Nothing mentioned, nothing gained

Some things are just too terrible for my mind to process. The story of Richard Marsh, who woke up in intensive care following a stroke with “full cognitive and physical awareness, but an almost complete paralysis of nearly all the voluntary muscles in my body” to hear doctors discussing whether to switch off his life support machine, was one of the most harrowing things I have ever read. A religious person would have read that story and prayed – but my instinctive reaction was to hope that science would find a way to make these terrible situations better. And as it happened, just two days after I read Marsh’s story in the Guardian, New Scientist carried a story of an amazing new technology that will allow locked-in survivors to communicate much more naturally and easily than they do now.

Amazingly, Marsh recovered and now has a healthy and active lifestyle. He has…

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