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Michelle Hurst, the woman perhaps best known for her role as Claudette Pelage on the series “Orange Is The New Black,” is just waking up from a 16 day medically induced coma.

Doctors induced Hurst’s coma after she was in a car accident before Chirstmas. Hurst suffered major injuries and in order to limit movement while doctors performed multiple surgeries near her spine.

Hurst woke up yesterday and is responsive after 16 days and is recovering in ICU of University of North Carolina: Chapel Hill hospital.

A fundraiser, with a goal of $5,000, has been set up in Michelle’s honor to help her pay for her medical expenses and help supplement her income during her time off work. As of last night, the page had exceeded it’s goal raising $11, 202.

Because she is in the ICU well wishers are unable to send flowers and only family members are allowed to visit at this time. Donations are being handled by Michelle’s sister.

Members of the cast including Natasha Lyonne (Nicky Nichols) and Piper Kerman, the author of the book which inspired the series, tweeted asking people to donate what they could to help Hurst in her recovery.

If you’re a fan of the show you know Michelle Hurst plays the role of Miss Claudette Pelage, an elderly Haitian woman who becomes the roommate of Piper, the main character.

In speaking about the show and what influenced her to take the part, Hurst told Cabletv.com:

“What actually drew me in was not so much the character, but the idea of doing something in a prison, It’s one of my little phobias. It’s like ‘Oh my God, no.’ On the first day, I didn’t know that much about Miss Claudette. The turn around on this was so quick, there was no real time. But Jenji Kohan (the show’s executive producer) was there and she gave me some background on who this character is and how she has come to be. She has been through a lot, she doesn’t even believe in hope. She is just surviving in there. She has learned how to survive. She doesn’t have ‘friends’ in this environment, but she just keeps going. Once I knew that, I knew it would be interesting for me.”

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