5. The little girl in coma who woke up singing Mamma Mia!
When young Layla Towsey fell into a coma after contracting meningitis, her family was told to give her a kiss goodbye. But it was far from the final curtain for the three-year-old, who awoke and began singing Abba’s pop hit Mamma Mia!. The musical recovery came after she spent five days in coma, with mother Katy waiting only to see how disabled her daughter would be.
Layla was diagnosed with meningitis B and meningococcal septicaemia and spent the next five days unconscious in intensive care. But then Layla began singing the words to Mamma Mia!, having seen the film starring Meryl Streep. She was soon breathing by herself and only blood poisoning scars on her legs betrayed her ordeal.
4. The 3-year-old girl who started smoking and drinking after waking up from a coma.
A three-year-old has mysteriously picked up an addiction to smoking cigarettes and downing beers after surviving a road crash. Ya Wen has been smoking up to a pack a day since an accident where she was hit by a speeding van. Her parents say that her personality has changed since leaving hospital, where she recovered from five days in a coma and severe injuries. Her mother Gao said she has started acting like an adult. She found her daughter hiding in a toilet and smoking her father’s cigarettes. At first she just thieved those, but now gets them on credit from a local shop. Mrs Gao, who lives in a shelter, said her daughter has now been addicted to smoking for a year and has also changed her preference in clothes. She only likes boy’s clothes.
Ya Wen’s father has now stopped smoking and the family have moved to the other side of the city, but said she still cries for cigarettes whenever she sees them.
3. The Coma boy who told his mum to f*** off
A mother waited 41 days for her injured son to come out of a coma – only for him to tell her to ‘f*** off’. It was his way of telling her he was going to be OK.
Joanne Hopkins leaned forward to hear son Joey whisper his first words since cheating death in a car smash. But, instead of a touching exchange, the 22-year-old swore at her. Mrs Hopkins, 39, said she ‘cried with relief’. ‘He had been trying to speak but hadn’t managed to get any words out,’ she said.
Mr Hopkins suffered serious head injuries and a broken neck and back in the accident in Portsmouth in June. He faces two years of rehabilitation but his mother is optimistic he will make a good recovery.
2. The mother to be who was coma induced to save her baby’s life
A newborn’s pinkish face just after birth is the first memory of their child for many new moms. But Valerie Leah doesn’t have this memory, because her son Oliver was born while she was in a coma. Valerie, a 35 years old expectant mom, was sick with the swine flu while she was 27 weeks pregnant and in a desperate attempt to save both mother and child, the doctors decided to put her in coma and perform a C-section. It wasn’t until 3 weeks after she had actually given birth that she was able to finally hold her newborn.
The couple, who already has two sons, said the ordeal began when all members of the family were struck down with the H1N1 virus. Valerie was the last to catch the virus but her condition deteriorated fast and she was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties. When she didn’t respond to treatment doctors decided to sedate her completely, and put her on life support. Baby Oliver later arrived by C-section weighing 2lb 10oz and was immediately whisked away to the special care nursery. When Valerie opened her eyes a week later she couldn’t understand her flat stomach. Then the confusion changed to bewilderment knowing that she had delivered a baby boy.
1. The woman who forgot her life after being put into coma
She was in a coma for weeks and suffered brain damage. But brave Liz Sykes survived and vowed to fight back. Her remarkable story began in 2008 as she was driving the familiar short route to work in Golcar from her home at the time in Linthwaite. Suddenly her life was turned upside down when she became totally disorientated. She did not know where she was or how to get to work. A week later the 23-year-old was struck down by a series of violent and prolonged seizures. Her partner Shelton rushed her to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and she spent many days there while doctors tried to diagnose her illness. Doctors then took the drastic step of inducing Liz into a three-week coma to try and save her life.
She was eventually diagnosed with encephalitis, the illness causes inflammation of the brain and is caused by a virus, infection or mosquito bite. When Liz awoke from the coma, her memory had been totally wiped. She could no longer do the simplest of tasks – even walking and talking had to be relearned. She spent 11 months in special centres in Leeds and York alongside other victims of brain damage, including serving police officers and soldiers from Afghanistan. Liz still suffers from some short-term memory loss and lacks confidence in certain areas, but her recovery steps have won her a nomination for Most Determined Learner in the Kirklees Community Adult Learning Awards.