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Arizona College Student Awakes from Coma Hours Before Organ Donation Surgery

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Sam Schmid, an Arizona college student, was set to donate his organs when he miraculously awoke from a coma. Doctors suspected that Schmid was brain dead after he was in a October 19 five-car accident that critically wounded him. He was so injured, in fact, that doctors at the local hospital were unable to treat him for his brain injuries and he was subsequently airlifted to the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Phoenix. There he received surgery for a life-threatening aneurysm.

Schmid was returning from coaching basketball at his former high school when a van swerved into his lane. His jeep flew into the air, struck a light pole, and came to a landing on its side. Both of his hands and his femurs broke, but the worst of his injuries was the head trauma–which is nearly always fatal. In total, Schmid had a hemmorhage, an aneurysm and a stroke and doctors knew the odds that he would survive were very slim. However, his doctors were puzzled to find no fatal injuries on an MRI scan and decided to keep him on life support a while longer.

But the situation still looked grim and doctors didn't want to give his parents false hope for a recovery. They began to discuss the option of organ donation with his parents, but before they could remove his organs, Schmid began to respond by holding up two fingers on command. He is now walking with the aid of a walker and his speech has also improved. Doctors anticipate a full recovery and Schmid may also receive a pass to celebrate the holidays with his family. His mother calls her son's recovery nothing short of a miracle.