Steven Pellettiere-Swapp came home to a horrible discovery last year — he found his 45-year-old mother lying unconscious on the floor.
The young man from suburban Phoenix called 9-1-1 and his mother, Lyndee, was rushed to the hospital.
A Family In Distress
“Everything can be taken away. You can wake up one day and everything is fine, and then your life is a mess,” Pellettiere-Swapp told the Phoenix CBS television affiliate last March. “Keep your family close and don’t let them go.”
Lyndee was unresponsive in the hospital and stayed in a coma for nearly two weeks.
The whole family came to visit the unconscious woman, even though she was unable to say or do anything.
Each day, Lyndee’s husband would whisper in her ear, imploring her to fight for her life. “I need you to be a fighter,” he would say.
As the days wore on, though, the doctors were unable to get any signs that the Arizona wife and mother was, indeed, fighting for her life.
While she wasn’t technically brain dead, after a dozen days, it was time to face the probability that Lyndee wasn’t going to pull out of her coma. As a registered organ donor, the family decided to pull her off of life support and told the medical staff to get others lined up to receive transplants from their comatose loved one.
As everyone said their final goodbyes and the plug was finally pulled, something dramatic happened. Completely unexpectedly, Lyndee croaked out the words, “I’m a fighter.”
Weeks later, the Arizona mother was back on her feet, hugging her family, and back in her home.
“I don’t consider it a miracle but everybody else, that’s how they reference it,” Lyndee would later tell CBS.
What’s disturbing, though, is that now that Lyndee is back in good health, she’s told those around her that she could hear them the whole time she was in the coma.
“I remember everybody talking to me,” Lyndee explained in the CBS interview. “I remember when people came to visit, what conversations — I remember my niece reading to me.”
She even remembers the doctors and family members discussing taking her off of life support. Although she was unable to speak or move, Lyndee was desperately fighting, just as her husband had asked.
“[Doctors] told [my family] that I would start to make noises when they turned off life support. It was very agitating. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t respond. I could just hear everybody having conversations around me and about me,” Lyndee recounted. “I remember a doctor opening my eyes, messing with me, and telling my family I was not reacting.”
That’s when they finally pulled the plug.
“In my head, it was very clear what I was saying, but it wasn’t to them. I was finally able to get out ‘I’m a fighter.'”
Many of Lyndee’s family members had already left the hospital when she was taken off life support. It wasn’t until the next day that her daughter, Amanda, returned to the hospital.
“I looked at her, and she just says, ‘Hi,’ and I just fell to my knees,” Amanda remembered with a mix of joy and grief. “I told her, ‘I thought you had been gone for 12 hours.'”
Lyndee encourages families to discuss, in detail, what end of life plans are like and what to do if a loved one is in a coma.
“Just because you are not conscious does not mean you cannot hear.”
Her son, Steven, though, is trying to relish having his mother around still. “I don’t take for granted that I get to come home and kiss my mom.”
Hug and hold your own family close, y’all — you can never know how much time you’ll get with them