Often asked: Why Did Lia Family Leav Laos?

Why did the Lee family leave Laos?

The Lees never considered staying in Laos. They were among the immemorial Hmong preference for flight, resistance, or death over persecution and assimilation. Whenever they were seen fleeing, the Pathet Lao troops would open fire on them, because they believed there was no reason to allow the Hmong to live.

What happened to Lia in the spirit catches you and you fall down?

The day before Thanksgiving in 1986, she suffered her near-fatal seizure at the family’s kitchen table. Her father declared, “When the spirit catches you, you fall down,” meaning a powerful spirit was locked inside her body, Mai Lee said.

What year did Lia Lee die?

Hours later, Lia finally returned home, where the Lees laid her out on the living room floor and bathed her in boiled herbs. She stopped sweating and, despite everyone’s expectations, she did not die.

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Is Lia Lee still alive?

The greatest problem, for both the Lees and the hospital, was Lia’s medication. Most of the time, she was on a combination of Phenobarbital, Dilantin, Tegretol, and Depakene along with antibiotics, antihistamines, and bronchodilating drugs. By the time she was four, she had changed prescriptions 23 times.

How does Lia Lee die?

The immediate cause was pneumonia, Ms. Fadiman said. But Lia’s underlying medical issues were more complex still, for she had lived the last 26 of her 30 years in a persistent vegetative state. Today, most people in that condition die within three to five years.

How do you cite the spirit catches you and you fall down?

MLA (8th ed.) Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997.

What is a Tvix Neeb?

At the center of Hmong culture is the Txiv Neeb, the shaman (literally, “father/master of spirits”). According to Hmong cosmology, the human body is the host for a number of souls. The isolation and separation of one or more of these souls from the body can cause disease, depression and death.

What was Lia Lee’s diagnosis?

On the most basic level, the book tells the story of the family’s second youngest and favored daughter, Lia Lee, who was diagnosed with a severe form of epilepsy named Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and the culture conflict that obstructs her treatment.

What did fadiman ultimately think ruined Lia’s life?

Fadiman thinks that “[Lia’s] life was ruined not by septic shock or noncompliant parents but by cross-cultural misunderstanding ” (262). In short, the parents’ “noncompliance” (255) had little to do with the outcome of Lia’s illness.

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Is Lia Lee real?

Lia Lee was born July 19, 1982, in Merced. When she was 3 months old, she had her first seizure. American doctors eventually diagnosed epilepsy. Her mother, Foua Yang, and her father, Nao Kao Lee, called it qaug dab peg (pronounced “kow da pay”).

Why did Nao Kao grab Lia and attempt to flee the hospital?

A doctor can’t deal with it? Things must be bad. As Lia is being prepared for release, the doctors tell Nao Kao that she will probably die within weeks. Upset because he “perceived the doctors’ comments [ ] as threats,” Nao Kao grabs Lia and attempts to flee the hospital (13.31).

What does The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down mean in Hmong culture?

‘The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down’ is the literal translation of the Hmong terminology for an epileptic seizure. Lia’s own family believed her seizures were caused by her soul leaving her body, which could be returned to her via animal sacrifice.

What main problem is faced in the spirit catches you and you fall down?

But in her family’s culture, epilepsy is known as qaug dab peg, which translates as “the spirit catches you and you fall down.” The Hmong believe that seizures happen when a person’s soul is captured by a spirit.

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