Wheelchair bound because of partial-paralysis, without a larynx, and diagnosed with a life-threatening aortic aneurysm, Indian-born Sharadkumar Dicksheet, M.D., still spent six-months of every year from 1968 until 2011, traveling to India to perform operations in marathon-like surgery sessions where many poor children received free treatment for cleft lips and other facial deformities.
Few men have sacrificed so much, and used their own hands, to help so many people.
During his lifetime he and his colleagues performed over 200,000 free reconstructive operations for the children of India. Although Dr. Dicksheet barely survived living only off of social security income while in his Brooklyn, NY apartment the other six-months of the year, his life was drastically different while in India, where the eight-time Nobel Prize nominee was treated like a living god.
At 80-years of age, Dr. Sharadkumar Dicksheet passed away on November 14, 2011.
But his altruistic efforts haven't gone unrecognized. The documentary, Flying On One Engine, shows how this quirky, funny, empathetic, and sometimes difficult character overcomes his own ailments by curing others. Here's the trailer -
Flying On One Engine - Trailer from Joshua Z Weinstein on Vimeo.
To memorialize Dr. Dicksheet and to continue to raise awareness about prenatal birth defects and the inequities in India's health care system, Joshua has freely posted his full documentary online.