Nineteen years ago, Janek Grzebska, was living in communist Poland, where the streets were grey, food was rationed and Grzebska was a railway worker who sustained serious head injuries on the job that sent him into a 19 year coma. After 19 years in a coma Janek Grzebska has woken up, reports the Hartford Courant.
When Grzebaska woke up from his long coma Poland was a very different place. Communism was gone, stores are well stocked with a variety of food and there is more colour in the cities.
A lot of credit for Grzebska’s recovery must go to his loving and dedicated wife, Gertruda Grzebska, who never gave up belief that her husband would recover even after doctors thought he would not survive. The doctors also had diagnosed Grzebska with brain cancer, making his current recovery even more of a miracle than it already is. Gertruda spent everyday of the 19 years, nursing her husband, feeding him and regularly rotating his body to reduce bed sores.
When Gertruda spoke with the Associated Press she said, “For 19 years he did not move or say anything. He tried to say things but it couldn’t be understood, sometimes we pretended we understood.” She went on to talk about her husband’s recovery, “Now he spends his days sitting in a wheelchair and last weekend we took him out for a walk in his wheelchair. He was so amazed to see the colourful streets, the goods. He says the world is prettier now.” AP quotes in the Hartford Courant.
According to quotes in the Hartford Courant a local Polish TV station, TVN24 Television interviewed the recovering patient from his home in Dzialdowo, Poland. Grzebska said, ” I could not talk or do anything, now it’s much better. I wake up at 7 a.m and I watch TV.” He also told the TV channel, “When I went into a coma there was only tea and vinegar in the shops, meat was rationed and huge petrol queues were everywhere. Now I see people on the streets with cellphones and there are so many goods in the shops it makes my head spin.”
According to his wife, Gertruda, Janek was not completely cut off from the world. He was aware of family members being around him and has some memory of significant events such as his children’s weddings. Another pleasant surprise that awaited Grzebska when he woke up was that he was now a grandfather to eleven grandchildren.
Last fall when Grzebska showed some hopeful signs rehabilitation efforts were stepped up. His doctor, Wojciech Pstragowski, is working hard on Grzebska’s rehabilitation and feels that his patient may soon be able to walk again. Pstragowski points out that Grzebska’s ability to recovery is in part due to his devoted wife, “I am sure that without the dedication of his wife, the patient would not have reached us in the (good) shape that he did.” Hartford Courant.
Janek Grzebska is now on the long road to a happy recovery with a whole different world to get to know.