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Niece in coma. Need stories of hope please.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by rharg, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. My niece (who is 20yrs old) has been in a coma for 6wks now following a RTA. Docs have told us that she has suffered serious brain injury & may not improve at all. It's so awful, I can't even describe it. I feel so sad for her mum and would like to be able to give her some hope. Does anyone have any experiences they could share or any advice? Thanks in advance.
  2. My niece (who is 20yrs old) has been in a coma for 6wks now following a RTA. Docs have told us that she has suffered serious brain injury & may not improve at all. It's so awful, I can't even describe it. I feel so sad for her mum and would like to be able to give her some hope. Does anyone have any experiences they could share or any advice? Thanks in advance.
  3. I am so sorry. This must be such a hard time for you all.
    I have no experiences to share.
    Its not worth much, but wishing you all well. I can only think be their for her mum as much as you can ....... she is probably on a nightmare rollercoaster.
    Take care.
  4. Not the same as your situation but since you asked for stories of hope - my cousin when she was 7 was also in a coma, I don't remember how long for as I was also about 7 but the doctors had as good as confirmed her dead when quite miraculously she came round. She is now a healthy, happy, successful 29 year old. So there is hope, always.

    I wish your niece well and thoughts are with you and yours xx
  5. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    how awful - so sorry to hear this. I don't have any personal experience, but did find this on the web: "After 19 years in a minimally conscious state, Terry Wallis spontaneously began speaking and regained awareness of his surroundings. Similarly, Polish railroad worker Jan Grzebski woke up from a 19-year coma in 2007.
    A brain-damaged man, trapped in a coma-like state for six years, was brought back to consciousness in 2003 by doctors who planted electrodes deep inside his brain."
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    My former sister in law's friend's son was in a coma for several weeks following an attack when he was struck over the head with a concrete paving slab. He has made a good recovery though it took a long time and he still has some problems to overcome.
    I'm not sure, though, whether other people's stories will be all that helpful as each case of head injury is so very individual and not all end well even when the person survives.
    I am sure, though, that knowing that friends and family are offering support, practical and emotional, is valuable to your niece's parents.
    I hope all goes well.
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Oh...and a friend of my daughter's is currently making a slow recovery from the coma which resulted from a head injury after a fall down concrete steps. It's too early to say yet how he will be in the long term. He's in his twenties so his age is on his side.
  8. I have known three people from late teens to early twenties in age, that have been in comas for weeks to months in time. All three awoke. Two are now as well as the average 30+ yr olds. Third suffered from some brain damage, but is capable of supported living accommodation - they were not expected to live....
    Every situation is unique.
    Faith helped the family of the person that has sustained most damage.
  9. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    my brother's girlfriend was in a coma for several weeks after being knocked down by a bus. He was told to talk and talk and talk to her.
    My thoughts are with you and your family xx
  10. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I have an Auntie who is in her 50's.
    When she was young (sorry I don't know all the details but I hadn't even been thought of) probably sometime in the 60s
    She was run over (not knocked down - but literally run over) by a reversing coal lorry. My Gran heard her screams from the other side of the village!
    She was in a Coma (don't know how long for)
    When she came out of it they had to put her in a pushchair and she had to learn to walk all over again.
    But now she is fit and healthy and has no lasting effects from the incident.
    I hope your niece has a similar success story.
  11. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    My brother in law was hit by a car when he was a young boy and was in a coma for weeks. They thought at the time that he had little chance of survival, let alone a decent recovery.
    He did recover and over the months restored to normal health and functioning. In those days they knew far less about the brain and healing; nowadays there is even more that can be done.
    He has been an FE lecturer for years and has a lovely big family of gorgeous grown up kids.
    We celebrated his fiftieth birthday last month.
  12. My Mum was in a coma for a long time and I know my Dad got a lot of support and advice from Headway - the head injury charity.

  13. My thoughts are with you - and I speak from very recent experience of this situation.
    I am afraid that I cannot give you hope - but there is another side to all the good stories posted on here.
    My husband suffered a severe brain trauma in June - no-one knows what happened and I didn't want to know. After 7 months in a coma - he died.....
    You need to get a neurologist - they will be able to run tests on the brain and tell you exactly what is going on. Is she in ICU...is she sedated....can she move? All these things will contribute towards making a reasonable prognosis......
    The poster who said talk - was right, and a radio - if that is allowed. For her, and the families sake, get her moved into a single room - scream, kick and do wahtever else it takes to make this happen. If she is not on ICU or HDU then talk to the ward manager about relaxing the visiting times - this will help........
    How long has she been in the coma for.....there are set procedures that have to be followed during this sort of injury - to be prepared - read anything you can about the Tony Bland case...and look at the mental capacity Act....
    I am sorry I cannot give hope but, sometimes, it helps to be prpared for the worse......I can, if you want, give some answers to what it is like to have to go through this.....
    I hope you get a different outcome to the one I had....

  14. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    I agree with the above post that you need to appreciate all angles. And sometimes a perfect prognosis isnt possible, as many medical things are considered in terms of probability(there's a so and so % chance of recovery etc). Well even if the stats say 5%, someone has to be that 5%. If the stats say 95% recovery rate, someone still has to be the 5% that doesnt make it.
    But, Ive been in a coma, more than once, following a virus. It was doom and gloom for many weeks and my family were told that if I survived at all, I would never walk or talk again.
    Yes they talked and talked and they never gave up hope, even when it seemed hopeless.
    When I regained consciousness, I could recall some of the conversations they had in my prescence..the drs said this wasnt possible, but I begged to differ, and still do.
    8 years on, yes I did have to learn again how to walk and talk, yes I do still have some difficulties with processing information, but I also hold down a job, get about day to day and generally get by.

    Its extremely important that the family look after yourselves and each other too, its very demanding, emotionally and mentally,caring about someone in a coma, and tempers can fry very easily. You can get exhasuted with visiting, and there is a point when you will need to get on with your own lives, if this a long haul. You will need to learn to have the patience of a saint, as sometimes there will not be clear answers, no matter how often you ask the questions, and you will hear 'wait' more times than you will ever hear again in your life.
    Finally find and use your 'let out' channel...whether thats here or elsewhere or with friends.
    Take care,big hugs coming your way.
  15. Thank you all so much for your support, well wishes and advice, it's much appreciated.
    I realise that each brain injury & recovery is unique and therefore it's difficult to predict what will happen to my niece. However it does give us a lot of hope to know about other people that recovered (in whatever form that may be) when doctors thought they had little chance. So thank you for posting these positive stories.
    T2SST- I'm so very sorry for your loss. The last 10 months or so must have been so terrible for you! I hope you have people that have supported you & will continue to do so. Thank you very much for the practical advice. Take care. x x
    I know I shouldn't but I've been daydreaming about my niece waking up on Mother's day- how lovely that would be!!!
  16. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Just over 20 years ago, my grandfather, then aged about 59, suffered a shocking blow to the head by one of the cranes at work. He was in a coma for weeks, approximately two months altogether. He had very serious damage to his head, including a fraction of his skull that has never been found; he has a dent in his head where it used to be.
    About 2 months later, he woke up. 20 years later, he is in his 80s and still going strong. He is not the quick, sharp, intelligent man he once was, although this is largely due to my grandmother refusing to accept support for him, take him to support groups, activities etc (that generation which insists on solving their own problems). However, he is perfectly functional and physically very capable for a man his age: he loves long walks, is fit as a fiddle, and is still more than capable of all the household jobs - although he shouldn't do some of them!
    There IS hope. I have my fingers crossed and am praying for your niece. I hope she recovers. The body needs time to heal; hopefully her body is just using this time to make her strong again.
    Best wishes.
    Love Eva x x x
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    That is my advice too. I've read several accounts from people who came out of comas and a common thread seems to be that at some stage they could hear what was happening around them but couldn't make their consciousness known.
    Those who had people talking to them directly,playing music they liked, holding their hands, stroking their arms etc felt some hope that their situation would improve and others were still fighting for them.
    Even if the situation is hopeless, hearing is thought to be the last sense to go, so I'd still see great value in talking to them, giving them news, reading to them etc.

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