A case of bronchitis for Army veteran Jake Booth became a severe case of double pneumonia that required hospitalization.
While being treated in the hospital, Booth suffered a heart attack and fell into a coma for 48 days. He required intubation and a tracheotomy to stay alive and his family wondered if he would ever wake up. There was also concern over how much damage his brain incurred due to loss of oxygen.
Forty eight days after slipping into the coma, Booth miraculously opened his eyes and struggled to speak. When he could finally convert his sounds into words, he made an astonishing request.
“I want Taco Bell.”
Booth’s older brother, Jason Schwartz, described the scene. “He actually said, out loud, ‘I want Taco Bell.’ That was the very first thing he said… When he starts getting into a full sentence, he can’t do it. But when he does one or two words at a time, you can definitely understand him. So when he asked for Taco Bell almost immediately, his friend Tyler definitely heard him say ‘Taco Bell.’ Tyler said, ‘Do you want Taco Bell?’ And Jake said, ‘Yes.’”
This isn’t an advertisement for Taco Bell.
Because he had had the tracheotomy and intubation, Booth was unable to take solid foods for another 22 days. When he was finally cleared to eat, Booth consumed 8 ½ Crunchy Tacos.
“We’d all been waiting an entire month for him to eat those tacos,” said Schwartz. “It was symbolic of the entire thing – more of a metaphor of him having woken up and being given a second chance at life.”
Schwartz has set up a campaign to help Jake and his family offset the medical expenses.