Facts About Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States After Severe Brain Injury

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Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

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!

PLEASE be patient with your mom and her recovery. She has a lot going on in “only a week”. It’s very hard to see our loved one’s in such a vulnerable state, yet your patience and love and support mean more to her recovery than you realize.
Pardon the saying, ‘ Rome wasn’t built in a day’, so it’ll take time (weeks, maybe longer) to fight her medical issues and respond. Keep communication open with the doctors.
I wish you the best and send you positive thoughts for a speedy recovery for your mom. (( hugs ))
My large family are all going through a serious/critical situation with my stepson now. It feels like an emotional roller coaster ride. Been 20 days and after induced coma, he still isnt responding. Collasped lungs ( on respirator only 12 hrs per daynow) broken facial bones and severe brain i jury , all from riding his motorcycle into a deer. It is an exhausting time, yet everyone heals at their own pace. The hardest thing is waiting to know if he will be in this vegetative state for long period or forever.
I read a lot online of his condition and found relief in knowing what can be expected and understanding all hospital is doing. Waiting for my stepson go excrete all the drugs they gave him and healing is stressful to him as well as his family. Yet if being patient gives him more time to heal, then his recovery has better chance.

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.

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

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!!!

Could you please give me an update on her condition? Did you ever do the hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Amen...God made the oxygen that we need and are required to have to be able to breath and keeps us alive. God Bless you and your love ones. I believe your prayers have already been answered. Amen!!

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

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

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

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.

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

My son -n- law fell off a 2 story building it happen in a small town in Georgia and they took him to the hospital and then had to fly him to Grady memorial in Atlanta Georgia he broke the bone in his leg the biggest bone in a persons body and his pelvis and his lower back but he had very bad brain injury and a brain bleed he’s still in the hospital and he open his eyes Saturday looking at pictures of his 4 year old twins but he did try to say something but he couldn’t we are praying he will make it through this and come home but I think they will be sending him to the shepherds hospital in Atlanta to work with the brain and maybe physical therapy , could you please pray for us and may god bless you , I am so sorry about your dad , we live in hazel green Alabama

Thank you so much Stephanie for the words of encouragement, my mom is in exactly the same position as your dad was. Its been almost 2 yrs and my sister and I visit her every day . She does alot of what your dad was doing, so I still have faith. I tell everyone only G-d can make the decision for us.

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!

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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 .

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

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

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.

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

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??

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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.

The doctors also told me it's a relfex but I don't thing so. All the doctors I have dealt with after my father's stroke have been very negative.....I try not to let them get to me and keep praying.....I know and feel inside that it's not just reflex

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

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 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

God bless you

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

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 ...

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.

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,,,,,,

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. 

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.

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