Family Experiences of Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States

Profiles - Minimally Conscious or unconfirmed Vegetative diagnosis


Jim was a retired engineer involved in a range of community volunteer work and campaigns. Jim died just four months after this interview on 18 July 2013 in hospital after suffering a fall. Tributes to Jim after his death praise him for his work to ensure that the voice of those who were less able, and the vulnerable, should be heard. He was actively involved in groups such as the North LinKs Seniors' Forum and Freshstart. Jim received the 2011 Joseph J Magrath OBE Award for Public Voluntary Service and the lifetime achievement award from North Lincolnshire Country Council community champion award in 2013. His commitment to contributing to this online resource for families was further evidence of his community-based values.


works in media


mother of 3 sons, worked as a successful business woman, now unemployed due to ill health.


Single, mother of one child, care worker.

Mark and Helen

Mark (aged 56) and Helen (aged 54) are a married couple. Mark is an arts centre manager and Helen works in retail.


mother of one daughter


Phil is 43 years old. He worked as an investment consultant and has been with his partner, Lewis, for 16 years. Lewis was an IT project manager before being made redundant in 2011. He was just about to start volunteering at a local library when had his haemorrhage (aged 46). He was a keen chorister with a wonderful bass voice, had a wicked sense of humour and loved bridge and musical theatre. Phil takes some comfort from the fact that luckily, and “as a perfect illustration of not putting off to tomorrow what you can do today”, they had fulfilled one of Lewis’ ambitions and enjoyed a 3-month trip around South America in the first half of 2012.


Emma is married with two young adult children.


Rifat is a PhD researcher at the University of York. Her father (aged 70), back in Bangladesh suffered a cardiac arrest. He remains alive nine weeks later, in a vegetative state. Rifat does not believe he will recover.


No details given


Angela works as a receptionist, and her husband was the night duty officer, for the same funeral parlour. They were also musicians together, and had been in a relationship for 27 years prior to his injury.


Sonia is 45.
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