By Mary Rezac
Catholic News Service
Philadelphia, Pa., Aug 23, 2016 / 09:02 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- Martin Pistorius was a healthy 12-year-old boy living in South Africa with his family in the late 1980s when he was overcome with a mysterious illness.
The doctors weren't sure what had come over Martin, but their best guess was cryptococcal meningitis. Over time, Martin lost his ability to move by himself, his ability to make eye contact, and eventually his ability to speak.
The hospital told Martin's parents, Rodney and Joan Pistorius, that their son was in a vegetative state, and to take him home and make him comfortable.
But approximately two years into this vegetative state, Martin woke up. He was aware of everything going on around him “like a normal person,” he told NPR – he just couldn't communicate. He spent 12 years in this state, most people thinking him a vegetable, until he was able to prove that he was conscious.
Martin now owns his own business and has written a book about his experience. He lives in the United Kingdom with his wife.