'Sleeping beauty' who thought she had a cold falls into coma for a month

A young WA woman has miraculously woken up from a month-long coma after contracting what she thought was a common cold.

Renee Power, 21, from Perth, was dubbed ‘Sleeping Beauty’, with nobody knowing if the young woman would ever open her eyes again after she developed the potentially deadly virus encephalitis.

While her symptoms nearly killed her, Ms Power has defied the odds and regained consciousness. She is now learning to walk and talk once more.

Perth woman who thought she had a cold falls into coma
Renee Power has to learn to walk again after she slipped into a coma when contracting a virus that nearly killed her. Source: 7News

“[I’m] so lucky, very lucky. I’m lucky that I even woke up,” a tearful Ms Power told 7News.

Shrugging off the symptoms of the virus as just had a bad cold, little did she know it was attacking her brain.

Just a day later, her mother Carmela couldn’t wake her in what she described as a “total nightmare”.

Renee stopped breathing and slipped into a coma.

Perth woman who thought she had a cold falls into coma
Her family dubbed Ms Power ‘Sleeping Beauty’ as no one knew if she would wake up from her coma. Source: 7News

For four weeks she didn’t wake up. Her family called her ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

“It was like your heart was being torn out… and would she ever wake?” her mother recalled.

When Renee finally did, she was in a bad way.

Perth woman who thought she had a cold falls into coma
The 21-year-old has spent a gruelling 16 weeks in hospital. Source: 7News

“I was trying to move my legs up and down and that sort of thing. And i just couldn’t,” Ms Power said.

While Renee was unconscious, hospital staff and her family kept a diary which Renee has since been given to read through.

“It was upsetting because I feel really sorry for putting them through all of that, but they said I couldn’t do anything about it. It was out of my power,” she said.

After 16 long weeks in hospital, Ms Power has given herself two goals – to learn to walk again and to be home by September, just in time for her 22nd birthday.

“She just kept fighting and fighting to be with us,” her mother said of her daughter, who remains in a wheelchair.

“We weren’t giving up. I was going to have her back no matter what.”