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Longtime soccer fans are currently mourning the loss of French player Jean-Pierre Adams, an icon to the game who spent four unbelievably long decades in a coma before the announcement of his death this past Monday (September 6).

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The unfortunate news was revealed by Paris Saint-Germain, one of the handful of clubs that Adams played on who posted it on their website. In addition to PSG, he also was a member of OGC Nice and Nimes Olympique throughout his iconic career.

Adams played pro starting in 1970 and continued on until his now-infamous botched knee operation in 1982 that would leave him in a near-vegetative state for the remainder of his life.

Here’s a breakdown of the surgery that left Jean-Pierre Adams in  a comatose state for the past 39 years, via NPR:

“In 1982, Adams injured his knee during a coaching session and went to the Hôpital de Lyon for treatment.

Many staff members at the hospital were on strike at the time, the BBC reported. The anesthetist was looking after eight patients and Adams was supervised by a trainee.

Due to several errors in his care, Adams suffered a cardiac arrest and brain damage, sending him into a coma from which he would not wake up.

In the mid-1990s, authorities punished the anesthetist and the trainee, giving them each a one-month suspended sentence and a 750 euro fine, the BBC said.”

Adams’ wife and primary caretaker, Bernadette, says the malpractice incident left him with minor sensory skills, saying back in 2007, “Jean-Pierre feels, smells, hears, jumps when a dog barks. But he cannot see.”

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In addition to his wife, Jean-Pierre is survived by his two sons. His legacy as a star central defender will continue to live on, with former club Nice even planning a tribute to him at their home match against Monaco on September 19.

 

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