How many times have you seen a person on TV in a deep coma awaken spontaneously with no residual effects? Characters appear to merely awaken from a refreshing sleep when rousing from a deep coma. But in reality, deep coma is when the person is so unresponsive that he or she is unable to be aroused at all, even to painful stimuli. The longer someone is in a deep coma, the less likely it is that he or she will recover. If a person in a coma begins speaking or communicating with verbal noises, can follow objects with the eyes, or can follow commands within the first few days, they're likely to recover. But the recovery of a person who has been in a deep coma for weeks or months isn't full and spontaneous. In fact, the general consensus by experts is that if a deep coma from a head injury lasts for three months or more, it's unlikely the person will substantially recover [source: Merck Manual]. The first sign of recovery may be when the person squeezes the hand of a loved one. It often takes weeks or months of therapy for the person who has been in a deep coma to be able to improve his or her speech and brain function. Sometimes the person has residual effects for life.