He Remained Trapped in Vegetative State for 12 Years. Then He Miraculously Awoke and Had a Jaw-Dropping Story to Tell.
It was the late 1980s. Martin Pistorious, only 12 years old at the time, was initially hospitalized with what doctors diagnosed as Cryptococci Meningitis. The boy’s condition quickly worsened, ultimately leaving him unable to move or speak.
Doctors ended up delivering heartbreaking news to the boy’s parents, telling them that their son’s time was limited and he would likely never be anything more than a vegetable. The parents were told by the hospital to keep Pistorious as comfortable as possible until he inevitably died.
Prepared for that unfathomably devastating outcome, the parents took their son home. But instead of dying, “Martin just kept going, just kept going,” Joan Pistorius, the boy’s mother, told us.
For 12 years, the parents took care of Pistorious, which was a serious undertaking. The boy’s dad, Rodney Pistorius, would wake up every morning to dress his son and take him to a special care center. He would then pick him up eight hours later, “bathe him, feed him, put him in bed, set my alarm for two hours so that I’d wake up to turn him so that he didn’t get bedsores.”
Throughout all those years, Martin Pistorious showed no signs of improvement and the parents had very little hope that their son would ever recover.
Joan even remembers once telling her son, “I hope you die.”
“I know that’s a horrible thing to say. I just wanted some sort of relief,” she said.
But when Pistorious miraculously woke up, he claimed that he was “aware of everything” while trapped in a vegetative state — even his mother’s horrific comment.
“Yes, I was there, not from the very beginning, but about two years into my vegetative state, I began to wake up. I was aware of everything, just like any normal person,” Pistorious, now 39, recalled. “Everyone was so used to me not being there that they didn’t notice when I began to be present again. The stark reality hit me that I was going to spend the rest of my life like that — totally alone.”
“You don’t really think about anything. You simply exist. It’s a very dark place to find yourself.” he continued.
He said that his thoughts quickly grew dark, and he became convinced that no one would ever show him “tenderness” or love him ever again. However, he recalled that he was eventually able to relate to his grieving mother.
“As time passed, I gradually learned to understand my mother’s desperation. Every time she looked at me, she could see only a cruel parody of the once-healthy child she had loved so much,” he added.
He also claims to remember how the care center where he was treated played “Barney” reruns over and over again.
“I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney,” he said.
Pistorious now lives in
Read a short version of Martin’s story again and fill in the missing words.
The doctors in the hospital told Martin’s parents that he would be a _______________ (1) for the rest of his life and asked them to keep him _______________ (2). At home, his father had to wake up and turn him _______________ (3), otherwise he would have _______________ (4). There was practically no hope that he would ever _______________ (5) so his mother even wished he would die because she wanted some _______________ (6). After two years he began to _______________ (7) everything that happened around him but he couldn’t communicate so no one _______________ (8) it and showed love or _______________ (9) to him. After a while he understood his mother’s _______________ (10) but he hated the _______________ (11) of a children’s programme played around him repeatedly. After he woke up miraculously, he even wrote a _______________ (12) about his story.
3. every two hours
7. be aware of