Beating the odds: 'I really believed he was going to die'

Beating the odds: 'I really believed he was going to die' »Play Video
Tyler Burton and his mother, Kimberly Hash, embrace Thursday at PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver. Burton arrived from a Chico, Calif. hospital to continue his recovery after suffering from a serious brain injury in October.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – A young man is back home after doctors in California gave him little chance of surviving a serious brain injury.

Tyler Burton, 21, nearly died after falling and hitting his head on the pavement after someone hit him in the face in October in Chico, Calif.

He was in California to play football at Shasta College in Redding.

Burton's mother, Kimberly Hash, said Thursday doctors first said her son was going to die but then they said if he lived he would have no brain activity. But Burton suddenly began to recover and is now able to talk in sentences.

"I really believed he was going to die, and they put the skull cap back on – he just kept doing better, and it was awesome," said Hash.

The breakthrough moment was when Burton's family said a nurse held up some pictures and said, 'Who's your mom?' and he reached out and touched the picture of his mother.

Burton has been in a Chico hospital ever since his accident, but he arrived at the PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center Thursday to the cheers of family and friends. He will stay at the hospital and learn to walk again.

"Probably through the worst hell that I've ever went through," said Roddy Hash, Burton's stepfather. "I don't want to ever have anything to do with something like that again because we thought we were losing him."

Burton is doing better. He's now moving, talking, recognizing people and even standing for the first time on his own Wednesday.

His mother said Burton is going to go through five or six hours of rehab a day at PeaceHealth, and it is very painful and difficult for him. But she said he has the will to do it.