Stephen William Hawking manages to inspire the world because of his genius in the midst of a limited physical condition. Naturally when his departure at the age of 76 years left sorrow for many people, especially the world of science.
Hawking was never expected to live long because of the rare disease he suffered in 1964. However, he managed to prove, that disease can not stop it working.
Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) at 21 years of age. In a simple sense, this disease makes the nerves that control the muscle die or stop functioning completely.
At that time, doctors call it only has 2.5 years to live.
Hawking first noticed health problems while studying in Oxford. On several occasions he stumbles and falls, or is difficult to speak clearly. Hawking was unaware of his condition during his first year at Cambridge or in 1963.
For a time, Hawking concealed his illness. But one day the father found out and took Hawking to the doctor.
For the next two weeks, Hawking made his home like a medical clinic, because he had to undergo a series of tests.
“They took muscle samples from my arms, inserted electrodes into my body, and injected radio-opaque fluid into the spine, and watched it go up and down with X-rays as they tilted the bed,” Hawking said.
“After all the tests, they did not tell me what I was suffering, except that it was not multiple sclerosis, and that my condition was an unusual case,” he said.
Finally, doctors diagnose Hawking suffering from early stage ALS. This is bad news for him and his family. But this did not make it worse.
While hospitalized she shared a room with a boy with leukemia. From there he muses that the situation is no worse than his friend. He said there were still many dreams and other things he could do in his life.
In other words, Hawking actually helped with his illness to become a famous scientist. Before being diagnosed, Hawking did not even focus on his studies.
“Before I was diagnosed, I was so bored with my life that nothing seemed to be done,” Hawking confessed.
He thought he did not have enough time to get a PhD because of his illness, and Hawking also focused on making work and researching.
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Due to his reduced body control, Hawking had been forced to use a wheelchair since 1969. Over time, Hawking’s career continued to grow but at the same time the physical condition continued to deteriorate.
By the mid-1970s, the family took over one of Hawking’s graduate programs so he could focus on treatment. Hawking can still eat and wake from his own bed, but other than that activity he needs the help of others.
In addition, his remarks became increasingly unclear, so only those who knew him well, could understand his words. In 1985, he lost his voice forever, followed by tracheotomy.
This situation makes Hawking must be in care 24 hours.
It also harms Hawking to do his job. This difficult situation attracted the attention of a California computer programmer, who developed a speech program that could be directed by head or eye movements.
This discovery allows Hawking to select words on a computer screen which is then programmed via a synthesizer. At the time of its introduction, Hawking, who can still use his fingers, chooses words to be uttered using a grasped tool.
When almost any control of his body disappears, Hawking directs the program through the cheek muscles attached to the sensor.
Through the program, and assistant assistance, Hawking continues to write at high speed. His work has penetrated many scientific papers.
Hawking’s health, of course, remains a global concern. Concerns increased in 2009 when he failed to appear at a conference in Arizona due to a chest infection.
In April 2017, Hawking, who announced that he retired after 30 years as Lucasian Mathematics professor in Cambridge, was rushed to the hospital. At that time, the world hopes that he can recover.
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Hawking’s destiny arrived, he came to the world on Wednesday (14/3/2018). The news of grief came from his family.
“We are very sad because our beloved father passed away today,” declared the son of the late, Lucy, Robert, and Tim.
Despite leaving, all of Hawking’s work and his contributions to the world of science will be remembered all the time.