Man Actually Conscious Throughout Two Decades of "Coma"

Twenty three years ago, a car crash left Rom Houben totally paralyzed. Doctors gave him a battery of tests and concluded that he was in a vegetative state or a coma. Except that they were wrong: he was conscious the whole time but unable to tell anyone about it.

'I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,' said Mr Houben, now 46.

Doctors used a range of coma tests, recognised worldwide, before reluctantly concluding that his consciousness was 'extinct'.

But three years ago, new hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally.

Mr Houben describes the moment as 'my second birth'.


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If this is truly what's happening, then I'm truly happy that he's able to communicate. However, I get warning lights from the fact that this isn't computer assisted communication, this is someone who's moving his hand.

I've heard of similar circumstances where the person moving the hand thought the hand was moving itself, but it wasn't - like a ouija board. It's pretty easy to disprove with a double-blind test, by showing the paralyzed person one picture, the nurse another, and then asking the paralyzed person what picture they saw. In every case, they spell out what the nurse saw.
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Good god. I can not even imagine what that had to have been like. Not being able to talk to anyone for 23 years!!! Literally just sitting in your head all of that time. I'm surprised the guy didn't go insane.
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