Parents aid in son's miraculous recovery

Thursday, January 31st 2008, 5:54 pm
By: News 9

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Read a letter from the Hollis family.

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

If you ever thought there was no hope for someone you knew with a traumatic brain injury, you may think again.

Here in the home of Dustin Hollis and his family, there's been a miraculous recovery.

Four years ago, Dustin was left comatose after a horrible accident on and Oklahoma City bridge. Doctors had pronounced him brain dead.

Dustin's mother, Tamie Hollis, said he was thrown 200 feet when his front tire blew out and he landed in the riverbed below.

"Every day the doctors would remind us, you're not accepting what we told you," Tamie Hollis said, "So, we refused to believe that my son would be a vegetable -- our son -- and brought him home."

And home is where the Hollis' hard work has paid off. They gave up their business and dedicated every day to his recovery. With the help of therapists showing Dustin's mom how to do it, she's now picking Dustin up, and he stands. Proof that this man who was never supposed to move again, is a miracle.

Dustin talks, comprehends, even jokes around, his mother said. His first words were to a therapist at a rehabilitation center in Oklahoma City.

Perhaps the most peculiar part of this medical anomaly happens each night, at the same time. When he awakens, and is the most like he was before the accident.

Dustin's neurologist, Dr. Kevin Mikawa, attributes his nightly episodes of awareness to the sleeping aid, Ambien.

"I don't know why. The researchers don't know why," Mikawa said, "But it's activating the centers in the brain that are initiating speech and motor behavior."

Mikawa said a group in New York City is doing innovative work with deep brain stimulation. He's sent Dustin's records there. And they're hoping for further strides in the research.