Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"Ghost Boy" by Martin Pistorius

When I was working out at the gym one night, I saw an interview on CNN with Martin Pistorius.  At the age of 12, he became ill and slowly his body degenerated to the point he could not speak or communicate and he became a quadriplegic.  He was in this state for 10 years, the entire time, fully conscious of what was going on outside of him and how he was being treated.  It wasn't until a caregiver noticed him starting to respond and recommended that his parents take him to get tested to check to see if he was responsive.

Today, Martin owns his own business, is married, and uses a computer and word board to communicate (don't want to spoil anything, but this info is on the cover.  He wrote Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body.  The interview was so fascinating, I knew that I had to know more about how he went from a healthy child to ending up as a quadriplegic and how he learned how to communicate with the world again.  I went straight out and picked up the book.

It was a great book.  I would recommend it to everyone.  A lot of times, people in wheelchairs are passed by on the street without a glance, or with a negative glance, or with no one considering that they have thoughts/feelings/etc and can hear.  This book reminds us to be kind to everyone, no matter their circumstances.  It also reminds you that anything is possible if you work hard for it.

They all thought he was gone. But he was alive and trapped inside his own body for ten years.
In January 1988 Martin Pistorius, aged twelve, fell inexplicably sick. First he lost his voice and stopped eating. Then he slept constantly and shunned human contact. Doctors were mystified. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound. Martin's parents were told an unknown degenerative disease left him with the mind of a baby and less than two years to live.
Martin was moved to care centers for severely disabled children. The stress and heartache shook his parents’ marriage and their family to the core. Their boy was gone. Or so they thought.
Ghost Boy is the heart-wrenching story of one boy’s return to life through the power of love and faith. In these pages, readers see a parent’s resilience, the consequences of misdiagnosis, abuse at the hands of cruel caretakers, and the unthinkable duration of Martin’s mental alertness betrayed by his lifeless body.
We also see a life reclaimed—a business created, a new love kindled—all from a wheelchair. Martin's emergence from his own darkness invites us to celebrate our own lives and fight for a better life for others.