'Brain dead' student wakes from coma

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by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham

azfamily.com

Posted on December 23, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 23 at 12:19 PM

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Sam Schmid, a 21-year-old University of Arizona student, woke up from a coma just before doctors were about to pull the plug.

Schmid went into a coma following an accident in Tucson on Oct. 19. One of his friends was killed in the crash and doctors expected Schmid to die, as well.

After he was flown to Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, surgeons treated Schmid for hemorrhaging, an aneurysm and a stroke. 

Doctors declared Schmid brain-dead and his family had agreed to donate his organs, but Schmid suddenly and inexplicably began responding to commands.

What began as a few fingers moving has turned into a remarkable recovery. Schmid's doctors say they're dumbfounded. He can move around with the help of a walker and his speech is slow but improving.

"It's a miracle considering where I was to where I am now," Schmid said on a home video shot in his hospital room. He is expected to appear with doctors at a press conference on Friday.

 

 
 

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