‘I would have chosen death, but now I’m glad to be alive’

A woman who had previously expressed a desire to die if she was ever on a life support machine, is now grateful to her husband for keeping her alive.

Jenny Bone was left dependent on life support last year after falling ill at work and being placed into a medically induced coma.

She says she could hear medics discussing her care with her husband and was surprised when he told doctors not to turn off her ventilator.

Very pleased

Jenny explained: “Like most couples, we’d had the conversation about what we would do if that sort of thing happened to the other person, and I said I would like it to be switched off.

“So he actually went against my wishes, but I am obviously very pleased he did that now”.

Jenny was suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome which left her paralysed, in intense pain and unable to respond to reflex tests.

The condition leaves patients’ brains unaffected so they can be aware of what is going on around them.


Jenny has now mostly recovered, is out of hospital and able to work again.

She does still have some pain but is grateful to be alive.

Her husband, John, explained what happened when he was asked about switching off Jenny’s life support machine.

Word for word

“It was a bolt out of the blue when they first asked me”, he said, adding: “Then a few days later they asked me again I was sitting at her bedside holding her hand.

“I think it should never have been done in earshot of her. But to find out that she had heard what was said was just chilling.

“She remembered it word for word.”


Gill Ellis, from a Guillain-Barre Syndrome charity, said: “The condition does not affect your brain.

“Patients often have awareness of what is going on around them but they cannot do anything about it which can be very frustrating.”

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