Thursday, April 12, 2018

Recovery from coma

The ‘miracle’ baby who is thought to have helped bring his mother out of a coma has celebrated his first birthday.

Amelia Bannan, 34, was involved in a horrific car crash a year ago that left her in a coma with serious head injuries.   

The police officer was five months pregnant when the car being driven by her husband Christian Espindola veered off the road near Posadas, in Misiones, north-east Argentina.

Four other officers who were in the car were not injured but Bannan suffered a skull fracture which caused a blood clot in her head. She was hospitalised in a coma, but son Santino was born by caesarean section on Christmas Eve 2016 – yet she remained unresponsive throughout.

Doctors thought Amelia would never wake up following the terrible injuries she suffered in November 2016, but constant visits by Santino seemed to miraculously bring her round.

On April 16, after five months in a coma, Amelia opened her eyes and began her recovery.  Local media reported that Amelia remembers everything except the accident and she has been building a loving relationship with her son.

Due to the extent of her head injuries, Amelia’s prognosis was not good but her son’s visits helped and she is now walking again and talking.

Her brother Cesar said: ‘Amelia is getting better all the time. She does exercises twice a day where she has to read and speak. She is having problems pronouncing the letter S.’

‘For us ever day is a miracle,’ Cesar said, recalling that Santino spent the first month of his life in hospital before being taken care of by his aunt Norma while his mother was in a coma. Cesar and Norma moved to Posadas to live with Amelia and Santino. The family recently marked the baby’s first birthday on 24th December 24 and are looking forward to celebrating their first Three Kings Day together on January 6.

A police officer who gave birth while in a coma after a car crash has held her three-month-old baby son for the first time.

Amelia Bannan's family hailed it as a "miracle" as she woke from a five-month coma after suffering a skull fracture and a blood clot in her brain.

The officer was less than six months pregnant when she was badly hurt in a crash in Argentina on November 1.

The father of her child, also a police officer, was driving the patrol car but was not seriously injured.

As she lay in intensive care, baby Santino was delivered on Christmas Eve at 34 weeks gestation weighing 4 lbs 2 oz.

Her sister Norma cared for Santino and brought the child to her every evening at the hospital in Posadas as relatives refused to give up hope.

Brother Cesar described the unforgettable day Amelia suddenly came to in the week before Easter.

He told local TV station NTN24: “That day we heard there in the silence, while we were giving Santino the bottle, we heard a low voice, we heard ‘yes, yes’.

“To corroborate if she was listening to me, I told her, ‘Amelia, if you understand me, stick out your tongue’. And she stuck out her tongue.

“It was a total revolution. Norma lay on Amelia’s body, embraced her, and wept tears of joy. It revolutionised our hearts.”

When the baby was brought to her she at first thought it was her nephew until her family explained it was her own child, he said.

Cesar, who is also a cop, added: "The doctors said that Amelia has defied all scientific logic, that her case is truly a miracle."

Amelia is improving quickly, according to the doctor supervising her rehabilitation, Roberto Gisin.

He told El Pais newspaper: “At first she only said ‘yes’ and ‘no’, now she is managing to answer questions and understand commands.”

The doctor said Amelia can already turn round by herself and move all four limbs and he believes that if there are no setbacks she will be walking in a few months.

Neurosurgeon Marcelo Ferreira added: “She keeps surprising us. We hope that at some point, we will be able to see her walking holding her son’s hand.”

                  And after a lot of work in therapy, Bannan was able to walk again. She later stood 
                  proudly beside Cesar, who is also a police officer, when the Argentinian police 
                  department recognized her remarkable recovery.



  1. Imagine being 31 years old and having to make the agonizing decision to discontinue the life-support keeping your comatose spouse alive. Now imagine that spouse waking up and asking for Mexican food.“It’s crazy. It’s absolutely crazy,” Jill Finley, the woman who was supposed to die, told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira during an interview Monday. “It is truly a miracle that I’m here talking to you today.”On the morning of Saturday, May 26, Jill’s husband, Ryan Finley, tried to wake her up and found her unresponsive.

    The couple would learn later that Jill had a congenital condition that had caused her heart to stop. When Ryan realized she wasn’t breathing, he reached back 10 years to a CPR course he had taken, dragged her out of bed and onto the floor, and started to apply those never-used lessons.He called 911 and continued to work on his lifeless wife until paramedics arrived and shocked her heart back to life. They rushed her to the Oklahoma Heart Hospital, where the medical staff put her on a respirator and dressed her in a special suit that lowered her body temperature to attempt to minimize damage to her brain caused by lack of oxygen.She was alive in that she was breathing and her heart was beating, but she was in a deep coma. Ryan, a plumbing contractor in the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, stayed by her side, reading the Bible to her and sometimes lying on the bed next to her. But as the days passed, her condition remained unchanged.Doctors wouldn’t come right out and say that the situation was hopeless, but they did say that only one to two percent of such cases recovered to live normal lives.“It was grim,” Ryan told Vieira. “I’ll put it that way. Everything they told me was grim.”

    During the ordeal, Ryan kept a diary. On June 6, 11 days after Jill stopped breathing, he wrote, “Today could be the worst day of my life. I essentially have to decide whether or not she will die or not.” (continued)

  2. (continued)The next day, another entry: “I know Jill wouldn’t want to live like this.” Ryan had made his agonizing decision. He would pull the plug.“She’s my soul mate and my wife, my everything in this whole world,” Ryan told Vieira, the words struggling against his emotions. “And it was up to me whether or not she lived or not. That’s a bad thing to go through.”On June 9, at about 6 p.m., Ryan and Jill’s family said their goodbyes and doctors disconnected Jill from the machines that had been keeping her alive. She didn’t die immediately, and after a time, Ryan had to go to a judge to sign papers relating to the decision to disconnect Jill from life support.

    ’He returned around 11 p.m. to sit with her and wait for the end in the hospice where she was being cared for.“About 11:45, she started getting restless,” he said, an eventuality he had been prepared for. “People told me they call it the last rally. When a person is about to pass, they tend to regain some body function, be able to talk or move — things that they hadn’t been able to do previously.” She also started mumbling. “I thought that was it, that was the last rally,” he said.But it was soon clear she wasn’t just mumbling. She said, “Get me out of here.” Then she added another request: “Take me to Ted’s and take me to the Melting Pot,” naming two restaurants where she liked to indulge her passion for Mexican food.“I asked her questions,” Ryan said. “Simple addition, what our phone number was, our dog’s name, our cat’s name. She answered them all correctly, all of ’em. And I knew, ‘This isn’t the last rally.’”Far from it. Jill had come out of her coma and was breathing on her own. She underwent surgery to implant a pacemaker for her heart condition and then went into a rehabilitation center.“When I was in the coma, I don’t remember anything,” she told Vieira. “I don’t remember anything from the heart hospital. I do remember the big shower they wheeled me into every day. Other than that, I don’t remember anything.“I did go to inpatient therapy, and I remember all of that. All of the nurses, and occupational therapists and speech pathologists — I remember all of them. They helped me tremendously.”She has to work a little to pronounce difficult words, but otherwise seemed completely normal, Vieira observed.“Pretty much, I am normal,” Jill replied. “I have a little speech that I’m working on. And my short-term memory is off. But other than that, I am doing great.”And she’s cherishing every day with her husband, who was nominated for an Oklahoma Heart Hero award for his CPR work.


  3. Her husband, Christian Espíndola, seems to disappear from the story after the accident.

    "Cesar and Norma moved to Posadas to live with Amelia and Santino."