How Kate Snow Got an Interview with the Man Trapped in His Own Body

By Brian Flood 

NBC News national correspondent Kate Snow was driving home from work a few weeks ago when she heard the story of Martin Pistorius.

“I was listening to NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ and heard a piece that was focused on how people process situations in their minds. I couldn’t stop listening,” Snow tells TVNewser. “When I pulled into my driveway, I kept my car running to hear the end of the story. I wanted to know more about Martin.”

Pistorius, who lives in London, got sick at the age of 12, and lost the ability to control his movements. For nearly ten years, everyone thought he was unaware of his surroundings. His parents were told he had the mental capacity of a three month old baby.

Only it wasn’t true.

Snow landed the interview with Pistorius and told his story this morning on “Today” — his first American TV interview.

“Having a conversation with Martin is very different from a typical spoken conversation,” Snow says. “It gives you an appreciation for the verbal abilities we all take for granted. But it also makes you see life through Martin’s eyes. He’s been through so much and could easily be angry or bitter. But instead, he’s appreciative and grateful,” Snow said.

Snow even went for a spin in Pistorius’ specially-designed car, which allows him to drive with only his hands. Snow told TVNewser that she felt safe the entire time. “Martin is definitely a safer driver than I am. He controls the car with his hands and was paying very close attention as we drove on country roads in England. The strangest part about the drive for me was just how quiet it was. Martin cannot communicate without the use of his hands [to type on a computer, which then speaks for him] so we could not talk during the drive,” Snow says.