POP STAR SINGS TO COMA GIRL
New bid to wake Jenny
Pop star Crispian St Peters made a "mercy" trip from London this week to try to help his "greatest fan", Jennifer McConnell, the Corby girl who has been lying in a coma for 11 weeks.
In the little cubicle off H.C.Pretty ward in Kettering General Hospital, Crispian, wearing a surgical mask, played his guitar, sang some of his hit songs and pleaded with Jennifer to wake up.
Crispian broke off recording engagements on Wednesday to make the trip to the hospital after the Leader passed on a 'please come and help' message from her anxious parents Mr and Mrs Jim McConnell, of 3 Todmorden Close.
At the hospital he was met by Mr and Mrs McConnell and Mr J R Bradley, deputy group secretary of Kettering Hospitals Management Committee, and was taken straight up to see Jennifer.
The last time Crispian met 17 year old Jennifer was when she got up at six o'clock one morning to say goodbye to him when he was leaving the Strathclyde Hotel after having played in Corby the night before. "Jennifer is your greatest fan", Mrs McConnell told Crispian. "She has treasured the comb you gave her as a keepsake when she met you in Corby. We have just been praying that if she realises you are here to see her and to sing for her it may start some reaction that will waken her out of the coma".
As he played his guitar and sang some of Jennifer's favourite songs like "You Were On My Mind" and 'The Pied Piper' she seemed to be stirring as if trying to follow the sound of the music and her feet were moving.
"You like to dance" said Crispian. "Remember that dance when you met me and I gave you my comb? Have you still got it? Try and wake up Jennifer."
Crispian had just left the cubicle after spending almost an hour with Jennifer when a call came from her father brought him rushing back.
"Jenny seemed to be trying to cry," said Mr McConnell. "It was as if she realised what had been going on and was sad because Crispian was leaving."
Promise to return
Crispian said afterwards "I only wish I could have done more to help her. I hope somehow that she did hear me and that it will help. I'll be coming back to see her again just as soon as I can get a few hours free."
Mrs McConnell told the Leader, "It was wonderful of Crispian to come. I feel sure that she heard him and seemed to be reacting to his singing. Who knows? It was a desperate attempt but it is possible that it might have helped and will start a reaction to bring her out of this terrible coma."
Before travelling back to London to get some rest - he had only been able to get a few hours sleep before making the trip to Kettering - Crispian told Mr and Mrs McConnell that he would try to get back and see Jennifer next week and asked them to let him know the minute she wakes up.
"I will put on a special show for her," he said.
Jennifer was plunged into the coma after she was badly injured in a death crash at Kettering on June 26 in which two young people died.
Story from the 'Corby Leader' Friday September 15 1967