They all thought he was gone. But he was alive and trapped inside his own body for ten years.
In January 1988 Martin Pistorius, aged twelve, fell inexplicably sick. First he lost his voice and stopped eating. Then he slept constantly and shunned human contact. Doctors were mystified. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound. Martin's parents were told an unknown degenerative disease left him with the mind of a baby and less than two years to live.
Martin was moved to care centers for severely disabled children. The stress and heartache shook his parents marriage and their family to the core. Their boy was gone. Or so they thought.
Ghost Boy is the heart-wrenching story of one boy's return to life through the power of love and faith. In these pages, readers see a parent's resilience, the consequences of misdiagnosis, abuse at the hands of cruel caretakers, and the unthinkable duration of Martin's mental alertness betrayed by his lifeless body.
We also see a life reclaimed a business created, a new love kindled all from a wheelchair. Martin's emergence from his own darkness invites us to celebrate our own lives and fight for a better life for others.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We learned about this astonishing book through the new NPR podcast Invisibilia, an eye-opening exploration of the human mind. Ghost Boy charts the story of South African Martin Pistorius, who slipped into a mysterious coma-like state at age 12 and was written off as a lost cause—until a devoted nurse recognized the active imagination behind the unresponsive body. Pistorius’ account of stepping out of the darkness into a locked-in consciousness (and eventually a full, happy adult existence) left us in awe, delivering a healthy dose of perspective and gratitude.
I found myself becoming so protective of him and praying he wouldn’t get hurt again in any way form or fashion. Truly a remarkable story by the most courageous man with incredible strength inside and out. After reading this book, it makes my problems seem so minute. I now feel like I can conquer anything life throws at me no matter how big or small. This book is a “must read” especially if you’re digging for inspiration.
One of the best books I’ve ever read. A true story everybody should read who’s in health care. Also teachers. Makes one thankful for everything you have.
Kit D Kat 100
This book was awesome !
I have just finished reading this book and I will read it again and again. It was so well written and inspiring in soo many ways. Thank you Martin so much for telling us your story !