SA-born man talks about surviving mysterious paralysis after 12 years 'trapped'

South African-born Martin Pistorius has shared the incredible story of how he recovered from a mysterious illness that left him unable to move or speak.

Pistorius was left in a virtual coma for at least 10 years of his life after he was diagnosed with a mysterious illness when he was 12.

Pistorius lost his voice, along with his ability to walk, to sit up, to reach out and touch someone.

He had locked-in syndrome and was trapped inside his mind for more than a decade, unable to move his body or communicate.

He could see and hear everything, but no-one knew he was conscious.

He spent a decade at home and in day care centers.

Pistorius shared the story of his eventual recovery in his book Ghost Boy, published in 2013.

He now lives in the UK where he has a full and independent life. He is married to a social worker, Joanna, and works as a freelance web developer and IT consultant.

He is also a father-to-be, and their first child is due in November.

There has still been no conclusive diagnosis for his mystery illness, and Pistorius says that he is okay with that.

To be honest, the mystery behind my illness doesn't bother me at all. I am who I am, and I'm okay with that.

Martin Pistorius, author of 'Ghost Boy'

I don't dwell on the past or even really think about it.

Martin Pistorius, author of 'Ghost Boy'

I live and enjoy life and much and as best as I can.

Martin Pistorius, author of 'Ghost Boy'

My body weakened and I lost the ability to speak and control my movements. Within months I slipped away, being trapped inside my own body.

Martin Pistorius, author of 'Ghost Boy'

He was interviewed by CapeTalk host Pippa Hudson and answered with the help of a device that speaks the words he types into a computer.

Listen to the inspiring interview on The Pippa Hudson Show:

All images from: Martin Pistorius website.


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