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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Les Botham falls to Alzheimer's .... Ian Botham did not visit him in final 6 months !!!

Alzheimer's disease (AD), also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease, is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death. It was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him. Here is something on the big beefy ‘Ian Terrance Botham’ who  was extremely famous in his playing days and his sad connection with this. The purpose of this post is certainly not to pass any judgment on what Botham did or said ‘never judge people sitting away – and thinking of varied circumstances’ – this post is no platform for those to say that in India, we love our parents and take care of them eternally, our great system of joint family structure and more – for we know how in reality it is so true in few and not so in very many cases.  

The most feared all-rounder and could walk in to any team on the strength of either his bowling or batting. Ian Botham played in 102 Tests making  5200 runs att an average of 33.54; highest being 208. In 116  One dayers he scored 2113  - took 383 test wickets and 145 oDI wickets. In 1979, he became the first player to score a century and capture 10 wickets in a Test. In 1981, he single-handedly helped England regain the Ashes, scoring 149 not out, at Headingly.  Headingley may be the venue with which Botham is most regularly associated but it was at the Wankhede Stadium in 1980 that he produced statistically the best all-round performance of his career –England at 58 for five looked most unlikely to match India's score, Botham, batted for 206 minutes - scored 114 – his stand of  171 with Taylor turned the tide.  At  85 Umpire Hanumantha Rao upheld an appeal against Bob Taylor for a catch behind the wicket, off Kapil Dev. Taylor hesitated and protested at the decision. Gundappa Viswanath, the Indian captain, who was fielding at first slip, was as certain as the batsman that there had been no contact and persuaded the umpire to rescind his verdict.  That recall perhaps cost Indians the match. 

Though not a walker on field, he walked and walked thousands of miles of British landscape in a mission to raise £13 million and more for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. His gargantuan effort in raising money for leukaemia research earned him a respect no amount of centuries could. The great personality he is, has passion charitable causes, undertaking more than a dozen  long-distance charity walks.  His efforts were inspired after a visit to Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital whilst receiving treatment for a broken toe; when he took a wrong turn into a children's ward, he was devastated to learn that some of the children had only weeks to live. In April 2012, Beefy  again walked  to beat blood cancers in ten cities across Great Britain. Head down, knees angled slightly inward and massive calf muscles bulging with every relatively short, relentless step, the then  56-year-old completed the 13.6 miles of  walk around Cambridge in less than three hours.  In recent times, he was in news for the  160km from the north to the south of Sri Lanka - eight-day walk, arranged to raise funds for those affected by the 30-year war in Sri Lanka. Dubbed 'Beefy's Big Sri Lanka Walk', it was to  raise funds for projects supported by the Laureus Sports Foundation for Goodness.

In 2002, Bothan was knighted for the services he rendered for cricket and charity. He was awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of Glasgow. Further, Scotland’s Glasgow LRF Laboratories was named after Sir Ian.

Recently, his father Les Botham passed away after afflicted by Alzheimer's .... today’s Daily Mail has a caption .. 'It might sound brutal but there was no point going to see him': Sir Ian Botham reveals he didn't visit his dying father for the last six months of his life because he didn't want to see how dementia had ravaged him..... it might be easy and tempting to criticise Botham for the act of not visiting his dying father in the final six months of life...... the lengthy introduction was only to warn against doing so !.

The sport star’s dad, Les Botham, died aged 82 after suffering from Alzheimer’s for more than a decade. Sir Ian admitted last night that he had purposefully avoided going to the hospital where he was dying - and has advised his children not to either. A pain struck Botham is quoted as saying ‘I might sound brutal, but I’m just being honest. Unless you’ve watched a loved one being ravaged by this disease, you can’t understand how horrendous it is. I didn’t want my memory of him to be distorted by the illness that robbed him of himself.’

One in 14 Britons over the age of 65 and one in six people over 80 years of age now suffers from some form of dementia. The former cricketer, who has three children and five grandchildren, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘There was no point going to see him because he got no comfort from it; he didn’t know who he was never mind who I was.’ Sir Ian revealed the painful details of his father’s 2005 death from Alzheimer’s to support National Dementia Week, which ended today.  Responding to growing concern, the UK Government has pledged to double funding for research into cure or effective treatment by 2025. A number of celebrities have spoken of the effects of the disease on their parents in an attempt to raise public understanding of dementia.  The disease is notoriously hard to diagnose. Sir Ian said his father’s illness wasn’t immediately recognised by doctors.  He only realised how serious his father’s condition was on the green at Yeovil Golf Club. ‘My dad seemed fine, but as he stood over the ball, he turned to me and asked “What do I do now?” with genuine bafflement,’ he said. ‘The man taught me to play golf when I was three, but he had forgotten how to play it.’ Sir Ian added: ‘My dad would have been mortified if he had known what sort of humiliation lay ahead. ‘He would have thrown himself off a cliff rather than end up the way he did.’

There are some reports that trial drug has been found successful in reversing Alzheimer’s Disease in Mice – described as another step towards the cure for Alzheimer’s - at Saint Louis University, researchers were able to reverse symptoms in mice. A drug in early animal trials has shown promising results, appearing to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. Additionally, in mice, the treatment reduced inflammation in parts of the brain that are associated with memory and learning, according to a study led by Susan Farr of Saint Louis University School of Medicine, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. This certainly a good news for the humanity.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th  May 2014.

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