The summer before entering sixth grade, Sammy, a bright and charming boy who lived on the coast of Maine, suddenly began to exhibit disturbing behavior. He walked and ate with his eyes shut, refused to bathe, burst into fits of rage, slithered against walls, and used his limbs instead of his hands to touch light switches, doorknobs, and faucets.
Sammy's mother, Beth, already coping with the overwhelming responsibility of raising three sons alone, watched helplessly as her middle child descended into madness. Sammy was soon diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and later with Tourette syndrome. Unwilling to accept the doctors' prognoses for lifelong mental illness and repeated hospitalizations, Beth fought to uncover what was causing this decline. Racing against time as Sammy slipped further from reality, Beth's quest took her to the center of the medical community's raging debate about whether mental illness can be caused by infection. With the battle lines firmly drawn, Beth searched until she found two cutting-edge doctors who answered that question with a definitive yes. Together, they cured Sammy. Five years later, he remains symptom free.
Driven by her desire to help others, Beth Maloney has infused every page of this triumphant journey with heart and passion. An important story, Saving Sammy is part manifesto, part medical mystery, but is at its heart the empowering and inspiring story of a mother's determination to save her son, take on the medical establishment - and win.
©2009 Beth Alison Maloney (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
Listen on dog walks, commutes and around the house. Welcome virtually any genre but southern fiction holds a special place in my heart.
My experience with OCD is zero. In fact, my experience with mental illness is extremely limited. With this open mind, I delved into Ms. Maloney's harrowing account of her son's sudden onset of OCD and her equally harrowing navigation of the healthcare system as she searched desperately for answers. Although there is much belly-aching by medical professionals over the number of patients who deem themselves healthcare experts after an afternoon on the Internet, this book proves the immense value of research and perseverance. I was impressed by Ms. Maloney's unwillingness to accept the close-minded opinions of some doctors and her insistence on second, third, fourth and fifth opinions until she found a diagnosis that made sense and a treatment plan that worked for her son. Kudos to her bravery and stubbornness! I have no idea when I might find myself in such a quandary but I only hope to have the drive exhibited by this author to break down those medical brick walls.
Could not believe what this mother went through. You think you have it hard. Read this story and you will thank God you have healthy children.
This is the first review I have written for a book. This is such an excellent book I had to write a review. I work in the Information Technology department of a Mental Health center. I have been sending e-mails to our clinicians and doctors asking if they have read the book and telling them they should. What an inspiration this book was. And we need to get the word out about the links between Mental health and physical health.
Within the top 3.
Sammy--he was a very interesting character indeed.
She did a wonderful job on all the characters. So believable that she was actually the mother in this true story.
Fantastic writing with a purpose. Thank you for sharing this amazing story.
The most memorable moments in this story are the moments of despair that this mother experienced in dealing with what seemed like an impossible situation.
I could not choose.
The book was moving throughout and reminded me of what a mother will do in response to her child suffering. It is amazing how the pieces of the story fell together to lead the listener thru this journey.
As a mom of an adolescent boy, this book was truly fascinating to me. I was intrigued throughout the whole book. I learned so much from this book.
Audible addict since 2003. High School librarian who has found her bliss!
Although I cannot comment on the medical accuracy of this book, the story was gripping and very well written. My only complaint was that the reader's pace was a bit too fast for me, but when I slowed it down a tad on my player it was fine.
It was nice hearing the final success of Sammy's mother! The story is not an unusual one when conventional medicine and thinking confronting complementary medicine approaches and thinking.. I do sympathize with most of the raised points.. The unknown In medicine, is still huge.. Physicians need to be humble, humane, caring and open minded.. Clinical judgement, at times, need to consider giving patients benefit of doubt when no harm is expected.. but with maintained logic and scientific thinking.. I felt repeatedly that a placebo effect and mother/physicians reassuring approaches in the story of Sammy were the main effectors.. How can increasing augmentin dose in the absence of active infection has an immediate positive effect on OCD when the proposed mechanism of reducing antistrep. antibodies would take long periods! unless augmentin has a direct anti OCD effect !!
I think the story has helped consolidating several principles and worth reading/ hearing..
It made me cringe when the narrator used a kiddies voice when quoting the 5 year old. The story is good enough. A couple of christian themes started to creep in, such as saying a prayer for mothers of soldiers in Iraq. She didn't say a prayer for local Iraqi families, I found this a hypocrisy.I was too much when the author identified the researcher that helped her son as an angel. I wanted to ask the author how this could be the case. Was the angel planted, say recently, into that research lab so they could help her son? Was the angel given a complete fake history, facebook profile with fake photos at parties, or were they an illegal immigrant with no social security number and no history? Or, was the angel planted into the womb of some woman so they could be conceived with their purpose pre-ordained to attend university and eventually help her ill son? Are all researchers potentially angels, or only medical researchers? Is a marine biologist discovering a new species of plankton an angel? Are angels only involved in saving individual lives or can an angel be someone that saves many lives indirectly via diligent accountancy? I put the book down at this point.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.