Man 'locked' inside his own body for 10 years heard his mum reveal this terrible desire

This man witnessed life from within his body for 10 years.

Man 'locked' inside his own body for 10 years
© Mr Robot / Esmail Corp.
Man 'locked' inside his own body for 10 years

The human body is a robust thing, but sometimes diseases and conditions get the better of it. We’ve already told you the terrible story of the woman who suffered from headaches and discovered she had something much worse to deal with, as well as the patient who went in with ‘shortness of breath’ and uncovered an ‘extremely unusual’ object inside of her. Well, today we have a story that is both terrifying and devastating but - thankfully - has a happy ending.

Discover our latest podcast

This is the tale of Martin Pistorius who, when he was 12, came home one day with a run-of-the-mill sore throat. Or so he thought. Here’s how this sore throat ended up with him locked inside his body for a decade.

Martin’s diagnosis

Doctors initially thought Martin had the flu, but it quickly became apparent that his condition was something much more serious. He was hit with a double diagnosis of cryptococcal meningitis and tuberculosis of the brain. The doctors put him on treatment for both, but as his body grew weaker he lost his ability to speak and move. Despite his unresponsive, vegetative state, Martin’s parents didn’t give up on him. Joan and Rodney chose to keep him in a care centre.

Speaking to LadBible about his experience, the now 49-year-old Martin explains that his coma made him feel like ‘an empty shell’ as he couldn’t see, hear or follow anything that went on around him:

For me, that feeling of complete and utter powerlessness is probably the worst feeling I have ever experienced, and I hope I never have to experience again. It is like you don't exist, every single thing in your life is decided by someone else.

Martin regained consciousness

However, at some point Martin regained consciousness. Yet, there was no way to communicate this to the medics or his family - so he remained stuck in his body with a mind that was struggling to break free. He says he was forced to endure reruns of Barney in the centre because no one thought to give him fresh content.

Martin has also revealed the horrible truth about how his mother dealt with his condition. She has admitted herself to finding the situation very difficult, but in his memoir Martin portrays the extent to which she felt she had already lost her son. He recalls sitting in his wheelchair with Joan one day when she heartbreakingly announced: ‘I hope you die’.

Martin, trapped in his body, felt ‘very sad and upset’ but managed to understand ‘where that was coming from’.

Martin’s recovery

The coma survivor explains that he used to use his imagination to escape:

I'd imagine all sorts of things, like being very small and climbing into a spaceship and flying away. Or that my wheelchair would magically transform into a flying vehicle.

Then, something miraculous happened. His parents took him to the Centre For Augmentative And Alternative Communication at the University Of Pretoria where a researcher performed test on him and discovered that he was able to communicate.

His parents got him a machine with technology similar to the one used by physicist Stephen Hawking, which allowed him to select letters, symbols or words on the device using a band attached to his head - much like a standard mouse and computer.

Martin started to recover, and along the way he took up a job at the care centre where he had been looked after over the years. It was through this that he met Joanna, a social worker. You guessed it: the pair fell for each other and got married in 2009 in Essex. They went on to start a family together, welcoming their son Sebastian in 2018. Martin now works as a computer scientist and web developer.

Read more:

⋙ A newborn baby's head contained the foetus of its identical twin, leaving doctors shocked

⋙ Doctors issued urgent warning over commonly prescribed antibiotic's scary side effects

⋙ Doctors make astonishing discovery of new type of bacteria in London hospital

Sources used:

LabBible: Man who was 'locked' inside body for 10 years woke up to tell incredible story

Man preserved his friend's body for two years before revealing disturbing motivation Man preserved his friend's body for two years before revealing disturbing motivation