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Soccer Player Jean-Pierre Adams, Who Was In A Coma For Nearly 40 Years, Dies

French soccer player Jean-Pierre Adams is shown here on July 26, 1977, in Paris on the grounds of Paris Saint-Germain.
AFP via Getty Images
French soccer player Jean-Pierre Adams is shown here on July 26, 1977, in Paris on the grounds of Paris Saint-Germain.

Jean-Pierre Adams, a European soccer star who had been in a coma for nearly four decades after a botched medical procedure, has died.

Paris Saint-Germain, one of Adams' former clubs, announced his death Monday in a statement on its website. He was 73.

"His love of life, charisma and experience quickly brought respect," said the club.

It also sent condolences to Adams' family and his wife, Bernadette, who cared for Adams at their home in the suburbs of Nîmes, in the south of France.

According to Paris Saint-Germain, Adams was born in Senegal and left for France at age 8. He turned professional in 1970 and played for several clubs over the next decade, including Nîmes.

"The Club offers its most sincere condolences to his loved ones and to his family," Nîmes Olympique said in a tweet translated from French.

As a defender for Les Bleus, the French national soccer team, Adam appeared in 22 international matches, according to The Guardian.

Knee operation leads to coma

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.

Because of several errors in his care, Adams suffered 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.

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