A British woman who was thought to be brain-dead recounted the horrifying moment she overheard doctors asking her husband if he wanted her to be taken off life support.
Jenny Bone, 40, was diagnosed with a severe form of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a nerve condition that left her paralyzed, reports the Mirror. While in the hospital, Jenny appeared to be unconscious and was unable to communicate.
At one point during her stay, she overheard her doctor asking her husband, 58-year-old John, if he’d prefer that she be taken off life support. “What are your wife's wishes about being kept alive on a ventilator,” Jenny said she overheard while in her paralyzed state.
John decided not to end her life and told doctors to give her more time.
“I was actually very surprised that my husband told them to not switch off the life support machine,” she said. “Like most couples, we'd had the conversation about what we would do if that sort of thing happened to the other person, and I said I would like it to be switched off. So he actually went against my wishes, but I am obviously very pleased he did that now.”
Jenny was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre after the decision was made to keep her on life support, and she was placed in a medically induced coma. She woke up about 10 days later.
“I had no reflexes and my eyes were fixed and dilated. You can't respond to pain stimulus because you're paralyzed,” Jenny said of her experience with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Two months after she was admitted to hospital, Jenny went home. She eventually made a full recovery.
John said there was no way he would consider cutting off his wife’s life support, especially so early on.
“It was a bolt out of the blue when they first asked me about switching off the life support,” he said. “But it was just too soon to even consider that. Then a few days later they asked me again I was sitting at her bedside holding her hand. I think it should never have been done in earshot of her. But to find out that she had heard what was said was just chilling. She remembered it word for word.”