We’ve heard similar stories before. A woman involved in a car crash falls into a coma. Doctors are unable to wake her and things begin to look bleak, until the voice of a loved one miraculously brings them back to consciousness. Here at Rocket News 24, we are especially interested in such amazing events. What set this story apart from the others though are the magic words that against all odds accomplished what medical science could not.

“It’s time for mahjong!”

Gan Xue Mei of Jiangxi, China was involved in a traffic accident on 13 November and seriously injured. Her injuries had reduced her to a vegetative state that hospital staff could not retrieve her from. The doctor in charge informed Xue Mei’s family that there was a slim chance of her ever regaining consciousness. However, recalling other cases of family members pulling people out of comas in the past the doctor advised the family, “What were her favorite things? Talking about them might get a reaction from her.”

Following the doctor’s suggestion, Xue Mei’s husband and sister began to talk about her most cherished activity, mahjong. Taking turns late into the evenings they would repeat into Xue Mei’s ear, “It’s time for mahjong!” and “Get up! We need another player!”

At first she had no reaction, but the family didn’t give up beckoning her to her favorite game. After days of invitations Xue Mei began to acknowledge them by twitching her hand. Encouraged by the sign of life the husband and sister pressed on until finally Gan Xue Mei awakened.

According to the doctor, the chances of a patient making such a recovery are around one in ten thousand (0.01%-0.02%).

“I’ve heard stories about these things happening, but I never seen it with my own eyes. It’s really amazing, the power loved ones’ voices can have” he said in awe. There’s only one word that can be used to describe Xue Mei’s story; miracle.

Gan Xue Mei has recovered to the point she can now eat and walk on her own, but her memory is fuzzy. She still has lapses where she forgets her own name. Although she is not up to it yet, doctors and her family are working hard to rehabilitate her so she can reunite with her much-loved game of mahjong.


▼Xue Mei (left) and sister La Mei (right) practice reading as part of her rehabilitation

[ Read in Japanese ]