Family Never Left Side of Coma Victim for 42 Years
Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
- 2012 Dec 03
Posted by Jim_Daly Nov 30, 2012
A woman who lived in a coma for 42 years, meticulously cared for by her family, died Wednesday in her home in Miami Gardens, Fla., the Miami Herald reported.
Edwarda O’Bara was a 16-year-old high school student in 1970 when she became sick from her diabetes medication and slipped into a diabetic coma.
According to the Herald, just before she lost consciousness, Edwarda asked her mother, Kaye O’Bara, to never leave her side, and her family never did.
Edwarda’s father, Joe O’Bara, and Kaye took care of their daughter — reading to her, playing her music, making sure she was turned every two hours, bathed, given insulin and given nourishment through a feeding tube — until their deaths in 1976 and 2008, respectively. After that, Edwarda’s sister Colleen O’Bara took over.
The family’s story inspired the 2001 book, A Promise Is A Promise: An Almost Unbelievable Story of a Mother’s Unconditional Love and What It Can Teach Us and a song called "My Blessed Child," and it prompted people from around the world to travel to her Florida home.
"She taught me so much, and I’m talking about now, after she was in the coma," Colleen O’Bara told the Herald. "She taught me so much about unconditional love that I couldn’t say I had it before. She taught me about patience that I didn’t have before."
In an announcement of Edwarda's death posted Thursday on a website dedicated to her, Colleen O'Bara wrote: "Yesterday while taking care of Edwarda I noticed her looking directly at me and gave me the biggest smile I had ever seen. She then closed her eyes and joined my Mom in Heaven."
Edwarda O’Bara was 59.
Does that not put a lump in your throat?
What an example of lifting up and valuing the sacredness and dignity of human life.
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