I met a man today, a friend of a friend, who, through business, had quite a lot of contact with Micheal Schumacher, legendary F1 champion and now in a PVS – persistent vegetative state.
I’m assuming he has it on good authority when he told me that MS has Locked in Syndrome – that his mind is fully active and perhaps fully functional, but that all connections between his brain and his bodily control are lost. He is locked in, an active mind imprisoned in a skull, possibly deprived of sight and hearing too, not knowing or understanding where he is, how he got there, and without any hope of ever knowing. Perhaps he can receive visual signals and/ or the processing of sound, so has some inkling ( or full awareness ) of where and how he is, but they don’t know. Without any means of communication, he can’t tell them.
When he retired from racing, he always had to get his adrenaline fix, and took up motorcycle racing and sky diving – they could guage his frustration ( at a given time ) at not being able to race F1, by the frequency that he jumped out of planes.
You might say it was inevitable that he’d end up dead. I think it very certain that he’d rather be dead than be how he is now. He’ll be kept alive, by machines, until he somehow expires of some other complication,there is a miracle cure or the machines are switched off. He himself has no say, despite probably everyone knowing what his choice would be.
He won’t look like MS any more – his athletic body will have wasted away, and may now be twisted. Without tone, his face won’t be the same, and his hair may have fallen out. He may be unrecognisable as who he was.
I truly hope to God that he is not fully conscious of his situation, and is not living inside his prison in abject eternal despair.