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EWU student wakes from coma after beating

Robert Drew Schreiber, a standout runner on the Eastern Washington University track team, poses for a photo in his letterman jacket. The 20-year-old was the victim of a brutal assault Oct. 8 at the Grove apartments in Cheney. (Amy Karau / Courtesy)
Robert Drew Schreiber, a standout runner on the Eastern Washington University track team, poses for a photo in his letterman jacket. The 20-year-old was the victim of a brutal assault Oct. 8 at the Grove apartments in Cheney. (Amy Karau / Courtesy)

The Eastern Washington University student who was brutally beaten by three men Oct. 8 has woken from a medically induced coma, but he faces a long road to recovery, his father said Tuesday.

“He’s still in really bad shape, but yesterday he stuck his tongue out, and today he smiled,” Alan Schreiber said of his son, 20-year-old Robert Drew Schreiber. “I never thought on Saturday that on Tuesday he would be doing these things.”

The younger Schreiber, who uses his middle name in lieu of Robert, has been at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane since the assault. Alan Schreiber praised the doctors and nurses who have treated his son, saying they went to “great lengths” to save his life.

A hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday that Drew Schreiber’s condition has been upgraded from “critical” to “serious.”

His mother, Amy Karau, has been chronicling the recovery process at CaringBridge.org. She wrote Tuesday that Schreiber is preparing to start physical therapy and may be released to a rehabilitation center in about a week.

“We just got done being relieved that he wasn’t going to die,” Alan Schreiber said. “I’m not a particularly religious man, but this is a miracle to us.”

The beating happened at the Grove apartments in Cheney, where Drew Schreiber lived with a roommate. Court documents say three men chased him through the complex, repeatedly kicked him in the torso and struck his head with a metal baseball bat.

Two men – John T. Mellgren, 24, and Damian C. Dunigan, 20 – were arraigned Tuesday on attempted murder charges in connection with the incident. No other suspects have been named in court documents, and the motive remains unclear.

Schreiber is an EWU junior and standout runner on the school’s track team. His father and coach have said they don’t believe he knew the assailants.

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