The unsung hero

Dhaka,  Sun,  04 December 2016
Published : 14 Oct 2016, 21:42:08

The unsung hero

The unsung hero
Dr. Ejaj Bari Choudhury
Few days back, I got a LinkedIn invitation. He is from greater Boston area, doesn't have any profile picture and, instead, has a picture of a game. In his experience I saw he had been the "Chief Trouble Maker" of a company for almost 10 years. I was confused as I don't even know what Chief Trouble Maker is or whether he would make trouble for me as well. He also worked with three different companies as Senior Design Engineer for almost 25 years. With more curiosity in my mind, I accepted his invitation.

After our connections were made, I accessed his posts and found his brilliantly created book for Diabetes Children. I asked him why being an engineer he has written this book for Diabetes children. Here is his story for you.

54 Years ago he was diagnosed as a Type-1 Diabetes at his two years of age. Type-1 Diabetes is the worst form of Diabetes in which the body cannot produce any Insulin which is a major hormone for survival. So, Type-1 Diabetes patients need to inject the total required insulin everyday and several times a day. They need a high level of care and monitoring. With little mistake or negligence their life can be endangered by any Hypoglycemic or Hyperglycemic Crisis.

Now, imagine the technology 54 years back, taking insulin injections was so painful and difficult. Glass syringes with painful needles. And those had to be boiled each time before taking insulin. This man had to bear these pains since he was 2.

He was deprived of his natural childhood fun and play. Even some of his classmates were afraid of getting Diabetes from him. He had to fight with his Diabetes, his depressions and his surroundings throughout his whole life.

35 years ago, he lost his eyes (became almost blind) at the end of his college in Diabetic complications. His damage to one eye was right over the optic nerve and other over the macula so neither had any treatment option then and laser therapy was not advanced as today.

However, he was able to bring his vision back to the near normal level. He won over all his limitations and became a great and successful human being. He achieved dual engineering degrees ..... Chemical & Computer Engineering and performed extremely well in his entire career. But he was not satisfied with all these.

Applying his engineering knowledge, he contributed to the design, testing and use of insulin pumps, glucose sensors, catheters and other related devices and delivery systems.

He wrote his book in a poetic form with very nice visuals. The book makes it clear that a child becoming a Diabetes patient is not the end of the world for him and there is something great for which he will live and work with. This book is an excellent teaching tool for the child, his family members and teachers on the standard methods of care for a diabetes child and Technology knowledge on devices like Insulin pumps, CGMs and Glucometers.

He has also developed a game named, "Insulinopoly" which covers the major areas of knowledge in Diabetes self care, but in a funny way.

He is the Unsung Hero "Yerachmiel Altman"....... A man who won his own battle against Type-1 Diabetes and now trying to help others win theirs.

The lessons we learn from Altman's life:

1) Any chronic disease may put the strongest barrier to your life and success. But fighting spirit, optimism and craving for dedicating life for others will make you a winner.

2) Successful people are happy with their own success. But Great people dedicate their lives for other people's success and well being.

3) If you want to help people, you can find many ways, even beyond your professional area of expertise.

Altman's efforts inspired me in achieving my own goal..... "To do something really exceptional and beneficial for Diabetes patients". We could become doctors only because of special blessings from Almighty and showing our gratitude towards the great blessings should be our top priority.

The writer is a diabetologist and medical advisor at Sunshine Nutritionals. LLC (USA)

Here is Altman's poem:

The unsung hero
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