RICHLAND — Andre Cook's family will not be allowed to bring him home for Thanksgiving as they expected.
Instead, the 27-year-old who was injured at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell likely will be going back to prison, at least for awhile.
Cook has been in the hospital since he was assaulted Sept. 18. Video from the prison shows Anthony Turner, 42, and Cook talking, reportedly about a football game. Then Turner threw a single punch and Cook fell to the ground, according to the Washington State Department of Corrections.
Cook spent about a month on a respirator at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, according to his family. Doctors placed him in an induced coma because of severe head injuries, his family said.
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More recently, he has been at a long-term care hospital -- a facility that can offer more care than a nursing home -- on the west side of the state.
Within the past week, he has begun walking and seems to be physically recovered, said his sister Courtney Cook.
But he still is suffering the effects of a brain injury, both his family and the Washington State Department of Corrections agree.
He can remember his family, but has limited or no memory of things that happened in the last year, his sister said. He does not remember that he was in Coyote Ridge or the name of his former girlfriend, she said.
He can have a conversation, but sometimes says things that make no sense, she said.
The family had expected him to need inpatient rehabilitation, but more recently learned that could be done on an outpatient basis.
The hospital is ready to release him and his family has met the conditions set by the state to prepare to bring him home, his sister said. That included getting private medical coverage for him. He will need someone with him 24 hours a day and his sister has agreed to do that.
"He has recovered so much more rapidly than expected," said Barb Curtis, the Department of Corrections utilization and nursing services administrator.
The state received his insurance coverage information from the family Monday and still is in the process of getting him approved for extraordinary medical placement, Curtis said.
Extraordinary medical placement is the state's version of compassionate release and must be approved by the state's secretary of corrections. If Cook is approved for it, he would be allowed to live in his father's home in Olympia and would be monitored by the state until his release date in January.
But without that approval yet, he is expected to be released from the hospital to the Monroe Correctional Complex. He would be placed in an inpatient unit, Curtis said.
The Connell Police Department is wrapping up its investigation of the incident that led to Cook's injury and will forward information to the Franklin County prosecutor.
The Department of Corrections also held a hearing and Turner lost 270 days of good time credit, the maximum penalty the department can assess.
Turner has had previous infractions for fighting, disruptive behavior, strong-arming and intimidating, according to Coyote Ridge officials. He has been in prison since November 2009 for a King County residential burglary and is due to be released in December 2013, said the state. He also was in prison from 1991 to 2001.
Cook began serving a term in May for violating a protection order and a burglary in Thurston County.
-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; firstname.lastname@example.org