Three months alter a catastrophic brain injury during a football game, Scotty Eveland warmly greeted his mother Thursday morning, waving and talking to her.
"His eyes were real bright. He had just gotten the drug Ambien half an hour before, it's been helping him tremendously," said Scotty's mother, Diane Luth.
Doctors have been administering Ambien, providing Scotty with pockets of time where he is more alert.
"At first we got 5 minutes. Now, we had an hour. He goes into a zone, comes in waves. He hasnt put it all together," said Luth.
Thursday night or Friday, surgeons will reattach his skull cap after swelling goes down a little more.
But what will happen next week?
Blue Cross considered moving Scotty from Palomar Medical Center's acute rehabilitation unit to a lesser care facility.
The insurer relented, however, and gave him another four weeks to evaluate his progress.
"It's stressful right now, a couple days before Christmas. We're concerned they'll see progress he's made. I'll be real surprised if they deny him additional time," said Luth.
Scotty's mother said the progress, though spotty, is real and it stirs excitement at the hospital.
"The other day, he started talking and everybody ran into the room. They wanted to hear him," she said.
Blue Cross has not revealed its future plans for Scotty.
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