Sunday, November 29, 2009

Belgian man who was wrongly diagnosed as comatose in 1983 reveals he is concious once he receives a commuication device

From All Headline News:

LONDON, U.K. -- A Belgian car crash patient misdiagnosed as fully comatose in 1983 was finally able to prove he was actually conscious but unable to talk the past 23 years by answering a UK television interview through a special keyboard on Nov. 23.

Wheelchair-bound Rom Houben, now 46, answered interview questions from ITV by typing on a special keyboard with the help of a carer. He said he was "terribly lonely" throughout the 23 years he was unable to talk to his family.

Houben also told German magazine Der Spiegel that the discovery of his real condition was his "second birth."

Doctors at a Belgian hospital wrongly diagnosed Houben as in vegetative state or could not feel nor hear because they did not know he was actually paralyzed. But a University of Liege doctor who tested him three years ago using modern brain scanning technology found out his real condition.

Dr. Steven Laureys and Dr. Caroline Schnakers used the JFK Coma Recovery Scale-Revised (CRS-R), which tests a patients' verbalization, communication, motor and visual functions, and response to sound. The test is more sensitive than the Glasgow Coma Scale used on Houben.

The two doctors' research was published in the journal BMC Neurology early this year exposing Houben's case. Laureys described Houben's ordeal as "horrible" because he was really fully conscious but could not communicate.