'Miraculous' recovery for Puyallup man punched into coma


TACOMA, Wash. - The Puyallup man who was punched into a coma is making a recovery that his family and doctors didn't think was possible.


James Foster was beaten outside a South Hill bar in what prosecutors called a savage and unprovoked attack.


"I'm on the road to full recovery. A lot of people were liking that I was exceling at the therapies," said Foster, 22, on his first day home from rehabilitation therapy.


Foster was outside a South Hill bar in late April when he complimented some rims on a car driven by Daman Lehman. Lehman allegedly hit Foster twice. Foster hit his head on the pavement when he fell to the ground.


Witnesses said they heard Lehman say, "I put people to sleep. That's what I do," as he walked away.


Foster said he woke up in the hospital from his coma with no memory of the incident or any idea how he got there.


"It was, like, a story that I read, and it was like, that's such a dumb reason," Foster said.


Doctors told his family not to tell him about the punch. But after reading some Facebook posts from friends, he Googled his own name and read news stories about what happened to him.


"What I read, what happened -- I was, like, 'No,'" he said.


After weeks of rehabilitation at the University of Washington Medical Center, James is home.


Therapists said his recovery is rapid -- even surprising.   


For Darryl Foster, seeing his son up, speaking and on the road to recovery is miraculous.


"It's like a newborn. You're excited because you're bringing your new kid home. He's 22, but he's my new son, my son back to me."