The Seven Year Old Surgeon
Akrit Pran Jaswal, India's Child Surgeon - Child Genius
A young girl in India badly burned as a toddler, her fingers had fused together and curled into a knotted ball. Her shepherd family could not afford surgery, but they had heard of a remarkable young boy being called the child surgeon. Akrit Jaswal was only seven years old when he operated, successfully, on the eight year old girl to release her fingers.
Akrit Jaswal had a reputation, in the region, for being a medical genius. He has been shown to have an I.Q. of 146, the highest I.Q. of any boy his age in India, a country of over one billion people.
He has focussed this phenomenal intelligence on medicine and now, at the age of twelve, claims to be on the verge of discovering a cure for cancer.
An early developer, Akrit was walking and talking by the time he was 10 months old. He was reading and writing by two, and reading Shakespeare, in English, by the time he was five, and is now talking about his theories for oral gene therapy in the fight against cancer.
He has been sponsored and mentored by Mr B. R. Rahi the Chairman of Secondary Education in Dharamshala. He is studying for a science degree at Chandigarh College and, at twelve years of age, is the youngest student ever accepted by an Indian University.
Akrit's father left the family a year ago, depressed and exhausted by six years battling with Indian bureaucracy to get his son's intellect acknowledged and resources made available for his cancer research.
Is it possible that this young boy knows something the medical profession does not? Throughout history, scientific breakthroughs have come not only from the established, the learned, and the scholarly, but also from single flashes of insight and inspiration.
Akrit is not phased by his fame and is used to meeting government ministers and press representatives. For ordinary people meeting Akrit, it is very different. When he is in town, they gather for an audience. They come with prescriptions and medicines, seeking advice. They come with ailments and injuries for a diagnosis. They come to see a doctor, a healer. They come to see a guru, and because this is India, there is always spiritual dimension.
Akrit may be famous but, will he be the one to unlock the secrets to a cure for cancer. He was invited to Imperial College, London to find out. He will spend two weeks based at Imperial College having his intelligence tested and talking super-mechanisms, genes and therapies with scientists at the cutting-edge of cancer research.
Mr Anup Patel and Professor Mustafa Djamgoz
Akrit must convince Professor Mustafa Djamgoz, a world-renowned research biologist, and his colleague Mr Anup Patel, a consultant urological surgeon, that his ideas are realistic and worth pursuing.
The inquisitors become his friends, Mr Patel and Professor Djamgoz are keen to foster Akrit's enthusiasm, keen to protect him from disappointment, and willing to guide him on his way.
Professor Djamgoz says of Akrit: " He is generating ideas based upon what he knows, in an idealistic sort of way, without being in full grip of reality, withou knowing how difficult it is to turn the ideas into practical realities".
Just how intelligent is Akrit? Team Focus, the UK's leading I.Q. analysts agree to test him. For Akrit this was to prove a disappointment. His exceptional results in verbal and numeracy tests were countered by poor practical tests, particularly in the area of pattern matching. Because of this wide range of results Team Focus chose not to give him a final rating.
Rosemary Facer, a childhood psychologist, put forward the theory that Akrit had been an early developer accounting for the good results and because of this early genius he had missed out on later schooling accounting for the poor practical results. These results do not affect what Akrit may achieve, but he needs help, a wise friend to talk to.
The Professor's analysis is that Akrit needs to obsess less and enjoy more. He thinks Akrit shows great potential but it needs to be properly guided.
Akrit returns home to India, slightly maturer, a little more realistic, but this precocious young man is still convinced that he will find a cure for cancer.