Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius a bestseller following NPR’s new podcast adaptation

What would you do if you were locked in your body, your brain intact but with no way to communicate? How do you survive emotionally when you are invisible to everyone you know and love?

That’s the first question asked by NPR’s new program on human behavior, Invisibilia.

The first show tells the story of Martin Pistorius, who fell into a mysterious coma as a young boy. He had only one thing left as his mind began to function again — his own thoughts. Here’s a glimpse into his story.

It was the late ’80s, and young Martin Pistorius, growing up in South Africa, was mostly thinking about electronics. Resistors and transistors and you name it. But at age 12, his life took an unexpected turn. He came down with a strange illness. The doctors weren’t sure what it was, but their best guess was cryptococcal meningitis.

He got progressively worse. Eventually he lost his ability to move by himself, his ability to make eye contact, and then, finally, his ability to speak.

To hear how Martin returned to life, listen to Invisibilia, NPR’s newest program. It explores how invisible things shape our behavior and our lives. The program debuts this weekend on many public radio stations, and the podcast is available for download at NPR.org and on iTunes.


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