The remarkable story of a ﬁreman who miraculously came out of a coma for one full day
On a brutally cold December day, Donny Herbert, a hardworking ﬁreﬁghter from Buffalo, New York, was searching the attic of a burning house. The roof, heavy with snow, suddenly collapsed, and for six minutes he was without oxygen. Donny—a beloved husband, a father of four boys, and a neighborhood ﬁxture who was always willing to lend a helping hand—fell into a vegetative state that lasted nearly a decade. His prognosis was poor, and while he could open his eyes, he was unresponsive to the world around him. Donny Herbert was, for all practical purposes, gone. Until one day, in April 2005, when he woke up and spoke almost nonstop to his family and loved ones for nearly sixteen hours.
The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up is the story of this unforgettable time, which was covered by the press worldwide. After his extraordinary day, Donny fell into a deep sleep and never experienced a comparable moment of clarity. He died of pneumonia in February 2006.
For his doctors and nurses, it is a medical mystery. For his wife, Linda, who had held the family together for years, who had prayed nightly for Donny’s recovery, no explanation is needed: prayer and love brought Donny back to her one last time. The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up is as much Linda’s story—one of perseverance and faith—as it is of an exceptional husband, father, and ﬁreﬁghter.
About the Author
RICH BLAKE is a ﬁnancial journalist and senior editor of Trader Monthly magazine. He is the author of Talking Proud: Rediscovering the Magical Season of the 1980 Buffalo Bills. He lives in New York City.
“[A] gripping true story.” -Publishers Weekly“The carpe-diem message resonates clearly in this moving, bittersweet account of another of life’s mysterious miracles.” -Kirkus Reviews“An excellent biography that reads like a novel, with a plot recording the events and a subplot delving into whether Herbert’s sixteen-hour return to consciousness was a miracle.” -Library Journal