Bassist has been in coma for three years after car wreck – but now he’s showing new signs of awareness

Chi Cheng

Fightback: Chi Cheng

Deftones’ Chi Cheng has shown the first signs that he could be coming out of his three-year coma.

The bassist, 41, was severely injured in a car accident in November 2008, and he’s been in a coma ever since.

Doctors had to remove parts of his brain to keep him alive. After seven months he was taken off life support. In 2011 he was moved to an experimental research facility in New Jersey, where he’s been receiving specialist care and daily treatment which have cost over $500,000 so far – and isn’t covered by health insurance.

But earlier this week Cheng’s family released a video clip proving the attention was worthwhile. Previously he’d only been able to make sounds from his throat as if he was talking. Now he can raise his legs from his bed when asked – a sign he’s able to process the request and respond.

His brother Ming Cheng tells RecordNet: “Honestly, I guess all I’ve got is hope. He’s making some progress.

“It’s just all these pitfalls and hiccups. He just can’t seem to stay healthy in the hospital. We hope to bring him home in the middle of March. It’s so hard to say.

“I can’t pull the plug on the guy. That is not an option.”

The support website One Love for Chi continues to gather essential funds to assist with Cheng’s continuing treatment. It’s raised $150,000 so far, adding to the $200,000 contributed by Deftones from tour income and their 2011 album Covers.

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