Have you read or heard about the poor, poor man in Brussels who everyone thought was in a coma for the last 28 years and it turns out he was fully conscious?
I just read an article about him in the newspaper and was just amazed and somewhat horrified. He was in a car accident in 1983 which left him paralyzed and in what appeared to everyone to be a coma.
His parents, convinced that the diagnosis was wrong and that their son was still in there, never gave up on him and continued to seek medical treatment for him. They brought him to the US five times for tests. FIVE TIMES.
The man can now communicate through an assistive device and told reporters: "I screamed but there was nothing to hear." (If that doesn't send a shiver down your spine, nothing will.)
After thinking about it a little, I am struck by his parents' determination, fierce love and true grit. They stood by their son, advocating beyond the point that many, many people would give up to get what they believed was right for their boy.
I'm sure when they would stare at him in the hospital bed for hours on end, they had the same feeling that I do when I see Michaela sleeping: the vivid flashback of staring at your child sleeping as an infant, new and fresh and full of promise. And you can almost feel the wiring in your own brain changing, laying down new tracks- tracks that mark you as a parent who would do anything for your child. Even transporting a paralyzed adult to a foreign country five times, looking for help, searching for anyone who could see what you saw.
So good for you, Fina Houben of Brussels. I can't even imagine how many people thought you were plum crazy, were annoyed by your refusal to believe what the doctors were telling you, and wanted you to give up on your boy, your baby boy. And you persevered.
You did what we mothers all hope we could do: be our child's last defense against the world despite staggering pressure to give up and give in.
You are truly an inspiration.