He has a granddaughter now, Amber's child, Victoria, and the 2-year-old does not seem bothered by the pale man with the dark mustache and the inward-turned arms. He does not feel any physical pain, he told his parents, and he has no real sense of time. He also said recently that he was "proud" to be alive.The man, Terry Wallis, is front-page news because he is the subject of scientific study, and the study may help us make decisions about persons in a persistent vegetative state (where 100,000 to 200,000 Americans exist). It's very rare to emerge from this condition, but if it has ever happened, people have hope that it can happen to their loved one. We all remember the hope Terri Schiavo's parents had for her. Will studying Terry Wallis will make it possible to tell when that hope is justified? Or will images of Wallis's brain be used to point out differences between him and the person you're holding out hope for. If you loved someone and saw signs of consciousness in them, would you give up because they were demonstrably different from one person who did recover?
Are you proud to be alive? It is quite an accomplishment.