Her eyes looked dazed, her expression blank. And yet, her hands worked in perfect coordination, shooting a basketball through the hoop with practiced precision. This is the story of 18-year-old Maggie Meier who was able to shoot hoops while comatose, at age 14.
In 2008, Maggie started to complain of headaches and suffered nonstop seizures. At the time, she was a freshman and star athelete at Blue Valley High School in Overland Park, Kansas. When she was taken in to the hospital, she was diagnosed with a rare brain infection called mycoplasma meningoencephalitis that causes swelling in the brain. Maggie soon slipped into a coma, and remained in a vegetative state for nearly three months. During that time, her family made sure she was moved every two hours so her limbs didn’t stiffen up. And so that she wouldn’t forget her identity, a basketball was put in her hands as she sat upright on a wheelchair. It was then that her dormant memory kicked in and she could shoot hoops for a while, before slipping back into a coma.