Woman, 21, Revives After Two Years in ‘Irreversible’ Coma


A 21-year-old woman has come out of a two-year coma that doctors thought was irreversible, hospital officials and relatives said Monday.

Amy Spears of Centerville is talking and trying to regain motor skills lost during the coma, caused by a bout with encephalitis 2 1/2 years ago. The disease inflames the lining of the brain and causes a high fever.

Doctors thought the disease had severely damaged Spears’ brain, said Marilyn Davidson, head nurse at Quaker Heights Health Center here.

“Her brain was burned up, they said,” Davidson said. “She had pus pockets on her brain. Everything was destroyed.”


Amy was transferred from Grandview Hospital in Dayton to the Quaker Heights nursing home, where aides talked to her constantly and treated her as if she could respond.

About two weeks ago, Amy scratched her nose, a sign that she was coming out of the coma. She was transferred to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Dayton for further treatment.