How Stephen Hawking Survived With ALS for 55 Years

The physicist, diagnosed with ALS at 21, transformed the world of Science for decades

Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with ALS in 1963 at 21 years old and survived for over five decades before dying at the age of 76 on Wednesday. So how was Hawking able to live so long with the crippling and debilitating condition?

Experts say his wealth, mental attitude, and level of care played a huge part, NBC News reported. 

Hawking was able to receive around-the-clock medical care from a wife who gave up her career ambitions to attend to him as well as a team of nurses. He also made a good amount of income from his books like "A Brief History of Time" that helped him pay for the care and equipment that kept him alive. He was able to fund his 24-hour nursing care through grants from several foundations.  

Hawkings also had a positive mental attitude, set on living for a long time and doing as much as possible. “When you are faced with the possibility of an early death, it makes you realize that life is worth living and that there are a lot of things you want to do,” Hawking was quoted saying. 

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