In which my deepest terror is realized.
A fellow in Belgium has spent the last 23 years in what was supposedly a vegetative state, only to have new technology finally prove that his brain is normal. Rom Houben says that he's been able to hear everything going on around around him, but hasn't been able to speak or move on his own, with everyone around him thinking he was an inert husk.
This yet another disturbing example of medical misdiagnosis*. His family has reportedly always believed that he was aware, and has taken him to the U.S. five times to attempt (and finally succeed) to prove that he was aware, and find a way to communicate with him.
If this were written up in a dramatic short story, it would make "Flowers for Algernon" seem like the feel-good comedy hit of the year.
*And yet another reason why, though I have deep respect for the science of medicine, I get a bit twitchedy when medical doctors start thinking that they are worthy of telling the rest of us what to do.