Comatose man wakes up after being asleep for 19 years
Jan Grzebski, a comatose man woke up after being asleep for 19 years, to find that his world had changed beyond all recognition. The Polish railway worker lost consciousness in 1988 after being struck by a train. He suffered horrific injuries when his head was trapped between two carriages.
Jan didn't come out of his coma until Sunday June 3 2007 when he opened his eyes to see his devoted wife Gertruda's face looking at him. She cared for him all through his coma.
Grzebski was given only about two years to live after he slipped into unconsciousness
in 1988 and doctors discovered he had a tumor on his brain. But he
remained in good health due to the tireless efforts of his saintly wife
Gertruda. She fed and washed her husband's motionless body every
day and moved him every hour to prevent bedsore infections.
"When I went into a coma there was only tea and vinegar in the shops," the wheelchair-bound Jan said. "Meat was rationed and there were huge petrol queues everywhere. Now I see people on the streets with mobile phones and there are so many goods in shops it makes my head spin"
Just a year after Jan's accident, Poland shed its communist rule and the nation began its journey to becoming the westernised state it is today.
TV ads and fashion are all new concepts for Jan. He is amazed at the colorful streets and the goods, and says the world is a much prettier place now.
These are just some of the world events that he missed while he was sleeping:
1989 - Soviet troops pull out of Afghanistan; Berlin wall comes down
1990 - First digital mobile phone call
1991 - First Gulf War
1993 - Bill Clinton becomes US president
1997 - Princess Diana dies in Paris crash
2001 - September 11
2003 - Second Gulf War; MySpace.com launched
2005 - Pope John Paul II, a fellow countryman, dies
The wife who never gave up on him said she cried and prayed a lot throughout the long and lonely coma years. "Those who came to see us kept asking, 'When is he going to die?' But he's not dead," Gertruda said.
Delighted that her Ian has now rejoined the world, she added: "This is my reward for all the care, faith and love."
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