Hi my partner had a hypoxic brain injury, possibly upto 30minutes without oxygen.. The staff said he would not wake up from his coma and if He did, He would be in a persistant vegetive state due to moderate brain damage.. It has been 5mths, He is now awake, alert, feeds & shaves himself, walks with assistance.... They are saying that cognitively this is as good as he'll get and everyday, He forgets everything from the last day.... We as a family are going out of our minds with worry... He has proven them all wrong so far, Do anyone have a similar story and possible outcomes?

17 Replies

  • Yes, my story is like this. I was told to put my husband into care as he would never be able to do anything for himself. That was 28 years ago. He couldn't remember anything, dress himself, do anything really. Since then he has run a business, led a fairly normal life. He still has some memory and cognitive problems but no-one who didn't know him well would think there was anything wrong with him. Unfortunately he is getting older now and has ageing problems but don't be put off - 5 months is no time at all with a brain injury. Try to help him by doing things that stretch him a bit (without tiring him out), play simple card games, talk to him about things where he needs to think a bit harder, anything like that. Just give it time, his brain is still recovering and it will be many months yet before you need to start worrying about the outcome. He will probably surprise you!


  • Thankyou so much Jan, thats so comforting at this horrible time... may I ask as I did not mention my partner can talk but does really struggle and tends to just mime... Did your husband have speech problems after his accident?

    Char xx

  • No he didn't have speech problems - but he had a problem with everything else! He thought he was still a young man, forgot he had children and grandchildren etc. Don't worry, hopefully it will soon be back to normal


  • Thankyou xx

  • Some people make a reasonable recovery after HBI. It depend how long they were without oxygen, or how long they were getting some oxygen but not enough, did they get oxygen etc. quickly afterwards?

    The Doctors give you the worst outcome.

    Five months is still very early stages. Keep going, try to put in place memory aids so he gets in the habit of doing things. I had small clocks with the day of the week/month in the kitchen bedroom and bathroom as I couldn't remember what day it was, totally disoriented. Don't get snappy when he's struggling with words.

  • Hello Stardrop, thanks for your reply... They believe it was 30mins at the most... Anything after this and He was cooled with oxygen and stable..

    Thankyou x

  • I can sympathise with you. My son also has a hypoxic brain injury following a cardiac arrest at age 18. We were also told the outlook was really bad but he amazed the doctors with progress made in the first few months after his collapse. He is now home but struggles with memory issues and cognitively, he has a university place but I doubt he will ever go now 😭. Life changing but do not give up hope, the brain is amazing but it takes time. Keep strong - I know how difficult that is but try to take a day at a time. X

  • Thankyou Janeleverton xx

  • No experience with this type of injury but give headway a call and check out their e books. Also try Tina M Sullivan ' Nourish Your Noggin' cookbook and have a look at drdiane.com for a book on brain injury. You can get both on amazon.

    Your husband has made progress and it's early days. Keep up the good work to support him and remember to have some free time for yourself if you can. Those books will help you understand how complex a brain injury is.

    I hope he continues to improve.

  • Thankyou Jane_h xx

  • Thankyou xx

  • Hi, my husband sustained a hypoxic brain injury in August. I was told he would not recover. Please message me if you want to chat more x x

  • Hello Mary Lou.. My partner had a cardiac arrest 2 weeks ago and I was told today that he will probaby wake up but will not be able to do independant living and should be sent to a nursing home. I would love to chat with somebody who has been through this. I am terrified... Thank you..

  • Oh yes I can relate to this totally. My husband was also without oxygen for about 1/2 an hour. We were told he wouldn't survive the night, and as the next day was our daughter's birthday I was left hoping he would die before midnight and not after...

    My husband walks, dresses himself, talks (when he wants to) etc but has severe memory problems. His short term memory is usually less that 5 minutes, which means he isn't safe to be left alone. We got lots of helpful advice from our local Headway group but nothing has brought his memory back. We were told that most improvement happens in the first 2 years so the more stimulation you can provide now could help in the long term.


  • Hello J, thanks for your feedback... When did your husband have his injury? X

  • Hi his was in May 2004 but after the first couple of months there has been no more improvement. He is still a very intelligent man in lots of respects but can't remember what he was doing a few minutes ago.

    All I can say is that initially there were a lot of funny moments while we got used to his new foibles - washing his hair 4 times while in the bath for example - but now he rarely surprises us any more.

  • Hello... Two weeks ago my partner suffered a cardiac arrest and he is in a coma. The first week they had him sedated and cooled. He had shown sign of waking up and his mri showed normal and he is responsive to pain. But now he is having seizures and is unresponsive, although I have seen subtle responses, the doctors and nurses dont seem to take me seriously. Today the new doctor on rotation came in and just gave him a slight pinch on the shoulder and told the nurse to send him up to neurology tomorrow and then from there to a nursing home. When I asked the doctor if he thought he was never going to wake up he said "He will probably wake up but he is never going to do independant living again". He was so cold and calais. I am horrified and terrified. But your stories have given me renewed hope.

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