A car crash victim has spoken of the horror he endured for 23 years after he was misdiagnosed as being in a coma when he was conscious the whole time.
Rom Houben, trapped in his paralysed body after a car crash, described his real-life nightmare as he screamed to doctors that he could hear them – but could make no sound.
Kudos to the conscientious doctor who ran the tests that determined this man’s actual mental state. I hope that others follow suit in similar cases. It is hard to imagine the plight of those who might be trapped in similar circumstances.
Houben says frustration is “too small a word” to describe what he experienced over those 23 years, and that he coped with this nightmare by willing his mind to imagine a better life.
If there is any good news to be found here, it must be the extraordinary resiliency of spirit that Houben displayed. If you gave me this story as a hypothetical, I would guess that the victim would go insane within a matter of months, certainly within a few years. But even in these extreme circumstances, the human mind surprises us with its ability to survive.