Coma patients talk about their experiences

THE ESSENTIAL

  • Today many people are waking up from their coma and can give testimonies of what they have experienced.
  • A “real” coma can have various causes: head trauma, stroke, tumor etc.
  • There are four stages of coma that doctors can assess based on several criteria.

The coma is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating phenomena in the world of medicine. As the research progresses, the chances of getting out of it increase. Today, many people are waking up to witness what they saw, experienced, or heard: a tunnel to a white light, the sense of mind-body separation. A strange experience between dream and reality.

“These long, endless dreams where we live and where we feel everything”

“Once in a coma, I detached myself from my body fast enough to wander around. Without really knowing how, I managed to be with my loved ones.”, said Laurence Musy western france. She was in a coma for four months after a skiing fall. Most people who go into comas have had experiences that border on the real world. They often have the feeling of “being there without being there”.

In 2013, Julie Bourges was 20 years old when she suffered severe burns during her high school carnival. After the accident, she was placed in an induced coma for three months. She shared her experience on her Instagram account: “these long, endless dreams, where we live and where we feel everything. (…) these deliriums that make it awake once, I could no longer separate the dream from reality, as if I were separated”she explained.

In the newspaper Midi freeMartine Rondeaux gave her testimony: “I was in a house in the middle of a big family, further away was an old lady and a river. Not far away was Death, the Grim Reaper. Every time I said no to him, the old lady smiled at me.” She was placed in an induced coma after a car accident. This roughly corresponds to near-death experiences (NDEs) described by people who have been resuscitated from cardiac arrest.

“I felt total well-being, ecstasy”

Joseph Garcia, 82, remembered being in a coma at the age of 21. “I found myself in a large ocher room, very pretty, he said to Midi Libre. I realized it was a tunnel. There was a white spot at the bottom. Just the white. Absolutely white. I’ve never seen a white man like that. Even the snow isn’t that white. I saw myself in the light, well, my shadow. I immediately felt very light. I then said to myself: “If this is what dying is like, I don’t fear death”. Wherever I was I felt total well-being, ecstasy. Nirvana as they say now.

“Weeks in the Hospital”, while the doctors were treating him, Joseph Garcia was “out of his body”. “Later, my roommates told me that I kept screaming and moaning, and yet I felt nothing. Then my body would be gripped by bouts of hiccups so violent that I would shake the bed for days. The doctor said I wouldn’t make it through the night. I saw myself from above: as if someone else was in my place. It may seem illogical, but that’s how it is.”

4 stages of coma

Unlike the “artificial coma” created by doctors, a “true” coma can have a variety of causes: head trauma, stroke (CVA), tumor… There are four stages of coma that doctors evaluate based on three criteria: eye opening, motor response, and verbal response . Compiling the results, they assess the degree of coma: from coma (the patient feels the pain and utters a few understandable sentences) to the so-called “light” coma (the patient does not present any neurovegetative disorder). overcome carus coma (deep coma, lack of verbal and motor responses, neurovegetative disorder) and eventually coma (also known as brain death).

To estimate the duration, doctors have several techniques at their disposal. Recently, Inserm has developed a hearing test to assess a patient’s state of consciousness, which makes it possible to predict their future state. But we do know that the longer the coma lasts, the greater the likely impact on the brain and vital organs.

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