Man, 42, woke up from a coma convinced he won £50k and Rihanna was on her way to see him

A man from Scotland says he spent five weeks after being woken from a coma convinced he was in California, had won £50k - and Rihanna was on her way to see him.

Mark Gibbs revealed he woke up from a coma convinced he was living a different life in California, had won 50k and was going to meet pop sensation Rihanna. The 42-year-old was sure his life had changed for the better - and says he was “gutted” when he had a fall from grace and came back to reality.

But, despite the amusement, Mark now wants to use his experience as a cautionary tale about substance abuse. The Scotsman has lost the use of his left arm and now struggles with his speech but has been sober ever since.

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Previously a hospital porter, the 42-year-old from Ayrshire, said: “I’m a walking advert for not taking drink or drugs.”

Mark was rushed to University Hospital Crosshouse after he was found slumped and unconscious in his home in April 2023. Doctors discovered he had liver and kidney failure due to his struggles with alcohol and drug abuse, and he was put in a coma.

And upon waking, his hallucinations made him adamant he was quids in, living in the United States in California. The illusion lasted for five weeks before he realised it wasn’t real and was “gutted”, he claims.

Mark was told he had suffered two strokes and spent eight weeks in hospital recovering before he was able to come home. He said: “I thought I was in California. I thought Rhianna was coming to see me and I had won £50k.

“When I had the realisation it wasn’t real I was a bit gutted.”

Mark Gibbs woke from a coma convinced he was in California, had won £50k - and Rihanna was on her way to see him.Mark Gibbs woke from a coma convinced he was in California, had won £50k - and Rihanna was on her way to see him.
Mark Gibbs woke from a coma convinced he was in California, had won £50k - and Rihanna was on her way to see him. | SWNS

Mark admits he has struggled with alcohol and drug abuse since aged 14 and had drunk too much and collapsed at his home on April 3, 2023. His mum found him after she didn’t hear from him for two days and called an ambulance.

Mark said: “My mum found me slumped in the shower. It was a matter of life or death.” The Scotsman was in a coma for two weeks before coming round and was hallucinating for five weeks after that.

He said: “For five weeks I was convinced. At the time it did seem real.

“The doctors never could give any reason.”

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The health scare was a wake up call for Mark and he has been sober since April. Due to suffering two strokes he has now lost the use of his left arm and his speech is impacted.

He said: “My legs are still weak. I want to build them up to play football again. The nerves are totally dead in my left arm and hand. I can just twitch my fingers.”

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