French footballer Jean-Pierre Adams has passed away, aged 73, after spending the last 39 years in a coma.
The former defender was in a vegetive state since 1982 after a routine knee operation went wrong.
His wife, Bernadette, who brought him home and cared for him after he spent a year in hospital, spoke to CNN in an interview last year.
Watch the moment a boy wakes from a coma unaware of coronavirus…
She said: “He senses that it is not me feeding him and looking after him.
“It’s the nurses who tell me, saying he is not the same.
“I think he feels things. He must recognize the sound of my voice as well.”
The footballer, who was born in Senegal in 1948, played for his country on 22 occasions and also for clubs Nice, Nimes, and Paris Saint-Germain.
During the surgery to repair his knee, Adams suffered cardiac arrest and brain damage.
According to Adams’ wife, the anaesthetist failed to spot the signs that he was lacking oxygen ‘because of his skin colour’.
She says that before he went in for the surgery, he told her: “It’s all fine, I’m in great shape.”
The sports star was allegedly able to open his eyes and digest food but was unable to move or talk.
In 2007, Bernadette said: “Jean-Pierre feels, smells, hears, jumps when a dog barks. But he cannot see.”
Sky Sports report that Nice will pay tribute to Jean-Pierre at their home match against Monaco on September 19.
Nimes Olympique said they offered ‘most sincere condolences to his loved ones and to his family’.
Watch our Video of the Day below…