Jean-Pierre Adams: Former France international dies after 39 years in coma

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Jean-Pierre Adams won 22 caps in France for France

Jean-Pierre Adams, a former France footballer, died today at the age 73. He had been in a coma since 1979.

Adams was admitted to the hospital in March 1982 for knee surgery. He never regained consciousness due to an error in his anaesthetic supply.

Born in Senegal and playing for Paris St-Germain, the defender made over 140 appearances for Nice.

PSG stated that external-link Adams' "joie d' vivre, charisma, and experience commanded respect" in a statement.

Nice stated that the club would pay tribute through an external-link to Adams, who won 22 caps for France from 1972-1976, before their next home match against Monaco on September 19.

Adams made 84 appearances on Nimes's behalf. Nimes stated that they were sending their "most sincere condolences" to Adams' loved ones.

Many staff members at Lyon's hospital were on strike on the day Adams had his operation to repair the tendon in his knee. He was injured while training for a coaching camp.

The operation went on, and Adams was still being cared for by the anaesthetist. Adams was overseen by a trainee who later stated that Adams was not capable of performing the tasks given to him.

Numerous errors were made by both the trainee and anaesthetist, leading to Adams suffering a heart attack and brain damage.

The trainee and anaesthetist were both punished in the mid-1990s with a one-month suspension sentence and a fine of 750 euros.

After 15 months in hospital, Adams was released and has been living at home with Bernadette since then.

'Remarkable devotion'

Piers Edwards BBC Sport Africa

Bernadette Adams is a remarkable woman. She is gentle and strong, and has never considered turning off her husband’s life support machine despite him being in vegetative.

She has spent almost every day caring about Jean-Pierre for the past four decades. She changed Jean-Pierre's clothes, prepared his meals, and never forgot to gift him presents.

The man who was once described as "larger-than life" and whose skills were highly rated in German football legend Franz Beckenbauer, responded with silence. However, nurses reported that Bernadette experienced slight mood swings on rare occasions when she went away for a few nights.

In 2016, I visited the Adams home, southern France. Bernadette explained that the hospital never apologized for an accident she couldn't help but think about every day.