Thursday, June 23, 2011

109 years old - with a new nose

Human life is precious.

Human life deserves care and respect, whether the person is newly conceived, nine or 90. Because this is a particular concern of mine, this blog carries stories about things like assisted suicide, which can be depressing. So here's a story to try to restore the balance.

Meir Korner lives in Haifa, in northern Israel. There's one thing you should know about him before we go any farther. He was born in December 1901. That makes him 109 years old.

He still has good health, a clear mind and a great sense of humour. His recipe for old age, he says, is simple: do what makes you happy.

His daily routine includes sleeping well, reading, resting, regular talks with the Almighty and going to the beach. For 60 years he didn't miss his walk on the shore, where he meets friends and enjoys the sunshine.

A few months ago, Meir discovered what turned out to be a tumour on his nose. Eventually it covered some 50 per cent of his nose. A few weeks ago, he had an operation to remove the tumour and reconstruct his nose, using a flap of skin from his forehead (forehead flap rhinoplasty, for the professionals among my readership).

Meir's nose healed in a very short space of time, reports. "We are extremely satisfied with the results," said Yitzchak Ramon, the doctor who operated. "Nose reconstruction is a real challenge, yet just days after the operation, it looked like nothing happened."

Meir waits to return to the beach. "The doctors say this happened because of the sun, but I don't think I have to stop going to the beach," he said.

"I look and feel good because of the doctors and because I do what I love. The Almighty promised me many years on this earth, and the moment I can, I will return to the sea - with sunscreen."