On 10th January 2016, Dr. J. Nathan and his ketogenic diet team observed the first Ketogenic diet day in Mumbai, India to honour Dr John Freeman, the Father of the ‘Resurrected’ modern ketogenic diet.
The event saw a packed hall with many standees.
Dr. J. Nathan first recounted Dr. Freeman’s doyen service to resurrect the diet and his mentoring of many centres all over the world. His doggedness and determination in the face of much opposition has put the diet on the world map of successful treatments of ‘uncontrolled’ epilepsy. Dr. Nathan ended with this apt saying
Say not in grief: “He is no more”,
but live in thankfulness that he was.
Many patients and their doctors are thankful to Dr. Freeman today.
Several patients and parents recounted their journey from despair to hope and ultimate joy when they came out winners.
Especially poignant was the remarks of Dr. Gai (Vice Chancellor of Karnataka University) whose son had a severe epileptic encephalopathy and today is trained to become an EEG technician. Other patients and parents were thankful to Dr Freeman and the keto team led by Dr. Nathan for giving a new lease to their lives.
Detail of the Program:
FIRST WORLD KETOGENIC DIET DAY OBSERVED ON 10TH JANUARY 2016
ON THE OCCASION OF
JOHN FREEMAN’S BIRTH ANNIVERSARY (11TH JANUARY)
IN MUMBAI BY
J. NATHAN AND THE KETOGENIC DIET TEAM
Dr John Freeman 1933 – 2013
Say not in grief: “He is no more”,
but live in thankfulness that he was.
The first World Ketogenic Diet Day was observed in Mumbai, India on 10th January 2016 at the Brahman Sahayyak Sangh hall in Dadar, Mumbai, India. The event saw a packed hall audience with several being forced to stand.
Dr J Nathan first recounted the achievements of Dr John Freeman and his stellar contribution to the resurrection of the ketogenic diet.
Who is Dr Freeman?
- Internationally renowned Johns Hopkins pediatric neurologist and medical ethicist.
- Founding head of Johns Hopkins’ Division of Pediatric Neurology
- Director of its Birth Defects Clinic
- Director of what now is the John M. Freeman Pediatric Epilepsy Center,
But he was above all a man who had many facets and achievements:
- DISTURBING THE PEACE – THE INTELLECTUAL
- RESURRECTION OF KD –AGAINST ALL ODDS AGAINST GREAT SKEPTICISM AND OPPOSITION
- TREATMENT SHOULD NOT CAUSE MORE PROBLEMS THAN THE DISEASE ITSELF
- PHENOMENAL AND EXTRAORDINARY MENTOR
- THE ETERNAL ‘NON-CONFORMIST’
He recounted the profound impact of his first-hand experience of working with Dr Freeman. This sabbatical was the reason for the setting up of a pioneering centre for ketogenic diet in India and Asia by Dr Nathan and his team in 1996. He explained the scientific basis for this diet which has been accepted by the International Epilepsy society (ILAE) as the one of the best methods of treating uncontrolled epilepsy. The 12 member international task force set up by ILAE has Dr Nathan as one of the members. He also informed the audience that the use of this diet was spreading to other ailments including most cancers, autism and Alzheimer’s amongst other newer indications. This centre since 1996 has treated over 380 persons with uncontrolled epilepsy from all over India and abroad with a success rate (over 90% reduction) in 60% compared to 1% with medication. This centre has trained teams of doctors and dietitians from all over India and form Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Our innovations – practical and daring
- No fasting – less anxiety especially for parents
- No hospitalization – shorter stay in Mumbai and less expenditure
- Use of Soy – high protein vegetarian choice
- Many advantages including lowering lipid levels
- Use of polyunsaturated oils to improve the efficacy of the KD
The motto of our centre
Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Knowledge never decreases by being shared.
Mr Dandekar, Emeritus Chairman of the Camlin Group of Industries lauded the work of this centre and its commitment to socially responsible medicine. He recounted their ‘adoption’ of many children with epilepsy from those below poverty level. He reaffirmed his help both financially and morally to the furtherance of this centre’s work.
Dr Pramod Gai, Vice-chancellor of the Karnataka University recounted his family’s battle with his son’s uncontrolled epilepsy and their ultimate success using the ketogenic diet. He exhorted all in the audience to persevere and gave the example of his family’s trials and tribulations for several years in conquering the severe epilepsy of his son. Today his son is training to become and EEG technician, is leaning driving and music. He is truly ‘reborn’ said Dr Gai.
Several other patients and caregivers also recounted similar success stories.
Yogesh said that when he was one and a half years old when he came to Dr. Nathan and used to get 300 fits per day. Within one month of starting ketogenic diet his fits were controlled. Within 2 years he was off diet. Now he is very active and is in college. He is very grateful to Dr. Nathan and his dieticians for such seizure free life. He said “I am enjoying my life to the fullest”.
Tulika said that she suffered epilepsy since 10 years, hence her doctor suggested the ketogenic diet. She thanked Dr John Freeman who trained Dr Nathan, the pioneer of ketogenic diet in India. She cooks ketogenic diet recipes on her own. She follows the recipes calculated by Dieticians. She said that by having this diet her fits which were 4-5 per day have lessened to 4-5/ month. She is learning to play guitar and practise few songs at home. She is also training in Karate. She follows the diet properly and is sure she will be seizure free soon.
Rannie (Aradhana’s mother) said that she and her husband are Doctors but still they went through lot of struggle to find the right treatment for their daughter. After lot of research they finally met Dr Nathan 6 months back. They were thankful to Dr Nathan and said that “he is a magician” and she also thanked Dietician saying that “They are my beautiful angels” for their efforts. After 1 year of struggle there are so happy to see their daughter’s seizure reduced to such an extent that she can feed herself, she is active now. Earlier she used to get 10 seizures per day and now only 1-2 /day. She is very happy and asked every parent to keep faith in Dr Nathan.
Mrs. Pai said that Akhilesh was one and a half years when he got his first seizure. They tried many medications but after 1-2 years fits worsened. He was not able to balance himself and used to fall and get hurt. They visited many doctors but Akhilesh’s condition worsened. He started forgetting common things such as getting down from staircase, wearing pants etc. Finally they visited Pittsburgh children’s hospital and were introduced to ketogenic diet. After a lot of research they came to know about Dr. Nathan’s ketogenic diet in India. Without wasting much time they rushed to Dr Nathan. By this time Akhilesh was unable to walk due to several medication toxicity. Dr. Nathan started ketogenic diet and along with that started tapering off his medications. Within 3 months his fits which were 80 fits per day earlier stopped and gradually his medicines were tapered off. Within 5 years he was back to a normal diet. She thanked Dr. Nathan and team for Akhilesh’s seizure free life and also gave a message to all the parents to trust Dr. Nathan and follow his instructions properly. Today Akhilesh is 20 yrs old. He has passed his 10th grade and is currently involved in a vocational course.
Father said that Jeet Sharma is a bright 15 year old boy suffering from brain tumor since May 2007.He was operated on 4 times but it recurred every time. They came to know about Dr. Nathan from the Internet. When Jeet first came to Dr. Nathan’s clinic in 2015 he needed two people to help him walk and could not even stand on his own. . He has been on ketogenic diet since one year. He now walks on his own without support and stamina has also increased. He is very proud of his hair and is not bald as after chemotherapy. Jeet and his parents thanked Dr. Nathan and team for changing Jeet’s life.
Father said that Archaa and Anamay are twins and Autistic.They have poor grasping, social communication and socialization. Both are in special school. After 1 year they are 60% better and teachers are happy with them. Anaamay has improved balance – earlier used to fall while running on uneven Mumbai footpath. He is able to withstand cold temperatures. Archaaa is less hyperactive, has quicker response and is more involved and interacts better. Mr. Bhandare thanked Dr. Nathan and his team of dietician for their efforts.
The meet ended with ketogeic diet snacks – dosa with sambar and dudhi halwa. They could not believe that this diet could be so tasty.
JS’s mother whose son has a four-time operated brain tumor told the audience that the diet had improved her son’s balance. Radiation and chemotherapy had also failed. Before the diet he could not even stand without support but can now walk alone and his metastases have disappeared on only the diet.
The crowd rocked to the tunes of Amisha and party. Amisha is Dr Nathan’s patient.
Lastly we informed the audience of our other activities.
Rural epilepsy camps – twenty five years
Rural awareness pograms
Urban camps and
‘Adoption’ of mentally challenged children with