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11/24/2009 01:09 PM ID: 81830 Permalink   

23 Years of Coma and Awake the Entire Time


It was found out that Rom Houben, 46, was actually awake for the 23 years he spent in a misdiagnosed vegetative state. The misdiagnoses came after a car crash that left him completely paralyzed.

"I screamed, but there was nothing to hear" says Rom. All those years able to hear everyone around him, but unable to reach out; "frustration is too small a word to describe what I felt," he said. One can only imagine the horror.

"All that time I literally dreamed of a better life" Rom said. Now his dreams have come true with Dr. Laureys, a neurological expert, who discovered his misdiagnosis. Now Rom can tap out digital messages and read books in his "second birth".

    WebReporter: modom56k Show Calling Card    
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  This is...  
my greatest fear. I don´t know, I would almost rather die then to have gone through that. Not being able to respond, your family and friends thinking you can´t. All the while screaming for someone.

I´m glad he´s now doing a lot better.
  by: modom56k   11/24/2009 01:14 PM     
  Mine to...  
And I used have dreadful dreams about being buried alive when I was young.
  by: captainJane     11/24/2009 02:04 PM     
  @ jane  
I consider myself a hermit when it comes to my social life; but I know that I could never live on without any social interaction what so ever and especially for 23 years.

I find myself still somewhat surprised that he never gave up mentally.
  by: modom56k   11/24/2009 04:22 PM     
  still has his sense of humor  
one thing I read in an article written by this guy is that every day his Mom would come by and tell him what she did with her day. It was always the same thing, she would have breakfast, watch tv, drive to the hospital, hit traffic, etc. EVERY DAY she said this. He said he eventually regained some use of his hand but not enough to "strangle Mum."
  by: gryphon50a   11/24/2009 04:23 PM     
That´s funny! I bet he really wanted to sometimes! I wonder how many times he heard crazy family secrets, people telling him what they really thought of him and just general things you don´t want to know. It´s almost like the old "fly on the wall" scenario!
  by: redheadedwonder   11/24/2009 05:12 PM     
I can´t imagine a worse fate than this - being locked in an immobile body and fully aware. I´d hope that my family, were I in a coma, would unplug me and let me go.
  by: cranky_paranoid     11/24/2009 09:28 PM     
  the first thing that came to mind...  
I can´t remember anything
can´t tell if this is true or dream
deep down inside I feel to scream
this terrible silence stops me

now that the war is through with me
I´m waking up, I cannot see
that there´s not much left of me
nothing is real but pain now

hold my breath as I wish for death
oh please God, wake me

back in the womb it´s much too real
in pumps life that I must feel
but can´t look forward to reveal
look to the time when I´ll live

fed through the tube that sticks in me
just like a wartime novelty
tied to machines that make me be
cut this life off from me

hold my breath as I wish for death
oh please God, wake me

now the world is gone I´m just one
oh God, help me hold my breath as I wish for death

darkness imprisoning me
all that I see
absolute horror
I cannot live
I cannot die
trapped in myself
body my holding cell

landmine has taken my sight
taken my speech
taken my hearing
taken my arms
taken my legs
taken my soul
left me with life in hell

  by: darkshanker   11/25/2009 01:19 AM     
this guy doesn´t believe this story:
  by: Lurker     11/25/2009 01:51 AM     
  Poor man @ Lurker.  
What hell he has endured!

Many years people have thought about this, how awful they can hear and we don´t know it for sure.
  by: captainJane     11/25/2009 02:34 AM     
  Many coma patients CAN hear us  
Darkshanker-Metallica´s One
Gryphon - I know that made me laugh too
and Redheaded- I thought the same thing. Imagine his girlfriend saying she slept with his brother, some family or friend confessing how they had wronged him at some point.

I know for a fact that people in a coma can indeed hear us. One of my co-workers left work and it was horrible blizzard conditions when she was hit in the rear of her full-sized truck by a semi. She went flying off the side of the highway and landed in a group of trees, according to several eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses were trying to get to her while waiting for EMS and her truck was demolished, they don´t even know how she was alive.

They couldn´t call out the chopper so she was driven and it took them almost an hour because of the conditions. We were told that she wouldn´t make it through the surgery and her family was called in. She was in a coma for 3 weeks and the first night back she was telling me how she could hear everything and was really upset because no one would reply to her and just talk over her. She said she didn´t know she was actually in a coma until one of the Dr.s was talking to the RN. She said it was the absolute scariest thing that ever happened in her life. She would tell us what we had talked about with her when we visited and it was amazing. That was back in early ´99 and it really changed the way I looked at how we treat patients in a coma.
  by: TaraB     11/25/2009 02:49 AM     
I share that man´s skepticism. We´re told a big part of the problem was that he was totally paralyzed, but now that someone checked his brain, he´s typing out messages? So...what happened to the paralysis?

I know there can certainly be some recovery from paralysis and I´m sure part of me doesn´t want to believe this man went through what they´re saying he did, but these reports do NOT add up for me. And then I´m supposed to believe he came through it in rather good spirits? I feel like we´re being had.
  by: MomentOfClarity     11/25/2009 03:42 AM     
  @ Lurker & MomentofClarity  
The source states it was a misdiagnosis. So he may very well have not been fully paralyzed as the doctors originally thought.
  by: modom56k   11/25/2009 01:34 PM     
  .. . ..  
sounds like my marriage
  by: ru18yet   11/26/2009 11:14 AM     
A greater issue is that the man is communicating through a ´facilitator´ who guides his hands around a keyboard. Think Ouija board.

The ´facilitator´ hears the questions, speaks the language, and ´helps´ the man´s hand find the right keys while staring intently at the keyboard. ´Together´, they spell out cogent sentences.
  by: Ec5618   11/26/2009 12:13 PM     
  @Moment Of Clarity  
I´m glad you commented because I was also skeptical-- and if I remember right you have a background somewhat related to this.

What has me skeptical is how this guy remained sane all these years if he was truly conscious for it all. The brain is a strange thing, and I can only imagine that time can be perceived differently depending on chemical changes.
  by: Luc1dDr3am     11/29/2009 05:14 PM     
Thanks for the link, it was a good read! I´m glad I´m not completely off my rocker for being skeptical about the whole scenario.
  by: Luc1dDr3am     11/29/2009 05:19 PM     
  Skeptics prevail - was all a lie, sadly  
  by: caution2     02/21/2010 08:05 PM     
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