At twenty-five weeks pregnant, Amelia Bannan, an Argentinian police officer, was the victim of a car accident in early November and suffered head injuries. In a coma since the accident, she gave birth at 34 weeks (end of December) to a baby boy, Santino. On 7 April 2017, the young woman awoke from her coma and uttered her fist words. “The emotional strength of her family and friends coupled with the medical care she received created conditions that some would refer to as a ‘miracle’ “.
Doctor Steven Laureys, neurology and brain imaging specialist, explained that “the plasticity of the brain and its capacity to recover are phenomenal and always pose a challenge for scientists. After four months, as in the case of this young woman, it is fully possible to come back to life. A coma usually only lasts for a few weeks. The person then enters what I prefer to refer to as ‘non-respondent awakening’, instead of ‘coma or vegetative state’”. After a head injury, doctors are unfamiliar with the brain’s capacity to repair itself. However, “we know that emotional stimulation, like a birth, is very powerful”, Doctor Laureys explained. In Amelia Bannan’s case, her family always created a contact between Amelia and her baby, which “obviously stimulated her. It is very important for patients to have their family close by. We have observed how a joke or a favourite song can trigger awakening”, continued the doctor. He also pointed out that “what really saved her were the doctors, the intensive care administered and the fact that her baby was kept alive”.
Huffington post, Annabel Benhaiem (10/04/2017)