A Mom’s Love Helps Woman Wake From Coma After Five Years

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Jennifer Flewellen finally leaves Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan

From Grand Rapids comes a story too magical to believe—of a mother’s love creating a medical miracle, and a woman who cared for a comatose daughter in silence for half a decade.

Jennifer Flewellen was 35 when, according to a feature on Good Morning America, she was put into a medically induced coma after crashing her car into a pole. Flewellen had just dropped her three boys off at school, but began to feel light-headed on the way home.

Placed on life-support at a large hospital, nurses were certain she would never recover, and though there are no hard or fast rules for when a person wakes up from a coma, by day 2, physicians were encouraging Flewellen’s mother, Peggy Means, to take her off life-support.

“I remember one respiratory nurse, she told me, ‘Well, you know, she’ll only get worse,’ and I told her, ‘Don’t you ever say that to me again, and never say it around my daughter,’” Means told GMA. “I’d say, ‘It’s very easy to be negative, but we have no room for negativity.’”

Weeks turned to months, which turned into years, but Means’ love for her daughter kept her strong and faithful through the long hours of silence. Means did as much as was possible and then some—transferring her to different care centers, battling with insurance to keep covering the treatment, arguing with hospital administrators, all the while working full time as an industrial sewer, and pampering the unconscious Jennifer with all kinds of TLC.

Means would give her daughter “spa days” even though Flewellen was unresponsive to all stimuli. She would wheel her around the hospital talking to her as if she were awake; recounting the progress of her three sons in school. Visting her nearly every day, this continued for 5 long years, through the pandemic and out the other side.

Then, one day, the truly unthinkable happened. Five years after the fateful crash, Means was sitting with her daughter in a sunny spot outside the hospital telling jokes. Flewellen laughed. Means could hardly believe it.

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“I started to wheel her up to the building,” Means said, being scared at first, “and then I thought, she’s laughing, so I stopped and got my phone out.”

After all that time, what Means believed all along with all her heart was true: her daughter was still in there.

“I would ask her questions about the boys and stuff, and she couldn’t she couldn’t speak even a sound, but she could shake her head yes and no,” Means recalled. “I said, ‘Jen, am I your dad,’ and she made a face like, ‘no.’ And then I’d ask about the boys, I’d mix up their names, like one middle name to another one.’”

Flewellen was answering the questions correctly, so Means immediately organized speech therapy.

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And that was the beginning of the end—Flewellen was indeed still there, and as the weeks went by, more and more of her was reemerging, like a butterfly breaking loose of its cocoon.

Mom Peggy Means watches Jennifer Flewellen during a physical therapy session at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation in Grand Rapids – Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation

GMA says that just 2 to 3% of people left in a vegetative state for that long will ever wake up, but Means is ensuring her daughter will be able to do more than that. She organized occupational, speech, and physical therapy. She has organized surgeries to loosen the rigor mortis-like tension that had set into her joints so she can regain movement.

At Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, one doctor said that the case study is so rare that Means is basically driving scientific discovery. No one can say for certain how much faculty Flewellen will recover, because the instance is just too rare. But because the answer isn’t known, Means is driving forward with all the love and determination that kept her going through the unresponsive years.

READ ALSO: Man Paralyzed from the Neck Down from Rare Disease Makes Incredible Recovery, Now Back at the Gym

Eventually, Jennifer Flewellen, at age 41, and a new grandmother to a 1-year-old granddaughter, left Mary Free Bed and came home to stay with Means—herself newly retired. Flewellen’s oldest son moved in with the two to help out.

The road to recovery is long—and no one knows where the end will be—but mother and daughter carry on with a mantra given by a nurse practitioner who once told Means that ‘you have to dream it, then you have to believe it.’

WATCH the incredible true story below from GMA… 

SHARE This Example Of The Power Of A Mother’s Love On Social Media… 

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