Inside Coma: A New View of Awareness, Healing, and Hope

Inside Coma: A New View of Awareness, Healing, and Hope

Inside Coma: A New View of Awareness, Healing, and Hope

Inside Coma: A New View of Awareness, Healing, and Hope


Offering a new view and a fascinating understanding of coma states, this hope-filled work explains technology-driven insights and describes practices with which family members and caregivers can help promote recovery.

• Heartwarming stories that engender genuine hope for professionals and families dealing with this most difficult area of treatment

• More than 20 relevant exercises that help the reader to understand the coma state and how to be most useful to the person in this state

• An appendix that expands on scientific and philosophical concepts introduced in the book and includes reference links

• A glossary of basic terms of process-oriented coma work and related medical terms

• A bibliography


What is coma?

What is a vegetative state?

What are the possibilities for consciousness in coma?

What makes a life worth living?

In the wake of Terri Schiavo’s publicly debated fate and the awakenings of patients from their minimally conscious states after as much as 20 years of silence, we are finally waking up to these questions. Traumatic brain injury affects more Americans each year than breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and spinal cord injury combined. Many of them will spend time in remote states of consciousness and coma without being able to communicate with the outer world. the fascination with people in comas is everywhere, on magazine covers featuring people like Terri Schiavo, Terry Wallis, and Sarah Scantlin; on Coma, Liz Garbus’s hbo special that is giving voice to people who have experienced brain injury, in the newspapers and on radio shows; and in movies such as the Only Thrill, Nova, Just Like Heaven, and the Diving Bell and the Butterfly. New exciting scientific discoveries are now beginning to validate what we have been noticing and teaching about for years, which is that coma patients’ awareness is much more detailed and complex than previously thought, and so are their chances of significant recovery.

A woman who was thought to have no consciousness is able to play tennis in her mind in a way that was measurable. Another person who was given no chance of recovery suddenly speaks after 20 years. People . . .

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