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“I Was Aware of Everything” – The Man Who Woke Up After 12 Years In A Vegetative State

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Martin Pistorious had a normal childhood growing up in South Africa in the late 70’s. But everything would change for the worse when Martin was 12. He was diagnosed with cryptococcal meningitis, which put him in a vegetative state, but not forever.

  • Reflect On:

    Others who are in a vegetative state should not be deemed 'brain dead.' For all we know, they are totally awake, with their mind working sharp without the use of their body.

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My mind was trapped inside a useless body, my arms and legs weren’t mine to control, and my voice was mute. I couldn’t make a sign or a sound to let anyone know I’d become aware again. I was invisible – the ghost boy.” -Martin Pistorious

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Martin Pistorious had a normal childhood growing up in South Africa in the late 70’s. His parents, Joan and Rodney Pistorius, explained how Martin insisted that he would one day be an “electric man,” infatuated by any type of electronic equipment he could get his hands on.

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But everything would change for the worse when Martin was 12. Coming home from school one day, he told his parents that he was feeling sick. This wasn’t any normal flu, however, as Joan and Rodney watched their son begin to sleep for endless hours of the day, almost like a baby. Even worse, he couldn’t eat, refusing anything they put in front of him.

Martin was tested for everything in the book, including Parkinson’s, TB, mineral deficiency, and more, yet everything came back negative.

As the months went on, Martin’s parents watched as their son slowly began to shut down — first his ability to move, then his ability to make eye contact, and finally his speech.

“He progressively got worse, probably in the second year of his illness. He was sleeping whenever we didn’t wake him up. He was permanently lying down in the fetal position,” said Rodney in an interview with NPR.

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Finally, a test came back positive. It was cryptococcal meningitis, something the doctors said meant there was no hope for Martin.

They were told that he was a vegetable, with no more intelligence. They were advised to take Martin home, to provide him with love until his death.

Trapped inside of his own body for a decade and thought to be severely brain-damaged, Martin Pistorius was actually fully aware the entire time. His story is one marked by abuse, neglect, love and despair. An expert on what people do when they think no one is looking, Martin has become well versed on human nature and self-determination.

A Boy Who Wouldn’t Let Go

But something in Martin held on for much longer than his prognosis had estimated.

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

The years continued to pass as Rodney and Joan cared for their helpless son. They dressed him, fed him, bathed him, and dropped him off at the special care facility he was enrolled at on a daily basis.

My alarm was set for every two hours so that I could wake up to turn him, so that he wouldn’t get bed sores,” said Joan.

This exhausting cycle continued for another 10 years, literally taking everything from Joan and Rodney. Joan told NPR that she eventually came to a point where she said to Martin, “I hope you die.

I know that’s a horrible thing to say. I just wanted some sort of reliefin my mind he’d already died.”

A Nurse Who Believed In The Soul Inside Martin

By the time Martin was in his mid-20’s, something slowly began to shift. Martin was now able to squeeze someone’s hand, a remarkable advancement considering his history. Furthermore, he was getting better at holding himself upright in his wheelchair.

However, the doctors insisted that Martin still had the mind of a 3-year old. But one nurse, named Verna, was convinced that there was something there.

She eventually convinced Joan and Rodney to get another evaluation done elsewhere. Martin was given a test where he had to identify different objects by pointing at them with his eyes. Surprisingly to many, he passed; not with flying colors, but he passed nevertheless.

I then gave up my job,” said Joan.

This 1987 photo is the last one to show the family before Martin fell ill. He is at the right. Courtesy of Martin Pistorius

Joan dedicated the next year to  teaching Martin how to use a special joystick for the computer, four hours every morning, until he finally got it.

Once he did, everything would change. Martin was now able to select words using his stick.

‘I am cold. I am hungry. I want toast.‘ These were his first bits of communication. Soon after, other things began to return to him.

He started moving his eyes and moving his head and almost nodding, asking for coffee by stirring his hands around and things like that.”

A Horrifying Realization – Martin’s Perspective

For 8 of the 12 years he was diagnosed, Martin was invisible. From the outside, he s1920x1080_martin-199x-4_custom-772c052f23f1615f33cc52799f0c2bc2f2cbb1f3-s800-c85was unresponsive, a vegetable. But deep inside, Martin said he was aware of everything.

I was there, not from the very beginning, but about two years into my vegetative state, I began to wake up.”

Martin described the initial process,

“I suppose a good way to describe it is like an out-of-focus image. At first you have no idea what it is, but slowly it comes into focus until you can see it in crystal clarity.”

Somewhere along this process, Martin soon realized his immobility.

I stared at my arm, willing it to move. Every bit of me condensed into that moment.”

Martin recalled a moment when his father was helping him undress, and how badly Martin was trying to communicate, but nothing in his body would obey.

Everyone was so used to me not being there that they didn’t notice when I began to be present againThe stark reality hit me that I was going to spend the rest of my life like that – totally alone.”

Martin revealed how he spent countless hours wallowing in self-defeat: “You will never get out. You are pathetic, powerless, totally alone.”

Was this really how he was to spend the rest of his days alive?

An Unlikely Inspiration Changes Martin’s Thoughts

Martin had fully let go of hope, but as he explains, occasionally there were unlikely sparks of inspiration.

‘You can always count on having a fun day when you spend it with the people you love,‘ said Barney, the fictitious children’s show icon. Martin was constantly forced to watch Barney, a show he now admits he thoroughly despised. He used the show, along with the movement of the Sun, to figure out the time of day.

This was his first semblance of control. Simply knowing where he was in the day gave him the sense of being able to climb through it. He realized his thoughts could help him.

I’d have conversations with myself and other people in my head.”

Reengaging with his thoughts transformed his world, and slowly, life began to have purpose.

This also sometimes meant pain for Martin, such as when he heard his mother say to him, “I hope you die.”

But as time passed, he gradually learned to understand his mother’s desperation. He realized that it came from profound love for him.

She could see only a cruel parody of the once-healthy child she had loved so much,” Martin said.

Amazingly, this made him feel even closer to his mother.

It wasn’t long after this when Martin’s nurse, Verna, saw the soul trapped inside Martin, and insisted on getting him more help. This, as previously explained, was the beginning of an inspiring new chapter for Martin.

College Graduate, Bushiness Man & Husband – Martin Today

By leaning into those dark thoughts, Martin gained a self-understanding and humour about the human condition that allowed him to attain so much more than he had ever imagined for himself.

Progressing through various levels of improvement, he eventually scored himself a job filing papers at a local office, then moved onto fixing computers, creating a web design business, and earning a computer science degree. He even met a beautiful and loving wife named Joanna, whom he met through his sister.

“I turned around, and it was just this guy with this big smile. And it’s such a warm personality…Yeah, okay, well he’s in a wheelchair, and he doesn’t speak. But I love this guy. He’s amazing. It just so quickly turned into love,” said Joanna.

Though his success may seen simplified by this article, we cannot forget the amount of dedication and hard work it was for both Martin and his loved ones to get him to where he is today.

Martin’s story is indeed one filled with many mixed emotions – sadness, empathy, fear, agony, inspiration – yet it stands as an incredible testament to human willpower.

For more on Martin’s story, be sure to check out his incredible personal account of his journey in his book,  Ghost Boy.

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Dr Byram Bridle Speaks For 100 Colleagues Afraid To Share Science About COVID Vaccine Concerns

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr Byram Bridle and two other physicians spoke at a news conference on Parliament Hill about their experience being censored or harassed as a result of sharing their medical opinions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Reflect On:

    Do we as citizens truly want our scientists and physicians to be silenced and censored?

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Why are scientists and experts in this field scared to share concerning science regarding COVID vaccines? Just ask Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist from the University of Guelph who recently released a detailed, in-depth report regarding safety concerns about the COVID vaccines. The report was released to act as a guide for parents when it comes to deciding whether or not their child should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Bridle published the paper on behalf of one hundred other scientists and doctors who part of the Canadian COVID Care Alliance, but who are afraid to ‘come out’ publicly and share their concerns.

Bridle has stated about the Alliance,

In fact the reason that we (Canadian COVID Care Alliance) exist is sad. We exist because we’re like minded in the sense that we all want to be able to speak openly and freely about the scientist and medicine underpinning COVID-19, and we don’t feel safe to do it  anywhere else other than within our own private group, where we feel safe.

Below is our detailed report on the news conference held on Parliament Hill on June 17th, 2021. It was organized by Canadian MP Derek Sloan who has received hundreds of concerned communications from Canadian citizens about the censorship of scientists. Bridle and two other physicians spoke at the conference.

A recent article published in the British Medical Journal by journalist Laurie Clarke has highlighted the fact that Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading covid-19 medical information.”

The more important questions to ask are: who is deciding what’s misleading? Who decides what’s false?

Some of the most renowned scientists and expert in this field have been subjected to this “fact-checking,” and they’ve been outspoken about how much of this fact-checking is flat out censorship. You decide.

To note: HealthFeedback.org, a fact checker, has attempted to refute some of Bridle’s claims. You can read more about them here.

 

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Study Finds Many Uninfected Adults Still Have Strong Pre-Existing Antibody Protection Against COVID

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study published in March 2021 suggests that the majority of healthy adults in British Columbia, Canada, have immunity from COVID-19 despite the fact that some of them have never been infected with it.

  • Reflect On:

    Why has the power of naturally acquired immunity not been recognized and focused on more deeply? Why is the only focus on vaccination?

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A study published in March 2021 suggested that  the majority of healthy Adults in British Columbia have evidence of pre-existing or naturally acquired immunity to COVID-19.  They found this to be the case even in individuals who haven’t been infected, and could be explained by the fact that coronaviruses that already circle the globe, prior to COVID-19, may provide protection from the novel virus.  They explain,

There are 4 circulating coronaviruses predating COVID-19 that cause up to 30% of seasonal upper respiratory tract infections (8). The spike proteins of β-coronaviruses HKU1 and OC43 exhibit approximately 40% sequence similarity, whereas the α-coronaviruses NL63 and 229E exhibit approximately 30% structural similarity with SARS-CoV-2 (9). The common occurrence of circulating coronaviruses year after year and their structural similarity with SARS-CoV-2 raises the possibility that the former may stimulate cross-reactive responses toward SARS-CoV-2 and that this heterotopic immunity may impact clinical susceptibility to COVID-19 and/or modulate responses to the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (10, 11)….In conclusion, this study reveals common preexisting, broadly reactive SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in uninfected adults. These findings warrant larger studies to understand how these antibodies affect the severity of COVID-19, as well as the quality and longevity of responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

We are living in a world where anything “natural” seems to be shunned by a large portion of the medical community, and defined as “pseudoscientific”, when in fact, research suggests the opposite.

Natural immunity is quite robust. Dr. Suneel Dhang, an internal medical physician in the United States explains,

I’m not aware of any vaccine out there which will ever give you more immunity than if you’re naturally recovered from the illness itself…If you’ve naturally recovered from it, my understanding as a doctor level scientist is that those antibodies will always be better than a vaccine, and if you know any differently, please let me know.

A number of studies have now been published demonstrating that infection from COVID will provide a person with long lasting antibodies. Several studies have demonstrated that individuals with prior infection not only have these antibodies, but that they also developed robust levels of B cells and T cells (necessary for fighting off the virus) and these cells may persist in the body for a very long time. How long? It could be decades, or even a lifetime.

Individuals with infection from SARS, for example, still have a robust level of antibodies nearly two decades later. Research has also found that even a mild COVID infection can provide very strong protection that could last a lifetime.

Last fall there were reports that antibodies wane quickly after infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, and mainstream media interpreted that to mean that immunity was not long-lived. But that’s a misrepresentation of the data. It’s normal for antibody levels to go down after acute infection, but they don’t go down to zero; they plateau. Here, we found antibody-producing cells in people 11 months after first symptoms. These cells will live and produce antibodies for the rest of people’s lives. That’s strong evidence for long-lasting immunity. –  Ali Ellebedy, PhD, associate professor of pathology & immunology, of medicine and micro-biology. (source)

This science and research completely opposes what we were hearing early on in the pandemic, that prior infection, and infection from other coronaviruses may only provide protection for a few months or even a couple of years. It turns out that it’s probably a lot longer.

When infected with SARS-CoV-2, most people clear this virus from their body by mounting a robust, long-lasting immune response that targets multiple components of the virus1. These people will be protected from re-infection with the same variant of SARS-CoV-2 and, due to the breadth of a natural immune response, will also likely have some degree of protection against emerging new variants of SARS-CoV-2. Indeed, most people who have naturally acquired immunity should not be at risk of developing severe disease. – Dr. Byram Bridle, Viral Immunologist, University of Guelph. (source)

How does this compare to vaccine induced immunity? We don’t know as there is not enough data to say yet.

Dr. Ozlem Tureci, co-founder and CMO of BioNTech, the company that developed a COVID vaccine with Pfizer told CNBC that people will likely need a third shot of its two-dose COVID-19 vaccine. She also believes people will need one every year. Judging by this belief, vaccine induced immunity will continually wane and those who choose to go the vaccine route may have to continue with inoculations.

The scientific consensus of the number of people infected around the world is well over what testing has claimed. Currently, we’re nearly at 200,000,000 cases, but that number is most likely well over a billion globally. This is why the survival rate for healthy people under the age of 60 is nearly one hundred percent.

These infection numbers are important because it represents a globe closing in on herd immunity. My question is, what effect does the vaccine have on those who have already had an infection? What does this do to natural protection one gets from infection?

Another important question to ask is, why has the topic of naturally acquired immunity been given absolutely zero attention within the mainstream? Why are they pushing the idea that we can’t go back to completely normal until every single person has had a vaccine if that doesn’t match what the science is saying?

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Pfizer & Moderna Fail To Respond To British Medical Journal About COVID Vaccine Safety Concerns

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Associate Editor of the British Medical Journal Dr. Peter Doshi explains that both Pfizer and Moderna did not respond to questions about why bio-distribution studies were not conducted prior to the rollout of their COVID vaccines.

  • Reflect On:

    Are these vaccines actually safe and effective? Why are so many people within the mainstream completely unaware of certain safety concerns and issues being raised with COVID vaccines?

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An article published in the British Medical Journal by Dr. Peter Doshi titled “Covid-19 Vaccines: In The Rush for Regulatory Approval, Do We Need More Data?” raises concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and one of them is the bio-distribution of the vaccine.  This refers to the examination and study of where the vaccine and its ingredients go once injected into the body. Having sped up the approval process of these vaccines, it has been claimed that no compromises in the process of examining their safety were made. But the fact that no study for tracking the distribution of the vaccine within the human body was conducted for any of the authorized vaccines, we cannot say this is true.

Dr. Doshi points out that such bio-distribution studies are a standard practice of drug safety testing but “are usually not required for vaccines.” This in itself is concerning. Research regarding the bio-distribution of aluminum containing vaccines, for example, have raised concerns about injected aluminum crossing the blood brain barrier and being distributed throughout the body where it can be detected years after injection. This is important, because vaccines are a different method of delivery than say, ingested aluminum, which the body does a great job of getting rid of through digestion.

Bio-distribution studies weren’t performed for COVID vaccines because data from past studies performed with related, and “mostly unapproved compounds that use the same platform technology” were used to bypass them.

Dr. Doshi points out that,

“Pfizer and Moderna did not respond to The BMJ’s questions regarding why no biodistribution studies were conducted on their novel mRNA products, and none of the companies, nor the FDA, would say whether new biodistribution studies will be required prior to licensure.”

In his article, Dr. Doshi also references a report that Pfizer provided to the Japanese government. In the report there is a table containing lipid nanoparticle bio-distribution data.

This table shows where their surrogate “vaccine” (i.e. represented in the laboratory test by little bubbles of surrogate fat containing an analytical detection marker) ended up in the body of immunized rats, used in the laboratory as surrogates for humans…I would like to highlight some observations. First…a lot of the surrogate vaccine dose remained at the injection site, as one would expect. Remarkably, however, most of the vaccine dose had gone elsewhere….50-75% of the vaccine dose failed to remain at the site of injection. The big question is, where did it go? Looking at the other tissues shows some of the paces it went and accumulated…The surrogate vaccine was circulating in the blood. There is also evidence that a substantial amount of the vaccine went to places like the spleen, liver, ovaries, adrenal glands, and bone marrow. The vaccine went to other places as well, such as testes, lungs, intestines, kidneys, thyroid glands, pituitary gland, uterus, etc. The surrogate vaccine tested in a laboratory setting was widely distributed throughout the laboratory animal’s bodies. – Dr. Byram W. Bridle, Viral Immunologist, University of Guelph.

The above quote comes from a detailed report Bridle recently released for COVID-19: “A Vaccine Guide For Parents.” One of his main concerns is that the spike protein that our cells manufacture after injection enter into the bloodstream, and that the spike protein itself isn’t harmless. He goes into a detailed explanation in the report cited above.

According to him,

This information is incredibly important because recent data have come to light that the spike protein is “biologically active.” This means that the spike protein is not just an antigen that is recognized the immune system as being foreign. It means that the spike protein, itself, can interact with receptors throughout the body, called ACE2 receptors, potentially causing undesirable effects such as damage to the heart and cardiovascular system, blood clots, bleeding, and neurological effects.

Again, the report is quite detailed and you can access it here if you’re interested. Bridle is not the only one raising these concerns. He, like many other professionals out there, have been subjected to “fact checking” via Facebook third party fact checkers. Here’s a response from PolitiFact regarding Bridle’s claims and the science he points to.

PolitiFact claims that there is no evidence that the spike protein is ‘a toxin.’ They cite opinions from the CDC and other researchers claiming that no evidence has yet emerged stating the spike protein is dangerous. But they are not actually addressing the cited science Bridle is pointing to, they are merely saying everything he is saying is wrong.

This type of baseless ‘fact checking’ has been a problem during the entire pandemic. A recent article published in the British Medical Journal by journalist Laurie Clarke has highlighted the fact that Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading covid-19 medical information.”

The article explains why fact-checking scientists has been nothing short of censorship of both evidence and educated opinion. This has happened numerous times throughout the pandemic with multiple renowned scientists. I recently wrote about a couple of examples here, and here, if you’d like to dig deeper.

It’s telling when science, evidence and opinions of experts are censored and subjected to ridicule throughout a global event like this. One has to ask: what is the motivation? Does a clear headed society seek to censor?

Any narrative that questions what we are receiving from government, health authorities, and mainstream media have been completely unacknowledged.  Effectively dividing the public on important issues.

Once again, this begs the question, why? You would think it a time like this discussion and evidence would be shared openly and transparently, instead, we’ve seen the exact opposite.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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