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After dramatic recovery, coma patient returns to Tucson

Sam Schmid made headlines worldwide when he came out of a week-long coma that had him near brain death in 2011.

With the wiggle of two fingers the night after discussions of taking the then-21-year-old off of life support, Schmid took the first step in his journey to medical miracle.

Having completed years of grueling rehabilitation therapies since that day, the former University of Arizona student is bound to return to his hometown to complete school and begin work. Schmid, 23, was recovering at Barrow Neurological Center, where he was airlifted after the fateful car accident which placed him in such a condition in Tucson in 2011.

“It’s taken a great medical team as well as hard work and dedication to make the type of recovery I’ve made,” says Schmid. “Not only did I learn to walk and talk again but I’ve learned how to reintegrate myself back into the community and to be successful.”

Schmid may be grateful to the medical staff which has assisted his rehabilitation over the years, but he stops short of labeling himself just a favored anomaly.

“It’s not that I was lucky to have this remarkable recovery,” he says. “It’s that I worked for this remarkable recovery.”

He wants to inspire others to put in such effort in their own recoveries and battles, rather than waiting for special circumstances.