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Facts About the Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States After Severe Brain Injury

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Mark Sherer, Ph.D., Monica Vaccaro, M.S., John Whyte, MD, Ph.D., Joseph T. Giacino, Ph.D., and the Consciousness Consortium, Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center

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Facts About the Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States After Severe Brain Injury
  • video content iconInformation on the medical care provided following a TBI — from the first moments in an ER to the collaboration between the family and medical team to create and individual treatment plan. After the Injury: Acute Care and TBI

Severe brain injury causes a change in consciousness. Consciousness refers to awareness of the self and the environment. Brain injury can cause a wide range of disturbances of consciousness. Some injuries are mild and may cause relatively minor changes in consciousness such as brief confusion or disorientation.

The most severe injuries cause profound disturbance of consciousness. Twenty to 40% of persons with injuries this severe do not survive. Some persons who survive have a period of time of complete unconsciousness with no awareness of themselves or the world around them. The diagnosis given these people depends on whether their eyes are always closed or whether they have periods when their eyes are open. The state of complete unconsciousness with no eye opening is called coma. The state of complete unconsciousness with some eye opening and periods of wakefulness and sleep is called the vegetative state. As people recover from severe brain injury, they usually pass through various phases of recovery. Recovery can stop at any one of these phases.

Characteristics of coma

  • No eye-opening
  • Unable to follow instructions
  • No speech or other forms of communication
  • No purposeful movement

Characteristics of the vegetative state

  • Return of a sleep-wake cycle with periods of eye opening and eye closing
  • May moan or make other sounds especially when tight muscles are stretched
  • May cry or smile or make other facial expressions without apparent cause
  • May briefly move eyes toward persons or objects
  • May react to a loud sound with a startle
  • Unable to follow instructions
  • No speech or other forms of communication
  • No purposeful movement

Persons in coma or vegetative state require extensive care that may include:

1. Feeding using a feeding tube
2. Turning in bed to prevent pressure sores
3. Special bedding to help prevent pressure sores
4. Assistance with bowel and bladder relief using catheter and/or diapers
5. Management of breathing such as suctioning of secretions; this may include care for a tracheostomy tube
6. Management of muscle tone (excessive tightness of muscles)
7. Special equipment that may include a wheelchair or special bedding to help with proper posture and decrease muscle tightness
8. Management of infections such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections
9. Management of other medical issues such as fever, seizures, etc.

What happens after coma and vegetative state?

When people start to regain consciousness, they may:

  • follow simple instructions from others such as, “Open your eyes,” “Squeeze my hand,” “Say your name,” etc.;
  • communicate by speaking words or by indicating yes or no by head nods or gestures; and/or
  • use a common object in a normal way such as brushing hair with a brush, using a straw to drink, holding a phone to the ear, etc.

Persons with brain injury transition through the period of unconsciousness and subsequent stages of recovery at a slower or faster rate, largely depending on the severity of injury. Those with less severe injuries may transition through these stages more rapidly and some of the stages described here may be poorly recognized or not occur at all. Those with very severe injuries may stall at one or another stage and not be able to make the transition to a higher level of recovery.

For persons with more prolonged periods of unconsciousness, emergence from unconsciousness is a gradual process. Coma rarely lasts more than 4 weeks. Some patients move from coma to the vegetative state but others may move from coma to a period of partial consciousness. It would be very rare for a person to move directly from coma, or vegetative state, to a state of full consciousness.

Persons who have shorter periods of unconsciousness likely had less severe brain injuries initially. Consequently, they are likely to go on to make better recoveries than persons who had longer periods of unconsciousness.

Traumatic brain injury refers to damage to the brain caused by external force such as a car crash or a fall. About 50% of persons who are in a vegetative state one month after traumatic brain injury eventually recover consciousness. They are likely to have a slow course of recovery and usually have some ongoing cognitive and physical impairments and disabilities. People in a vegetative state due to stroke, loss of oxygen to the brain (anoxia) or some types of severe medical illness may not recover as well as those with traumatic brain injury. Those few persons who remain in a prolonged vegetative state may survive for an extended period of time but they often experience medical complications such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, infections, etc. which may reduce life expectancy.

People who have a slow recovery of consciousness continue to have a reduced level of self-awareness or awareness of the world around them. They have inconsistent and limited ability to respond and communicate. This condition of limited awareness is called the minimally conscious state.

Characteristics of the minimally conscious state

  • Sometimes follows simple instructions
  • May communicate yes or no by talking or gesturing
  • May speak some understandable words or phrases
  • May respond to people, things, or other events by:
    • crying, smiling, or laughing;
    • making sounds or gesturing;
    • reaching for objects;
    • trying to hold or use an object or
    • keeping the eyes focused on people or things for a sustained period of time whether they are moving or staying still.

People in a minimally conscious state do these things inconsistently. For example, one time the person might be able to follow a simple instruction and another time they might not be able to follow any instructions at all. This makes it difficult to distinguish the vegetative state from the minimally conscious state.

While in a minimally conscious state, people need extensive care similar to that needed by people in a vegetative state.

Sherer M, Vaccaro M, Whyte J, Giacino JT, & the Consciousness Consortium. Facts about the Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States after Severe Brain Injury 2007. Houston: The Consciousness Consortium. Copyright © 2010 by University of Washington/MSKTC. 

Please check the MSKTC site for any recent updates on this article.

Comments [153]

Amen Sister!!!

Apr 5th, 2017 12:24am

Thank you for posting this valuable resource. I found myself in a minimally conscious state following a massive cerebellar stroke. I was aware of the comforting presence of my wife and children. I was further comforted by my Mennonite brother and  nephew praying over me... but was not inclined to fully wake from the minimally conscious state. I found this in my search to understand what was going on with my mind. There was one thing that brought me back. For my entire life I have been compelled to arrange things; in my childhood, my Dad brought me hardware to arrange and containers and drawers to put it in. That is how it started... but organizing things relaxes me; it isn't stressful; when it is done I'm happy. In rehab I had received many cards, some signed by whole groups of people, and I asked a visitor to arrange the cards on a shelf in my private room. They did that, but the cards were not arranged right. It was my compulsion to arrange those get well cards correctly that returned me to the present. BTW, I'm stumbling around without assistance following my stroke. I can do everything I did before, but some things are very hard. I'm looking forward to a long life. (I'm 72.)

Mar 29th, 2017 12:02am

My mother is 62 and has been on medication that makes her fatigued and dizzy. My father came home three days ago and found her laying in the hallway, covered in blood, asking for my grandfather to help her (who has long been deceased). They have taken her St. Vincents here in Birmingham, AL. It appears she had hit her head, probably due to a fall, causing bleeding in the back of her brain and head. The bleeding has stopped, but she is in a vegetative state. She moans, randomly smiles, and moves without purpose but can not follow commands. She does not react to sounds, but does open her eyes here and there, although she does not follow movement or lights. This is the third day, but there has been no improvement. The two neurologists assisting us told us that they are simply waiting for her body to naturally absorb the blood, that surgery would be too risky for her age and that it is unnecessary. They said that she should regain consciousness in the next week or so. I'll leave important updates as they come. It's heartbreaking to see a loved one like this, but this article has helped us understand what stage she is in and how her recovery process will look like, thank you so much for this resource, God bless.

Mar 4th, 2017 12:39pm

This article is very helpful. My sister had a sudden cardiac arrest at home last Tuesday. This is Thursday. She is 44 years old. We're not sure how long she was deprived of oxygen, but EMTs arrived  fairly quickly and got her heart started again. She is still in ICU and will be moved hopefully today to a different hospital where they plan to do more tests. I don't know all that they have done, but they are using therapeutic cooling right now. Her temperature is not going down as far as they like, because she also seems to be fighting a fever. After reading this, it looks like she is in the vegetative state. Her eyes are open sometimes and closed others. She doesn't look at anything or track objects. Her heart is beating on it's own, but she is on a ventilator. She fights the ventilator sometimes to try to breathe on her own. I would like to read comments from others who have experienced this with family members. It's very hard not knowing how far she might come out of this, or if she will. 

Feb 9th, 2017 5:43pm

Hi Everyone, as many here I had to experience the fall into a coma and consequent vegetative state (1 year) of a dear friend of mine. At that time we were impressed with the importance of maintaining a contact with the patient through regular visits and phone calls (with the support of the nurses). We decided we had to do something about this and we created an audio/video communication app dedicated to these patients and to those that have to deal with them. Feel free to check our Website and please let us know if this tool supported you and your families too. (www.FamilyPlug.Healthcare)

Jan 26th, 2017 1:40am

I have a 37 year old son that went into cardiac arrest two years ago. I don't know how long he was out, paramedics managed to revive him and rushed him to the hospital. He had shut down completely, liver and kidney. He had been 100% dependent on a pacemaker since the age of ten.  Doctors mentioned there is no brain activity, kidney and liver shut down. No sense in doing anything if there is no brain activity.  His aunt prayed over him and he started moving his eyes, squeezed my hand, and he moved his fingers. Told the doctor she said it was reflexes. Then, when he kept doing it on command, they decided to do the pacemaker. He had dialysis for a week, has sclerosis of the liver. Bottom line is keep the faith, I still have my son after two years.

Jan 19th, 2017 8:58pm

64 yr old male enters hospital with kidney issues and pain, ends up puking and aspirating early AM in hospital room and is now in ICU almost 5 days from time of "hypoxia brain damage" and no response to pain stimuli or sound or light. Blinks on his own, awake and sleep stages - has heart beat and is over breathing the ventilator - my biggest fear is that we make a decision too soon but not sure what to do next, seems like the hospital we're at is not a good place for Nero and I'm starting to realize they didn't do all the things other people have discussed as part of their treatments - How long should we wait to see if he improves?

Dec 7th, 2016 5:15am

Hello everyone, for past few weeks I have been reading everything about coma, vegetative state, etc. My dad had a major cardiac arrest. His heart stopped for 25 min. They resuscitate him and finally came back. He needed stems at his heart so that has been done. The doctors have put him in a induced coma. After one and a half weeks they tried to stop everything. Cutting the story short... now is 5 weeks. He opened his eyes, moved his hand and legs, smiles but there is no consciousness yet! We have fought to get an EEG and waiting for the MRI. The neurologist will assist and hopefully give us some good news. He has progress every day. Every day is a new move or a cheeky little smile. I just hope he will be conscious soon because this is draining. He is in a vegetative state I believe? He reacts at every noise around so I'm not sure if is not classed as minimal consciousness? God bless everyone with this problems. It hurts so much :(

Nov 27th, 2016 3:18pm

My dad had a major heart attack at home. My brother commenced CPR until the ambulance arrived. He went 40 minutes without oxygen. He had surgery and a stent was inserted. We were told he might not make it through the night. He was in induced coma for 1.5 weeks. He now had aquired a hypoxic brain injury. He unfortunately does not know me or his grandchildren. Hes a completely different person. Not my dad. What I struggle with is all research surrounding at home heart attacks is that only 5% will survive and people who do survive have some type of brain injury. My dad would not want to live like this. Nor do we as a family watching our father detoriate in front of us while physios and doctors try to make dad walk. I love my dad. But the outlook for my dad's life now is awful. He's going to a nursing home. He will need 24 hour care. At 62 years of age. I'm so thankful we can still hold dad's hand. I question the doctors who saved dad's life... what life will dad have? I'm struggling that dad should have passed away and after 40 minutes without oxygen. I do no believe he should of been saved. Am I selfish for thinking this way?

Nov 14th, 2016 6:48am

My dad was diagnosted with gbm 2 years ago. He had 2 seuizers last sunday. He has not waken up since. They saw multiple blood spots in his brain. It is absolutely devastating to see him like this.

Nov 6th, 2016 8:47pm

This is an incredibly difficult thing to watch your loved ones endure. Disheartening and frightening. So my heart goes out to those who may be going through this at this time! We lost our daughter last year because of a severe brain injury due to Hypoxia. Dispersed brain death left her in a coma for an extended period of time. We loved her very much and are heartbroken. If you are a loved one looking for answers, I pray for the best possible outcome.

Oct 19th, 2016 11:23pm

My daughter struggled with anorexia for 4 years. It became a severe mental illness and at age 21 not only did she stop eating but was drinking too, while in a very fragile state. A friend also brought over 'spice' to smoke. By the next day she suffered massive seizures, died and was resuscitated and then was in a coma. She was put in a sub-acute facility (her accident happened while on vacation away from home and our home town didn't have a sub-acute) in Southern California. We had to move there for 1 year to be near her hospital. After 1 yr we brought her home and have been caring for her 24/7 for almost 6 years. Her trachea came out, but she still has a feeding tube, bowels don't work, and she remains non-cognitive, vegetative. The girl we raised is gone but her Spirit is still here. She's like a 6 mo old baby and so we 'play' with her and embrace what is now with joy and peace to keep a quality environment for us all. We trust in God and do not look backward. We accept what is bit always believe miracles are possible I'll be 60 in a couple months, my husband almost 68, so this is a big job for us for the rest of our lives....but home is where hope is in our control. We pray for everyone within this site (I read many of your stories) as we totally feel for each of you. Take care of yourself and find joy in the midst of the storm 💛

Oct 15th, 2016 12:40am

I can relate to everyone's condition. My mom is more than a year vegetative, fed thru NGT and on tracheotomy. Totally home cared. I missed my mom so much. My relationship with my mom is so much deeply rooted. Now our home is so quiet, dark, and no activity.

We can lift each other's burden thru prayers we can get in touch via email if anyone is available. Through small contribution in our experience I know we can make a difference in someone's life.

Oct 10th, 2016 9:13am

Hello guys.. ..my dad is in vegetative state for 8 months. ..do u have any idea about conscious level after these months?

Oct 10th, 2016 8:59am

My daughter suffered a almost total shut down from Diabetic Keto Acidosis. Kidney function was at 4%, coma for 23 days, thereafter a rehabilitation for another 4 weeks, released to my home. I put my life on hold, my career on hold (or rather closed it down). As she recovered slowly, now 2 years later, still cognitive impairment, behavior issues, violent thoughts.  Somehow being her caregiver for 2 years, she has decided she was going to hate me to the point of being verbal to others on how she was going to kill me and my dog because he barks to much. Now I need mental health counseling. Trying to understand the brain damage, the change in her.  It is just so horrific.  The grief and loss is like my old daughter basically died when she got sick. Now this another person inside of her.  Who can't take this personal, the daughter who once loved me now decided somehow in her faulty brain she now hates me.  I know it's not about me, it's about her, her recovery, her wellness. Just looking for information on how the brain works or thinks after such traumatic brain injuries. There was alcohol and drug, as she was a career and single party girl.  She was already exhibiting some extreme mood and behavior changes prior to the DKA. What changes along the line and how a brain could hate someone who only loves you.  LVD

Oct 8th, 2016 9:07pm

My 62 year old father went to the ER on June 10th to get his swollen foot checked out. He did not have diabetes and was relatively healthy except the high blood pressure and cholesterol meds he was taking. During the couple of hours that the doctors were trying to figure out what is wrong, his foot started forming large blisters and turning dark. They rushed into surgery. It turns out he had sepsis due to necrotizing fasciitis (the so-called flesh eating bacteria) on his foot. While debriding the infected tissue, my father suffered a heart attack. They amputated the leg above the knee and worked on reviving him. They say he coded for 45 minutes but finally got a pulse. He got moved to the SICU and was in coma for 5 days. When he finally opened his eyes, he exhibited no consciousness. The neurologists told me the anoxic brain injury was "global" and that he'll never regain any level of consciousness. He was breathing on his own so i had them remove the breathing tube. The neurologists were not 100% correct, because my dad did regain consciousness. He recognized me, my kids, his siblings etc and even though his speech was severely impacted and we couldn't understand clearly what he was saying, he did try to talk and could communicate by nodding his head. He was even able to feed by mouth, despite the neurologist telling me this will not be possible. So those of you out there in despair by what you hear from the doctors, there is always hope! Just keep praying. My father ultimately passed away on July 7th. I miss him every day but I thank God for the extra month that I got with my dad.

Oct 3rd, 2016 5:35pm

Hi everyone, I have a relative who suffered a TBI almost 2 years ago and was diagnosed as Persistent Vegetative State. Yet after a few months of his injury he deliberately was responding, using his hands, thumbs up etc. however was not offered any rehabilitation due to his diagnosis as the OT who carried out his assessment did not get consistent responses.  There is no doubt that he has full understanding, laughs at jokes, cries at sadness, expresses all emotions as anyone without a brain injury.  He has gone through periods of responding using his hands, turning on command, lifting his limbs, but is losing this and the will to live as he realizes there is no help, even for simple common medical issues.  The medics/social services made everything so difficult as they had a plan for residential care and would not admit that he understood.  After continuously fighting, he eventually got home, and is now being cared for by family but he is not eligible for any services such as physio, nor any equipment to assist.  It appears due to sheer ignorance to his condition he gets left to suffer.  I have endless amounts of electronic recordings demonstrating that he understands, and every relative, visitor and even nurses are now aware of this.  He is now, understandably experiencing panic attacks, yet no help with this either. It is absolutely heart rendering to observe this suffering.  Is there anyone else in this situation.  I would like to publicize this story as I feel as if it is so wrong not to treat, yet allow to live without even ensuring comfort. Are we alone or is this common practice?

Oct 1st, 2016 8:25am

My fiancee has anoxic brain injury. It has been a year yesterday. I never give up hope and I hope nobody ever does on there loved one. The brain is tricky and you never know love is also a tricky thing

Sep 26th, 2016 8:46am

My heart goes out to everyone on here. My husband suffered a TBI almost 13 years ago. He lives at home with me and has since he was released from the hospital. I will never give up hope as long as he is breathing. He is in a vegetative state and has been the whole time. I talked to him all the time and pray he is still in there. I loved him so much.

Sep 19th, 2016 8:24pm

I believe that there are three new ways to help people with brain injuries:

(1) Hypobaric chamber:  Gives the brain more oxygen, and therefore heals an injured brain with dramatic effect.

(2) Fish Oil INTRAVENOUSLY fed into the blood stream.  Again, it heals the injured brain with dramatic effect.

(3) Coconut oil. Heals the brain and reverses Alzheimer's disease.  If it can reverse Alzheimer's, it is powerful in healing brain injuries.

God bless you all.


Sep 11th, 2016 6:54pm

My 82 year old mother had a fall in the bathroom 10 days ago, fractured her shoulder badly and hit her head and face. Apparently no concussion or damage to the brain had successful surgery 1.5 hrs of shoulder replacement + 1.5 hrs of hard work by the anesthesiologist. Woke up after operation and improved over the next two days only then to fall into a deep sleep. MRI scanning and blood tests show no anomalies. But she will not wake up after now another 3 days of sleep. Doctors at a loss to determine the cause. My wife terribly distraught. Anybody with similar experience?

Sep 10th, 2016 6:58pm

Very informative. Thanks

Sep 10th, 2016 10:45am

I'm praying for you.....I have a daughter your son's age.

Aug 18th, 2016 8:51pm

I have recently been in touch with BIA of Wisconsin. I am at a loss for helping my son (28 Yrs old) find a family physician in the Applton area. We are 4 years post and have come to the conclusion that there really is no where else to go to get him help. He has a severe TBI. His nerosurgeon refused to put his bone flaps back in so we are always stared at and drs don't want to work with us, (aspirin dr). We are unable to have therapy because the progress doesn't meet the standards of medicaid / medicare. I refuse to let my son continue to loose what he has. He will not be housed in a nursing home. He is "in there" and i will continue to work with him. 

Anyone in the Appleton area know of a pcp who works with tbi patients please let me know

Aug 3rd, 2016 7:48pm

I sure understand what you're going through. My mom had bacterial meningitis that made her brain swell and had several mini strokes through out her brain...devastating. This happen back in April, she's out of coma but went into vegetative stage. I wish I could know if she has any chances of getting out of it. .

Jul 31st, 2016 11:35pm

My mom, who is my best friend, had a significant stroke in November 2015, she has underlining dementia, which makes everything worse. That stroke left her with behavioral changes and loss of bladder and bowel control, but could eat, drink, walk and talk. A blessing. Well, yesterday she had a massive stroke. She was starting to move all limbs, I am not sure if these were voluntary or not, but I believe they were. When I asked her to squeeze my fingers, she pushed that arm and brought it up to her chest. They did put her on a ventilator to increase oxygen. Today they were going to do more tests, ween off the ventilator and asked us to take our time coming to visit since they didn't want us to stimulate her at all. It is so hard to see her like that. I am very very close to my parents and this is all devastating And bless you all, I am at a lost.

Jul 9th, 2016 2:04pm

My brother had a stroke and I am unfortunately unable to be with him at the hospital as I live in another. All I know is what a sibling described after visiting him there. They described him as being "in and out" and resting and his speech is very incoherent. Is this the sign of a massive stroke and is he in a sort of vegetative state?

Jun 17th, 2016 8:06pm

My father got sick (sepsis and mrsa) dr. Said probably no chance of recovery, only organ working was his heart! After two days the woman who called herself his wife said "she was tired, pull the plug " it was horrible to watch my father suffocate, I had to leave. Every day I wish I would have tried something, anything? There must have been a better way! My love goes out to all who suffer.

Jun 1st, 2016 9:39am

HBOT has a positive effect, try it my blog explains  https://mathewhomberger.wordpress.com

May 16th, 2016 1:31am

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is 89.4% effective at healing anoxic brain injuries I am currently sitting in a wheelchair and have been for 4 years From a methadone overdose that caused me to get choked I remained in a coma 2 1/2 months after sucking the food I got choked on into my right lung I'm alright mentally and am still intelligent as I was but still need to walk I pray I get the help I need soon this happened to me at 17 and I'm 22 now we had a benefit for me but didn't raise enough bc oxygen therapy us not supported by my Insurance A lot more stuff happened to me but I don't really need to get into all that. Let me just tell you real quick a lil of what I went through because I do remember a lot ... At first I couldn't speak my mouth would move but no sound I was Cortically blind and to top it all off I couldn't move On emerging from the coma and I am 6'4" I only have 5,000$ and I need at least 15000 and I have a feeling that after so much time has passed I won't be able to walk again I've been through all therapies my advice to anyone who reads this get anyone who has had had a tbi abi or anyone with a brain injury the help they need best of wishes to you all and good luck

May 12th, 2016 8:36pm

My sister is 38 years old she had asthma attack heart attack, with no oxygen up until 9 minutes is it any way that she will make it out of this, okay right now she's unconscious she has not been with us for about a week and a half,

May 3rd, 2016 6:55am

My niece suffered a sort of seizure. Her heart had stopped before she was admitted to the hospital. It took about 40 min to make her heart beat again. Now she is in an vegetative state (almost 7 years now). Is there any new treatment anybody could tell me about? She is only 35 years old now and her mother is going through hell everyday...

Apr 11th, 2016 10:08am

I had to let my husband go in 2015 after he suffered 2 strokes and seizures.  He was unresponsive for 2 weeks after local hospital did not administer adequate meds to control the seizures.  He also had bladder cancer that could not be treated while he was in the coma.  He had a very clear advance directive so when they found no higher brain functions I elected for him to have palliative sedation and he passed painlessly and peacefully within 20 minutes.  It is a difficult thing to have to do and my heart is with anyone else faced with this terrible responsibility.  One never gets over it.

Apr 8th, 2016 5:19pm

My prayers are with you and your family. My father is in vegetative state for more than 1 month now due to stroke with movement and no eye opening. We are still praying that he will wake up soon. Our hopes are with God


Apr 6th, 2016 12:50pm

My aunt is in a vegetative state after suffering a Subarachnoid Hemorrhage in Aug of `15. Only time will tell and I only hope that she is comfortable, not in pain, and dreaming of wonderful things. I feel guilty because I know she would not want to be like this.  You are all in my thoughts tonight and I send good vibes to everyone reading.

Apr 6th, 2016 1:36am

Has anyone recover from this vegetation state if so how long did it take ...and is there anything they can do different or take

Mar 6th, 2016 1:31pm

I suffered traumatic brain injury after a coma, I was in coma for three months, I suspect being active afterwards is most important, not like a victim but try to be a person again, my website which covers many of my issues is http://mathewhomberger.wordpress.com

Feb 17th, 2016 10:22pm

I found my mom unresponsive and not breathing 6 days ago. We did CPR until EMS came and they worked on her for about 20 min and finally got a pulse. When she got to the hospital she had pneumonia, sepsis from aspirating, and renal failure. She has had COPD for a few years now. They have the pneumonia under control but she is in a vegetative state. CT scans and EEG show normal brain function but she just will not respond to us. All the the medical issues are now under control except for the vegetative state. With all the brain scans showing normal brain activity I just don't understand why she hasn't responded yet. We are all praying that she will start to come back to us soon. It has only been almost a week so we are trying to stay positive. It is so hard to see your loved one going through this. It is so hard to understand and to know she would absolutely never want to live this way is even more difficult to deal with. If anyone can offer any advice, coping mechanisms, or just wants to share their experiences my email is kristygermany@hotmail.com. I am praying for everyone who is having to deal with this and I pray for your loved ones who are ill as well!

Feb 15th, 2016 4:15pm

tissue plasminogen activator (tPA, also known as IV rtPA, given through an IV in the arm) may save your loved one from a non communicative state but it has to be given within 3-4.5 hours of a stroke MAX and your local hospital may not be able to keep it ready to go. Ask your local hospital and pharmacist if they can prepare a dose for you at all times, it cost like $3000 usd or so for one dose.  I am looking at moving to the countryside of Paraguay and trying to find out if tpa can be stocked somewhere nearby for my mother who had a stroke and may have another one, who knows.

Jan 27th, 2016 7:25pm

My brother r has a multiple fractures and brain injury that required extensive monitoring and rehabilitation .. what is this ??

Nov 14th, 2015 7:34pm

Prayers to all of you that have loved ones with TBI or anoxic brain injuries.  The love of my life suffered an anoxic brain injury on August 23 of this year after a failed tracheotomy while we were on vacation.  The hospital wanted me to remove her from life support after one week.  I prayed to God for guidance.  I did not remove her from life support. We were able to have the tracheotomy successfully done.  She has since been medi-flight back to our home state.  She is now off the ventilator and breathing on her own.  She follows commands inconsistently, and goes through sleep awake cycles, but she is alive.  I am looking at hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a way to re-stimulate dormant brain cells.  God is a healer!!!

Nov 10th, 2015 7:39pm

My mother is 71 years old and she had suffered a cardiac arrest 5 years ago. As a result she lost oxygen to the brain and was diagnosed with anoxic brain injury. The MRI showed that the cortex of her brain is very damaged. The neurologists tell us that she will not recover from this vegetative state because her brain is too damaged.it is for 5 years that our family is serving her and we are very very hopeful that she will awake any time.inshAllah. quts32@yahoo.com

Nov 9th, 2015 2:38pm

God Bless you! It's a devastating thing to experience in a friend or loved one

Nov 6th, 2015 4:08pm

Dear same happened with my mom to, now she is persistent vegetative state. Most claim zolpidem work for comatose patients,but as per me its not true. She is having infarct at temporal lobe. All we both can do ,just take nice care of our moms. Thanks Ashwani India

Oct 19th, 2015 3:25pm

My father has been in a minimally conscious state since 4 weeks.He suffered 3 major strokes and his entire brain has gone through good amount of damage.Since last week,my father is slowly gaining consciousness and following instructions but the recovery has been very slow.He is being fed through feeding tube and also has a tracheostomy tube.He was in the critical care unit for 40 days I.am very positive and believe things would change and his condition would improve.I am trying my best to make his life as comfortable as possible. I will pray for all the other families who are going through similar pain.

Oct 16th, 2015 11:34am

Reading all of your stories took me back to my experience with my father. He was the innocent victim of an assault that took place on May 15th of this year. He sustained traumatic brain injury, his spinal cord was detached from his brain stem and he was paralyzed from the shoulders down. He was on a ventilator which was doing all of the breathing for him and he had a feeding tube. The doctors told my family & myself that there was no hope for him and the best thing to do was take him off of life support. I, being his next of kin, made the decision to leave the situation in God's hands and support my father in any and every way possible. I went to the hospital every day for four months and talked to him, joked with him, told him stories from when I was growing up, bathed him, groomed him, read the Bible to him and most importantly, I prayed for him in hopes that he could hear every word I spoke to him and feel every act of love and kindness that showed him. The doctors were claiming that my father was brain dead and that he would die in two weeks, but he fought for four months and would respond to certain things as well as certain people who would go see him and talk to him. I mean, he wouldn't talk or squeeze our hands, but he would cry when certain people would go see him or talk to him, he would follow shadows and if his eyes were closed and we called his name or walked in the room, he would open his eyes. If the nurses positioned him a certain way and it made him uncomfortable, he would push back or move his leg(s) back to the position that it was originally in. He would respond to pain and tickling of his underarms, stomach and feet. I truly believe that my father fought as long and as hard as he did because he knew that I was there with him every day and he didn't want to let me down. Three days before my father passed away, the doctor came in his room and was talking to him, asking him questions and he looked at me and said, "he's beginning to respond to my commands, he hasn't done that since he's been in the hospital". I had noticed myself, but could never get the nurses or doctors to confirm what I was seeing, so him telling me that made me feel like I wasn't seeing things because I wanted to see them. My father passed away on September 9th of this year, but if I had to spend the entire four months in the hospital with him every day all over again, I would. I want to encourage those of you who are in similar situations to stay strong and encouraged in knowing that God is in control and that everything you do to support your family member, friend or loved one, is not in vain no matter what the outcome may be. Appreciate the time that you have with them, make every day with them count. Don't talk to them or treat them any different than you would have if they weren't in the situation they are in. Tell them how much you love them and encourage them to continue fighting the good fight. They're still here and fighting for their life for a reason. I pray for strength, courage, piece of mind and a sound heart for all of you as well as your family member, friend or loved one who are living similar situations. Here is my email address if any of you need encouragement, prayer or a friend to talk to. God bless! proudmommyof386@gmail.com My name is, Stephanie

Oct 16th, 2015 6:46am

My father was the innocent victim of an assault that took place on May 15th of this year. He was kicked in the back and flew face first into the concrete. He sustained traumatic brain injury, his brain stem and spinal cord were instantly disconnected upon impact. He was on a ventilator, had a trach and a feeding tube for four months. The doctors told my family and myself that he was brain dead, but he would respond to certain things as well as certain people. He wouldn't talk or squeeze our hands or anything like that, but he would cry when certain people would go see him and talk to him. When the doctors and nurses would move him a certain way, he would push back at them with his feet or reposition his leg(s) back to the position that it was moved from. Three days before my father passed away his doctor came in his room and was talking to him, trying to get a response and he looked at me and said, he's beginning to respond more than he ever has. That gave me so much more hope because he was responding to us in certain ways too, but the doctors and nurses never seemed to acknowledge it. I share my story to say this, don't give up on someone that you love no matter how bad or hopeless a situation might seem. Doctors told me that my father would die in two weeks and he hung on for four months! I spent every single day with him and talked to him, sang to him, listened to music with him, told him stories about him & I from when I was growing up, bathed him, groomed him and most importantly, prayed for him and read the Bible to him every single day in hopes that he heard and felt every act of love & kindness that came from me. I believe my presence is what kept him going. Unfortunately, my father succumbed to his injuries on September 9th of this year, but I would do it all over again if I had to. If you're in a similar situation, I encourage you to stay strong, pray and most importantly, never give up no matter what the outcome. I guarantee you that everything you do, is not done in vain. If anyone may be going through a similar situation and need prayer, words of encouragement or a friend to talk to, here is my email address: proudmommyof386@gmail.com Take care & God bless!

Oct 16th, 2015 5:36am

My grandpa 87 one day was slumped over and couldn't move and by the time ambulance came he was able to smile raise his hand and one arm slightly drifted down.but he passed the other stoke test the ambulance guy asked him to do. But they still brought him to the hospital and next day he's in a deep sleep and won't wake up after couple days they said he had a stoke on both sides of his brain and 3 siezers in a row. After a week feeding tube is put in still no contiousness or anything. 4 days later the doctor says there taking tube out that his intestine isn't working.and that they assume he is in pain so the give him pain meds. And that they gotta make him comfortable and wait . I don't want them to take the tube out I belive he can get better. Please prey for him

Oct 14th, 2015 7:29pm

Struggling with life as so many others in this same position of loved ones in varying stages of consciousness. 2 years post injury and i still research, pray and look for treatments for my son. When I gave Jamie 10 mg of zolpidem he spoke and said i missed you mum. When give very large doses of fish oil this aided the swelling and allows signals to get through. My son is classed in a permanent vegitive state. He has extensive brain injury and is cared for by myself at home. He was unable to protect his airway and required constant suction. After starting madapar for Parkinson he now has swallowing control and no longer requires suction. If anyone is interested in any of the treatments I've tried or researched for Jamie my email is Daphnejean_F@hotmail.com if anyone would just like to chat or bounce ideas around I'm good for that too. If anyone is interested in seeing a man with no brain activity speaking you can go to Jamie Manuele facebook page. The EEG reports are also on his page stating distinct lack of cortical activity. Jamie had a harrowing journey these past 2 years. He has suffered many set backs and further injury to his brain twice with the over draining of his brain from a shunt/value issue resulting in his brain tearing from his skull and his head filled with blood. He has been abused by staff and neglected by hospitals but still he struggles on. When God calls my boy home i will feel relief for the end of his suffering and enormous grief for the loss of my beautiful son. However everyday is different with many different ideas and feeling. This condition has so much unresolved grief attached to it, sometimes it feels like the day before the funeral but no one has died. No one has the answers we seek as no one knows enough about the human brain. Miracles are all around us. While there is life, there is hope. Don't listen to closely to how things are supposed to progress as you'll find yourself believing this is as good as it gets. If the brain believes it, the body can do it. Don't let any one speak negative in front of your loved one. Don't let anyone define them. Never let anyone say they can't do something. They kept saying Jamie was blind. But now they relies they were wrong. He says it's still blurry but he 100% sees. I pray for your strength because this is the main component of helping your love one in progress. Daphnejean

Oct 14th, 2015 3:32am

My husband is suffering with bacterial meningitis. He also has ITP. He is also a paraplegic from a spinal stroke on January 8, 2015 and he got sick from a bed ulcer on his tailbone. He got meningitis and sepsis and MRSA. He was in a stupor in ICU for 6 weeks and now a week in a room. They told me he is brain damaged and would not survive. He did not have an MRI because of pacemaker. He now opens eyes and sometimes looks panicked and is just now following with his eyes and opening his eyes when spoken to. He cannot use his arms and hands now and cannot yet speak. He was on ventilator for 20 days then a trach/vent and still has trach but breathing without vent FOR 10 days and 30% oxygen but still does not respond to commands. His bed ulcer had caused him osteomyelitis and he is on multiple antibiotics and antifungals. He is a pastor. I would appreciate your prayers for a miraculous healing as you have experienced. We have only been married a year. His first wife of 46 years died of ALS in 2012. He cannot have any vaccines because he had Gilliam barre 15 years ago. He is 71. Thank you.

Oct 10th, 2015 3:19pm

I feel so bad for all who are suffering as my family is during this difficult time.  My father had a serious brain injury (Subarachnoid hemorrhage) almost 2 months ago.  He was on life support but slowly came off it, now he has a tract.  After about a month he was able to open his eyes but nothing else.  He doesn't move, move eyes etc.  It is so hard to see him this way as i know he would never want this. After about a week and half after the injury the doctors said they expect some "purposeful" recovery, but of course  no guarantee.  I hope he make a recovery... My prayer's are with all.

Oct 5th, 2015 4:50pm

HI! my wife 24 years old she has been semi conscious from 70 days and when we took MIR the it show ischemic stroke and block her brain vein it that will be recover and how much she will be semi conscious if you inform me thankd

Sep 28th, 2015 4:45am

This is the most helpful thing I have ever read, have been struggling to understand all of the technical stuff about a family members brain injury for the past year and this has mad it so much clearer, thank you very much

Sep 17th, 2015 6:46pm

My mum is currently in hospital she had a brain aneurysm the bleed was very bad she is breathing on here own but no body movement its been 10 days now she will open here eye when asked but not looking to words u, I'm so worried we are not getting told much on what will be the outcome. I'm praying every night .

Sep 15th, 2015 10:01am

My huband can wiggle toe follow commands. Can i obtain a power of atty. If he acknowledges thats his wish?

Sep 10th, 2015 6:46pm

Hi everyone, Reading these comments break my heart. My mother suffered a brain aneurysm last October. She was on the road to recovery but 5 days later, suffered vascospasms (stroke) which put her in a minimum vegetative state. These past 8-9 months have been the most difficult times of mine and my families lives! Some days, she does well and other days she declines. I've read so many of your stories and my heart goes out to EVERYONE here! I just recently read that ambien can help some people in a vegetative state become more aware and conscious. If anyone would like to talk, or if anyone needs a friend or needs someone who is going through something similar, please feel free to email me. KARYNALBERTO@ICLOUD.COM

Aug 30th, 2015 12:09am

Thanks for providing this info I have a 21 daughter who is in pvs and i look for help only find that their is not any.

Aug 16th, 2015 9:03pm

My love was in a terrible car accident June 20th 2015 and has been in a vegetative state since he's has made progress but very little ! He always told me he never wanted to live like that not knowing it would happen to him so now we're facing a difficult choice on letting him go or keeping him in the hopes that he will get better. It's a very hard thing to go through. Keeping everyone in my prayers

Aug 13th, 2015 12:12pm

Thank you very much for the given knowledge. One of my friend is now on persistent vegetative stage. It happened due to a blood colt during a Thyroid surgery. Now its more than 2 months. I hope for the best recovery of her. Is there any thing we can do for her??

Aug 11th, 2015 5:05am

My father sadly passed away in hospital April 16th 2015 after treating a blood clot in his lungs the blood thinners apparently gave him a stroke in the brain which left him in a vegatative state, they took out his feeding and dehydration tube and died 9 days later. Still cannot fathom what has happened.

Aug 10th, 2015 7:44am

I have a sister who is in vegetative state for a month now. she has amniotic fluid embolism, a very rare case for pregnant women with the data 1:80,000 who is about to deliver their baby. after the emergency CS doctors need to remove her uterus because of continuous bleeding. after the 2 operation she was transferred to the ICU for her recovery but after 2 hours she had cardiac arrest. it was  very hard, she has 2 beautiful daughters who is waiting for her and misses her. my prayers is for all families who is experiencing the same way. always trust in the Lord coz He is the real doctor, a healer and we should always hold on His promise that He will never leave nor forsake us.

Aug 4th, 2015 8:48am

One of my close friends just passed away on yesterday at the age of 24 after being in a coma for several days after a terrible head injury obtained while having a seizure. Thank you for the very helpful informative information. I was able to gain sight of this condition. Thanks!

Jul 21st, 2015 7:50pm

This information has been very helpful.I share the suffering all those loved ones are going through.My nephew 35 year old had a serious  head injury in Fiji when his rental truck was hit by a government vehicle on 26 april.He was airlifted to Auckland hospital on life support.After 5 days he was again air lifted to vancouver canada on life support.Four weeks ago he start breathing on his own.He is opening his eyes and started to move left arm and leg.No movement on right side According to the doctors his brain had been jolted badly.Now he is in the grace of god  sal vancouver canada

Jul 11th, 2015 12:07pm

Thank you for the straightforward information. I am 21 years old and am my mom's only next of kin. My mom has been in the hospital for 5 months now and I hope that she will recover. My heart goes out to everyone who is in a difficult time in their lives right now.

Jul 9th, 2015 11:48pm

My father suffered anoxic brain injury on May 7, 2015. Its been 6 weeks and after a period of no eye opening, he opens his eyes a little more now. He grunts and says things like "uh uh" while his eyes are open. He stares at my mother and follows voices in the room with his eyes. He cries when I play certain songs. Is he in a vegetative state or is minimally conscious? Thank you all for giving me any feedback. P.S. He moves his left arm a lot, but can move his right hand. If I tickle his feet, he doesn't like it. Doctor is very negative and telling me its all reflex.

Jun 15th, 2015 5:34pm

My heart goes out to these people who are suffering like me

Jun 6th, 2015 10:47am

Stay strong. My father went thru this and recovered far beyond what even the doctors expected or could understand. It is a long road for recovery but working with Dad he has come very far. God works in mysterious ways. I wish you the best with your mother. Saying a prayer for you.

May 29th, 2015 8:59pm

May God will be done in our lives. My mother have been in a vegetative state since 4/8 2015 . Our family also believe in miracles. Its in God hand let miracles continue for God is the same who performed all great things long ago. Prayer also changes things also let love take you through. Family who also trust and stand on faith.

May 27th, 2015 11:05am

God bless you all. You and your families are in my prayers. Stay positive and keep your heads up

May 23rd, 2015 7:20pm

I understand your thoughts of not wanting your loved one to suffer. My husband is in a vegetative state and tomorrow hes being moved to a long-term care facility. My heart hasn't ever felt so hollow. Prayer is powerful so are miracles. I hope we both get one. Be encouraged!!! My husband's name is Cedric.

May 21st, 2015 9:26pm

My brother is on life support right now with minimal brain activity the doctors said there's no chance of him waking up because of the severe brain trauma and I can't seem to give up on him. I don't know what to do the doctors said there's no hope. But I want to leave it in God's hands because I seen him make miracles but then I don't want him to suffer

May 20th, 2015 6:04pm

My mother had a massive stroke yesterday, she is 63. She had her first massive stroke back in 1984, an aneurysm, and survived after being comatose for over 6 months. Originally her stroke was on the right side of her brain which affected and paralyzed her left side of her body. However yesterday's stroke happened on the left side of her brain which is now affecting her rights side of her body along with her speech. Currently she is in a vegetative state, but I see it more as a coma. She has no periods of being awake or responsive to anything. I am a 34 year old single mom and I have spent the last 31 years taking care of my mom. There's nothing I wouldn't do to be able to continue caring for her. However, I just want my mom to no longer suffer or be in pain. I want my mom to be in peace. Unfortunately today I had to sign a DNR and honor her wishes...it nearly destroyed me. But at the same time my mom deserves to be at peace. Please pray for my mom, Pat. We could use all the help we can get. Thoughts and prayers to all who are going through or have gone through this.

May 13th, 2015 12:52am

My condolences to all of the people caring for loved ones in the above-described states.  About 30 years ago I was in a serious car accident that led to a TBI and a lot of broken bones, including a cracked skull and 3 broken vertebrae.  Due to my head and back injury (I think), I was kept sedated for at least 1 week.  I'm writing to share that I had some level of consciousness even though I could not communicate, and it may be helpful to consider that with your loved ones, too. During my stay in ICU, I remember a doctor told my dad I might be vegetative or paralyzed, that they just did not know.  I later confirmed with my dad that this happened.  It's been very challenging since that time in a lot of ways, but I was able to get through school (including a master's program) by working harder than most of the people I knew to just get by in my classes. 

I learned later that a good friend stayed at the hospital throughout this period, only leaving to return home for a shower and change of clothes.  She read to me, talked and acted as though I was awake and responsive.  I'm no expert in TBI, but believe that some of my recovery was a direct result of her care and attention to my mind while ICU staff cared for my body.

Apr 12th, 2015 2:03am

Very good description... My Mom is in Vegetative state.. and it almost 2 months of her Brain Surgery (Subarchanoid Haemorrage).. We all are praying for her better recovery.

Apr 7th, 2015 4:18pm

God bless you

Mar 21st, 2015 8:18pm

My husband had a vehicular accident last november 13, 2014 and until now he is in a vegetative state.the doctor refuse to make an operation to him because of the place of his blood clot.it is in the center of his brain.now he is in our home, we just take care of him and do our best to help him and let him feel that we love him very much.we hope and pray that he will recover for his three children.please email me if you can share your thoughts if you experience the same case as mine.thank you ang God bless us all.. jackyjeth_08@yahoo.com.ph

Mar 9th, 2015 9:15am

My father is in Vegetative Stage now...2 months of unconsciousness..he had a diabetes for many years, badly brain damage from unable to control sugar level ...I am still hoping for the miracle ...wishing for recovery ...

Feb 26th, 2015 12:19am

First of all my deepest condolences and prayers for the people and their loved ones who have had such experiences. My father aged 52 years is himself a doctor and was hit by a motorcycle while crossing a road on 6th march '14. He was immediately admitted to the ICU and after a brief examination the doctors told us that he had suffered several contusions to his brain and a hairline fracture to his skull. He was unconscious for a few weeks and it took almost 1.5 months for him to be fit enough to be taken home. The first 6 months after he came home were a nightmare for us. He just wouldn't stop shouting and would continuously be agitated throwing things, shouting, refusing to take his meds, etc. It really embarrassed us among neighbors as this would go on at late nights also. He barely slept for an hour a day and the rest of the time he would be in the state as stated above. These six months seemed to be a decade long for us and we were almost becoming hopeless for his recovery. Gradually after 6 months his state improved and he started recognizing us. He slowly became aware of his surroundings and that what had happened with him. He resumed his daily routines and started doing almost all the basic things by himself such as bathing, eating, brushing his teeth, combing his hair, taking his meds,etc. But one night almost 9 months after the accident he suffered a seizure which caused a swelling in his brain and rewinded a part of his cognitive recovery. It was later found that the doctor had forgotten to prescribe an important drug (epsulin) in the last routine visit which caused the seizure. But he recovered back to the stage he was before the seizure in a few weeks only.Today its been almost a year and he has come a long way from last year. He is now able to speak some basic words, recognize many distant relative also, and is almost aware of everything around him. Though he is still not able to remember names of any object or person. Each time we have to make him remember the name then only he could speak it. Moreover he is not yet able to read anything. Though we have sometimes seen him recognizing some famous names from the newspaper. He very keenly watches movies but we have a doubt that he fully understands them. Most of the days are peaceful but some days he would still get agitated and angry over nothing. He has changed as a person. He has become more emotionally connected with his family and often cries asking when would he be fully fit. We had neither seen nor expected in our lives anything like this before. We've suffered tremendously the past year but we thank god to have saved his life and pray everyday for his recovery. I hope this post strengthens your hopes too for the recovery of your loved ones. The most important thing to remember is that nothing but your love and care gives the strength to your loved one to recover.

Feb 17th, 2015 10:52am

Hi ,my wife is 35 and she had a bad stroke on April 1st 2014 she is currently fighting for life on life support,its been almost a year now and we just discovered that she has a huge hole in her brain, the drs said that she will never recover from this they also said to pull the plug. i refused being that god is above all,and his ways is better then ours,till this day my wife remains on life support at a nursing home,she's unable to respond to anything,just opening of her eyes but the dr says she's in a vegetative state,,,,,please pray for her and my two boys elijah n tyrefr....we are deeply saddened but we're remaining strong in god,no matter which way it goes...god is good,trust faith and believe,,,,,,

Feb 11th, 2015 10:18pm

My brother, 31, had brain aneurysm in November, last year. There was massive bleeding in his brain and doctors operated and removed the bleeding. He was unconscious and He is now in vegetative state. We saw him cry and his tears. We asked him to open his eyes if he hears us. He opened his eyes. I think he knows but he cannot responds or follow command. I love my brother very much. I hope he will improve from vegetative state. As per doctors, if he stays in this state for next 6 months, it might become a permanent. I dont want to hear negative. Please pray for him. 

Feb 2nd, 2015 10:13am

My daughter in law just passed away on Wednesday. She was found unconscious and not breathing the Wednesday before after suffering a seizure. She was hospitalized in nuero trauma icu. Her health directive was no artificial life support. Her life support was removed and she went to heaven surrounded by family 20 minutes later.

Jan 31st, 2015 4:48pm

My sister has been in a coma for 12 days after suffering continuous seizures from end stage renal failure......dont know if recovery is possible sadly

Jan 27th, 2015 6:54am

My brother sugar had dropped to 40 and he went I to a coma after 4 days he opened his eyes he has said very few words like ouch and yes.and moves his head and arm occasionally. Will he get better? What is going on? Anybody familiar with the symptoms?

Jan 18th, 2015 8:22pm


Jan 15th, 2015 1:04pm

My wife of 26 years suffered an anoxic brain injury after a witnessed arrest and CPR. Hypothermic protocol followed. To make a long story short, she emerged from a coma, a vegetative state to a minimally conscious state. Maybe even better as she was able to do math flash cards, speak (simple words), follow commands, squeeze hands, wiggle toes etc. The appalling thing is that the hospital staff decided to do "nothing curative" as they basically gave up. The recommended protocols are just an illusion if you don't have big money. They moved to sedate her with morphine and "sell" me on her vegetative state. She passed away because they refused to address her underlying cardiac needs. This is such a tragedy as she was aware that she was targeted for euthanasia. I can't imagine what she was thinking as she lay dying for lack of a simple cardiac intervention. Was this an unusual experience or are anyone else experiencing this callous denial of care? I'd be glad to discuss this with anyone who would like to talk about it with me. 

        Mark Jarnot

​        505 Elmwood Ave. Apt 8H

        Buffalo, NY 14222

Send me a letter with your phone number and I will promise to call you and share my experiences and possibly help your loved one navigate these treacherous medical waters. There are things that can be done. No one but God has the ultimate answers, certainly not a doctor. If he acts like he is God ask him to forgive your sins or stop the wind. Ultimately you have to accept the outcome and embrace your loved one with unconditional love, regardless of the degree of progress made. Stay strong and don't capitulate to the hospital administrations prognosis. God calls the shots, not the accountants. Don't let your loved ones life slip away to disregard for precious human life. You have to take action to combat these well oiled death machines. God bless you and your loved one and feel free to contact me.


Jan 15th, 2015 12:47pm

If anyone can comment on this, please do so. My cousin appears to be in vegetative state. She was admitted and found to have Diabetes with very high blood sugar. After having been treated two days ago, and the sugar was brought under control, she lapsed into a vegetative state. Open eyes, complaining to pain. Las thing she responded to was right before they put the IV in, she said "No, no no!" and that was it. She awakens but does not respond to anyone. Any suggestion would be helpful. I had a similar experience many years ago with a blood sugar of almost 1,400, but I remained conscious throughout the ordeal. Can someone come out of this vegetative state? Thanks so much. I am going to see her tomorrow and don't know if there's anything that we can do.

Jan 8th, 2015 6:49pm

This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. google

Dec 25th, 2014 6:34am

Brother had a brain tumor size of lemon. Neuro- Surgeon operated the following day after diagnosis. We went from a possible droopy eye and left side of face to a coma. Never waking up after surgery. This article helped me tremendously. We try to get all the information possible through the surgeon and now after the surgery is not as compassionate to our family or seems less confident in providing the family information. I will always seek a second opinion after all my brother and family have been through. Praying everyday to have him back to normal or that he even wakes up. This guy was ordering a pepsi an hour and 2 meals at a time the day before the surgery and now nothing.

Dec 19th, 2014 2:17pm

Blessings to all of you out there with your personal family stories of pain surrounding someone you love having brain damage.

My daughter struggled with anorexia for 4 years, but as an adult no one, including her would let me help her.  At age 21, she suffered massive seizures and her brain went without oxygen for a long time, leaving her in a non-cognitive, vegetative state.  The doctors gave no hope at all.  We did stay in a sub-acute hospital for one year and finally were able to bring her to care for her at home.  

We had a what I call a miracle in that they told me she'd be bedridden for life...and after one year she could stand and take a few steps with human assistance at all times.  This has been huge is stopping her from curling and atrophying as is common with this severe of a brain injury.  However, her brain remains like a 6-month-old baby.  She is 100% helpless, cannot obey any commands, flails a lot with her arms and legs and screams a lot (while still smiling at you).  She will turn 26 this month, so we are coming up on 5 years.

What I would like to share with you other parents especially is that NO ONE has any answers but that does not mean you can't find inner peace.  It is important that we are parents, caregivers, are at peace, are calm, have joy and can still celebrate life even with this tragedy.  It is best for your child and for you.

Yes, I hope for more miracles and will always believe - we have a strong faith. BUT, I am firmly living in today accepting things as they are now and I can say I am happy and at peace, by choice.  I have my 'moments'  when I cry my guts out, yes, but day to day I have embraced this thing that happened to us 'in the blink of an eye' and I let my daughter see a peaceful, smiling mama that has only love to pour over her.  

I technically (or mentally) had to let the girl I raised, who I was so close with, go and accept to see her right now as the baby she is and just love that baby and see her sweet spirit.  It has taken time, so I do not want to paint a picture that is not realistic as we are very human.  But, life has been doable and even enjoyable (even though HARD) living this way.  And, of course every day I also have hope that it could get better.

But, I didn't want to be waiting for tomorrow to be whole again.

My prayer for each of you is that you find the tools that work for you to be the best you can to yourself and your loved one even after a tragedy has come into your life. To have anger or fear or bitterness living inside is just a killer to all and so I hope you, too, can get free to still live your life fully.

If anyone wants to correspond with me, my email is castrogiovanni007@yahoo.com.

Dec 11th, 2014 8:38pm

Q, given earlier: Hw do u help someone in the vegetative state:  Read to them, something u know they wld like preferably, also some thing u like, -> u add extra umph, when u read someting u like.  #1: Short stories, maybe poetry, News articles, activities they were involved in: sports, school, church etc.  They'll 'be back', maybe not too soon, but help 'em out by trying to keep them in tune.  Been There.   written(12/4/2014)

Dec 4th, 2014 1:31pm

Very informative...I pray my 29 yr old son progresses to a good recovery.  I also pray for everyone who is going through a brain injury. It has been six months since his vehicle accident.  He was diagnosed with diffuse axonal injury with multiple fractures.  I believe he may be in the minimally conscious state.  He can occasionally give a thumbs up, but doesn't lift his arms. He also looks at me slowly when I tell him to, He moves his right leg a lot...not sure if this is spasticity or not, and he has no movement on his left side.  If anyone has any advice please email me at scttethridge@yahoo.com  Praying and hoping 

Nov 24th, 2014 11:58pm

This morning my son Asim told me that our company CEO got heart attack in Dubai but shocking news was that he went in coma. I am in Jeddah. Immediately I left for umera prayed for him and for other patients as well. May Allah almighty give them health. Ameen.

Nov 12th, 2014 3:01pm

I feel so desperately bad and i pray for every patient and their families who suffer from severe TBI. My brother was in a car accident Jan. 6 2014. He is still fighting to recover from TBI. I will continue to pray for every family as well as mine. No one is alone in this world. Life is to short so while we're all here we have to appreciate each and every moment with the people we love.

Nov 10th, 2014 1:46pm

My 45 year old husband of 26 years married the love of my life. He had a massive heart attack and while they worked on him for over 25min he lost blood flow to the brain. Now they give me little hope. He's in a vegetative stage. But the Dr's aren't God and my heart is hurting so bad that I can't even breathe at times. I pray for everyone going thru this because I never knew there could be so much pain. No matter I will praise God thru it all. I find my boys 25 and 20 to be my rocks along with family. Leaning on them truly helps.

Nov 3rd, 2014 3:26pm

This article has been very helpful for understanding the medical condition of our loved one. Thanks for sharing!

Oct 26th, 2014 7:11pm

Very informative article.. My sister is 20 yes old and suffer an anoxic brain injury from the loss of oxygen. Her air ways collapsed after a week of chemotherapy from leukemia, this happened 12/23/13. Although we have heard nothing but negativity, I am believing God for a recovery in her health. She has been in a vegetative state since last December..

Sep 24th, 2014 11:57pm

How do u help a vegetative patient with his recovery

Sep 3rd, 2014 7:48pm

My Mom is in Coma since 1st August 2014, after having the MRI Scan done we got to know the Final Diagnosis as Basilar Artery Thrombosis with Bilateral Cerebellar Infarct and Right PCA Infarct. I understand these are multiple brain clots which occur as we did not precautionary measures in regards to blood pressures , never had check up for blood pressure regularly. Please pray for my mom and advice in regards to her speedy recovery from coma.  Anand Pillay 9922617714.

Aug 18th, 2014 8:47am

My mom is in the same state, but I am confident that praying always work. Do not Fear and Trust God.

Aug 4th, 2014 2:17am

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the family and friends of people in a coma or vegetative state. My brother in law, Eric is 54 years old and he is in a permanent vegetative state after a liver transplant. He had been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver a year ago. On his last hospital visit with an encelopathy episode (which is where ammonia backs up into his brain); he lapsed into a coma. He was transferred to another hospital to await a liver transplant. On transport he suffered a stroke , and remained in the coma state. The Doctors decided to proceed with the liver transplant as he was in a severely declining state. We asked why they would give a new liver to him when he was comatose and they said he would die without it. 

He remained in a coma after the operation. We were told he might possibly come out of it once the new liver kicked in. We noticed positive health changes almost immediately. However, he was still comatose. Then he was put on dialysis because his kidneys were failing. He had several MRI's, CT scans and other exploratory procedures. Every week there was something different that needed attention.

After a few weeks he opened his eyes. But there was no tracking or response to stimulation. Nothing really has changed in 4 months. He was transferred to a sub-acute hospital. And has had to return to the transplant hospital on subsequent occasions.

My sister and I feel he would not want to be in this condition. His family is on opposite ideals. They keep saying he wanted his liver transplant more than anything so he would be able to live a fuller life with his family. I believe life expectancy for liver transplants is only 5 years in most cases. The family keeps saying things like, "Oh...he moves his hands. He can move his head. etc. Once my sister and I played a song by the Beach Boys and we noticed a single tear in his eye. We hoped it was in response to the song which used to be one of his favorites. But we have been told he is just having normal reflexes and is not conscious of his actions. 

Eric was a champion wrestler. He was supposed to go to the Olympics the year President Carter cancelled USA involvement in the games. He has always been a loving and kind man. I know he indeed did everything possible by the book to be able to receive his liver transplant. But I can also say for sure he would not want to be in a vegetative state and unable to function. No one would.

I guess my main question is in regards to the patient's state of being. Are they in a deep sleep of nothingness? Or is their spirit caught between two worlds...one where they are in a hospital bed , unable to communicate to their loved ones and the Doctors...or are they halfway in the next dimension? I would prefer to believe Eric is in Heaven, hanging out with his Mother and his favorite dogs. 

May God Bless each one of you. You are warriors for your loved ones.

Jul 18th, 2014 5:40pm

So kind of your valuable information Thx & regards

Jul 3rd, 2014 3:50pm

I'm 17 and a childhood friend of mine was ejected from a car while riding home from beach week.. It has only been a few days but she still hasn't woke up.. Praying for her and her family. You can do this girl.

Jun 23rd, 2014 12:01am

My brother met with an accident in 2009 n since then been in a vegetative state..Been 5yrs now..draining mentally for everyone around..but we are still hoping for the best..

Jun 14th, 2014 5:14am

My brother aged 60,suffered a massive stroke and has been in a minimally conscious  state for almost a year. I am sad he is no longer who he was, no amount of medical care has helped. Our family cannot believe doctors failed to clearly explain his status for a real future. He is clearly suffering and would not want to be "Preserved" like some experiment. I think he will live in this horrible state for many years to come. It is wrong! There needs to be some way to release him from his misery.

Jun 12th, 2014 10:36pm

Thanks for the article. This is really helpful. My father suffered with cardiac arrest followed by hypoxic brain injury 3 months before,now he is in vegetative state. We are waiting for miracle should happen. Doctors says it's wait and watch process and there is no treatment for hypoxic brain injury in allopathic. We started giving him ayurvedic treatment now as those doctors are very hopeful and stated that there is treatment for anoxia.

Jun 12th, 2014 9:27am

Im gonna say an angel has been by my friends side. She has been in a deep coma for 108 days, she is now moving her hands and lifting her head. I am so excited.

Jun 5th, 2014 3:42am

My Father is in vegetative state. He opens his eyes when we ask him anything. Don't understand whether he understands anything or not.............

May 2nd, 2014 8:14am

This was veer helpful.  Thank. You

Apr 20th, 2014 2:11am

Thank you so much for all nice information about coma, recovery and  stages of


Apr 16th, 2014 10:47am

My husband had a removal of a brain tunour December 2012. Unfortunately he was taken to a ward postop and not ITU as expected following major brain op. The op was successful but the following morning was put on life support due to brain swelling. He was then rushed to theatre to have a craniotomy. He has been diagnosed as the minimally conscious patient. Unfortunately when he was transferred to our local hospital because he didn't score high on assessments he was deemed non rehabitable and I was told that he would go to a home. Through sheer determination and fight I managed to get my husband into a specialist rehab centre.He has been there a few weeks and already making progress albeit slow. I too pray for a miracle and through my journey I've seen a few so never ever give up.

Apr 11th, 2014 7:23pm

I'm going threw the same thing my sons been in the hospital since january 31 and he's barly opening his eyes he was in a deep coma for about 1 month and a half with lack of oxygen to his brain the doctors said he was brain dead but he's been having movements and he knows we are there by he's side we are hanging in there but behare if bedsores my son got that from nurses not moving my son what ever doctors and nurses say to you say things back to them they don't like it your loved one is important to you and your love one can hear you and they know you are fighting for them to get better

Apr 10th, 2014 9:47am

My mom (75 yrs old) was found unconscious at home a week ago. We believe that she lay there unconscious for probably a good part of the day. The paramedics were able to give her something to kind of bring her out of it and once at the hospital we found out that her kidneys were failing due to rhabdomyolysis(break down of muscle releasing toxins into the blood stream). After many test we learned she had a small stroke. She was in and out of consciousness and was able to recognize and speak with us for brief moments. Several days later she had another stroke and she has been in a vegetative state since(4days now). Her eyes opened 5 times yesterday but did not focus and there has been slight movement but no awareness that we are there, no following of commands etc...Wed..her lung collapsed due to pneumonia and they had to place her on a ventilator. I am beside myself with worry and don't know if the movement and eye opening we are seeing is actually her trying to wake up or involuntary. I feel for all of you who are in a similar situation with loved ones and I will pray for healing for all of them.

Mar 21st, 2014 5:25pm

I would read this interview real carefully if I were you:


Feb 5th, 2014 7:19am

Thank you for this very informative, great article!!!

Jan 16th, 2014 9:15pm

My ex- husband is in a vegetative state from diabetic ketoacidosis and is currently in CCU. They will be doing an EEG on him tomorrow to see if he still has brain activity.

Jan 15th, 2014 1:27am

My daughter went into a coma from low blood sugar in her sleep, and is still unresponsive after 4 months--any one out there know of any other person ever going into a comatose state from diabetes

Jan 3rd, 2014 8:27pm

My husband is in a deep coma since last 25 days. It started with a flu and then an infection of meninges and then went on to become meningo encephalitis  . Doctors say they don't know the root cause or the treatment and his situation is irrecoverable. I just have faith to stick on to.waiting for a miracle.

Nov 24th, 2013 1:36pm

My mother is 51 years old and she had suffered a heart attack, and cardiac arrest 6 months ago. As a result she lost oxygen to the brain and was diagnosed with anoxic brain injury. The MRI showed that the cortex of her brain is very damaged. The neurologists tell us that she will not recover from this vegetative state because her brain is too damaged. This has been so difficult on our family and our lives have been turned upside down. We love my mom so much and will do everything for her. Thank you for the informative article.

Nov 7th, 2013 9:05am

By reading this article and reading the comments of those like myself trying to understand and live each day hoping for a miracle for a loved one.My spouse had cardiac arrest 6 months ago due to a blood clot and then a heart attack. I was so hopeful the first time he opened his eyes and when a tear fell from his eye while speaking to him 4 weeks ago,but then the doctors and nurses told me it's "stimoli",I want to believe that he hears and senses his loved ones near.I have lost weight and had hair-loss remaining with him each day for hours once he was admitted to the Neurologia Ward,forgetting that the patient(our loved ones) are in professional hands and being cared for. I don't know what the future holds but I do know that with the help of my family, true friends,my prayer-group and now a therapist(psychologist)I need to get on with my life day by day. I need to face my students as a teacher without showing my intense pain, I need to start taking care of myself, to avoid becoming ill from sufferance.I pray each day for a miracle,only the Lord knows.Prayer has helped me. The question is "why me?", it really is "why not me"?.I'll remember you and your loved ones in my prayers,it doesn't matter if you are religious or not, we are experiencing so much in common ,therefore I can only say thankyou once more for this article that has given me more insight into VC.

Nov 3rd, 2013 5:25pm

thank you for providing such a valuable information.i am praying to God to help all of them who are going through these hard times.i am passing through the same...it feels very sad..and we are also waiting for a miracle.

Oct 7th, 2013 1:46pm

was helpful !! thank you..

Sep 24th, 2013 6:50am

great article...everything needed is apt and to the point.. short and perfect...great job..thanks a lot..god bless..

Sep 23rd, 2013 2:22pm

This is very helpful and informative. Being there and through it now, this makes it more clear in the sea of unknowns.

Aug 31st, 2013 9:56pm

Great article. It helped me understand my sister's (who is living in other country) conditions and chances of recovery. Thank you.

Aug 29th, 2013 5:14pm

I would like to thank those who took the time to write such a clear explanation to which I am now finding my youngest son (31) to be in. He was ejected from a car when it rolled 3 weeks ago. He is in a coma. The medical staff seem to be so negative and don\'t want to give false hope. I believe that I have seen some recognition and trying to communicate by arm movements, blinking of the eyelid and tears coming down the sides of his cheeks. We are still praying for a miracle and for him to wake up. He has 4 small children and a wife and many, many others who love and miss him.

Aug 27th, 2013 6:24pm

I find this information to be very helpful, i understand now what happened to my stepmother and will pass this information onto the other family member's. Thank you so much , we as well are praying for a miracle !!

Aug 19th, 2013 6:01pm

I wish I had known these stages 4 years ago when my husband suffered a TBI from a fall in China. His surgery there--since they put his skull back on--harmed him more than the initial injury. The doctors in Hong Kong, who treated him after we were evacuated were very honest with me about his prognosis, but no doctors in the U.S. ever outlined these conditions to us, and all we heard about was "waxing and waning," without much explanation of what that meant in spite of our best efforts. This would have helped us communicate better with the staff of the acute rehab hospital to which he went after being stabilized.

Aug 15th, 2013 12:06pm

the article is very well written and useful to understand the various stages of coma and how to deal with the person in vegetative state.I am sad that my dad who was hake and hearty 50 days ago, is lying on the bed in this state. I have firm belief in Sai and i know he wont break my trust.Miracle will happen and i am going to talk and walk with dad again. Sai cannot let anything go wrong with me becoz i have never done any wrong to anybody.

Aug 13th, 2013 2:31pm

This article was very helpful. My dad is now in minimally conscious state after a massive stroke 2 months ago. It definitely is draining for family members, and I think the recommendation to seek support is really important (and often overlooked).

Jul 26th, 2013 11:03am

My sister suffered hypoxic brain damage from lack of oxygen and its been 40 days today. The neurologist says she's in a vegetative state and she also said something about alpha spindle coma. I am so very sad and just cannot believe this nightmare, but I do believe in miracles from God. I hope everyone who's going through similar situations have good outcomes and some miracles along the way.

Jul 26th, 2013 6:01am

Great article! My 44 year old husband was in a motorcycle accident on April 9th, was in a coma for 8 days, and has been in a vegetative state for about two months now. I see signs that he is aware though, like when I get upset, he shows signs of being upset. He inconsistent follows commands such as hand squeezing when I ask him to or if I ask him to open his eyes, but he doesn't reach for objects, hold objects, or say anything. He does move his mouth often like he is trying to speak though. He had several other life threatening injuries that had to be addressed prior to beginning physical therapy, so we are now, after two months, getting to the stage of physical therapy for his broken bones. I am hoping that once he is stimulated with physical movement, that may help stimulate his brain in some way. I'm wondering if anyone else has had this experience, and can give me some hope that he may recover his cognitive abilities. I have been trusting God for a miracle, and it always helps to hear others stories about how their loved one recovered.

Jun 17th, 2013 11:01am

My eldest brother suffered from a masssive stroke 4 months ago, he remained in vegatative state up to now. It's hard to see and accept that he is no longer the person I used to see when I visit him before the stroke. He's not aware of his sorroundings, no verbal response and unable to move his right arm and leg. I don't know if he will ever recover from that state but we are praying for his recovery and believe in God's miracle, no impossible with Him....

May 14th, 2013 11:15pm

My dad was in a severe car accident and then had a massive stroke. He opens his eyes, but there is not response. It has been 11 days and I pray that he will regain conscious. My prayers go out to all families affected.

May 10th, 2013 7:20pm

This brought some devastating reality to my world. My boyfriend is currently in what I believe to be the vegetative state. I was hoping that he would be back to his old great self again. I now know that this is not reality. And can prepare my heart for whats to come.

May 2nd, 2013 6:48pm

This has been very useful. My mom is in vegetative state. She was conscious after the stroke, but after an infection she went into coma and is now in vegetative state. We are praying for the best.

Mar 11th, 2013 5:35am

very practical & self-explanatory article. Though I could relate to each sentence as my loved one is in minimally conscious state. My prayers & empathy to similar persons suffering along with their caretakers.

Feb 28th, 2013 1:33pm

Very informative, useful article. Thank you for posting it!

Jan 14th, 2013 12:38pm

We care for our youngest son here at home, following a severe injury in 2006. While life has changed for us all, it is good, and we cherish the opportunity to minister to him as a family. Thank you for a well written and informative article. We will use it to help other families coming to terms with their loved one's injury.

Jan 7th, 2013 3:44pm

very informative. thank you.

Dec 21st, 2012 12:42am

This article is an enormous help to me. It is written in a way that a lay person can understand and particularly helped me to see what we are currently doing for my 53 year old husband is the right thing.

Dec 10th, 2012 11:50am

My mom is in the same state right now.. God will take care of our loved ones.. There is power in prayer..

Dec 8th, 2012 1:40am

`thank u so much for give me this useful information

Nov 28th, 2012 12:00pm

Thank You for your time and this article is very helpful to our friends and family.

Nov 18th, 2012 3:15pm

my husband is in vegetative stage,just waiting for him to pass on to the next stage.this article answered a lot of questions,thus preparing us for the future course of actions to be taken.thank you.

Sep 8th, 2012 12:28am

unfortunatly my sister had brain strok few days ago . she is in hospital unconcience . im so worried about her . this article helped me to understand and praying for her to gain concience . it is one of the saddiest days of my life

Aug 31st, 2012 3:54am

This was the first article I have found , and I have looked for many that actually helped me understand the injury that has happened to someone in my family, it helped so much ...I now understand thankyou

Aug 4th, 2012 8:34am

Your descriptions of the various phases of brain recovery are clear and straightforward. Consistant prayer is a great help, too, and it\'s such a comfort when we find ourselves or dear a loved one in one of these non-negotiable situations. We\'re grateful for your helpful suggestions and advice. Thanks. Leslie 18March2012

Mar 18th, 2012 11:32pm

Thank you so much, this is very helpful, very accurate and up to date as far as I can tell, and will help our family cope

Mar 18th, 2012 3:35am

Thank you so much,this gave me new hope on my mother

Feb 23rd, 2012 4:50pm

Very helpful!!!

Dec 27th, 2011 1:28am

Thank you for your time and care into putting this together. It helped a lot :)

Oct 12th, 2011 1:00am

thanks a lot

Sep 1st, 2011 7:36am

Very helpful information to distinguish the various stages of coma and consciousness.

Jun 14th, 2010 2:57pm

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