After an unknown illness sent him into a vegetative state, Martin Pistorius’ parents were told that their son had less than two years to live. The Pistoriuses plummeted into depression. They had lost their boy before he ever reached adulthood, went to college, or had a chance to wed and have children. Or so they thought.
A decade later, emerging computer technology allowed Martin to communicate that he was still alive, but trapped inside his own body. This allowed doctors to help him return from the darkness and regain his life. His gripping memoir, Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body, shares the consequences of misdiagnosis and what Martin experienced at the hands of abusive caretakers. Sitting in a wheelchair and talking through a computer, he shares how faith sustained him through that dark decade.
RNS: The title of your book is “Ghost Boy.” Explain what this means.
MP: That title expresses that I existed for so many years like a ghost. Invisible. I could hear and see everything, but it was like I wasn’t there.
RNS: During the years you were trapped inside your body, you say you felt God’s presence as your mind knitted itself back together. Explain this.
MP: [tweetable]I don’t know how I came to realize God. He was just always there.[/tweetable] He still is there. I grew up in a Christian home, but we very rarely attended church. This combined with the path my life had taken meant that I never learned the formalities of faith. But I became very close to God. There were many, many times where I felt utterly alone, even if there were people around me. But while a part of me experienced the extreme loneliness and isolation another part of me always felt the presence of the Lord.
Unlike the people around me, God knew I existed. And I knew He existed. I often found myself talking to God. Perhaps one could call them prayers, even though my eyes were open and my hands weren’t pressed together.
RNS: If God was really with you during those years, why didn’t God just help you come back? It seems like you’d be mad at God, no?