Editor’s pick: We must not allow disabled and terminally ill people’s to be seen as less valuable

Ahead of our debate on end of life matters at the Conservative Party Conference, I thought I should highlight the case of pensioner Graham Miles who suffered from Locked in Syndrome, but has made an astonishing recovery.

“Pensioner tells how he beat “locked in” syndrome after massive stroke

A stroke victim has told how he amazed doctors by overcoming “locked-in” syndrome in a case that raises questions for the assisted suicide debate.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Published: 7:00PM BST 26 Aug 2010

Graham Miles, 66, said that through sheer willpower he regained the use of his body after he was left completely paralysed except for his eyes by a stroke in the stem of the brain which connects it to the body.

His recovery is such that he can now walk, talk and even races cars.

But while it has amazed doctors and his family and friends, it has also reopened the debate about assisted suicides and the assumption that completely paralysed patients can never recover.

Mr Miles, a father-of-two, believes he overcame the devastating condition by tapping into the “extra capacity” of the brain.

“If you are totally focused, you’ve got sufficient drive, commitment and mental stamina, you can break down that barrier between the brain and the body that goes with total paralysis,” he said.

Mr Miles, originally from Sanderstead, Surrey, was diagnosed with “locked-in” syndrome aged 49 on December 2, 1993 after he suffered a stroke on the way home from his work as a gas engineer. Read in full here at the Daily Telegraph.”

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