HI @ Andrew....everyone must be getting sick of hearing from me. But here goes:
Around 20 + years ago my husband suffered two cardiac arrests on the same day. This is unlike a heart attack, you're usually immediately dead when this event occurs. He was in an un-induced coma in ICU for more than a week. I was with him the entire time, except about 4 hrs./night when I tended to things at home and tried to get in a few hrs. sleep. Our daughters were also there as much as possible.
Since I had been a nurse at one time myself, I was given the courtesy of being allowed to stay constantly with my husband. So were the girls in the beginning. He has no memory whatsoever of all the loving things we did for him.
About 1-1/2 yrs. ago, the same thing occurred to me (well, something similar). I was unconscious for approx. 5 days (I had thought it was two), and my husband was able to sleep there and was with me the entire time. I have zero recollection of him being there, nor my oldest daughter and members of her family as they were in and out.
When I came out of my state (brought on by autoimmune encephalitis & a mild heart attack) I was grateful to have them there....before that, I have zero memory of them; just like with my husband of my presence at his side.
It was difficult for hospitals, especially in the early days of COVID when vaccinations were hard to get. Since I've been in and out a number of times, that happened to me during a period when I was totally conscious, but my husband wasn't allowed to enter the hospital. I had a bag of books and that was it....and I was fine. I had emergency surgery during that period.
My mother died from a huge stroke.
She seemed unconscious all the time, from she was found until her death.
We knew she was dying, she would not be able to live on with the huge damage to her brain.
When me and my brother first visited her in the hospital, the first day, it didn’t seem she had any awareness of us being there.
The next day, a doctor called me and asked if I wanted to visit. I said “no, not really, she didn’t seem to notice us being there’ and the doc answered:’you never know, she might hear you”
So I picked up her hearing device, went to the hospital and talked to her. She was still connected to all those devices you might find in a hospital.
I was closely watching her heartbeats. And at the moment I started talking, her heartbeats went up.
Two days later, she was still alive, I went again, and found no response.
In the evening my sister arrived, and we went again. My mothers heartbeats was now irregular. We couldn’t get ourselves to talk to her this time, for all the crying. But my sister was petting her, holding her hand, etc. And the heartbeats went regular.
My mother have had several smaller strokes before, without being unconscious. Later, she’s had no recollection at all. So if she had survived this, I’m sure she wouldn’t had this time either.
But the talking and the petting had an impact for sure.
I should have finished: @Andrew, yes when people are conscious they can certainly tell that you're there.
However, having had it both ways, I have to say that even though subconsciously I could have been aware, I have zero recollection of that time...and here my husband was with me through the 5 days. How can I describe it? Like it never happened, it's not part of my memory bank. Zero....nothing.
Yes @Hufsamor , I do believe the heartbeats can change to suit the mood of the people in the room, loved ones especially....but I would have to say that it wouldn't have helped in either of our cases. I was also constantly whispering in my husband's ear that he was in a coma and would come out of it. Miraculously, he did, with his mind intact which was totally unexpected. This was caused by spraying poisons, so do be careful; better yet, don't do it. A Rehab Hosp. followed that for a few weeks and he was in a foul mood as he came off all drugs. It helped considerably though, and he slowly recovered after he was home.
Probably the same with COVID, the weakness would be extreme. Again, I'm sorry for your pain, Andrew, & that of your entire family. Yours, Lenora.
but I would have to say that it wouldn't have helped in either of our cases. I was also constantly whispering in my husband's ear that he was in a coma and would come out of it. Miraculously, he did, with his mind intact which was totally unexpected.
There are people who remember and people who don't. People who recover and people who don't. If there is a slim chance what I do might help, then why not do it. It might help them recover, or just make them feel better. Also, people need someone there who cares about them so they can alert doctors if they see a change.
This, of course, depends on whether I can even get there, how long I can sit up, and whether the first visit crashes me.
Except it has reduced problems every time a family member stopped a medical person who was in the wrong room about to do the wrong thing. Also, as the article pointed out, a woman spotted physical changes in her husband that the doctors overlooked, and this lead to the doctors taking action. As for the emotional state (which might be what you are talking about), if you don't think the will to live makes a difference, then it makes sense that the emotional state has no effect on recovery.