After 21 Years in Coma, Woman Dies at Home

Bernadette Jones' family built a room for her so she could stay near
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2012 4:23 PM CDT
After 21 Years in Coma, Woman Dies at Home
Bernadette Jones passed away at the age of 51, after 21 years in a coma.   (Shutterstock)

An upstate New York woman has died at age of 51 after 21 years in a coma, and the Buffalo News recounts the story of how her family cared for her—at home—all that time. Bernadette Jones of Niagara Falls descended into the permanent state of unconsciousness after her drunk husband beat her in 1991. For the next two decades, Jones' family, including her three children, cared for her in a special room they built in the back of their home—a cozy haven they filled with music, biblical Scripture readings, and loving companionship.

"You have to do it willingly and 300% or don't do it," says her stepfather. "Through all the trials and tribulations we went through, we never once argued over Bernadette." He says that "as time went on, her left eye would open when she heard my voice. She'd move her arms." The man who attacked Jones was sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison and then deported as an illegal immigrant—thanks again to the Jones family—back to Haiti. Read the full story in the News here. (More Bernadette Jones stories.)

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