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An Arkansas man who awoke after spending 19 years in a coma has died.

Terry Wayne Wallis, who awoke from a nearly 20-year coma in 2003, died last Tuesday at the age of 57, according to an obituary published by a funeral home.

In July 1984, six weeks after the birth of Wallis’ daughter Amber, he and a friend were in a serious car accident, in which their car fell into a stream.

The wreckage was found under a bridge the next day, the Associated Press reported in 2003. Wallis’ friend died and Wallis, who was paralyzed in the crash, fell into a coma.

Wallis remained in a coma until June 12, 2003, when he uttered one word: “Mom.” The word shocked doctors who believed he would remain unconscious forever.

“He started with ‘Mom’ and surprised her, then it was ‘Pepsi’ and then it was ‘milk,'” Alesha Badgley, social director at the Wallis rehab center, told The Associated at the time. Press. “And now that’s all he wants to say.”

Angilee Wallis, Terry’s mother, said: “I couldn’t tell you my first thought, I just fell on the floor.”

Wallis’ awakening attracted media and medical attention, with headlines calling him “The Man Who Slept For 19 Years”.

“We all, the whole family, missed his company,” said Sandi Wallis, his wife.

Wallis was “tirelessly” cared for by his family during his coma and after he regained consciousness, according to his obituary. Wallis’ family took him home every other weekend, which doctors say contributed to his eventual awakening.

Following the news of his death, Wallis is remembered for his sense of humor and for being a “great teaser”. He enjoyed listening to live music played by his brother Perry Wallis, “eating anything at any time” and drinking Pepsi, according to the obituary.

Wallis is survived by his daughter, several grandchildren, his father and three siblings, all of whom live in Big Flat, Arkansas. Angilee Wallis, her mother, died in 2018.

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