Tuesday, May 3, 2005


Pretty amazing and cool...

Ten years after a firefighter was left brain-damaged and mostly mute during a 1995 roof collapse, he did something that shocked his family and doctors: He perked up.

"I want to talk to my wife," Donald Herbert said out of the blue Saturday. Staff members of the nursing home where he has lived for more than seven years raced to get Linda Herbert on the telephone.

It was the first of many conversations the 44-year-old patient had with his wife, four sons and other family and friends during a 14-hour stretch, said Herbert's uncle, Simon Manka.

"How long have I been away?" Herbert asked.

"We told him almost 10 years," the uncle said. "He thought it was only three months."

Herbert was fighting a house fire Dec. 29, 1995, when the roof collapsed, burying him under debris. After going without air for several minutes, Herbert was comatose for 2 1/2 months and has undergone therapy ever since.

News accounts in the days and years after his injury describe Herbert as blind and with little, if any, memory. Video shows him receiving physical therapy but apparently unable to communicate and with little awareness of his surroundings.
(full article)

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