‘I Want Taco Bell’: The First Words From Army Vet’s Lips After 48-Day Coma

Jake Booth woke from a 48-day coma and immediately said, “I Want Taco Bell,” to his family’s surprise. The 35-year-old Army vet suffered a series of health issues back in February — he was hospitalized with severe bronchitis, which turned into double pneumonia, which led to a heart attack. When his condition worsened, his doctors at Tampa General Hospital put him in a medically induced coma from which he awoke on April 3 with the strange request.

Booth must have quite the history with the crunchy, munchy food if surrounded by his loved ones — who waited for a month and a half for him to recover — the first words out of his mouth wasn’t “Hello,” or “I love you,” but “I want Taco Bell.” His brother, Jason Schwartz, told USA Today that the day he was able to eat his tacos was special.

“We’d all been waiting an entire month for him to eat those tacos. It was symbolic of the entire thing — more of a metaphor of him having woken up and being given a second chance at life.”

He couldn’t dive in immediately. First, his body needed to regain its strength and recover from the intubation, but 22-days later he was able to delve into solid food, and when he did, he didn’t hold back. A Facebook post on May 5 shows Jake Booth in his hospital bed and ready to get to work on a bunch of wrapped tacos from Taco Bell. He was serious about it too; finishing eight-and-a-half tacos in one sitting.

Jake Booth is lucky to be alive. His major organs were shutting down due to double pneumonia, a result of failing to take all of his antibiotics and the subsequent heart attack should have been a done deal for him. His neurologist is right to be impressed with the former sheriff’s deputy. Coming out of such a long coma with vital memories intact and craving food at all is fascinating. The complications from the intubation made it difficult for him to speak, but once he could, he let it be known that he was hungry to go south of the border.

Jake’s family is hoping that all of the attention the Florida computer programmer is getting will help the family gain donations for his medical expenses and other bills associated with his recovery. According to his GoFundMe page, he needs a lot of physical therapy, as well as dialysis three times a week.

His family is hoping that capitalizing on his internet fame will help them make up for lost income and allow not just Jake, but his entire family some time to heal from the setback. To date, the fund has received a little more than $14,500 of the $50,000 for Jake Booth and the fund is growing. Taco Bell sent a care package to him after seeing his story on Reddit, but the family is hoping to receive a little cash in the GofundMe account from the fast food franchise.


Incidentally, the Taco Bell Snapchat filter was the most popular lens of all time, according to Ad Week. The sponsored Cinco De Mayo filter was live for one day last week and received over 165-million views. It’s a shame that Jake Booth missed out on that campaign. Something says that he would have enjoyed seeing “you are what you eat” on a humorous platform. He may very well turn into his favorite food if he continues to eat large amounts of Taco Bell tacos, but you only live once, well twice if you are Jake Booth.

[Image via Ryan|Wikimedia Commons|Cropped|CC BY-SA]