Saturday, March 14, 2015


Recently I became a fan of NPR, the national public radio station. I'm not in my car to listen to the radio long, but NPR has showcased some wonderful authors, and their stories have inspired me to buy their books. One such story was "Ghost Boy". It was a heartbreaking and inspiring tale at the same time.

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.

It wasn't until one of his kind caretakers looked into his eyes, and believed that Martin could really understand the world around him, he just couldn't communicate it. She urged his family to get him tested, and Martin finally had a sliver of hope for a normal life. After a series of tests, they found out what Martin already knew for years, he had a fully functioning brain. His parents got him a keyboard and eventually a computer that allowed him to communicate. Against all odds, Martin's life starting becoming better and better. He got a job, he "spoke" at lectures, and he attended a class at university. His body was getting stronger too, he was gaining more control over his hands, and he was starting to finally be able to do small things like dressing himself, and pushing a manual wheelchair.

The best day of his life, and perhaps the most amazing, is when he met Joanna, a woman who loved him for who he is. They met online, and lived in different continents, but that didn't stop them from pursuing a relationship with each other. After 6 months, they met in person, and not too long afterward they got married and moved in together.

I cry easily when I hear a sentimental song or watch a touching movie. I have never shed a tear reading a book until I read "Ghost Boy". Being a father of two little children, I felt saddness and pain for not only this young boy but his mother and father as well. The book was well written, easy to read and unable to put down. If you want a book to read that will inspire you, I recommend this book...


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