Martin Pistorius came home from school feeling unwell, he had a sore throat and flu like symptoms. He was 13 when he fell into only what could be described as a ‘waking coma’ that left him with the metal capacity of an infant and his parents were told he wouldn’t live long. He was lost in his own darkness and didn’t even remotely ‘emerge’ until he was 18 when his brain started to awaken more fully to things around him. While he couldn’t communicate he could hear and feel everything around him. He was sent to a rehab/home during the daytime when his father was at work and it was at this home when one therapist, Virna, noticed something was different with Martin, like a spark was in his eyes. She would always talk to him and interact with him in ways others didn’t. She noticed him smiling at certain things or when she asked him questions. She was the one that helped him find his voice and to help him break through his silent and lonely world.
This is Martin’s story as told by him. He talks about his struggle to come out of the darkness and to communicate with those around him, to let them know that he was alive in there. He would often create fantasy worlds when things got tough or if he was lonely. He knew that he was loved and his father was his greatest caregiver and he felt loved but wanted to show his father, his family how he felt about them. He talked about his siblings and about his sister Kim who would help him as much as possible.
He was, as I guess anyone would be in his situation, in tune to people around him to how they felt and what was going on in their lives, mostly because they didn’t know that he could hear and understand what was going on around him. He saw various emotions around him but the one that captivated him the most was love. He wanted to feel it, share it with someone and to be part of someone in that basic human way that most of us take for granted.
This book is heartbreaking, joyful and inspirational. The parts where Virna could see something there and he was screaming in his mind for people to notice I was screaming right along with him for someone to notice him, to see that he was trying to communicate. I cheered him on when he struggled with his computer programs to give voice to his thoughts. While there were many positives there were some really dark times of time spent in other care homes while his parents were on vacation. There was a part that describe abuse so disturbing that I was so infuriated and angered I had to put the Kindle down to calm myself. I felt the full spectrum of feelings with this book and it brought out things in me that I can’t put into words. In the end as hard as it was for him, his story is one of determination and hope.
Buy: Amazon UK