Ryan, the husband of Jill, was astonished when his attempts to wake his wife went unanswered. With a calm determination, he administered CPR while on the phone with emergency services, and thanks to the prompt arrival of paramedics, Jill’s life was restored.
Following the incident, Jill was swiftly transported to a hospital, where she received crucial medical support to mitigate the damage caused by oxygen deprivation to her brain. Placed on a respirator and wearing a specialized medical suit, her condition remained deeply comatose for several days.
Doctors delivered a disheartening prognosis to Ryan, explaining that only a mere one to two percent of similar cases recover fully and regain normal lives. It was later discovered that Jill had a congenital condition that had caused her heart to stop. Ryan vividly recalls the grimness of the situation, stating, “It was grim. I’ll put it that way. Everything they told me was grim.”
Throughout the entire ordeal, Ryan diligently maintained a diary, pouring his thoughts onto its pages. One entry, dated 11 days after Jill slipped into a coma, expressed the weight of his decisions: “Today could be the worst day of my life. I essentially have to decide whether or not she will die or not.”
The following day, his words conveyed the depth of their love: “I know Jill wouldn’t want to live like this. She’s my soul mate and my wife, my everything in this whole world.” In the midst of their anguish, Jill’s family and Ryan’s loved ones gathered at the hospital to bid their final farewells. At around 6 p.m., doctors disconnected Jill from life-sustaining machines, expecting a swift passing.
However, Jill did not immediately succumb, and Ryan returned to the hospice at 11 p.m. to provide comfort during her final moments. Unexpectedly, Jill exhibited restlessness around 11:45 p.m., marking what is known as the “last rally” when individuals near the end of life may temporarily regain body functions and exhibit signs of consciousness.
Astonishingly, Jill’s responses surpassed mere murmurs. Ryan recounted the extraordinary encounter: “I asked her questions. 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.'”
During an interview with TODAY, Jill shared her experience, recounting her inability to recall anything from her time in the coma except for the regular showers she received. However, she vividly remembered her subsequent participation in inpatient therapy and the invaluable support she received from nurses, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists. Although she faces challenges with short-term memory and speech, Jill’s recovery has been remarkable.
She expressed gratitude for each day and every moment, emphasizing the renewed perspective she and Ryan now embrace. Their bond has grown even stronger, cherishing every minute together and finding joy in the simplest of activities. Jill humorously shared a friend’s comment, “I’m so jealous. You guys are like newlyweds.”
This story resurfaces amidst recent reports of congenital condition patients defying the odds and experiencing extraordinary recoveries. It serves as a testament to the power of resilience and the enduring human spirit.