The Real Sleeping Beauty Extraordinary People

Five’s acclaimed documentary strand continues with more absorbing programmes exploring remarkable tales of human experience. Coming soon is the story of American Sarah Scantlin, who fell into a coma in 1985 at the age of 18, after being run over by a drunk driver. Doctors declared that recovery was impossible, and for 20 years she slept, until in 2005 something incredible happened – Sarah spoke. Nobody who had been in a coma-like state for so long had ever started speaking again.

This film follows Sarah as she attempts to prove once more that she can achieve the impossible. Her goal is independence: to feed herself, stand and walk unassisted. It also captures Sarah’s loved ones as they come to terms with the guilt, sacrifice and loss that they suffered during the years that Sarah ‘disappeared’.

Also featured in the programme is English woman Shahna Thwaites, who fell into a coma after a car accident as she returned from a festival. Doctors told her parents that she would never recover and that they should consider withdrawing life support, but after 23 days she awoke – beginning a ten-year struggle for recovery.
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