Life-support turned off: 12yo coma girl wakes up
Published: January 11, 2006 | 3249th good news item since 2003
A miracle girl from Bewbush woke from a seven-and-a-half week coma – after doctors turned off her life-support machine.
Medics had told the 12-year-old’s devastated family there was no chance she would recover after contracting a deadly brain bug.
But tough little Beccy Groves beat the odds and astonished doctors when she continued to breathe after they switched off her machine.
Beccy’s mum Joanne said: “It’s a miracle. They said miracles don’t happen but they do.”
Beccy was suddenly taken ill last September with encephalitis – an inflammation of the brain – at the family’s Bewbush home where she lives with mum Joanne, her partner Mark Fry, Beccy’s twin brother Jake and sisters Kirsty, 14, and one-year-old Taylor.
She was taken to Guy’s Hospital, London, unconscious and continually fitting. Two weeks later her condition had not improved and doctors asked to turn off her life-support.
The family were told the virus, which had left her in a coma and still fitting, had caused brain damage that would leave her in a permanent vegetative state.
Joanne said: “We brought the family together to say goodbye and couldn’t believe it when she was still breathing the following morning.”
But doctors warned them there was little chance of survival.
Beccy was transferred to East Surrey Hospital to be nearer to her family. Joanne praised the staff and said: “They were wonderful.”
In October Beccy woke up. The first word she said was “mum”.
Joanne said: “It was the most amazing moment of my life.”
She added: “She’s very stubborn – a hardy little madam. She still thinks she was only asleep for a few days.”
Beccy is now being rehabilitated at the Childern’s Trust, Tadworth, but returns home at weekends.
The virus has left her using a wheelchair and suffering some memory loss.