Ray Sybrandt announced Tuesday that his son, Sterling, has awoke from a coma.

Sterling had been comatose in the intensive care unit at U.C. Davis in Sacramento since March 1 after falling head-first off a rope swing.

?Sterling is awake and responding to verbal stimuli,? Ray said. ?He can?t talk yet, but he can respond by holding up one or two fingers. We want to thank everyone for their prayers.?

Sterling, a fifth-grader at Upper Chetco Elementary School, suffered severe head injuries from his fall and was transported by ambulance to Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City. After a CAT scan revealed swelling of the brain, Sterling was airlifted by Cal-Ore Life Flight to the pediatric trauma center at U.C. Davis.

His parents, Ray and Betsy, have remained by his side throughout the ordeal.

Students in the Brookings area rallied to collect donations for a fund set up in Sterling?s name at Washington Mutual.

Azalea Middle School students braved rain and cold weather for six hours Saturday to raise money in change cans titled ?Sterling?s Silver.?

The ?sense of place? and the eighth-grade advisory class students from teacher Maggie Prevenas? home room class set up booths outside of Ray?s Food Place and Fred Meyer, and handed out candles to donators.

Requests for donations adorned the booths, along with pictures of candles that read: ?Keep the light burning ? candles for Sterling.? A photograph of Sterling was captioned, ?An accident can happen to any child.?

The students raised $743.58.