Life After Coma: Challenging Perspectives on Life and Death with Andrew Elkan

Welcome to an extraordinary podcast episode that challenges our concept of death and its profound impact on how we live our lives. For Andrew Elkan, a coma survivor, death became an ever-present companion, reshaping his perspective on reality and life’s fragility.

Along with host Rajan Nazran, Andrew takes us through his 28-day coma experience, a phase no one wishes to face. With profound insights, he shares the emotional and mental pressures the individual and their families endured during this traumatic time.

As the founder of a foundation for coma survivors, Andrew reflects on the uncertainties surrounding his return and how people discussed his fate, even contemplating his demise. His unique perspective on the universe challenges us to reexamine our understanding of life and death.

This captivating podcast explores the “right to die” dilemma, the transformative power of coma experiences, and the importance of emotional support and hope for affected families. Andrew emphasises the need for unity in overcoming negativity and criticism, fostering a newly found sense of humanness.

Additionally, he shares the after-effects of his coma, including loss of short-term memory, and offers his philosophical thoughts on what happens when a person dies. Join us in this eye-opening conversation as Andrew shares his journey, challenges our perceptions, and inspires a fresh perspective on life’s profound mysteries.

Tune in to this exceptional podcast, where Andrew’s resilience and insights into coma, reactions, and personal transformation will leave you with a renewed appreciation for life’s precious moments.

Produced by Global Indian Series for the Global Indian Network.
Script by Rajan Nazran
original idea: Rajan Nazran

Introduction music: (Music credit to:

About Andrew Elkan

Andrew Elkan, born in Saint Louis, Missouri, US, in 1977, moved to California in 1984 and attended college in Santa Cruz, CA. He developed epilepsy as a child but didn’t experience full seizures until adulthood, around the age of 23.

At one point, Andrew had a severe seizure that required inducing a coma to stop the seizures and reduce brain swelling. Unfortunately, after 24 hours without success, they could not bring him out of the coma. He remained in a coma at the ICU in Scripps Hospital, Encinitas, for 28 days.

Upon waking, Andrew spent over a month in the hospital, during which rehabilitation began. He had to relearn basic skills like walking, writing, and reading. After attaining a basic level of functioning, all therapy stopped, leaving Andrew without further physical or emotional support from the hospital.

Facing a long struggle to prove his cognitive disabilities, Andrew eventually met with a federal judge and, with his testimony and neurologist’s input, was granted federal disability status. It took several years after his coma for Andrew to reaccess therapy after obtaining disability assistance.

Experiencing the challenges of navigating disability assistance, paying bills, finding medical help, and securing housing in the United States, Andrew decided to create a support group called “Coma Survivors.” With this group, he aims to provide knowledge, help, and community for coma survivors seeking financial support, housing, medical assistance, or simply understanding and listening ears.

Additionally, Andrew is working towards establishing “The Coma Survivor’s Foundation” to support coma survivors in their unique journeys further. He believes that his experience while in a coma and his survival are unique and valuable, as the experience of being in a coma is one that few individuals encounter.

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