In a new production of Christoph Willibald Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice
(Orpheus and Eurydice) in Vienna, the part of Euridice is shared between the soprano Christiane Karg, who sings from the stage, and Karin Anna Giselbrecht, a young woman in a persistent vegetative state, who lies in a nearby hospital. "The music is played to her and video cameras relay her image to the stage."
[From the opera blog Intermezzo
.] [more inside]
"Adrian Owen still gets animated when he talks about patient 23.
The patient was only 24 years old when his life was devastated by a car accident. Alive but unresponsive, he had been languishing in what neurologists refer to as a vegetative state for five years, when Owen, a neuro-scientist then at the University of Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues at the University of Liège in Belgium, put him into a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and started asking him questions. Incredibly, he provided answers."
"I shall never forget the day when they discovered what was truly wrong with me – it was my second birth.
Rom Houbens was simply paralysed and had no way to let doctors caring for him what he was suffering.
Only the re-evaluation of his case at the University of Liege brought to light that Houben was only paralysed all these years. Hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally.
Logically, the last thing you would think would help a person trapped in a persistent vegetative state is a nervous system is sleeping pill.
Illogically, when you do, many of them wake up.