An Arizona woman woke up from her coma moments after being taken off life support in early March and whispered to her husband, "I'm a fighter."
"Everything can be taken away. You can wake up one day and everything is fine, and then your life is a mess," Steven Pellettiere-Swapp, son of the comatose woman, told KPHO. "Keep your family close and don't let them go."
Pellettiere-Swapp had found his mother, Lyndee, 45, unconscious in February. After calling 911, Lyndee fell into a coma for 12 days.
Her doctors informed the family —- her husband, her daughter Amanda and Steven —- that nothing more could be done and they recommended she be taken off life support.
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Honoring Lyndee's decision as an organ donor, the family decided to take her off life support. Each member of the family sat down by her side to say their goodbyes and talk to her.
Apparently, Lyndee was hearing every word they said.
"I remember people talking to me," she said. "I remember when people came to visit, my niece reading to me."
"[Doctors] told [my family] that I would start to make noises when they turned off life support. I was very agitating. I couldn't move. I couldn't talk, couldn't respond. I could just hear conversations around me and about me," Lyndee added. "I remember a doctor opening my eyes, messing with me, and telling my family I was not reacting."
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Lyndee recalls trying desperately to communicate.
"In my head it was very clear what I was saying, but it wasn't to them. I was finally able to get out 'I'm a fighter,' which is what my husband was whispering in my ear," she said. "[He kept saying] 'I need you to fight.'"
“I’m a fighter,” Lyndee managed to respond, Little Things reports, surprising her entire family.
Against the medical outlook, Lyndee continued to recover from the coma. The following day, her daughter Amanda broke down emotionally when she communicated with her mother.
"I looked at her, and she just says, 'Hi,' and I just fell to my knees," Amanda said. "I told her, 'I thought you had been gone for 12 hours.'"
"I don't take for granted that I get to come home and kiss my mom," Steven said. "Every day I come home from work, seeing her and talking to her."
Lyndee warns people who may have close friends and relatives hospitalized and who are not responding to continue to try to communicate with the patient as much as possible.
"Just because you are not conscious does not mean you cannot hear," she said. "So you should talk to your loved ones if you are in that situation. They hear you."