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This week a documentary captured the moment that paralysed Richard Rudd told doctors he wanted to live by blinking his eyes.

Locked-in syndrome can leave blinking as the only means of communication. Image: Filomena Scalise

It halted a decision from his family to turn off the life support machine which was keeping him alive.

Richard suffers from locked-in syndrome, he is awake and aware of his surroundings, but is paralysed so he can’t communicate.

Total locked-in syndrome is the paralysis of every part of the body making communication impossible.  In some cases, such as Richard’s, patients can still control their eyes.

Jean-Dominique Bauby also had the condition, the former editor of French fashion magazine Elle suffered a stroke.

Despite the illness the journalist wrote a book called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.  A friend read through the alphabet and Bauby blinked at the correct letter to transcribe his memoir.

Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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