The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down Essay
While most American families would have committed a daughter with brain damage to an institution, the Lees cared for Lia for 26 years, bathing her, dressing her impeccably, and even celebrating her birthday each year.Their care is likely what kept her alive for so long, when the doctors believed she would die within days.Hmong families tend to be large, with an average of 9.5 children per family among refugees in the United States during the mid-eighties.
Fadiman notes that family obligations sometimes put enormous demands on people, such as Jonas Vangay, a community leader who lived with his wife, his three children, his two brothers and their wives, and his brothers' ten children.
It may have been this lack of love that hindered them from considering their patients' points of view and adjusting their methods accordingly.
The majority of Hmong living in Laos lost both friends and relatives and their homes as a result of the Hmong involvement in the Vietnam War.
However, Lia's neurologist admitted that it might have been a medical error which caused Lia to lose her brain function, and that the large dosages of medication in her system may have made her more susceptible to the septic shock that caused the brain damage.
Furthermore, the fact that the Lees kept Lia alive for 26 more years suggests that their love and care was more powerful than the doctors' medicine.