Arizona coma patient now speaking, walking
(AP) -- It will be a special Christmas for the family of a 21-year-old University of Arizona student who was nearly taken off life support but is now recovering after waking up from a coma.
Sam Schmid was walking and speaking Friday at a Phoenix hospital.
Doctors at the Barrow Neurological Institute say Schmid has a long recovery ahead of him to regain full speech, balance and memory abilities.
He underwent surgery performed by Dr. Robert Spetzler. With no responsive signs, staff discussed taking Schmid off life support. But Spetzler recommended keeping him alive for one more week.
Nearly a week later, Schmid shocked doctors by following commands to hold up two fingers.
©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.