© Reader’s Digest May 2007
I’ve been an avid follower of Reader’s Digest for over 20 years and with each issue, month after month, it continues to impress with their publication. This month’s issue (May 2007) highlights 20 medical breakthroughs, one of which remains shrouded in mystery for a very long time. My late brother was born with this crippling disease and from the description below, it appeared he got unfortunate end of the spectrum where he developed several permanent disabilities.
Cerebral Palsy affects approximately 17 million people worldwide and thousands of babies are born with it every year … cerebral palsy can be caused when the brain is starved of oxygen at birth. If often takes hours or days for dangerous chemicals to build up and kill the brain cells that control motor function.
For a very long time, cerebral palsy remained a deep mystery to me despite a wealth of information on the web. According to the RD article, “Lowering the brain’s normal temperature four degrees slows the buildup and prevents damage. In the study of 208 babies, only 44% who received cooling died or developed a disability, compared with 62% of those who received normal care.”
I dedicate this blog to my late brother who was denied a chance to live a normal life and or childhood, and also to my mom who despite the inconvenience and burden the condition left her, gave up half her life relentlessly committed in looking after him till his very last breath. For 30 odd years, he was bed-ridden, never learnt to talk and not knowing what he was feeling bothered me a lot. Growing up without sibling rivalry was something I had gotten used to. Coming to terms with the loss has been a quiet struggle for me and it is my wish that advancements in medical research produce a cure for this crippling disease. I am blessed with two healthy children ages 9 and 7, and a very supportive wife. Things are better though not necessarily easier.