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  1. #1
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Default Man trapped in a 23-year 'coma' was conscious all along

    I used to think being buried alive would be the worst thing ever, but the thought of being conscious in a paralyzed body for years and years sounds worse. It's called "locked-in syndrome".

    Comatose for 23 years, Belgian feels reborn

    By RAF CASERT (AP) – 4 hours ago

    BRUSSELS — Helped by a therapist, Rom Houben's outstretched finger tapped with surprising speed on a computer touchscreen, spelling out how he felt "alone, lonely, frustrated" in the 23 years he was trapped inside a paralyzed body.

    After a doctor found he was wrongly diagnosed as being in a vegetative state, and worked out a way for him to communicate, Houben said he now feels reborn.

    "And just like with a baby, it happens with a lot of stumbling," the 46-year-old Belgian wrote, tapping out the words in Dutch for Associated Press Television News on Tuesday as an aide guided his hand.

    A leading bioethicist, however, expressed skepticism that Houben was really communicating, saying the responses seem unnatural for someone with such a profound injury and an inability to communicate for decades. The medical team guiding Houben said it had done special tests to verify it was Houben communicating.

    Injured in a car crash in 1983 when he was 20, Houbon was diagnosed as being in a vegetative state, though doctors now believe he was conscious the whole time.

    An expert using a specialized type of brain scan that was not available in the 1980s says he finally realized Houben was suffering from a form of "locked-in syndrome," in which people are unable to speak or move but can think and reason, and provided him with the equipment to communicate.

    ...
    The Associated Press: Comatose for 23 years, Belgian feels reborn

  2. #2
    Senor Membrane
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    Wow... He must feel lucky that he has that one finger wiggling...

  3. #3
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    Damn... Scary as hell. How much time he wasted... I wonder if he gained some sort of supermind strength only being able to think for all those years.

  4. #4
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    Is the prospect of one day waking up and having a life worth the years of waiting?

  5. #5
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    Yikes, that's a position I hope I'm never in. Scary stuff.

  6. #6
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    That poor man. My heart goes out to him. That is so terrible.

    I don't know that I would want to live like that.
    I've never said that before.

    The though of a wheelchair never compelled me to consider death as a better alternative.

    The though of losing both of my arms and having prosthetic ones never made me have such thoughts.

    Even being facially disfigured affords you the ability to move and communicate and exist with some normalcy.

    But being trapped in a body only able to move one finger, staring at the ceiling, forever...I don't know.

    This is why I support stem cell research. If it can find a way to heal people like this poor young man, then it is a good thing.
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  7. #7
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Honestly, that sounds like hell to me.
    Literal hell.

    23 years? That's longer than some people on this forum have been alive.
    It's longer than I've been out of high school.

    I would rather be dead.

    I can't even imagine how he has managed to stay sane, in that circumstance.
    And so glad he finally has managed to connect.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #8
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I can't even imagine how he has managed to stay sane, in that circumstance.
    That was my thought. If you stuck someone in solitary for 23 years could they stay sane? Was he just ok because he DID have people around even if he couldn't communicate with them?

  9. #9
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    ... and what if you have an itch? Arrrggg!!! (talk about the 20-year-itch!)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #10
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
    Is the prospect of one day waking up and having a life worth the years of waiting?
    It's not as if he could do anything about it. He was completely paralysed so he couldn't commit suicide or anything.
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