"By RAF CASERT
BRUSSELS (AP) - For 23 torturous years, Rom Houben says he lay trapped in his paralyzed body, aware of what was going on around him but unable to tell anyone or even cry out.
The car-crash victim had been diagnosed as being in a vegetative state but appears to have been conscious the whole time. An expert using a specialized type of brain scan that was not available in the 1980s finally realized it, and unlocked Houben's mind again.
The 46-year-old Houben is now communicating with one finger and a special touchscreen on his wheelchair.
"Powerlessness. Utter powerlessness. At first I was angry, then I learned to live with it," he said, punching the message into the screen during an interview with the Belgian RTBF network, aired Monday. He has called his rescue his "renaissance.""
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