Bernadette Jones Dies After 21 Year Coma
This is extremely sad, and the domestic violence must stop:
Bernadette Jones’ drunken husband beat her into a coma on April 14, 1991. Family members brought the comatose woman home from the hospital eight months later, and that first night, her three children crawled into bed with her and slept. For the next two decades, Jones’ family cared for her in a special room built at the back of their home on 73rd Street in Niagara Falls. But their nursing of a patient who never awoke ended Sunday, when she died at the age of 51, succumbing to pneumonia.
“After 21 years of fighting every kind of infection you can imagine, being that she was so vulnerable in her condition, her body finally ran out of gas,” stepfather Robert Anderson Jr. said Thursday. He and his family provided constant care for Jones, and the experience evolved into a closeness most families never know. Government officials at first refused to provide health care coverage, but Jones’ mother sought legal help, and the state relented, helping make it possible to spare her from being institutionalized.
At 11 a.m. today, Anderson and other family members will gather with friends in Trinity Baptist Church, 1366 South Ave., to say farewell at a funeral service, but it was the modest, beige one-story ranch home they shared in Niagara Falls’ LaSalle section that was their sanctuary of love born out of a rare level of devotion.
“You have to do it willingly and 300 percent or don’t do it,” said Anderson, 70. “Through all the trials and tribulations we went through, we never once argued over Bernadette. When we first brought her home, her brother gave up his room in the basement for her.
The void, now, is palpable in the Anderson home.
“We know she would have expired a long time ago if she had not come home to live with us,” said Robert Anderson Jr., who is in his third four-year term as a City Council member. “We know she’s gone home to God and to her mother and wow, that’s a plus.”
Robert Anderson III agreed.
“She’s broken the bonds of pain. She’s free,” he said.
So sad. R.I.P.