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Man who spent 19 years in a coma before regaining consciousness dies aged 57

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Terry Wayne Wallis, the man who spent 19 years in a coma before regaining consciousness in 2003, has died, according to an obituary. He was 57 years old.

Wallis, of Big Flat, Arkansas, had a car accident in 1984 that left him in a coma six weeks after the birth of his daughter, according to an obituary published by Roller Funeral Homes.

Terry Wayne Wallis and his wife Sandra in March 1984. (Getty Images File)

He was barely conscious, but doctors thought he would remain in a coma forever. Instead, he started speaking in 2003, believing no time had passed. He first recognized his mother and asked for milk and Pepsi, according to news reports at the time.

He then graduated with “everything he wants to say”, a Guardian told the BBC in July 2003.

He became known as “The Man Who Slept For 19 Years”, inspiring titles like “Miracle in Arkansas”.

Man who spent 19 years in a coma before regaining consciousness dies aged 57

 | Local News

Terry Wallis, center, his wife Sandra, left, and their daughter Amber at a rehabilitation center in Mount View, Ark., in 2002. (Getty Images file)

Wallis’ mother and her entire family visited him regularly during his coma, according to the obituary. “Doctors believe this stimulation contributed to his period of wakefulness,” he said.

The obituary added that Wallis “loved to eat anything at any time and loved to drink Pepsi.”

“He loved listening to live music, especially when his brother Perry was playing. Terry was a great tease and loved to tease his sister. His wonderful sense of humor will be dearly missed by his family,” he said.

His mother passed away in 2018. He is survived by his father and daughter, siblings and grandchildren.

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