Walking Dead: How Rick Survived Being In A Coma (Despite The Outbreak) – News Today

Walking Dead: How Rick Survived Being In A Coma (Despite The Outbreak)

In the pilot episode of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes wakes up from a coma in a hospital, but how did he survive that long despite the outbreak?

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead.


  • Despite the uncertainty, it is revealed that Doctor Gale Macones or Kate may have been taking care of Rick while he was in a coma in the hospital.
  • The webseries “The Oath” provides a backstory for Rick’s survival, showing how Doctor Gale stayed behind to help survivors and keep the hospital safe.
  • While there’s a theory that Rick is still in a coma, it has been debunked by the series finale and upcoming spinoff, “The Ones Who Live.”

Though he survived a lot in The Walking Dead, there is still some question as to how long Rick was in a coma and how he managed to survive. In the pilot of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) woke up from a coma in a deserted hospital. He then wandered empty hallways and there were no signs of people. At the end of season 1, a flashback reveals that Shane (Jon Bernthal) left Rick behind as chaos erupted in the hospital, leaving Rick to wake up alone and in a new apocalyptic existence.

Even with The Walking Dead now ending, there are still a lot of questions about Rick’s survival in the pilot. Surviving that long without food and water is unlikely, especially in his state. A body can’t be without water for more than three to five days, but Rick had an IV in his arm when he woke up, so liquid was going into his body. However, the IV bag would’ve needed to be refilled at some point. That meant someone had to be checking on him regularly and The Walking Dead universe did address how Rick survived his coma.

Michonne holding Rick's face next to a CRM Helicopter in The Walking Dead


The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live – Release Date, Story, Trailer & Everything We Know About Rick & Michonne’s Spinoff

Since his departure from The Walking Dead, Andrew Lincoln has confirmed he will star in a Rick Grimes TV show. Here’s all we know about the series.

An AMC Webseries Revealed How Rick Survived In A Coma

An Unsung Hero Saved Rick’s Life

Doctor Gale and Paul in the Webisode The Oath from The Walking Dead webseries

In addition to all of the upcoming The Walking Dead spinoffs, AMC released a webseries that told short stories about different survivors in the same universe as the original The Walking Dead, even addressing Rick’s coma. Season 3 “The Oath” follows Karina and Paul as they escape from their overrun camp. Paul ends up injured, and the couple finds their way into Harrison Memorial Hospital, seeking medical supplies. However, they discover the hospital isn’t completely abandoned.

Inside, they find Doctor Gale Macones (Ellen Greene). The doctor reveals she stayed behind after the army left, trying to keep the place safe from walkers and helping survivors who showed up. At first, she treats Paul as best as she can, but thinking he is about to reanimate, she places him in the cafeteria with other walkers. Still alive, Paul manages to escape and locks the doors behind him. Later, he paints the message Rick sees in the first episode. This proves the story takes place in Rick’s hospital, happening before The Walking Dead’s timeline began.

It’s likely that Doctor Gale was the one taking care of Rick. She had access to medical supplies and appeared willing to help people despite witnessing the violence and horrible acts committed by other survivors. If not Gale, then another candidate would be Kate, an intern who was also at the hospital for an undetermined period. They stayed back to keep their oath and take care of the remaining patients. Their presence explains how Rick didn’t die of dehydration or hunger and was able to wake up in relatively good health, despite how long was Rick in a coma.


Why Andrew Lincoln Left The Walking Dead During Season 9

Andrew Lincoln played Rick Grimes for nearly a decade on The Walking Dead, and here’s why he decided to leave the show during season 9.

One Walking Dead Theory Suggests Rick Is Still In The Coma

Rick’s New Spinoff Further Refutes The Theory

Over the years there’s been a fair few The Walking Dead theories, one of them being that Rick has been in a coma the entire time. While it’s been debunked thanks to the revelation of the CRM and The Walking Dead series finale, one fan suggested that when Jadis radioed the helicopter and classified him as a ‘B’ instead of an ‘A,’ it was actually referring to blood type. The theory posits that Rick is still holed up in the hospital and the events of The Walking Dead occur in his dreams.

Jadis’ ‘A or B’ conversation is that of a nurse or first responder asking what Rick’s blood type is, and pieces of the outside reality are leaking into his dream. Walking Dead star Pollyanna Macintosh even acknowledged the fan theory in an interview with ComicBook. While Macintosh thought the theory was “cool,” she revealed that it wasn’t in creator Robert Kirkman’s plans for the show, as evidenced by The Walking Dead series finale and Rick’s next spinoff with Michonne in the upcoming The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

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