Developed from a series of articles that touched thousands of readers and won journalist Tom Hallman the Pulitzer Prize, Sam is the true story about fitting in, medical miracles-and the inner strength of one courageous boy.
Sam Lightner was born with a rare life-threatening facial disfigurement. For years, doctors refused to operate on him-until a team of surgeons finally decided to undertake a risky, thirteen-hour procedure. But after Sam begins his freshman year of high school, complications arise, leaving him comatose and his family hopeless. But one doctor-pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby-refuses to give up. She stays by his side, until he moves a finger, a foot, and then finally rebuilds his life...
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Tom Hallman, Jr., won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for a series of articles about Sam Lightner that was published in the Oregonion. Hallman, who had been a Pulitzer finalist twice before, has also received multiple American Society of Newspaper Editors awards, a Scripps Howard National Journalism Award, a National Headliner Award, and a Nixon National Writing Award. A reporter for more than twenty-five years, Hallman has been at the Oregonian since 1980.From Publishers Weekly:
Veteran journalist Hallman expands his Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Sam Lightner, a boy born with a rare, disfiguring growth on his face, into a heart-breaking saga of the emotional, physical and psychological battles Sam and his family have fought since his birth in 1985. The growth, a "tangle of lymphatic capillary cells" beneath the skin of Sam's face, necessitates two surgeries before Sam is even a week old; when the boy nearly dies after a 1989 operation, his parents decide that surgery to remove the mass is out of the question until Sam himself demands it. Hallman, a reporter at the Portland Oregonian who first met Sam in 1999, tenderly chronicles Sam's childhood and early adolescence: his difficulties fitting in at school, his inability to participate in activities with other children, his yearning to lead a more normal life. In 2000, Sam undergoes surgery in Boston. Initially it seems successful, but back in Portland, Sam slips into a coma. His pediatric neurosurgeon and his parents are the only ones who believe he will live; eventually Sam proves them right. Hallman's writing is crisp and affecting, though also sometimes overly dramatic and simplistic. He portrays Sam's doctors, for example, as wholly altruistic beings (a portrayal not entirely unjustified) and glosses over some of the more personal, and painful, emotions his parents must have felt watching their child suffer. Still, this is a deeply moving story, an against-all-odds tale of bravery and faith. 8 pages b&w photos
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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