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The man who gives kids a second chance to live

by Emily Li

What do you think of when you hear the word "hero"? To me, a hero is someone who can face the risk of failure while trying something new. They try, fail, and try again, until they get it right. A hero is someone who has a strong determination and doesnít give up hope while all others have; someone who has the perseverance, faith, and moral direction to guide them through even the toughest times. There is one person who comes to mind, having all of those qualities. His name is Ben Carson.

Benís determination was a result of his upbringing and experiences. As a child, Ben and his brother were raised by their single mom in a broken home because their dad left them when he was eight years old. Ben Carson was just another kid trying to survive, and his chances at a decent future didnít look so good. Ben did not do well in school, and had a very low self-esteem. Since others thought he was dumb, thatís what he thought too. Ben fell farther and farther behind in school. In fifth grade, Ben was at the bottom of his class. His classmates called him "dummy" and he developed a violent, uncontrollable temper. But his mom did not want to see him fail, so she pushed him very hard. She limited his television watching and refused to let him outside to play until he had finished his homework each day. She required him to read two library books a week and to give her written reports on what he read, even though she could hardly read it at all. After a while, Ben began to catch up in class. With a lot of hard work and determination, he was at the top of his class, and graduated from Yale University.

After studying for many long and hard hours, Ben Carson finally became a neurosurgeon. At first, people didnít want Ben Carson to do surgery on their children because he was black. Afterwards, they had no choice because other doctors wouldnít do the surgery in his place, and they found out that they had the wrong impression of him, and he was indeed a very good surgeon. Ben Carson broke the racial barrier through his surgical abilities. In 1987 Carson made medical history with an operation to separate a pair of Siamese twins. The Binder twins were born joined at the back of the head. Operations to separate twins joined in this way had always failed, resulting in the death of one or both of the infants. Carson agreed to undertake the operation. A 70-member surgical team, led by Dr. Carson, worked for 22 hours. At the end, the twins were successfully separated and now survive independently.

Dr. Ben Carson has been able to save so many childrenís lives. He took the risk of giving them a second chance to live, while other doctors disagreed with the operation immediately. He helped mend families and create joy. Without Ben Carson, so many kids wouldnít have had the chance to lead normal lives. Through his hard work, faith in God, determination, and perseverance, Ben Carson has made medical history. Ben Carson persevered when so many doubted him, and when so many others gave up hope. Ben Carson made medical miracles, and gave a countless amount of children a second chance to live a life they would have never had otherwise.

Written by Emily Li
Photos courtesy of http://www.black-collegian.com/issues/2ndsem00/carson2000-2n
Last changed on: 8/28/2011

Gifted Hands that Heal

Roberts, Crystal . "Famous Neurosurgeon Ben Carson Offers Unique Keys to Success." [Online] Available http://www.black-collegian.com/issues/2ndsem00/carson2000-2nd.shtml.

Unknown. "Gifted Hands that heal." [Online] Available http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/car1bio-1.

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