Former Soccer Star Dies After 39 Years in a Coma

Jean-Pierre Adams, a former soccer player who was a member of Team France and Paris Saint-Germain, died on Monday after spending 39 years, according to the Associated Press. He was 73 years old. Paris Saint-Germain released a statement on Monday, saying that Adams was a "glorious elder."

"Plunged into a coma for more than 39 years, Jean-Pierre Adams still lived in the suburbs of Nîmes, awaiting a hypothetical awakening, his wife Bernadette watching by his side," the team said. "At the age of 8, Adams had left Senegal. Football was his passion: first license in pupil at Cepoy, before joining Montargis. In 1967, it is the departure for Fontainebleau in CFA. Twice finalist of the French Amateur Championship, Adams was spotted by Nîmes and turned professional in 1970."

Following a ligament rupture, Adams was hospitalized for surgery on March 17, 1982. There was an error made by his anesthesiologist, leading to Adams suffering bronchospasm, which starved his brain of oxygen and he slipped into a coma. According to Face 2 Face Africa in 2019, Adams told his wife before his surgery "It's all fine, I'm in great shape."

In the mid-1990s, the anesthetist and trainee were given a one-month suspended sentence and a final that translates to $815. His wife would care for him every day by washing and dressing him. "Jean-Pierre feels, smells, hears, jumps when a dog barks. But he cannot see," Adams' wife, Bernadette said in 2007. Bernadette also explained why she hasn't let him go since he's been in a coma for a number of years. "It's unthinkable! He cannot speak and it's not for me to decide for him," she said.

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Adams was a member of Paris Saint-Germain for two years and appeared in 41 matches. He also spent time with Mullhouse and Chalon before having his surgery. Adams was on Team France for four years and appeared in 22 matches. He retired at the age of 33 in 1981. "This morning, we learned about the death of Jean-Pierre Adams, the French National team said, per ESPN. "He played for Nimes on 84 occasions and alongside Marius Tresor, he formed the 'Black guard' in the French national team. The club offers its most sincere condolences to his loved ones and family."