Doctors told Benjamin Pessah’s family
he might not live after he was shot in the head. But after waking from an
almost month-long coma, Pessah said his first words and took his first steps
just in time for Thanksgiving.
walking home from a Halloween party in San Francisco Oct. 28 with two friends
and his girlfriend when a stranger came up and touched his girlfriend
inappropriately. Pessah, 21, stepped in to protect her when the man pulled out
a gun and shot him in the head.
“It was pretty bizarre and
unnecessary,” Pessah’s older brother, Nick Pessah, told ABCNews.com. “He [the
stranger] attempted to shoot the group of four of them. He missed everybody but
the last bullet hit my brother in the head.”
injuries, they told his family he wasn’t going to make it. At one point,
doctors said he only had a 25 percent chance of living.
because he was too severely injured,” Nick Pessah said. “Then they said they
would attempt it but normally they wouldn’t. They only did because he is young
and has a chance at surviving. They weren’t sure if he was going to make it or
coma for almost a month. But just a few days before Thanksgiving, his breathing
tube was taken out and he said his first words. In a faint whisper, he said,
‘Hi Mom.’ “My mom was the only one who saw him speak and it brought her to
tears,” Nick Pessah said.
first steps with his parents and three brothers in his hospital room at the
University of California San Francisco to cheer him on. “I was the first one to
watch him walk,” Nick Pessah said. “I was speechless. I didn’t really know what
to say, it was very unexpected.”
shooting, which his brother believes is a good thing, Pessah does remember
everything else including his computer passwords and address. “It’s a miracle.
I couldn’t be more ecstatic about his recovery,” Nick Pessah said. “It couldn’t
have happened at a better time. I have more than enough to be thankful for.”
entrepreneur. He likes going to the gym and hopes he’ll be able to again when
he fully recovers. One thing he has been able to do in his remarkable recovery
is tell his family that he loves them, which they thought they might never hear
Nick Pessah said. “It’s been an emotional rollercoaster. I’ve been crying, I’ve
been happy. He’s beaten all of his odds so I couldn’t have asked for a better