Stephen Toulouse, the former Microsoft worker best known as the “Banhammer” on Xbox Live, has awoken from a coma — a dramatic turn after doctors said earlier this week they didn’t expect him to survive the infection he was battling.
Friends and acquaintances from his Xbox days and elsewhere rallied around Stepto, as he was known within Microsoft and on Twitter. Well wishes poured in on social media, and thousands of dollars were raised in an online fundraiser to help support his family.
On Saturday, the family posted an update saying that he was awake and breathing on his own.
“Although he is very weak, he has been requesting to see family members and speaking with them,” family friend Yesenia Cisneros said. “He has laughed, smiled, and adamantly demanded pizza, coke, and his iPad (we’re keeping that away for a little while so he can focus on healing and reuniting with family).”
Before joining the Xbox Live team as head of enforcement, Toulouse worked as head of communications for Microsoft’s security response center. Most recently, Toulouse has been working at HackerOne.
For more on Toulouse and his career at Microsoft, here is a profile I wrote on him for CNET in 2009.
Update: Cisneros said the online fundraising effort is continuing to assist with the considerable expenses Toulouse and his family will have in the days ahead.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.