Friends and family were once again overjoyed as Chris Billingsworth again regained consciousness from his coma. Chris, now 32, has been in a Persistent Vegetative State following an accident as a child.
Doctors are baffled by Chris’s condition and the regularity with which he regains consciousness, just as the family radio switches on at about 7am each morning. His conscious periods last for about 3 hours or so before he once again drifts off.
“Mostly, it is just weekdays, although quite how he knows is a mystery,” explained his sister, Juliet. “But almost without fail his eyes open and he sits up and starts talking!”
Chris’ family say that conversation can be difficult, since he has been effectively in a coma following an unfortunate swimming incident when he was 13. Doctors say his brain is fully functional, but for reasons unknown chooses to spend most of its time in a completely inactive state.
“When he first woke up, about 5 years ago, it was wonderful of course - just to see him awake.“ said Juliet. “Then we realised that whilst he is a grown man now, he hasn’t learned anything new since he was in short trousers.”
Juliet’s daughter Christine, now 13 herself, has become the link between her uncle and the rest of the family by supplying them with information that only a pubescent child would find interesting.
“Well thanks to his niece, we can keep him engaged by talking about fairly schoolyard type things. Mostly inane conversation, childish innuendo, silly games that sort of thing.” said Juliet.
Juliet said that initially the family found it trying, to balance their own lives and careers with the need to be at his bedside, to provide him with company, conversation and entertainment.
“He can be quite demanding, even more so when he is awake as he really wants to be the centre of a circle of puerile attention . But we managed to kill two birds with one stone once we got him the job presenting the radio breakfast show .”
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