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Firefighter Makes Amazing Recovery


Bradcore
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ORCHARD PARK, New York (AP) -- 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, Herbert's uncle, Simon Manka said.

 

"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 December 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.

 

Manka declined to discuss his nephew's current condition, or whether the apparent progress was continuing. The family was seeking privacy while doctors evaluated Herbert, he said.

 

"He's resting comfortably," the uncle said.

 

As word of Herbert's progress spread, a steady stream of visitors arrived at the Father Baker Manor nursing home in this Buffalo suburb.

 

"He stayed up till early morning talking with his boys and catching up on what they've been doing over the last several years," firefighter Anthony Liberatore told WIVB-TV.

 

Herbert's sons were 14, 13, 11 and 3 when he was injured.

 

Staff members at the nursing facility recognized the change in Herbert, Manka said, when they heard him speaking and "making specific requests."

 

"The word of the day was `amazing,"' he said.

 

Dr. Rose Lynn Sherr of New York University Medical Center said when patients recover from brain injuries, they usually do so within two or three years.

 

"It's almost unheard of after 10 years," she said, "but sometimes things do happen and people suddenly improve and we don't understand why."

 

Manka said visitors let Herbert set the pace of the conversations and did not bring up the fire in which he was injured.

 

"The extent and duration of his recovery is not known at this time," Manka said. "However we can tell you he did recognize several family members and friends and did call them by name."

 

 

 

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10 bucks says the religious right exploits this guys story.

761697[/snapback]

I'll double that.

761721[/snapback]

 

Good to see the liberals in their traditional damage control over a feel good and amazing story!!

 

:plain

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10 bucks says the religious right exploits this guys story.

761697[/snapback]

I'll double that.

761721[/snapback]

 

Good to see the liberals in their traditional damage control over a feel good and amazing story!!

 

:plain

761878[/snapback]

Damage control? How?

762054[/snapback]

 

Dude makes an amazing miracle recovery, and all you can say is "ehh the righty's will use this guy".

 

What a wonderful point of view to have! :plain

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10 bucks says the religious right exploits this guys story.

761697[/snapback]

I'll double that.

761721[/snapback]

 

Good to see the liberals in their traditional damage control over a feel good and amazing story!!

 

:plain

761878[/snapback]

Damage control? How?

762054[/snapback]

 

Dude makes an amazing miracle recovery, and all you can say is "ehh the righty's will use this guy".

 

What a wonderful point of view to have! :plain

763738[/snapback]

 

It was just a frikkin observation dude. I really hope he doesnt get exploited in the enviroment we live in today. Should I just be throwing out inane comments? Sorry there was an attempt to add depth to a story posted on the board. Jesus.

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It's insane how some of these things happen.

 

Just reading an article on cnn.com about it. I guess he is kind of going in and out of it. But nothing has been as good as it was Saturday. I mean seriously how does one person wake up just out of no where like that.

 

They had another story about a young guy who was ina coma for like 10 years woke up said 'Mom. Can you get me a Pepsi' and he was responsive for a few hours then went back in it and never got back up

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It's insane how some of these things happen.

 

Just reading an article on cnn.com about it. I guess he is kind of going in and out of it. But nothing has been as good as it was Saturday. I mean seriously how does one person wake up just out of no where like that.

 

They had another story about a young guy who was ina coma for like 10 years woke up said 'Mom. Can you get me a Pepsi' and he was responsive for a few hours then went back in it and never got back up

763933[/snapback]

To be honest with you, it creeps me out. Its almost like seeing a ghost. Maybe one day they can unlock the secrets of the human brain. The very fact that it could sustain itself on the same thoughts and memories for so long is so strange.

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It's insane how some of these things happen.

 

Just reading an article on cnn.com about it. I guess he is kind of going in and out of it. But nothing has been as good as it was Saturday. I mean seriously how does one person wake up just out of no where like that.

 

They had another story about a young guy who was ina? coma for like 10 years woke up said 'Mom. Can you get me a Pepsi' and he was responsive for a few hours then went back in it and never got back up

763933[/snapback]

To be honest with you, it creeps me out. Its almost like seeing a ghost. Maybe one day they can unlock the secrets of the human brain. The very fact that it could sustain itself on the same thoughts and memories for so long is so strange.

763969[/snapback]

 

 

But people and politicians will use this to fuel even more stories and opinions about Terri Shaivo.

 

You can bank on that.

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