Man Who Awakened from Coma After Two Years Offers Hope to Jahi McMath’s Family
By Boaz Wadel
The young girl declared brain dead following complications of tonsil surgery was moved from Children's Hospital in Oakland to an undisclosed location after her family fought for her life. No one knows what will happen to 13-year-old Jahi, but one man offers hope to her family.
"They said I was a vegetable and 80 percent of my brain was dead," says Randall Hall, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2000 and lapsed into a persistent vegetative state for two years.
Over time, his body atrophied and curled into a fetal position. Hooked up to breathing and feeding machines, with no response to sounds or movement, doctors recommended they remove life support.
While Hall's father sided with the doctors, his mother and older brother refused to remove his breathing and feeding tubes. They thought they saw occasional flashes of recognition in Randall's eyes that offered hope.
In January 2002, doctors replaced a portion of Randall's skull to relieve pressure on his brain. A month after the surgery, Hall began to awaken from the coma over a two-week period.
But Hall doesn't credit the surgeons or other therapies for his survival. He credits the Great Physician - who still has the power to heal.
"I was going to hell if I died, but God saved my life," Hall declares. "No human saved my life," he says. "God allowed me to die for two years so He could save my life. Doctors can only do so much - they're not gods."