A mild knee surgery has plunged the former player of the French team, Jean-Pierre Adams, into a vegetative coma that has lasted 36 years.
An anesthetic error broke Jean-Pierre Adams’s life. On March 17, 1982, the player of the France team has knee surgery. But the intervention, however benign, goes wrong.
An anesthesia error plunges him into a vegetative coma. Today, when he has just celebrated his 70th birthday, Jean-Pierre Adams still seems in another world: he breathes, he eats but he does not speak. His wife is at his side, she watches over him.
Bouquets of flowers
In hee villa in Caissargues, Gard, Bernadette Adams sadly contemplates the bouquets of flowers she received for her husband’s 70th birthday. “It hurts me, inevitably. But on the other hand, I’m glad we still think about him.”
Bernadette is an energetic woman, blonde with blue eyes, a grandmother “in the know” to his grandchildren, but for 36 years.
She is especially the lighthouse, the buoy of a bedridden and dependent husband. “I am at one and the same time a nurse, a doctor, a physiotherapist.”
Over the years spent at the bedside of her husband, Bernadette learned to read in him: “He hears, that’s for sure. I would not say that he understands, or so for a moment, it shows in his mouth that moves.”
Bernadette Adams summed up in a few words her life to serving her husband dependent: “Football brought me everything and he just resumed.” Because she married Jean-Pierre Adams in 1969, a year before he joined the club Nimes Olympique. The defender will then play at OGC Nice and PSG.
The “black guard” of the France team
In 1972, Jean-Pierre Adams joined the French team. It was at this time that he and Marius Trésor formed the central hinge of the Blues. He is at the height of his glory. Marius Trésor, now a consultant for the Girondins de Bordeaux chain, remembers it perfectly: “Stéphane Kovacz, coach of the France team, had found a good formula. In Poland our performance was up to par, and in his post-match speech he simply said: tonight I found my black guard.”
But Jean-Pierre Adams was also able to go to the assault of the opposing goals, as during the World Cup qualifying match between France and the USSR, on October 13, 1972, during the inauguration of the Parc des princes.
A friend “disappeared while still there”
More than 36 years after the mistake of anesthesia, Marius Trésor, now 68, is still haunted by the story of his friend. “Even if Jean-Pierre wakes up now, he will hardly recognize anything.”
“So is it worth it to continue living like this, wonders his former teammate? If something like that happened to me, I told my wife to do nothing to stop me.”
Even grief and embarrassment at Michel Mezy, the former coach of Nimes Olympique who, with tears in his eyes, is divided on the case of his friend Adams: “He was so eager for life. That’s what hurts me the most.”
He said to himself “I’m going to eat everything”. Maybe life has won. There was too much life in him. And today there are no more. It’s all the more dramatic because it’s a friend who has disappeared while still being there.”
Impossible “to stop giving him food”
Marius Tresor and Michel Mezy fail to come to greet their former comrade. Hard to understand for Bernadette who still makes an explanation: “Maybe they lack courage. I forgive them.”
However, there is one thing she does not accept… “I do not feel the courage to stop giving him food or drink.” If the time has stopped for Jean-Pierre Adams, whose smooth face is that of a man without age, his wife of 74 years is concerned with the idea of leaving before her: “We do not know how it will take a long time.”