Woman in coma, heart rate falling on ecg monitor, intensive care hospital unit
Jade Small
Jade Small
July 22, 2023 ·  3 min read

After two years in a coma, woman wakes to name brother in attack

Two years ago Wanda Palmer was attacked and the damage done left her in a coma. The odds were against her, but despite the doctors’ predictions, Wanda woke up. She was conscious enough to name her attacker – her own brother. 

She was left for dead and ended up in a coma

Wanda was beaten in her home in June 2020. She was found on the verge of death as her attacker had “left her for dead,” according to a statement made by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department. Wanda was so badly hurt, that when the officials arrived on the scene, she was assumed dead already. She was treated in hospital. But, later she was taken to a care facility in New Martinsville, West Virginia. There she was cared for while she was in a coma. 

Wanda Palmer
Wanda Palmer. Image Credit: Jackson County WV Sheriff’s Office | Facebook

Wanda’s brother, Daniel Palmer, was arrested at the time for suspicion of the act. His charges were attempted murder and malicious wounding of Wanda. This is according to the report made by West Virginia Metro News

Sheriff Ross Mellinger said: “When we got there, to be honest, we thought she was dead. We had a little bit of an idea what happened, but the problem was with the nuts and bolts of the case we had nothing to go on.” he added: We thought for sure this was a murder case.”

He continued on to say that they did not have much evidence on who the attacker could have been. “There was no eye witnesses, nobody lived in the home, no surveillance footage, no cell phone records. There was virtually nothing there to move forward on.” 

Read: Teacher Sentenced To 50 Years For Sexually Assaulting 7-year-old Student, Conspiring To Kill Him

She identified her brother as her attacker that put her in a coma

When Wanda woke from her coma, the officials went to visit her at the care facility. They were warned that she had suffered brain damage as a result of the attack. However, Wanda managed to remember who attacked her. She told the officials that it was her brother. She even remembered that he had used a machete or a hatchet to do the deed. 

Daniel Palmer
Daniel Palmer. Image Credit: Jackson County WV Sheriff’s Office | Facebook

“The keys to the whole thing lies with the victim. And, with her unable to communicate, we were left with nothing. Now, low and behold, two years later, and boom. She’s awake and able to tell us exactly what happened,” said the sheriff. 

The officials involved went to find Daniel Palmer to place him under arrest. According to the reports, he did not put up much effort to resist. “He didn’t give us any fight or anything. There was a little bit of surprise, but not entirely,” the sheriff said.

Officials statements

Many people who wake from comas do not remember their attacker because their injuries are too severe, or their psyche blocked out their memories. So, it was a miraculous thing for Palmer to remember the incident, Mellinger said: “Just the fact that she survived is nothing short of a miracle,” Mellinger told The Washington Post. “But to be able to come back … two years later and identify who her attacker was, it’s spectacular.”

While Wanda was in her coma, the investigation that took place found out a few things. She and her brother lived quite close to each other. In fact, they lived only half-mile apart, in Jackson County, on the same property near a hamlet called Cottageville. After some digging in the records, the investigators found there was a history of violence between Daniel and Wanda. So, they assumed it was Daniel who attacked Wanda because a neighbor said he saw him on Wanda’s porch 10 hours before she was found. 

Keep Reading: Dad pummels man accused of killing his son, footage shows


  1. An attack left a woman in a coma. She woke up and accused her brother.Washington Post. Julian Mark. July 19, 2022.
  2. After two years in a coma, West Virginia woman wakes to name brother in attack.NBC News. Kalhan Rosenblatt. July 18, 2022.