The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

January 28, 2013

Family of comatose Decatur man using humor to cope

(Continued)

Justin is breathing with the aid of a ventilator but has been taken off blood pressure medication. He underwent surgery Wednesday to realign his neck with his spinal column.

"Unfortunately, that's kind of where we're stuck," Samantha said. "His body is regulating, but there's been no more improvement."

The wreck report said Justin was not expected to make it to the hospital alive, and certainly not live beyond 48 hours. Doctors offered little hope because of the nature of his injury — a brain bruise caused by a shifting piece of broken skull.

"Whenever I would ask the doctor a question, I would always say 'when' and the doctor would correct me with 'if,' " Samantha said. "One day the doctor said 'when,' and I had hope."

Samantha created a Facebook page, "Prayers for Justin Hudson," to keep friends and family informed of his progress. More than 2,500 people are following the page. She has used humor to help alleviate fears about Justin. One of her Facebook updates announced that an MRI revealed Justin was not pregnant.

"I am the biggest prankster," she said. "I am tickling him, telling him corny jokes and telling him I won't stop until he wakes up."

Justin and Samantha met online six years ago. Samantha has taken to calling their unborn child "Baby Joe," although she doesn't know its gender. The Hudsons learned Samantha was pregnant 12 weeks ago.

"Instead of saying till death do us part' in our vows, we said 'to infinity and beyond,'" she said with a sad laugh. "I never thought this would be my infinity and beyond."

Samantha has placed one of her husband's much-loved Pop-Tarts into his hand almost every day since the accident. She started with his favorite flavor, cinnamon and brown sugar, and has since changed to strawberry.

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