Real Life

Unconscious horrors: even a coma couldn’t stop these real life nightmares

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Affair to remember

Bonnie Clarkson was 16-weeks pregnant when her fiancé, Russell Boldy, went to hospital for a routine operation. But the procedure went wrong and Russell slipped into a coma.

Terrified, Bonnie decided to use his phone to update his colleagues and friends on his condition. When she opened Facebook, she was shocked to discover flirty messages Russell had sent to another woman, dating back months. He’d even contacted her just hours after he’d proposed to Bonnie.

She burst into tears, unable to believe her entire world had fallen apart.

When Russell, 32, from Yorkshire, remarkably woke from his coma, Bonnie confronted him. He admitted to having a full-blown affair and Bonnie is now bringing up their son, Arley, as a single mother.

Labour pains

Life was going well for Chastity Cooper, 24. She had two young sons, aged four and three, with her loving husband and had just fallen pregnant again. Two weeks into her pregnancy, Chastity was on her way to a family gathering when her car slid on the wet road into the path of oncoming traffic.

After a head-on collision, Chastity fell into a coma. Doctors at the hospital in Cincinnati monitored her daily, ensuring she was receiving enough nutrients for herself and the baby while she remained unconscious.

Still comatose at 40 weeks pregnant, Chastity was induced and given medication to relax her muscles so her daughter, Alexis Michelle, could be delivered naturally. Since then, Chastity’s condition slowly improved and although she could open her eyes, she was unable to hold her new bub.

In sickness and in health

When an Aussie man and dying woman decided to get married, guests knew the wedding would be heartbreakingly moving.

But just before the ceremony, the bride, who had cancer, slipped into a coma.

The sympathetic celebrant, Diane Caratozzolo-Waddington, agreed to go ahead with the ceremony regardless.

As the bride lay unconscious in bed, Diane asked the groom if he would take this woman as his wife.

“I do,” he replied. When she asked the bride, she didn’t wait for a response.

“Oh, she can’t answer, but I know she wanted to get married when I saw her before,” she said.

She pronounced the pair husband and wife and the groom put a pen in his wife’s hand and signed the marriage certificate on her behalf.

The Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants couldn’t believe what Diane had done. The bride clearly hadn’t been able to consent to the marriage, which is a legal requirement. Diane was charged and pleaded guilty to purporting to solemnise a marriage. She also faced being struck off the registrar of marriage celebrants.

Left for dead

As McKinley Chambers, 13, rode his bike to his granddad’s house, he stopped on the way to kick his footy in a park.

But he suffered from type 1 diabetes and the activity caused his sugar levels to plummet. He collapsed and fell into a coma.

His pop, Luke, worried when McKinley hadn’t turned up for tea and roamed the streets, spotting him unresponsive on the grass. The bike was nowhere to be seen and the machine he used to monitor his sugar levels had been smashed to pieces.

Luke quickly called emergency services and McKinley’s mum, who was a nurse, and the boy made a full recovery.

But the family were shocked to think that as his lifeless body had lay on the grass, heartless thieves stole his bike and destroyed the machine that could save his life.

His mum posted about her disgust on Facebook and later, an anonymous person returned the bike to the park.

Three’s a crowd

Donna and her husband Gregg Ormondroyd had been together for six years, when Donna suddenly collapsed in their home and stopped breathing. She was put in a medically-induced coma to see if her brain could recover. Her husband and four young children sat by her bedside with bated breath for three weeks.

Three weeks, Donna was brought out of the coma and Gregg and their four kids watched on hopefully. But Donna remained unresponsive and stuck in a vegetative state.

Gregg eventually brought her home but she needed round-the-clock care so he recruited a nurse, Anne Robinson.

He and Anne spent a lot of time together and soon formed an undeniable love.

So the nurse moved in with the family, horrifying much of the public but the couple insisted it was the right thing to do, so they could all be together and Donna would be well looked after. Despite the criticism, the couple continue to post happy photos online.

Caught on camera

Tara Jepson, 31, was in a world of pain. Her father had died, she’d caught her boyfriend cheating and had been fighting with a colleague.

She was also struggling with post-natal depression and struggling to care for her four kids.

Overwhelmed, she overdosed on prescription drugs and was rushed to hospital in a coma.

When she eventually woke, she was determined to turn her life around but seven months later, two police officers turned up on her doorstep.

They broke the news that a male nurse, Johnathan Haldane, had sexually assaulted her while she’d been in the coma.

He’d filmed the sexual assault and bragged about it to his friends, who later reported him to police. Haldane pleaded guilty and was jailed for two years.

Although Tara couldn’t remember the assault, it haunted her that someone who was supposed to be caring for her had done something so sick.

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