Only the Eyes Say Yes

ebook A Love Story

By Philippe and Stéphane Vigand

cover image of Only the Eyes Say Yes

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Philippe and Stéphane Vigand were a handsome, dashing couple in their early thirties with two beautiful young daughters. Philippe was a publishing executive with the French conglomerate Hachette, and his wife Stéphane was an advertising director. On a July morning almost ten years ago, Philippe, young and vigorous, was walking to work when he heard "a gigantic explosion." Strangely, no one else seemed fazed by it . . . for the simple reason that the explosion was in his brain. He managed to summon help before falling into a coma.

When he awoke two months later, he was completely paralyzed. He was diagnosed as suffering from locked-in syndrome. At first, doctors believed he was a vegetable and he was treated as such. His wife, however, eventually realized that he was blinking his eyes unmistakably in response to her comments and questions to him. Clearly, despite all physical limitations, Philippe’s mind was intact. After many months of hospital care, Philippe was brought home, where an infrared camera attached to a computer enabled him to "speak" by blinking his eyes, using a code.

Written in two parts, the first by Philippe using the "magic camera" to tell his story, the second by Stéphane detailing herexperiences--the frustrations and challenges she has faced and the ultimate triumphs--this moving portrait of a remarkable relationship shows how love and devotion can overcome almost anything. In no way maudlin or sentimental, Only the Eyes Say Yesdoes not flinch from the difficulties and setbacks the family underwent during Philippe’s long fight. Despite all the hardships and obstacles, however, they have kept their love not only alive but stronger than ever. Once focused, perhaps too solidly, on their careers, the two were forced by Philippe’s "accident" to reevaluate their priorities, to rededicate themselves to their family and to each other. The couple even conceived a child after Philippe became paralyzed, welcoming joy into their lives when it might well have seemed most elusive to others in their situation. At a time when keeping any marriage together seems an ever daunting proposition, this tale of an extraordinary marriage and partnership stands as a truly radiant love story.

Only the Eyes Say Yes