Comatose Football Fan Responds to Mention of Archrivals

'He always makes a face when we mention Michigan'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 17, 2017 2:22 AM CDT
Buckeyes Fan in Coma Responds to Mention of Archrivals
A wolverine growls after destroying an effigy of Brutus Buckeye, the Ohio State mascot at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, Mich.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(Newser) – The family of an Ohio man who returned to the US comatose in April after suffering a traumatic brain injury from a car accident in the Republic of Georgia was given little chance of recovering by doctors who said they should be prepared to turn off his feeding tube within six months to a year. Yet 38-year-old Zach Lawrence, of Dublin, Ohio, apparently wasn't listening to the physicians at Ohio State University's Dodd Hall Rehabilitation Center, the AP reports. He's begun making sounds, keeping his eyes open, and smiling at his children. Some of the best evidence that he's aware came when he was asked to respond with a push of a "yes" or "no" button to the question: "Do you like Michigan?"

Ohio State and the University of Michigan have one of the fiercest and most storied rivalries in college football and just about everything else. To the delight of his family, Lawrence pushed the "no" button not once but twice. "He always makes a face when we mention Michigan," Lawrence's wife, Meghan, tells the Columbus Dispatch. "We're pretty sure he's in there." Meghan Lawrence says Dodd Hall's Disorders of Consciousness program has made all the difference. Therapists have been helping Lawrence stand on a treadmill and have been using electric stimulation to move messages from his brain to other parts of his body. (Read more Ohio State Buckeyes stories.)

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