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Teen emerging from 10-month coma with no knowledge of coronavirus pandemic

8 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Tuesday, February 02 2021 Feb 2, 2021 February 02, 2021 1:12 PM February 02, 2021 in News
Source: The Guardian
Photo: The Guardian

STAFFORDSHIRE, England - A teenager who suffered a traumatic brain injury back in March is waking from a 10-month coma with no knowledge of the pandemic that beset the world in the past year, according to The Guardian.

Despite contracting the disease twice, 19-year-old Joseph Flavill is completely unaware of the toll COVID-19 has taken across the globe. Flavill was hit by a car March 1, 2020, about three weeks before Britain's first national lockdown. 

Flavill lost consciousness and has spent months in a hospital recovering from his brain injury, but now he's gradually showing signs of improvement and started responding to people. 

“He won’t know anything about the pandemic as he’s been asleep for 10 months. His awareness is starting to improve now, but we just don’t know what he knows," his aunt Sally Flavill Smith told the Guardian. “I just don’t know where to start with it. A year ago if someone had told me what was going to happen over the last year, I don’t think I would have believed it. I’ve got no idea how Joseph’s going to come to understand what we’ve all been through.”

She said the family has tried to explain over video calls why they're unable to be there in person but has not detailed the full extent of the pandemic. 

“But we try to keep it as simple as possible, we don’t really have the time to go into the pandemic hugely – it just doesn’t feel real does it?" Flavill Smith explained. "When he can actually have the face-to-face contact, that will be the opportunity to actually try to explain to him what has happened.”

Right now, family says Joseph is limited to following simple commands like touching his ears, moving both his legs and blinking for "yes" or "no" answers. 

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