Michigan Mom Spends First Mother’s Day at Home with Her Kids Since Waking Up from a 5-Year Coma

A Michigan mom is celebrating her first Mother’s Day at home with her three kids since waking up from being in a coma for five years

Published Time: 13.05.2024 - 05:31:17 Modified Time: 13.05.2024 - 05:31:17

A Michigan mom is celebrating her first Mother’s Day at home with her three kids since waking up from being in a coma for five years.

Jennifer Flewellen — who was in the coma at the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital following a car crash in 2017 — woke up suddenly in 2022 and left the hospital in 2024, just months before Mother's Day.

Just before the 2017 car crash, Flewellen had just dropped her three sons off at school. The youngest son, Julian, was 11 at the time. Now, that her son is 17, and her other sons have graduated from high school, Flewellen is trying to make up for lost time this Mother’s Day.

Speaking with CBS News on May 10, Flewellen's mom Peggy Means opened up about how she never wanted to take her daughter off of life support — despite doctors telling her that “she's not gonna wake up.”

Asked whether she questioned her decision to keep Flewellen on life support, Means told the outlet that even after her daughter had been in a coma for years, she still never gave up hope that she could make a recovery. “Never,” Means insisted.

Then, in August 2022, Flewellen woke up from the coma.

In December 2023, Means and Flewellen's son Julian opened up to PEOPLE about the moment she woke up. Means was visiting her at the rehabilitation hospital, speaking to her as usual, when suddenly, she realized Flewellen was laughing at a joke she had told.

"When she woke up, it scared me at first because she was laughing and she had never done that," Means told PEOPLE at the time. "Every dream came true. Today's the day I said, 'That door that was closed, that kept us apart, had just opened. We were back.' "

“She woke up, but she didn't completely. She couldn't speak, but she was nodding,” Means added. “She would still sleep a lot right a -

t first, but then as the months would go by, she would get stronger and be more awake.”

Means took a video of Flewellen shortly after she woke up and sent the video to family and friends — including her youngest son Julian, who went to see his mom the very next day.

“I told her I was Juju and her eyes lit up like, 'Wow, it's my Juju bean,' " Julian told PEOPLE, referencing his mom's nickname for him. “But when she actually found out our ages and things like that, it broke her heart. She started to cry.”

Although Flewellen went home about one year after waking up in the hospital, she still has very limited speech and mobility and is using funds from aGoFundMe campaign to help her get access to a wheelchair accessible car and more.

Despite her struggles, her mind is still getting sharper, her family said.

In October 2023, Flewellen reached another big milestone in her recovery journey when she attended senior night football celebration at her son's high school.

“She was my biggest supporter,” Julian told PEOPLE. “So to have my biggest supporter back on the sidelines cheering me on, it was a surreal moment."

Reflecting on her recovery journey thus far with CBS, Flewellen had a simple yet powerful response to the question: "What's the best part of being back among us?"

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"Everything," she answered.

Despite her still-limited speech, the mom of three added that she was ready to celebrate Mother's Day with four simple words.

"I love my mom," Flewellen said.

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