SO, DID THE MAN SUDDENLY WAKE UP AFTER 15 YEARS?
No. It wasn’t a scene from a daytime soap opera, but his progress was surprising. In medical terms, his condition shifted from a vegetative state to a minimally conscious one. After a month of vagal nerve stimulation, the man was newly able to respond to simple commands, such as slowly turning his head from left to right, Sirigu says.
He was able to stay awake for much longer than before while listening to a therapist read a book. And he responded to perceived threats, opening his eyes wide when someone suddenly approached his face, Sirigu says. People in a vegetative state show no response at all to such invasions of space.