Friday, September 23, 2016

Fame can blot out a lot of sunshine

Earlier this year I read that the three most recognizable men on the planet were Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali and Sir Paul. With The Champ's passing, I guess this means Paul moves up to #2. (I'm betting the Pope has cracked the big three, but I don't know for sure.)

That level of fame is inconceivable to me. It not only must be hard to be Paul McCartney, it's probably also very difficult to be tangentially connected to him. Your achievements very easily get lost in shadow cast by his light.

Take, for example, Dr. Richard Asher. Born in England in 1912, he began practicing medicine in London in the mid-1930s. He specialized in hematology and endocrinology. But beyond his chosen fields, he made discoveries and encouraged innovation that had impact all around the world.

•  In 1947, he began advocating for "early ambulation." Very (perhaps overly) simply put, in those days, complete and total bedrest was the prescription for just about everything. Dr. Asher insisted his hospitalized patients walk a bit every day. If you've been in a hospital lately, you know here in the States, doctors agree with him on this.

•  He proved that a body being too cold is as dangerous as being feverish, which is why hospitals now have thermometers that detect hypothermia.

• He defined Munchausen Syndrome in 1951. When a person repeatedly pretends to be sick to gain attention or sympathy, they have Munchausen Syndrome. Parents or caregivers who make those in their care ill for the same reason have Munchausen by proxy. And Dr. Richard Asher was the first to identify and write extensively about it.

Yet he's best known as the father of Jane Asher, the actress once engaged to Paul McCartney. I appreciate you, Dr. Asher, and I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to learn about you. Rest in peace.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the history lesson and information on a great man who I had never heard of before. Thanks!


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