An unsentimental and unflinching portrait of love, courage, and hope as a family navigates a harrowing emotional terrain.
Randi Davenport worked hard to provide her family with a sense of stability and strength. Despite her son Chase’s diagnosis of autism, he attended school, loved to go boogie boarding, had a passion for music and even won a blue ribbon at a science fair. But, at 15, he began exhibiting mysterious psychiatric behaviors for which the doctors could find no treatment. Pursued by terrifying images, unwilling to eat or talk, unable to recognize his mother, Chase became ever more tortured and unreachable and Randi became relentless in her efforts to save him.
This is the heroic story of how a mother’s uncompromising love for her children brought her son back from the brink of suicide and enabled her young daughter— caught in the family tempest—to find strength in her own resilience and compassion.
The roadblocks were many: doctors who couldn’t agree on a diagnosis; insurance companies that wouldn’t pay; treatments that made Chase’s condition worse. But Randi refused to give up, even when the doctors threw up their hands. No matter what the health professionals and social workers told her, she was determined to find a way to save her son.
Beautifully written and profoundly moving, this is the heartbreaking yet triumphant story of how Randi Davenport challenged the byzantine and broken health care system and managed to make her family whole once more. In The Boy Who Loved Tornadoes, she gives voice to the experiences of countless families whose struggles with mental illness are likewise invisible to the larger world.