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August 25, 2010

It's Tuesday evening, two weeks and two days since the accident and Delphine and I are standing either side of the hospital bed, dressed in pale blue hospital gowns.

'Please wake up,' I say. 'Everyone is waiting for you and praying for you. Even people you don't know. So many people want you to get better.'

The doctor arrives, accompanied by a professor of neurology and a junior doctor. Looking grave, Dr Kirian explains that the results of initial tests on brain function are not encouraging, although it is difficult to be certain of anything until the three week mark.

'Don't be optimistic, but don't be pessimistic,' he says, speaking in English. He then goes on to explain in French that at the end of this week, they will take the patient off the life support machines and attempt to keep him alive for two hours while they do a brain scan. This scan, he tells us, 'will determine if he will ever come out of the coma.'

Suddenly, the doctor breaks off from his sotto-voiced explanation and points towards the bed, looking surprised.

'Regarde ca!' he says. 'An eye is opening.'

And it's true. Very briefly, but very noticeably, one eye blinked open and then closed. I am not sure how significant this is but the doctor seemed surprised. And had he and Delphine not been there to witness it, I would almost certainly have thought I was imagining it.

comments (10)

1. Posted by Miriam Fenster on August 26, 2010 1:04 AM

Ce sont de bonnes nouvelles, Karen. There is always hope -- please keep that in mind.

2. Posted by Eric on August 26, 2010 8:05 AM

A very moving and sad account.One that must give us all a reality check regarding everything......I hope the blink is the begining of a recovery for your friend

3. Posted by Gwenda on August 26, 2010 9:54 AM

One eye may well be the start of something big - remember one thing - even if your loved one seems unresponsive it is quite possible he can hear everything that is being said around him - so talk, talk talk---

4. Posted by Diana on August 26, 2010 1:18 PM

Such a sad situation for you all. Makes me think your friend heard everything so don't give up hope as he/she hasn't by the sound of it.

5. Posted by pierre l on August 26, 2010 3:48 PM

Continuing best wishes for a good recovery for your friend. I am sure all your readers are thinking of you both.

6. Posted by Carol Gee on August 26, 2010 3:56 PM

Such encouraging news Karen, it certainly seems that your friend heard your conversation - try reading one of your books to him/her - but don't give up hope. You are in my thoughts daily. x x

7. Posted by Vanessa Vinos on August 26, 2010 5:54 PM

Dear Karen
I think I said in your previous post that miracles DO happen. Just keep believing. What an encouraging sign. I've also heard of patients being able to hear very well when in a coma. Maybe it's time to actually start talking slowly to your friend, playing his favorite music and help to rouse him out of his sleep.It's been done many, many times.
Dr's don't always believe in these techniques, but many patients have defied the doctors prognosis. Just do what you have to do.

8. Posted by Lyst on August 27, 2010 10:18 AM

Although I have only met you once, like everyone else who has read your books, I care about what happens to you and wish that this tragic situation would resolve itself and have a happy ending. I hope that doesn't sound too trite. Thank you for keeping us informed as I am sure, like many others who care, you and your loved one are in our thoughts constantly.

9. Posted by Susan on August 27, 2010 11:23 PM

I have only come over just now from Liberty London Girl. I am so very sorry. But things do sometimes work out. Sometimes not, that's true. I just read your entry to my youngest sister who reminded me of the following. Fifteen years ago, she was sitting with a friend, who was in a coma--after an accident--in the hospital. It had been just 3 months (yes) after disconnection & the brain scan. She was alone & sat there sort of talk-chatting at/to him. He woke up. Who was more surprised? I can't say as there was shock on everyone's part. Including the patient after he'd been told what had happened.

I'll think very strong, good, positive thoughts for you & your friend this weekend & from now on. So will my sister.

10. Posted by Noel on August 31, 2010 9:47 AM

I've just returned from holiday and heard about the accident from a friend who has also read your recently published book. It's awful news and very upsetting. I do hope the eye opening is an indication that he will get better.
With all good wishes,

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