Calgary woman shares previous flu coma experience in support of family waiting by ailing mother’s bedside

It was more than nine years ago, but Calgary woman Jaclyn Pearce still remembers her coma experience vividly.

In October 2009, the mother of two had developed a cough which turned into a fever. Eventually, her respiratory system failed and Pearce was put in a medically induced coma. Her family later learned she had the H1N1 flu and would be in a coma for 10 days.

“When I talk about it, I get smells and tastes in my mouth and it completely brings me back to that place,” Pearce said.


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Pearce said Friday she learned of the Global News story about another Calgary woman who had an eerily similar story — from becoming ill with the H1N1 flu right down to being in a medically induced coma.

Nevada Cunnington is also a mother, who, like Pearce, was healthy by all standards. Both women did not get a flu shot the year they became ill. The similarities in the stories struck a chord with Pearce.

“I really felt for them, when I saw the story on Global, I felt really emotional and it brought me back to that place,” Pearce said.

Pearce said she immediately tried to contact the family to share her previous coma experience with the hope it might provide some relief and help ease their fears.

Pearce said she remembered not only coming out of the coma but also being in the coma — describing the feeling as being in a state of trance. She said she remembered hearing the voices of her family members — only learning after they were speaking to her by her bedside.

“It felt like I was having dreams, seeing myself sitting in a hospital bed and seeing my family sitting next to my hospital bed and having conversations… I could hear people talking [and] thought it was dreams, Pearce said.

Cunnington’s daugther Emily Kezama told Global News Friday that learning of Pearce’s experience gives the family great hope for their own mother.

Pearce said it has been a long and difficult road to recovery and said she encouraged the Cunnington’s to continue to talk to their mother.

“Keep talking to her while she’s in her coma,” she said.

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