Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body

Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body by Martin Pistorius

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Martin Pistorius
A South African freelance web designer, developer, and author. Pistorius is known for his book Ghost Boy, where he describes living with locked-in syndrome and being unable to move for 12 – 14 years.
During the late 1980s, Pistorius and his parents were living in South Africa, where at the age of 12 he slowly began developing symptoms that included him losing the ability to move by himself. Doctors were unable to diagnose the exact ailment and believed it was cryptococcal meningitis and tuberculosis of the brain.

Pistorius eventually fell into a coma that lasted 3 years, during which time doctors informed his parents that they did not expect Pistorius to re-awaken or survive for much longer.[8] Starting at age 14, Pistorius received part of his daily care via a care home during the day. At night, he was primarily cared for by father Rodney, who stated that he woke up every two hours to turn his son so that he would not receive bed sores. Pistorius believes that he began regaining consciousness around age 16 (around 1992), during which time he was able to sense the people around him but did not immediately recall previous events, something he has described as "a bit like a baby being born". Around age 19, Pistorius regained full consciousness and awareness, but was initially unable to impart this to the people around him. He was capable of making small movements that were not initially detected by his primary caregivers. One day, Virna van der Walt—an aromatherapist and one of Pistorius's day carers—began noticing that Pistorius would react to specific statements and questions she made. Upon her recommendations, Pistorius was sent to the Centre For Augmentative And Alternative Communication at the University of Pretoria around age 25. There, they confirmed that he was aware and could respond to statements. Pistorius's parents gave him a computer with communication software to communicate with the people around him.
Pistorius met his wife Johanna (a UK resident) in 2008 through his sister Kim, who had moved to the United Kingdom for her job. He later moved to the United Kingdom to be with Johanna and the two were married in 2009.
In 2011, Simon & Schuster published Pistorius's biography Ghost Boy, which he co-wrote with Megan Lloyd Davies. Critical reception for the book has been positive. As of 2011 Pistorius has regained some control over his head and arms and can communicate with others via a computer equipped with text to speech software.
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