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PostPosted: 29 Sep 2019 20:54 
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Joined: 26 Feb 2013 10:59
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A Deaf and Blind Doctor to be 2.jpg
I have been a doctor for more than 50 years. I have seen and heard many things in the medical world but nothing compares to what I came across in the Sunday Times Newspaper today. I admire this girl for her courage and hard work that she has put in to achieve her ambition. If I owned a hospital I would go out of the way to appoint her as the CEO or administrator of my hospital as soon as she qualified.

I have reproduced the article here as it appeared in the News Paper as I would like as many people as possible to read it.

The Article Reads:

There are many people who overcome daunting obstacles to achieve their dreams. Then there is Alexandra Adams, a 25-year-old medical student who is blind and deaf and on course to become an NHS doctor.

“I haven’t yet tried neurosurgery,” she joked. “But it has always been the case where, if someone told me I couldn’t do something, I would go out of my way to prove that, in fact, I could.”

Born deaf in both ears with her vision limited to less than 5% in her left eye and none whatsoever in her right, she was repeatedly told it would be pointless to apply to medical school.

Yet she is now in her fourth year of studies at Cardiff University. Her personal tutor, Dr Jeff Allen, said last week it was “fantastic how Alexandra has applied herself. She has shown that she has the potential to be a good doctor.”

Adams is acutely aware of the obvious question any colleague or patient might ask her: in a profession that depends on physical examination and frequently microscopic detail, how can she hope to perform as a doctor without fully functioning eyes and ears?

On her first day of a hospital placement last year, she was stunned when a senior doctor told her: “Imagine you’re a patient. Would you want a disabled doctor treating you? Absolutely not.” Adams added: “They essentially said, you might as well go home. I was in shock.”

Worse was to follow when another doctor asked her what she was doing with a patient’s white cane. “I explained that the white cane was actually my cane, because I’m registered blind,” she said. “They responded with a bit of a smirk. I felt a little bit rubbish, pushed aside.”

The hostile reactions inevitably prompted a family rethink. “My mum’s always been my greatest supporter, but she said, ‘Do you think you’re doing the right thing here?’” Adams recalled. “I’ve always said to her, ‘Don’t be silly, I can do this.’ But it was the first time I doubted myself and doubted my future career. The first day of placement should have been the most exciting day of medical school but it wasn’t. It was the worst.”

The experience ended up hardening her resolve. With the help of powerful hearing aids, and a Bluetooth stethoscope she had to import from America, she threw herself into her studies. “I know she faces additional challenges,” her tutor added, “but, in all honesty, there are other students I have more concerns over.”

Adams loved to play doctor as a child, forcing family members to act as her patients as she rigged them up with pretend tubes and wires. “Becoming a doctor had always been in the back of my mind, but I guess I had thought it’s not the most realistic prospect,” she said.

She excelled at swimming as a teenager, joined Team GB and had started training for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. But her hopes of tasting glory were dashed when she was hospitalised aged 16 with a severe case of acid reflux, which aggravated her asthma. She underwent stomach surgery that went “very, very wrong”, forcing her to have more than 20 stomach operations and to stay in hospital for 18 months.

She now believes that experience helped her learn “what made a good doctor” and taught her the value of empathy.

“I’ve been able to go up to patients who’ve been terrified. And I just draw the curtains and say, ‘I know how you feel.’ ” she said. “I have a little saying that I may have less eyesight than most, but I have more insight than many. That insight and that empathy is the most important thing you can give patients.”

Adams insists she has yet to encounter a procedure she cannot learn. “I can do canulation, I can take blood, I can catheterise, I can spot rashes,” she said.

The reaction from her patients has been “wonderful — they don’t discriminate”. She is currently working with geriatric patients and finds her folding white cane is a useful conversation starter. “They say, ‘Oooh, is that a 9mm pistol?’ One of them thinks that I’m a professional drummer.”

On Friday the 4th October this year Adams will deliver a TED talk about her life at the O2 in Greenwich, southeast London.

“Alexandra is an extraordinary young woman who defied the odds through sheer hard work and determination,” said Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England. “I hope her example will inspire thousands of people.”

Alexandra says "The biggest challenge is other people’s ignorance"

This is a report by Andrew Gregory, Health Editor of The Sunday Times

(The attached picture of Alexandra can be accessed only by registered members)

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Last edited by Badri on 02 Oct 2019 00:16, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 01 Oct 2019 21:21 
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Joined: 21 Jul 2013 13:13
Posts: 176
Hi Badri
The story of this young lady doctor is really nothing but amazing and unbelievable. She has courage and insight both helped her overcome the physical deformities which would have made lesser mortals to accept them as inevitable and continued to live with suffering. The real deformities are not her physical, but other's mental.

wishing her long successful life and let her continue to inspire the juniors

UA Mohammed

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