College Drop Out Bedridden For 11 Yrs, He Invented Surgery For His Unknown Disease & Cured Himself

Source: CNN

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In 1999, 21-year-old Doug Lindsay from Missouri, USA was an ambitious and spirited freshman at Rockhurst University, who dreamt of becoming a professor of Biochemistry someday or alternatively, a writer for ‘The Simpsons’. Lindsay had been a regular track athlete during his high school and would probably have continued the same in college, had tragedy not struck him so shockingly. 

His first day in college had been quite eventful. Little did he know that what dinnertime had in store for him. The same evening, Lindsay suddenly felt exceedingly dizzy and collapsed at the dining table. Helpless, he tried to stand up but felt intense fatigue overpowering his senses. That was how a prolonged ordeal of 11 years started for Lindsay. 

For the next decade and a year more, till 2011, Lindsay stayed bedridden. He was affected by one of the rarest health disorders which even acclaimed doctors failed to diagnose. As a result, no specific medication was administered to him and his condition showed little hope of improving. 

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

The ‘Family Curse’

Incidentally, similar ailment patterns prevailed in the Lindsay family. His own mother had followed a trail of gradually weakening health. In fact, she had lost her ability to walk on her own when her son was barely four years old. She had also stayed bedridden most of her life, till her demise in 2016.

Lindsay’s aunt was a victim of the same strange family ailment which rendered her extremely weak, even incapable of tying her own shoelaces. When Lindsay also fell prey to the disease at the prime of his youth, his family inevitably referred to the condition as the ‘family curse’. Her mother had a vague idea that their condition was due to malfunctioning of thyroid hormones.

Lindsay knew he was the sole fighter in the battle with his life and nobody, other than himself, could help him in regaining normalcy. In college, he had taken up Biology as his major, which sadly he could not pursue as his health forced him to drop out. But, the zeal to get better thrived in his heart all along, even at a time when he was confined to his bed, day in and day out.

Pursuing Medical Research From His Bed

Armed with an iron determination, Lindsay immersed himself in full-time medical research from his bed, trying to find a cure for himself. He also regularly interacted with physicians from all domains of specialisation. Every physician or medical researcher were at their wit’s end with Lindsay’s condition. Frustrated, one of them even referred him to a psychiatrist.

When nothing else was working, Lindsay was casually glancing through the pages of an endocrinology book he had once picked up from near a trash can in his college. Little did he know that the answer to his biggest question was hidden there.

One particular section of the book briefly mentioned how malfunctions of adrenal glands can often be misconstrued as thyroid disorders due to similar symptoms. The idea struck Lindsay since thyroid treatment has always proven to be ineffective for their ‘family curse’. He continued delving deeper into adrenal gland disorders, browsing through his collection of vintage medical books and the internet.

Hundreds Of Scientists Dismissed Him, Only One Doctor Trusted Lindsay

Lindsay chanced upon the website of  National Dysautonomia Research Foundation whose research domain was aligned to his interest. Though their latest research outcomes failed to pinpoint Lindsay’s disease, he did learn a great deal about adrenal disorders and their manifestations, accelerating his personal research.

Now Lindsay sought a research partner from among experts in medical research. In that pursuit, he attended the annual conference of American Autonomic Society in South Carolina in 2002, after spending his last penny to buy tickets for an entire row in flight, because he had to lay across and fly.

The conference saw the attendance of the whos who of the global medical fraternity. In his speech at the event, Lindsay tried to convince everyone about his findings on his own ailment. Quite expectedly, most of the dignitaries brushed his claims aside, considering him a mere college dropout. But, Dr H.C. Coghlan from the University of Alabama-Birmingham met with him separately, expressing his faith in Lindsay’s research.

Finally Identifying His Rare Disease

Teaming up with Dr Coghlan, Lindsay continued his search for truth. He soon arrived at the conclusion that a continuous intravenous administration of noradrenaline will counter his excess adrenaline secretion. He convinced Dr Coghlan about the same, and stayed on a 24X7 noradrenaline drip for the next six years, through a major part of his twenties. This was a success, as it increased his energy levels and allowed him to be active around the house. Lindsay was seeing hope again.

He had long suspected a tumour in his adrenal glands was responsible for the disorder. But, his biopsy results and scan reports came negative. However, the fourth time his scan report had an unusual finding – his adrenal glands were ‘glowing brightly’.

That’s when Dr Coghlan finally identified his disease – bilateral adrenal medullary hyperplasia – a rare condition where adrenal glands behave as tumours without any malignancy. Globally, only 32 cases of the disease had been recorded since the inception of modern medicine.

From Being Bedridden To Holidaying In Bahamas

Unfortunately, there was no existent surgery to restore the adrenal glands to normalcy in such cases. But an adamant Lindsay wanted to ‘invent’ one for himself. He was iron-willed to get cured.

Lindsay again got absorbed into medical literature and case studies and identified few instances of similar surgery on animals. But, no surgeon of commendable repute was willing to risk their license by performing an unsolicited surgery. Finally, in September 2010, one surgeon from University of Alabama-Birmingham successfully extracted the danger element – the adrenal medulla from one of his glands.

Within weeks from the surgery, Lindsay could sit up again. Within a few months, he could walk easily for up to a mile. After a similar surgery on his other adrenal gland, he even vacationed in the Bahamas with his friends and even was allowed to discontinue a few of his medications.

Now A Motivational Speaker & Medical Consultant

Dr Coghlan passed away in 2015 after seeing Lindsay’s remarkable turnaround. In 2016, Lindsay lost his mother, as she was too frail to undergo a surgery like her son. Now, at 41 years of age, Doug Lindsay is a prominent motivational speaker and a medical consultant.

He still has to depend on nine medications per day. Yet, nothing can be more rewarding for Lindsay than being able to travel around the world and helping other distressed souls with little hopes to survive.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

Braving Cerebral Palsy & Poverty, Telangana Poet Penned 550+ Poems With Her Toes

Source: CNN

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In fifteen years, she has composed over 550 poems spanning a wide range of emotions and themes. The extraordinary part? She wrote these poems with a pen tucked between her toes. Bora Rajeshwari from Telangana, popular by her pen name Sircilla Rajeshwari, is perhaps one of the very few differently-abled poets the country has been blessed with. Her astounding penmanship and an indomitable zeal help the 38-year-old Telugu poet surpass any obstacle that comes her way.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

She has a book to her name

Rajeshwari, who hails from Rajanna Sircilla in Telangana already has a published book to her credit, comprising an anthology of her best poetic works, titled ‘Sircilla Rajeshwari Kavithalu’. As shared by Women’s Web, the first poem of her book captures the perfect essence of her feelings:

Differently-Abled Poet Rajeshwari
The initiative for publishing her works was taken up by popular Telugu lyricist Suddala Ashok Teja. It did not take long for the veteran expert to recognise Rajeshwari’s talent and he compiled her work into the book, funded by Suddala Foundation. She later received a Rs 10 lakh financial aid from the Telangana government, which generates a monthly income for her, reports Telangana Today.

Toes that weave magic

Bora Rajeshwari was born with cerebral palsy in a family of weavers, the youngest of five siblings. Both her parents are workers at the local power loom. Despite financial constraints, they never compromised on Rajeshwari’s education, who studied till 7th Standard in a government school and later completed matriculation through correspondence. Both her hands are non-responsive, but that has never stopped her from achieving her dreams.

In childhood, her mother assisted her in daily tasks like brushing, combing or eating. But soon, she learnt to use her toes for all these. At the age of six, she picked up the pen with her toes and has not stopped ever since.

Suicides among farmers and weavers affected her

Rajeshwari has been writing poems since 1999, around the age of 18. “My poetry connects me with the world. I overcame my physical challenges and started to write from 1999 with my toes,” she shares with Telangana Today.

Her penchant for poetry sprouted from the discussions her family used to have over dinner. Their discussions mainly centred around recurring suicides among farmers and weavers of the area, as well as the rebellion for the new state of Telangana. Rajeshwari was deeply affected by the happenings, which is when her poems were born. With the help of a teacher, she got in touch with a Telugu daily and regularly wrote columns for them on the rising trend of suicides.

Reading constitutes her favourite hobby, while the news on the television often forms subjects for her profound poems. Her family admits that her health has worsened over the last few years. She still experiences pain to speak for long; so she rather chooses to express her thoughts through words and prosody.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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