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View Full Version : Patient Trapped In 23-Year "Coma" Heard Everything


EmeraldFields
23-11-09, 21:47
A man thought to be in a coma for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time.

Student Rom Houben was left totally paralysed after a car crash so had no way of letting friends and family know he could hear every word they said. Rom, 46, who can now tap out computerised messages and read books on a device above his bed, has revealed: "I screamed, but there was nothing to hear.

"All that time I literally dreamed of a better life. Frustration is too small a word to describe what I felt."

"I shall never forget the day when they discovered what was truly wrong with me - it was my second birth. I want to read, talk with my friends via the computer and enjoy life now people know I am not dead."

The case is discussed in a paper written by the man who discovered the misdiagnosis - neurological expert Dr Steven Laureys.

The doctor, who fears there may be similar cases all over the world, looked at Rom's case again at the University of Liege, Belgium, using state-of-the-art imaging that showed the patient was aware of what was happening around him even though he had lost control of his body.

Dr Laureys said: "Medical advances caught up with him."

Rom, a martial arts enthusiast, was paralysed in 1983 and was repeatedly wrongly assessed in Zolder, Belgium, by doctors using the technology available at the time.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/11/23/patient-trapped-in-23yr-coma-heard-everything-115875-21842838/

To be trapped in bed for 23 years and not be able to communicate would be absolutely horrible.:(

EscondeR
23-11-09, 21:53
To be trapped in bed for 23 years and not be able to communicate would be absolutely horrible.:(

Thank God he has kept sanity.

matrix54
23-11-09, 22:01
OMG... thats worse then prison :eek:
i couldn't imagine. sad part is, you can't get back 23 years of life :(

voltz
24-11-09, 00:25
I honestly don't think there's ever a worse prison then to be trapped like this. I imagine he was thinking either get me out of this the whole time, or "please somebody kill me!" :(

lita212
24-11-09, 00:26
i saw this on five studio live. i found it interesting and it was rather sad to know this had happend and he couldnt do anything about it.
but hopefully he can enjoy his life again and from the footage that was shown he is and has a loving mum to look after him

LegendLost
24-11-09, 00:42
This might honestly be my biggest fear now. It sounds incredibly morbid, but I would want someone to just kill me if something like this happened.

AmericanAssassin
24-11-09, 01:10
^ Morbid, yes, but I can't say I wouldn't want the same. That kind of life wouldn't be worth living. :o

Dark Lugia 2
24-11-09, 01:25
What that guy went through sounds so horrific :( Makes me feel a bit queazy, 23 years is more years then I've lived! Glad hes noticed now somehow, I wonder how he was found to be conscious?

Draco
24-11-09, 01:58
Imagine all the honesty he had to endure.

Tommy123
24-11-09, 02:13
thats terrible. I cant even imagine

LegendLost
24-11-09, 02:28
Imagine all the honesty he had to endure.

My thoughts exactly. And being paralyzed, he couldn't even physically cope.

Dennis's Mom
24-11-09, 14:12
Imagine all the honesty he had to endure.

Really. As if being paralyzed weren't enough.

LightningRider
24-11-09, 14:15
23 years of life wasted... Poor guy. :(

I wish him the best now that he's back. :o

Tear
24-11-09, 14:28
That's terrible...:( That poor man.

EscondeR
24-11-09, 14:30
Imagine all the honesty he had to endure.

"- How is your new hearing aid device, - the doctor asked his old patient.
- Marvellous, - said the old man. - I can hear pretty much everything now... But I still haven't said my family about.
- And why so? Any problems?
- Not at all... But I had to correct my testament 3 times already."

Sad, but true.

igonge
24-11-09, 14:31
Wow! That's incredible!
I couldn't even begin to imagine how horrible it would have been for him. It's a miracle they found out.

I hope they can find and help other people who were mis-diagnosed with being in a coma, how frustrating for them.

Chocola teapot
24-11-09, 14:55
Oh my gosh! :(

Encore
24-11-09, 15:09
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/11/23/patient-trapped-in-23yr-coma-heard-everything-115875-21842838/

To be trapped in bed for 23 years and not be able to communicate would be absolutely horrible.:(

OMG :( That's a nightmare come true!

It reminded me of the book/movie "Johnny got his gun"... *shivers*

Phlip
24-11-09, 15:36
I screamed, but there was nothing to hear
Err... wtf? :S He couldn't talk. :confused:
Imagine all the honesty he had to endure.

What? :confused:




^ Those two things make no sense. :)

TombRaiderLover
24-11-09, 15:44
Err... wtf? :S He couldn't talk. :confused:
He didn't literally scream, but he tried to.


What? :confused:
He would've had to endure honest opinions by those around him believing him to be in a coma.

tranniversary119
24-11-09, 15:45
Maybe he meant tried to scream but he couldn't. That's a shocking story, being in a bed for 23 years without being able to communicate or see anything is horrible.

Phlip
24-11-09, 15:47
He would've had to endure honest opinions by those around him believing him to be in a coma.

I don't get what you mean? People where saying secrets in front of each other in front of him thinking he couldn't hear them?

TombRaiderLover
24-11-09, 15:51
I don't get what you mean? People where saying secrets in front of each other in front of him thinking he couldn't hear them?

Yep.

Lavinder
24-11-09, 16:11
I don't get what you mean? People where saying secrets in front of each other in front of him thinking he couldn't hear them?

For example, they might have said that they can't cope any more and suggested letting him go.

Phlip
24-11-09, 16:12
For example, they might have said that they can't cope any more and suggested letting him go.

Bloody ****ing hell. Imagine that. :(

TRfan23
24-11-09, 16:35
This is actually probably my worst fear of an illness, even compared to brain damage. It's been since I watched this program of this woman who collapsed whilst on the phone to a friend of hers. She had a stroke and became paralyzed, though they knew she was paralyzed. I did see tears streaming down her eyes when she was in hospital, so she obviously was in complete fear. I'm not sure if it was just a program or a documentary, been a long time since I seen it.

Poor man though :(

Dennis's Mom
24-11-09, 16:58
For example, they might have said that they can't cope any more and suggested letting him go.

Worse: he heard how much they sold his Batman collection on Ebay for!

Lavinder
24-11-09, 17:04
Worse: he heard how much they sold his Batman collection on Ebay for!

Oh noes !

msalpha2omega
24-11-09, 17:07
Oh I heard about this on the news today.... Twice from the same channel, but whatever.... Glad he's ok now....

TombRaiderLover
24-11-09, 17:18
Worse: he heard how much they sold his Batman collection on Ebay for!

:eek:

I'd be devastated if that happened to me. :p

Nemo_91
24-11-09, 17:22
I can't even think of anything worst than this.

Lara Croft!
24-11-09, 18:29
I wouldn't be surprised if the man went completely crazy after all that ordeal!