‘It’s truly a miracle’: Wife of Purple Heart recipient says he’s emerging from coma

A family said they are getting the Christmas wish they’ve been praying for.”Last week, he started moving his left side, opening his eyes,” Kyli Belt said.Her husband, Tony Belt, 39, has been in a coma for 10 weeks following a workplace accident at Katelman Steel Fabrication in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In September, he fell 18-feet from a scissor lift and suffered a traumatic brain injury.”The doctors told me he probably wasn’t going to make it to the weekend,” she said.Tony Belt survived the weekend. But then doctors told her he wouldn’t wake up. Belt, however, is a fighter. He served eight years in the Army and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was injured in a tank explosion, a bullet grazed his back during training and in 2006, he was shot in the head. That incident ended his military career and led to him being awarded a Purple Heart.”We are just waiting for him fully to wake up,” Kyli Belt said.Therapists put the soldier to work. His sons, 4, 3 and 7 months, have been helping him.”They talk to him and play with him. The baby lays in bed with him,” she said.Now that he’s improving, Kyli Belt said the family needs some holiday cheer. Friends started sending Christmas cards to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. She said the boys love opening them and reading them.”It’s been a long three months with them, and it’s been really hard,” she said. “They went from being told that Daddy was going to heaven and they will never see him again to him being here and interacting with them. I just want to change their moods and let them be kids again.”The Belts’ son Eli, 4, didn’t listen to the doctors, either. He declared his daddy would talk by Christmas Eve. Right now, Tony Belt only communicates by giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.”Maybe he was right. Maybe he will be the Christmas miracle that what he’s been telling me,” Kyli Belt said. At that moment, her husband gave a thumbs-up, and she spoke with him. “Thumbs-up? Yeah, that’s going to be your Christmas miracle. Is that what you’re waiting for?”Their sons want to receive 1,000 Christmas cards. Here is where you can send a card to the Belts:Tony BeltMadonna Rehabilitation Hospital17500 Burke St., R-1 Room 109Omaha NE 68118The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses.

A family said they are getting the Christmas wish they’ve been praying for.

“Last week, he started moving his left side, opening his eyes,” Kyli Belt said.

Advertisement

Her husband, Tony Belt, 39, has been in a coma for 10 weeks following a workplace accident at Katelman Steel Fabrication in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In September, he fell 18-feet from a scissor lift and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

“The doctors told me he probably wasn’t going to make it to the weekend,” she said.

Tony Belt survived the weekend. But then doctors told her he wouldn’t wake up. Belt, however, is a fighter. He served eight years in the Army and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was injured in a tank explosion, a bullet grazed his back during training and in 2006, he was shot in the head. That incident ended his military career and led to him being awarded a Purple Heart.

“We are just waiting for him fully to wake up,” Kyli Belt said.

Therapists put the soldier to work. His sons, 4, 3 and 7 months, have been helping him.

“They talk to him and play with him. The baby lays in bed with him,” she said.

Now that he’s improving, Kyli Belt said the family needs some holiday cheer. Friends started sending Christmas cards to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. She said the boys love opening them and reading them.

“It’s been a long three months with them, and it’s been really hard,” she said. “They went from being told that Daddy was going to heaven and they will never see him again to him being here and interacting with them. I just want to change their moods and let them be kids again.”

The Belts’ son Eli, 4, didn’t listen to the doctors, either. He declared his daddy would talk by Christmas Eve. Right now, Tony Belt only communicates by giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

“Maybe he was right. Maybe he will be the Christmas miracle that what he’s been telling me,” Kyli Belt said. At that moment, her husband gave a thumbs-up, and she spoke with him.

“Thumbs-up? Yeah, that’s going to be your Christmas miracle. Is that what you’re waiting for?”

Their sons want to receive 1,000 Christmas cards. Here is where you can send a card to the Belts:

Tony Belt
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital
17500 Burke St., R-1 Room 109
Omaha NE 68118

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses.