Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review: Ghost Boy

When Martin Pistorius was 12 years old, he came home from school with a sore throat.  Over the next two years, his mind and body shut down, until he was left a quadriplegic who could not speak.  Then, around the time he was 16, his mind started coming back to life.  He tells his story in the book, Ghost Boy.

As Martin becomes more aware, he realizes that he has little to no control over his limbs and that he has no voice.  All he can do is smile and move his eyes and head.  He tries to use these signals to let everyone around him know that he is conscious and aware, but, as he states in the book, "They'd been told long ago that I was severely brain damaged, so when the young man with stick-like limbs, empty eyes, and drool running down his chin occasionally lifted his head, that's what they saw."

Martin spends the next decade in his unresponsive body, without a working voice.  His days are spent at a day care facility while his parents work, but his father picks him up every evening to take him home to the family.  His mind is active, and he spends much of his time developing elaborate fantasies to escape the horror of being trapped inside his own body; it's the only way he keeps from going mad.

Then a new caretaker enters his life and has a hunch that Martin is aware.  She convinces others around her, and they take him to be evaluated for an alternative communication device.  He passes the evaluation, and a new life is opened for him.

Martin speaks of his faith in God; that while he couldn't explain it, he knew that God was with him and he wasn't alone.  His courage and strength is inspiring, as is the love of his father and mother and the woman he ends up marrying.  I couldn't put the book down.  Ghost Boy is an book of amazing perseverance through the most horrific trials one could imagine, and it's definitely worth your time to check out this true story.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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