Oh my god.
A man thought by doctors to be in a vegetative state for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it was revealed last night. He had no way of letting experts, family or friends know he could hear every word they said. ‘I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,’ said Mr Houben, now 46. Doctors used a range of coma tests, recognised worldwide, before reluctantly concluding that his consciousness was ‘extinct’. But three years ago, new hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally. Therapy has since allowed him to tap out messages on a computer screen. Mr Houben said: ‘All that time I just literally dreamed of a better life. Frustration is too small a word to describe what I felt.’