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How long was Rick in a coma?

This is a discussion on How long was Rick in a coma? within the Episode 101 - Days Gone Bye forums, part of the The Walking Dead Season 1 category. "I was just thinking was this ever disclosed? Trying to figure out how long the apocalypse took and the time ..."

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  1. #1
    Jakobi's Avatar
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    How long was Rick in a coma?

    I was just thinking was this ever disclosed? Trying to figure out how long the apocalypse took and the time that went by.

  2. #2
    Bassman's Avatar
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    I believe Dr. Jenner gives the number of days since the first reported case began at the CDC. I want to say it was 100 and something, but I would have to go back and watch the episode.

    If it were 100 and something, Rick must have went into the hospital as it was JUST beginning. When the army takes over the hospital i'm guessing it was nearly a month in. There's no way Rick could have survived more than a few days without fluids once his machines shut down, so we can say a week tops. Then he makes it to The Morgans' where he passes out for what I think was an undisclosed amount of time. Rick tells lori that he would have been dead if they hadn't taken him in, so I assumed he healed in that bed for quite some time.

    So that makes up for only....I'd say two months? Maybe a little more. Where the rest of the days went, I don't know.

  3. #3
    Jakobi's Avatar
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    I like it Bassman...I forgot about whether or not Jenner had said something. I would have to watch it again as well. Even so, a few months seems kinda of short to wipe out the military and everything else. It must have started in multiple places then. You would figure if there was a ground zero it would spread less quickly and containment may have been easier.

  4. #4
    fatbrett2's Avatar

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    They don't make it clear in the TV show or the comics, but in episode 5 (Wildfire), Jenner says it is "Day 194 since wildfire was declared and 63 days since the disease abruptly went global". This would be the fourth day since Rick woke up. This means the disease has been spreading for over 6 months and has been an international pandemic for 2 months.

    When he wakes up, Rick seems to have several weeks of beard stubble on his face, and the flowers on the nightstand have been dead for at least a couple of weeks. When he meets Morgan and they go to the police station, Morgan says the gas lines have been shut down for "maybe a month". Since the gas lines are in the same town as the hospital, we can assume the hospital shut down around the same time as the gas. In episode 6 (TS-19), Jenner says he has "been in the dark [meaning he hasn't had communications with anyone else] for almost a month". It is hard to believe the CDC would collapse as quickly as a small-town hospital in Georgia, but that seems to be the case.

    The problem is that none of this tells us anything about how long Rick was comatose, only how long he was comatose AFTER the hospital was overrun - about a month. The stubble on his face proves that, but the hospital (or Lori) could have been shaving him while he was in the coma right up until the hospital went down.

    In the first episode (Days Gone Bye), just before Rick gets shot, he and Shane are chatting about women and relationships. That would lead me to believe the disease is not in the USA yet, as they would be preoccupied with handling the outbreak (they ARE cops, and cops would be the first responders in a zombie crisis), or at least DISCUSSING it.

    So if "wildfire" began outside the US, and only got to the US when it 'abruptly went global', Rick was probably in the coma for at least 2 months - at least one month while the hospital was still operational, and about one month after it was abandoned. If 'wildfire' began in the US, however, Rick has probably been in the coma for about 6 months - 5 months before the hospital shut down, and one month after.

    In any case, we can be sure that he wasn't in the coma for more than a month or so after the hospital was abandoned. Although he WAS hooked up to an IV fluid drip, those bags only last a few hours to a day at most before going dry. Tube feeding would have stopped immediately upon the nurses leaving the hospital.

    It is true that a person can live without food for over 2 months (though they usually lose consciousness after a month or so), and possibly longer if they are in a coma; however, we die very quickly without water. Even in relatively cool weather, going as little as 3 days without fluids can be fatal, and very few people have survived more than a couple of weeks without drinking. I've never heard of anyone living for a month without water, but it might be possible. Anything more than a few weeks to a month and Rick would never have woken up.

    The only other possibility is that Rick was shot AFTER the disease became a global problem, and yet he somehow heard nothing about the outbreak or the zombies until he woke up and found Morgan.

  5. #5
    daggxthedark's Avatar

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    likely 2 months in the hospital as it seems, but not sure really, although, when i first watch the pilot episode, the part when rick wakes up and the hospital is gone to s.. and the door there dont open dead inside, and when he goes out to the streets and find the whole thing like that zombie lady's torso crawling there, that series beggining was awesome, it actually scared the cr.ap out of me, very impressive, i mean just imagine waking up in an isolated hospital hallway like rick did, not understanding what was going on, and find yourself only a door away from those monsters and a chain that maybe wont last forever, men, that was creepy awesome

  6. #6
    Agramer's Avatar
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    I would say that he was in a coma for about 2 months...

    After the hospital was abandoned, do you think that anyone has tried to come inside? I mean, someone had to come in to grab some supplies (it's a hospital!) when he was in a coma. If that happened, it's strange and obvious that no one even tried to check his room (because we see the bed in the same spot since Shane had put it).

  7. #7
    TheVacantThrone's Avatar
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    The reason it spread SO quick was because of the 'death = zombie, even without a bite', people would've been dying from natural causes in there thousands and thousands all over the U.S, and coming back, spreading it quicker.

  8. #8
    Jamesdster's Avatar

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    Before leaving the hospital for good, Shane put a bed in front of Rick's door to prevent the walkers from getting to him. Someone please splain to lil ole me how that worked?

  9. #9

    Sunshine's Avatar
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    I kinda thought you are so close to death in a coma, that you dont smell/sound/feel alive to the zombies.

    That is why they never get people in comas

    But the thing about it that bothers me, is exactly how did his IV last for weeks or months?

    Dont they only last a day? It seems like he would have died of dehydration around day 4

  10. #10

    I'm a Guy I Hate Spoilers Have Read Comics
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    Man you guys all think he was in there for ages I would only a week or two


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