Firefighter Awakens After Ten Years

Donald HerbertTen years ago a firefighter in Buffalo, Donald Herbert, rushed into a burning building looking for survivors. He was knocked out by a collapsing roof, taken to hospital and remained in a coma for two and a half months. A year later he regained consciousness but did not recognise his wife and four children and seemed to have no idea who he was.

Ten years later, last Saturday, he really woke up:

“I want to talk to my wife,” Mr. Herbert was quoted as saying. A staff member called his wife, Linda, but it was his youngest son, Nicholas, 13, who picked up the phone and began speaking.

“That can’t be,” Mr. Herbert said. “He’s just a baby. He can’t talk.”

UPDATE: Donald Herbert ‘Minimally Conscious’ Unlike Terri Schiavo

New York Times [Free Reg. Req.] [via Mind Hacks]

About the author


Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 4 May 2005

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