Jean-Pierre Adams isn’t a name that football fans can easily identify but anyone with keen interest in sport recalls the tear-jerking story of the former Paris Saint-Germain – PSG and France defender.
Adams played for several French clubs including OGC Nice and PSG before his life tragically turned upside down in 1982.
The France international, who was 34 at the time, walked into a Lyon hospital to undergo routine surgery to correct a problem with his knee.
But almost 40 years later, the Dakar-born defender remains in a coma after the surgery went horribly wrong.
A major blunder involving an almost terminally wrong dose of anaesthetic provided by the surgeon’s anaesthetist saw him starved of oxygen, which resulted in catastrophic brain damage.
Adams, by the time he left the hospital, would never walk, talk or voluntarily move any of his muscles again.
The centre-back, now 73 years old and a grandfather, has been lovingly cared for by his wife Bernadette for almost four whole decades.
“No one ever forgets to give Jean-Pierre presents, whether it’s his birthday, Christmas or Father’s Day,” Bernadette told reporters.
Her husband spends most of the day in his own room at the house, located in the south of France, and can breathe on his own without the assistant of a machine.
“We buy presents like a T-shirt or a jumper because I dress him in his bed – he changes clothes every day,” Bernadette wife continued.
“I’ll buy things so that he can have a nice room, such as pretty sheets, or some scent. He used to wear Paco Rabanne but his favourite one stopped so now I buy Sauvage by Dior.”
Bernadette dresses, feeds and bathes her husband every day and often sacrifices her own sleep to ensure Jean-Pierre gets his.
When she spends a night away from home, Jean-Pierre’s caretakers notice his mood seems to change.
“He senses that it is not me feeding him and looking after him,” his wife of 52 years added. “It’s the nurses who tell me, saying he is not the same.
“I think he feels things. He must recognise the sound of my voice as well.”
Bernadette is clearly an extraordinary and truly remarkable woman. She still holds hope that her husband’s condition will miraculously improve one day.
“Everybody hopes that he will come out of the coma. But the more time that passes, the more it troubles me,” she said.