The case of Polish railroad worker Jan Grzebski triggered my curiosity today, as a news in Vietnamese translated the news 9 years ago about this case, quote an astonishing finding that he was “able to know what happened outside while he was still like a living corpse”: (the quote is in Vietnamese)
Điều thực sự sốc chính là, sau khi tỉnh lại, Jan Grzebski đã nói những lời này: “Đầu não tôi rất tỉnh táo và nó vẫn đang làm việc, tôi nghe được mọi chuyện, còn có thể suy nghĩ và ghi nhớ giống như lúc bình thường, chỉ có điều nó không điều khiển được thân thể, điều này khiến tôi rất lo lắng.”
However, it seems that the story was made up by Polish media, a news from The Guardian said that he was in coma for only 4 years, then he woke up and was disabled for 15 more years (the interesting thing is that communism in Poland collapsed during the time he was in coma, and he was surprised with the big changes after communism):
Mr Grzebski said he did have an accident in 1988, but after that he was only in a coma for four years and was then confined to a wheelchair at his home in Dzialdowo in northern Poland.
This is the compilation of 10 stories of people waking up after falling into coma:
Unlike many TV and movie depictions of the condition, being in a coma is a very serious condition that can have long-lasting effects. Most comas do not last more than a few weeks, but there are people who are stuck in one for months or years. The longer a person is in a coma, the less likely they are to wake up. While the time spent in the coma may differ, the stories of these people waking up are quite remarkable.10Sam CarterIn 2008, 60-year-old retired baker Sam Carter had fallen into a coma from severe anemia, which occurs when a person’s red blood cell count gets too low or the blood lacks hemoglobin. In the hospital in Staffordshire, England, Carter had been in a coma for three days, and he was given a 30 percent chance of recovering. The doctor suggested to his wife that she should play some music for him. His wife got a set of headphones and put them on her husband, playing the Rolling Stones classic “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Amazingly, once the song was played, Sam opened his eyes.Sam says that the song gave him a new energy, and pulled him out of the coma. He doesn’t remember much from the coma, but he remembered hearing that song. The song also had special meaning to him as it was the first single he ever bought when he was 17 years old. He said it gave him the push he needed to wake up.9Sarah ThomsonIn early 2012, 32-year-old Sarah Thomson got a blood clot on her brain and it ultimately led to her being in a coma for 10 days. When she awoke, she thought it was the year 1998. She thought that her favorite band, the Spice Girls, were still together, and she didn’t know Michael Jackson was dead. More importantly, she didn’t recognize her children or husband. In 1998, Thomson was 19 years old, had just given birth to her first son, and was still with her ex. So, when her children came in, she was expecting that her eldest would be a baby. Instead, he was 14 years old. She didn’t even remember the other two children. As for her husband, she thought he was someone who worked at the hospital.Outside of the hospital, Sarah acted like a teenager. She threw tantrums and was rebellious. She listened to loud rock music and dyed her hair wild colors. She said it took a while, but she is readjusting to her life and has re-fallen in love with her husband.8Ben McMahon, Sandra Ralic, And Michael BoatwrightGrowing up in Australia, Ben McMahon learned French and Mandarin, but was never fluent in them. In 2012, he was in a car accident which left him comatose for a week. Doctors said he would be lucky if he survived. He beat the odds and woke up but, oddly, he only spoke Mandarin and couldn’t speak English. He could also write in Mandarin. Eventually, Ben regained the ability to speak English, but didn’t lose the ability to speak Mandarin. As of September 2014, Ben is living in Shanghai where he attends school, but also gives walking tours of the city. In fact, his Mandarin is so good it impresses native speakers, and he is the host of a TV show in Shanghai. While that almost sounds too wild to believe, it’s actually happened to other people. Thirteen-year-old Sandra Ralic, from Kinn, Croatia, was studying German and she had just started reading German books and watching German television shows, but wasn’t fluent in it. Then, she was in a coma for 24 hours. When she came out of the coma, she could only speak in German, and couldn’t speak in her native tongue.Finally, there is the amazing story of American Michael Boatwright. He woke up in a hospital bed in California speaking Swedish and claiming his name was actually Johan Ek.Boatwright had lived in Sweden and had a Swedish girlfriend in the past. While many urban legends discuss people waking up from a coma speaking a brand new language, that is not a medically recognized phenomenon. However, people can lose the ability to speak their primary language while retaining access to a secondary language that they already know to some degree. It’s speculated that they seem more fluent in the second language afterward because they no longer default to the first one.7Fred HerschFred Hersch is a well-known, respected, and prolific contemporary jazz pianist who moved to New York in 1977 at the age of 21. In the early ’90s, Hersch went public about being diagnosed with AIDS. In 2008, the disease wreaked havoc on Hersch, and he contracted HIV dementia, but recovered from that. Then, in June, his blood oxygen levels became really low, and he went into septic shock. As each of his organs started failing, Hersch fell into a coma. He was under for two months before he finally woke up. After that, he was on a feeding tube for eight months.The 10 months in bed completely ravaged his body and his motor functions. Over the next year, Hersch worked hard at his physical therapy, and he kept practicing the piano. Interestingly enough, the piano helped him get better; he said it gave him something to strive and work for. By 2010, he was performing again. To researchers, it was inte