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Guinness World Record: 19-Year After, American Man, Terry Wallis, Who Woke Up After 19 Years In A Coma Finally Dies At 57



Terry Wayne Wallis, the Arkansas man who made headlines around the world in 2003 for regaining consciousness after spending 19 years in a coma, has died 19 years after at the age of 57.

Wallis was in an automobile accident in his home state with a friend in July 1984, six weeks after his daughter, Amber, was born, according to the obituary in Roller Funeral Homes. The car plunged into a creek, and the two weren’t found until the next day, underneath a bridge, The Associated Press reported in 2003. Wallis’ friend died, and Wallis was put into a coma. The accident had left him a quadriplegic.

His mother Angilee before her demise in 2018, had told the broadcasting company that she “just fell over on the floor” when it happened.

His daughter, who was 19 when he regained consciousness, said that he hoped to be able to relearn how to walk for her, the BBC reported at the time.

Wallis remained in the coma for 19 years, until June 12, 2003, when he said “Mom,” his first word since he was comatose.

After regaining awareness, Wallis slowly was able to say “anything he wants to say,” according to Stone County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center social director Alesha Badgley. The media and medical attention that surrounded Wallis afterward resulted in him being named “The Man Who Slept for 19 Years.”

Terry Wallis was in a coma for 19 years; when he regained awareness, his first word was “Mom.”

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According to loved ones closer to the family, “doctors said his family’s continuing care played a role in helping him wake up after so much time.”

The obituary said Wallis’ mother, Angilee, and other family “cared for him relentlessly during his coma and afterward.” Family brought him home on alternate weekends for years because doctors believed it would help his awakening period. He still thought it was 1984 when he regained awareness. His mother died in 2018.

The obituary said Wallis enjoyed eating “anything at any time and loved drinking Pepsi.” “He liked listening to live music, especially when his brother Perry was playing.” He died March 29 in Big Flat, Arkansas.

“Terry was a great teaser and loved to tease his sister. His wonderful sense of humor will be greatly missed by his family,” the obituary read.

Wallis is survived by his father, siblings, daughter and three grandchildren.

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