Welterweight boxer Oscar Diaz slipped into a coma on July 16th after suffering a devastating brain injury during a bout with Delvin Rodriguez that was televised live on ESPN2. Just over two months later, Diaz is reportedly awake and breathing on his own. And probably looking forward to Brett Favre’s big season with the Packers.
In his fight with Rodriguez, Diaz attempted to stagger out of his corner for the 11th round but couldn’t muster up the strength. He collapsed shortly thereafter. Doctors expected Diaz to eventually emerge from his slumber, but it’s still unclear if he will regain all functions.
He won’t exacty be Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer if he does get all of his faculties back, but he will wake up to a strange world where pitchers throw no-hitters in neutral ballparks, East Carolina games require riot police, and this lady is national news.
The SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS says that while all the news is good, Diaz still has a long way to go, and that he nearly died several times over the last two months:
Dr. David Jimenez said Diaz “nearly died three times” over the past two months, including the night of the fight when he “was perhaps minutes or seconds from dying” before doctors operated to remove a large portion of his skull.
Then, three weeks after the injury, Jimenez said Diaz suffered “a complete system shutdown, kidneys, lungs and liver.”
Jimenez said Diaz’s critical-care team, led by Dr. Augusto Parra, was able to intervene and save him.
For now, Diaz cannot speak or understand language due to his brain injury.
A BOXING SCENE story from last month indicates that doctors expected Diaz to wake up eventually, they just didn’t know when:
“The doctors say he’s improving everyday,” Diaz’s promoter Donna Brooks of Hall of Fame Promotions tells BoxingScene.com. “They took him out of the medically-induced coma, he’s just in a natural coma. He is responding to voices and things like that, he’s moving, he’s just not out of the coma yet. Doctors told us from the beginning that it could be weeks, it could be months. The doctor says we have to be patient, but he will wake up.
Fellow boxer Victor Burgos suffered a similar injury in early 2007 and eventually emerged from a coma as well, but Burgos reportedly has never fully regained normal function.