What It Really Feels Like To Be In A Coma

Claire Wineland is a 17-year-old Los Angeles teen living with cystic fibrosis, a serious genetic condition that causes fluid buildup in the lungs. After spending two weeks in a medically-induced coma, she decided to tell the world exactly what it was like.

Wineland explained the experience in a video for her YouTube channel The Clairity Project, a platform where she chronicles her experience of living with cystic fibrosis in humorous, upbeat and compelling videos.

In the video “What It’s Like To Be In A Coma,” Wineland described feeling like she was in Alaska — only to find out that’s when doctors were applying ice packs to her body while she was in a coma.

“I remember sitting there and staring at the most beautiful scenery ever for hours and hours … and it would be freezing cold but I didn’t care,” she explained in the video. “Turns out I was being ice-packed the whole time … so I guess I thought somewhere in my brain I though, like, ‘Ice, Alaska. Totally makes sense!’”

Michael DeGeorgia, a neurologist from University Hospitals Case Medical Center, told ABC that this happens because patients are in a dream-like state while sedated.

”When you’re dreaming, your entire brain is not [synchronized],” he explained. “When you wake up from dream, the memory is almost there but can’t quite get it.When you’re in and out of sedation [your brain is] not quite synchronized in laying down memories.”

Wineland has had 35 surgeries over the course of her life, according to People magazine, and spends quite a bit of time in the hospital. She has been told she won’t live a very long life, so she’s living it in a way that makes her happy.

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