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Friday, March 9th 2007

Is There Trauma In The Loss?

This may seem like a stupid question but what would be more disheartening,

  • Having a loved dependent in a coma for the rest of their lives?
  • or

  • Having a person in a coma who every once in a while comes out but then goes back into the coma?

The ability to interact with them and know they’re okay has to outweigh the horror at watching them slip away again and again, doesn’t it?

A woman who has been in a coma-like state for more than six years awoke for three days this week to talk with family members and eat her favorite foods before relapsing.

“She was smiling and grinning and told my staff she wanted to go to a club, even doing a little chair dance in her wheelchair,” said one of her doctors, Randall Bjork.

[Her mother] said Ms. Lilly had awakened five times, sometimes for hours, then for days.

Dr. Bjork said that he had been skeptical of Ms. Smith’s previous reports of her daughter’s waking states, but that he was now a believer. He said Ms. Lilly was in a “minimally conscious state” rather than a persistent vegetative state.