American Family Affected By SARS

Six-year-old Mickey Salisbury is alone, sick and quarantined in China.

He and his father, James Salisbury, had been living in Shenzhen, China, where his father taught English at a college. Both became ill with SARS, which has claimed at least 111 lives and infected more than 2,700 people in some 20 countries,mostly in Asia.

So far, there have not been any SARS-related deaths in this country, but 52-year-old teacher James Salisbury, who died Wednesday in Hong Kong, is one of two Americans living abroad have died from the disease.

Salisbury's oldest daughter and Mickey's half sister Michelle said on The Early Show, Mickey is in stable condition. "He only has a small problem with one of his lungs. But otherwise they say that he is happy and well and they expect that he'll have a full recovery."

Mickey is being cared for by workers and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in China at the Tuen Mun Hospital.

"He has always been a very energetic boy, and as I heard last night, he's been happy and playing, and so he's doing very well under the circumstances," Michelle said, She said his mom, Jiahui Salisbury, has been able to talk to him every day.

"Because of the health risks right now ,they have no plans to send her to Hong Kong until we know for sure what's happening with Mickey," Michelle said, pointing out that the boy is in quarantine and can have no visitors.

James and Jiahui Salisbury also had triplet daughters that remained in Orem with their mother, while father and son went to live temporarily in China. Experts believe the disease started in southern China late last year and spread to other parts of the country and around the world.


At first, both father and son had been diagnosed with pneumonia. When the diagnosis was changed, the family requested to have James Salisbury moved from a mainland hospital to one in Hong Kong.

"We heard the hospital in Hong Kong had specialists that were treating people with SARS and we thought there might be other things that could be done to help him get better," Michelle said. But he ended up dying of a heart attack on the way to Hong Kong.

"We know that this is a new virus and that they're doing different things for different people and people are responding differently to different medications," Michelle said. "We feel confident that they did everything they could for him. He just had a very severe case of it."

Michelle said she believes Mickey knows what happened to his father. "He saw him once and then didn't see him again. I don't know who spoke to him. But I know that he's current with the conditions."