Christmas came late for a San Diego man, but it was even more meaningful.
On Dec. 12, Ryan Caine was rushed to a local emergency room after he came down with flu-like symptoms.
At first, he was diagnosed with pneumonia, but things got worse when the illness turned septic and he went into cardiac arrest.
Caine, 24, was then put into a drug-induced coma that lasted more than six weeks. Although he was placed on life support, doctors didn’t expect him to survive the illiness, NBC San Diego reported.
But hope stayed alive, and he came out of the coma on Jan. 24.
Caine, who is on the autism spectrum, had one thing on his mind when he awoke, according to his mother, Janet Caine.
“One of the first things he asked [when he woke up] was, ‘Did I miss Christmas?’” she told KSWB TV. “I said, ‘No, Christmas can happen any time of the year and it’s waiting for you at home.’”
After a few weeks recovering in a local hospital, Caine got his Christmas on Wednesday, when he returned home to a street full of well-wishers cheering him on and a full display of holiday cheer in his home.
“We knew he was coming back,” neighbor Janet Bark told KGTV while holding a welcome-home sign. “And we needed to keep Christmas for him.”
Although he had hoped for a trip to Disneyland for Christmas, Caine said he has another item on future wish lists.
“I also hope I’m never going to go into the hospital again,” he told reporters.