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Professor Nicholson during a recent visit to the Five G Dialysis Centre“I think I really saw things the way I did because of the way my father was at his profession…I decided that if I was going to be a doctor I would have to work rather hard, and it really meant me being able to manage my time.”By Sharmain CornettePerhaps being inquisitive was the driving factor behind Professor George Nicholson’s delving into the field of Nephrology, a profession he has expertly used as a means to help save the lives of many who have become inflicted with renal failure.As head of the Caribbean Dialysis Inc. in St Michael, Barbados, this outstanding Guyanese has over the years been offering dialysis treatment to much of the north eastern Caribbean and has even made his expertise available in the formation of the Five G Dialysis Centre in South Ruimveldt, Georgetown.Dr. Nicholson continues to offer his service there on a regular basis although he resides in Christ Church, Barbados. And it was just recently that his interest in arresting the challenge of renal failure in these parts was expanded with the launch of Guyana’s first ever Kidney Foundation.He played an integral role in the setting up of this facility which is designed to work closely with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in addressing renal failure. The use of education to foster awareness in the society is being seen as the primary means of combating the health problem. It is expected that through this innovative initiative there will be major emphasis on measures to aid prevention of the disease altogether, according to Dr. Nicholson.Although tackling renal failure in Guyana can today be deemed a more mainstream feature in the health sector, this was not the case a few decades ago. In fact, Dr. Nicholson recounted, it was during the 1970s when he was performing the duties of External Examiner at the University of Guyana in the field Physiology that he had met with officials within the Ministry of Health to discuss the possibility of offering dialysis treatment.However, at the time, it was a glaring fact that such a programme would not have been economically feasible for Guyana. The impossibility at the time saw him heading to Barbados where he successfully established the Caribbean Dialysis Inc.It was not the ideal way to offer his service to the land of his birth, but it was the closest means, at the time, of rendering his expertise to Guyana, as quite a few persons were able to travel to Barbados to be treated by Dr. Nicholson,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, who had by then become renowned in the field of nephrology.Although he knew even as a young boy that the medical field was his forte, it would be years later that he would actually opt to specialise in the very critical area.Born on January 1, 1937, to Dr. Jacob A. Nicholson, who was a medical officer of health and Roseman Ann Nicholson, the young George, who was the second of three children, was raised in the village of Cove and John, East Coast Demerara.As a young boy he was cognizant that education was very important, as both his parents had subscribed to the teaching profession. To make things easier, he was a fast learner. The first institution of learning he would attend was the Montessori School which was situated at Forshaw Street in Queenstown.“I began talking relatively well at the age of three, I even learnt the alphabet then, and was able to tie my laces and put square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes…I think it had something to do with my learning ability,China Jerseys, although today a three-year-old doing such is understandable because that age is considered quite old,” Dr. Nicholson mused.At the age of seven he went on to the Ursuline Convent, and it was there that it became crystal clear that his passion to learn was being restricted, and was thus translated into intense boredom which he exhibited in very noticeable ways.“I remember trying to trip the nuns as they passed to demonstrate how small the desks were. I really was bored.”He would soon tell this to his father who without hesitation took his young son at his word and decided to share his concern with the head master of Queen’s College.Queen’s College at the time entailed a Prep Form, and although boys were usually admitted at the age of eight, the seven-year-old George was accepted. He was the youngest in the class and recalled that there were some drawbacks, given the fact that the older boys had a more formal education foundation. This, however, did not prevent him from learning naturally.“I went through most of my early school days having a lot of fun… until it came to the GCE O’ Levels time. It was then I discovered that I really didn’t know what I needed to know. When my contemporaries produced old exam papers I really didn’t know what they were talking about. So I had to catch up very quickly and it was quite stressful for one reason or another. I even got left back twice…”But even at a young age, the young George wasn’t someone who waited for things to happen. He learned from his mistakes or as he puts it “trial and error made me better at what I did.” He recalled taking an engine apart and putting it back together, of course with some degree of difficulty.At the age of 16 he had secured four ‘A’ levels but there were no universities that would admit him at such a young age.He acknowledged that that was a good thing “because being a university undergraduate required a certain amount of social sophistication and a certain ability to make yourself work and exhibit self discipline…certainly at that time I was not particularly disciplined. I think, though, that having to repeat my exams, not once but twice, provided me with a work ethic which still permitted me to play games.”Serving as President of the Rotary Club of Barbados South in 2006.He revealed that it was possibly his belief in the Queen’s College school song, which speaks to a sound mind and healthy body and not only assisted him through university life and into his profession, but even today helps him to promote the importance.“All your life you can play games, but it is just a matter of organising your life around the several activities that you want to get done; these are activities that are pleasurable and those that are related to hard work,” he asserted.His passion to work hard was however guided by his father who had a similar work ethic. He recounted that his father was able to open his own school at the age of 21.“I think I really saw things the way I did because of the way my father was at his profession…I decided that if I was going to be a doctor I would have to work rather hard, and it really meant me being able to manage my time.”Defining momentIn his quest to become a doctor, the young George went on to Balliol College in Oxford, England and then the Guy’s Hospital Medical School in London. It was while he was a medical student there that he would become intrigued by an article on dialysis. It was definitely something very fascinating, perhaps even an area he could pursue he had thought.This ambitious thought would evade his mind for awhile, but he had already safely secured the captivating article and did not lay eyes on it again until after completing his studies, years later. He returned to the Caribbean and was able to gain employment at the University of the West Indies Hospital as a Medical Registrar. His employment there would span 1966 through 1968, and it was during the latter part of this stint that his interest in kidney disease was re-born.“I had travelled to Jamaica and I didn’t remember that I had it (the article on dialysis) until I was packing up to leave, then I saw it amongst my stuff. And then it hit me…if you want to know how things work you start with the kidneys; they are a spectacular example of the use of mechanical principles,” he noted.He would liaise with a Professor of Physiology, Eugene Ward, who formally introduced the young doctor to the kidney machine. It was this exposure that would force him to return to England to further his medical knowledge. He attained Membership for the Royal College of Physicians, an examination for a post graduate medical degree. It was following his graduation that he learnt that there was yet more knowledge to be acquired.“The President of the Royal College of Physicians said, when he gave a speech at the graduation ceremony, that getting that paper didn’t mean you were a specialist but that it merely meant that you were acceptable as someone who could go on to learn a specialty…A piece of paper didn’t mean you know what you were doing, it means that you know what you are going to do and for that additional training I went back to Oxford to the Churchill Hospital where there was a home dialysis training programme.” The Churchill Hospital, Dr Nicholson recalled, was designed to specifically train patients to go home with dialysis machines so that they could treat themselves at home.He would remain there from 1969 until 1970 and was amazed by the treatment that was available for renal failure. He returned to the Caribbean and very quickly moved to get dialysis treatment going at the University Hospital in Jamaica. And it was while he was there that he would come into contact with Slade Hopkinson, a Guyanese student who had heard that there was a dialysis facility in Jamaica.Dr Nicholson would teach Hopkinson all he had learnt about dialysis over the years. “I had absolute confidence that he could do this because he was very good.” Their collaboration would lend to the formation of the Five G Dialysis Centre.“A dialysis centre needs someone with expertise and I was impressed with the young people who wanted to get one going in Guyana, so I was willing to chip in.”The expert doctor would also go on to set up another centre in Barbados which helped to bridge the renal support gap in the north eastern Caribbean. He had a major role to play when the first living related donor transplant in the English-speaking Caribbean was conducted on a young boy from St Vincent.He was tasked with treating the patient with dialysis until he was ready for transplant and was also responsible for putting together the team of surgeons, nurses and anesthetists who operated. It was also Dr Nicholson who was responsible for the lad’s after-care, in terms of monitoring anti-rejection of treatment,wholesale nfl jerseys, which he recalled was quite demanding.Even with his understandably busy schedule at the Caribbean Dialysis centre, Dr. Nicholson remains committed to the Five G Dialysis Centre and by extension, Guyana. He has been visiting at least once each month to attend to new patients, some of whom do not require dialysis as yet. However, he noted that it is important that such patients,China Jerseys, particularly those who often suffer from hypertension, are treated with appropriate drugs.Additionally,Wholesale China NFL Jerseys, he emphasises that the testing of the urine is a very important indicator to detect protein. According to him “diabetes makes itself known by the appearance of protein, but if that is caught soon enough, then there are specific drugs which vent further deterioration of the renal function…The problem is that you need to start early enough to prevent the progression of renal failure and to know which drugs to use and how to use them.”It was in recognition of the fact that treating renal failure continues to be very costly that Dr Nicholson decided to lend support towards the formation of the Guyana Kidney Foundation – as a means to bridge the gap between patients’ capabilities and the state’s ability to provide funding. However, he pointed out that the primary intent is not merely to help patients access assistance,Cheap Jerseys Paypal, but in fact to raise awareness about measures that could help to prevent renal failure altogether, as far as possible.Towards this end, the Foundation will work towards highlighting the importance of bringing back physical education to the school system and the need for maintaining healthy eating habits. The father of five, and husband to Gisela Nicholson, today lives by a vow to reduce the need for dialysis, a mission that he has accepted as his lifelong obligation, making him a special person in the medical field.
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