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.
I work with PANDAS patients, and it is still in its infancy. Beth Maloney both shares and educates her readers,which makes learning easier. Thank you for keeping your promise to God. He so loves us. Theta Ciriello, Infusion Nurse
This book tells the story of Sammy and how his mother perservered in finding answers when the doctors wouldn't listen. Not only is it important in the aspect of increasing awareness that OCD symptoms can be caused by strep, it also illustrates the importance of not just accepting a medical professional's opinion as sacrosanct. As this story illustrates, it is okay to question the opinion of your doctor and to get second, third and fourth opinions and to do your own research and draw informed conclusions. Not only is it okay to do that, but sometimes it can save your life. This is an important book to increase awareness of how what some perceive as a simple infection can affect a person's life.
I don't know if I would listen to this one again, because it was a little sad and stressful, but it was a wonderful, insightful, intelligent look inside the life of a family with a boy struggling with PANDAs. It is extremely well written and read and should do a great job helping to create empathy and support for families struggling with this issue. And if I run into another family dealing with this in the future, I'll pull it out and listen again.
I really felt like the author was telling her own story.
I didn't listen all in one sitting, but I listened as quickly as I could. It was a riveting story.
A very good and important work.
The author's honesty and courage to share her and her son's story.
I have a daughter who struggled with a chronic debilitating illness, not once, but twice - two different illnesses. Local doctors gave up on her and referred us to psychologists and psychiatrists each leading no closer to her getting any better. I too fired and hired countless doctors, also traveling hundreds of miles away from home seeking answers until finally the answers came. I commend Beth Alison Maloney for sharing her and her son's heart breaking and triumphant journey with all mothers (and I suppose many fathers) giving them hope when the medical community seems to present none. It is beautifully written and I was unable to stop the recording until I had completed the entire book. Parents, never, NEVER give up on your child. You are his or her greatest ally!
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.
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