Man trapped in 23-year coma was conscious

A man from Belgium who was thought to be in a coma for 23 years was conscious all along.

Rom Houben was diagnosed to be in a vegetative state after being injured in a car crash which left him totally paralysed.

He had no way of letting friends and family know he could hear every word they were saying.

The 46-year-old, a former martial arts enthusiast, can now tap out messages on a computer and read books from a device above his hospital bed.

The patient described how he would “scream but nobody could hear” and that frustration was too small a word to describe how he felt.

His misdiagnosis was discovered by neurological expert Dr Steven Laureys, who fears there may be similar cases all over the world.