Defiying Adversity

Posted on December 8, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

A brief story of Stephen Hawking, one of the world’s greatest scientific minds, who defeated adversity of an life threatening illness.

stephen_hawkingstarchild.jpg

Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA (born 8 January 1942) is a British theoretical physicist. Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He is known for his contributions to the fields of cosmology and quantum gravity, especially in the context of black holes, and his popular works in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general. These include the runaway popular science bestseller A Brief History of Time, which stayed on the British Sunday Times bestseller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.[1]

His key scientific works to date have included providing, with Roger Penrose, theorems regarding singularities in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes should emit radiation, which is today known as Hawking radiation, or sometimes as Bekenstein-Hawking radiation.[2] His scientific career spans more than 40 years and his books and public appearances have made him an academic celebrity and world-renowned theoretical physicist. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.[3] Hawking is disabled by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known in the United States as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The illness has progressed over the years and he is now almost completely paralysed.

Hawking is severely disabled by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS (a type of motor neurone disease); this condition is commonly known in the United States as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

When he was young, he enjoyed riding horses and playing with the other children. At Oxford, he coxed a rowing team, which, he stated, helped relieve his immense boredom at the university. Symptoms of the disorder first appeared while he was enrolled at Cambridge. He lost balance and fell down a flight of stairs, hitting his head. Worried of losing his genius, he took the Mensa International test to verify that his intellectual abilities were intact. Diagnosis came when Hawking was 21, shortly before his first marriage, and doctors said he would not survive more than two or three years.

He gradually lost the use of his arms, legs, and voice, and is now almost completely paralyzed. During a visit to the research centre CERN in Geneva in 1985, Hawking contracted pneumonia, which in his condition was life-threatening. It resulted in acute difficulty of breathing, which could only be overcome through a tracheotomy by which Stephen Hawking lost his natural speech ability. He has since used an electronic voice synthesizer to communicate. The voice synthesizer, which has an American accent, is of a model that is no longer produced. Asked why he has still kept it after so many years, Hawking mentioned that he has not heard a voice he likes better and because he identifies with it. Hawking is said to be looking for a replacement since, other than being obsolete, the synthesizer, a DECtalk DTC01 is now considered large and fragile but as of present, finding a software alternative has been difficult. During a lecture in Hong Kong in June 2006, he joked that if he got a new one with a French accent, his wife would divorce him.

When Hawking (then using a wheelchair and unable to dress himself) and his wife were first living together, they received no outside assistance other than from physics students who helped in exchange for extra attention with their work. As his condition worsened, Hawking needed a team of nurses to provide round-the-clock care. He also needed a wheelchair for mobility.

Despite his disease, he describes himself as “lucky” — not only has the slow progress of his disease provided time to make influential discoveries, it has also afforded time to have, in his own words, “a very attractive family”.[18] When Jane was asked why she decided to marry a man with a 3-year life expectancy, she responded: “Those were the days of atomic gloom and doom, so we all had a rather short life expectancy.”


Digg!

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

One Response to “Defiying Adversity”

RSS Feed for Motivation Nation Comments RSS Feed

[…] as Lou Gehrig??s Disease. The illness has progressed over the years and he is now almost completelyhttps://motivationnation.wordpress.com/2007/12/08/defiying-adversity/Disability Access Information for Staff – Equity and Access Unit …Equity and Access unit … Under […]


Where's The Comment Form?

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: