Independence teen wakes from coma, talks to family - KCTV5

Independence teen wakes from coma, talks to family

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A 17-year-old who went into full cardiac arrest after a police officer fired his stun gun into the teen's chest is showing remarkable signs of improvement, his family says.

Daniel Haus, an attorney for the Masters family, told KCTV5 that Bryce Masters has spoken to his family and physicians after coming out of a medically induced comma. He is able to breathe on his own now.

Emergency room doctors and staff had placed Masters in the coma after he arrived at Centerpoint Medical Center Sunday afternoon. Efforts began Monday to bring Masters out of the coma and he responded to stimuli.

Masters' condition has been upgraded to serious, according to the hospital. He remains in ICU.

"They are seeing some signals that their son may make a fairly remarkable recovery, basically coming back from the dead," Haus said in an email to "The comment that was made (by his parents) was: 'I think we have our son back.'"

Masters has experienced memory loss from the oxygen deprivation, and still faces a lengthy recovery. He has pneumonia and secondary infections.

All of the long-term effects have not been determined, the attorney said.

"It looks like whatever the doctors did with this medically induced coma, this new procedure where they lower the body temperature, was exactly what he needed," Haus said.

Independence Police Chief Tom Dailey and Major Ed Turner visited the Masters family at the hospital this week.

Masters was driving a car in which there was an outstanding traffic warrant for a woman associated with the car. Independence police said Masters wouldn't cooperate with Officer Tim Runnels and refused to get out of the vehicle.

Runnels deployed his stun gun on Masters while he was inside the vehicle. The probes hit near Masters' heart, which doctors said caused his heart to stop. Family members and friends have been especially worried because Masters' brain was deprived of oxygen for a lengthy period of time.

Masters recorded the incident until he collapsed.

Runnels was gardening at his home in east Independence Wednesday evening. He and his wife did not answer the door. Neighbors said Runnels, who is the father of young children, enjoys working in his yard and helping neighbors with theirs. They said he is a hard-working, dedicated man.

While Independence officers have defended Runnels' actions, the FBI has mounted an investigation into whether excessive force was used. Masters father is an officer with the Kansas City Police Department where he supervises the off-duty program.

The following is the statement issued by Haus Wednesday afternoon:

Late Tuesday Afternoon, Bryce's medical team brought him fully out of the medically induced coma. Bryce was removed from the ventilator and sedation was reduced to the point that he is able to communicate verbally with his family and assist the medical team with his care. Bryce is presently experiencing memory loss issues consistent with oxygen deprivation as well pneumonia and secondary infections as a result of the need to be placed on a ventilator. While Bryce is still in the Intensive Care Unit, the family is relieved and encouraged at his progress but concern remains for the long term effect of his injuries. The family is overwhelmed by the support and concern of Bryce's friends and classmates and the support shown by the law enforcement community throughout the metropolitan area. In particular, the Masters family expresses its gratitude to the first responders from AMR as well as the doctors and staff of Centerpoint Medical Center. The kind words of Major Ed Turner and Chief Tom Dailey of the Independence Police Department were also much appreciated during their visit to the hospital.

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