Car crash victim dies after 31-years in coma

An Italian car crash victim has died after being looked after by his parents for 31 years while he was in a coma.

Ignazio ‘Cito’ Okamoto from Brescia, was involved in a collision on March 19, 1988, and suffered a brain haemorrhage at the age of 22. His friend was killed in the crash but he survived the incident. Ignazio spent two years in a clinic, but his parents decided to take him home to try to bring him back to health.

He has now died at the age of 54 after suffering cardiac arrest. Ignazio’s mother Marina told La Stampa: ‘for 31 years we lived cut off from the world. The doctors had told us that he wouldn’t wake up but we cared for him every day, hoping that maybe…’

His father Hector, a 77-year old Mexican with Japanese roots, added: ‘now life has changed. I woke up this morning at 5am and I didn’t know what to do. I went to the garden to water the flowers. The last few nights I slept in Ignazio’s room, even though he is gone, to be near him.’

He said he had left his job in 1990 to look after his son, with Marina working to support the family. Mr Okomoto said he had never thought about euthanasia for his Ignazio.


The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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