Healthy Living

Parkinson's Disease Faced Head-On: Nobel Prize Winner's Wife Dies from Hypothermia

Parkinson's Disease Faced Head-On: Nobel Prize Winner's Wife Dies from Hypothermia

Tragedy strikes the Negishi household as Sumire Negishi, wife of Nobel Prize winner, Ei-ichi Negishi, passed away from hypothermia. Mrs. Negishi had been suffering from the late stages of Parkinson’s, and the events leading to her death were attributed to the unfortunate combination of Mr. Negishi’s ailing memories and Mrs. Negishi being unable to find shelter on her own due to her Parkinson’s.

With an estimated 10 million people around the world living with Parkinson’s disease, situations like with the Negishi’s are sadly not so rare. Since its discovery in 1871 by Dr. James Parkinson, the disease still has no known cause or cure and can only be addressed with treatments to deal with the symptoms. At diagnosis, the news not only affects the individual but also their entire family.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that affects movement, the gradual development of symptoms worsens over time. It’s important for the familial unit to be aware of what may come up as it does.

The Negishi Family

For many of his colleagues, Ei-ichi Negishi was a hard-working chemist who won the Nobel Prize back in 2010 for discovering the Negishi coupling, an organic synthetic method for selective C-C bond formation. To put it simply, he made it possible for two different molecules to combine by using palladium as a catalyst, thus making a carbon-carbon bond. This discovery was a result of decades of research that culminated in a groundbreaking paper that led to his Nobel Prize win.

Besides Ei-chi’s career in chemistry, many of his close friends, students, and colleagues know him as a fun-loving man who enjoys singing, playing the piano, and even skiing. Beyond all that, everyone was also aware of the love and support his wife had shown him in his research all throughout their marriage of 50 years.

Sumire Negishi had been with Ei-chi through all the stages of his research and had even been instrumental in building strong ties between Indiana residents and the Japanese community in the area. Her love and loyalty to her family made people remember her in great fondness and many are devastated by her passing.

Why Sumire Negishi’s death was more than a simple case of hypothermia

After the news of Sumire Negishi’s death was released, her family had spoken in a statement made to WTHR (a digital channel) and mentioned that Sumire was near the end of her battle with Parkinson’s disease. That, coupled with biting cold temperatures in Ogle County, contributed to the unfortunate events of her passing.

Photo Source: Ei-ichi Negishi by Per Mosseby