Tags: bobbi | kristina | awake | coma

Is Whitney's Daughter Awake? Or Is It Wishful Thinking?

By Charlotte Libov   |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 04:42 PM

Bobby Brown says his daughter is awake after nearly three months in a coma, but does this mean that Bobbi Kristina is finally on the road to recovery?

Maybe or maybe not, a top doctor tells Newsmax Health.

The treatment of coma patients is often filled with false starts and signs of hope that go unfulfilled, Marc Leavey, M.D., an internist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore tells Newsmax Health.

On the other hand, any sign of cognitive activity is good news, he says.

“If Bobbi Kristina Brown is really awake and making purposeful movements with her eyes, that would be a very good sign, but things like this are sometimes very hard to interpret,” Dr. Leavey said.

Facial movements of coma patients can be difficult to read, especially eye movements, Dr. Leavey said.

“You know when you look at a portrait and the eyes seem to follow you. That’s an optical illusion. The same can happen with a person who is in a coma, but whose eyes are half-open,” he said.

“I hate to dash someone’s hope, but we rarely take one person’s account as reality in cases like this because these movements are so easy to misconstrue,” Dr. Leavey added.

Bobby Brown told a concert audience this weekend: “Bobbi is awake. She is watching me.”

Bobbi Kristina, 22, the daughter of Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston, was found face down and unresponsive in bathtub in her Georgia home.

Her aunt Tina Brown declared on her Facebook page that her niece had indeed woken up and was no longer on life support. That posting has since been deleted, according to news reports.

Other reports, citing anonymous sources, say Bobby and Tina Brown, may have false hope regarding Bobbi Kristina and that her condition is largely unchanged. She is being treated at an Atlanta-area rehabilitation facility.

“What we generally do in a case like that is have a physician or nurse stand in another part of the room and observe whether the patient’s eyes are genuinely tracking movement,” Dr. Leavey said.

There are other signs that can reveal whether a coma patient is recovering. This includes the patient responding to squeezing of a hand or a loud noise.

Doctors also check the patient’s “threat” response, meaning they raise their hand as if to strike them to see if they blink or otherwise react.

The Brown family has yet to make an official statement regarding Bobby’s comments on his daughter’s condition.

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Bobby Brown says his daughter is awake after nearly three months in a coma, but does this mean that Bobbi Kristina is finally on the road to recovery? Maybe or maybe not, a top doctor tells Newsmax Health. The treatment of coma patients is often filled with false starts...
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