A 23-year-old Arizona man has miraculously completed two years of rehab after a car accident left him severely brain damaged and eventually in a coma. Both his parents and his doctors were almost ready to take him off life support and donate his organs when, suddenly, he lifted to fingers to show that he was still hanging on.
Sam Schmid, the then-21-year-old college student at the University of Arizona, got into a massive car wreck in 2011, and after a week in a coma, his parents were ready to make the tough decision to take him off life support. They still, however, had hope.
"I said, 'Sam, stay strong and fight hard,'" said Schmid’s mother Sue Regan.
Doctors believe that Schmid was brain dead, but as it turned out, on December 23, they learned that Schmid was still alive, For oever two years now, the 23-year-old has been through rigorous rehabilitation, and doctors say the fact that he’s almost fully recovered in such a short amount of time is nothing short of a miracle.
“I would describe it as a fragile state physically and emotionally,” said neuropsychologist Kristi Husk to ABC News. “We see a lot of patients here and Sam was at the most severe end of the spectrum. He was found dead at the scene and was on life support. We have seen patients recover here and seen some small miracles, but Sam’s is by far the most phenomenal recovery in my experience.”
Regan, Schmid’s mother, says that her son’s awakening, which she calls a “Christmas miracle,” has turned some of her nonbelieving friends into believers.
“I have friends who are atheists who have called me and said, 'I am going back to church,’” said Regan.
Currently, Schmid is back on the basketball court, enrolled in school, and is hoping to become a veterinary technician.
"I am surprised at the end result," said Schmid to ABC News. "I was willing to comply with all the help at Barrow [Neurological Institute] and my recovery is based on the hard work I did."