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  1. #21
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post More details.....

    By CAROLYN THOMPSON
    Associated Press Writer
    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Day after day, Donald Herbert sat unmoving
    in a wheelchair, drooling and barely aware. For the once robust
    firefighter, 10 minutes without oxygen had turned into nearly 10
    years without seeing or speaking.
    His wife refused to give up. His doctor had an idea.
    Certain medications had shown promise in Dr. Jamil Ahmed's more
    recently brain-damaged patients, drugs normally used to treat
    Parkinson's disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and
    depression. He gave them to Herbert.
    Three months later, on Saturday, something clicked in Herbert's
    brain. He started talking. Not only talking, his doctor said, but
    talking sensibly. Even making people laugh.
    Over the next 14 to 16 hours, until he fell into a 30-hour sleep
    early Sunday morning, Herbert chatted with his wife, Linda, his
    four sons and other family and friends, catching up on what he'd
    missed.
    Miraculous?
    "I think so," said Dr. Ellen Reilly, Herbert's attending
    physician at Father Baker Manor nursing home, where he has lived
    the past seven years.
    Ahmed had told Linda Herbert to give the drugs six months. Even
    he was startled at their apparent effect. When Ahmed examined
    Herbert on Saturday, he could follow commands such as shaking his
    head, moving his hands and counting to 200.
    "I went to see him in the nursing home and I was so amazed,"
    Ahmed said. "I was so surprised that not only that he was talking
    but he was talking very sensibly. He was remembering his past, he
    just didn't realize how long he was asleep. ... He recognized
    people. His comments were very interesting and people were
    laughing."
    Since that breakthrough, Herbert, who will turn 44 Saturday, has
    had infrequent moments of clarity but has not matched Saturday's
    progress, his wife said.
    "Don has made some advances, but there is still a long way to
    go," she said. "As you can imagine for us, to speak to, and to be
    recognized by my husband, their father, after 9Ĺ years, was
    completely overwhelming."
    Herbert went without oxygen for 10 minutes after being trapped
    under a collapsed roof while fighting a house fire in December
    1995. He spent 2Ĺ months in a coma, was blind and had little, if
    any, memory. In the last several years, his condition had sunk to a
    near persistent vegetative state, Ahmed said.
    Then he asked for Linda.
    He was stunned that nearly a decade had passed.
    "My son, Nicholas, who had just turned 4 at the time of the
    accident, is just thrilled to have his father call him by name, hug
    him and speak with him. ... My husband did not believe that it was
    Nick at first, because he thought Nick was still 3 years old,"
    Linda Herbert said.
    The experience has given the family, and doctors, hope.
    Ahmed expects Herbert to speak more, to walk and eat. That his
    condition has fluctuated since Saturday was expected, he said.
    The drug combination, he said, was meant to stimulate
    neurotransmitters, which brain cells use to communicate with one
    another.
    Dr. Ross Zafonte, chairman of the department of physical
    medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh, said
    such classes of drugs may help with a rerouting of brain circuitry.
    While seeming to offer promise in this case, the approach is not
    a cure-all for brain-injured patients, he said.
    "Some of these things happen overnight. ... Some individuals
    are non-responders and understanding who is a non-responder is
    important, too," Zafonte said.
    There have been a few other widely publicized examples of
    brain-damaged patients showing sudden improvement after a number of
    years, at least temporarily, but experts say they are so rare they
    don't have much to study.
    In 2003, an Arkansas man, Terry Wallis, returned to
    consciousness 19 years after he was injured in a car accident,
    stunning his mother by saying "Mom" and then asking for a Pepsi.
    His brain function has remained limited, his family said months
    later.
    Tennessee police officer Gary Dockery, whose brain was damaged
    in a 1988 shooting, began speaking to his family one day in 1996,
    telling jokes and recounting annual winter camping trips. But after
    18 hours, he never repeated the unbridled conversation of that day,
    though he remained more alert than he had been. He died the
    following year of a blood clot on his lung.

    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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  2. #22
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    Default

    His wife refused to give up.

    Praise God. This is the way it should be. She is also a hero in this story.

  3. #23
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Default

    This is great news. Maybe a little food for thought for you "feeding tube removers" out there.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  4. #24
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    Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    This is great news. Maybe a little food for thought for you "feeding tube removers" out there.
    Somebody finally said it. I was waiting to see if my alluding to this would reach someone. You are 100% correct.

    In the last several years, his condition had sunk to a
    near persistent vegetative state, Ahmed said.

  5. #25
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    Default Donald Herbert

    Your a miracle. If you ever read this WELCOME BACK happy to see your doing well.

  6. #26
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    Default words and meanings

    Amazing, miracle, divine intervention, food for thought, never giving up.
    There is so much more going on than what we can comprehend i believe. All those words posted are just smaller representations to whats happened with Donald Herbert and his quest to return. The timing as well. This whole event over 10 years is buffet for thought.
    HAppy to see fellow brothers able to recognize all that.

  7. #27
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    It is good to hear a story that has a happy ending. I wish Don a speedy recovery
    Last edited by pengman; 05-11-2005 at 01:45 PM.

  8. #28
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    It is kind of funny how all the culture of death people have grown silent.

  9. #29
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Post UPDATE

    By CAROLYN THOMPSON
    Associated Press Writer
    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A brain-injured firefighter who seemed to
    snap out of an almost decade-long stupor just over a month ago has
    been moved to Chicago to continue intensive therapy, his doctor
    said.
    Donald Herbert, who shocked his family April 30 by going from
    nearly mute to a 14-hour talking jag, was moved this week to the
    Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
    Since his recovery, Herbert, 44, has had sporadic conversations
    and has played with a soccer ball at the suburban nursing home
    where he was living.
    "He gets excited when you talk about his past," his doctor,
    Jamil Ahmed of the Erie County Medical Center, told radio station
    WBEN. "Sometimes he gives a remark, sometimes he makes jokes."
    Herbert is expected to remain in Chicago for a month or two, the
    station reported.
    Herbert went without oxygen for several minutes after being
    trapped under a collapsed roof while fighting a house fire in
    December 1995.
    He remained in a near persistent vegetative state unil Ahmed
    put him on a combination of drugs usually used to treat Parkinson's
    disease, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
    Ahmed had used such drugs to help other brain-injury patients
    regain focus and memory and said he had seen the drugs bring people
    out of comas.
    Ahmed recently described Herbert as responsive and said he had
    recovered from a recent fall that left himwith a slight concussion
    and cut over his eye that required more than 10 stitches.
    Relatives have declined to speak with reporters since early May.

    APTV 06-03-05 2149EDT
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

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  10. #30
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    The R.I.C. is a wondeful place that does remarkable things. If anyone knows if his family needs anything while in Chicago, please contact me.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  11. #31
    Forum Member TCFire's Avatar
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    Default Sad News

    Very sad to have to pass along that Don Herbert passed away overnight in a local nursing home. He fought the good fight and may he now Rest in Peace. Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
    In Arduis Fidelis
    Faithful in Adversity

  12. #32
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    TC thanks for the update.

    My deepest condolences to the family you for their loss.
    Stupid People.......Providing Job Security to Public Safety Professionals for ........forever

  13. #33
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
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    Default

    Thank you for the Update.

    To the family friends and BFD brothers and sisters of Don Herbert I extend my sincere condolences.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  14. #34
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    It is kind of funny how all the culture of death people have grown silent.
    Not silent, just a different situation. It is a private matter and no one elses business, nor is it a political issue or the place of any governmental agency.

    I will make my choices based upon what I feel is right and what the wishes of my wife or her family would be.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

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  15. #35
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    I'm glad that Don Herbert and his loved ones got to get together what was for the last time before he succumbed to his injuries. It is as if, by the grace of God, he got to say good bye to his family.
    But to go from hope to sorrow in less than 24 hours is just so tragic.
    My condolences to the family of Don Herbert and those at the nursing home who cared for him. They, too, should be remembered.
    I'm so sorry.
    CR
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie
    Not silent, just a different situation. It is a private matter and no one elses business, nor is it a political issue or the place of any governmental agency.

    I will make my choices based upon what I feel is right and what the wishes of my wife or her family would be.
    I don't disagree with what you said at all. Only, that is not what the discussion is about.

    BTW, I made the post 9 months ago. I call that silent.

  17. #37
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    BTW, I made the post 9 months ago. I call that silent.
    Wasn't cruisin' this thread then I guess. My point would have still been the same.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

    www.daveramsey.com www.clarkhoward.com www.heritage.org

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