Father-of-Five Firefighter Wakes Up After 10-Year Coma, Only To Die In the Strangest Way

On December 29, 1995, firefighters from New York Fire Department's Rescue 1 2nd Platoon tended a fire on Interpark Street in Buffalo. A collapsed section of the roof fell, pinning 34-year-old Donald Herbert in a sitting position to the attic stairwell, leaving him without oxygen for 6-10 minutes. Other firefighters were able to rescue their entrapped brother, but Herbert remained in an unresponsive, blind, mostly mute state for 10 years. In 2005, a potent drug combination effectively woke him. National news was made when Herbert conversed with family and friends for the first time since the incident. Doctors were shocked that his memory was completely intact. He was moved to a nursing home to recover, but while trying to get out of bed, he fell and acquired another brain injury. He subsequently developed pneumonia and died less than a year after waking up.