This is an update on some interesting aspects of Robert’s recovery and a caution to parents and medical personnel about what you say when you are around these ‘comatose’ kids. In short, they hear and remember everything.
Earlier this year, after a therapy session with a family friend, Robert drew that friend to the sofa, sat her down and told her his drowning story. He relayed details we did not know but that were consistent with things we had observed or learned after his accident. Some of these memories were from the period when Robert was without heartbeat and respiration. Yet, his brain was obviously still alive, observing and creating memories.
Later, we were sitting in traffic with an ambulance behind us when the ambulance turned on the siren and sped off. Robert freaked out. Once I calmed him down, I asked him what was wrong. He said he was afraid the ambulance had come to take him back to the place where the men hurt him.
Finally, in discussion with his brothers, Robert stated that he jumped in the pond to get his boot back. He was recovered without a boot. We have never found that boot. This memory was from before Robert’s drowning.
We know of other kids that have retained pre-drowning memories and have hospital memories.