When Delinda Dryssen Fell Into a Real Life Coma, Her Second Life Friends Comforted Her Through a Laptop by Her ICU Bed; UPDATE: Delinda Has Died, Memorial Info Below
Friends of Delinda sing and chat in hopes she'll hear them through her coma
The real life woman behind Delinda Dryssen, a well-known and much beloved figure in Second Life, especially in the music scene, has recently fallen into a coma. (She has grave kidney troubles, and in recent months, has been traveling the world in search of a donor.) Since learning the news, her network of in-world friends rallied to support her tonight, at a benefit concert. Here's how: A RL family friend sitting with Delinda in her hospital room created an avatar named Berry Blogger, and logged into SL, in the hopes that Delinda would hear the show, and regain some consciousness. Here's the extraordinary part: That seems to be working.
"[T]hey are streaming the show so she can hear it, since she is in a shallow coma and can probably hear it," Damaris Whitfield just told me. "The musicians are talking to her from the stage in addition to playing, and the audience is talking to her too -- [Delinda's] family is telling her what everyone is typing. The doctors say she is responding to the music and the voices, her 'numbers' are going up, pulse getting stronger--they say they are pretty sure she is going to wake up from hearing this gig."
When I attended the concert's tail end, in fact, Berry Blogger reported his observations from the edge of Delinda's ICU bed, telling the gathered in-world crowd: "You guys are still causing a distinct reaction singing and talking to her, according to her Doctor who is here with us again. Thank you for that."
Then later, Berry reported this:
"We're seeing a tear in her eye again. I think she can hear you guys."
After many hours being by her side, Berry told me had to get some sleep, but he plans to be back in Second Life, on his laptop next to Delinda, today at Noon SLT. Delinda's still has not fully revived, so she'll need another group of friends then, making as much noise as possible. I'll post the next location here when I get one. Meantime, you can follow this Twitter feed that's being updated by a RL friend of Delinda, to report on her condition.
One more thing: Berry Blogger told me Delinda would have wanted people to know about the KDIGO, the global non-profit dedicated to improving the care of kidney disease patients: Go here to read more about it. And again, check back later today, to hopefully find out where you can go, to help revive Delinda Dyrssen.
Update, 1:15PM: I am deeply sorry to pass on this email from Dan Barrie, friend of Delinda Dyrssen (Denise Williams in real life), who interacted with the SL community last night as avatar Berry Blogger:
I regret to have to tell you, Denise passed away this morning at 8:05 AM (SLT) from cardiac arrest. Her doctor said that her kidney illness had taken a toll on her heart and unfortunately she could not hold on.
Last night we all saw how much people on Second Life loved her and they now consider them a part of their extended family. They want to thank them from the bottom of their hearts for bringing so much love to her last few hours on this earth. Her doctor told us that the tears we saw in her eyes were probably a reaction to hearing her friends who got to talk to her... and the music that brought her so much joy.
Her family is requesting In lieu of flowers, people may send a donation in her name (Denise Williams) to KDIGO and/or Shay Kelly of Project 50/50 who inspired her more than she (Shay Kelly) would ever know.
Denise was 32 years old. She had so much she wanted to do in this world. We will miss her. God takes the good ones early. I will let you know about details of funeral arrangements when they come available.
Update 2, 2:00PM: Right now dozens of friends of Delinda have gathered in Freestar to remember her: Direct SLurl teleport at this link.
Chestnut Rau, New World Notes event writer, has also created a new SL group you can join, Delinda Dyrssen Memorial: "This group is to organize a memorial concert to benefit her favorite charity and to honor her endless enthusiasm." (Above photo by Delinda's friend and NWN contributor ColeMarie Soleil.)
Update 3, 11/21: Paisley Beebe has a beautiful remembrance of Delinda here. Given the events that have transpired over the weekend, I've changed the name of this title from "URGENT: Delinda Dyrssen is in a Real Life Coma and Needs Her Second Life Friends to Help Wake Her".