Throughout the years there has been a lot of curiosity surrounding the question “what is it like to be in a coma?”.
Some people claim they can hear what’s happening around them.
Others say they have dreams throughout according to their surroundings, which suggests the human brain takes in the environment even when unconscious.
The definition of a coma is “a prolonged state of deep unconsciousness” – and according to the NHS website “someone who is in a coma is unconscious and has minimal brain activity.
“They’re alive but can’t be woken up and show no signs of awareness.”
It also says a person in a coma does not normally respond to sound or pain and is unable to communicate.
Although it may look like the coma patient is in a deep sleep, the brain does not go through the usual sleep cycle according to SciShow, which adds: “Coma patients probably don’t dream, although they may have reported them on their way out of a coma.”
But former coma patients who have shared their experience claim although they have “minimal brain activity”, a lot goes on inside their head.
Bizarrely, one woman says she predicted the future after a dream she had while she was in a coma as a child came true 24-years later.
She said: “I had these dreams.
“The nurse in my dream was my sister’s best friend’s mum who was a housewife, had absolutely nothing to do with nursing at all.
“Her husband was in the construction industry and never in a million years would you think about her being a nurse.”
Gem went on to reveal around this time her sister had lost contact with her friend and the family after changing schools.
However, 24-years-later when Gem’s daughter was being born, she was shocked to see the woman in her dream was her midwife’s assistant.
She said: “That is freaky isn’t it? When you see these people and think never in a million years is she going to be a nurse, and she’s there 24-years later as a midwife’s assistant.”
In her experience she had a mixture of good and bad dreams which is often related to the people in the room. “If there are people who you love and trust she was more likely to have good dreams”, she claims.
A 21-year-old who posted about her experience of being in a coma revealed she had “lucid hallucinations.”
Claire Wineland, who had cystic fibrosis, said she had dreams according to what was happening to her in real life.
For example, if she was taken to get a scan and her body was placed in specific positions, in her brain she would be dreaming about being in that position.
Much like Gem, she says depending on the people in the room and if she “felt safe there”, it would affect what was going on in her head.
She said: “Every time it was my mum or my dad or people that I loved, it was some place beautiful and it was comforting.
“And when it was people that I just kind of barely knew, it would always seem so strange and I had no idea where I was and I kind of felt lost.”
She concludes that her experience of being in a coma was just like a “magnified and intense version of her own dreams.”
The San Diego Union Tribune reported in 2018 that Claire had died aged 21.