Officials in Buffalo, New York, say a firefighter who stunned his family when he spoke after nearly a decade of silence has died.In 1995, Donald Herbert was injured when the roof of a burning home fell on him. Herbert was deprived of oxygen for several minutes, and spent most of the following years without sight or speech, showing little awareness of his surroundings. Then in April of last year, Herbert shocked his family by talking -- for almost 14 hours straight. It gave hope to families of countless other patients. But since that time he's spoken only occasionally. Herbert was hospitalized again over the weekend with an infection. He died today at the age of 44. Fire commissioner Michael Lombardo says Herbert's "inspiration will be missed." Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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