The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

January 28, 2013

Family of comatose Decatur man using humor to cope

— HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Samantha Hudson hopes she will get to see her husband eat three packs of Pop-Tarts a day again.

Justin Hudson, 26, has been in a coma at Huntsville Hospital since he was injured in an automobile accident Jan. 9.

Doctors, who gave Samantha little hope her husband would be alive to see the birth of their second child, performed surgery Wednesday. And Samantha says they're now using the word "when," rather than "if," when speaking of his recovery.

Justin was driving on a foggy morning from his Somerville home to work at Hiley Volkswagen in Huntsville, where he is a mechanic. The wreck report said Hudson pulled out from Fields Road, apparently attempting to reach the northbound lanes of U.S. 231.

Hudson pulled in front of Jeremy Mills, 26, of Decatur. Mills was traveling south on U.S. 231 in a Dodge Dakota pickup and collided squarely with the side of Hudson's vehicle, according to the report. Mills was driving 10 miles per hour under the speed limit and was not injured.

Hudson was rushed to the hospital with no time to identify him, aside from his first name printed on his uniform. Hospital personnel called the Volkswagen dealership. Samantha was awakened with calls from his co-workers and friends. They told her Justin was in a coma.

"I panicked," Samantha said. "I got up, got dressed immediately and drove to the hospital, and I did not come home for one week."

Samantha, a homemaker, has barely left the hospital since the accident. She went home once to make sure the house was in order and to procure caretakers for her and Justin's 1-year-old daughter Tilli. She also left the hospital once to eat at a barbecue restaurant across the street. She has slept in a recliner in her husband's room. Justin's parents, Roy and Lydia Hudson, are also at the hospital every day.

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