A man thought by doctors to be in a vegetative state for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it was revealed last night.
Student Rom Houben was misdiagnosed after a car crash left him totally paralysed.
He had no way of letting experts, family or friends know he could hear every word they said.
I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,' said Mr Houben, now 46.
Doctors used a range of coma tests, recognised worldwide, before reluctantly concluding that his consciousness was 'extinct'.
But three years ago, new hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally.