Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Butterfly and the Diving Bell.

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Some years ago, I read The Butterfly and the Diving Bell, a book written by Jean-Dominique Bauby, former editor in chief of French Elle,  after he suffered a stroke when just 43 years-old. Bauby awoke from a 20 day coma to discover he had 'locked in syndrome' and could only move his left eye. Bauby's dedicated speech therapist devised a way for him to communicate which involved him blinking. Not content with simply being able to communicate with hospital staff and friends, Bauby went on to 'blink' a book.
Yep - he blinked The Butterfly and the Diving Bell.
I was incredibly moved and inspired by Bauby's story, courage, patience and intelligence. It's a remarkable example of human spirit. But it's not only Bauby who inspired me but the staff - the speech therapist, the physio, his assistant. Their dedication and persistence is remarkable and uplifting.
In 2007, the book was made into a film, which I finally watched this week. The film is every bit as moving and inspirational as the book.
Read it. Watch it. Be inspired. It is amazing what humans can achieve.

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