SARS: Two Utah Residents Critically Ill in China

SARS: Two Utah Residents Critically Ill in China

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OREM, Utah (AP) -- An Orem man and his 6-year-old son were in critical condition in a Chinese hospital after contracting the severe respiratory ailment that has been spreading around the world, relatives said

James Salisbury, 50, and his son Michael, known as Mickey, have been in the hospital in Shenzhen since March 31, when they diagnosed with pneumonia, said Salisbury's oldest daughter, Michelle, 23, of Orem.

Days later, they were diagnosed with severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.

"My father is worse than Mickey," Michelle Salisbury said Tuesday. "My father is in the worst stages."

Chinese authorities were uncertain how Salisbury contracted the illness, which has killed 25 people since it was first reported in November in the Chinese province of Guangdong.

Michelle Salisbury said her father had been all over China, but there were no reported outbreaks where he was living.

The family has been receiving information from one of his friends in China and authorities with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Asia.

About a year ago, James Salisbury and his son moved to Shenzhen where he accepted a job teaching English at a college, leaving his wife and 5-year-old triplet girls in Orem.

The job in the southeastern Chinese city near Hong Kong was supposed to be temporary, but Salisbury and his wife were considering moving the entire family to China.

For the past 16 years, Salisbury, who has eight children living in Utah County, split his time teaching in China and Utah, where he was a part-time professor of psychology, ethics, human development and theater at Utah Valley State College. He was also a substitute teacher in the Salt Lake School District, but spent a lot of time in China.

"He has always loved China," said Michelle Salisbury.

Although 95 percent of SARS victims recover, the illness has already killed 104 people worldwide, most of them in Asia.

Salisbury's family has set up a fund to help pay for the medical care for both father and son. The James Salisbury Donation Fund is at Zions Bank.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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