Martin Pistorius NPR

How would it be being trapped in your own body. Ghost boy tells his story being trapped for 12 years


Martin Pistorius NPR
Photo provided to NPR by Martin Pistorius





TO THIS – 12 Years Later





Ever see some one who was diagnosed as a vegetable by doctors? Ever look in their eyes and just sense that someone is still in there? Here is a story of a 12 year old boy who came down with an illness which left his body immobile. His parents took care of him. His dad set his alarm every two hours  at night to wake up and turn his son sleeping in bed so he wouldn’t develop bedsores. His mom so dispare and exhausted actually looked at her son and wish he would go ahead and die.

Shortly after Martin’s diagnosis, about two years, he started to become aware of everything around him. Although he could move or respond, he was aware of everything around him and could hear everyone and everything. From his care center playing the same Barney, you know the purple dinosaur, to even his mom’s exhausted words to him. Later to awake from his immobilization twelve years later, he tells his story of life trapped inside his own body!Ghost Boy trapped inside his bodyGhost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body

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.



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