Deftones’ Chi Cheng Continues Battle Back to Consciousness

Deftones Bassist Chi Cheng continues to defy the long odds in his slow but steady recovery from a 2008 car accident. (Photo Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Three years of being in a minimally conscious state have put Deftones bassist Chi Cheng in a state of limbo that his friends and family have been working to help him fight from. As documented on, the bassist has made an important breakthrough recently indicating he may be nearing a return to health soon.

Since this past October, Cheng has regained some use of his vocal cords – he’s been able to grunt and make other noises, the first such noises since his accident. The bigger breakthrough came this week when he displayed the ability to raise his leg on command. To anyone who doubted that Cheng was truly “there” over the past three years of his recovery, these signs of consciousness show that his slow-yet-steady recovery may indeed have a light at the end of the tunnel.

Throughout most of the last three years, Cheng has been minimally conscious as result of a November 2008 car accident. According to One Love for Chi (a website tracking Cheng’s recovery where fans can also show their support financially), “He’s here [in a sense], he wakes up, tries to communicate. He sees, he watches, and observes. Not only does he hear, but he listens.” Cheng sustained severe brain injuries in his accident, a two-car collision that sent his vehicle flipping through the air three times, ejecting him from the car. Cheng was not wearing a seatbelt at the moment of impact – his sister Mae, who was in the passenger seat, suffered only minor injuries in the collision and was at Cheng’s side soon after freeing herself from the wreck on that fateful night.

In the video below, Cheng exhibits his ability to raise his leg as the encouraging voice of his “Momma J” can be heard in the background. Remember to keep Chi in your thoughts and prayers – fans can continue to track his progress and donate to the recovery fund at One Love for

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