Man wakes up from coma after 12 years
By T.K. Randall
January 15, 2015 · 14 comments
Pistorius was unable to move or speak for more than a decade. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Mason
Having slipped in to a coma at the age of 12, Martin Pistorius didn't wake up again for over a decade.
Pistorius had been living a normal life in South Africa when, in January 1988, he returned home from school complaining that he had been suffering from a sore throat.
As his health deteriorated he was diagnosed with Cryptococci meningitis and tuberculosis of the brain, a condition that would eventually see him lapse in to a vegetative state.
He would stay that way for another 12 years.
His parents selflessly cared for him despite the bleak outlook, always hoping that he might eventually regain consciousness. One day however Pistorius' aromatherapist happened to spot subtle hints that he might be aware of what was going on, barely perceptible smiles gazes and nods that most people would miss but that suggested he was reacting to things happening around him.
A visit to the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication at the University of Pretoria confirmed that he had indeed regained awareness and his condition continued to improve.
Before long he was well enough to learn how to read and write and could communicate using a special synthetic voice computer system that he was able to operate.
Now 39, Pistorius has a job in a health centre and has even gotten married.
His story, written in his own words, is the subject of the best-selling book - The Ghost Boy.
Out of everything he endured however, the thing that stuck in his mind the most about his bedridden days were the endless repeats of one particular well known children's television show.
"I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney," he said.
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