Sandwich Clique co-founder wakes from coma – Commercial Appeal

The co-founder of the popular Facebook group Memphis Sandwich Clique has woken after more than a week in a heat exhaustion-induced coma.

Ryan Hopgood was hospitalized June 12 after falling asleep in his car, according to friends close to Hopgood. He was out of consciousness for over a week when the family made the decision to donate his organs since he seemed to not be recovering.

Thursday afternoon, after being extubated — a procedure where a person is removed from a ventilator — instead of slowly growing weaker, Hopgood slowly recovered until he woke from the coma. 

Hopgood, according to social media posts from family members, was to be removed from life support on Thursday. As Hopgood was extubated, he began showing signs of life, as opposed to slipping away.

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“Ryan was extubated and instead of his body letting go, it got stronger. And stronger. Until he woke up! The neurologists and nurses say, ‘This is nothing short of a miracle’ and that’s the truth,” Oliva Christine Hopgood, Ryan Hopgood’s sister, said in a Facebook post. “…He is able to answer questions appropriately and respond to commands as well as communicate what he needs. He recognizes us and we are sharing every well wish you all keep sending!”

Memphis Sandwich Clique was formed in July 2019 and has amassed a following of over 22,000 members. The page offers those in the Memphis area a place to share images of sandwiches and engage in debates — including the timeless “is a hotdog a sandwich” debate.

News of Hopgood’s hospitalization spread across the page Tuesday and was initially reported as a death. That was corrected by Tuesday evening amid an outpouring of love from members, some of which included posting sandwiches in Hopgood’s honor.

Paul Dillard, a coworker with Hopgood at Landers Nissan in Southaven, described Hopgood as a dedicated coworker and friend.

“Ryan found his niche in social media and marketing for Landers. He was making it his own and was becoming better and better every day,” Dillard said.

Upon learning that Hopgood awakened, Dillard said he was, “dumbfounded like everyone else. Shocked.”

Lucas Finton is a news reporter with The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached at Lucas.Finton@commercialappeal.com and followed on Twitter @LucasFinton.

Micaela Watts is a reporter for The Commercial Appeal and can be reached at micaela.watts@commercialappeal.com.

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