STILL WATERS RUN DEEP
On August 6,1828, in the beautiful hills of Virginia, the silence was broken by the cries of young Andrew. He was born to Abram Still a Methodist Minister/circuit rider and frontier medical doctor and Martha Poague Moore Still. Andrew was the third of the nine children this family raised.
When Andrew was 19 year old the war between the United States and Mexico began. He was set on going to war but his father refused to give his consent since he was underage.
When he was 21 years old he married Mary Margaret Vaughn who was 16 years old. At that time his primary vocation was that of being a farmer. He had plowed 60 acres and planted corn. A hail storm destroyed the whole crop leaving them financially destitute. That fall and winter he taught school for $15.00 a month.
Troublesome times brought about a move to Missouri where young Andrew chose to follow his fatherís leading into medicine. He shared his fatherís love and compassion for humanity. At 21 years old he apprenticed with his physician father. He furthered his training at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Kansas City, Missouri.
When he was 24-25 years old he served as a Scout Surgeon under General John C. Fremont in the Civil War.
He returned home from the war only to suffer the lose of three of his children to spinal meningitis. Two weeks later his three year old daughter died. This left him devastated and shaken in his faith and profession. This led him down a pragmatic pathway of changes in his life. His heart cried over his personal lose.
In 1864 his faith in Orthodox medicine wavered, challenging his acceptance of orthodox medical theories and treatment. Observations of the ineffective and sometimes harmful results led to 10 years of serious study. He focused on the structural musculo-skeletal system. This forced him to test the validity of all the concepts of his profession. He concluded that within manís body there is the capacity for health. If this capacity is recognized and and normalized disease can be both prevented and treated.
Visions of the human machine, marvelously created and sustained by laws of nature, led to the revelation from God that within the human body is the ability to heal, repair, and sustain health.
This revelation gave the physician the responsibility to use reasoning with understanding of the laws of nature, which is the keys to preventing disease and sustaining health. This truth separated him from the traditional medical mind of that era.
This was the beginning of Osteopathic medicine. This revelation opened the door to the understanding that you could prevent disease as well as treat the person after they were sick.
Iíll never forget holding my three year old daughterís lifeless little body in my arms. We had just returned home from a missions assignment in Mexico. We had taken her to the doctor the day before. The hospitals were full because of a flu epidemic in California. They assured me they would put her in the hospital the next morning if she became worse. The next morning was too late for her. Thereís no way to explain the grief that grips your heart, mind and body at a time such as the loss of a child. This loss sent a mother of seven on a journey in search of answers to help prevent such a tragedy for other families. Ten years after Lauraís death I received my degree as a Physician and Surgeon of Osteopathic Medicine from Oklahoma State University of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa, Oklahoma. God has a way of using lifeís tragedies to launch us on journeys that we would have never conceived much less accomplished.
Each day Iím aware Iím not just treating a ďbodyĒ but an individual that is unique because of his or her genetic make-up, personal history, and the environment in which their history has been lived. Iím grateful to Andrew T. Still for launching the concept in medicine that prevention of disease is just as important, if not more so, than waiting for the disease to rare its ugly head.
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