Jean-Pierre Adams dead: Former France footballer dies aged 73 after 39 years in coma

RIP Jean-Pierre Adams: Former France defender dies aged 73

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Jean-Pierre Adams has died following a 39-year spell in a coma after his routine knee surgery went wrong in 1982. The former French international footballer tragically spent more than half of his life comatose, with his battle coming to an end on Monday morning at Nimes University Hospital.

At the tender age of 34, Adams sustained a fairly mundane knee injury while on a week-long football coaching course.

As concerns began to grow over the severity of the injury, he promptly had to abandon the course midway through in order to get it seen to.

Eventually, he was convinced to undergo a routine knee operation on ligament damage at Lyon Hospital.

The anaesthesia he received was only meant to sedate him for a few hours, but he ended up slipping into a deep coma which he never awoke from.

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Adams’ disastrous situation came as a huge surprise to many, given he had reportedly been in good health heading into the surgery.

His last words, according to Daily Mail, proved to be ‘It’s all fine, I’m in great shape’ when reassuring his wife, Bernadette. 

The report also stated that the doctors were allegedly operating on eight patients concurrently, prompting a seven-year legal battle surrounding Adams’ ill-health.

Eventually, the doctors were found guilty of involuntary injury.

During an illustrious playing career, Adams turned out for Nice and PSG, among others, on top of 22 caps for the French national team.

In royal blue, he formed a famous partnership in the 1970s with the legendary Marius Tresor as the pair earned the nickname ‘the Black Guard’.

Adams’ final years became a topic of hot debate among his former fans and team-mates, with such a long time in a coma calling his quality of life into question.

According to Paris United, his wife Bernadette said in April 2020: “People on Facebook say he should be unplugged… but he is not plugged!

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“I just don’t have the courage to stop giving him food and water. He has a normal routine.

“He wakes up at 7, eats… He may be in a vegetative state, but he can hear and sit in a wheelchair.”

Adams will be remembered for his esteemed playing career, particularly with Nice for whom he made over 100 appearances, as well as his stint in the French military football team which led to his first professional contract.

Sadly, he will also be remembered for a decades-long health battle suffered through no fault of his own.

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