(CBS News) Every five seconds, someone in this country suffers a traumatic brain injury; a third of those cases will be severe enough to cause a coma. Doctors often tell families to constantly talk to their loved ones, even if they're unconscious, but the question has always been: Can they hear?
For the first time, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy, science may have an answer.
Four years ago Godfrey Catanus had his hands full. He was a new dad and an inspirational youth pastor in Southern California. He led groups of volunteers who helped rebuild after Hurricane Katrina and traveled to the Philippines on a charity mission. But then a blood clot in his liver sent the 32-year-old and his wife Corinth rushing to the hospital.
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"He had 3 1/2 feet of intestine taken out and then he had a brain hemorrhage that required nine hours of surgery," Corinth said.
A medically-induced coma saved his life, but doctors feared Godfrey would never wake up.