It's not often that I will share a book here that doesn't have to do with writing or cats, but Ghost Boy was so incredible that I had to share it with you.
Book Summary: In January 1988, 12-year-old Martin Pistorius becomes very ill. Over the course of 18 months, Martin begins to lose the use of his body until he is rendered mute and wheelchair bound. His doctors don't know what type of condition Martin has, but they tell his parents that he has the mind of an infant and will only live another two years.
Martin is taken to a center for severely disabled children daily and spends time at different care homes when his family goes on vacation. For six years, Martin has no awareness, but slowly, he begins to "wake up" again. He becomes increasingly aware of his environment again. The problem is, everyone, including his family believes he's gone and don't realize that he has any awareness of his surroundings.
It is due to the intuition of one special caregiver that Martin is assessed at a communication center. There, they discover that he does, in fact, understand what's going on around him, and they begin to work with him on finding ways in which he can communicate with the people around him. Slowly, Martin learns how to communicate with others and regains control of his life.
My Thoughts About Ghost Boy: I found this book incredibly inspiring. Although my challenges are nothing like Martin's, as a disabled woman, I can relate to some of the frustration Martin felt being trapped inside his body. Martin's courage, faith, and determination to communicate with the world around him was heartwarming and inspirational.
I was shocked and saddened by the abuse Martin suffered in various care centers and homes. I had thought, and hoped, that society treated severely disabled individuals with the respect and compassion they deserve.
This book is also frank about the challenges a severely disabled individual's family faces. Martin's illness caused strain in his parents' relationship. Martin's mother also lost hope that her child would ever return for some years. However, Martin's parents were determined to help him learn to communicate again when they knew he understood what was going on around him. His mother worked tirelessly to make sure Martin got the best communication tools he could, took him to workshops, and encouraged him to gain his independence. Martin's parents' love was obvious throughout the book.
I would highly recommend this book to everyone. If you like inspirational stories, you will love this one!
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program for an honest review. Receiving the free book did not influence my opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.