I need some honest and informed advice... Please.... Head injuries and Induced coma

Hello all, Ive been reading everyone else's stories and trying to make sense of my own.

I'll try and explain it as short as poss. My partner was attacked by an axe weilding man on Monday 5th around 7pm. He was conscious after it happened but strangly, with his life threstening injuries he got into bed. The attacker rang the police and ambulance and they arrived any time between 7-8pm. He was taken to rd&e but then they transfered him by ambulance to derriford hospital. That took approx 1 hour.

He was conscious until he died in the ambulance and they resuscitated him and I think sedated him. He had 10 hours of surgery to sew up his wounds, reattach nerves affecting the right side of his face, and ear. He was on propofol and (not 100% on spelling) , fentanyl. They triEd to get him off the ventilator after 2 days but he didn't breath on his own. They say this may be thr opiates depressing his breathing (fentanyl).

They did a scan and we've been told there's some swelling and bruising but nothing major. Tonight they lowered the propofal and fentanyl and he is on a new valium based drug. He came around and started trying to move and get up, he was stiff but making a good effort to get up and even went to touch his head, he was trying to cough and the nurse used the suction tube in his throat.

My main concern however is that he woke up when I was talking (I'm his gf of 2 yrs) , his eyes were open but staring at the ceiling, like he ws dead behind the eyes but his eyes were open!!!! He struggled and was strong mlving around and 5 nurses had to hold him down as he was moving around and threatening his own breathing tubes etc so the nurses upped the propofal again until he relaxed again and shut his eyes.

PLEASE can someone tell me their thoughts on this... does he sound like someone who's going to be in a vegative state or are these actions all positive? the nurses remain impartial and dont say if it's good or bad so I'm really struggling to feel positive or negative and in fact I'm feeling very negative. The doctors say we can't assess brain damage until he wakes up but I'm just so stressed ....any advice or thoughts would be much, much appreciated . Thnku

18 Replies

  • I'm sorry to hear about this horrible incident your partner went through. It sounds disgraceful.

    If his CT scan shows bruising and nothing major, he should be fine.

    You just got to give it time. It's good that he's showing signs of life and that he's trying to get up.

    I don't think there is any need to panic from what you are explaining.

    Check out these articles/videos here for more information about induced coma and head injuries



    Wishing you and your partner all the best!

  • Hey lovely,

    Thanks for sharing, what an awful thing to happen to you and your boyfriend!!

    When I was in my coma, I sat bolt upright, with dead eyes which then rolled back in my head and I fell down again. I tried pulling my tubes out, and was restrained by several nurses. When I awoke proper, I still wasn't conscious and told my husband he was a useless c**t, and told my best friend to F off. Next day, couldn't remember a thing about it and said here comes my beautiful husband when I saw him. It took me a week to realise I'd been in a coma for 2 weeks and my husband and family were told I was going to die (nice Valentine's Day present!!).

    I was resuscitated in a and e and whilst all around me think I'm back to myself I know I'm not at the same cognitive level as before. My follow up nurse has referred me to a traumatic brain injury clinic so I suspect this is where they will send your Bf too.

    The only thing I can advise you is to be ready for a long recovery ahead. We are talking years not months. Get your finances in order, speak to his work, make sure they are paying him sick leave, speak to his bank if you live together, etc.

    Be positive, it's the only way to be. He needs your enthusiasm and positivity to help him understand this xx

  • Your blog is awesome it made me cry this morning. You sound like you're doing great xxx

  • Oh God now I'm crying!! At bingo!!! So glad I could help a little xx

  • I'm so sorry to hear this I know how tough it can be. My mom recently was in a drug induced coma as well. They just pulled her out of it on monday. She did the same thing even before she was out of the coma she would barely wake up and fight trying to get the tube out of her throat etc. Then when they woke her up she was just not with us for days she would stare blankly at us or at the ceiling for long periods of time. It was very scary but the nurses reassured us it was normal because of all the drugs they had her on to sleep and she would be ok. It's now day 6 out of the coma and she just started being more herself yesterday. They did the same thing to us never giving us positive direction. They wouldn't explain things they would always say oh she's moving in the right direction. It frustrated us tremendously like what does that even mean!!!!! It will take time but I pray your boyfriend will come out of this and be okay!

  • Oh and always always talk to your boyfriend while he is under. It may not look like it but he can hear everything that is being said. Just touching his hand or kissing his forehead are all positive things to help motivate him. We always told my mom how strong she was and she would pull through and some times she would even shake her head yes!!!

  • today I have been saying calm down luke just relax and sleep ok you're doing so well and I'm here for you beside your bed all day, we've travelled all the way here in "scamp" (nickname for our car) to see you. the cats and fish are well. That seemEd to settle him loads and he relaxed into sleep then. xx

  • I have some better news today! He is really tired and in and out of sleep but he was talking today! I am shocked that it even happened. He woke up saying he needed to go home..was being a fidget and wouldn't stop moving around, then the nurse asked him the names of his family and name of gf and he remembered them all!!! 😃 Also when I said love you he said love you too. I asked him some yes and no questions and he answered. he's still not really with it but the improvement is fantastic! he's only on propofol now. Fingers crossed he gets better fast so they can get him back to Exeter hospital as it's an hour to where he is, and I don't have anyone to babysit the kids, it's so hard. Thanks for the replies, it seems he does remember me and he isn't in a vegetative state so I'm over the moon. Let's just hope he doesn't contract any illnesses or infections now... xx

  • it was explained to me that after patients come out of sedative drugs they are usually confused so they try to pull at whatever is connected to them. Nurses and doctors sedate or induce coma in order to better control the situation. If your boyfriend looked like he was zoned out more than likely it was the meds. My husband was in a similar state and its a very odd feeling for me to see. It's almost as if you know they can hear you but apart of them doesn't seem presentPraying all is well

  • Hello and thank you again for the replies. Whenever the nurses reduce his medication (sedatives) he is trying to leave and doesn't want to stay on ICU he desperately comes home so they are keeping him sedated daily. I'm so so worried. how in the long term are they ever going to get him rehabilitated. if he keeps resisting the nurses and causing trouble then when will they stop sedating him? I didn't visit today but i did yesterday. he was partially out of it but we spoke lots and it was fantastic. I was right up next to him so he could focus on me and I could hear his voice. he told me he was thirsty and had some wet sponges... yum 😑 Do you think he will be kept sedated until his stitches and staples are healed? we had a really rude nurse looking after him today his mum said she was stern and tough loving with luke. I get the feeling they are starting to dislike my partner because he isn't cooperative and wants to leave. his mum told me the nurses mentioned sectioning him omg! I am really annoyed because his parents are next of kin and not me, I don't get to talk to the consultants and doctors so I know nothing !!!! I don't even get accurate 2nd hand information so I feel in the dark all the time even tho I am his partner.

  • Woke up to 20 missed calls from his mum, found out now he's back on a ventilator! wtf is this life I can't cope 😭

  • My partner was in an indused coma for 26 days during which he had several sedation breaks with the hope he'll be responsive enough to come off ventilator but time and time again he wasn't. I so get your frustration its like one step forward and ten back . what i had to remember was that the doctors knew best even though sometimes i wanted to scream at them . but today i am truly grateful to all staff in itu as they were great !!! Stay strong you are in my thoughts xxx

  • I was going to make the 1hr trip to visit him tonight but his mum has let me know there's not alot of point, he's back in induced coma with breathing tube due to them thinking he has a chest infection or something...he has a CT scan this afternoon which we should know the results of around 5.30pm tonight. Fingers crossed for my man plz pray for him. He's survived being alsmot murdered and I can't bare the thought of him passing away now be coz of an infection 😭

  • scan results clear! no infection! ventilator tube out, he woke up saying to us "am I dying" he is speaking and well....he is blessed ... we are not sure about long term...but so far so good xxx

  • Hey lovely!! I spent 3 months post coma convinced I was dead. My nightmares lasted decades so 3 months seemed nothing. I remember crying in a bingo hall with my friend telling her I thought I was actually dead and this was all a dream. I can't tell you how scary the nightmares are, they give me the shudders just recalling them. I didn't realise how ill I'd been for at least 10 days and even now, sat in Munich on my first holiday since coma with my hubby and best friends, my mate crying her eyes out over me being here, it still seems like they are talking about someone else, not me.

    Please keep us posted, sending you prayers xxx

  • Hi guys, he has been moved to a neurological ward. He is doing well, staying calm and sleeping LOADS in the ward. He is hopefully being moved to exeter soon, we are just waiting on a bed to be available. That means no more 100mile round trips :)

  • Please reassure yourself my dad had a cardiac arrest on a train coming up 3 weeks ago

    They said he has got a brain injury due to lack of oxygen but 5 days ago we started to see a big improvement his eyes more reactive and open he response more , not sure he knows us but a step forward . You must stay strong

    Things will get better x

  • Positive update!!!

    It's been almost 7 weeks since my bf was attacked with an axe and put into ICU. He left icu after 3ish weeks, spent 2 and a half weeks in a neurological ward and is now in a neurological rehabilitation centre. he is doing GREAT! He is the same person, but has some issues with his patience, and also forgetting where he has put items and forgetting what he has told you already. but these are minor issues tbh! We are so proud of him. I never knew the human body could go thru so much damage and some out the other side!!!! thank God for the NHS!