Hey Everyone, I decided that I wanted to do a Book Review on the book that I had to read for one of my Classes. It's Called "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down". The Author is Anne Fadiman.
This book has 19 Chapters and 288 pages. The book is a easy read but there are terms that they use that I can't really understand. This book was a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. I personally thought this book was very interesting and eye opening.
Back of Book Summary: Explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong Child who has severe Epilepsy. Lia parents and her doctors wants what is best for Lia but the lack of understanding between them led to a Tragedy.
My Summary of the Book: The Lee family came from Thailand to America to escape the Chinese because of the War between them. Lia Lee is their Daughter who one day was sitting on the floor when her older sister had slammed the front door really hard and Lia fainted. The parents blame Lia sister for causing Health Issues with Lia. Lia Lee was miss Diagnose twice before they finally found out that Lia had Epilepsy. Lia was diagnose at the age of a couple of months after she was born. Lia Lee was very smart because when she knew she was going to have a Seizure she would run to her parents and hug them. At the MCMC Hospital (Merced County of California) the Doctors prescribed her many medicine but Lia parents were not having American Medicine in their Culture. The Hmong's healed people with natural Herbs and Txiv Neebs who is a Healing Doctor. The Hmong's had many superstitions like they thought Surgery were Taboo and they also thought American Doctors wanted to eat their brains when they died. Lia parents were also so affectionate to Lia, leaving their other daughters and sons out of it. Soon doctors knew the parents were non-complaint with giving Lia her medicine, so the Doctors called Child Protective Service. Lia was put in a Foster Home until her parents proved to the Superior Court of California that they would give Lia the medicine. Lia parents thought that all that medicine was the thing making her sick. Soon Lia was able to go back to her parents and her parents started to do rituals like sacrificing pigs, chickens and cows. Later in the years, Lia Epilepsy got worse when they started to last longer and the Doctors feared that Lia would have what they called the "Big One" and that they wouldn't be able to save her. At I think 4 or 5 years old, Lia had the "Big One" and the doctors at MCMC didn't have the technology to save her so they sent her to another Hospital that was more high technology advanced. Also mentioned is that Lia parents couldn't speak English and they couldn't read which caused a problem with giving Lia the right medicine and with communication at the Hospital's. At the Hospital, Lia seizure was so bad that she went into Septic Shock and Lia soon went into a coma and became Brain Dead. The doctors knew Lia wouldn't survive and the Parents wanted to take her home so that Lia would die naturally without tubes or medicine in her system. Two years later, Lia is still alive but still Brain Dead and has little Movement. This is what is surprising the Doctors is that Lia is still alive. At the end of the book, Lia condition had inspired the Hospital to change the way they did things and they brought more translators into the hospital. Lia had inspired the doctors to change the way they view things about the culture barrier. It opened their eyes.
My Thoughts: This book was very Interesting but Depressing. At the end it made me wonder if she survived or if she is now dead. This is based on a True Story. I really felt for the Lee's and what they went through with Lia. It broke my heart to see Lia having Epilepsy and to hear that she went Brain Dead because of it.
Rating: I give this book a 9 and I would recommend this book.