When you think about newlywed people, the first thing that comes to mind is a loving couple wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. They make decisions together like where to honeymoon, what to eat, and what kind of location to live in.
But you would never expect a couple to make an end of the life decision for the other. This was the situation of Ryan and Jill Finley. You may be wondering what happened? Whose life is ending, and what the significant other was expected to do? Read on to know more about this story.
Just another day
Ryan and Jill were one of the happiest newlyweds you would come across. They were always making each other laugh and pushing each other to do better. Like others, they too loved spending time with each other on the weekends.
They kept to themselves initially and spent most of their time knowing more about each other. It was an ordinary Sunday morning, and as usual, Ryan woke up early to read the newspaper on the porch. He never wakes his wife up early because he knows that he has it tough during the weekday. It was already half-past ten, and Jill was still in bed. It was unlike her, so Ryan went to wake her up.
His gut warned him
He knows her routine all too well to understand that she would have woken up by now. Jill likes to extend her sleep by an hour or two but not the kind of person who would sleep all morning.
Usually, Ryan does not like disturbing her even if she sleeps all morning, but this day was different. He got a gut feeling to go wake her up. And to this day, he is thankful for this gut feeling because this decision changed his life.
Something was not right
The morning of May 26th, 2007, was different. Ryan opened the room door slowly, assuming that Jill was already up. But he saw her lying there motionless. Ryan walked up to her slowly and called out, Jill, wake up, don't you want to go out and shop?
Jill is a light sleeper, and the slightest sound would wake her up. This was an odd response for someone like Jill. Ryan's heart started beating a bit faster when he held her by her shoulders and shook her a little bit. There was still no response. Ryan was desperate now and started screaming inside her ears.
Ryan reacted quickly
With his hands shaking, he unwillingly kept his finger near her nose to check her breathing. And to his shock, she was not breathing. What does this mean, he thought to himself. Ryan did not allow this shock to stop him from taking the first line of action.
He sprinted across the room and called 911. As soon as Ryan dialed the emergency helpline, he rushed back to his room and laid her down on the floor. Thankfully, he got trained in CPR ten years ago. He started performing CPR on her without wasting a second. But sadly, nothing seemed to work.
A few minutes felt like hours
A spouse's worst nightmare was acting out right in front of his eyes. Minutes felt like hours, and the medical team arrived soon. Since Ryan had already performed CPR on her, the team did not waste much time.
They directly used the defibrillator to shock her body. Usually, this works for a person who has slipped into any coma. Ryan stood there, looking at his wife getting thumped. She hit the floor hard every time the thumping stopped. The machine was going off, and this felt like ringing in his ears.
Rushed to the hospital
The team hoped that their first line of action would at least bring her breathing back. But this was not sufficient, and Jill had to be rushed into the hospital as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Ryan was not allowed to sit by her side in the ambulance.
So he took his car out and rushed to the hospital behind the ambulance. Jill was given respiratory assistance to start breathing again. The emergency doctors were called, and Jill vanished inside the emergency room.
No clue about her health
Ryan sat outside the emergency room in Oklahoma Heart Hospital. He felt like his entire life was crumbling down in front of him. Ryan had no clue what happened to Jill. She was young, and she had not mentioned any serious health conditions with him.
So how could one night's sleep change everything? After around twenty-five minutes on respiratory support, her heart started beating once again. Thanks to Ryan's gut feeling, she was breathing once again. But this was only the tip of the iceberg.
It did not look like there was much progress happening with her, but the doctors had to try everything before they could give up. They decided to shift to another room where they can give her chill suit treatment.
It was now clear that she had got a cardiac arrest in her sleep. In such conditions, preserving the brain is important. In case she recovers, keeping the brain undamaged is necessary. Dr. Michael Schoeffler was in charge of her case and assured Ryan that he would try his best to get her breathing back to normal.
It was now twenty-four hours past the chill suit treatment. It was time to bring her back to a warm environment. Because of this drastic temperature change, most patients wake up from the coma.
Ryan was praying hard and stood by her side. But unfortunately, this process did not work for Jill. She remained unconscious after this process. How could this be? The condition had now slipped beyond his control, but he was not ready to give up on her yet.
Always by her side
Ryan sat by her side all day long, waiting for her to open her eyes. All he did was stare at her and beg her to wake up. After a day or two, the doctors were able to see light brain activity, but this did mean much.
Ryan did not lose hope. He would stay by her side day and night and pray to God to bring her back. Turning to God was his only option, so he bought the bible and started reading the verses out of it to her. He held her hand and tried speaking to her soul. But all these efforts were of not much use. The doctors had to break the bad news to him.
The news was horrifying
The doctors confronted him and told him about his fate. There is only one percent change your wife can survive, and there is nothing much we can do about it but wait around. It might take days, months, or even years for her to wake up, he said.
Ryan held on to that 1 percent chance of his wife recover. He refused to believe that this was the end of his marriage. Ryan was willing to fight as long as there is the tiniest light at the end of the tunnel.
Each day was a nightmare
Ryan bought a diary and started writing about everything he felt as each day passed by. It was heartbreaking for him to see the love of his wife in this condition. And the worst part is there is nothing he can do about it.
The hospital updated him every day about the status, and sadly there was no sign of her improvement. Slowly Ryan's brain started processing the truth. Even if she woke up, she would spend all her life like a vegetable. Staying motionless with her eyes open would be a nightmare for Jill as well.
More than two weeks went by
Ryan called up Jill's family and told them about the progress. Her condition was deteriorating day by day. The hospital spoke to Ryan and asked him to take the most difficult decision of his life. Jill had now spent more than fourteen days in this condition.
The more they kept her tethered to the machine, the more they were harming her. Ryan never imagined that he had to face such a decision in his life.
A spouse's worst nightmare
The only thing that kept him from entering the state of madness was his diary. He opened his diary and poured his heart out. The day arrived when the doctors asked him to take a firm decision. Ryan had to decide today if Jill would live or not.
Pulling the plug on his wife is the last thing he imagined doing right after his marriage. No husband should ever be made to stand in this situation. But he was sure that Jill would not like to be tied to a bed all her life.
A similar situation in the past
The love of his life and his soulmate was lying there with no hopes of coming back to life. Is this how life is? He wondered. They were young, and they never spoke about situations like these.
After a couple grows old, they generally tend to discuss these matters. Ryan recalled that his aunt was on life support once. Jill was standing by his side during that time and made a statement, which he recalled. Jill said I would never want to live this way.
The hardest decision ever
The newlyweds had their entire lives in front of them, and God had something else planned out for both. Ryan spoke to Jill's family and decided to take her off life support. This decision meant that they are accepting the death of Jill.
Coming to such a decision can be one of the hardest things, but it had to be done. He stood there in front of her and told her his final goodbye. His wife, who was just thirty-two years old, was passing away right in front of his eyes.
It was time for goodbye
The process of taking someone off life support was not simple. The doctors gathered the family and told them what exactly would happen once Jill's machine was turned off. Usually, the person taken out of life support starts shaking and mumbling.
This reaction is technically called the last rally. This would mean that Ryan would see his wife die right in front of his eyes. Although this is hard, Ryan wanted to be by her side when she took her last breath. But something happened next that no one expected.
Something shocking happened
The nurse walked in and had a look at the court orders to remove Jill from life support. She pointed towards the machine and asked him to go ahead and turn it off. Moving his finger towards the switch was the hardest thing he had to do.
His hands were shivering uncontrollably, and he wept as his hands moved closer. Ryan saw his wife's upper torso shift and move. He heard her mumble something and was moving around like a fish of water. Ryan felt sick and ran outside the room and started crying his eyes out. The doctors were trying to console him when he saw the nurse rushing out and calling Ryan.
This was unexpected
Five hours had passed, and Ryan was still in the hospital and refused to leave her. He gathered up the courage and walked back up to Jill's room. She was still in her final rally and was moving around.
Looking at a loved one in this condition has to be the worst part of his life. He tried making sense of what she is trying to mumble. He was hoping to hear his name for one last time before she left them. He was listening closely, and he started hearing something clear as day. Ryan was in utter shock to hear what she said.
Get Me Out of Here
Even though it was faint, Ryan heard her mumble clear as day, Get me out of here. He tried listening closely to see if he heard things. But she was repeatedly telling him to get her out of there.
Ryan ran to the doctor and told them about this. The doctors told him not to get his hopes high, and this kind of mumble is normal when a person is passing away. But Ryan was not ready to listen to them. He ran back into the room and tried engaging in what could be the last conversation with her. She said, Take me to Red's and take me to the Melting Pot. Ryan was quick to understand that this could not be plain old mumbling.
Ryan took a video
Ryan was so eager to hear these words that he started asking more questions. He started asking her about their dog's name, and she answered correctly. Ryan quickly pulled out his camera and started recording the entire thing.
She even recalled their home address and phone number. How could it be that a person who was pulled out of life support would start coming back to life? Ryan called the doctors yet again and told them about this development. This kind of reaction was completely unheard of, and the doctors were in utter shock.
He never felt this way before
A few days back, Ryan was running around, trying to decide if his wife gets to live or die. But now he can have a full-fledged conversation with her! God heard his prayers!
At this time, when she started breathing without the help of life support, he felt like his life was handed back to him. He stayed there for another twenty-four hours and was still not able to understand if this is reality or not. What if all of this was an elaborate dream?
Spending days in the hospital
But Jill was not back completely yet. She was placed in recovery, and she was observed every single by doctors. This case was nothing like they had ever seen before.
She even showed signs of recovery each day, and she spent a total of six days here. But sadly, the only thing that Jill remembered was being wheeled in every day for a shower. After she realized that her husband decided to take her off life support, she reacted unexpectedly.
I would have wanted this
If any other spouse came back from the dead, they would be horrified to know that their better half decided to end it after two weeks. But Jill cherished this decision.
She was more than happy that Ryan did the right thing for her. If not for that decision, she might not have been alive today. Moreover, even if it meant the end for her, she would not have wanted to spend the rest of her life in a diaper.
Doctors are in shock
Till today the doctors are baffled and unable to explain how all this went down. They know for sure that she had a congenital condition. This happened during her sleep, which caused her heart to stop.
Jill intervened and told the world that she has a clear cut reason as to how she came back. Jill was confident that her husband and God were the sole reasons why she is alive and kicking today. Many people were praying for her recovery day and night. And it seemed like they all melted God's heart.
The beginning of something new
There was a lot left for Jill, and she was not completely back yet. She had to relearn how to live again. Her nerves had forgotten how to function fully. So she was assigned with physiotherapists to learn how to brush, walk, tie her shoes, etc.
Jills time at the hospital did not end yet. She went through surgery, and the doctors added a pacemaker to her heart. But more than anything, she was thankful that God gave her a second chance at survival.
Life gave them a second chance
This new chance at life was not taken lightly, even by Ryan. He did everything in his power to spend every minute with her. One moment life can be joyful and happy, and the next moment, anything can happen.
They did not believe in wasting time to fight about any issue. Even if one of them uncomfortable about anything, they would communicate and sort it out immediately. Time spent on grocery shopping was also utilized as their private time together.
The beginning of a marriage
Jill interviewed with many media companies after her partial recovery. She stated in every interview that although she has to take lessons to relearn life, she is pretty much normal.
Many of her friends also understood that the couple went through something tragic and allowed them all the time they could get. After something like this, you cannot help but look at life differently, a brand new outlook on God, and a new outlook on life. They wake up each day looking forward to living their best lives.
Given a chance
Ryan interviewed about the changes in his life after Jill came back. Ryan confessed that, if anything, he is paying more attention to her health than before. The worry never ends, but at least there is someone to worry about.
If he got a chance to do anything differently, he would not, Ryan said. The hospital even awarded him an Oklahoma Heart Hero Award for performing CPR on her on time. He is thankful that he decided to go through with the lessons he took ten years ago.
Kicking her in sleep
Ryan counted days for Jill to come back home from her treatment. The moment she was cleared to eat outside food, he took her out on a date to both the restaurants she mentioned during her mumbling.
Although he is happy, he never slept peacefully after that day. He would often wake up and check if she is breathing. Sometimes he would kick her leg, and Jill would respond with a kick on his leg. But this kind of worry is justified after what he went through.
The story of Martin
The first thing that popped in our heads was, how often does this happen? This happens more often than you imagine. These instances cannot be explained scientifically but show a greater connection between the soul and the body.
Let's look into another case that is even more bizarre than Jill's. Marting Pistorius hailed from South Africa, and he was a happy twelve-year-old living his best years. Until one day, everything changed. This huge change would alter his life and perceptions differently.
How it all went down
The boy was fine and healthy till one fine day he came back sick from school. He was not feeling well because his throat was sore. The year was 1998, and this would be a turning point in his life.
Martin did not think that his sore throat was too serious. But his illness did not get better over time. Martin had to be shifted to the hospital soon after. What's worse is that he lost the ability to move around.
No idea what happened to him
A sore throat would soon turn Martin into a person who cannot even move his hands or feet. His parents never expected to see a twelve-year boy in this state. It is always difficult for a parent to see their kid suffer this way.
The doctors were not conclusive about his condition. Their best guess what that he might have cryptococcal meningitis combined with tuberculosis of the brain. But this was not confirmed hence delaying any treatment. His family felt helpless, seeing their boy grow into a vegetable.
His father did not want to give up
Martin now lost most of his memory and was not able to recognize any of his family members. It was not long before Martin's brain was equal to that of a three-month baby. His father was devastated by his state and took the responsibility of taking care of him day and night. He was constantly by his side and made sure he was not getting any bed sores.
His condition had worsened in a bad way, and his mother wanted to transfer him to full-time residential care. This very thought aggravated his father and wanted to take care of his son no matter what.
I hope you die
His mother was not able to see her boy suffer in front of her eyes. She looked at him suffer all day long and wished that death would be a better option rather than staying alive this way.
Except for losing hope, she did not have any other option. One day she looked at him and said, I hope you die. No child would like to hear these words from their mother's mouth. Martin's mother was unaware at that time that Martin indeed heard her saying these words.
Trying to get back into normal life
Doctors had given up hope for any recovery for Martin. But because his father believed in him, he tried driving him to every doctor he ever knew. Years passed by, and Martin was still in the same condition.
There was no improvement in any of his movements. After struggling for four years, at the age of sixteen, Martin started to regain some sense of what was happening to him. His mind was running at full fledge at the age of nineteen. But this did not do much for his body. Martin's body was still stuck the way it was earlier.
Forced to see a cartoon show
His father looked out for small signs of recovery. Every little movement and every little head nod was noted. He took these improvements to his caretaker Virna van der Walt. Virna knew that Martin was capable of recovering to normalcy again. She suggested that they take him to the Center For Augmentative and Alternative Communication.
Virna was sure that the University of Pretoria could give the family some kind of solution. And sure enough, this was the best decision the family took. When he was interviewed later, Martin admitted that he was made to sit in front of the TV forcefully. And the only thing that would be on is a kids' show about a purple dinosaur. Martin hated everything about this cartoon. He felt sick to the point where he wanted to throw the remote at the TV. But unfortunately, he was not able to express this feeling at that time.
Chance for normalcy
Martin's father went to this center with much hope of getting better answers about his son's condition. And as expected, his son was not in bad condition at all. He was progressing quickly, and his brain had all the potential to be a normal boy.
The university hooked him up with a machine, and for the first time in many years, he expressed his thoughts! He was able to communicate, and this slowly bought a smile on his face.
Life is much more than what you would expect
The wheelchair did not stop Martin from progressing in life. Soon his upper body started a movement, and he recovered pretty well. He is still confined to a wheelchair, but it is better than sitting like a vegetable.
After a few years, he even took up the job of a freelancer for web designing. With the help of his sister, he even found love. He married Joanna in 2009 and is extremely happy with his life. A few years ago, he never thought he would reach this place. This phase of his life inspired him to write a book called the Ghost boy, which was received well.
Forgive and forget
But one sentence always stuck in his brain, which is, I hope you die. Martin confessed that it took some time for him to forgive his mother for saying such hurtful words. But a few years down the line, he was able to understand why his mother felt that way.
Being a mother, she was not able to see him in this condition, and she never expected that he had a chance at recovery. More than anything, she had no idea that he would listen to these words. But he is stronger than ever and excelled in everything he did today.