Some health experts argue this offers false hope. But, the fact remains Terry Wallis opened his eyes and said "mom" after nearly twenty years of unconsciousness from a car accident. For three years since, researchers at Cornell have been studying him to find out what brought him back, although still brain damaged.
Today, that report is out. Researchers there have determined that the brain may form new connections as a patient recovers and one of those new connections for Terry likely opened the door to consciousness.
"We don't know of any other case where the recovery occurs twenty years later, it's sustained and the patient builds on it," said Dr. Nicholas Schiff, a Neurologist at Cornell Medical college.
Dr. Schiff admits this doesn't mean much right now in terms of helping others with brain injuries. But, long term, he is hopeful that understanding these new brain connections could be the key to helping millions.