Man Diagnosed Comatose for 23 years actually conscious

Posted on January 28, 2010 by

rom-houben-420-420x0A Belgian man thought diagnosed as comatose for 23 years after a near-fatal crash was actually conscious and paralyzed the whole time. The false diagnosis case raises serious questions about those diagnosed as vegetative and for those removed from life support. Rom Houben could hear every word his doctors spoke but could not speak to them or move his body in any way. Three years ago doctors used a state of the art PET scanning device and discovered his brain was functioning normally. Belgian neurologist Steven Laureys published a paper on Houben’s ordeal suggesting his case is not isolated. According to the study as many as 40 percent of the cases diagnosed as vegetative may possess the ability to communicate and can progress with the right treatment.

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