21-year-old college student wakes from coma after nearly being declared brain dead

PHOENIX - Family members are calling it a miracle after a 21-year-old college student wakes from a coma after he showed so little signs of life doctors nearly took him off life support.

Sam Schmid, a University of Arizona student, was in a car accident on October 19th. He suffered a brain aneurysm and was in a coma for nearly two weeks. His injuries were so severe they flew him to the Valley to receive treatment at Barrow Neurological.

"We really gave him very minimal chance for survival," said Dr. Robert Spetzler with Barrow Neurological.

After a week in a coma, some on the medical team suggested taking him off life support, and discussions about organ donation were underway. Spetzler wanted to wait one more week and that's when Schmid woke up.

"I said, 'Sam, stay strong and fight hard,'" said mother Sue Regan about what she Schmid when he was in a coma.

Friday, Schmid made his first public appearance.

"Except for the rehab I still have to do, I'm feeling pretty good," he said.

Schmid needs a walker and some assistance in order to walk, and often has trouble forming sentences together. Doctors tell ABC15 he has a long way to go, but they, along with family, were joyful he even has an opportunity to lead a full life.

"I've been called a miracle a few times, that always makes me feel better," Schmid said.

Schmid will be allowed to leave the hospital on Sunday so he can spend Christmas with family. For this family, it's a true Christmas miracle.

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