Comatosed Pole Awakens After Two Decades

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

A Polish man who fell into a coma, after being hit by a train in 1988, has woken up to a very different Poland.

Poland was still a Communist country when 65-year-old railway worker Jan Grzebski suffered his accident.

Wheelchair-bound Jan Grzebski had been given just two to three years to live by doctors.

He told Polish television that his survival was due to the efforts of his wife Gertruda.

She maintained round-the-clock care of Jan during his coma, and was reported to have turned him every hour to prevent bed sores.

Gertruda admitted there had been moments of despair during her long years of caring for her husband.

"There were tears, there were prayers. From time to time I cried at night, biting the pillow, so that nobody could hear."

Grzebski showed his first signs of recovery in April this year.

He was taken to a hospital in Dzialdow where he went through intense rehabilitation, which brought spectacular results.

"After the first few days of rehabilitation he already started to talk, to move his fingers and toes," rehabilitation specialist, Wojciech Pstragowsk told Polish television on Saturday.

Grzebski awoke to find his four children had all married and he had 11 grandchildren.

He said that while in a coma he had vague memories of family gatherings and his wife and children trying to communicate with him.

When Grzebski had his accident Poland was still ruled by its last communist leader, Wojciech Jaruzelski.

He says he now enjoys listening to politicians in what is for him, a newly-post Communist Poland.

"I am interested in politics. Sometimes I listen to politicians talk for half a day," he said.

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