Bobbi Kristina Brown, the only child of singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, suffered no pain in the end, likely passing away peacefully and unaware, a top end-of-life expert tells Newsmax Health.
Her death at age 22 was confirmed Sunday night, following a six month saga in which family members battled over how to treat the comatose woman, who should be allowed to visit her, and controversy over how her boyfriend treated her.
However, the young woman was most likely unaware of the drama surrounding her, Marc Leavey, M.D., told Newsmax Health.
“Being in a coma is like being in a state of suspended unawareness. Everyone around you may be suffering but you are not aware of it,” added Dr. Leavey, an internist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
Confirmation that Bobbi Kristina had died surrounded by members of her family at Peachtree Christian Hospice in Duluth, Ga., came nearly six months after she was found unconscious face down in a bathtub of water.
It was an eerie echo of the way her legendary mother Whitney Houston died. Nearly three years before, she also was found unresponsive in a bathtub.
A family statement said: "(Bobbi Kristina) is finally at peace in the arms of God. We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months."
Family members can take comfort from the fact that Brown likely did not feel pain or otherwise suffer during her medical ordeal, said Dr. Leavey.
It is likely that from the moment Bobbi Kristina slipped under the water in her bathtub she “felt nothing,” he said, explaining that unconsciousness is “a limbo state between life and death.”
There were conflicting accounts during Brown’s hospitalization about her level of responsiveness, with some family members saying she was improving and expected to recover.
But Dr. Leavey said the confusion is common in coma cases, where a patient’s reflexes can be mistaken for awareness.
"In such circumstances, even if the pupils in a such a person's eyes respond to shining a light on them, or they even seem to flinch because of loud noise, that is not indication that they have any awareness of what is going on," Dr. Leavey said.
The ordeal has a been a terrible one for the family, but as for Bobbi Kristina herself, there is no indication that she would have felt any pain or indeed was aware of anything the entire time she was treat. Hopefully, this will be of some solace to the family."
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