Quite a bit, actually. Here are just a few of the high points— and low points—of Randy’s recovery.
Even though this is just a sampling (as of December 2008 he’s had a total of 48 surgeries!), you’ll begin to understand why Randy believes that there’s something more important than one man’s ability to defy the odds going on. That maybe there’s something he needs to accomplish…
Randy was in a “persistent vegetative state”
April 19, 2000
39 year-old Randy Hall was attacked near his store in Laguna. He was struck repeatedly on the left side of his head. He’s still fuzzy on the details, but says he’d like to thank his attacker for saving his life (see “Medical Miracle: two-year coma survivor defies odds” by Tom Berg, of The Orange County Register, January 6, 2008)
April 23, 2000
Randy’s girlfriend took him to Mission Hospital.
April 25, 2000
A nurse recognized Randy (she had seen him in 1998 when he’d suffered a heart attack) and called Randy’s mom.
Randy underwent five surgeries on his brain, including removing a large piece of his skull. Repeated infections in shunts used to drain excess fluid slowed his recovery, and may have contributed to brain trauma. He began having seizures as a result.
Randy was transferred to South Coast Medical’s coma ward. Doctors told Randy’s family that Randy only had about 30% brain function. The right side of his body was cold, clammy and unresponsive; little better on left side. He showed no response to sounds, and his eyes were usually closed.
Randy’s brother Alan hired holistic health practitioner David Strassburg to perform the Feldenkrais Method of muscle exercise and training.
Orange County Sherriff’s Detective Hank Osterfield was assigned to the case. Randy’s girlfriend told Osterfield that Randy had started a fight in a bar, and that the investigation should be
terminated. Randy’s family disagreed.
Hospital birthday party, including music, food, and Randy’s favorite cigars!
Randy was able to open his left eye for brief periods when someone manually flexed his legs. However, he remained in a “persistent vegetative state.” His muscles atrophied and began to curl into a fetal position.
Randy’s family and friends gathered at the hospital to celebrate Randy’s birthday. Randy was still classified as comatose, but for awhile he was “awake” enough to appreciate the party.
Finally – a smile.
|August 29, 2002
“A Two-Year Nightmare” published in The Orange County Register.
For the first time since he entered the hospital, Randy left for a brief drive with his brother Alan. They ended up spending four hours at a Japanese restaurant! On another outing, Alan took Randy to his home, but he didn”t remember it. However, since certain landmarks were familiar, Alan was encouraged.
Even little things like brushing his own hair constituted as a milestone.
June and September 2003
Kayaking with his brother in Belmont Shore.
Randy visits the Pacific Symphony and chats with the director, and old friend.
Randy’s new roomate.
In an effort to help him regain the ability to walk, Randy had two surgeries to remove excess bone growth on his hip and knee and slice tendons to allow them to stretch.
February 17, 2005
“Reclaiming His Life” published in The Orange County Register.
Randy walked without crutches or a walker!
Randy and brother Alan outside Randy’s store.
January 6, 2008
“Medical miracle: two-year coma survivor defies odds” published in The Orange County Register.
Randy drove a car for the first time since April 2000!
More to come…