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

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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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‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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It's not how much we give
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