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Teenage victim of Halloween hit-and-run remains in coma in Duluth; may be improving

Alexander Balluff

Alex Balluff, the victim of an Oct. 31 hit-and-run accident on Rice Lake Road, remains in a coma at the SMDC Medical Center in Duluth but has shown signs of improvement and could move soon to a St. Paul hospital, according to his parents, Mike and Debbie Balluff.

A entry Tuesday by the Balluffs said their son was showing signs of brain activity, and the SMDC therapy team had Alex standing on his feet twice Tuesday.

"Alex has episodes of having his eyes open and appears to be tracking our voices at times," his parents wrote. "His pupil size is getting more normalized and reacting to light. Alex started to move both of his legs today. He actually can't keep his legs still, and he has ripped a hole in the hospital sheets."

They also said the family received news that the Bethesda Rehabilitation Hospital in St. Paul has agreed to admit Alex into their brain injury rehab unit. He will be transported to Bethesda as soon as a bed opens up at the facility but remained a patient at SMDC on Wednesday.