'Christmas has come early' for Deputy Nick Tullier: Hospital updates on recovery

'Christmas has come early' for Deputy Nick Tullier: Hospital updates on recovery

HOUSTON, TX (WAFB) - Saying "Christmas has come early," the father of wounded sheriff's deputy Nick Tullier celebrated an announcement by doctors that his son is now fully conscious.

The healthcare experts at TIRR  Memorial Herman center in Houston, TX held a press conference Thursday morning to update the public on the remarkable progress in the recovery of East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Deputy Nick Tullier. Click here to watch the full press conference.

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"He now can connect with the outside world and communicate with his family," said Dr. Sunil Kothari.

Officials say Nick was admitted to the hospital in a minimally conscious state, but he quickly improved to a fully conscious state.

"What's in Nick's future? Look at what had been in Nick's past? We had no hope. He wasn't supposed to survive," said James Tullier, Nick's father. "It's just fantastic to be here. Not only in Nick, but I see miracles happen here every day."

Nick Tullier has become known around the world as one of the six officers injured during an ambush shooting on July 17 in Baton Rouge. He spent the first several months in a Baton Rouge hospital.

Tullier was transferred to TIRR in Houston, Texas on November 16 to begin specialized rehab therapy in the Disorders of Consciousness Program.

Doctors there said Thursday that Tullier is able to respond to "yes" or "no" questions by moving his head. They added that he knows where he is and recognizes family members and friends.

Tullier still has paralysis to parts of his body but is able to move his head, left arms and has some movement in his legs, doctors said.

Doctors said he is "doing remarkably well" and exceeding their expectations.

In the four weeks he's been at the facility, his care team has made significant discoveries while working with Tullier. However, they caution that this is just the first step in a very long recovery process.


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