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This day in WND History: Jan. 12

Martin and his wife, Joanna

Martin and his wife, Joanna

Man awakens from 12 years in ‘vegetative state’

Jan. 12, 2015: Martin Pistorius fell into a mysterious coma when he was a vibrant 12-year-old boy in the 1980s, as WND reported. He found himself locked inside his own body – unable to speak, make eye contact or even move his own limbs. Martin’s doctors told his parents, Rodney and Joan Pistorius, that the boy had cryptococci meningitis. They said Martin should be taken home to die in peace. But Martin would live 12 years in that vegetative state.

Joan said, “Martin just kept going, just kept going.”

Martin’s father would wake up every day at 5 a.m., dress the boy, put him in the car and drive him to a special care center.

“Eight hours later, I’d pick him up, bathe him, feed him, put him in bed, set my alarm for two hours so that I’d wake up to turn him so that he didn’t get bedsores,” Rodney recalled.

And during those 12 years, according to the Pistorius family, there was never any indication that Martin’s condition was improving.

One day, Joan, in a state of hopelessness, told her son, “I hope you die.”

She never imagined that Martin would have understood those dreadful words.

But by the time he was 14 or 15 years old, Martin began to awaken.

“Yes, I was there, not from the very beginning, but about two years into my vegetative state, I began to wake up,” Martin recalls. “I was aware of everything, just like any normal person. Everyone was so used to me not being there that they didn’t notice when I began to be present again. The stark reality hit me that I was going to spend the rest of my life like that – totally alone.”

Martin had even heard his mother’s cruel words.

“You don’t really think about anything,” he said. “You simply exist. It’s a very dark place to find yourself because, in a sense, you are allowing yourself to vanish.”

Martin added, “As time passed, I gradually learned to understand my mother’s desperation. Every time she looked at me, she could see only a cruel parody of the once-healthy child she had loved so much.”

At the care center every day, Martin’s caregivers played “Barney” reruns. They too believed he was a vegetable.

He said, “I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney.”

Now Martin, 39, is in full control of his body. He’s married and lives a normal life in Harlow, England.

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PanamaCanalChina threat to Panama Canal confirmed

Jan. 12, 2000: WND reported on a recently declassified U.S. military report confirming that communist China is indeed a threat to the Panama Canal – an assessment directly contradicting the public testimony given to the Senate by the U.S. military.

Only two months before, Gen. Charles E. Wilhelm, USMC, Commander of the Southern Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Panama Canal, during which he stated there was no threat from state-sponsored or “transnational” crime against Panama.

But the document, classified “SECRET//X1” and prepared four days after Wilhelm’s testimony, said that the Chinese firm that acquired control of the Canal, “Hutchison Whampoa,” is indeed considered a threat.

“Hutchison’s containerized shipping facilities in the Panama Canal, as well as the Bahamas, could provide a conduit for illegal shipments of technology or prohibited items from the west to the PRC, or facilitate the movement of arms and other prohibited items into the Americas,” warned the report.

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