A man who survived a deadly car crash and awoke from a 19-year coma nearly 20 years ago has died, according to an obituary last week.

Terry Wayne Wallis, 57, died last week in Searcy, Arkansas, the obituary confirmed.

It noted that Wallis “was in an automobile accident in 1984, just six weeks after the birth of his daughter, Amber,” which left him comatose for 19 years. But Wallis, in the summer of 2003, woke and started to speak, drawing international attention.

“His mother and all of his family cared for him relentlessly during his coma and afterwards. His family would bring him home on alternate weekends for years. Doctors believe that this stimulation contributed to his awakening period,” the obituary said.

When Wallis woke up, reports at the time claimed that he asked for a Pepsi.

“He started out with ‘Mom,’ and then it was ‘Pepsi,’ and then it was ‘milk,’” said Alesha Badgley of the Stone County Rehabilitation Center, told the New York Post in 2003. “Now, it’s anything he wants to say.”

His mother, Angilee Wallis, said that her son’s recovery was miraculous.

“I couldn’t tell you my first thought, I just fell over on the floor,” she said of the day when he awoke, according to reports at the time.

When he woke up 19 years ago, according to Post, Terry Wallis had believed that Ronald Reagan was still president and spoke to his grandmother, who died several years before he emerged from his coma.

A Mayo Clinic editorial noted that doctors had told his family that Wallis “would probably never emerge,” and doctors also ignored his mother’s assertion that “Terry is in there, he just can’t communicate.”

“They did not believe it, they just [said he is] in a coma and that is what he is going to be,” she added in a 2005 documentary on his case, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The article further noted: “Some of these ‘miracle’ patients (like Wallis) may not have been in a coma but in a variant of a locked-in syndrome. Some of the news coverage of these cases highlights that communication was possible through eye blinking even before speech returned.”

His survivors include father Jerry Wallis; daughter Amber Wallis; grandchildren Victoria, Blazen, and Arrow Wallis; and several siblings. A funeral was held for Terry Wallis on April, the obituary said.

“Terry was a great teaser and loved to tease his sister,” his obituary read. “His wonderful sense of humor will be greatly missed by his family.”

Jack Phillips

Breaking News Reporter


Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.

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