By QMI Agency
A Miami woman who spent over four decades in a coma died Wednesday morning in her Miami, Florida home. She was 59.
In 1970, 16-year-old Edwarda O'Bara slipped into a diabetic coma, according to the Miami Herald (external - login to view). Before losing consciousness, she had asked her mother, Kaye O’Bara, to never leave her side.
Her mother had kept her promise. She turned Edwarda every two hours, gave her insulin, fed her through a tube, and kept her company.
Kaye died at 80-years-old, five years ago, as she slept in the same room with her daughter.
Once her mother passed, Edwarda’s sister Colleen took over caring for her sister.
“She taught me so much, and I’m talking about now, after she was in the coma,” Colleen told the Miami Herald. “She taught me so much about unconditional love that I couldn’t say I had it before.”
She said Edwarda seemed relaxed early Wednesday morning.
“Yesterday while taking care of Edwarda I noticed her looking directly at me and [she] gave me the biggest smile I had ever seen,” wrote Colleen on their official website (external - login to view).
After stepping out to get a coffee, she had returned to find her sister unresponsive.
According to Guinness World Records (external - login to view), the longest time anyone has spent in a coma was Elaine Esposito, also of Florida. She spent 37 years, 111 days in a coma after appendix surgery at 6-years-old.
Florida woman dies after 42 years in coma - World - Canoe.ca (external - login to view)
Wow, 42 years!
I have really conflicting emotions over this story. On the one hand I find the compassion and love displayed by this family in caring for this woman for so many years to be both heartwarming and amazing. It would take real dedication and commitment. On the other hand though if this were my loved one, I think I'd feel almost guilty keeping them going with what, in my assessment, would be zero quality of life. Ultimately these choices are for individuals and their families to make, of course, but I just don't know if I find it sad or a sense of relief that she's died.