Monday, 26 May 2008

Long-term resident, by Matthew Tree: On hold

Not only prisons keep their portals locked. The Associació Vallès
Amics de la Neurologia (AVAN), like many other voluntary organisations
dedicated to the care of people with damaged nervous systems, ensures
that the gates of its centre in Sabadell are secured at all times to
prevent its patients from drifting into a world that doesn't have a
clue as to their particular needs and difficulties. When I went there
last week, I was expecting to see mainly middleaged or elderly people,
more likely as they were to be affected by Parkinson's, MS, Attention
Deficit Disorder and similar illnesses. So it was a surprise to find a
very young man in the audience. It turned out he'd been in a car
crash, then six months in coma, and now he was fighting to make the
simplest movements, to mouth the shortest of syllables. (Full story in
printed edition).