Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD

Posted on November 17th, by Amy in give away, review. 58 comments

I’m excited to have a chance to review Saving Sammy, by Beth Maloney for TLC Book Tours. While the content is serious, the book is well written and a real page turner!
From TLC Book Tours –

“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.”

I read this book over a 24 hour period – while cooking dinner, waiting for the girls to come out of the school, and while the World Series and Monday Night Football were on! Reading all the struggles that Beth encountered, and the accomplishments, were very intriguing. I found myself, having to know how Sammy got better.

Sammy had some extreme and crippling behaviors, the book begins with a letter to a doctor cataloging these behaviors, in order to prepare the doctor. Simple tasks like getting in the car or walking up the stairs inside the family home would take Sammy hours to manage. Life changing for the family, as Sammy had previously been a happy, healthy, math wizard!

I’ve never encountered anything quite as difficult with my kids, lots of sleepless nights like most moms, but not sleepless months. Beth kept searching for the doctors that had the answers she needed. She fought for her boy she knew was trapped inside. Like any mom would. In the midst of the struggle, she made a promise to tell others. To help raise awareness, not only of Sammy’s situation but also to encourage moms to ask the tough questions and challenge authority when it comes to the health and wellness of your child.

This is video from the Today Show in September –

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

It’s pretty impressive to see him now! I want to pass my copy on, leave a comment and I will pick a winner next Monday.

I hope you are well and blessed today ~

ETA: The winner is AmyR! Congratulations Amy – I’ve emailed you already, please send me your mailing address.

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58 thoughts on “Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD

  1. 1
    Debbie says:

    That's such an interesting story, Amy. I'd love to read the whole thing and pass it on to others.

  2. 2
    Priscilla says:

    I'd love to read it! My daughter has some now minor handicap in speech and movement development, and I am sure I never encountered the difficulties this mum did, but I did meet with lots of not very nice responses and fought to have the proper care for her since she was 3 months old, and am very interested in these stories thus. Now she is 4 and a half, and almost at the same level, as her peers, which still brings tears to my eyes everyday…

  3. 3
    lisa says:

    I love books like that, uplifting, inspirational true life stories. It's hard to find them too! Thanks for teh recomendation!

  4. 4
    Lis says:

    Gosh, thanks for the information on that amazing story. My great nephew in NZ (age 8) has suffered OCD and is thankfully now much recovered although it is careful steps. I'd love to read this story and then pass it on to my neice.

  5. 5
    Shogun says:

    This books sounds great – I never would have known about it if it weren't for you. I am a medical social worker and find this fascinating.

  6. 6
    QuiltingFitzy says:

    I'd love to read and pass on! I pass on ALL my books, people are so shocked. Heck, makes less to dust!

    Sounds like a lovely book, I can't wait!

  7. 7
    Wammy says:

    I saw the interview on the TODAY Show a few months ago. I feel for the mother and the son. I have been a foster parent for many children some of which have had severe problems. We adopted a son from foster care that show some OCD issues. We are in the process..the very long ehausting oprocess of figuring our how to best improve his quality of life. It would be helpful to find out what to do…sorta cheating because somene else has done all the leg work. Thank you for sharing with us. And if I should win the book…it would most definately be passed on to other parents. Thank you!

  8. 8
    SewAmy says:

    what an awesome story. And a happy ending. thank you for sharing it. you don't need to put me in the drawing. I don't read much. But I loved hearing about this boy.

  9. 9
    Barbara Myltschenko says:

    I can't even imagine how this family got through everything. It sounds a lot similar to one called "The Boy and the Moon" which is about a Father's struggle to save his son from an orphan disease. I have not read it yet but it's on my wish list. Thanks for sharing Amy.

  10. 10
    Mandy says:

    What a fascinating story, thank you so much for sharing this with us. The video was really interesting too.
    This would be a book I would love to read. As a teacher of young children, it would be a useful resource for me. However, realising you would probably not to have the cost of sending a book to the UK I suggest you do not include me in your draw. I shall try to get a copy through my local library.

  11. 11
    MotherMotherOcean says:

    I think I need this book in my collection. I am a developmental psychologist. Right up my alley.

  12. 12
    Tamera says:

    This is so interesting. As a family physician (I'm home with my kids now), I find this amazing! I have seen and treated kids who had strep and didn't have the classic symptoms. It makes me appreciate the wonders of the human body even more!

  13. 13
    Andrea says:

    Wow, what an incredible spin to the story. Never heard of it. It's amazing how as much we think we know about the human body, there remains so much yet undiscovered. Makes me think about possibilities of onset for other illness too…

  14. 14
    ktquilts says:

    My husband struggled with OCD as a teenager. I would love this book. Thanks for the chance to win it!

  15. 15
    Steve, ToVah, Avery, and Z says:

    This is so interesting. I would love to read this whole story.

  16. 16
    audreypawdrey says:

    I love your review and it makes me want to read it myself. You should review more books because I am always looking for new books to read!:)

  17. 17
    Jen & Bill says:

    My son started to show some facial tics and some OCD behaviors. I researched this and found out about PANDAS.
    I brought it to the pediatrician's office and they did a strep test which was positive.
    He got treated with antibiotics and the symptoms went away. We haven't been officially diagnosed with PANDAs however. I would love to read the book.

  18. 18
    Jen & Bill says:

    My son started to show some facial tics and some OCD behaviors. I researched this and found out about PANDAS.
    I brought it to the pediatrician's office and they did a strep test which was positive.
    He got treated with antibiotics and the symptoms went away. We haven't been officially diagnosed with PANDAs however. I would love to read the book.

  19. 19
    Jen & Bill says:

    My son started to show some facial tics and some OCD behaviors. I researched this and found out about PANDAS.
    I brought it to the pediatrician's office and they did a strep test which was positive.
    He got treated with antibiotics and the symptoms went away. We haven't been officially diagnosed with PANDAs however. I would love to read the book.

  20. 20
    Emily says:

    I am always looking for a good read especially if it's non-fiction

  21. 21
    Luv 2 Kreate says:

    I would also like to read this book.

    When my son was younger I was pressured to put my son on Ritalin… All the teachers insisted he was ADHD and NEEDED it! The DR was all for it. My now husband and I did research on ADHD and Ritalin and decided to go a different route. I knew drugs were not the answer and decided not to be pressured by others.

    I love reading about other people who don't go along with the norm and set out to and find their own answers!

  22. 22
    Natalia says:

    Wow! It sounds very captivating! Maybe one of these days I'll have a spare moment to read:)

  23. 23
    I Love Baby Quilts! says:

    I enjoyed this video! I don't need to be in the drawing, but I enjoyed this post and the comments.

  24. 24
    Mary on Lake Pulaski says:

    Sounds like a very good book Amy!

  25. 25
    Kim says:

    As a teacher of young children, I am always interested in reading and learning about different "learning or behavioral disorders". I recently read a book about Autism that I wish I had known about a few years ago so I could have passed it on to a mother who was struggling with her child's new diagnosis. There is always a new way to look at "diagnoses" in medicine – and most parents need someone there to believe in them and listen to them. Thanks for sharing this post!

  26. 26
    simplehappyhome says:

    What a fascinating story, and what a strong mother!

  27. 27
    Amy R says:

    Such an amazing story. So glad the mom is taking the time to get the word out. Mom's sure do take care of one another. . . maybe the medical community will learn from her?

  28. 28
    Sara says:

    What an interesting story! I would love to read this one.

  29. 29
    Calico Road says:

    Wow, I would love the chance to read this. I have a 7 yr old I worry about since depression runs in our family on both sides.

  30. 30
    Sarah Seitz says:

    Looks like a great read. I'd be interested!

  31. 31
    Jenny says:

    Thanks for a chance at this book…OCD is not stranger to our extended family.

  32. 32
    Kathy says:

    This sounds like a great book! I would love to read it. I have 3 boys and things like this really make me wonder. I check your blog everyday so if I win – I'll send my email.

  33. 33
    Little Miss Shabby says:

    That sounds so interesting! What a great giveaway–I never win these giveaways so, I will def. be picking up a copy for myself! =)

  34. 34
    Bethany says:

    This book sounds very intriquing to me. My daughter has a genetic disorder. In her case, the doctors have been incredibly positive and told me to treat her like a normal child and that she may surprise us with what she can do. Now at 3, she is starting to talk and we can tell that she is very clever. We hope that we can help her communicate so we can tap into her obvious intellect. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

  35. 35
    LisaMM says:

    Amy, great review. Thanks so much for the time you spent reading and reviewing this book for TLC. It's such an important story!

  36. 36
    Spencer Family says:

    What an amazing story. I would love to read the book!

  37. 37
    Deb says:

    I'd love to read the book. I have 3 out of 4 kids with needs and the one thing I really would say is, that we are our children's advocate. We can't wait for someone else to do that for us (much as we would love to!!)

  38. 38
    Anonymous says:

    Fascinating!! Thanks for sharing, I will add this to my reading list.

  39. 39
    em's scrapbag says:

    I'm always looking for a good read. This story is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  40. 40
    SheilaC says:

    what an amazing story! Just as so many mothers find that they can help their childs ADD/ADHD or even autism spectrum by changes in the diet.
    They believe allergies exacerbate these disorders…



  41. 41
    Cindy says:

    Wow. If I don't win your copy, tell me how I can get a copy of my own! I'm so glad that there are people out there who aren't afraid to question the status quo. Hooray for moms everywhere!

  42. 42
    Sarah says:

    This is an amazing story. How wonderful it had a happy ending. Thank you for reviewing this book. It's something I'd like to read. Enjoyed watching the interview. ~ Sarah

  43. 43
    amylouwho says:

    I'm totally intrigued! I didn't know there was a possibility that things like this could be caused by an underlying infection. Fascinating!

  44. 44
    Beth Olson says:

    Thank you for passing the book on to someone! As a teacher it would be good for me to read — always looking for ways to open my mind!

  45. 45
    Tina says:

    This is a very intriguing story! I'd love to read the book. How nice of you to pass on your copy.

  46. 46
    Sameday says:

    Hi Amy, just the kind of book I love to read. I have high praise for people who write about triumphs like this so others can be helped.

  47. 47
    Lucy says:

    wow sounds like a very interesting and inspiring book.

  48. 48
    Melody says:

    Incredible! I would love to read this book. So many things in life are a mystery. I am so glad to know that this no longer has to be one. The power of a Mother's love and strength is awesome.

  49. 49
    dlynthomas says:

    I would love to read this book. I have a cousin who has OCD and Tourettes. Makes me wonder if this could have been what happened to her.

  50. 50
    Cheryl Arkison says:

    What a fascinating story! Proof that we moms usually know when something is wrong with our kids.

  51. 51
    Cheryl Arkison says:

    What a fascinating story! Proof that we moms usually know when something is wrong with our kids.

  52. 52
    Cheryl Arkison says:

    What a fascinating story! Proof that we moms usually know when something is wrong with our kids.

  53. 53
    Love 2 Quilt says:

    I would love to read the story. Isn't it amazing what a mother will do to help her child.

  54. 54
    Jenny says:

    wow. Me please

  55. 55
    sallgood says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I'm very interested in brain research, and this book is one I'd love to read and then pass it forward to someone else!

  56. 56
    Andy says:

    Sounds fascinating! …and if I win, I promise to pass the book along when I'm done!

  57. 57
    michelle@somedaycrafts says:


  58. 58

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