Teen starts talking after two months in a coma

Photo courtesy of Jen Speer JD Acevedo (left), Marco Strickland and Brendan Speer ham it up at the Melvindale Days 2014 in Acevedo’s most recent photo before a crash put him in a two-month coma.

Photo courtesy of Jen Speer
JD Acevedo (left), Marco Strickland and Brendan Speer ham it up at the Melvindale Days 2014 in Acevedo’s most recent photo before a crash put him in a two-month coma.


By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

MELVINDALE — Two months ago and up to just a few days ago, recovery appeared bleak.

“He just started talking,” said Melvindale resident Jen Speer of J.D. Acevedo, who is her son Brendan’s best friend and like her own child. “It’s a miracle.”

Acevedo was rushed to Children’s Hospital of Michigan, where he has been in a coma since an Aug. 15 crash. He was riding in the back seat of his teenage cousin’s car on I-96 about 4 p.m. when the car reportedly hit a pothole and flipped three times.

A month later Acevedo started breathing on his own, but doctors told family and friends the teen remained unresponsive.

For the past month, Speer said Acevedo has opened his eyes and looked around the room, but otherwise didn’t move or utter a word.

“Brendan and I go there every day,” Speer said.

Brendan and Acevedo watch movies and he shows Acevedo Facebook posts and pictures.

“He remembers who he is, he remembers the mall, his favorite food,” she said of the teen.

He doesn’t remember the crash and doesn’t believe he has been in a coma for eight weeks.

“We don’t argue with him,” Speer said. “We are just so thankful he woke up.”

While the improvement is a blessing, Speer said doctors say the teen still has a long road ahead of him.

Acevedo has no muscle control and talks very slowly and deeply.

She said her son, who has been best friends with Acevedo for seven years, is happy with the recent development.

“He is so excited and so happy,” she said.

Acevedo lived in Melvindale since birth and moved with his mother to Redford Township a year ago, but begged his mother to move back. He and his mother were set to move into a house one week after the accident.

Speer said Acevedo was so excited to be near her son, start ninth grade at Melvindale High School and play for the football team.

But everything was put on hold. His mother didn’t move and hasn’t left the hospital since the crash.

Medical bills have started arriving and fundraisers are being planned.

A fundraiser for Acevedo was held Sept.14 at Moose Lodge 1911.

Anyone with questions or wishing to make a donation can call Jen Speer at 313-318-8345.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at tnims@bewickpublications.com.)