Campus, International, News

Student in coma after New Zealand crash awakes, speaks

Boston University student Margaret “Meg” Theriault spoke to her parents and hospital staff Wednesday for the first time since she was critically injured in the New Zealand car accident on May 12, hospital officials said.

Theriault, a School of Management junior, is awake after she was put in a medically induced coma at Waikato Hospital following the accident. She is in stable condition as of Wednesday and has been transferred from the high-dependency unit to a ward, according to a hospital statement.

“This is so heartening,” said Deb Theriault, her mother, in the statement.

Theriault’s parents said their daughter continues to amaze them during the recovery process.

She called for her mother in her first words to the trauma nurse coordinator since the horrific accident, according to the statement. Later in the day, she told her father she loved him.

She answered a staff member with “good morning,” before falling back to sleep, according to the statement.

Theriault awoke two and a half weeks after the car accident in Turangi, New Zealand. The accident killed three students and injured four others, who have now been released from the hospital, as previously reported by The Daily Free Press.

The driver of the vehicle, Stephen Houseman, a School of Hospitality Administration junior, faces charges of careless driving causing injury and death in Auckland District Court.

He will appear in court on June 8, said Brian Reid, spokesman for Auckland District Court, in a previous interview with The Daily Free Press.

“There is still a long journey ahead, but today is one of those days we can look back on as being significant,” Theriault’s parents said in the statement.

Theriault’s parents expressed their appreciation of the staff at Waikato Hospital and the support from people in the United States who have donated money and prayed for Meg’s recovery.

Other family members were asked by her parents not to comment on behalf of Theriault.

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