Fiona O'Loughlin

Fiona O'Loughlin

Fiona O'Loughlin: I was in a coma for a month

Comic reveals her brush with death

Australian comedian Fiona O’Loughlin has revealed that she was in a coma for four weeks.

The comic says was left ‘very, very unwell’ after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning from her heater.

But she said that her struggles with alcohol didn’t help her pick up on what was happening when the killer gas affected her thinking.

‘My demons didn’t help,’ she said when she spoke about her experiences on Gold104.3’s Jo & Lehmo radio show this morning.

‘It went over the course of a month. I forgot things, I thought I was getting early Alzheimer’s. I was forgetting things, forgetting my kids’ names… But then I did forget I was an alcoholic.’

Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can cause brain damage and even death – and O’Loughlin said she was given just a seven per cent chance of surviving with a good quality of life. ‘My organs were all in total failure.’ she said.

‘Guess what? I didn’t die,’ she joked.

The 53-year-old comedian spoke of being ‘trapped-in’ while she was in a coma, when she could hear what was going on but not communicate. ‘It was horrible.’

And she said her sisters Emily and Kate,  played the ‘worst’ prank on her when she regained consciousness.

‘ I’m three days out of a coma,’ she said. ‘They were talking into their wrists, and I’m just lying there going,’What are you doing? Emily said "They’re microchips in our wrists. We’ve all got them." Kate said, "You know you’ve been in a coma for seven years?’ I lost my mind.

The incident also caused O’Loughlin to reassess her life after she turned back to drink to cope.

‘I had a big mental breakdown afterwards and went back to my old mate, vodka,’ she said.

‘But then I thought "bugger this", so I put myself in the hardest rehab in the country and it was hilarious.’ 

O’Loughlin, who said she always sought to find the joke in such hardships, is now writing a book about her experiences, a follow-up to her 2011 memoir Me Of The Never Never.

Here is today’s interview.

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Published: 27 Jun 2017

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2006

Fiona O'Loughlin


Edinburgh Fringe 2008

Fiona O'Loughlin [2008]


Montreal 2006

Late Nite Down Under


Montreal 2007

Bubbling With Laughter 5


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