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‘Doctors once offered to cut my life support’

Hasan Suroor
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Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking has revealed how, while writing his best-selling book, A Brief History of Time , he came so close to death that his doctors offered his family the option to switch off his life-support machine and end his “agony.” But his then wife, Jane, refused and made sure that he got the best medical care to survive what he describes as a “near-death experience.” Ten years later, the couple divorced as his illness drove their family life into a “black hole” of despair, according to Jane.

Hawking’s brush with death came in 1985 in Switzerland when he contracted a severe chest infection that turned into pneumonia, The Sunday Times said, quoting him as saying that it was the “darkest” period of his life.

“It was very serious and I was put into a drug-induced coma and then on a life-support machine. The doctors thought I was so far gone that they offered [his first wife] Jane [the option] to turn off the machine,” says the 71-year-old scientist in a film to be released in the autumn to coincide with the publication of his memoirs.


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