After Seven Months In A Coma, Woman’s Critical Condition Takes A Baffling Turn

Kneeling at the side of a family member’s hospital bed, crying while they lie motionless in a coma. There are few images more heartbreaking. No one wants to admit their own blood may be diagnosed, according to doctors, as “brain dead” and never wake again.

So, while Kertisha Brabson spent months of 2019 in a coma, her mother tried to remain optimistic. Grim diagnoses were for other people, not her baby. But then doctors gave her the dreaded question: pull the plug or not. The mother’s answer will be talked about in the medical world for a long time.

The city of Alliance, Ohio, just wouldn’t be the same without the amazingly positive energy resident Kertisha Brabson brought to it every day. And, she was lucky to have a mother who was just as terrific.

Facebook / Kertisha Brabson

Kertease Williams was so proud of her Kertisha. Not only did she achieve everything she ever put her mind to, like college graduation, but she also gave Kertease two gorgeous grandchildren. In 2018, these four lives were drastically upended.

Facebook / Kertisha Brabson

It started when Kertisha’s friend noticed her acting odd. She was grabbing for invisible objects, talking nonsensically, and dancing like a wild woman at a concert. The friend worriedly phoned Kertease.

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Now, while these symptoms were new to her friends and family, Kertisha did admit she felt slightly off for some time. “I just didn’t know what was going on inside of my body. I just knew something was wrong.”

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Kertease rushed to the hospital where the friend took Kertisha for a proper examination. Shortly after the worried mother arrived, disaster unfolded and doctors were sent scrambling.

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Suddenly and without warning, Kertisha’s brain function began rapidly deteriorating. Doctors immediately rushed her to the emergency room to have a brain scan to hopefully find some answers.

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Naturally, Kertisha’s mother struggled to handle the emotional turmoil instantly forced into their lives. She said, “It was crazy because her body was deteriorating right in front of your eyes.” And, things just kept getting worse.

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Not only was Kertisha lying unconscious in a hospital bed full of tubes and connected to machines, but she also suffered a seizure that plunged her deep into a coma. There was nothing the doctors could do.

Facebook / Kertisha Brabson

Kertease was told Kertisha suffered from an illness called “anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.” Basically her own body was attacking her brain cells. Unsure about whether they could halt progress, doctors gave Kertease a very grave option.

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Many people who fall victim to the illness don’t ever recover, and getting well can be a long heartbreaking road with no end in sight. So, doctors suggested Kertease pull the plug and let Ketisha pass away peacefully.

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Kertease absolutely refused that option; no way was she giving up yet! For three agonizing months, she watched her daughter suffer with no progress. There was hope, she knew, at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

Ohio State University

There, leading the charge in neurological care, was a doctor named Shraddha Mainali. The doctor knew the situation was grim, but she wanted to help. Immediately, she started aggressive medication regimes and monitored Kertisha closely throughout.

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Kertease was terrified. The doctor warned her the plan might fail, but this was their Hail Mary into the recovery endzone. For four months the treatment continued with nothing; then, Kertease received a phone call.

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On April 17, 2019, bright and early at 5 am, a fellow doctor on Dr. Mainali’s team spoke with Kertease over the phone. The mom couldn’t handle any more bad news, but she listened closely and heard the words, “Well, she’s woke up.”

Facebook / Kertisha Brabson

The eruption of happiness that began in Kertease’s core and burst through her head was overwhelming! It was like a crowd of people inside her screamed out with a uniform “Hallelujah!” She wanted to celebrate — but couldn’t fully. Not yet.

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Recovery was going to be tough. Kertisha was shocked by the incredible amount of time she was in a coma. Seven months! She woke up with no frame of reference for anything current happening and was hardly ready for the truth.

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A random nurse was the one who so bluntly told her, “Yeah, Ms. Brabson, you’ve been asleep for seven months.” That’s an alarming moment. Of course, the other issue burning on her mind involved two precious gems.

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Her kids, of course! While she was in the coma, her mother ensured her kids, daughter Diamonique and son Perez, were fully cared for and constantly assured their mother would pull through to ease anxiety.

Facebook / Kertisha Brabson

In a touching interview with the professional who saved her life, Dr. Shraddha Mainali, she said, “I am quite hopeful in her case that she’s going to continue to do well and hopefully live a normal life.”

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As you can imagine, it took some adjusting before Kertisha was back to her old self again. She was so happy her mother fought for her; pulling the plug on family, she knew, is one of the hardest choices there is.

Facebook / Kertisha Brabson

Rosie Brooks always believed that family was the most important thing in life. Nevertheless, she still grew apart from her brother Alfonso. They’d barely communicated in recent years, but when he re-entered her life, everything changed.

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Any phone call from Alfonso surprised Rosie, since you could never predict when he’d reach out. But one call in May of 2019 really shocked her. This one wasn’t from Alfonso; it was about him.

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Chicago’s Mercy Hospital urgently rang Rosie and her family with news of a recent tragedy. Police found Alfonso lying in the street. He was naked, unconscious, and badly beaten.

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Rosie linked up with her sister Brenda, and together they rushed over to the hospital. They weren’t allowed to see their brother right away, as the doctors were still working to stabilize him.

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Doctors were less than optimistic about Alfonso’s future. He’d taken the brunt of so much violence that it was difficult to even recognize him. Only by comparing the patient to old mug shots could the medical staff tell it was Alfonso.

MLive

Rosie and Brenda soon arrived at the Intensive Care Unit, and they confirmed that the man was their brother. This verification was especially important since Alfonso’s family needed to make a crucial decision about his health.

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Left with no other option, the Mercy Hospital staff had to put the patient on a ventilator and feeding tube. They told Alfonso’s sisters that his chances for recovery were slim to none.

However much the realization hurt, Rosie and Brenda agreed that this was not a state Alfonso would want to be in. They prayed for a miracle over the next few days but saw no signs of divine intervention. There was only one thing to be done.

The Bennett family pulled the plug, and Alfonso slipped away not long after. Feeling that they’d somehow failed their brother, Rosie and Brenda swore that, at the very least, they would give him a proper send-off.

The sisters got into the thick of funeral planning — contacting friends and loved ones, finding a burial ground, selecting a casket. But right in the middle of their preparations, an unexpected visitor stopped them in their tracks.

Alfonso suddenly appeared at their sister Yolanda’s front door days before the funeral. Not only was he alive, but he didn’t even have a scratch on him! Needless to say, he was baffled when he heard they were planning his memorial service.

CBS Chicago

The supposedly dead brother did his best not to laugh at his family’s expressions of disbelief. He described the meeting as “I’m looking at them like, ‘Wow, I’m ready to like barbecue or something, and they’re looking at me like I was a ghost.'”

Suddenly, the situation came into clearer focus: Alfonso was never on life support; he was never even in the hospital. The sisters had pulled the plug on a total stranger. So how did the Bennett family get wrapped up in this situation?

Apparently, it began when a witness at the scene told police the victim was Elijah Bennett. Not finding that name in the system, officers entered him as Alfonso Bennett.

CALEA

Then, due to so-called budget cuts, the medical staff never even took the patient’s fingerprints! They relied solely on old photographs and the testimony of upset family members to pinpoint the beaten man, which led to this whole debacle.

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The leadership of Mercy Hospital was mortified. Glad as they were to hear of Alfonso Bennett’s good health, Rosie and Brenda did pull the plug on an unknown patient. Now, they had to find out who the heck he was.

After further investigation, the John Doe in question turned out to be a man named Elisha Brittman. The bystander who found him lying on the street mixed up his name, which led to the case of mistaken identity.

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While the Brittmans mourned, the Bennett family found that they weren’t out of the woods yet. Authorities declared Alfonso legally dead, and that status bore very serious legal consequences.

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Alfonso, a recipient of disability and social security, realized those benefits stopped the instant that Elisha Brittman passed. With his livelihood shredded, he had to scramble to get his affairs back in order.

Meanwhile, Rosie and Brenda deemed the incident the weirdest few days of their lives. It had to be one of the strangest medical mix-ups in history. Of course, they’d heard from past stories just how strange comas can get.

At 25, Rory Curtis of Redditch, Great Britain, had a bright future ahead of him. He was a budding star for Manchester United’s youth team, and a career as a pro soccer player didn’t seem too far off. But in August of 2012, Rory’s future was put on hold.

While driving home from practice one evening, a severe rainstorm swept into the area, making it nearly impossible for the young man to see the road ahead. Rory was eager to get home, however, and so, despite his hesitations, he drove on.

As the rain beat down on his windshield, Rory didn’t the see large cargo truck in front of him until it unexpectedly veered into his lane. He hit his brakes, but it was too late: the car slammed into the truck ahead.

A pileup ensued, and beneath the wreckage of six vehicles was Rory — bruised, broken, but still very much alive. Firefighters rushed to the scene, and after an hour of work, they managed to pry Rory from his car.

Amazingly, Rory seemed to have come away from the crash with little but cosmetic injuries, though with this kind of trauma, the EMTs knew there was likely more than met the eye. They radioed in a helicopter, and Rory was flown to a nearby hospital.

Metro Aviation

True to precedent, the doctors discovered that Rory’s injury was worse than first believed: the young man suffered a multifocal intracranial brain hemorrhage. With his brain swelling fast and blood pooling in his head, doctors had no choice but to place him into a comatose state.

With such a severe head injury, doctors couldn’t say how long Rory would remain in his coma… or if he would come out of it at all. Rory’s family readied itself for months – even years – of waiting. Then came a miracle.

NPR

To the shock of the entire hospital, Rory came out of his coma after just six days. Doctors couldn’t believe how quickly the young man recovered, and by the look of him, there seemed to be no lingering aftereffects. Then, he opened his mouth…

Instead of English, Rory began conversing with the nurses in fluent French. The doctors, believing it to be his first language, thought nothing of his speech, and they hurried to contact Rory’s family to tell them the good news.

Rory’s parents rushed to the hospital, and after reuniting with their son, one of the doctors casually asked which side of the family was French. Puzzled by the question, they replied that neither of them was, nor could they speak the language. That’s when everyone turned to Rory.

The look on his face showed he was just as perplexed as they were, as not only had Rory been speaking French, but he’d also done so without even knowing it. His only experience with the language had been way back in the 9th grade, and even then, he barely managed to grasp the basics.

Yet somehow, he was now speaking it like his native tongue, with an accent strong enough to fool even the French nurses. The doctors convened on the puzzling matter, and after some talk, they determined he was suffering from Foreign Language Syndrome.

Though it seems like something out of a Hollywood film, Foreign Language Syndrome is a rare condition that occurs after a person experiences severe head trauma. In an attempt to “reboot,” the brain will latch onto whatever undamaged information it can find — even if it’s a foreign language.

But while this case was certainly an unusual one, things were about to get even crazier. Not only was Rory now speaking fluent French, but he was also convinced that he was none other than Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey!

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You read that right: Rory believed he was Matthew McConaughey, and he even went as far as asking the doctors when he’d be discharged so he could get back to filming. Even after looking in the mirror, he thought McConaughey’s blue eyes stared right back at him.

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Everyone was understandably concerned about Rory’s condition, and after news of the strange case broke, his parents were approached by the Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre. They offered Rory a course of treatments, though there was no guarantee they would work.

Incredibly, Rory’s body quickly took to the medication, and after two months of rehab, he was finally allowed to go home. As both his body and his mind continued to recover, he gradually came to the realization that he was not, in fact, Matthew McConaughey.

However, it seemed that Rory’s ability to speak French was here to stay, as even today, he’s still fluent in the language. This is unprecedented for a sufferer of Foreign Language Syndrome, as most others who have dealt with the condition forgot their acquired language as they recovered.

While Rory’s injury forced him to give up his dream of playing soccer professionally, he’s now content to work as a barber in his hometown of Redditch. People love asking Rory about his story, but one question always seems to trump all others: will he be able to speak French forever? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Rory Curtis / Twitter

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