Santa Barbara native Adam Lee, 36, was brutally attacked in San Francisco on April 30— leaving him in a coma on life support. Lee, an arborist who was set to marry his fiancée on June 1, has recently come out of his coma but is in need of ongoing medical care, likely for the rest of his life.
“Coming out of a coma isn’t like the movies,” said Lee’s fiancée, Margaret Smith. “One day he opens his eyes, the next day he can keep them open for a few more minutes, and other days he doesn’t open his eyes at all. There wasn’t really an exact moment he came out of the coma, but I’d say it was about the last week and a half or so that he’s shown signs of being awake.”
Lee will survive the assault, but the road to recovery ahead is long. Smith said the next step for Lee will be acute rehabilitation for his brain injuries, but neurologists are unsure how fully and quickly the recovery will be as traumatic brain injuries vary from patient to patient. Lee and Smith’s wedding has been postponed indefinitely.
Lee grew up in Santa Barbara and graduated from Dos Pueblos High School before moving to San Francisco. His mother, sister, and stepmother all still live in town and are active in the community. His mother is a local teacher and his sister, Andrea Ridgell Lee, owns Mishay Salon & Spa on De la Vina Street.
The family is still unsure of the motive behind the attack but said the investigation is ongoing. The perpetrator, whose identity is still unknown, fled the scene and left Lee to die.
Lee’s cousin, Alyssa Werner, has organized a GoFundMe fundraising page to help cover Lee’s medical expenses. “All of the outpouring of support and love from the community has been overwhelming,” Smith said. “At one point there were thousands of people across the U.S praying for us.”