Vegetative state

My daughter will be 30 at the end of this month. She has got 2 beautiful children (a girl and a boy). Two years ago she was taken ill (a headache (!!!) ). She was pregnant so the doctors thought that her headache was due to dehydration so she was admitted to a maternity the hospital. Three days later she was rushed to ICU, put in induced coma. After nearly 3 months in ICU she was transferred to a neuro ward as she was able to breathe by herself - The neurologists say that she had extensive damage to the brain and is now in a vegetative state. She is at home with me but I am so distraught I miss my beautiful daughter. Does anyone know of cases where people have come out of vegetative state. I know that each case is different ... Also can anyone advise as to what I can do to stimulate her brain. I read to her, I sing, I put the TV on, I do physio on her arms/hands/legs every afternoon. I am convinced that she can hear and when she is awake her beautiful eyes stare at me but unfortunately she doesn't follow. Any idea what I should do ? I am so heart broken ......

19 Replies

  • yemmahabou just keep doing what youre doing, play her favourite music, let smell her favourite perfume, give her big hugs and tell her you love love her.

    get out photos of holidays youve had,when she was younger and any youve been on since shes been a mum.......keep asking her do you remember........

    steve x

  • Thank you very much steve55 for your reply. I will do so x

  • I feel so sad for you, your daughter and her children. What a totally devastating situation. I suspect her headache wasn't just a headache but something like a brain hemorrhage. I hope and pray for you all that she gets better soon.

  • Thanks Icd8 for your reply. I really don't know what happened and as the docs themselves don't know either they put everything down to auto immune !!

  • I'm not sure any more than you where, you may well be right that she can hear, the more research is being done on Vegetive state more they are finding that people can form ideas make choices, normally done with MRI though only been a few research projects thus far?

  • Hi Roger. Sometimes when she is asleep and hears my voice she opens her eyes.When her husband asks her to blink she will "sometimes" do so !?!?

  • I would be heart-broken too if it were my daughter ; I feel so sad for you all. There are various examples of recovery from PVS after months, even years, but no medical explanations for why.

    Even the professionals don't seem to know why people's levels of progress differ so much after a brain injury. But you're doing a wonderfully compassionate service for your girl Yemma, and my heart goes out to you.

    Keep doing what you're doing ; I believe your daughter will feel your love and presence and, though you might have already tried it, some of her favourite or familiar smells might be arousing for her ; at the very least comforting.

    Stories such as this fill me with such admiration for those like yourself my dear. We're always here, if only for words of comfort. All best wishes, Cat x

  • Thank you cat for your words of comfort. I wish there was more I could do. I feel helpless x

  • Yemma, it simply isn't within your power to engender improvements in your daughter's neurological condition.

    The brain is notoriously slow to heal and regenerate and no amount of intervention will speed up the process.

    But what you're doing is above and beyond the usual aftercare, so please, don't ever feel inept.

    Your loving care will be creating a vital sense of wellbeing in your daughter so that, whilst she's unable to ask for comfort, you're providing it in 'bucketloads' and giving her the best possible quality of life.

    I don't understimate for a moment your frustration and heartbreak for your girl's situation but, please, don't YOU ever underestimate the value of your therapy and affection.

    Take care of yourself too when you can m'dear. Love Cat xx

  • Sounds like you are already doing everything you can. I have no idea if vegetative state coma feels same as normal coma but I know in normal coma you are definitely more aware of what's happening round you than people know. It's not all time you are aware of things but definitely some of the time so do keep talking to her and encourage responses like asking her to squeeze your finger. Of course don't expect to get a response I'm not sure if it would be possible but nothing to lose trying.

  • Hi keeley. I will not give up on her, I will carry on with whatever is possible. Thank you for your encouragement x

  • you sound AMAZING! this what we all dread,and you are coping every single day,Take support when its offerd and ger some respite for yourself x

  • if it helps search these forum for other parents going though the same thing and see if they can help you:

    other than pointing your to articles that might help I cant help, I just hope things get better for her

  • Thank you bexx87. I will check them up

  • yemmahabou hi, i was just wondering how things are?


  • Hi Steve. Tough. I am afraid no improvement as yet. But..still hoping that one day

    my lovely daughter will be able to say ..Hi Mum ! Dreaming am I ??

  • yemmahabou hope that day will come. for me i find solace in the monthly headway group where people like me with a brain injury meet and discuss with people who truly understand what theyre going through, then youve got the lovely partners, support workers who put up with us pain in the assess.

    my suggestion is, find your local group and go along, dont be frightentened youll be made very welcome by the group leader and introduced to the others.


  • Thank you Steve

  • Hi, I'm so sorry to read your post, so sorry. I've sending you a private message xx

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