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Welcome to our WEIRD FACT OF THE DAY...
Comatose man wakes up after being asleep for 19 years
Jan Grzebski
A comatose man woke up after being asleep for 19 years, to find that his world had changed beyond all recognition.

Polish railway worker Jan Grzebski lost consciousness in 1988 after being struck by a train. He suffered horrific injuries when his head was trapped between two carriages.

He didn't come out of his coma until Sunday June 3 2007 when he opened his eyes to see his devoted wife Gertruda's face looking at him. She cared for him all through his coma.

Mr. Grzebski was given only about two years to live after he slipped into unconsciousness in 1988 and doctors discovered he had a tumor on his brain.

But he remained in good health due to the tireless efforts of his saintly wife Gertruda. She fed and washed her husband's motionless body every day and moved him every hour to prevent bedsore infections.

Jan's doctor said she had "done the job of an entire intensive care team."

Her devotion was rewarded when at 65 years of age Jan came out of his coma. He told members of his family he had vague memories of family gatherings and relatives talking to him, trying to provoke a response.

But he woke up to an entirely different world to the one he remembered, and a Poland that was a far cry from the bleak communist country he was used to.

"When I went into a coma there was only tea and vinegar in the shops," the wheelchair-bound Jan said. "Meat was rationed and there were huge petrol queues everywhere. Now I see people on the streets with mobile phones and there are so many goods in shops it makes my head spin"

Just a year after Jan's accident, Poland shed its communist rule and the nation began its journey to becoming the westernised state it is today.

TV ads and fashion are all new concepts for Jan. He is amazed at the colorful streets and the goods, and says the world is a much prettier place now.

These are just some of the world events that he missed while he was sleeping:

1989 - Soviet troops pull out of Afghanistan; Berlin wall comes down

1990 - First digital mobile phone call

1991 - First Gulf War

1993 - Bill Clinton becomes US president

1997 - Princess Diana dies in Paris crash

2001 - September 11

2003 - Second Gulf War; MySpace.com launched

2005 - Pope John Paul II, a fellow countryman, dies

The wife who never gave up on him said she cried and prayed a lot throughout the long and lonely coma years. "Those who came to see us kept asking, 'When is he going to die?' But he's not dead," Gertruda said.

Delighted that her Ian has now rejoined the world, she added: "This is my reward for all the care, faith and love."

- June 6, 2007


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