This man’s first words post-coma were ‘I want Taco Bell’

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – After six long weeks in a coma, Jake Booth opened his eyes and turned to his friends with a smile. It took a while for him to gain his speech back, but when he did it was pure taco magic.

“I want Taco Bell,” he said.

The former Collier County Sheriff’s Office deputy and U.S. Army Ranger was rushed to the Tampa General Hospital in February after his bronchitis became double pneumonia. Doctors told his wife, Jasmine Stanley-Booth, that he may not survive.

“They told us that night to prepare that he probably wouldn’t make it through the night,” she said. “So it was very much about Jake living or dying.”

Booth entered a coma. He remained unconscious for 48 days. His wife feared that she would lose the man she loved.

“If he did wake up he’d never be able to communicate or feed himself or even recognize myself or the kids or his parents,” she said.

Courtesy of Wake the Jake
Courtesy of Wake the Jake

But Stanley-Booth refused to abandon her husband. He had not shown any signs of quitting life, she said.

“I said ‘Jake will let me know whether Jake wants to live or die. He’s stuck through the whole thing, so obviously Jake hasn’t given up,'” Stanley-Booth said.

She decorated his hospital room while Booth’s brother, Jason Schwartz, uploaded updates on a blog he named “Wake the Jake.”

“You know, when I left the last time I looked at him I just had to deal with the idea that this might be the last time that I ever see him,” Schwartz said.

On April 3, Booth woke up.

“He opened his eyes and he was smiling, making gestures to speak because he had a trach (tube) in,” Stanley-Booth said.

Booth had one wish: Taco Bell.

His wish wasn’t initially granted because he was still attached to feeding tubes. But those tubes were recently removed.

Courtesy of Wake the Jake

Booth ate eight tacos.

“So the man was hungry and I think Taco Bell just sounded good,” Stanley-Booth said.

Booth is in rehab at Lee Memorial Hospital and working on his speech and motor skills. Stanley-Booth is grateful that her husband is recovering well.

“He remembers his children, he remembers our home. I think he was just so hungry because he had a feeding tube in for two months,” Stanley-Booth said. “I literally don’t think there is any evidence to deny that Jake’s received a miracle.”

Booth is preparing to return home next month. Taco Bell has reached out to the Booth family about giving him a lifetime supply of tacos, reports said.

Booth is accepting donations for his recovery efforts through a GoFundMe account.

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