Horrible: Taking the SAT's literally killed a child

<p>In moving from one section of the newspaper to another I saw an obituary about a child who took the recent SAT's, and who sat near someone who used heavy perfume. The child had cystic fibrosis, and the perfume caused her lungs to react to the perfume. She was taken to hospital the day after the SAT's, and she died. </p>

<p>She had already applied to Brown as an ED applicant.</p>

<p>What an absolutely horrible story. I can't imagine the pain her parents must feel. My heart truly goes out to the family, and all her friends.</p>

<p>That's a sad story, but may I point out that it was the perfume, not the SAT itself, that did it. It could have happened in school on any day,</p>

<p>Cystic fibrosis, I believe, is something you're born with. I would suspect that in school the students knew her, and were able to accomodate her needs better than strangers would be, since the strangers would have no idea of her affliction. </p>

<p>And you almost sounded defensive, as if I'd blamed the SAT's. Clearly I didn't. It was just a terrible, terrible tragedy.</p>

<p>You don't sit in the same place for 5 hours straight in school. It probably was the SAT's fault.</p>

<p>It is a horribly sad story. I saw the obit Friday and wondered about the cause of death (wasn't mentioned in the obit). Then the obit appeared a second time in Saturday's paper. Finally the obit appeared a third time today with an accompanying article that explained what had happened.</p>

<p>Tragic, certainly. But we also do not know all the facts to even begin the blame game. I can't help but wonder whether there could have been more foresight and planning on all sides in order to have prevented this (if it even could have been prevented)? I have very little knowledge about cystic fibrosis but would the family/student have known that exposure to excessive amounts of perfume could have caused this reaction? If so, were efforts made to control the environment for the student when she took the SAT tests or would such a request have been accommodated?</p>

<p>The thread title is misleading: sitting next to someone using heavy perfume killed a child with cystic fibrosis. </p>

<p>My son is sensitive to perfume, but not to a life-threatening degree. (He comes by that sensitivity honestly, as my wife feels the same way about perfume and thus never uses it.) He happened to sit next to a girl who sloshed on perfume the first time he took the SAT I for the Midwest Academic Talent Search. Perhaps it's just as well that his score from that testing session has vanished from his record of scores (as ALL College Board test scores from eighth grade or below do), because he felt sick that day, and didn't feel he could concentrate as well as he usually can. All he can do in the future, if the issue comes up again, is ask the test proctor to be reseated if he finds he can't breathe in the seat he is assigned to. No one does much to keep junior high and high school kids from using fragrances to excess. </p>

<p>My deepest sympathies to the family of the girl who died. Over the years, I've known just a few children (all girls, as it happens) with cystic fibrosis. They are old before their years, because they are continually thinking about how to guard their health and about the very real prospect that they will die young. I certainly think young people with a health risk like that ought to be able to arrange special testing accommodations--but this is not a problem unique to the SAT I, but characteristic of secondary school environments.</p>

<p>I wasn't defending the SAT. The title of the thread was just a bit misleading. Not a big issue.</p>

<p>Actually I was expecting to read that a student had committed suicide after bombing the SAT. Very misleading thread title.</p>

<p>I'm surprised that I haven't heard more about the potential deadly mix of cystic fibrosis and perfume. My daughter has a boy in her class with cystic fibrosis and to my knowledge, she has not been asked to refrain from wearing perfume. My daugher doesn't anyway, but now I will ensure she doesn't. Perhaps the teacher is aware of this risk and is monitoring the situation.</p>

<p>I saw the obits, too, and I felt a little cringe hoping that no one would see it as an SAT-baiting opportunity. It's just too sad to be used that way.</p>

<p>This makes no sense it is is as was reported--if the child was having problems due to his/her sensitivities there was no reason for the child not to speak up to the proctor of the exam & explain there was a problem. If the child was that sensitive to perfumes, it is very odd that it was never noted previously. </p>

<p>I know folks can be very sensitive to smells--our home is a scent-free-zone for precisely that reason. We try our best to have NO scents in our home because they will trigger any or all of us to have allergy attacks & yes sometimes difficulty breathing. We're aware of this & bring this up as needed when we're in a setting where our health is being affected by others. </p>

<p>I can't imagine any of us lasting hours in any room with someone who was wearing strong perfume--my kids would be hacking & coughing & sniffling so no one could concentrate.</p>

<p>This thread should be retitled because one of the high schoolers might see the title and trip out or something and not actually bother reading the thread.</p>

We try our best to have NO scents in our home because they will trigger any or all of us to have allergy attacks & yes sometimes difficulty breathing.


<p>How does one have scent free home? Like, you use scent free cleaning products? Or what?</p>

<p>We TRY to only buy things that don't have scents--it's a challenge (we generally settle for scents that don't trigger anyone in the family). This means you have to try to find cleaning products, toiletries, detergent, etc. that are unscented. Just smelling "Simple Green" has caused our S to have an allergy attack that lasted a week, even after we did our best to eliminate it! Fortunately, we are not as sensitive to scents as some people who end up in the hospital after exposure, but we try to be as aware as possible & carry around allergy meds for inadvertent exposures (as frequently happen in public places like schools, theater, etc.)</p>

<p>I suspect the student tried to tough it out for the entire length of the exam, and that this turned out to be a fatal mistake. The OP said that the student had applied ED to Brown. This was therefore the student's last shot at the SAT (even if Brown would count November scores, it would have been too late to sign up for it). I would venture to guess that the student might have ignored the developing symptoms for the sake of the exam.</p>