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French Soccer Player Dies After 39 Years in Coma

doctor writing in notepad

Sept. 7, 2021

Jean-Pierre Adams, a French soccer player who spent 39 years in a coma after a botched knee operation, has died, CNN reported. He was 73.

Adams injured his knee in 1982 and went to a hospital in Lyon for surgery. At the time, many staff members were on strike, CNN said.  

"The female anesthetist was looking after eight patients, one after the other, like an assembly line," his wife Bernadette, told CNN in 2016.

"Jean-Pierre was supervised by a trainee, who was repeating a year, who later admitted in court: 'I was not up to the task I was entrusted with.'

"Given it was not a vital operation, that the hospital was on strike, they were missing doctors and this woman was looking after eight patients, in two different rooms, someone should have called me to say they were going to delay the operation."

The operation was performed anyway. Because of errors in his care, Adams suffered cardiac arrest and brain damage, the BBC said. He was discharged after 15 months and his wife cared for Adams until his death at his home in Nimes.

The anesthetist and trainee were punished in the mid-1990s with a one-month suspended sentence and a 750-euro fine, the BBC said.

Adams, a defender, was born in Senegal and made 140 appearances for Nice. He also played for Nimes, Paris Saint-Germain and the French national team, the BBC said.

In a statement, Paris Saint-Germain said Adams' "joie de vivre, charisma and experience commanded respect,” the BBC said.

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CNN: "Former footballer Jean-Pierre Adam dies following 39-year coma '

BBC: “Jean-Pierre Adams: Former France international dies after 39 years in coma”

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