For Better, For Worse…

For Better, For Worse…

Jean-Pierre Adams was a French footballer in the 1970s and 80s, and he passed away on the 6th September, aged 73. But what makes this story remarkable is that for the past 39 years he has been in a coma, looked after tirelessly by his wife. In 1982 he went for routine knee surgery. The anaesthetic, meant to knock him out for a few hours was mis-administered, and he would never regain consciousness.

Last week I came across a remarkable story. Jean-Pierre Adams was a French footballer in the 1970s and 80s, and he passed away on the 6th September, aged 73. He was capped 22 times for France, and was part of a formidable defensive duo for the national side. He played over 250 games for Nice, Nimes and Paris Saint-Germain.

But what makes this story remarkable is that for the past 39 years he has been in a coma, looked after tirelessly by his wife. In 1982 he went for routine knee surgery. The anaesthetic, meant to knock him out for a few hours was mis-administered, and he would never regain consciousness.

At this point his remarkable wife, Bernadette Adams, stepped in. After some months in hospital, and seeing that he had developed infections through bed sores, she took him home. And there for 39 years she has cared for him.

She would sleep in the same room, getting up in the middle of the night to turn him. She would wash, shave, toilet and dress him daily. She prepared his food and fed him. She talked with him, gave him presents. She worked to ensure his muscles were exercised to avoid atrophy and its accompanying pains. She rose at seven each morning, and cared for him until he would fall sleep at around 8pm—if things went well, otherwise it could be all night.

For four decades.

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