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Man trapped in coma 23 years but could feel & hear everything
For 23 years Rom Houben was *imprisoned in his own body. He saw his doctors and nurses as they visited him during their daily rounds; he listened to the conversations of his carers; he heard his mother deliver the news to him that his father had died. But he could do nothing. He was unable to communicate with his doctors or family. He could not move his head or weep, he could only listen.

Doctors presumed he was in a vegetative state following a near-fatal car crash in 1983. They believed he could feel nothing and hear nothing. For 23 years.

Then a neurologist, Steven Laureys, who decided to take a radical look at the state of diagnosed coma patients, released him from his torture. Using a state-of-the-art scanning system, Laureys found to his amazement that his brain was functioning almost normally.

"I had dreamed myself away," said Houben, now 46, whose real "state" was discovered three years ago, according to a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel this week.

Laureys, a neurologist at the *University of Liege in Belgium, published a study in BMC Neurology earlier this year saying Houben could be one of many cases of falsely diagnosed comas around the world. He discovered that although Houben was completely paralysed, he was also completely conscious — it was just that he was unable to communicate the fact.

Houben now communicates with one finger and a special touchscreen on his wheelchair – he has developed some movement with the help of intense physiotherapy over the last three years.

He realised when he came round after his accident, which had caused his heart to stop and his brain to be starved of oxygen for several minutes, that his body was paralysed. Although he could hear every word his doctors spoke, he could not communicate with them.

"I screamed, but there was nothing to hear," he said, via his keyboard.

Trapped in his own body for 23 years - the coma victim who screamed unheard | World news | The Guardian

sounds like a plot from a horror movie, frightening.......


Man trapped in coma 23 years but could feel & hear everything
that is an amazing story, we were talking at work today about a young girl who is in a coma following a car accident who has been in a coma for 10 weeks. I said there is always hope in these situations and there obviously is.
Man trapped in coma 23 years but could feel & hear everything
I remember seeing that - amazing story. I would love to hear what he's got to tell after so long in enforced meditation - he must have come to a few pretty deep conclusions in there. Time after time accepted medical opinion is outed as narrow-thinking religion. While I accept that there are many cases where medicine / doctors can be of use, their box thinking and attitude towards the human body as some machine that needs to be given a quick fix so it can get back to work makes me reluctant to seek any medical diagnosis.

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