Man Wakes After 15 Years in Coma

Miguel Parrondo

Miguel Parrondo

No one thought Miguel Parrondo would ever wake up. Involved in a serious car accident in which one person died, he lay in a coma for 15 years until one morning in 2002 when his eyes suddenly opened.

According to Aleteia, Parrondo was only 32 years old at the time of the accident. He was driving two women home after a night on the town and was speeding around a curve in the road when he smashed his Renault 5GT Turbo into a wall. One passenger died, and he was left in a deep coma that no one thought he would ever come out of.

But his father, a dermatologist who worked at the same hospital where he was brought after the accident, refused to disconnect him from life support. Supported by faith, Parrondo’s mother, father, and daughter, Almudena, spent more than a decade caring for him and standing firm against doctors who consistently wanted to disconnect him.

“They wanted to unplug me, and my father got his hospital colleagues together and said that only God can take life away. If not for that, I would not be here, because they thought I was a lost cause. My father had faith,” Parrondo told Aleteia.

And then one morning in 2002 the unthinkable happened. He woke up.

Now a 47 year-old man, the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was his mother and daughter standing on the other side of the glass in the ICU. “I looked at my daughter and asked her, ‘Are you Almudena?’ Because I remembered that I had a daughter with that name. And she said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘I am your father.’ My mother was crying like a baby and my father couldn’t believe it.”

He was as mentally alert as if he had just fallen asleep one night in 1987 and woke up in 2002.

To date, doctors have no medical explanation for his recovery. His father took him to the University of Santiago for further examination but no reason was found for his sudden recovery.

“They said it was one case in a million,” Miguel said. “I mean, I’m a freak. And my poor mother. She spent every day in the ICU watching me through the glass. She ate there, slept there, and never left me,” he said.

Adjusting to life was not easy. He suffered severe injuries in the accident and has a permanent disability that prevents him from working. Besides adjusting to the fact that his daughter, now 38, has made him a grandfather, he has found himself in a much more technologically advanced world than it was in 1987.

So much changed during those 15 years! For instance, he had no idea what a euro was and couldn’t imagine why so many people were walking around the street talking to themselves – until he noticed they were talking on cell phones. When he saw a police car with a woman at the wheel, he thought she was dressed up in a holiday costume. The cassette player found in cars in his day were now replaced with CD players. His first visit to a bank found him looking for the giant computers in use in 1987 which were now replaced by “these little things.”

Reading the newspaper was even more shocking. He had no idea where to find the Czech Republic, Montenegro and Slovenia – countries that used to be part of the USSR and Yugoslavia.

There were times when it was so overwhelming he would say to himself, “What happened here? I’m going back to sleep.”

His greatest sorrow was learning that one of the women in the car with him that night died. The other survived and he had no idea where she was until recently, during a chance encounter on the street.

“I was going down the street and a lady was staring me up and down. I thought, I’m handsome but not that handsome. Then she said: ‘Are you Miguel?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I am Miguel.’ And she hugs me and starts to cry. I didn’t know what was happening and it turns out that she was the other girl who was in the car.”

The experience made him a firm opponent of euthanasia and he’s not afraid to share his convictions with others.

“We should never lose faith. I was with a lady recently whose son had been in a coma for four years, and she was broken,” he said. “And I told her my story and the lady was filled with hope.”

He’s living a quiet life now, which sometimes feels almost too quiet, but he complains about nothing. He can only be thankful that God allowed him to be “born twice.”

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