Emily Progin, PR and Communications Coordinator
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HOW COMMUNITY CAN HELP A 30-YEAR-OLD MARINE WHO AWOKE FROM A COMA LOCKED INSIDE HIS OWN BODY
“His mind is perfect and undamaged—he is just trapped within.”
ETOWAH, Tenn.—Jacob Creasman spent eight years in a coma. In January 2020, the unthinkable happened: he woke up and began to move. His family and medical providers soon realized that Jacob was fully conscious with no brain damage but unable to control his body or even blink without assistance. Today, the community is fundraising to bring a critical communication device within reach for Jacob so that he can communicate independently
Jacob’s coma was caused by a brain aneurysm in 2012. Prior to the aneurysm, he loved hunting, fishing, and living an active life. He played football at Polk County High School in Benton, Tennessee, then attended and graduated from Bradley High School in Cleveland. He became a tank driver in the Marines and was discharged in 2011. Following the aneurysm, explained mom Tammy Creasman, “he was considered a vegetable.”
Then in 2020, “a miracle happened,” said Tammy. Jacob moved his upper lip and shook his right arm, and his eyes began to move. He was diagnosed with Locked in Syndrome or LiS, indicating that Jacob is fully aware with full-body paralysis. He cannot fully move or control any part of his body on his own except his eyes—he cannot eat, cough, or even close his own eyes until he falls asleep.
Jacob is fully conscious with no damage to his brain function. “His mind is perfect and undamaged,” said Tammy. “He is just trapped within.”
To communicate, Jacob must use his eye movement to choose letters and phrases from an eye gaze board. A Dynavox computer will revolutionize his ability to communicate by allowing him to use his eyes to vocalize his thoughts aloud and even use the Internet. The device costs $16,000, and his insurance refuses to cover the equipment, leaving Jacob’s family on the hook for the full cost. That’s why they turned to the national medical fundraising nonprofit Help Hope Live. So far, they’ve raised almost $1,400 towards their $16,000 fundraising goal.
You can ensure that Jacob has the means to communicate independently again. Make a donation in honor of Jacob right now at https://helphopelive.org/campaign/18181/
Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and all funds raised will be managed by the nonprofit to cover verified medical and related expenses. Help Hope Live verifies medical and financial need for every patient.
Help Hope Live is a national nonprofit that specializes in engaging communities in secure, tax-deductible fundraising campaigns for people who need a transplant or are affected by a catastrophic injury or illness. Since 1983, campaigns organized by Help Hope Live have raised over $150 million to pay patient expenses. ###Written by Emily Progin