chapter  7
Assessments while Gary was vegetative and minimally conscious
Pages 21

Recovery from brain injury is a long-term process spanning many years of a person’s life. Patients who remain in a vegetative or minimally conscious state following profound brain injury present with a complex picture of physical, cognitive and emotional disturbances and, in this respect, Gary was not exceptional. Following severe brain injury, many patients progress through stages of coma, VS and MCS as they emerge into a state of full awareness. Some will remain in a vegetative or minimally conscious state for the rest of their lives (RCP, 2013, p. 1). Gary remained in a vegetative state for nearly 15 months and in a minimally conscious state for a further few months. To have done so well after this lengthy period is not only exceptional, but in most of the published cases, it is rare to have such detailed documentation of the recovery process.