Steve Utash, the Clinton Township man who was nearly beaten to death 10 days ago when he stopped to assist a 10-year-old boy he accidentally struck with his pickup truck, has awoken from his medically induced coma, his daughter wrote on the online fundraising site where donations continue to pour in to offset the uninsured tree trimmer’s medical bills.
Mandi Marie Emerick posted the following:
“He is off the ventilator and is able to breathe on his own. He is in and out of it with his memories. Sometimes he can look at me and remember who I am and other times he can't.
“Today when I asked him how old he is he said ‘I'm two years old’ but he did know his name. He does keep saying ‘I don't want to die I'm sorry’ and ‘please don't let me forget you.’
“He also keeps flashing back to the assault screaming for ‘HELP’ and ‘PLEASE GET THEM OFF ME.’ He didn't seem to know what happened to him or why he was in the hospital, but again it is way to early to tell.
“He is also on MANY pain medications which are causing him to be delirious. These are baby steps. He is able to wiggle is toes on command and answer yes or no questions. It's to soon to tell if he's going to have any memory loss or long-term damage. The frontal lobe is what was affected the most and that is where his memories and personality are and this is a long road ahead but the end of the road will be worth it.
“ It is so hard to see him like this. I will post if any other changes happen. Please continue to keep my father in your prayers and thoughts.”
In addition to the online fundraising site, where more than $159,500 has been raised, the family has set up a post office box for donations. Address the envelope to S. Utash, P.O. Box 761 Warren MI 48090-0761“Thank you all so much,” Emerick concluded her message. “Your words mean more then you know.”