Elderly mother of comatose man cut off from desperately-needed phone service

ByMichael Finney and Randall Yip KGO logo
Friday, September 27, 2019
Family of comatose man cut off from phone service
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With her son in a 27-year-long coma, one San Jose woman needs her phone line in order to stay in touch with his doctors.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A devoted mom in San Jose has cared for her comatose son for 27 years. When she lost phone service, she also lost the lifeline to her son's doctors.

She became desperate for a fix.

Maria Rzeszos lovingly looks at her son Yan. She's cared for him since a horrible accident left him in a coma 27 years ago.

"Mommy love you. Mommy love you so much," she whispered in her son's ears.

Driving home on Highway 17 from Santa Cruz, a driver cut in front of him, causing him to swerve off the embankment. The accident left Yan with a brain injury.

"First few years, that was horrible. He was young, beautiful boy -- suddenly he was in this condition, he could not move," said Rzeszos.

Nearly every day, various volunteers come to the home to help. Rzeszos does not allow them to leave without joining her for an assortment of homemade treats.

With the help of a caregiver and many volunteers, Yan takes part in movement exercises to prevent his ligaments from becoming stiff.

Russell Burdick did not know the family at all, but agreed to volunteer in 2000. He says what keeps him coming back is faith that Yan will one day recover.

"It's not a matter of if he wakes up. It's a matter of when," said Burdick.

Rzeszos says three doctors closely monitor Yan's care. She became concerned when she lost phone service after agreeing to bundle her phone, television and internet service with AT&T.

"They went to put me digital to make the cheaper phone, but they disconnect me and they don't put me digital," said Rzeszos.

She said several times workers scheduled to repair her phone failed to show up. This went on for two and a half weeks.

"That's scary, life without a phone when you have someone like my son," Rzeszos explained.

Finally she called 7 On Your Side and we reached out to AT&T.

The very next day, she had phone service.

Rzeszos can now focus her attention back on Yan.

"Yan, I love you so much. You are smiling and beautiful."

AT&T said it did not have a comment on the delay in her service, but said it was happy to resolve the situation.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.