A woman in Birmingham, England not only lost 14 months of her life when surgical complications put her into a comatose state. Upon awakening from her coma this month, Yvonne Rogers discovered that she also lost her home, which had been sold along with all of her belongings.
Rogers, who must get around using a wheelchair, suffers from a condition known as water on the brain, or hydrocephalus. Although she thought that surgery would make her symptoms much better, complications caused her to fall into a coma instead.
During the 14 months that she lay unresponsive in a hospital bed, the Birmingham City Council judged that her house had been unoccupied for too long a period of time.
They ordered her family members to sell the house, along with most of her furnishings.
Family members only kept a few cherished pieces of personal property because they could not afford to put everything into storage. When Rogers recently woke up, she faced the sobering news that her home and most of her possessions had been sold by order of the government and that she was homeless.
Rogers told an interviewer it was difficult enough to lose two years of her life due to hospitalization, but it was heartbreaking to realize her house was also gone.
Yvonne’s mother Pat Rogers, 77, said: “The council said we had to give up Yvonne’s house unless someone lived in it for three days a week.
“My children have all got kids of their own so there was no way we could do that.
“The council knew Yvonne was seriously poorly but nobody knew how long she would be in hospital. The doctors were saying it was going to be a lengthy process. We were given two to three weeks to clear her home.
“I can see why the council would want Yvonne’s home, but with all the worry of Yvonne being in a coma and then having to get rid of all her furniture, it was a bit hard-hearted.
“It felt in some ways like the council were giving up on her, but we never did, and we never will.”
According to the Birmingham Mail, when Yvonne first moved into her flat in Castle Vale, all she had was a hospital bed, a commode and a shower chair.
Yvonne, who use to work with developmental problems, said: “We’ve tried to make it homely but it’s horrible.
“It doesn’t feel like home, it feels more like a prison cell to me. I used to love gardening, now there’s just a communal garden.
“I’ve spent £1,800 buying new furniture, using the money Mum had saved from what she’d had to sell before.
“My mum has to do all my shopping and prepare my meals for me.
“I’ve asked the council if I can move but they say it’s unlikely there will be anything available for a couple of years.
“I lost two years of my life in hospital, and I lost my home too.”
Yvonne’s anxiety about her new home was heightened when there was a fire in her neighbour’s flat two weeks ago and she found herself trapped.
“I was terrified,” she said.
“I called the fire brigade and they said to get out. I told them I couldn’t because I couldn’t get my wheelchair down the stairs. The lifts don’t work in a fire and the fire doors automatically lock.
“There were people running up and down the corridor.
“I felt so vulnerable.”
Woman in Coma Wakes Up After Home, Belongings Sold
‘I was in a coma for 14 months – then the council turfed me out’