World’s Longest Surviving Coma Patient Dies, Mom Never Left Her

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 23, 2012   |   6:30PM   |   Washington, DC

The woman who is the world’s longest-surviving patient living in a coma has died at the age of 59 after spending four decades in a coma following an accident at the age of 16. Edwarda O’Bara entered the diabetic coma after dealing with an intense pneumonia.

The London Daily Mail newspaper featured a story today about her case and how her mother never left her side after all these years.

Edwarda O’Bara was a high school student in 1970 when she suddenly fell ill, threw up her medicine and slipped into a diabetic coma.

Her family stayed by her side, caring for the ailing woman and keeping her company for the past 42 years before she passed away on Wednesday .

As a popular 16-year-old, Edwarda had a bright future ahead but then she became ill with a severe bout with pneumonia.

In the morning hours of January 3 in 1970, she ‘woke up shaking and in great pain because the oral form of insulin she had been taking wasn’t reaching her blood stream,’ according to a description of the terrifying event by her family.

She was hospitalized and as she lay in her hospital bed, she turned to her mother, Kaye O’Bara, and pleaded with her to stay near her.

‘Promise me you won’t leave me,’ the teen told her mother, according the Miami Herald.



And her mother kept that promise, taking care of her daughter, until Kaye O’Bara herself died five years ago.

As part of her care, her body was turned every two hours to keep away bedsores, she was given insulin and fed through a tube.

Family and friends would visit her, playing music and reading to the woman.

Kay O’Bara was a devout Catholic who said she felt the presence of the Virgin Mary in her daughter’s room.

That led Dr. Wayne Dyer to write a book about the family and their unconditional care for Edwarda, ‘A Promise Is A Promise: An Almost Unbelievable Story of a Mother’s Unconditional Love and What It Can Teach Us.’