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Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body Paperback – November 19, 2013
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The book is told in first person and goes into great detail about his life story and experience of being unable to communicate for several years. He goes into detail about the situations he was exposed to when he was unable to communicate within group homes, at home, and the thoughts that went through his head daily. He discusses how he went about receiving the AAC (Augmentative Alternative Communication) device, how he learned to use it, and how much it positively impacted his life. The way the story is portrayed from the viewpoint of Martin helps the reader understand exactly what was going through Martin's mind rather than someone putting words in his mouth. It personally helped me, as a reader, connect on a deeper level to not necessarily fully "understand" what he was going through, but instead "feel" the power, joy, and pain of all of his experiences through the use of the communication tools that he renewed over the years.
One of my favorite quotes from the book states, "God and I didn't talk about the big things in life-we didn't engage in philosophical debates or argue about religion-but I talked to Him endlessly because I knew we shared something important. I didn't have proof that He existed, but I believed in Him anyway because I knew He was real. God did the same for me. Unlike people, He didn't need proof that I existed-He knew I did." Pistorius shows that he had a trust in God that was never instilled in him through anyone, but instead his trust in God is solely based on his own faith and one on one experience with God and all he has blessed him with.
My other favorite takeaway from this book was the love story between Joanna and Martin. Not often do you hear of a love story as heartfelt as this one. Joanna loves Martin for who he is and all that he is capable of. The amount of strength the two of them have and the bond that they share is quite inspiring. Martin has struggled throughout his life with many different endeavors, but as he states "I've lived my whole life as a burden. She makes me feel weightless." The way Martin uses his words to describe a beautiful love story is nothing short of amazing.
Pistorius makes it easy for readers who may not be familiar with AAC to follow along with the story line and understand what is going on. The main point to understand for readers that are unfamiliar with AAC is that Martin does not have any verbal language after the age of twelve. He is fully there cognitively and is aware of everything that is going on around him, he just cannot verbally communicate. He uses a device to help him communicate with others after he has an evaluation completed in the middle of the book. If you, as a reader, are looking for a book that will make you feel every emotion, I suggest you try reading "Ghost Boy." The storyline is easy to follow, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for an inspirational story within the field of Speech-Language Pathology.
Top international reviews
In a life that once seemed so desperate Martin Pistorius learns to live again, thanks to one woman who sees a glimmer of something behind his atrophied body he is piece by piece bought back to life.
Being able to read his story, and from his own perspective is a true miracle, at times heartbreaking but ultimately so powerfully uplifting, it shows that the human spirit is the most astonishing thing in the world.
Ghost Boy is an amazing story of courage, determination and faith.
Everyone should read it! Not only to put their own lives and troubles into perspective, but to learn that when you choose not to give in great things can be achieved.
I believe that it should be a compulsory read for everyone in the care community because of the frightful predicament that Martin was condemned to for 14 years. Not even his parents realised that he had become fully conscious and aware and could see and understand most of what was around him. He suffered hugely by so-called carers ignorance of this and their, the 'carers', inability to perform their duties, even at a basic level. Other carers, of course, were good and eventually one realised that there was more to Martin than there appeared to be and through perseverance, professionalism and love he has led back to the real world. From there he met goal after goal and fulfilled dreams that he thought he never could.
A truly remarkable story.
Those few comments aside it is an excellent read and an amazing story of a boy who seemed to be totally unable to function but after one person notices that there were signs of a response to stimuli, gradually 'wakes up'.
I am a better man for reading this book.
I hope I justify my reason for my existence.
Without love there is no colour.