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Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD
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Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  357 ratings  ·  90 reviews
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, alrea
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Crown (first published January 1st 2009)
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Barb
An amazing and emotional story of how one mother literally saved her son's life. This is an incredible story about a boy who caught OCD. I urge anyone who has regular contact with children to read this book. This mother discovered what has not reached the mainstream medical community yet, that sometimes there is a connection between infections and mental illness.

I don't know how this mother was able to cope with her son's behaviors. My hat's off to her for her unfaltering devotion to discovering
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Brian Burt
My oldest son was afflicted with the same condition that tormented Sammy Maloney. He had been a happy, healthy child until shortly before his 11th birthday, when everything fell apart for him in the weeks following a high fever. We spent years desperately searching for someone in the medical community who could help him, with very little luck. Then we came across "Saving Sammy" and Beth's battle to save her son, a story that was painfully familiar. This book changed everything for us! It may lit ...more
Yukari
OCD and Tourette's Syndrome are still mysterious. Every case is different and there's no guarantee the "usual" treatment works.

Since I translated Harvard Medical School Psychologist Lee Baer's OCD book "Imp of the Mind" into Japanese, I have read quite a few OCD related books. I regarded myself quite knowledgeable with this subject, but I had never heard of "PANDAS�Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections" before. I have googled and found very few
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Danial
I recently had this book loaned to me, based on my enjoyment of The Perks of Being a Wallflower; and I have to admit that, while a completely different style of book, this narrative was no less gripping.

I finished the book (240 pages) in about three hours, and it was one of the more emotionally draining books that I've read in recent years. Unlike Perks it is not told from the perspective of the afflicted, but from the perspective of his mother. You experience all the turmoil that comes with tre
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Cindy Scott
I was very captivated by this book. Anyone who deals with mental illness within themselves or a friend/family member should read 'Saving Sammy'.

This book detailed just how dramatically, and how fast, OCD can take over a child's life. The story was particularly special to me because Sammy's struggle is one that I personally dealt with and one that is not commonly discussed in popular culture. As the story developed and Sammy's condition got worse, there were moments I could deeply relate to him p
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Lara
My original review found here: Saving Sammy Review

I'm excited to have another opportunity to review a book for TLC Book Tours. This time the book I am reviewing is Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD by Beth Maloney.

Honestly, I kind of ignored the book for a while after TLC sent it to me, simply because I thought it would be fairly heavy subject matter (being a true story about an ailing child and all) and I wasn't really in the mood for that kind of a read at the moment.

Imagine my surp
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Samantha
I really enjoyed this book. It was extremely enlightening to me about what a severe OCD child goes through and also how they may be helped if they have PANDAS. You truly get into the story and see what this mother went through. You see the pain that it causes her other children. While I didn't always agree with all of her decisions and spent a lot of the book wondering why the father wasn't helping out more, I still found her thought process fascinating. You feel her struggles of not giving up o ...more
Paula Gallagher
It's not difficult to be swept up into Beth Maloney's nightmare. Parents will read this book with a shudder, wondering if they could possibly match Maloney's patience and tenacity as she struggles with the medical mystery that is her son Sammy. The book serves as a reminder that while doctors are professionals, they don't have all the answers. Ultimately it is up to the patient (or in this case, the mother) to do outside research and become their own advocate.
Christy Frear
Excellent. I read this in two days, which is fast for me. My younger brother is severely autistic, and while this book focused more on OCD and Tourette's like symptoms, it opens up the idea that mental illness can be caused by bacteria or infection. I was also unfamiliar with PANDAS until I read this. I applaud the author for for her persistence in never giving up until she found answers to help her son. It also shed some light as to the personal struggle and feelings my mom must have gone throu ...more
Sara
Saving Sammy presents an intriguing story, from the very wording of the title ("Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD") to the very difficulties and struggles faced by one unrelenting mother.
Beth Allison Maloney, shares the interesting story of how her son (Sammy) becomes progressively obsessive-compulsive, feral, and distraught, and the agonizing three year journey they take to return to normalcy.
It seems to be every parents worst nightmare -- their extroverted, smart, academically inclined child s
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Janelle
"[B]efore any child is placed on psychiatric medication, we must ask the questions: Could this be an infection? Could it be a virus or bacteria? Have we tested to be certain that there's no invasive cause? ... If we are told that the questions are not appropriate, if we feel embarrassed or uncomfortable for asking, or if we're summarily dismissed with 'No, that's not it,' then we must find another doctor. Because while I do not think that every mental illness is due to infection, the possibility ...more
Stephanie Mccall
How does one deal with a sick child, when the diagnosis is unknown? If you're Beth Maloney, you hunt down answers with all the tenacity of a bear protecting her cubs. I bought this book after watching a version of Sammy Maloney's story on "Mystery Diagnosis." The full version made my jaw drop several times. I admired Beth's strength and determination, yet so many times, simply wanted to gather the family into my arms and hug them. Descriptions of how life in Kennebunkport, Maine is "supposed" to ...more
Diane
Saving Sammy tells the touching story of a bright, active twelve year old boy, a middle child, who one day suddenly begins to exhibit strange behaviors.

Beth Maloney, a single mom of three boys, tells the story of what happened to her son Sammy. Almost overnight Sammy went from what seemed like a normal boy to one with strange rituals: he refused to bathe, had to have five different types of drinks at mealtime, refused to touch doornobs and faucets, had issues with stairs, walked along walls, and
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Moayad Taibah
This book caught me off guard with its sheer brilliance!

I purchased this audio book with the hopes of getting a psychological inside look at OCD through the case study of a patient called Sammy, instead I got the amazing emotional journey that his family, specially his mother, went through. I shouldn't have expected any less since it is written by Sammy's mom herself, and I thank her for sharing her personal experience of helping a family member, her son none the less, go through this. The book
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Adarsh
This book is about the determination and fortitude of Beth Alison Maloney, the mother of an OCD afflicted child to get back to Kayaking.

Sorry , Couldn't help.My girlfriend has OCD and I know it's no laughing matter.

The book doesn't offer much insight if one were to read this with the intention of knowing what goes on inside the head of an OCD patient.
But what this book does accomplish brilliantly is to showcase the resilience of Beth to fight and win her son's war with OCD, the kind of fight tha
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Sheila DeChantal
Imagine... you are a newly single mom with three sons. All your boys are wonderful and your son Sammy who just completed 5th grade has been told by his teacher that he scores higher in math skills then she has ever seen.

Then that summer before 6th grade right after a move into a new home, Sammy starts some strange behavior. He refuses to use the bathroom in the house and wants to only go outside to do his bathroom "business", he also refuses to touch door knobs, and picks up things like silverw
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Shana
The book I was referring to in my post from last night was Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD, by Beth Alison Maloney. I sat down to read at 6pm and finished it a few hours later. I swear, I meant to get off the couch and work on my final exams, but it just didn’t happen. I was really taken aback by how much this book affected me.

Maloney’s son Sammy inexplicably developed OCD-like symptoms after a move. At first she thought he was acting strange under stress due to the move and divorce
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Elaine
I finished this book in less than 24 hours. For those of you that know me, that's quite an accomplishment. This book is the amazing TRUE story of a mother and her 12 year old boy, who develops severe, debilitating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It takes almost a year to figure out that an underlying strep infection is causing the OCD (he'd never "had" strep throat). Along the way the mom encounters many frustrating doctors, but also some doctors who are angels in disguise. Finally, her son ...more
Ti
The Short of It:

A startling look at one family’s experience with obsessive-compulsive disorder and how a mother’s unwavering quest for a cure slowly brings about change within the medical community. Touching and well-told. This is a story with a purpose.


The Rest of It:

I picked this book up, read about ten pages and then could not put it down. I finished it in just a few sittings. Anyone with a child can relate to the difficulties of dealing with a sick kid. There is nothing worse than seeing you
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Kelli Robinson
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 o ...more
Kary
This is a memoir written by a mother who's world is turned upside down when her 12 year old son suddenly develops some very strange symptoms. It starts with a few "quirks" such as having to touch everything he passes, but quickly develops into something much more serious. Every moment of his life is taken up by strange, obsessive behaviors and compulsions. Doctors say he has OCD, but how did this come on so suddenly? A friend mentions to Beth that an acquaintance developed similar symptoms and i ...more
Megan Jaffe
This is a great book for parents who are looking to find information in dealing with a child with OCD. Sammy has a severe case and it was caused by PANDAS which is a very rare cause of the condition. So, while it was informative, it was also so extreme it was a bit scary if you are a parent who is trying to cope with a milder version of this condition.
Susan
For perhaps the first third of this book, I was ready to give it four stars. It's the story of a mother's (the author) determined attempts to get at the root of her son's sudden onsent of OCD. The illness completely debilitated the child as well as the functioning of the family. I admire the mother and her tenacity, but the many descriptions of Sammy's behaviors got tiresome. I also had many questions about how the other two boys in the family were impacted, but that was barely described. Near t ...more
Annalee
Intriguing story, fairly well-written, too. The author's choice to begin every chapter with extensive description of the passage of seasons got monotonous a few chapters in, but I learned quite a lot about PANDAS, which was the point of picking it up in the first place.
Kristen Welch
My friend's son has PANDAS and I've been meaning to read this book for a couple of years. Once started, I could NOT put it down! What this family had to endure is heartbreaking. Every parent should know about PANDAS and PANS.
Jami
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 con ...more
Barbara
Excellent description of real life tragedy and testimony to the fact that doctors are far from knowledgeable about everything. Brave and loving mother.
Emily
I simply could not put this book down. It's a true story that reads like a mystery novel. If you are interested in medical mysteries and psychology, this book is for you!
Deborah
Mar 20, 2014 Deborah rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: heather riecken
Excellent writing and a wealth of knowledge. Anyone who works with children, mental health or doctors should read this.
Tracy
This is a very quick read, and it's a very sweet true story of a mother's fight for her son, diagnosed with OCD. The pages and pages of painful description of her son's disorder are fascinating and simultaneously depressing. However, I can't really highly recommend this book for two reasons: (1) I know far too many mothers who have children with diagnosable disorders who won't find a miracle cure for their child, as this mother found. I worry how this book would be perceived by these mothers, wh ...more
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