A woman who spent 42 years of her life in a coma, inspiring a book about her family’s ceaseless dedication to her care, has died at the age of 59 in Miami, Florida.
Edwarda O’Bara passed away Wednesday, her family said.
“It is with great sadness I inform everyone my sister Edwarda is now with the Lord in Heaven,” a statement on her website read. “She then closed her eyes and joined my Mom in Heaven,” sister Colleen O’Bara, a devout Catholic, wrote.
O’Bara’s mother, who died five years ago, had been her daughter’s constant caretaker since Edwarda slipped into a coma in 1970. A high school student who had dreams of being a pediatrician, Edwarda had taken her diabetes medication and vomited, The Miami Herald reported.
As she slipped into a diabetic coma, Edwarda made her mother, Kaye O’Bara, promise to not leave her side. And she didn’t for nearly 40 years.
O’Bara kept Edwarda at home in Miami Gardens, feeding her daughter through a tube, turning her over every two hours to avoid bedsores, reading to her and surrounding her with music and conversation, the Herald reported.
Her incredible dedication inspired author Dr. Wayne Dyer to write the book “A Promise Is A Promise: An Almost Unbelievable Story of a Mother’s Unconditional Love and What It Can Teach Us.”
Kay O’Bara always maintained that taking care of her ill daughter wasn’t a burden but a pleasure.
She died in her sleep in 2008 at the age of 80 in the same room she shared with Edwarda.
Since her mother’s death, sister Colleen O’Bara had taken over Edwarda’s constant care.
“I didn’t give it a second thought. She’s my sister,” O’Bara told the Herald. “And I love her.”
She also described her as “the best sister in the world.”
Edwarda’s story had spurred interest and support from around the world. People would even just appear on the family’s doorstep.
“I had to learn you let strangers in,” O’Bara said, “because they aren’t strangers.”
Edwarda smiled broadly before she slipped away, her sister wrote.