He could barely speak. He'd been awake only moments, coming out of a 48-day coma. His first sentence: "I want Taco Bell."
35-year-old Army veteran and former sheriff's deputy Jake Booth was sent to the hospital in February with a bad case of bronchitis that became a double pneumonia, causing a heart attack days after being admitted. Doctor had to place Booth in a medically induced coma. But that's not the interesting part of this story.
On April 3, 48 days later, Booth woke up, queiro-ing some Taco Bell.
Booth's first words upon waking from the coma were simply, "I want Taco Bell." The correct response for any bystander was to call for a doctor and say, "Get this man some god damn chalupas." However, Booth had to wait another 22 days before his body was ready for solid foods and the likely un-solid result that comes with eating Taco Bell.
But once that time came, Booth was all in. His family helped him think outside the bun, getting him eight and a half tacos deep. That's probably not the recommended number of Taco Bell tacos for any human -- particularly after midnight, when they taste best -- but he earned it.
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"We’d all been waiting an entire month for him to eat those tacos," Booth's brother, Jason Schwartz, told For the Win
. "It was symbolic of the entire thing — more of a metaphor of him having woken up and being given a second chance at life."
The photos of Booth first made the rounds on Reddit, courtesy of one of his friends. Taco Bell caught wind, and naturally loved the story. They made sure to get some swag sent his way.
Booth, a father of two, is currently in recovery. His friends and family have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help pay his medical expenses, where they've currently raised more than $15,000 of a $50,000 goal.
After Booth's extreme proclamation of love for Taco Bell, giving to his campaign is basically saying you'd buy him a drink if you saw him at your local watering hole, except instead of cheers-ing with a PBR, you're daring him to eat a Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco Supreme with your $1.89.
And really, Doritos dust and Fire sauce are the gifts that keep on giving. Even when you don't want them to.
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Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He holds a Guinness World Record, but has never met the fingernail lady. He’s written for Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, The Rumpus, and other digital wonderlands. Follow him @dlukenelson.