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Limburg couple has nursed their comatose daughter to ’adulthood’

Woman slipped into coma at age four

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SINT GEERTRUID, the Netherlands – A Dutch couple in the Southern region of the Netherlands recently followed with intense interest the unfolding of the drama of comatose patient Terri Schiavo of Florida. The developments there cut Pierre and Marie-Rose Beckers to the bone. They deeply empathizedg with Terri’s parents who for fourteen years saw their comatose daughter survive on life support. The Florida woman died amidst heart-breaking controversy and unprecedented world-wide attention following the withdrawal of her feeding tube. The Beckers personally care for a comatose daughter, and already have done so for about 25 years.

”Mom, why do you cry,” asked their 4-year old daughter Ingrid in 1981 during her parent’s hospital visit. It were the last words they heard from her. She then slipped into a coma after suffering a stomach perforation and heart failure. For about a month she was on life support until the physicians took her off life support, having lost all hope. To everyone’s surprise, the patient started to breathe on her own and has done so ever since.

The Beckers faced a dilemma after Ingrid had been cared for in the hospital for six months. The hospital wanted the bed for other patients and suggested they place their child in a care home. The Beckers were not prepared for such a move, they instead took her home where she has been cared for since.

Peace of mind

As parents, the Limburg couple has tried all sorts of therapies to stimulate Ingrid snapping out of the coma, which is described as light. The Beckers have accepted it that their daughter will not recover, a fact which has given them peace of mind.

The family – they also have two other children – kept up as far as possible a regular routine, also taking Ingrid along on holidays. At home, she stays in a wheelchair during the day. Although she barely responds to people around her, her parents are convinced she is aware of her surroundings. Severely brain-damaged, the woman is totally depended on her parents. While she cried frequently in earlier years, she has become very serene.

The Beckers who now are past 60, take their daughter twice a week to a care home so they can re-energize. At times they are concerned about the future when they are unable to look after Ingrid. The Schiavo case affected them significantly, making it very uncomfortable thinking what could happen to their daughter. Yet, they are confident that all will be provided. ”We know that our lives are in God’s hands.”