll tell you, there wasn’t any hope in it.”

Sarah brain injury was massive: She could breathe on her own, but that was all. There was almost no movement, no communication, no way of knowing what she was thinking, or even if she could think at all. Her long days of silence turned into months and years.

Jim Scantlin says, “Your emotional state is like the day before a funeral, but you never get to go to the funeral and kind of start working through the process.”

As the ’80s became the ’90s, Sarah stayed locked in her solitary world. Her older brother Jim, who worshipped her from the day she was born, felt the bond to his baby sister slipping away.

“I gave up hope a long, long time ago,” he says.

His father adds, “There were times when it would get so grinding, I would pretend that Sarah was dead.”

But early this year, when it seemed certain that Sarah was gone forever, something miraculous happened. One day in February, the Scantlins got a call from the nursing home.

Jim Scantlin says, “Beth said, ‘Someone wants to talk to you,’ and she had the speaker phone on (getting emotional). She said, ‘It’s Sarah.’ And I said, ‘Sarah!’ And she said, ‘Hello!’ And I just went numb. I don’t remember very much after that.”

Betsy Scantlin says, “Then I could hear Jennifer in the back saying, ‘Tell her what you want! Tell her what you want!’ and Sarah says, ‘I want makeup!'”

Jim Scantlin adds, “All of a sudden. I began to realize that she wasn’t talking about Sarah. She was talking to Sarah.

“She says ‘You want to talk to her?’ and I said, certainly. And I get the phone and I say, ‘This is Dad’… ‘Hi Dad. I love you.'”

Coma – NHS

A coma is a state of unconsciousness where a person is unresponsive and cannot be woken.

It can result from injury to the brain, such as a severe head injury or stroke. A coma can also be caused by severe alcohol poisoning or a brain infection (encephalitis). 

People with diabetes could fall into a coma if their blood glucose levels suddenly became very low (hypoglycaemia) or very high (hyperglycaemia).  

You may find the following information useful if you have a friend or loved one who is in a coma.

What is a coma?

Someone who is in a coma is unconscious and has minimal brain activity. They’re alive but can’t be woken up and show no signs of awareness.

The person’s eyes will be closed and they’ll appear to be unresponsive to their environment. They won’t normally respond to sound or pain, or be able to communicate or move voluntarily, and basic reflexes, such as coughing and swallowing, will be greatly reduced.

They may be able to breathe on their own, although some people require a machine to help them breathe.

Over time, the person may start to gradually regain consciousness and become more aware. Some people will wake up after a few weeks, while others may go into a vegetative or minimally conscious state (see recovering from a coma).

Caring for and monitoring a person in a coma

Doctors assess a person’s level of consciousness using a tool called the Glasgow Coma Scale. This level is monitored constantly for signs of improvement or deterioration. The Glasgow Coma Scale assesses three things:

  • eye opening – a score of 1 means no eye opening, and 4 means opens eyes spontaneously
  • verbal response to a command – a score of 1 means no response, and 5 means alert and talking
  • voluntary movements in response to a command – a score of 1 means no response, and 6 means obeys commands

Most people in a coma will have a total score of 8 or less. A lower score means someone may have experienced more severe brain damage and could be less likely to recover.

In the short term, a person in a coma will normally be looked after in an intensive care unit (ICU). Treatment involves ensuring their condition is stable and body functions, such as breathing and blood pressure, are supported while the underlying cause is treated.

In the longer term, healthcare staff will give supportive treatment on a hospital ward. This can involve providing nutrition, trying to prevent infections, moving the person regularly so they don’t develop bedsores and gently exercising their joints to stop them becoming tight.

What you can do as a visitor

The experience of being in a coma differs from person to person. Some people feel they can remember events that happened around them while they were in a coma, while others don’t.

Some people have reported feeling enormous reassurance from the presence of a loved one when coming out of a coma.

When visiting a friend or loved one in a coma, you may find this advice helpful:

  • when you arrive, announce who you are
  • talk to them about your day as you normally would – be aware that everything you say in front of them might be heard
  • show them your love and support – even just sitting and holding their hand or stroking their skin can be a great comfort

Research has also suggested that stimulating the main senses – touch, hearing, vision and smell – could potentially help a person recover from a coma.

As well as talking to the person and holding their hand, you might want to try playing them their favourite music through headphones, putting flowers in their room or spraying a favourite perfume.

Recovering from a coma

A coma usually only lasts a few weeks, during which time the person may start to gradually wake up and gain consciousness, or progress into a different state of unconsciousness called a vegetative state or minimally conscious state.

  • a vegetative state – where a person is awake but shows no signs of being aware of their surroundings or themselves
  • a minimally conscious state – where a person has limited awareness that comes and goes

Some people may recover from these states gradually, while others may not improve for years, if at all. See the page on disorders of consciousness for more information about these conditions.

People who do wake up from a coma usually come round gradually. They may be very agitated and confused to begin with.

Some people will make a full recovery and be completely unaffected by the coma. Others will have disabilities caused by the damage to their brain. They may need physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychological assessment and support during a period of rehabilitation, and may need care for the rest of their lives.

The chances of someone recovering from a coma largely depend on the severity and cause of their brain injury, their age and how long they’ve been in a coma. But it’s impossible to accurately predict whether the person will eventually recover, how long the coma will last and whether they’ll have any long-term problems.

Further information and support

For further information and support from healthcare professionals and the families of people in a coma, you may find the following websites helpful:

Page last reviewed: 14 June 2018
Next review due: 14 June 2021

What is the longest a person has been in a coma? – Mvorganizing.org

What is the longest a person has been in a coma?

Dubbed the “sleeping beauty,” Esposito stayed in a coma for 37 years and 111 days before succumbing in 1978 — the longest-ever coma, according to Guinness World Records.

Can a brain dead person recover?

A person who’s brain dead is legally confirmed as dead. They have no chance of recovery because their body is unable to survive without artificial life support.

Can you wake up from a coma without brain activity?

Description. Coma is a state of unconsciousness in which a patient does not react with the surrounding environment. Someone who is in a coma is unconscious and has minimal brain activity. It is not possible to wake a coma patient using physical or auditory stimulation.

How long do hospitals keep patients in a coma?

Comas can last from several days to several weeks. In more severe cases a coma may last for over five weeks, while some have lasted as long as several years. After this time, some patients gradually come out of the coma, some progress to a vegetative state, and others die.

How long can you be in a coma after brain injury?

Coma rarely lasts more than 4 weeks. Some patients move from coma to the VS. Others may move from coma to partial consciousness. It is rare for a person with severe brain injury to move directly from coma, or the VS, to full consciousness.

How long can you be in a coma and fully recover?

Most comas don’t last more than two to four weeks. Recovery is typically gradual, with patients gaining awareness over time. They may be awake and alert for just a few minutes the first day, but gradually stay awake for longer and longer periods.

What does a coma do to the brain?

Someone who is in a coma is unconscious and will not respond to voices, other sounds, or any sort of activity going on nearby. The person is still alive, but the brain is functioning at its lowest stage of alertness. You can’t shake and wake up someone who is in a coma like you can someone who has just fallen asleep.

What are the side effects of an induced coma?

Complications that can occur from medically induced coma include:

  • Blood clots.
  • Infection, particularly pneumonia and other lung infections.
  • Heart problems.
  • Pressure sores and weakness from immobility.
  • Vivid nightmares and hallucinations.

How long can someone be in a coma and still wake up?

Recovering from a coma A coma usually only lasts a few weeks, during which time the person may start to gradually wake up and gain consciousness, or progress into a different state of unconsciousness called a vegetative state or minimally conscious state.

Can someone in a coma open their eyes?

People in a coma are completely unresponsive. They do not move, do not react to light or sound and cannot feel pain. Their eyes are closed. After a few days or weeks in a coma a person who does not die usually ‘wakes up’ in the sense that their eyes open.

Can someone in a coma squeeze your hand?

A person in a coma: May or may not have their eyes closed all the time. Cannot communicate. Cannot move in a purposeful way, such as following instructions like “squeeze my hand, or open your eyes.”

What is the difference between a coma and brain dead?

Brain death is not the same as coma, because someone in a coma is unconscious but still alive. Brain death occurs when a critically ill patient dies sometime after being placed on life support. This situation can occur after, for example, a heart attack or stroke.

Can brain activity come back?

No. The brain will never recover when it dies. Since the patient has already been declared dead, removing the machine (which is artificially pumping air into the lungs) cannot cause further harm or death.

How long can someone be on life support with no brain activity?

If a person is in a permanent vegetative state but not brain-dead, their life support likely consists of fluids and nutrition. If these are stopped, it may take anywhere from a few hours to several days for the person’s vital organs to shut down completely.

Man Wakes up From 12 Year Coma to Tears of Joy From Elderly Mother Who Cared for Him Every Day

A man in China has woken up from a 12 year coma with his elderly mother at his bedside crying tears of joy. Footage shows Wang Shubao, who was left a quadriplegic after a car crash in 2006 at the age of 36, living with his now 75-year-old mother Wei Mingying at their home in Shouguang, in China’s Shandong province. He is seen smiling at her and holding her hand.

“I am just overjoyed. I hope he will make a full recovery,” she told reporters, according to Jining News. “I will never give up on him.” Wang woke up to see his mother at his bedside crying tears of joy.

She had spent every day of the last 12 years at her son’s bedside, caring for him, spending her life savings and ending up in debt in the process. At some points she was so poor she could not afford to feed herself—and at one time this lasted for a month.

Wei told reporters about how her daily routine involved bathing and feeding Wang via a stomach tube, giving him a massage and repositioning him to prevent bedsores. Wang’s father had died when he was young, meaning Wei was his only caretaker.

Wei Mingying with her son Wang Shubao who was left in a coma after a car crash in 2006.

She said that about a month ago, she noticed he was smiling at her—indicating he had regained consciousness. At the moment, he is still unable to move or speak but he is able to respond to Wei by smiling. He can also gesticulate and laugh at his favourite TV programs.

“I hope he can call me ‘mum’ again one day,” she said.

A coma is where a person is in a state of unconsciousness. They are unresponsive and cannot be woken. Often it is the result of a brain injury, but can also be the result of alcohol poisoning or a brain infection, for example. Sometimes doctors will place a person in a coma on purpose so they have a better chance of recovery from another medical problem.

Normally comas last for a few weeks. Over this time the person will gradually regain consciousness. However, it can last for years. Recovery will depend on a range of factors—especially if the cause was brain injury.

The record for the longest coma ever belongs to Edwarda O’Bara, who died in November 2012, having spent 42 years in a coma. O’Bara, from Florida, fell into a diabetic coma at the age of 16 after contracting pneumonia and never regained consciousness.

90,000 How does the American Terry Wallace live after 19 years of coma



A miracle happened in the United States more than a year ago.Terry Wallace from Arkansas wakes up after 19 years of coma


On June 12, 1984, 20-year-old Wallis and a friend went for a ride in the surrounding mountains – presumably having drunk hard before that.The car fell off a cliff, a friend died, and Terry fell into a coma

RTV International

The doctors said there was no hope that he would ever come to his senses.”Dead zone” – this is what experts call a coma, which lasts more than a year

RTV International

A miracle happened in the USA more than a year ago.Terry Wallace from Arkansas woke up after 19 years of coma. On June 12, 1984, 20-year-old Wallace and a friend went for a ride in the surrounding mountains – presumably having drunk hard before that. The car fell off a cliff, a friend died, and Terry fell into a coma. The doctors said there was no hope that he would ever come to his senses. “Dead zone” – this is what experts call a coma, which has been going on for more than a year. However, unexpectedly for his family and doctors, he woke up on June 12, 2003 – exactly 19 years later. This is a unique case, the likes of which has never happened in the world.His awakening from his coma became a worldwide sensation. An interview with a man who actually returned from the other world is published on Wednesday by the newspaper “Arguments and Facts” . The correspondent of the publication visited Terry at his home.

“Lying in bed, Terry looks at me with a curious look. In a matter of seconds he will forget who I am and will not understand where I came from,” the journalist notes.

Wallace only remembers what has happened for the last four minutes. Brief amnesia, a popular phenomenon in melodramas, looks scary in reality.Especially when Terry constantly asks, looking at the person who is talking to him: “Mom, do we have guests?” Wallace has glimpses when he remembers some things for four hours, some – even a month, but for this it is necessary that they make a strong impression on him.

One of Wallace’s strangest abilities after a coma is that he is extremely frank and always speaks only the truth. After a coma, the so-called “filter” does not work for him, when a person thinks what to say and what not.He is probably the only person in the world who speaks only the truth. When a beautiful nurse came to him, he said to her, looking into her eyes: “You are pretty. I would like to sleep with you.”

Fortunately, the woman was caught with humor. He truly seemed to be in another dimension all these long years. Wallace is forty years old, but he looks only 25, maximum thirty with a stretch. “Well preserved,” the daughter jokes.

He easily recognized after awakening his father and mother, recognized the doctor.But when his 20-year-old daughter Amber came to him (on the fateful day of the car accident she was a month and a half), he was surprised: “My daughter is a baby, and who are you ?!” He was shown all the photographs of Amber – how she grew up, how she went to school, how she gets married. He cried: “Lord, I have not even seen how my daughter has grown – you are so beautiful, how happy I am.” And he said: “Then everything is serious, I must learn to walk in order to come up and hug you.” It’s more difficult with a wife. Six months after Terry fell into a coma, she got a lover and moved to live with him.She said that life is one, and whether her husband will come to himself is absolutely unknown, and she does not want to ruin her youth.

“We do not blame her,” says Angeli, Terry’s mother. “But it’s bad that she doesn’t give him a divorce, although she already has three children from another man. She thinks that since he is now famous, she will make money on him. a lot of money. His wife came to him once, Terry recognized her, but did not believe that they were married: “If so, why does she have children from someone else? I cannot understand this. She’s probably joking. “

Terry is generally stuck in the past tense. He still thinks that the president is Ronald Reagan, as in 1984. He was informed that Reagan had died. He could not recover from the shock: “How did he die? He’s only four years as president.” In the recent elections, he demanded to view the ballot. Not finding Reagan there, he said with a sigh that he was being played, and voted for Bush – “he is also a Republican.”

Wallace physically cannot imagine that he has been in oblivion for 19 years.The first month Terry was simply in constant shock, repeating: “This cannot be – it cannot be.” Now he cannot remember who exactly drove the car in June 84, he or his friend. The memory ends at the moment when they are just going to go somewhere: one of them then got drunk behind the wheel. When the mother ran to the hospital after the disaster, she did not believe that her son was in a coma. Terry had every single bone intact, only a tiny abrasion above an eyebrow, but a strong blow to the head during the fall disrupted the blood supply to the brain.After 10 years, the parents lost all hope that Terry would come to his senses.

“The first year they believed very much,” explains Jerry, Wallace Jr.’s father, lighting his fifth cigarette. “But after five years, faith began to weaken. she will never wake up. ”Amber believed more than we did – she constantly ran to church and prayed that her father would wake up and see what she had become. After 10 years, I stopped believing at all and resigned myself to the fact that I would never hear my son’s words.His awakening was like a bolt from the blue to me. I immediately thought: this is a joke. But they don’t joke about such things. ”

Year after year went by. Terry was in a coma, but Jerry and Angeli categorically refused to disconnect him from the life support system (with“ comatose people ”, having received the consent of their relatives), Jerry and Angeli categorically refused. in less than a year, less often in three: not everyone can afford to pay huge bills for the life (if it can be called life) of a loved one.Sometimes it’s not even about the money – it’s just hard to look at. Answering a stubborn Japanese journalist who was actively interested in why the family still didn’t “turn off” Terry, but continued, incurring terrible debts, stubbornly paying for his many years of stay in the Mountain View hospital, Jerry snapped: “Listen, boy, but if you they gave a pistol and ordered to shoot their unconscious child, would you do that? ” The Japanese could not find an answer.

On weekends, the family took the “comatose” home from the hospital, just like on Christmas and Thanksgiving.They moved his bed to the festive table, put gifts on the blanket, for hours without receiving any response, talked to him about the news of their life, even told fresh anecdotes. They tried not to think he was in a coma. They just imagined that he was tired and asleep, and so absolutely normal, like other people.

Terry hears the last words and is offended: “Why imagine, I’m already normal.” “Of course, of course,” laughs Angeli. In general, she often laughs and jokes. “I’ve cried so much over the years that I can now have fun.”

“It’s kind of strange, everything happened!” Angeli explains excitedly. I automatically answer: “Yes, sonny?” And then it dawns on me: “Lord, he says !!!” I’ve been waiting for this for so many years, but when it happened, I thought I was dreaming. Amber called, she immediately jumped into the car , drove for three hours to see her father speaking. She was already pregnant then, and Terry then said: “Waking up in 19 years and finding out that I have an adult daughter, it was a shock.But to receive the news that I will soon become a grandfather, from this you can fall into someone again! “

First of all, when Terry woke up, he asked for soda.

” I immediately rushed and brought him a can. This was replicated on television, and the brand owners received free advertising. Here, the man just came to his senses after 19 years of coma and immediately asks for our drink: we tried to shake out at least something from them, but they flatly refused to pay, “says Angeli.

Terry dreams that he will get back on his feet and be able to get behind the wheel.”I really want to go for a ride in a jeep. And I would go fishing, definitely!”

“After a coma, he became very correct, – says Angeli. – Scolds us for the fact that we smoke and drink. Why, he says, grind one by one, you are killing yourself, quit immediately. And there is nothing to drink from him, they say , there are terrible things. Like, he himself never drank or smoked. He does not remember at all that before a coma he dropped a pack a day and liked to take a sip of beer. I sometimes think: where did he go, that he began to talk like that – as if an angel, not my son? ”

Terry’s fingers look like broken ones, they bend in any direction, as if there were no bones in them.For 20 years of lying without movement, all his muscles have atrophied, he needs to learn to control his body anew, to revive his every centimeter, and this is very difficult. Now he can already move his arms and legs, get up. And after he woke up, he could only turn his head to one side. When you look at him for the first time, he gives the impression of a person who has suffered a serious stroke. But this is not so – for 19 years, his body has forgotten the simplest things for us: how to turn on the light or open the door.Terry’s family was greatly amused by Tarantino’s film “Kill Bill”, where the heroine, after five years of coma, in a couple of hours completely takes possession of her initially disobedient body: “Oh, if it were so,” Angeli laughs. “Then I would have sent my son to work on the farm long ago – there is no need to mess around, let him earn money for the family. After all, at first, even just turning his head cost him inhuman exertion. ”

Terry’s treatment (including special therapy for the development of atrophied limbs) now costs $ 32,000 a month, and the family has already run into colossal debts that she is unlikely to ever pay back.New York bohemian enthusiasts created the Terry Wallace Foundation, but the donations were less than a thousand dollars: as Jerry suggests, because people think the case is sensational, the government must have taken care of it. And the government (like all other governments in the world) promised a lot and did little. This is how they live. And the doctors do not believe that he will ever start walking.

“The doctors think we’re nuts if we believe this!” – says Angeli.

Jerry does not particularly trust doctors after his son returned from a coma: “They said there was not a single chance, but he came to his senses.” No one could clearly explain what called Terry back to this world (after all, he woke up on the same day he fell into a coma in 1984), so Wallace’s family are sure: God did it. Experts believe: Terry needs about 20 years to return to normal life. But the parents do not bother – they have already waited enough, they can wait and more. “Yes, at least forty!” Jerry throws.

What is most interesting, Terry’s internal organs – heart, liver, kidneys – are in perfect order, they are practically the same as those of a 25-year-old, so it is possible that he will easily live a hundred years (careful doctors again let him go about 20 years of life). Relatives are trying in every possible way to make his life more active. Terry does not like to watch TV – he will forget everything in four minutes anyway, but he loves listening to country music – he only listens to one song, as it is put on again, and it is like new for him.”The doctor said: the patient needs peace,” Jerry grumbles. “But I don’t think so. What peace, he has been resting for 19 years!”

They feed him every two hours, but carefully – after a coma, Terry has completely disappeared from the feeling of satiety: if you give him a bull, he will eat it, so he is a little offended by his family that they do not give him as much food as he wants. Although at the same time, strangely enough, Wallace does not get fat at all, no matter how much he eats. Even being bedridden, unable to walk two steps, he enjoys life and constantly says: “Mom, you have no idea what a pleasure it is to live.”

“He is not recovering as quickly as we would like, but still,” Angeli smiles. “I hope that in a year he will be able to take his first steps. We try to talk to him constantly so that he develops his speech. it was generally not clear what he was saying, babbling just like a three-year-old child. We only guessed what he wanted to say. ”

Terry does not part with a children’s toy – a plush monkey.

“This is his talisman, as a child his grandfather gave him,” explains Angeli.“He immediately remembered her after a coma, he says, give it to me, suddenly it will bring happiness.”

Dr. James Zini, who has treated Terry Wallace since 1984, says that this case is simply extraordinary.
“I would call him a miracle that cannot be explained. Terry Wallace was in the” vegetable state “for 19 years, I watched him all this time in the hospital: such people never develop the ability to speak and communicate. coma 10 and 12. They never woke up, and in fact, after a year of coma there is little chance: at least I have not heard of such cases.I researched Terry thoroughly, but I could not find a medical reason why he regained consciousness. Not as a doctor, but as a person, I can say that it seems to me that he was saved by the love of his family, who took care of him all these years: he never ceased to be a part of their family. After all, basically, unfortunately, if there are no improvements, those who have fallen into a coma are disconnected from life support systems. Of course, Wallace is now practically paralyzed, but he is already improving his speech. You can recall the case of the actor Christopher Reeves, who played in “Superman”, who gradually improved his ability to move – even if it took a long time: if he had not died, who knows what would have happened.But to be honest, I don’t think Terry will be able to walk, although doctors are researching motor nerve repair right now, and as far as I know, doctors in your country are also seriously working on this problem. Most likely, Terry woke up even earlier, but he simply could not speak and did not understand what was happening around him, he was afraid of the surrounding reality. He knew only one thing – that his family loved him. “

Let his case so far the only one, but, nevertheless, after he returned from a coma, relatives of “comatose” in Arkansas almost stopped disconnecting their loved ones from life support systems.Because they understood: there is hope.

What is a coma and how much you can be in it – Russian newspaper

Coma was still in Ancient Greece, and in translation from the ancient Greek language this word is translated as a sweet dream. Although in fact this is not a dream, much less sweet. But she was, is and will be. It is eternal and full of mysteries on the verge of mysticism. Where does it arise from? The columnist for “RG” talks about this with Denis Protsenko, the chief anesthesiologist and resuscitator of Moscow.

Denis Nikolaevich! Recently I read the most interesting novel by Evgeny Vodolazkin “The Aviator”. Not a fantasy novel. The realities of the early and late nineties of the last century. Its hero Innokenty went through hellish torture during the years of Stalinist repressions in a concentration camp. He ended up in a special laboratory where prisoners (instead of death) were frozen. It has been frozen for decades. Learned to defrost. Innocent was also thawed … According to his passport, he is almost a hundred years old. But in essence he was reborn.He is young, he is a hero of advertising, he is in love and is loved, he is expecting the birth of a child. He was named Person of the Year. But the past does not let go. He remembers the horrors of the camp, remembers the executioners. The main thing, and this is noticed by the doctor who observes and knows Innokentiy, is noticed by his wife, and he himself: not only is it more and more difficult to walk, memory is disappearing, consciousness begins to get confused. And this is irreversible: there is a process of dying off of body cells.

I understand, “Aviator” is a brilliant fantasy of the author. But freezing is not akin to a coma? Don’t always come out of a coma? And if they do, does it leave no trace? Is the person fully recovering? How long can you be in a coma? Why is the patient sometimes immersed in this state? Finally, what is a coma? There is no insurance from her.

Denis Protsenko: To begin with, coma and cryotechnology (that same freezing) are fundamentally different things. Therefore, as a doctor and specialist in the field of critical care medicine, I will talk about the present and more studied. Coma is a complex disorder of important bodily functions. This is a pathological condition in which there is no consciousness and the patient lies with his eyes closed, despite various external stimuli. At the shout, the pain he does not open his eyes. And this is one of the main signs of a coma.With closed at any depth of unconsciousness, that is, coma.

So he still hears and feels pain? Only does he not open his eyes?

Denis Protsenko: Yes. This, if you like, is an axiom: a person in a state of coma always lies with his eyes closed. But at the same time, much depends on the depth of the coma, on its classification. There are several such classifications. The reason for the development of coma is also important. Coma is most common as a result of acute cerebrovascular accident.And in young people, the cause is more often traumatic brain injury or poisoning.

How long can a person be in a coma?

Denis Protsenko: From a few minutes to decades. There are such isolated observations, even descriptions in the specialized literature.

You also mean to whom General Anatoly Alexandrovich Romanov, who was wounded in 1995? He has been in a coma for a quarter of a century.

Denis Protsenko: Not really in a coma! As far as I understand his medical history, Anatoly Alexandrovich began to come out of a coma in two weeks.He began to open his eyes. However, getting out of a coma also goes through certain stages. Unfortunately, his recovery stalled at a very early stage and he is still in a vegetative state. He opens his eyes. But he has no other signs of higher nervous activity.

A person can be in a coma from several minutes to decades

Does he have the so-called “locked up” syndrome? This is when a person lies motionless, but his gaze is fixed on external stimuli.

Denis Protsenko: Indeed, the “man locked up” syndrome is one of the phases of coming out of a coma. But as far as I follow the media data about General Romanov, he never entered this phase.

In addition to the “man locked up” phase, there is also a phase that you call the phase of gross psychoorganic disorders …

Denis Protsenko: This is not what I call it. This is a generally accepted classification. And it consists in a combination of three signs: slovenliness, gluttony and hypersexuality.It is believed that a coma is a protective reaction of the body when the brain does not want to remember negative information, when it wants to rest. That is why the majority of patients who survived a coma, recovered consciousness, do not remember this period. Unlike the hero of the novel Vodolazkin, with whom we began our conversation.

But since we remembered about it, we will continue. Do those who are in a coma, those who survived it, die off some body cells? First of all, the brain?

Denis Protsenko: It depends on the cause of the coma.If the causes were damage to the substance of the brain (trauma, cerebral hemorrhage), then the brain cells die. And with a coma, which is a consequence of poisoning, brain cells are restored.

Why are some patients put into a coma? And how is it done?

Denis Protsenko: This is done with the help of drugs. At one time, they tried to treat mental illness in this way. Now this has actually been abandoned.

But you can often hear from doctors that the patient was put into an artificial coma…

Denis Protsenko: By the term “artificial coma” we explain to the relatives of patients one of the methods of treating cerebral edema, which is essentially a deep medication sleep.

How long can it last? Does the brain and other organs of the body suffer?

Denis Protsenko: This method of treatment is carried out only in the intensive care unit. The patient is closely monitored by medical personnel and special monitors.This guarantees a combination of efficacy and safety of this therapeutic approach.

What about diabetic, hepatic coma?

Denis Protsenko: The cause of a coma can be metabolic disorders. And these violations occur in diabetes and liver diseases. Manifestations of the same coma are the same closed eyes and other clinical signs.

– A person who survived to whom can recover completely?

Denis Protsenko: I will answer as a person who survived to whom 20 years ago as a result of a car accident: it did not prevent me from giving you this interview today.

Life After Coma – Snob

“I didn’t understand where I was and why I didn’t wake up”

Oksana, 29 years old, Khabarovsk:

I was 16. We were celebrating the New Year, and I suddenly thought: “Soon I will disappear!” I told my friend about this and laughed. For the next month I lived with a feeling of emptiness, like a man without a future, and on February 6 I was hit by a truck.

Further – an endless black shroud. I didn’t understand where I was and why I didn’t wake up, and if I died, why am I still thinking? Was in a coma for two and a half weeks.Then she began to gradually come to her senses. After coming out of a coma, you are in a semi-conscious state for some time. Sometimes there were visions: a ward, I was trying to eat pumpkin porridge, next to me was a man in a green robe and glasses, father and mother.

In early March, I opened my eyes and realized that I was in the hospital. On the nightstand next to the bed lay a rose and a postcard from relatives for March 8th – this is so strange, it was just February. Mom said that a month ago I was hit by a car, but I did not believe her and did not believe that it was a reality, for another year or so.

I forgot half my life, learned to speak and walk again, I could not hold a pen in my hands. The memory returned in a year, but the full recovery took ten years. Friends turned away from me: at the age of 15-18 they did not want to sit by my bed. It was very disappointing, there was some kind of aggression towards the world. I didn’t understand how to live on. At the same time, I managed to finish school on time, without missing a year – thanks to the teachers! Admitted to the University.

Three years after the accident, I began to have severe dizziness in the morning and nausea.I got scared and went to neurosurgery for examination. They didn’t find anything. But in the department I saw people who were much worse off than me. And I realized that I have no right to complain about life, because I walk with my feet, I think with my head. I’m fine now. I work, and only a slight weakness in my right arm and a speech impediment due to a tracheotomy remind of the accident.

“After seven months, I opened my eyes. First thought: “I drank yesterday, or what?”

Vitaly, 27 years old, Tashkent:

Three years ago I met a girl.We talked all day by phone, and in the evening we decided to meet with a company. I drank a bottle or two of beer, so I wet my lips and was completely sober. Then he got ready to go home. It’s not far away, I thought, maybe leave the car and get a taxi? Before that, for three nights in a row, I dreamed that I died in an accident. I woke up in a cold sweat and was glad that I was alive. That evening, I still got behind the wheel, and two more girls were with me.

The accident was terrible: a forehead blow. The girl who was sitting in front flew through the glass onto the road.She survived, but remained disabled: she broke her legs. She is the only one who did not lose consciousness, she saw and remembers everything. And I fell into a coma for seven and a half months. The doctors did not believe that I would survive.

While lying in a coma, I dreamed a lot. We had to sleep with some people on the ground until the morning, and then go somewhere.

After four months in the hospital, my parents took me home. They did not eat themselves – everything is for me. My diabetes complicated the situation: in the hospital I lost up to 40 kilograms, skin and bones.At home, they began to feed me. Thanks to my beloved little brother: he dropped out of school, partying, read about whom, gave instructions to his parents, everything was under his strict control. When, seven and a half months later, I opened my eyes, I did not understand anything: I was lying naked, moving with difficulty. I thought: “I drank yesterday, or what?”

I didn’t recognize my mother for two weeks. He regretted that he survived, and wanted to go back: it was good in a coma

At first I regretted that I had survived and wanted to go back. It was good in a coma, but here there are only problems.They told me that I had crashed in an accident, reproached me: “Why drank? Here is your booze to what has led! ” It finished me off, I even thought about suicide. There were problems with memory. I didn’t recognize my mother for two weeks. The memory slowly returned only after two years. I started my life from scratch, developed every muscle. There were hearing problems: there was a war in my ears – a shootout, explosions. You can go crazy. I saw badly: the image was multiplying. For example, I knew that we had one chandelier in the hall, but I saw a billion of them. A year later, it got a little better: I look at a person a meter away from me, I close one eye and see one, and if both eyes are open, the image doubles.If a person moves further, then again a billion. I could not hold my head longer than five minutes – my neck was tired. I learned to walk again. I never gave myself indulgences.

All this changed my life: now I’m not interested in partying, I want a family and children. I became wiser and more readable. For a year and a half I slept for two to four hours a day, read everything: there was no hearing, neither talk, nor watch TV – only the phone saved me. I learned what a coma is and what the consequences are. I have never been discouraged. I knew that I would get up and prove to everyone and to myself that I could handle it.I’ve always been very active. Before the accident, everyone needed me, and then bam! – and became unnecessary. Someone “buried”, someone thought that I would remain a cripple for the rest of my life, but this only gave me strength: I wanted to get up and prove that I was alive. Three years have passed since the accident. I am bad, but I walk, I see badly, I hear badly, I do not understand all the words. But I am constantly working on myself, I am still doing exercises. Where to go?

“After a coma, I decided to start life anew and divorced my wife”

Sergey, 33 years old, Magnitogorsk:

At the age of 23, after an unsuccessful operation on the pancreas, I began to get blood poisoning.The doctors put me into an artificial coma, kept me on life support devices. So I lay there for a month. I dreamed of all sorts of things, and the last time before waking up I was rolling some grandmother in a wheelchair along a dark and damp corridor. People were walking nearby. Suddenly my grandmother turned around and said that it was too early for me to be with them, waved her hand – and I woke up. Then I lay in intensive care for another month. After I was transferred to the general ward, I learned to walk for three days.

I was discharged from the hospital with pancreatic necrosis. They were given the third group of disability.I spent six months on sick leave, then went to work: by profession, I am an electrician of metallurgical equipment. Before the hospital, I worked in a hot shop, but then transferred to another. The disability was soon removed.

After a coma, I rethought my life, I realized that I was living with the wrong person. My wife visited me in the hospital, but I suddenly developed some kind of disgust for her. I cannot explain why. We have only one life, so I left the hospital and divorced my wife of my own free will. Now he is married to another and happy with her.

“I have iron half of my face”

Pavel, 33 years old, St. Petersburg:

Since my youth, I have been involved in alpine skiing, a little powerlifting, and coached children. Then he gave up sports for several years, worked in sales, did the devil with what. He lived one day, trying to find himself.

In 2011, I fell from the observation deck in Tallinn from the height of the fourth floor. After that, he spent eight days in a coma on an artificial life support apparatus.

While I was in a coma, I dreamed of some guys who said that on earth I was doing the wrong thing.They said: look for a new body and start all over again. But I said that I want to go back to the old. Into my life, to my family and friends. “Well, try it,” they said. And I came back.

The first time after awakening, I did not understand what was happening to me, and the world around me seemed unreal. Then I began to become aware of myself and my body. Absolutely indescribable sensations when you realize that you are alive! The doctors asked what I would do now, and I answered: “Train children.”

The main blow during the fall fell on the left side of the head, I went through several operations to restore the skull, facial bones: half of the face is iron: metal plates are sewn into the skull.My face was literally collected from a photograph. Now I almost look like my old self.

The left side of the body was paralyzed. The rehabilitation was not easy and very painful, but if I sat and was sad, nothing good would come of it. My family and friends really supported me. And my health is good. I was engaged in exercise therapy, performed exercises to restore memory and vision, completely isolated myself from everything harmful and observed the daily regimen. And a year later he returned to work, organized his own sports club in St. Petersburg: in the summer I teach children and adults to roller-skate, in the winter – skiing.

“I broke loose and shook my son:” Say something! ” And he looked and was silent “

Alena, 37 years old, Naberezhnye Chelny:

In September 2011 my son and I had an accident. I was driving, lost control, drove into the oncoming lane. The son hit his head on the pillar between the seats and received an open head injury. My arms and legs were broken. She sat there stunned, in the first minutes she was sure that everything was fine with her son. We were taken to Aznakaevo – a small town where there is no neurosurgeon.As luck would have it, it was a day off. The doctors said that my child had injuries incompatible with life. For 24 hours he lay with a broken head. I prayed like crazy. Then the doctors from the republican hospital came and performed a craniotomy. Four days later he was taken to Kazan.

For about a month, the son lay in a coma. Then he began to wake up on the sly and went into the phase of a waking coma: that is, he slept and woke up, but he looked at one point and did not react in any way to the outside world – and so for three months.

We were discharged home. The doctors did not give any predictions, they said that the child could remain in this state for life. My husband and I have read a lot of books about brain damage, every day we gave our son a massage, did exercise therapy with him, in general, did not leave him alone. At first, he was lying in diapers, he could not keep his head, and for another year and a half he did not speak. Sometimes I would break loose and shake him in hysterics: “Say something!” And he looks at me and is silent.

I lived in a kind of half-sleep, did not want to wake up so as not to see all this.I had a healthy, handsome son, he studied perfectly well, went in for sports. And after the accident, it was scary to look at him. Once it almost came to suicide. Then I went to a psychiatrist for treatment, and faith in the best returned. We raised money for rehabilitation abroad, very friends helped, and the son began to recover. But a few years ago he developed severe epilepsy: seizures several times a day. We’ve tried a bunch of things. In the end, the doctor found pills that worked. Attacks now happen once a week, but epilepsy has delayed the progress of rehabilitation.

Now the son is 15 years old. After paralyzing the right side of his body, he walks crookedly. Right hand and fingers do not work. He speaks and understands at the everyday level: “yes”, “no”, “I want to go to the toilet”, “I want a chocolate bar.” Speech is very poor, but doctors call it a miracle. Now he is homeschooled, with a teacher from a special school. Previously, the son was an excellent student, and now he solves examples at the 1 + 2 level. He can rewrite letters and words from a book, but if you say “write a word”, he will not be able to. My son will never be the same, but still I am grateful to God and the doctors for the fact that he is alive.

90,000 15 people who were in a coma told what changes surprised them after awakening

Coma has not yet been fully studied by scientists. And the way out of this life-threatening state, as a rule, does not pass without consequences. After returning from a coma, an adult can behave and talk like a small child or speak in a long-forgotten or even unfamiliar language.

Reddit users who experienced a coma shared how they were surprised by the change when they woke up after a long sleep.We at 5 Fun Facts read their stories with interest and were once again convinced that our brains sometimes do strange things to us. And at the end, a real story awaits you, which is more like the plot of a romantic film.


A good friend of our family fell into a coma for six months. And when he woke up, he was very surprised that his wife looked so old. It turned out that memories of the last 15 years of his life were erased in his memory. Yes, he knew that he had two children, but, according to his recollections, they were still babies.And he didn’t know anything about his 3rd child. His memory has not yet recovered.

A friend had to retrain a lot, because technologies have made great strides in 15 years. Everything became new to him. But the most difficult thing for him was getting used to the fact that his children were no longer babies. © BsNLucky / reddit


My dad was in a coma for almost 8 weeks. When he woke up, his eye color completely changed. Previously, he had green eyes, and after a coma, they suddenly turned blue.And this was not a subtle change. © StSym / reddit


In the 90s, my great-grandfather had a stroke. He lay in a coma for 3 weeks, and when he woke up, he could not speak English, his native language. He could only speak Choctaw. Grandfather learned it as a child, because his family lived very close to the Choctaw reserve and he played with many children – representatives of this people. Then he spoke it fluently, but later in his life, grandfather completely forgot this language.

10 days after coming out of the coma, he suddenly began to speak English again, forgetting all the words in Choctaw.

Interestingly, grandfather could also repeat verbatim all the conversations that took place in the ward, where he was in a coma. © Goldh3O / reddit


I was in a coma for 9 days. When I woke up, I was still connected to the ventilator system. The doctors cut me off from it, and it turned out that my body did not remember how to breathe on its own.I literally had to learn to breathe again. It took me several days.

I had no natural understanding of how much or how deep to inhale, how long to hold the air in the lungs, and how long to exhale. I needed to focus completely on my breathing. In fact, it was a strange sensation.

It’s funny that in those moments I felt completely normal and did not notice any discomfort, even when I did not breathe at all.But, when my blood oxygen level sensor started to beep, I thought: “Oh, damn it, you have to breathe!”

By the way, the first couple of days I didn’t even sleep because of this. If I suddenly fell asleep, my blood oxygen level sensor beep and wake me up. And I began to breathe again. © DROPTHENUKES / reddit


A friend of mine had an accident on the way home, after which he fell into a coma for several years. It’s funny that he got out of it on the anniversary of the accident.And he remembers everything that happened before the accident.

But, unfortunately, while he was in a coma, his wife married a caretaker who took care of him … © wasilvers / reddit


My wife was in a coma for 2 weeks. When she woke up, she had erroneous memories. They were all based on conversations between people who were in the room with her when she was still in a coma. For example, she thought the doctors had sent her to Washington for treatment. Although in fact her father mentioned this city, being with her in the ward.In some inexplicable way, the wife heard it, and her brain interpreted it as if it was she who was flying to Washington. Even after we explained to her that this was not the case, she did not immediately believe. © kp1877 / reddit


My father had an accident as a child: he was riding a bicycle and was hit by a car. He spent 2 months in a coma, and when he woke up, he found that his mother’s (my grandmother’s) hair had turned completely gray. Although she was only 38. © lemonyfreshpine / reddit


30 years ago, when I was 10, I was in a coma for 4 days, falling into it due to bacterial meningitis. And I woke up completely deaf! I had to communicate with parents and doctors using a notebook and pen. Gradually, hearing was restored in the left ear, with the right one, I still hear absolutely nothing.

By the way, the doctors gave only a 5% chance that I would survive. © austin_cody / reddit


My wife was in a medically induced coma for 4 days.She had a contrast agent reaction and her heart stopped for 20 minutes. After coming out of the coma, for almost 3 months she talked about her long-dead parents as if they were still alive and in the next room.

It drove me crazy to have to gently correct her many times a day. She came up with amazing stories about what people (relatives, friends, neighbors) did, what they said. Fortunately, after 3 months, the memory began to return. But now the wife remembers recent events, and her long-term memories have disappeared.© urgent45 / reddit


About 20 years ago, my cousin suffered a serious head injury from a fall. Then he was 20 years old. And he stayed in a coma for almost 4 weeks. When he woke up, he found that his memory had become eidetic. He could repeat entire conversations word for word and even give the date and time when you said something. Moreover, he could memorize any image in just a few seconds.

By the way, he still has an eidetic memory, and to be honest, it’s very annoying.© cheezemeister_x / reddit


I was in a coma for almost 6 weeks. When I woke up, I had to re-learn everything. In general, my speech abilities were preserved, but my motor skills were terrible. I could not even serve myself properly in the toilet, I could not walk up and down the stairs. But after 3 weeks I learned everything. © Ralph-Hinkley / reddit


My cousin fell into a coma after a motorcycle accident. When he woke up, it was as if he had been transported back to his younger years.He behaved and spoke like a child.

Now, after about 7 years, he is feeling better, although there is still something wrong with his way of speaking. He stutters and speaks quickly, like children when they are excited about something. And the brother also became talkative.

By the way, when he came out of the coma, he was very surprised by the fact that he had a daughter. © sweetsummerchild97 / reddit


My 14-year-old nephew was in a medically induced coma for over 3 months.During this time, he lost almost 30% of his body weight as his muscles atrophied. When he looked at himself, his first phrase was: “Did you forget to feed me?” © meccadeadly / reddit


A guy I dated in high school for a long time had an accident and was in a coma for almost half a year. And when he woke up, he spoke in a Scottish accent. The fact is that as a child, he spent a lot of time with his Scottish grandmother. And, most likely, this is why, after the coma, his brain gave the command to speak with an accent.© ihrie82 / reddit


Several years ago, my sister’s father-in-law was hit by a car while riding a bicycle. I don’t know how long he was in a coma. Another thing is interesting: before the accident, he was an alcoholic with a bad character, he could offend his children and even raise a hand against them. But after a coma, he barely drinks and has become perhaps the quietest, gentlest and most caring person you have ever met. © donttessmebro / reddit

Bonus: a story like a movie

My friend’s wife fell ill with encephalitis and fell into a coma.When she woke up, she did not remember her 2 children (4 and 6 years old), as well as her wedding in Paris and the marriage proposal made at Niagara Falls. Although she remembered her husband. The woman’s memory never returned.

Therefore, her loving husband again took her to the places where he re-proposed and arranged a small “wedding” ceremony. © Isle-of-View / reddit

90,000 Babkina came out of a coma and was stunned: “Where have I been?”


The first words of the singer became known after the return of consciousness

Nadezhda Babkina was finally taken out of an artificial coma this morning, as we were told by sources close to doctors, and the artist’s friends spread the good news around the world through their social networks.The week of tense anticipation ended, to everyone’s relief, with positive news.

People’s Artist of Russia Nadezhda Babkina was injected into a drug-induced coma a week ago to ensure more efficient operation of the ventilator. The actress, feeling unwell, was admitted to one of the private clinics with a diagnosis of pneumonia and suspected coronavirus infection on April 1.

According to sources “MK”, ​​pneumonia acquired a rather serious form, which is why she had to keep Ms. Babkina in a coma for quite a long time.Nevertheless, the tests for coronavirus continue to show negative results in an unexplained way, as noted by the sources, despite the clinical picture characteristic of the infection.

The state of the famous artist was stabilized, which made it possible to bring her out of the coma and disconnect from the ventilator. Now she is conscious, breathing on her own, and all indicators and analyzes have gone to improve.

Witnesses of the miraculous awakening of the Cossack woman claim that Nadezhda Georgievna was somewhat surprised when she woke up.“Where have I been?”

She said that she wanted my favorite fried potatoes with mushrooms and sauerkraut. However, immediately remembering that she had been on a diet for a long time, she canceled the “order”, agreeing to a dietary hospital meal. “Moreover, the post is now,” – consciousness and connection with time returned to the artist with reactive dynamics. Her mood is now positive and combative, as always, and her first thoughts, in addition to potatoes with mushrooms and Orthodox fasting, immediately turned to “what and how in the theater”.

For the 70th anniversary of the People’s Artist on March 19, the troupe of the Russian Song Theater had a large amount of work, a new performance was being prepared, and a lot of fresh numbers were created. The rehearsals in full swing, however, were interrupted at the beginning of the month with the beginning of the first “weekend” quarantine week. However, the entire team continues to work and rehearse remotely, all on Skype, including the theater’s choirmasters Svetlana Rasskazova and Pyotr Klyuchnikov, Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, who keep the artists in good shape and prevent them from losing their professional form.

Of course, the folk-pop star’s wards and associates were very worried about her state of health and even launched a positive song flash mob on the Internet about “the Cossack Nadia, who is not afraid of anything.”

Not only colleagues and theater artists, who, of course, hope and believe in the best, but doctors also express confidence that “Nadezhda Georgievna will quickly get out, because she is a serious person, a strong woman, and her treatment is carried out according to the highest standards by the most professional doctors. and the best professors. “

See also: “Babkina’s friend told about the state of the singer”

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 28240 dated April 14, 2020

Newspaper headline:
Babkina came out of a coma and was stunned: “What happened to me?”

Re-learning to breathe, swallow and walk: how life changes after artificial lung ventilation

“I can’t breathe. Not enough air.I give up, give up, “- this is how Diana Aguilar describes her last thoughts to Bloomberg before plunging into an artificial coma. She was confirmed to have coronavirus on March 18 when she was taken to a hospital in New Jersey. But the virus had begun to destroy her lungs several weeks earlier. The temperature rose above 40 degrees. It was hard for her to breathe, pain was felt throughout her body. At the hospital, she was connected to a ventilator: Aguilar almost could not breathe on her own.

April 24, 2020

Bloomberg tells what Aguilar and many other infected with coronavirus, who were connected to a ventilator, had to go through.

Why ventilation is needed. The usual breathing process can be described as follows: oxygen through the trachea enters the lungs, reaches 600 million of the smallest alveoli, through which it is absorbed into the blood and is carried with it throughout the body, to all organs. What happens with coronavirus:

  • The coronavirus and the inflammation it causes clog up this system like mucus.Infected cells stop functioning – coronavirus survivors compare this condition to the feeling of drowning.
  • The second problem is that the lungs are becoming a battleground for immunity against the virus. Since the new coronavirus is not familiar to the body, the immune system’s response can be very strong. “The body tries to attract as many immune cells as possible to fight infection. They effectively destroy infected cells, but they can also damage healthy cells, ”explains Christopher Petrilli, assistant professor at Langon Medical Center at the University of New York.
  • The lungs of those infected with COVID-19 can no longer saturate the blood with sufficient oxygen to support the immune system. At this moment, artificial ventilation of the lungs is required.

Hospitals for one patient and mechanical ventilation for $ 25,000: how wealthy Russians prepared for a pandemic

Why are ventilators dangerous? Intubation is a “nightmare” for each of the many thousands of patients who have gone through this procedure, writes Bloomberg.Ventilators are now snapped up because of their ability to maintain breathing, but at the same time doctors are wary of using them – because of the harm they cause with the small chances they give. According to statistics, more than two-thirds of patients connected to cars still die, the agency said. In New York, 80% or even more of coronavirus patients who are connected to ventilators die, the Associated Press cited statistics.

The first ventilators appeared in 1928, but doctors still continue to study the long-term effects of their use on human health, Bloomberg notes.“Even if patients experience ventilation, some of them will remain very weak. They can get to the point that they will not be able to do completely ordinary things – shave, take a bath, cook, or end up bedridden, ”Hassan Khuli, head of the intensive care unit at a hospital in Cleveland, told the agency.

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“We have to give patients pain relievers and sleeping pills so they can move the breathing tube into their lungs.The longer a person is connected to the machine and is on sedatives, the more serious the other consequences – a decrease in muscle tone and strength, as well as the higher the risk of contracting another infection in the hospital, ”says Richard Lee, head of lung diseases and emergency care at the University of California in Irvine.

The muscles that are responsible for breathing, after being connected to the ventilator, atrophy within a few hours.

The risk of death remains above average for at least a year after being disconnected from the ventilator.The level of risk is related both to the number of days spent on ventilation, and to the general level of a person’s health, the agency noted.

This war has a woman’s face: 5 stories of doctors who fight the pandemic every day

Some patients will never recover, said Michael Rodricks, chief physician of the intensive care unit at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey. And those who are recovering often have to re-learn basic skills like walking, speaking or swallowing, he added.Cognitive abilities can also be affected: for example, it will be difficult for an accountant to return to work, and a retiree who was previously quite independent will probably not be able to drive a car and go to groceries on his own, Rodriks said.

After the end of the pandemic, there will be thousands of people around the world who have survived ventilation, but their quality of life is a big question, Bloomberg notes. In the United States, the agency writes, hospitals are already preparing to care for injured patients: some are setting aside entire floors for rehabilitation.Others try to avoid using machines for coronavirus patients. To help such people, special devices are also being developed: for example, for stimulating muscles with current discharges, thanks to which patients “train”, even if they are unconscious.

Infect everyone: where the strategy of mass immunity in the fight against coronavirus can work

One story. Diana Aguilar was connected to the device for 10 days, during which she was almost constantly unconscious.When she woke up, she found that her wrists were tied to the bed: this is done so that the patient does not try to pull out the tube on his own, which reaches the lungs through the trachea. Several doctors and nurses gathered at the Aguilar ward: they jumped, clapped their hands and shouted to her: “Yes, Diana, you did it!” The joy of the doctors was connected, among other things, with the fact that many patients who, like Aguilar, were connected to ventilators, did not survive. Diana did not yet know that in the next ward, her husband Carlos was also lying on the ventilation of the lungs.They have been married for 35 years.

Carlos Aguilar also contracted the coronavirus. He was connected to the device only a few hours after Diana woke up from a coma. Diana overpowered herself and was able to get up in bed to look into the window of the next room where her husband was. The smartphone weighed like a brick, but Diana was able to take a photo of Carlos, after which she again lay down exhausted.

April 24, 2020

Diana was twice treated for colon cancer, she has a lack of iron, high blood pressure and is overweight.She was unconscious for 10 days and remembers only rare moments of awakening, pain and inability to speak and move. Carlos had never complained about his health before. He spent three days with the device: dozing or watching TV with a fairly weak pain reliever.

Some patients after mechanical ventilation “practically lose the ability to move: some behave as if they are paralyzed, their muscles can hardly move,” said Hasan Khuli. The Aguilar couple were able to avoid this.

Who is killed by the coronavirus: statistics

4 photo
90,000 little death or more than life – Moscow 24, 04.09.2015

Photo: Arman Zhenikeyev / YAY / TASS

What is a dream – a little death or more than life? This question has always worried humanity. Over time, people learned the answer, but the secrets of sleep are far from being revealed. What is lethargic sleep, can a person who has fallen into this state be buried alive and how often do people fall asleep for several days – in the material m24.ru.

On the road to sleep

Before plunging into the mysterious world of myths associated with lethargic sleep, it is worth recalling several cases of this state, which are actively discussed both in tabloid journalism and in scientific literature.

So, in 1919, there was an incident with a Norwegian middle-aged woman named Linggard. She fell asleep and for 22 years was in the deepest sleep. According to the available evidence, Linggard did not eat, but woke up only when Norway was already under the control of the Nazi troops. Upon awakening, the Norwegian looked the same as 22 years earlier. True, a year later she immediately aged two decades.

The most famous and really documented case is the dream of our compatriot Nadezhda Lebedina, who in 1954 fell asleep after a serious quarrel with her husband, and woke up twenty years later.This achievement is listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

Sometimes falling asleep is not very lucky. So, eight years ago, an elderly man from China was solemnly buried at a local cemetery in compliance with all the rituals. However, in the midst of the ceremony, the old man climbed out of the coffin and was surprised to ask those relatives who had not yet managed to escape in horror about what was happening.

It should come as no surprise that in classical literature there are constantly plots associated with premature burial due to lethargic sleep.Edgar Allan Poe wrote the story “The Mystery of the House of Usher”, in which the main character buries his sister ahead of time. And the classic of Russian literature Nikolai Gogol died of psychosis caused by the fact that he was terrified of falling asleep and being buried alive.

But still, does lethargic sleep exist and how does this state differ from ordinary sleep?

Stages of Cognition

To better understand the nature of such an extremely rare condition as lethargic sleep, one should turn to ordinary sleep.On average, we spend a third of our lives in bed. Out of 70 years, we have been sleeping for 23 years and have been awake only for 47 years.

So what is a dream? In general, if we consider sleep as a normal process, then this is a normal state for the body with a minimum level of brain activity and a reduced response to external stimuli. And besides, sleep is different.

Sleep has four stages of falling asleep, each of which is characterized by a certain level of brain activity. The first and second stages are the so-called shallow sleep.It is relatively shallow, and the first stage is quite officially called drowsiness. The third and fourth stages correspond to deep sleep. It is in this state that regenerative processes take place in the brain that allow the body to invigorate.

In addition, there is also the so-called REM sleep phase. If we speak in unscientific language, then in this state the human brain has woken up, and the body is still asleep. Therefore, in the stage of REM sleep, the brain reproduces various images, which we call dreams.

Sleep may seem like a very simple process. The brain turns off, we fall on the bed, and everything is ready – goodbye to the world until the morning! But no, the process of falling asleep is regulated by a large number of parts of the brain. Even more than the work of the respiratory and circulatory systems; the centers of these systems are located in the medulla oblongata, while the sleep centers are located in the hypothalamus, thalamus, pons pons, medulla oblongata and even the cerebral cortex.

In case of damage to the parts of the brain responsible for sleep, various diseases are possible associated with a change in the duration of sleep, the absence of some of its stages, or even a total inability to fall asleep.The latter condition occurs with such a rare disease as fatal familial insomnia (one in 200 million people on the planet suffers from it). Thus, in case of fatal familial insomnia as a result of the accumulation of harmful prion protein in the thalamus, a person is not able to go into deep sleep, for this reason his brain is not restored. Usually, after a year and a half of this state, death occurs.

What about lethargic sleep? Are there any conditions in which people for 10–20 years old can go without food and water and wake up the same as they were at the time of falling asleep?

Photo: YAY / TASS

Lethargic sleep as it is

Modern science gives a clear and unambiguous answer to this question: no, it cannot.The only state of the human body in which people can formally remain alive without consuming any food and without spending any energy is cryogenic freezing, or, more simply, suspended animation.

Under the influence of extremely low temperatures, a person can go into hibernation, like a bear in winter, but it will be extremely difficult to bring him out of this state. In fact, suspended animation is a clinical death with a delayed awakening time.

How, then, should we relate to lethargic sleep? The answer to this question is not yet clearly clear, but, apparently, in some cases, a person under the influence of some unknown factors is able to stay in the fourth stage of sleep for a very long time.Moreover, some people are able to generate lethargic sleep almost every week. For example, in England there was a priest who slept six days a week, and then went to church on Sunday for Mass.

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In general, this condition, according to modern canons of medicine, is similar to myasthenic crisis – an extreme form of muscle weakness in which a person is actually unable to perform any active actions.

So, lethargic sleep, or, more simply, prolonged deep sleep, can occur with organic damage to the brain, especially the thalamus.Of particular note are reports that lethargic sleep disorders occur in impressionable people after experiences.

This makes it related to such a phenomenon as takotsubo – stressful cardiomyopathy, which sometimes occurs in very impressionable people after severe experiences (usually in women) and is very similar to myocardial infarction, but with reversible consequences.

What are the chances of falling into a lethargic sleep? They – perhaps not surprisingly – are extremely small.Lethargy is considered an incident, the incidence of which does not exceed fatal familial insomnia. In other words, the incidence of lethargic sleep is hardly higher than one case in several million people on our planet. Accurate statistics on this issue do not currently exist, since the very phenomenon of lethargic sleep is still the subject of discussion by leading somnologists, as well as neurologists.

In other words, if you are afraid to fall asleep and wake up buried alive, you can safely drop your fears.