Jean-Pierre Adams, the former French footballer who spent 39 years in a coma following routine knee surgery that went horribly wrong, died on Monday.
He was 73 years old.
“We learned this morning of the death of Jean-Pierre Adams,” read a press release from Nîmes, for whom Adams played from 1970 to 1973. “He had worn the colors of Nîmes Olympique 84 times and with Marius Trésor made up ‘the black’ goalkeeper of the France team.
“The club sends its deepest condolences to his loved ones and family.”
One of the first black players to compete for France, Adams fell into a coma on March 17, 1982 while undergoing routine surgery on a knee tendon damaged during a match.
Several workers at the Adams Hospital being operated on were on strike, according to CNNwhich led to anesthesia error.
“The female anesthesiologist was taking care of eight patients, one after the other, like an assembly line,” his wife Bernadette told the outlet in 2016. “Jean-Pierre was supervised by an intern, who repeats a year , who later admitted in court: “I was not up to the task entrusted to me”.
Adams had been lying in a coma at his home in Nîmes, where he had been cared for by his wife, for nearly four decades.
After starting his career at Fontainebleau, where he helped the local side win their amateur championship, Adams was scouted by Nimes.
He scored 10 goals in 98 games for Nimes and 17 goals in 150 games for Nice.
The Senegal native has also amassed 22 caps for the France team.
“Nice were heartbroken to learn of the death of Jean-Pierre Adams,” Nice wrote on Twitter, “the former defender wore the colors of Le Gym 145 times from 1973 to 1977. OGC Nice stands with the pain of his loved ones who looked after him for 39 years.
Nice added that a tribute will be paid to Adams during their home game against Monaco on September 19.