Doctors Said He’d Never Recover, His Family Thought Otherwise

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(Houston Chronicle) – Doctors in Baton Rouge said Nick Tullier would never recover. The Louisiana sheriff’s deputy had survived a bullet to the head — one of six officers shot in 10 minutes by a gunman this summer — but the damage to his brain appeared irreversible. Tullier, physicians said, would likely spend the rest of his life in a vegetative state. Eyes open, staring at the ceiling, never to regain consciousness.

His family didn’t believe that, and last month they brought him to TIRR Memorial Hermann, one of the nation’s premier rehabilitation centers. Doctors here offered a different outlook. Within a few days, they determined that, not only was it possible Tullier could recover, but that he was already conscious and had been for weeks.

For his loved ones, it was as if Tullier, 41, had been brought back to life. “A miracle,” his father, James Tullier called it this week. Such stories are routine at TIRR, said Dr. Sunil Kothari, director of the hospital’s disorders of consciousness program and a professor of rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine. They hear it all the time, he said, a variation of the same line: “But, the doctors told us this could never happen.” CONTINUE