Jewish Health

Sam - Interview 32

Age at interview: 38

Brief outline: Sam has Familial Dysautonomia, a hereditary condition which affects the autonomic nervous system. Sam tries to focus on what he can do rather than dwell on the things he can't.

Background: Sam is an actor. Ethnic background/nationality: Jewish.

Audio & video

Sam was born with Familial Dysautonomia which is a progressive disease of the nervous system. Sam describes a childhood in which he spent a lot of time in hospital and relied on his mum considerably. After school, Sam attended a residential college to learn life skills with other partially sighted people and met his best friend. Sam describes feeling happier with his life once he started at the college. He then attended a second college to do a drama course which he enjoyed less because there were more restrictions on what he was allowed to do. Sam got a B.Tech National Diploma in Drama and joined the Chicken Shed theatre company and the Actor’s Centre. He has worked in various productions over the years which he has enjoyed but has yet to achieve his ambition to get a part in an episode of Eastenders.
A reduction in his eyesight over the past few years has been problematic for Sam. He describes feeling “blue” at times but tries to concentrate on what he can do rather than focusing on what he can’t. Recently he has been the subject of a documentary which he enjoyed and he hopes to do more travelling in the future.



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