NewsJune 8, 2010 12:07 PM ET9,553 views

Deftones' bassist showing 'signs of improvement'

Official press release: At Chi Cheng's routine checkup on May 19th, 2010, it was apparent to Dr. Joseph Nguyen, who has followed his progress for the past 8 months, that there was marked improvement. He wrote in his progress notes that Cheng was "showing signs of improved Neuro Function and improved alertness at this time. Increased Response to Verbal Stimuli. Directed Movement, with purpose seen and observed." Amazing report for Cheng, who was involved in a car accident November 3rd, 2008 and spent much of the last 18 months in a semi-conscious state. According to Cheng's sister, Mae, Nguyen's reaction as soon as he walked into the room and saw her brother was profound. "When he came in, he took one look at Dai [Cheng] and was floored. He couldn't believe it. He saw a man waking up," This coming after the beginning phases of a very specific ‘wake up' protocol that was implemented in mid January 2010. Dr. DeFina, Chief Scientific Officer and founder of International Brain Research Foundation ( along with Dr. Jonathan Fellus, director of Brain Injury Services at the Kessler Institute, got Cheng started on the groundbreaking protocol that applies already approved medications, electrical stimulation and nutraceuticals to the patient as a virtual cocktail that has had a dramatic impact on his patients. So dramatic that DeFina has an 84% success rate in waking up patients from minimally conscious states or vegetative state comas. The national average for patients emerging from these states is 3 – 7%. DeFina and colleagues were recently featured on an episode of MTV's "True Life | I Have Traumatic Brain Injury". After the episode aired, DeFina told Gina Blackmore of One Love For Chi ( that all three of the TBI patients featured on the show, who are all able to walk and talk and continue to strive for improvement, had been like Cheng is now or worse when he had taken them on as patients. This news is encouraging, but funds are greatly needed to ensure that Cheng can continue on his protocol. Gina Blackmore is determined to raise enough funds to not only keep Cheng in Dr. DeFina's care, but also to get him into one of the top medical facilities in the nation where he will be under the direct care of the doctors from IBRF. She has set a new goal of $500,000 in order to cover the $2,000 per day cost of staying at the facility for 3-6 months or longer as well as transportation to the facility. It is a lofty goal but well worth the effort to bring Cheng back to his family and friends. Along with Blackmore, Sonny Sandoval of the band P.O.D. and The Whosoevers ( have been a continuing force in fundraising and keeping Cheng on the minds of followers via Facebook. Together they have put a call out to not only friends and fans of Cheng but to bands local, national and international to help their fallen fellow musician with benefit concerts. All funds raised can be paid directly to The Chi Ling Cheng Special Needs Trust by clicking the donate button at For more information on fundraising news, events, updates on Cheng's continuing recovery and messages from family and friends visit

Tags: Chi Cheng

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