Hillsborough survivor 'awakes'
Vegetative state man communicates with family after eight years
Wednesday 26 March 1997
Andrew Devine, now 30, was brain-damaged in the crush at the Sheffield Wednesday football stadium in which 95 fans died in 1989. He was diagnosed at the time as being in a PVS.
After a few months in hospital he was taken home to their family house in Allerton, near Liverpool, and has been cared for by his parents, Stanley and Margaret, there ever since.
They have consistently refused to allow the termination of the artifical feeding that has kept their son alive in the hope that one day he would recover some of his faculties.
The news is likely to reignite the row about the quality of PVS diagnoses and the moral dilemma over whether a patient believed to be in such a state should be allowed to die, and at what stage.
Mr Devine's condition was believed to be similar to that of Tony Bland, another victim of the stadium tragedy who was allowed to die after a decision made by the House of Lords in 1993. It was a landmark decision for "right to die" cases. After the ruling, the Devines' solicitor, Rex Makin, said: "Mr and Mrs Devine sympathise with the Blands but their attitude is not the same. They hope that one day [Andrew] may recover some of his faculties." That day seemed to have arrived yesterday.
Mr Makin confirmed reports that Andrew had become aware of his surroundings and was once again communicating with members of his family.
Mr Makin would not comment further than saying that the Devines and his son Robin Makin, who has taken on the case for the family and was a former school colleague of Andrew, were both delighted by the news.
In a statement released last night, Robin Makin said: "Andrew does have some re- cognised cognition and he is aware of what's going on around him. All the hard work which has gone into looking after him has had some very real benefit. He communicates by pressing a touch-sensitive switch - one for 'yes' and two for 'no'." He has benefited from "the devoted love and care of his parents combined with a proper care regime and physiotherapy," Mr Makin added.
Andrew's present condition was "chalk and cheese" compared with his previous state. "He hasn't been languishing in a bed somewhere. He's had constant stimulation."
Mr and Mrs Devine could not be contacted at their home last night.
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response from Ellen DeGeneres
Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
Isis schoolgirl Amira Abase who fled London to join terrorists in Syria mocks victims of Tunisia massacre
Father faces deportation to Thailand after 27 years in Britain for two 'stupid crimes'
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£15500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...
£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Auto centre is based in We...
£20000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established dealer gr...