Lifestyle & Human Interest

Man Hospitalized in Coma Says Hearing His Wife's Voice Pulled Him Out


When Lacy Gillmer of Maudlin, South Carolina, stood next her husband Don as he lay in a hospital bed in a medically induced coma, she didn’t know if he’d wake up again.

She didn’t know if he’d ever make it out of that hospital bed at Bon Secours St. Francis hospital. She didn’t know if he’d beat COVID.

But she did know he was in good hands. And she told him so.

“I just told him that he was doing great … that they were taking such good care of him, he was in amazing hands,” she told WYFF-TV.

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The doctor had called her earlier, telling her there was no guarantee that her husband would make it through the night, but that if he did it would be a very good thing.

So she went to see him for what could have been the last time.

But thankfully it wasn’t the last time, and Don claims that he heard her voice and it drew him out of his coma.

It all started when Don tested positive for COVID on July 5. Four days later, he developed a cough.

“Didn’t sleep that night,” he told WYFF. “Woke up early the next morning, packed a bag and knew … it was time to go to the hospital.

Despite the team’s efforts, Don was getting worse.

“I received convalescent plasma twice, remdesivir, nothing was working,” he explained. “Nothing was helping me recover, so I’ll really never forget when they came in with papers I needed to sign to go on a ventilator. That scared me.”

Eventually, the 43-year-old was placed in a coma. After hearing his wife’s voice and waking up, he’s crediting her with his survival.

“I swear I heard her- heard her voice, and by the time she left, I was stable,” he said. “She’s my angel, you know. She’s the reason I’m here.”

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“I think about her drive to the hospital the night that they told her that … I may not make it, you know. I can’t imagine that, so I tell her often I don’t know that I could have been as strong as her.”

He wasn’t out of the woods just yet, and had (and still has) lots of therapy and work ahead of him after spending 63 days in the hospital.

“I had a trach that they put in to help, so I couldn’t talk,” he said. “The left side of my body wasn’t really functioning … so I wondered, what is going on?”

He had to relearn how to walk. He is dealing with numbness in his left hand but hopes to be able to play the drums like he used to.

Don left the hospital on Sept. 11 and is back to work now, but he hopes people will be careful so they don’t have to go through what he did.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking