informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand the World
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Nov 28 2009, 5:58 PM Category: Health Source: The Guardian Print

Trapped in his own body for 23 years - the coma victim who screamed unheard


Audio Report• Misdiagnosed man's tale of rebirth thanks to doctor
• Total paralysis masked fully functioning brain

For 23 years Rom Houben was ­imprisoned in his own body. He saw his doctors and nurses as they visited him during their daily rounds; he listened to the conversations of his carers; he heard his mother deliver the news to him that his father had died. But he could do nothing. He was unable to communicate with his doctors or family. He could not move his head or weep, he could only listen.

Doctors presumed he was in a vegetative state following a near-fatal car crash in 1983. They believed he could feel nothing and hear nothing. For 23 years.

Then a neurologist, Steven Laureys, who decided to take a radical look at the state of diagnosed coma patients, released him from his torture. Using a state-of-the-art scanning system, Laureys found to his amazement that his brain was functioning almost normally.

"I had dreamed myself away," said Houben, now 46, whose real "state" was discovered three years ago, according to a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel this week.

Laureys, a neurologist at the ­University of Liege in Belgium, published a study in BMC Neurology earlier this year saying Houben could be one of many cases of falsely diagnosed comas around the world. He discovered that although Houben was completely paralysed, he was also completely conscious — it was just that he was unable to communicate the fact.

Houben now communicates with one finger and a special touchscreen on his wheelchair – he has developed some movement with the help of intense physiotherapy over the last three years.

He realised when he came round after his accident, which had caused his heart to stop and his brain to be starved of oxygen for several minutes, that his body was paralysed. Although he could hear every word his doctors spoke, he could not communicate with them.

"I screamed, but there was nothing to hear," he said, via his keyboard.

The Belgian former engineering student, who speaks four languages, said he coped with being effectively trapped in his own body by meditating. He told doctors he had "travelled with my thoughts into the past, or into another existence altogether". Sometimes, he said, "I was only my consciousness and nothing else".

The moment it was discovered he was not in a vegetative state, said Houben, was like being born again. "I'll never forget the day that they discovered me," he said. "It was my second birth".

Experts say Laureys' findings are likely to reopen the debate over when the decision should be made to terminate the lives of those in comas who appear to be unconscious but may have almost fully-functioning brains.

Belgian doctors used an internationally-accepted scale to monitor Houben's state over the years. Known as the Glasgow Coma Scale, it requires assessment of the eyes, verbal and motor responses. But they failed to assess him correctly and missed signs that his brain was still functioning.

Last night his mother, Fina, said in an interview with Belgian RTBF that they had taken him to the US five times for reexamination. The breakthrough came when it became clear that Houben could indicate yes and no with his foot.
"Powerlessness. Utter powerlessness. At first I was angry, then I learned to live with it," he tapped out on to the screen during an interview with the Belgian network last night, AP reported.

Laureys, who is head of the Coma Science Group and department of neurology at Liege University hospital, has advised on several prominent coma cases, such as the American Terri Schiavo, whose life support was withdrawn in 2005 after 15 years in a coma.

Laureys concluded that coma patients are misdiagnosed "on a disturbingly regular basis". He examined 44 patients believed to be in a vegetative state, and found that 18 of them responded to communication.

"Once someone is labelled as being without consciousness, it is very hard to get rid of that," he told Der Spiegel.

He said patients suspected of being in a non-reversible coma should be "tested 10 times" and that comas, like sleep, have different stages and need to be monitored.

Houben hopes to write a book detailing his trauma and his "rebirth".





Latest Health
- Game Developers Face Final Boss: The FDA
- Whooping Cough Vaccination Fail
- Study: Obese Americans Now Outnumber Those Who Are Merely Overweight
- Public School "Child Nutrition Supervisor" Served Students Reeking, Six-Year-Old Pork
- SSRI Drugs Linked to Germanwings Kamikaze Crash?
- Shocker: Eat Fat, Avoid Food Pyramid, Lose Weight
- Parents ARE Being Arrested For Getting Medicine (Cannabis Oil) That Works For Their Sick Children!
- More LIVING PROOF The NEW Miracle Drug "Marijuana" Helps Heal The Sick









Comments 1 - 2 of 2 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Anonymous

Posted: Nov 29 2009, 11:40 AM

Link
89211 One of the most disturbing and moving stories I've ever read.

How could the Belgian doctors persistently make the same mistake?
Bruce

Posted: Nov 29 2009, 12:45 PM

Link
2468 Disturbingly similar to
'Johnny got his gun'
by Dalton Trumbo.


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

Cocaine Production Plummets After DEA Kicked Out of Bolivia - 08/28FDA Says Tobacco Manufacturers Can No Longer Call Additive-Free & Natural Cigarettes Additive-Free & Natural - 08/29This Cop Killed 6 People & Retired, Now He Trains Cops By Shocking Them When They Hesitate to Shoot - 08/29TSA Agent Forced College Student into Bathroom for 'Security Search' and Sexually Assaulted Her - 08/29Texas Town Fires Police Dept., Hires Private Citizens For Security -- Guess What Happened to Crime? - 08/28Appeals Court Strikes Down Ruling Finding NSA Phone Records Collection Unconstitutional - 08/29Jerry Seinfeld Hilariously Trolls Cops After they Shut Down his Son's Lemonade Stand - 08/28Police Make Instructional Video on How to Be Nice While they Rob You - 08/28

Man Follows Speeding Cop, Finds Out He Was Speeding To Buy PeanutsMission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement'Cop Shoots Couple's Dog, Threatens Jail For Trying To Save Dog's LifeSWAT Team Shoots Teen Girl & Her Dog During Pot Raid On Wrong HomeDurham, NC Cop Testifies Faking 911 Calls To Enter Homes Is "Official Policy"Indiana Sheriff Says US A "War Zone" To Justify New MRAP Military VehicleTampa Cops Surveil Pot Dealer, Catch Him Selling Pot, Raid His Home & Kill Him"You Just Shot An Unarmed Man!": Witness Says Police Shot His Friend With His Hands Up
(more)

 
Top