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Sam S., AK

Meet Sammy, a soon-to-be eleven-year-old asthmatic youngster who is told that he must leave his home, travel unaccompanied to an asthma facility in a new country with a different language and not have contact with his family and friends for the next two years. This memoir is based on a chapter in my life when I left my country of origin to seek treatment in the USA, not speaking a word of English and leaving my family behind for two years.

The treatment of choice at that time was called a "Parentdectomy," separation of the most severely asthmatic children from their family environment. This true story about my early experience with asthma and my resilience to survive should serve as an inspiration to young adults about the hope for survival through creating positive changes in their lives. I have earned degrees in social work and psychology, which I have utilized to help individuals to cope and manage medical and behavioral issues in their lives.

As a young child growing up with asthma in Israel, there was considerable pollution. Oil refineries were just a few miles from our home. There is no question that the fumes contributed and even exacerbated my asthma. I am all for a pollution free environment.

First published: October 29, 2012

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