His wife, Bernadette Adams, cared for him, not losing hope that her husband would wake up again. According to reports from The Sun, in March this year, Adams was unable to communicate, but was breathing, eating and coughing without the need for medical equipment.
He isn't plugged into anything! I don’t have the courage to stop giving him food and water. Has a normal routine. He wakes up at 7, eats … He may be in a vegetative state, but he can hear and sit in a wheelchair ”, Bernadette pointed out to the British media.
Tragic mistakes behind Jean-Pierre Adams' 39-year coma
When Jean-Pierre Adams was admitted to a Lyon hospital for knee surgery in March 1982 he would have hoped that a troublesome issue would be resolved.
Now 34, Adams had enjoyed a successful playing career in France, taking in spells at Nice and Paris Saint-Germain as well as 22 caps for the French national team, who he had opted to play for having left Senegal for Europe with his family when he was just 10.
Adams had begun to take up coaching, and it was on a coaching training camp that the knee injury flared up, with surgery required on his damaged tendon.
The mistakes that happened during his stay in hospital would lead to Adams being in a coma for over half of his life.
On the day of Adams' operation - which was not urgent - many of the Lyon hospital staff were on strike.
His wife Bernadette insisted that they could and should have cancelled the procedure, but with one anaesthetist looking after eight patients and the former footballer supervised by a trainee, catastrophic mistakes were made.
Intubated poorly, Adams suffered a cardiac arrest and brain damage, with the errors made causing him to be starved of oxygen. The trainee quickly admitted blame, saying "I was not up to the task I was entrusted with", but it would be over 10 years before any punishment was meted out.
Both the anaesthetist and the trainee were given one month suspended sentences and fines of around €750, with Adams staying in hospital for the next 15 months.
Bernadette was then told to consider putting her husband in a home, but she insisted on caring for him at their house in Nimes, where the couple have lived for the remainder of their marriage, right up until Adams' death, which has led to tributes from his former clubs and teammates.
PSG said Adams': "joie de vivre, charisma and experience commanded respect", while Nice and Nimes, another former club, have offered their condolences to the family.