There are many reasons why we should consider Stephen Hawking a role model, but the most important one is the fact that the scientist has managed to defeat his health condition. According to a recent report published by the Associated Press, Stephen Hawking defies his disease by turning 70 on January 8. The event will be celebrated through a public symposium “The State of the Universe” held by the Cambridge University.
Doctors are amazed that Hawking has managed to stay alive so long despite his affection. The physicist and cosmologist was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease when he was a 21-year-old student at Cambridge University. The majority of the patients who are diagnosed with this disease rarely make it to live more than 10 years, but Hawking defied all norms.
Stephen Hawking didn’t just survive; he brought significant contributions to the academic society. He was a university mathematician on the same position that Isaac Newton occupied centuries ago. In 2009 he retired from his position and now he is a director of research at the university’s Centre for Theoretical Cosmology.
Hawking’s health condition worsened in time. He has been almost entirely paralyzed and constrained to live in a wheelchair since 1970. In 1985, he caught a pneumonia which aggravated his state and forced him to get around-the-clock care. He now speaks with the help of a computer and a voice synthesizer which recognizes words based on the twitching of his right cheek.
It takes a while until Hawking is able to formulate a sentence, but his assistant told reporters that he doesn’t let this impede his thinking. Moreover, Judith Croasdell stated that the physicist is more bothered by the fact that the computer adds American accent to his voice instead of British.
According to doctors, people who are diagnosed with this disease at an early age have more chances to survive. The chances increase if the patient continues to be mentally active like in Hawking’s case. The physicist did not make any comments in relation to the celebration of his 70th anniversary. He wrote on his website that the life-long disease did not prevent him from having an attractive family life and a successful career.