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.
Home school family with six children ages 7-21. We love listening to audible books together. We like Twaddle-free books.
This is an amazing human interest story. It shows the resilience of the human mind and body. A mother fighting for the life of her son. Doing incredible amounts of research to find the answer to her son's illness. My heart grieved for the hardship the Mom went through in caring and battling for her son. She went from doctor to doctor until she found the one with the answer that matched her research. You feel the son's pain as he is caught in his many obsessions and tics. It takes him two hours to leave the house, only to have something happen and have to start all over again. She has the patience of Job as she lives with her son and his disability. You see how it impacts the rest of the family too.
This book was written by the mom to share a lot of the information she learned in her journey. She promised God that she would tell others of the help she had found. If you are looking for help with a child who has mental illness this book may give you direction and hope. If you don't, this book is still a great story to listen to. You won't want to stop until it's over. This book is a fascinating real life listen!
Incidentally, my teenagers listened along and really enjoyed it.
You have heard people say they drove around the block or sat in the garage because they could not stop listening to a book? Well, that actually happened to me with this book. It is well written and performed.Touching and incredible.
An audible addict:)
The knowledge, the good way of explaining exactly the dicease.
Sammy's speech at his barmitswa
She makes it come alife, she realy had her heart in this, i thought it was her own son she was reading about
Saving Sammy - Rain man is a great film to start with
Very very good, from mother with a 'unique' child THANK YOU!!!!
My husband and I listened to this book on a long drive to the LA area. It is unusual for my husband to listen to books with me, but he was very involved in the story and wanted to follow it through to the end with me.
Ms. Maloney paints a heartbreaking picture of what it is like to live with a family member afflicted with devastating mental illness. Our hearts were breaking for her. How do you survive something like that? And unlike Ms. Maloney, there are many others in this world for whom there is no cure.... tragic.
The search for Sammy's cure is fascinating and amazing. Ms. Maloney's struggle against the modern medical establishment is becoming a more common theme as many find that medicine is an art, not a science, that ofttimes conventional wisdom has it wrong. I am grateful she has marked a path for others who may have similar struggles, whether due to an illness like Sammy's, or a fight against the established medical community to find the root cause and cure of an illness.
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.
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.
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