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Man used eyes to show will to live

Published 14/07/2010

A man in a coma moved his eyes to tell doctors he did not want to die
A man in a coma moved his eyes to tell doctors he did not want to die

A paralysed man whose life-support machine was about to be switched off signalled to doctors that he wanted to live by moving his eyes.

The incredible moment when father-of-two Richard Rudd, 43, managed to communicate his will to live was filmed for a BBC documentary about patients with serious brain injuries.

Between Life and Death followed the progress of Mr Rudd and two other patients over six months at the Britain's leading brain injury unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Mr Rudd was seriously injured after his motorbike collided with a car pulling out of a petrol station last October.

He was left completely paralysed and non-responsive.

His family believed he would not want to live in such a state and gave doctors permission to withdraw treatment.

But as staff were poised to switch off his life-support machine Mr Rudd began to move his eyes.

Asked by doctors if he wanted to live, he replied "yes" by moving his eyes.

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From Belfast Telegraph