Because, at 21, she is relatively young, there’s a fighting chance her brain can heal itself and she could regain consciousness.
If she does wake up, she will likely face weeks of rehabilitation and may never be quite the same person. But the brain has remarkable healing power in young people.
Infants have been known to be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes and been revived with no signs of permanent damage. Even adults have emerged from induced comas and regained most of their abilities.
Last July Jake Blackmon, 19 of Reno, Nev., almost died from a near drowning at Lake Tahoe. But within a month he regained consciousness.
“Just a few days ago he could hardly point to the letters on this chart they had and now he’s up there texting with his friends, so it’s just a miracle recovery,” his mother, LaNay Blackmon, told a local news station.
West Virginia miner Randal McCloy Jr. and Mexican boxer Ruben Contreras were put in a medically induced comas following a brain injury.
McCloy, who was injured in a mine explosion, was able to go home after three months. Contreras was back on his feet in four months.
But not every case ends happily. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, died last January after eight years in a vegetative state.
Joan Rivers was placed in a medical coma after she suffered cardiac arrest during a routine medical procedure. But because of she was in her 80s, her chances of recovery were slim. She died without regaining consciousness.
People who nearly drown can suffer from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or multi-organ failure. Lung problems can develop 12 or more hours after submersion, according to medical references.
Bobbi Kristina also faces other dangers while in a coma, including pneumonia and blood clots. They can be fatal if clots move to the heart or lungs.
Early rescue of near-drowning victims (within five minutes of submersion) and prompt CPR (within less than ten minutes of submersion) seem to be the best guarantees of a complete recovery, according to the Encyclopedia of Childrens’ Health, a medical reference.
The next 48 hours will be critical to her ability to recover, according to medical references.
A source close to the family told TMZ her brain function had “significantly diminished.” But the fact that doctors have detected some brain activity is a hopeful sign.
She could, however, be in a coma for weeks.
So far, police have not revealed the findings of their investigation to determine how Bobbi Kristina ended up face down in a tub full of water. Nor has there been any reports on how long she was under water.
She was found at around 10:30 a.m. Saturday by her husband Nick Gordon and a friend. They administered CPR until police and medical technicians arrived and continued the procedure. Her breathing was restored at North Fulton Hospital.
IM reported that Bobbi Kristina may have staged an elaborate suicide to die like her mother. So far the report remains unconfirmed, but evidence is starting to point in that direction. Whitney died almost three years to the day of Bobbi’s accident.
Some family members say Bobbi Kirstina had been struggling to launch a singing career to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Whitney Houston Brown died on the eve of the Grammy’s in 2012. She, too, was found face down in a bath tub.
“The loss of her mom and her intense craving for attention of any sort are just the tip of her mountain of issues,” one family member said.