Twenty-two-year-old Targe Hough was a seemingly healthy surfer who suddenly collapsed. Family members originally thought that he had suffered a migraine while exercising. However, doctors later discovered that the young man suffered from arteriovenous malformation — a rare medical condition that leads to ruptured blood vessels in the brain.
Because of the rupture, Hough remained in a comatose state, spending more than three weeks unconscious and hooked up to life support.
As he remained in the hospital with little change to his condition, Hough’s family confessed that they began discussions on pulling the plug. Not only had the family been given a “bleak” prognosis on Hough’s future, but the 22-year-old had also once discussed the dilemma with his father.
“One time when we were surfing, Targe and I had spoken about what we would do if something ever happened to us, Targe actually said, ‘If I won’t have a good quality of life, I wouldn’t want to come back,'” his father explained.
Accordingly, the Houghs came to an agreement to end medical treatment for the surfer and were preparing to say their goodbyes.
However, a new doctor was less skeptical of Hough’s situation and urged the family postpone their decision for a few days and they agreed.
The delay appeared to be fate, as those extra few days were all Hough needed to begin showing signs of life with simple movements. He eventually came out of his coma four weeks later.
Though Hough still needs to relearn how to do many basic movements, he is counting himself extremely fortunate. One particular reason is that the 22-year-old avoided brain damage due to his surfer’s ability to hold his breath for long periods of time.
“I was without oxygen for a long time, doctors said afterwards that I should have brain damage, but I guess I was used to holding my breath,” Hough explained.
“Everything I did to train for the surf saved my life that day,” he added.
Hough’s story comes as more and more doctors are urging families not to give up hope on loved ones in comatose conditions. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, a recent study suggested that 40 percent of people who were supposedly in vegetative states were actually misdiagnosed.
Neurologist Nicholas Schiff of Weill Cornell has been open about his belief that doctors are too hasty in giving up on comatose patients.
“The understanding of people who are doing this research is very clear,” he said. “We’re missing tons of people.”