12-year-old Martin Pistorius lived in South Africa back in 1988. He was a regular, fun loving boy, until one day he came home from school with a sore throat. Day after day, Martin became more ill. Eventually he was unable to speak, move, or eat on his own accord. Martin's mother was told at the hospital that he was brain dead. They explained that Martin's intelligence was now on the same level as that of an infant.
What no one knew was that Martin was not unconscious for those 12 years. Four years in, Martin woke up from his coma. While he could still not move or talk, he was totally aware of his physical surroundings. He overheard private conversations, and sometimes things he didn't want to hear.
"I said to him one day, ‘I hope you die,’ and I had no idea that he understood that. And I am very, very sorry I said it,” his mother told NBC.
Martin was not bitter. He realized his mother was hoping he would not suffer any pain. 10 years later, Virna Van Der Walt, a physical therapist, saw potential in Martin.
Virna began working with Martin and soon enough, Martin was on the road to recovery.
“Had it not been for her, I would probably either be dead or forgotten in a care home somewhere,” he said.
Today, Martin has recovered dramatically. He has mobility and can even drive. He now lives happily with his wife and has a successful career.