Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kim Peek died :(

You may or may not have heard of Kim Peek and likely won't hear as much as would a celebrity. He was the inspiration for the movie Rain Man. I know about Kim Peek because my son shares a brain anomaly with him. Both have Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. This is the part of the brain that connects the two halves of the brain. We did not get the chance to meet Kim as he started attending the conferences the year after we went but he was an extraordinary man. Here is an excerpt from the Salt Lake Tribune the rest can be found by clicking the link.

"Kim Peek, the Murray man who inspired the 1988 movie "Rain Man," died Saturday of a sudden heart attack.
Peek, 58, was likely the world's most famous savant, enduring mental handicaps while at the same time possessing extraordinary gifts of memory and recall.
"He had a depth and breadth of knowledge and a memory that was just unbelievable," said Daniel Christensen, a professor with the University of Utah's Neuropsychiatric Institute. "He was unique. I don't know if there will ever be another person quite like Kim."
In recent weeks, Kim Peek had suffered from an upper respiratory infection, his father, Fran Peek, said Monday afternoon. Peek had been retaining water, gaining nearly 30 pounds. Water pills did not seem to ease the situation.
Peek was born on Nov. 11, 1951. At 9 months, doctors said he was severely mentally retarded.
"They told us we should institutionalize him because he would never walk or talk," Fran Peek said. "But we refused to do that."
By 16 months, Peek demonstrated extraordinary abilities. He could read and memorize entire volumes of information.
"He could find anything he wanted to. He read all of Shakespeare, the Old and New Testaments," Fran Peek said.
An MRI later showed that his brain lacked a corpus callosum -- the connecting tissue between the left and right hemispheres. Peek said his son's brain lacked the normal filtering system for receiving information". To read the rest of the story in the Salt Lake Tribune click here.


  1. Karen, I was sure we met Kim Peek at that conference. He may not have spoke, but I think we did meet him.

  2. Oh my goodness, Karen, Rain Man is probably my favorite movie ever. That is such a bummer that Kim died.
    So does your son have qualities like that? Is he "labeled" austic? Just wondering.
    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  3. Katrina,
    If you met my son you would most likely not know there is anything different about him. He is kind of struggling in school but he is the sweetest kid you'll ever meet. :)