A man credited with stopping a homicide bomber at Scotland's Glasgow Airport last year has awoken from a two-week coma triggered by an asthma attack, his father told the Australian Associated Press Wednesday.
John Smeaton, 32, was admitted to a hospital near Glasgow on Oct. 9 after suffering a serious asthma attack. His father said that Smeaton survived a similar attack that almost killed him a decade ago.
"We are really happy that he has come through but he is still not out of the woods yet and has a long way to go," Iain Smeaton said, adding that the former baggage handler was able to recognize his family and fiancee.
"He can't communicate verbally but he can communicate by blinking his eyelids and looking at us and there's just a normal progression." his father added.
Smeaton helped detain suspects who drove a fiery Jeep into Glasgow's main terminal building on June 30 last year, AAP reported. The accused terrorists, Bilal Abdulla, 29, and Mohammed Asha, 28, went on trial in London this month for allegedly attempting to murder hundreds of people.
In U.S., rates of fatal and near-fatal asthma attacks have steadily declined, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevetion said in 2006. About 20 million Americans suffer from asthma. According to the CDC, there was an average of 4,210 fatal asthma attacks in the U.S. each year from 2001-2003 — the most recent years for which statistics are available.