Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Because there wasn't time fr my presentation
In the book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, there was a little girl named Lia who had a severe form of epilepsy called Lenox-Gestault Syndrome. She was Hmong, which is an ethnicity of people from the mountainous regions of Laos, Vietnam, and China. Her family immigrated here in 1980 from Laos at the end of the Indochina wars. Her family move here under very bad conditions and lost children along the way. Lia had her first seizure just 3 1/2 months old. By the age of 4 1/2 she had been admitted 17 times and had over 100 outpatient visits to MCMC, the community hospital in Merced, California; where they lived. There were numerous issues that prevents her receiving the car that she needed, most of which were a result of language barriers between her and the doctors, but also because of the vast cultural differences that exist between the Hmong tribe and American culture/views of illness and medicine. The Hmong Have animistic views of sickness where everything is a condition of the soul. Despite efforts of Doctors in America and the Shamanistic healers from their community, Lia continued to have seizures that resulted in severe brain damage and eventually coma. She lived in that state from the age of 4 1/2 till she was 30, despie the predictions of imminent death by her American doctors. The story alternates between the history and plight of the Hmong people and Lias'. The ultimate feeling I got from the book was that there are many ways to accomplish the same goals and in order to successfully exist in a multicultural environment, compassion, patence, and kindness have to be given by everyone involved.