Trapped in a coma for 23 years

EDIT: The authenticity of the article described below has been called into serious doubt. At this stage I’m not sure how true it is.

This article describes a very unlucky man who was trapped in a paralyzed body for 23 years!

Summary of the story:

  • He suffered head injuries in a car accident
  • Doctors thought that he was in persistent vegetative state
  • In fact he was conscious but unable to move – locked in
  • He was trapped in this state for 23 years!
  • Recently a doctor used a new scanning technique and discovered that he was conscious
  • After therapy he has learned to communicate using a computer and is able to tell his story

Can you imagine that?

Just lying there with nothing to do, no way of moving, no way of communicating. For 23 years! I can hardly imagine doing it for 23 days.

How terrible.

Several other notable examples of locked in syndrome exist. You can read more about this fascinating and horrible condition on Wikipedia.

  • http://alistairpott.com/ alistairpott

    There has been some excellent debate on this story on reddit. Many people believe that this man is indeed in a coma and that the consciousness and communication is being faked.

    Read all the comments: http://bit.ly/4FfCcS

    There is also some excellent information from someone who periodically suffers from locked-in syndrome. He talks about how he is always misdiagnosed.
    http://bit.ly/5QcQTz

  • http://alistairpott.com/ alistairpott

    Here is a discussion from Wired. Seems that he is at least partially conscious.
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/11/hoube

  • http://alistairpott.com/ alistairpott

    Here is a discussion from Wired. Seems that he is at least partially conscious.
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/11/hoube