People survive and recover from comas fairly often, but the odds of recovery depend on a person’s illness or injuries and the length of time they are incapacitated. The longer the coma, the lower the odds of recovery. The ten (actually twelve) people in this list are all very different: their comas lasted from a few days to decades long, and their recoveries varied greatly. Some recovered very gradually. One was in a locked-in state for years while no one knew. And three presented strange language deficiencies when they came to. One was Ben McMahon.
Growing up in Australia, Ben McMahon learned French and Mandarin, but was never fluent in them. In 2012, he was in a car accident which left him comatose for a week. Doctors said he would be lucky if he survived. He beat the odds and woke up but, oddly, he only spoke Mandarin and couldn’t speak English. He could also write in Mandarin.
Eventually, Ben regained the ability to speak English, but didn’t lose the ability to speak Mandarin. As of September 2014, Ben is living in Shanghai where he attends school, but also gives walking tours of the city. In fact, his Mandarin is so good it impresses native speakers, and he is the host of a TV show in Shanghai.