A Man Who Was Trapped Inside of His Own Body for 12 Years Shares How He Found God

Image: Chris Gloag
Image: Chris Gloag
Everyone thought I couldn’t hear them, but I did.

People often ask how I found God. I was never taught to believe in him. I didn’t read books or go to church to discover him. I simply knew he was with me. My path to faith may not seem so unusual if you know the miracle of my life—a miracle of survival that could only have happened by the hand of God.

I grew up in South Africa, a normal, healthy child, until I came home from school one day in 1988, complaining of a sore throat. I was 12 years old. From that day on, my parents fought for a diagnosis from doctors who couldn’t explain what was happening to me. First I stopped eating. Then I stopped speaking. I lost all sense of time. The bonsai trees I had once tended grew dense as I lost mobility in my limbs. My body weakened as I stopped using it.

Test after test was run, but doctors couldn’t say what had happened to me. They concluded I had suffered profound brain damage due to a degenerative neurological disease, and that I would soon die. I spent my days in a center for children with severe disabilities, and my parents cared for me at home at night.

For the first four years after I fell ill, I was lost in a dark, unseeing world, unaware of anything around me. I was awake but unresponsive. I have no memory of these years. After the medical profession had washed its hands of me, my parents were left to care for me, having exhausted every avenue in search of a cure.

Then, when I was around 16, I started to become aware again. It was flashes at first, moments of awareness that left me almost as soon as they appeared. It took time for me to realize that I was completely alone in a sea of people.

Since my limbs were unresponsive and my voice was mute, I was entombed in my own body. I couldn’t tell anyone that I had returned to life. People knew that I had become more responsive, but they still believed I was severely brain damaged. And so I was fed and cleaned while being sat in front of reruns of Barney. I dreamed of smashing the television screen.

People looked around me and through me. However much I tried to beg and plead, shout and scream, I couldn’t get them to notice me. I had woken up as a ghost.

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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Martin Pistorius

 

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