A mother is lucky to be alive woke up from a coma after doctors told her family to ‘pull the plug.’
Kertisha Brabson, 31, knows she probably should not be alive. She does not remember the seven months she spent in a coma – but she is grateful her mother was looking out for her and her two children.
‘They told me she was brain-dead and pull the plug and all those things,’ Brabson’s mother, Kertease Williams said.
‘Every decision that I made was because she got two little people that was depending on their mother to come home and that was her kids,’ Williams continued.
Brabson’s problems began in September 2018, when she began acting strange. She was taken to a hospital in Ohio where she was observed doing bizarre things like dancing, reaching for objects that did not exist and speaking nonsense.
Williams said she knew something was wrong. She told WBNS: ‘Something has taken over and ruining my daughter. I just don’t know what.’
After exhibiting the strange symptoms, a seizure put Brabson in a coma, but doctors could not figure out how to treat her.
It was eventually determined that Brabson had Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, a disease where the body attacks its own brain cells.
Doctors were unsure how to treat Brabson’s condition, or if there even was a treatment, but Williams kept moving her daughter to different hospitals hoping someone had answers.
‘We were going to keep moving her because once I saw the doctors scratching their heads that clearly let me know they gave up and they don’t know what’s going on with her,’ Wiliams said.
Brabson’s condition was dire and she was eventually moved to Ohio State’s Brain and Spinal Hospital, where she was having up to 20 seizures a day, said Dr Shraddha Mainali, a stroke and neuro critical care specialist at the hospital.
‘In someone like her condition there is mortality above 60 percent,’ Mainali said. adding that her team aggressively treated Kertisha’s condition while making sure medications did not worsen her condition.
Then, on the morning of April 7, 2019, both Williams and Dr Mainali were given news they will never forget – Kertisha woke up.
Mainali said: ‘One of my residents who was on-call at night texted me in the morning and says you won’t believe what I saw today. I was like, what happened? (I was told) Tisha is opening her eyes and she’s following simple commands.’
Williams then got a call from the hospital.
‘And he said well, she’s woke up. Oh, my goodness, we just jumped up and down and screamed and nobody slept that morning,’ she said.
Kertisha said she had no idea seven months had passed. To her, it was still the same day in September 2018 when she fell into the coma.
‘(The nurse) was like “Yeah, Ms Brabson, you’ve been asleep for seven months.” I was like “Does my mom know,”‘ she said.
Mainali credits Kertisha’s miraculous recovery to the hard work from her team at the hospital, for which Williams and her daughter are extremely grateful.
Although Kertisha’s condition is still being monitored by doctors, she was able to spend Christmas at her home in Alliance, Ohio with her mother, her daughter, Diamonique, and her son, Perez.
‘I am quite hopeful in her case that she’s going to do well and hopefully live a normal life,’ Mainali said.