1. #1
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    Thumbs up Welcome Back..Don Herbert!

    For you old geezers.....This Don Herbert is the NEW Mr Wizard!
    God bless you Donald!


    By CAROLYN THOMPSON
    Associated Press Writer
    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Ten years after a firefighter was left
    brain-damaged and mostly mute during a 1995 roof collapse, he did
    something that shocked his family and doctors: He perked up.
    "I want to talk to my wife," Donald Herbert said out of the
    blue Saturday. Staff members of the nursing home where he has lived
    for more than seven years raced to get Linda Herbert on the
    telephone.
    It was the first of many conversations the 44-year-old patient
    had with his wife, four sons and other family and friends during a
    14-hour stretch, Herbert's uncle Simon Manka said.
    "How long have I been away?" Herbert asked.
    "We told him almost 10 years," the uncle said. "He thought it
    was only three months."
    Herbert was fighting a house fire Dec. 29, 1995, when the roof
    collapsed, burying him under debris. After going without air for
    several minutes, Herbert was comatose for 2 1/2 months and has
    undergone therapy ever since.
    News accounts in the days and years after his injury describe
    Herbert as blind and with little, if any, memory. Video shows him
    receiving physical therapy but apparently unable to communicate and
    with little awareness of his surroundings.
    Manka declined to discuss his nephew's current condition, or
    whether the apparent progress was continuing. The family was
    seeking privacy while doctors evaluated Herbert, he said.
    "He's resting comfortably," the uncle said.
    As word of Herbert's progress spread, a steady stream of
    visitors arrived at the Father Baker Manor nursing home in this
    Buffalo suburb.
    "He stayed up 'til early morning talking with his boys and
    catching up on what they've been doing over the last several
    years," firefighter Anthony Liberatore told WIVB-TV.
    Herbert's sons were 14, 13, 11 and 3 when he was injured.
    Staff members at the nursing facility recognized the change in
    Herbert, Manka said, when they heard him speaking and "making
    specific requests."
    "The word of the day was `amazing,"' he said.
    Dr. Rose Lynn Sherr of New York University Medical Center said
    when patients recover from brain injuries, they usually do so
    within two or three years.
    "It's almost unheard of after 10 years," she said, "but
    sometimes things do happen and people suddenly improve and we don't
    understand why."
    Manka said visitors let Herbert set the pace of the
    conversations and did not bring up the fire in which he was
    injured.
    "The extent and duration of his recovery is not known at this
    time," Manka said. "However we can tell you he did recognize
    several family members and friends and did call them by name."
    ---
    On the Net:
    Father Baker Manor: http://www.chsbuffalo.org/body.cfm?id982


    (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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    Welcome back Don! I heard this on the local news last night. It is great that his family will get to speak with him again.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    Smile

    This has been one of the big stories locally since the weekend. This is fantastic news.....along with the lost-at-sea boys in Carolina this must be the week for miracles! Welcome back Don!

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    Silent since 1995, firefighter talks



    Herbert visits with family for 16 hours

    By GENE WARNER
    News Staff Reporter
    5/3/2005

    It happened early Saturday afternoon, at about 1:30 or 2. Buffalo Firefighter Donald Herbert, sitting in a wheelchair in the hallway of his Orchard Park nursing home, looked out the window and asked where his wife, Linda, was.

    Staff members couldn't have been more stunned.

    For more than nine years, Herbert has suffered from a profound brain injury after being badly injured in a December 1995 fire, when a roof collapsed on him. Buried under debris and without air for six minutes, he lapsed into a coma for the next 21/2 months.

    Since then, he has been unable to see, verbally recognize loved ones' voices or carry on any kind of meaningful conversation.

    That all changed Saturday and early Sunday. For about 16 hours, until roughly 6 a.m. Sunday, the 43-year-old Herbert remained awake. He visited with his wife and sons, some fellow firefighters and other close friends who rushed to his room in Father Baker Manor.

    He kept asking where and how his wife and four sons were. He recognized the voices of loved ones. And he was responsive.

    "Donny, you feel OK?" one relative asked him.

    "I feel great," he replied.

    At another point, Herbert asked how long he had been "under" and was told it had been almost 10 years.

    "I thought it was three months," he replied.

    Relatives were thrilled - but extremely cautious - Monday, stressing that doctors have to examine Herbert, to see what this means.

    "He was cognizant, able to recognize people's voices and recall who his family members and friends were," Simon F. Manka, his uncle and the family spokesman, said Monday. "But there's still room for a lot of improvement."

    Family members said that after the 16-hour interaction with his loved ones, Herbert fell into an almost uninterrupted sleep, for at least the next 30 hours.

    What really stunned Herbert's family and friends was the suddenness of the change.

    "From what I understand, this is a sea change that is not incremental, but something that is light-switch different," said attorney Thomas H. Burton, a family friend who represented Linda Herbert in the family's personal-injury lawsuit. "What has occurred is so stunning, I don't know how you can call it anything but a miracle."

    Medical experts say it's impossible to say, and way too early to tell, what the consequences are for Herbert.

    Dr. Michael A. Meyer, a University at Buffalo professor of clinical neurology at Jacobs Neurological Institute, said such changes are both encouraging and rare. But they do occur.

    "After that many years, it's unusual to see that dramatic a change," he said. "But we do hear about it anecdotally."

    In most similar cases, Meyer said, the progress reaches a plateau at some point.

    "In rare cases like this, there may be improvement over months or years," he said. "But where the plateau is, is anybody's guess."

    Manka talked about how emotional it was, after all these years, to have his nephew recognize his voice and call him by name. Family members were trying to stay on an even keel.

    Despite the family's caution, speculation already began to surface Monday about Herbert's possible recovery being used as a miracle in the bid to make Father Nelson Baker of Lackawanna a saint. There were unconfirmed reports that Herbert has at least one photo or other artifact of Father Baker in his room.

    Monsignor Robert C. Wurtz, the local leader of the Father Baker canonization bid, said he had no information on the situation, other than what he has heard indirectly. For anything to happen, the family would have to come forward.

    "I'm open to meet with them," Wurtz said.

    At a brief news conference Monday at the nursing home, Manka issued this plea to the public about Herbert's condition:

    "Keep praying, please wait while we have him evaluated and respect his family's privacy," he said.

    As Burton said of the dramatic change, "If this is something that took place through divine intervention, I'm doing my best to help it along with a lot of prayer

    http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial...03/1038453.asp

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    This is absolutely the best news in the world! I am buying completely into the "divine intervention" theory.

    It is a great thing that he had a loving wife who chose to provide the very best in care and never gave up hope.

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    I just saw this on CNN and checked in to see if it had been posted here. Happily, it was. Great news.
    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
    Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
    Click this to search FH Forums!

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    Brain dead for 9 years...I've known some firemen to be brain dead for their entire careers!

    On a serious note I'm glad to hear the brother is improving and he got to speak to his family. Its hard to imagine what he missed since 1995! His one child was 3 and is now 13! wow!

    Godspeed bro.

    FTM-PTB

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    This is absolutely the best news in the world! I am buying completely into the "divine intervention" theory.

    It is a great thing that he had a loving wife who chose to provide the very best in care and never gave up hope.
    I couldn't agree more. Welcome Back Don!
    Jim
    Firefighter/EMT
    IACOJ
    ftm-ptb-rfb-egh-ktf-dtrt!

    September 11, 2001 - NEVER FORGET!

    BETTER TO DIE ON YOUR FEET THAN LIVE ON YOUR KNEES!

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    Default welcome back!

    This is a miracle!! My heart goes out to the wife who stood by him all these years. When I was 27, my husband was in a coma for 8 days and I was told there was little chance of recovery. I still remember when I got the call that he opened his eyes and spoke. I can only imagine what it would be like for it to happen after nine years. I'm teary-eyed just thinking about it. Bless you Don and my thoughts are with you and your family.
    PAJ

    IACOJ Rehab Sector

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    Originally posted by TCFire
    Silent since 1995, firefighter talks
    YOu know chief, I was just going to post the same thing but thought I should check the site first.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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    Originally posted by Lewiston2Capt


    YOu know chief, I was just going to post the same thing but thought I should check the site first.
    You can't have too much good news!

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    Since Lew found I was lost!. I would just like to give prayer and wish all involved a happy and fast recovery!. What a happy turn of events, from such a sad and unfortunate situation.

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    Thumbs up

    What a great story...welcome back Brother!
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    The Big Chief does it again. As somebody said, a Brother wakes up, and two boys are given a second chance. On the docket for tommorow is....
    Isiah 43: When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    9-11-01. We Will Never Forget You.

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    This is excellent news!!! Welcome back, Brother!!!
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

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    Does anybody know anybody who can get this post to Don Herbert? He might like to see the support and welcome backs.
    Isiah 43: When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    9-11-01. We Will Never Forget You.

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    Originally posted by SkipJack270
    Does anybody know anybody who can get this post to Don Herbert? He might like to see the support and welcome backs.
    Perhaps one of our Buffalo brothers can help us here? Anyone?
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
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    Originally posted by NJFFSA16


    Perhaps one of our Buffalo brothers can help us here? Anyone?
    Shawn.....Sounds like the family is trying to take things slow and easy for now. Maybe R1's Captain would be willing? You would see him long before me.
    Last edited by TCFire; 05-04-2005 at 09:24 AM.

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    This is the best firefighting news in a while - after all the recent gloom following a lot of LODD's it's great to get some good news at last.

    Best wishes to Firefighter Herbert and his family.
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

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    I was thinking the very same thing last night. I will try to get in touch with him shortly so that he can relay the message on to the family. I will let you know how it goes.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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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 9˝ 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 2˝ 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.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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    His wife refused to give up.

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

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

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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.

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    Default Donald Herbert

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

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