Coma Man Conscious after 23 years

A man injured in a car crash lay paralysed in a hospital bed for 23 years diagnosed as being in a coma, but was conscious of his ordeal the whole time.
Rom Houben was paralysed as a result of his accident and had no way of alerting doctors that he was aware of his surroundings and able to hear every word they were saying.
Doctors in Zolder in Belgium carried out a number of tests on Houben, and decided that his consciousness was 'extinct' and he was in a persistent vegetative state.
On every occasion, he was diagnosed incorrectly and Mr Houben was left to suffer in silence for over two decades.
Now 46, Houben said 'I dreamed myself away,' adding that 'I screamed, but there was nothing to hear'.
'I became a witness to my own suffering as doctors and nurses tried to speak with me until they gave up all hope.'
The arrival of new high-tech scanners found that Houben's brain was functioning normally, and therapy has since allowed him to tap out messages on a computer screen and to read books whilst lying down.
'I shall never forget the day when they discovered what was truly wrong with me – it was my second birth,' said Houben, 'All that time I just literally dreamed of a better life. Frustration is too small a word to describe what I felt'.
Mr Houben's case has re-ignited controversy over whether those in a persistent vegetative state should be allowed to die.
Houben is now recovering in a specialist unit near Brussels.


bathmate said…
Nice work !

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