Monday, 23 November 2009

This sounds like a horror story

Man Trapped In 23-Year 'Coma' Was Conscious

For the whole time, he was trapped in his own body with no way of letting friends and family know he could hear every word they were saying.

The 46-year-old, who can now tap out computerised messages and read books on a device above his hospital bed, has revealed: "I screamed, but there was nothing to hear.

"All that time I literally dreamed of a better life. Frustration is too small a word to describe what I felt.

"I shall never forget the day when they discovered what was truly wrong with me - it was my second birth.

"I want to read, talk with my friends via the computer and enjoy life now people know I am not dead."

His misdiagnosis was discovered by neurological expert Dr Steven Laureys, who fears there may be similar cases all over the world.

He looked at Mr Houben's case again at the University of Liege, Belgium, using state-of-the-art imaging that showed the patient was aware of what was happening around him even though he had lost control of his body.

Rom, a martial arts enthusiast who remains in constant care at a facility near Brussels, was repeatedly wrongly assessed in Zolder, Belgium, by doctors using technology available at the time.

They used the internationally accepted Glasgow Coma Scale to assess his eye, verbal and motor responses. But each time he was graded incorrectly.

No comments: