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Woman In Coma for 3 Weeks Wakes Up To Learn Her Family Pulled the Plug on Her

Jill and Ryan Finley were a regular couple living in Oklahoma City when their worlds were completely turned upside down. Being married only 4 years, the Finleys’ were very much in love. They spent their weekends relaxing and sleeping in just like any other young couple would after a long hard week of work. This weekend was going to be different then any other weekend they every lived…
What started out as a normal Saturday morning, turned into a nightmare when Ryan went to wake Jill up from her nap. At first Ryan just thought she was in a very deep sleep but when he began shaking her he realized that she was completely unresponsive. Seeing your loved one in this kind of state will rock anyone to their core. This scary ordeal was going to just be the beginning of a long journey for the couple. Ryan had no idea what was in store for him….

Married Life

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Jill and Ryan spent their weekends like most couples do by relaxing and enjoying each other company. They were just like any other middle american couple looking to build a family and have kids of their own. They lived and worked in Oklahoma City an area where both of them were very familiar with.
Ryan would typically let Jill sleep-in on weekends, while he sat on their porch reading the newspaper. It was something they often did on weekends so it was no abnormal for Jill to not have awaken just yet. But one Saturday in May, Ryan had a weird feeling that he should wake his wife up early…call it blind intuition that will have major impacts for Jill.

Saturday Morning

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It was Saturday, May 26th in 2007 and by all accounts was just another beautiful spring Saturday that the couple would get to enjoy together. Jill being 32 and Ryan being 31 they lived for their weekend together. As newly weds the love they both still had that spark between each other and cared deeply for one another.
This Saturday morning was a bit different as Ryan had a very weird feeling that he needed to wake up his wife early. It was unexplainable the feeling he had but his intuition was telling him to wake Jill up. So he went into the house and over the room and opened the door…

Not Your Average Saturday Morning

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Ryan walked over to Jill’s bed to make sure all was ok and called her name as he opened the door to the bedroom to wake her up. Something was telling him that he just need to “check in on her”.
As he walked in the room Ryan tried to wake up Jill and found that no matter how hard he tried or how loud he yelled, she remained unresponsive. Ryan was now very nervous and feared the worst, that Jill might be dead.

CPR Training

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After shaking her and not getting a response he checked her pulse and to see if she was breathing. Once he realized she wasn’t breathing, he recalled a CPR course he had taken very long ago, about 10 years ago to be exact and dragged Jill out of bed and onto the floor to begin chest compressions and CPR.
As he stood on top of her body compressing her chest and breathing into her mouth Ryan mind was racing of thoughts and trying to figure out what had just happened. The CPR was not working, Jill was showing now signs of life at all…Ryan had to act fast…

Panic

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Ryan immediately then called 911 and administered CPR, staying on the phone with the 911 operator while he waited for paramedics to arrive. The moments were tense as Ryan waited what felt like forever for the paramedics to arrive. Then he could hear the sirens of the paramedics racing down the street, he felt they were now hear to save her…
The paramedics raced into the house and immediately got to work to save Jills live. The paramedics shocked Jill’s heart back to life and were able to get it beating again. Once they got a pulse on Jill, they then rushed her by ambulance to the Oklahoma Heart Hospital nearby.

Prayers

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As the ambulance sped to the Heart Hospital all Ryan could think about was what wen wrong, why did he feel he needed to wake her up and was Jill going to be ok. He kept asking the paramedics what was happening and they told him to remain calm.
Ryan then turned to prayers asking God to please save his beautiful wife and not let him loser her. His faith in God and prayer would help him through this harrowing ordeal and bring her home safely he thought…

The Hospital

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Upon arrival to the hospital Jill was immediately rushed into ICU so doctor’s could figure out what was going on and how to help save her. She had a pulse but they knew but nothing else at that time. Ryan waited frantically the emergency room calling family members to notify them of the situation and what was happening.
At this point, the doctors decided it was best to put Jill on a respirator while they worked to figure out what was wrong with Jill. The doctors were unsure at what they needed to do to help her. At this time nobody knew the cause of all of this or what the long term damages would be…

Inside the ER

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At the hospital, Ryan watched doctors put his wife in a special suit meant to lower her body temperature. This was done in an attempt to minimize any damage to Jill’s brain caused by her lack of oxygen. This quick action by the doctors would end up having huge effects later on for Jill…
The good news was, Jill was alive and breathing, with a beating heart, but he was told that she would remain in a deep coma for an undetermined amount of time. Ryan began asking many questions but was left with little answers as doctors will still working….

The Diagnosis

The doctors told Ryan that after a full examination of his wife that they determined she had a heart attack while she was sleeping. Ryan could not believe what he was hearing. She was the picture of perfect health or so he though. The doctors then went on to say…
That not only did she have a heart attack but her brain had been deprived of oxygen for a total of five minutes. Ryan knew right away that the brain not receiving oxygen for five minutes was very bad and could have lasting health implications for Jill…

Undying Love

Ryan watched his entire life flash before his eyes. His loving wife was comatose and might never wake up. They were just about to enjoy a beautiful Saturday morning and now this. This sudden event was beginning to take a toll on Ryan and their entire family.
He decided that from that moment forward, he would stay by Jill’s side and never leave her until she was healthy. This was a commitment he made to Jill while she lay in the hospital bed in her coma. He slept on an empty hospital bed next to her nightly and read the bible to her.

The Odds

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A few days passed and despite his attention and efforts, Jill remained in her comatose state. The days were long and the nights were longer but Ryan was determined to help Jill at all costs. When they got married they vowed to be by each others side in sickness and in health and Ryan was fulfilling his commitment.
Between his bible and his prayer Ryan believed his wife would be ok. But as the days continued on and less and less health improvement from Jill, Ryan’s faith was put to the test.

One Percent Chance

The Doctors came in one day and asked to speak to Ryan. The looks on their face said it all and Ryan new that he was not going to be receiving any good news. He was not sure what they were going to say but he also didn’t expect them to tell him….
The Doctors, being very gentle with their words, were indirectly telling him that his wife’s situation was hopeless. They told him that there was a one percent chance that Jill would survive. This was not the news Ryan was hoping for and it rocked him to the core.

Just Pray

The Doctors went on to say that with those odds, even if Jill did survive, she would not live the rest of her life as a functioning person. Due to the lack of oxygen to Jill’s brain she would become severely disables. The doctors explained to him that she will never be able to live a “normal” life again.
Yet, despite hearing his wife’s fate, Ryan was unwilling to accept it and he kept praying. Maybe he was in denial, maybe he wasn’t ready to accept that his wife would be gone. He felt his faith was going to pull the both of them through this and God would heal her.

“The Journal”

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Ryan decided to keep a journal to write down his thoughts and hopes and wish’s. He found it very comforting to write these things down as he felt one day Jill would be able to read it herself. This journal was very therapeutic to Ryan…
Ryan wrote in one journal entry “She’s my soulmate and my wife, my everything in this whole world. I would be lost without her. I will not give up hope. I will never give up on her.”

“Just A Bad Dream”

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Ryan said about his situation that “Every morning that I woke up, I’d realize this wasn’t a dream.” Doctors told Ryan that there were never any signs Jill was coming back and it was time to make difficult decisions.
Ryan said about his situation that “Every morning that I woke up, I’d realize this wasn’t a dream.” Doctors told Ryan that there were never any signs Jill was coming back and it was time to make difficult decisions.

Agonizing Decision

It is very tough for any family member to have to make a decision like this. While your hopes and prayers want you to hold off making the permanent decision you also wonder if the person is suffering. You never want the person to suffer in these situations and to keep them alive for “selfish” reasons…
With his wife now in a coma and doctors saying her chance of surviving or living a normal life was slim to none Ryan was faced with the most difficult decision of his life. Should he take his wife off life support or should he continue the fight?

Tough Choice

While contemplating his wife’s options Ryan recalled when his aunt years prior was placed on life support and what Jill had said to him during that incident. What Jill had told him was very important in helping Ryan make a decision on what to do with his wife.
She had said that she would never want to be kept on life support and alive if she were to have to live a life in a vegetative state. Remembering those words made Ryan ponder even more this agonizing decision. She he fulfill her wishes to him when she told him that? What is the best thing he can do? Tough questions and a tough choice lie ahead…

Time to Act

After consulting with Jill’s entire family, Ryan concluded that his wife wouldn’t want to spend her life in a hospital bed, so he requested a court order to disconnect Jill from life support. That court order was eventually granted…
On the morning of June 9, 2007, doctors began to prepare Ryan for what to expect when his wife was unhooked from all the machines that were keeping his wife alive. Many people who are there during this process say watching a family member get unhooked is the worst thing you can imagine.

“The Last Rally”

The doctors explained to Ryan so he wouldn’t be surprised that Jill will exhibit slight movements and restlessness when she was unhooked. They told him this would be totally normal and not to be spooked. Doctors have been through this before and understood these movements typically freak family members out.
Doctors call this movement the “Last Rally” which refers to an unexpected return of mental clarity and memory, or suddenly regained consciousness that occurs in the time shortly before death in patients suffering from severe psychiatric or neurological disorders.

Time to Disconnect

At about 6 p.m., doctors disconnected Jill from the machines that had been keeping her alive. Ryan and Jill’s family gathered by her bed side to say their final goodbyes and let Jill pass in peace. She didn’t die immediately, and at about 11:45 p.m., Jill began getting restless.
Ryan decided to take out his phone to record the final moments of Jill’s live so he can have this memory and be able to look back years later at the final moments he had with his wife

A Miracle Happens

She didn’t die immediately, and at about 11:45 p.m., Jill began getting restless. This was making the family there very uneasy as if they though something was going wrong and she was in pain.
Ryan believed after being told by the Doctors that this was normal that everything was going as planned. He remembered the “Last Rally” conversation he had with the docts. What he was not prepared for was what happened next….

To Much To Handle

Ryan watched as her whole upper torso shift a bit and then the mumbling started. “When that began, I left the room. I got physically sick.” Ryan thought this was the beginning of the end.
Ryan left the room to wait in the hallway. He was hurting way to much to see his wife like this as well as spooked by the whole process. He felt it was be better to sit outside and pray, then the nurse called him….

She’s Awake

One of the nurses called Ryan into the room and said that Jill was talking. Ryan figured this behavior was normal and attributed it to the “last rally” mumble, but, still, he returned to the room.
As Ryan walked into the room he saw Jill sitting there and what seemed to be alert. Ryan was a bit confused as this is not what the doctors explained was going to happen. Then Jill spoke….
Wide awake and looking directly at Ryan, who by now was totally in shock about what was going on, Jill said: “Get me out of here.” Then she made the most shocking request…

The Shocking Request

Jill said: “Take me to Ted’s and take me to the Melting Pot.” These two place were both of their favorite restaurants, and Ryan was in disbelief at what he had just heard.
He proceeds to ask Jill questions like what their phone number was, and the names of their dog and cat. After answered all three questions correctly, Ryan knew “this was far from the last rally.”

Doctors Explain

After a few days of recovery she was already beginning to feel better. The doctors then sat down with Jill and Ryan to explain what had really happened.
Doctors ended up discovering that Jill had a congential condition that was unknown. This condition is what caused her heart to stop beating int he first place and led to her going into a coma.

Out Of Her Coma

Jill had come out of her coma and was breathing on her own. By a miracle of God, she underwent surgery to implant a pacemaker for her heart condition and then went into a rehabilitation center.
But, Jill doesn’t remember anything and doctors are still not sure what happened or how she woke up. Since Friday night when she went to bed until two weeks later she had no idea what happened.

No Regrets

Jill says her explanation is “God.” She believes he is the reason she is here today, and also thanks to her husband Ryan. As far as Ryan’s decision to pull the plug on his wife, he says that if he had a second chance, he would never change his actions.
Jill thinks he made the right decision as well saying, “I would not have wanted to live like that.” She did not want to live like a vegetable and agreed with Ryan’s decision to take her off life support.

New Beginnings

After waking up from her coma, Jill spent the next few months relearning simple tasks like brushing her teeth, tying her shoelaces and learning how to cook. All of which are normal for coma survivors.
But like many people in a coma, Jill could not remember anything that happened at the house, in the hospital or anything in between. She did remember one thing though…

What Jill Did Remember

The only thing that Jill remembered from her time in the hospital was the big shower they wheeled her into every day. She also remembered going into inpatient therapy and the names of all the occupational therapists and speech pathologists that helped her.
Besides that, Jill has speech that she’s working on and her short-term memory is off, but other than that, she is pretty normal. One of her friends even told Jill she’s jealous of her because Jill and her husband act like newlyweds.

Jill Tells Her Story

Jill and Ryan in 2010 did an interview with Today. She opened up during this interview about the traumatic event that had occurred and her life after the whole ordeal.
Jill told Today that while she was doing good heal-wise and is trying to get better day by day that she is still in recovery. There are many things that she needs to work on and improve.

New Love

Not that they didn’t cherish each other before, but now, Jill and Ryan spend every waking minute together. After a scare like that you find a new form of love for one another.
They go everywhere together, even the grocery store. “To this day, there’s not a night that goes by that I don’t wake up. I’ll usually kick Jill in her sleep.”

“We’re OK”

“If she kicks me back, I know we’re OK,” Ryan says. Now, Jill spends everyday cherishing her life with her husband, who was nominated for an Oklahoma Heart Hero award for his CPR work.
The couple also has gone to Ted’s and the Melting Pot, to honor Jill’s special requests

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