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The VerbalHerman Munster

Registered: 04/15/03
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Man comes out of 19 year coma!
    #1699627 - 07/09/03 02:53 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)


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Re: Man comes out of 19 year coma! [Re: Dreamer987]
    #1699746 - 07/09/03 03:23 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Man Wakes, Speaks After 19 Years in Coma
1 hour, 1 minute ago Add Health - AP to My Yahoo!

By DAVID HAMMER, Associated Press Writer

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Ark. - The words began tumbling out of Terry Wallis ? at first just a few nouns and eventually a torrent of phrases.

"He started out with 'Mom' and surprised her and then it was 'Pepsi' and then it was 'milk.' And now it's anything he wants to say," Stone County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center social director Alesha Badgley said Tuesday.

Angilee Wallis called her son's full return to consciousness a miracle: "I couldn't tell you my first thought, I just fell over on the floor," she said.

Terry Wallis, now 39, was riding with a friend in July 1984 when their car left the road and plunged into a creek. Wallis and his friend were found the next day underneath a bridge. The friend was dead and Wallis was comatose.

Wallis' daughter, Amber, was born shortly before the accident, but he was unable to communicate directly with her for almost two decades. She is now 19 and her dad has said he wants to walk again, for her. He is a quadriplegic as a result of the crash.

"It's been hard dealing with it, it's been hard realizing the man I married can't be there," said Wallis' wife, Sandi. "We all, the whole family, missed out on his company."

The silence ended June 12 when Wallis uttered his first word. He was able to talk a little more a day later and has improved ever since.

Terry's father, Jerry Wallis, said his son talks almost nonstop now, but it seems as though time stopped for him after the wreck. Terry still believes Ronald Reagan (news - web sites) is the president.

Terry has asked to speak to his grandmother, who died several years ago, and even recited her phone number ? something everyone else in the family had forgotten.

"You see, he's still back in 1984," said Jerry Wallis.

Terry Wallis was in a deep sleep for three months after the accident, but at times he communicated by blinking or making guttural sounds ? especially if he saw something he didn't like.

"He wouldn't drive a Chevrolet and when the commercials would come on the TV he'd have a fit. He'd shake his head from one side to the other and give some kind of hollering," Jerry Wallis said.

Eighteen years ago, Terry Wallis began shaking his head violently when a doctor told the family that medical bills were running about $125,000 ? as if to say the price wasn't acceptable, Jerry Wallis said.

Because his improvement was so gradual, doctors did not place a firm date on when Terry emerged from the coma, except to say he had fully emerged when he began speaking, Jerry Wallis said.

Perry Wallis, Terry' brother, said the recovery has been a relief. "Just to put it bluntly, it was pure hell to see your brother laying there, not knowing if you'll ever talk to him again," he said.

The timing raised eyebrows.

"It's kind of peculiar. He wrecked on Friday the 13th and 19 years later he started talking on Friday the 13th," Jerry Wallis said.


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