A new Northwestern Medicine and Hines VA Hospital study suggests that not only can coma patients hear family and friends, but those familiar voices actually help with the patients' waking and recovery.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander said on "Fox and Friends" this morning that he had a near-death experience while in a seven-day coma.

"It's an extraordinary experience that I recall," Alexander said. "What brought me back to this world was the fact that my sisters were there day and night."

Alexander explained that his sisters sharing familiar stories helped trigger his awareness, something he says this new study demonstrates scientifically.

"I think this is groundbreaking work that hopefully many clinicians who deal with these cases will take to heart and start to acknowledge and use this kind of information," Alexander said.

"They showed very clearly that they had a more efficient and a more rapid recovery of brain mechanism and interactions and participation in rehab by these familiar stories from family members that were repeated over and over again to help bring the patient back."

What's the scientific explanation? Steve Doocy asked.

Alexander revealed that the current understanding among experts is that it's best to focus on how mind and consciousness can help run the material brain.

"Therefore, when we talk about the brain recovering from an injury, mind and consciousness can have a tremendous impact on helping to facilitate that process. And that's what this study shows so clearly."

Watch more above.