Locked-in sufferer will ‘never give up on life’

A man who has locked-in syndrome has expressed joy at being able to leave hospital and lead his life at home again before getting married.

David Garvey is paralysed from the neck down and can only communicate through moving his eyes. He has spent the last two years in a hospital bed.

His family expressed hope that David will slowly recover movement, and they talked of his passion for life.

Never give up

The news comes as Jane Nicklinson, the widow of locked-in sufferer Tony Nicklinson, has lodged an application before the European Court of Human Rights.

Mrs Nicklinson argues that the UK violated their human rights by not changing the law to allow doctors to kill him.

David Garvey’s fiancée Bernadette said that his attitude is “to never give up on life”.


He has started being able to move his head slightly and his family hope that his recovery will advance with time.

David has already earned a Masters degree in comparative literature from Trinity College Dublin and intends to write a book.

His sister, Lynn, said: “although he has locked-in syndrome he is still fully aware of everything and we can have a laugh with him”.


She said he can’t believe he is home, adding: “He wouldn’t close his eyes when they brought him in because he couldn’t believe he was back. He thought it was a dream.”

David said that he is “delighted” to be home again where he will be able to move around in a special wheelchair and even go out on trips to the cinema.

Earlier this year a mother with locked-in syndrome said she was “so pleased and proud” after completing a university degree – by blinking.

Overcoming obstacles

She finished a degree with the Open University in Ancient History, and is considering a Masters in History of Art.

Each university exam took Dawn three weeks to complete as she writes at 50 words an hour.

She said: “No matter what obstacles were in my way, such as getting pneumonia twice and other lesser illnesses, I was determined to reach my goal.”

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