For the majority of his youth, Martin Pistorius knew nothing but health and happiness. He had a normal family and was loved by his parents and he loved them back. He was popular among his friends and the other kids in the neighborhood. But when he turned 12 things started to change for Marin, and not in the way things do for most preteens. After he was suddenly diagnosed with a debilitating illness, his life would never be the same again. And before long, the young Martin was completely paralyzed. He was trapped in his body for the next twelve years…
For more than a decade, Martin had to learn to fight against the progressive illness that was slowly consuming his life. And for much of that battle, he did not even have consciousness. When he finally awoke from the fight of his life, he was able to reveal a shocking and painful truth for us to hear.
It all started when he was about twelve. That’s when he began to complain about a sore throat – which no one batted an eye at. They didn’t even want him to go to the doctor because they’d have to pay for that. But when the symptoms didn’t disappear, it became clear that Martin needed more than rest and chicken soup. And then he was in terrible shape and his family was seriously worried. If only they had listened to his complaints instead of telling him to ignore how he felt.
When he finally made it to the doctor, Martin was diagnosed with cryptococcal meningitis and tuberculosis of the brain. It was a serious diagnosis that would change his and his family’s lives forever.
Because the condition was incurable, Martin quickly declined in health. He quickly lost the ability to move himself and then he could no longer make eye contact. He lost his speech and everything else that made him human including his once energetic personality. Now he was living in a defeated coma-like state. This illness looked like it had won.
Martin’s parents, Rodney and Joan Pistorius, begged the doctors to do something. But the diseases was irreversible and they could do nothing. They simply told his parents to take him home and get him comfortable so he could die in peace.
But Martin refused to die. And by the time he turned 14, everyone around him knew he was going to make it. He may have been trapped inside his own body but he had the support of his parents to help get him through. His parents also hired caretakers to help their son survive. He needed to be watched around the clock and the horrid routine continued for years.