Deciding whether to take someone you deeply love off life support when the chances of recovery are very low is an incredibly tough choice.
Ryan Finley confronted an excruciating choice when his spouse, Jill, slipped into a coma. Discovering her unconscious and without breath, he exhausted every effort to aid her until paramedics reached the scene. Ryan administered CPR while fervently hoping for a favorable outcome, all the while cognizant of the daunting odds against them.
Paramedics successfully resuscitated Jill, but her cardiac and respiratory functions remained fragile. They swiftly transported her to the Oklahoma Heart Hospital, where they employed a specialized suit to lower her body temperature, aiming to mitigate potential brain damage. Tragically, Jill subsequently lapsed into a coma.
Ryan never gave up hope and prayed daily. But as weeks went by, he was told that Jill’s chances of recovery were almost nonexistent. The doctors asked him to consider turning off life support.
Ryan expressed his heartbreak in his diary, writing, “Today might be the hardest day of my life. I have to decide whether she should live or not.” He tried to imagine what Jill would want and made the difficult decision to let her go.
The entire family said their goodbyes, and when the life support machine was turned off, Jill was still alive. The doctors explained that she was going through a final rally and wouldn’t die immediately.
Incredibly, at that moment, Jill began to mumble. To Ryan’s amazement and heartbreak, she asked him to take her to one of her favorite Mexican restaurants, Melting Pot or Ted’s.
Ryan had faith that his loved one would pull through, no matter how unbelievable it seemed. He was right. Jill started breathing on her own and underwent heart surgery and rehabilitation.
Jill has no recollection of her time in a coma but experiences difficulties with her short-term memory and specific vocabulary. Besides these challenges, she remains in good health and appreciates the second lease on life she’s been given.
The couple expresses profound gratitude for still being united, and their bond has grown even more resilient. Jill expressed, “We hold each day, every moment, and each hour dear now.” This ordeal has deepened their appreciation for life.