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A man who was in a coma for nearly two decades his died, aged 57.
Terry Wayne Wallis was in the coma for 19 years, and had lost the ability to speak by the time he woke up.
He was left in a coma at 19 after being injure when a car being driven by a friend got involved in an accident which saw the driver killed.
A second passenger somehow emerged from the wreck unharmed.
However, after 19 years, he opened his eyes and uttered one word – “mom”.
It took him around another month to regain his speech.
At the time, a member of the team at the Stone County Rehabilitation Centre, where he was treated, told local news: “He started out with ‘Mom,’ and then it was ‘Pepsi,’ and then it was ‘milk.
“After that, his ability returned quickly, and now it’s anything he wants to say.”
Mother Angilee Wallis called the recovery a “miracle” at the time.
Although not much is known about his later life, an obituary written by the family was posted on the Roller Funeral Homes website this week.
They wrote: “Terry was in an automobile accident in 1984, just six weeks after the birth of his daughter, Amber.
“The accident left him in a coma for 19 years.
“In 2003, Terry awoke from the coma and began speaking.
“He has been the subject of many news and medical articles and was known as 'The Man Who Slept for 19 Years'.
“His mother and all of his family cared for him relentlessly during his coma and afterwards.
“His family would bring him home on alternate weekends for years.
“Doctors believe that this stimulation contributed to his awakening period.
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“Terry's mother passed away in 2018.
“He enjoyed eating anything at anytime and loved drinking Pepsi, and he liked listening to live music, especially when his brother Perry was playing.
“Terry was a great teaser and loved to tease his sister – his wonderful sense of humor will be greatly missed by his family.”
He is survived by his dad Jerry, daughter Amber, three grandchildren and three siblings.
The funeral took place on Friday.
- In the News
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