Waking from coma means joy, challenges for mom, child, family

Doctors appeared to have given up hope on any sort of future for Sharista Giles. Her family never did, and now that hope has been rewarded. The 20-year-old woman woke up from a coma last week. She fell into that condition back in December after suffering a serious brain injury in a car crash. She was riding in a car with a friend who fell asleep at the wheel.

This move toward recovery for Giles after four months of unconsciousness is newsworthy in itself, but what makes the story even more compelling is that she was four months pregnant at the time of the accident. And now that she’s awake, she has learned that she is a mother.

One month after her accident, doctors performed a cesarean section to deliver the child she was carrying. She delivered a boy who weighed just under two pounds. Now, at age 3 months, the boy known only as Baby L is said to be doing OK. A Facebook page dedicated to the recovery of mother and child says that as of yesterday, he is weighing in at well over six pounds. Mom is said to be becoming more alert. Her vital signs seem to be good. 1

The prognosis for Giles is still not clear, but the family is definitely full of faith and hope, especially in light of the predictions from doctors that she likely had only a 10 percent chance of awakening from the coma.

Not surprisingly, this story has made headlines all around the world. What the stories all lack are details of the accident that left Giles injured. Did the driver survive? Has the family consulted with experienced legal counsel to explore options? It seems likely that the costs of care in this case are going to be huge and pursuing a personal injury claim could be crucial in meeting expenses now and in the future.

Source: Reuters, “Tennessee woman awakens from months-long coma, learns she gave birth,” Victoria Cavaliere, April 10, 2015