Man Wakes from 19 Year Coma
Terry and Daughter Amber
It was Friday, July 13th 1984 when 19 year old Terry Wallis was in a major car accident near his home in Mountain View, Arkansas. Wallis and close friend "Chub" Moore were out for a leisurely drive when Wallis suddenly lost control of his vehicle and crashed through a guardrail, plunging 25 feet down into a creek bed below. Police found them early the next morning under a bridge. Terry was comatose and his friend was dead.
It would be 19 years before he would see his then 17 year old wife and six-week old daughter again. Ironically, it was a date that again fell on a Friday the 13th in June of 2003.
Terry was admitted to Stone County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and placed on a ventilator for long term maintenance. There was nothing more doctors could do. When he awoke, his daughter was 19 and his parents were still living.
His first word was "Mom," his second, "Pepsi. He later asked for milk. Terry's speech recovered slowly at first, a few words at a time. By the second day Terry was still speaking slowly, but normally as if nothing had ever happened. Terry believed the year was 1984 and Ronald Reagan was still president.
According to neurological specialists, Terry's long term memory seemed to function normally, only frozen in 1984. However, he was surprised to find he was now a paraplegic. In any case, for someone to recover from a coma after nearly 20 years is extremely rare, they said.
Since re-awakening in 2003, Terry’s speech and memory have continued to improve, giving physicians new perspectives into neurology and cognitive processes. It’s been discovered his brain is forming new neural connections, something formerly believed not possible following severe brain trauma.