Posted on May 8, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 2 of 12 in the series Ian

Wakeup from Coma: Ian Part Two

Ian’s friend is one of those people whose loyalty was not tested but proven by adversity. He has been by Ian’s side since the wreck. He was there waiting for Ian to wakeup from coma.  He explains:

I went there straightaway. The first three nights I stayed at the hospital. He was not left alone. Between the date when his wife, or is his folks were there or his brother, whatever. At night when like around 5:00 or 6:00 at night I’d show up and I’d stay there until morning.

Ian’s parents also went through the waiting for the wakeup from coma. His Mom explains:

I got a phone call from one of the guys that was behind him when it happened. He called to let us know that he was taken to St. Vincent’s and that was 11:00 p.m. that night. And then woke up (Ian’s Dad) and I told him that we should go. But before we went there we went over to the (Ian’s) house and didn’t see any lights and I didn’t know, both vehicles were gone because the garage door was down. So I didn’t go in the house. I just assumed that everybody had gone over there. I didn’t know that (Ian’s wife) had gone ahead but the two boys were home on their own which I didn’t know at the time.

But that’s how we learned about it and when I got over there they were just sitting in the boys – I call them boys – the guys were sitting in the lounge and kind of gave us a, filled us in on what happened. They didn’t see him right away when he went down in that ditch they lost light but it was moonlight, kind of moonlight night, and they seen a reflection and that’s how they knew the motorcycle was down there but they didn’t see him at first.

Did any of them know what happened while they were waiting for you to wakeup from coma?

No. He seemed like when he started to turn that corner off the highway down to 43 he just went straight. Never swerved. Not – there was no indication that he tried to apply the brakes, corrective himself or anything. He just went down. And the way the doctor told us that it seemed like when he went down his bike didn’t quite bounce right and when it went up it threw him but hit him on the right side as he went, he went one way and the motorcycle went the other.

What did the doctor tell you about his injuries while you were waiting for Ian’s wakeup from coma?

Well when we got there and I asked if I could go in by where he was because I wanted to tell the doctors he had contacts in and he said we don’t know if he’ll make it tonight, I preparing for the worst. He said we’ll do what we can and that’s all we can tell you now.

Did the doctors tell you the nature of his injuries?

Not really. No. I’m not real sure anymore but I know they induced the coma because they said that was the only way that they could help him and help heal his brain. You know I don’t remember. I think he came to a little a time. I mean he didn’t know how to write, and he wasn’t too sure who was who but the focus was off because of it but we couldn’t be there all the time as much as some, you know like with his friend that’s with, he would go and sit with him so we didn’t really see a lot of when the changes weren’t dramatic.

Ian’s friend further explains the beginning of awareness and Ian’s wakeup from coma:

I really don’t think he knew what was going on around him yet. He was really doped up. I do know that much and I had taken pictures. He woke up first during the day so when I came in at night, you know, he was back sleeping again but I think he woke up every once or twice before because I went and stood by him and just kind of talked to him for a little bit.

When did he become aware, relative to the October 4 accident date after his wakeup from coma:

I think the date is October 27 on an email for all his friends and basically what I told them was what happened to Ian – how he was doing – just giving them general information, how you can go by, you can see him. Later, just giving everybody an update, you know an update as it went along. So he was in I think somewhere – just before Halloween. It was before Halloween and he got out the week before Thanksgiving.

As in most of stories of the family and friends, the waiting for the wakeup from coma is excruciating.  Not knowing what extent of the injury has done to the person they care so much about. Ian’s story isn’t any different as his friend and parents waited for his wakeup from coma.

Next in Part Three, About Ian Before His Accident

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447