Jean-Pierre Adams: The football star who has fallen into a coma for 37 years

On July 7, the former French football star, Jean-Pierre Adams, will cross an undesirable milestone when it will become the third longest coma in history. He is already the man who has spent most of his time in a coma.

After a routine knee surgery at the age of 34, the athlete remained in a sustained vegetative state. That was in 1982. When decades passed, his wife, Bernadette Adams, devoted her life to taking care of her husband, hoping that medicine would progress and that doctors would wake it up one day.

Jean-Pierre was born on March 10, 1948 in the former French colony of Senegal into a fervent Catholic family. At the age of 10, his grandmother enrolled him in a French school during a religious pilgrimage before his adoption by a couple from a neighborhood south of the capital, Paris.

"I was like a little puppy lost without a collar," said Jean-Pierre, who was left behind in France.

The boy brought his love of football to his new home, which he probably shared with him in part uncle Alexander Diadhiouwho played in Mali for Joan of Arc. After playing for a team under 13, he joined the French army during the season. compulsory military service

French Olympian Jean-Pierre Adams of Nîmes, shot on September 19, 1972.

In 1968, Jean-Pierre met a girl dancing to Bernadette MontargisBernadette, daughter of a builder from central France, loved dancing.

She told the British newspaper The times In 2014, the 20-year-old was a "muscular mountain" who had a relaxed and "happy" attitude to life.

The couple soon moved together. Her parents were not sure at first: a white woman and a black man were a controversial couple in France at the time. But his initial bias did not correspond to Bernadette's feelings.

Bernadette remembered a conversation with her mother at the time The times 2014: "I left home." I told him, "It will be him and no one else."

"If I decide something, I do not hesitate," she said.

Bernadette's persistence paid off and her parents quickly fell in love with the amateur footballer of the time, who was doing her military service. The couple was married in 1969 and had two sons: Laurent and Frédéric.

Jean-Pierre, 22, became professional: his talent was discovered by the first division of Nîmes, in the south of France.

The legendary Nimes coach Kader Firoud took the nickname of the club and told the young player: "You already have all the qualities of a young wolf and if you are not afraid of work, you become a real crocodile. "

Half a season later France football The magazine praised Jean-Pierre on his pages for his ability to perform "fantastic dramas" on the field.

Jean-Pierre's talents saw him playing regularly for the France team in the 1970s with 22 internationals. He left Nîmes for bigger teams and finally played for Paris SaintGermain and nice.

In addition to his impressive athleticism, his personality prevailed. Bernadette told CNN of her husband in 2016 "he was the" joy of Incarnated in human form "and" loved the good life. "Jean-Pierre always smiled, she said and was popular with everyone.

In 1982, Jean-Pierre was old – at least for an athlete – and was in training. Jean-Pierre fulfilled his new obligations by running a sports shop with Bernadette in the center of Bernadette. Chalonsure-Saone.

In March, during his coaching training in Dijon, he injured his tendon.

Edouard herriot Lyon Hospital, a doctor asked Jean-Pierre to have surgery on Wednesday, March 17. This date coincided with a strike at the hospital.

When Jean-Pierre was operated on for his relatively minor injury, the premises were empty: the staff was overwhelmed and provided for his needs, for which he was not qualified.

Jean-Pierre Adams, France, Baptist Tamagnini Nene,
Jean-Pierre Adams (left) of France and Baptista Tamagnini Nene photo of April 26, 1975 during a friendly match between France and Portugal.

Nevertheless, Jean-Pierre was not impressed. "Everything is fine, I'm in great shape," he told his family on the morning of the operation.

However, during a routine operation, the staff did not welcome Jean-Pierre. The oxygen was not sent around his body, resulting in cardiac arrest.

After three weeks, he woke up. But the accident left him with catastrophic brain damage and no physical function.

Jean-Pierre spent the next 15 months in the hospital. Bernadette refused the authorities' opinion and brought her husband home instead of placing him in a retirement home.

Now, according to CNN, Adams can only open his eyes, close and digest the mixed food.

The couple lives in his village house Caissarguesnear Nîmes in the south of France.

Jean-Pierre Adams, Marius Treasury, Belgium,
Jean-Pierre Adams and Marius Trésor (right) of the French national football team leave Paris by train for Brussels on October 11, 1974 to play against the Belgian national team in Belgium during the qualifying phase of the European Championship.

Every day, Bernadette Jean-Pierre mixes and feeds herself at breakfast, lunch and dinner. And with the help of nurses and physiotherapists who visit her several times a day, she is at your side 24 hours a day. Sometimes she stays awake all night taking care of her partner. Bernadette can pay for her husband's care after winning a twelve-year battle with a pension court.

"There is physical activity in his head, but it's not the right kind of activity because his brain has been so badly damaged," Bernadette said. The temperature.

Although Bernadette has not had a conversation with her husband for decades, she is certain that Jean-Pierre is aware of the situation.

Jean-Pierre Adams, Paris St. Germain,
Jean-Pierre Adams photographed July 26, 1977 in Paris on the site of Paris St. Germain, Adams, 22 selections for France A, between 1972 and 1976.

"I think he feels things," she told CNN in 2018. "He must also recognize the sound of my voice."

"I talk to him all the time – on TV, what's in the mail, whatever!" Bernadette told CNN. "There is always movement around him, he is always beside us."

Her dedication is partly in the hope that one day the drug will be so advanced that her husband will fall out of coma.

"The more time passes, the more it bothers me," she told CNN. "His condition does not deteriorate, so who knows, if the drug develops one day, why not, will there ever be a day when they will know how to do something for him?" I do not know. "

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