February 17th, 2012
06:56 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers weigh in on Shadid's career, Syria, dangers of asthma

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Anthony Shadid's death inspired much conversation from our readers. Shadid, 43, died Thursday of an apparent asthma attack while reporting in eastern Syria, according to The New York Times.

New York Times reporter dies in Syria

One reader wrote in to share their admiration of Shadid's work.

shakti1111: "The world has lost a very talented and extremely dedicated reporter. My condolences go out to Anthony's wife, children, family and friends. As someone who worked side-by-side with Anthony on the editorial staff of our college newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin, it was clear from his very first news reporting that Anthony was destined for bigger issues than the city council. That he chose to commit himself to bringing untold stories to light, providing voice for the voiceless, bringing the intricacies of the modern Middle East into focus for the rest of the world, only shows his noble spirit and tremendous character. May he be remembered for his outstanding contributions to journalism and great authenticity as a person."

This reader said they don't want to see outsiders getting too involved in Syria.

Sargemdf: "I'm sorry the man died; but I have to ask why do American reporters always feel that they need to go to the very region where we are hated so much just for a so-called story? We should never again send any American troops into any Arab country. Let them work the situation our among themselves. If we go, we are hated. If we stay out, we are hated. So why waste one American life for those people?"

Several readers referenced the cameraman who carried Shadid's body out of Syria.

thr2: "The man was reporting, which was his job. He was a Pulitzer Prize winner. His cameraman carried his body across the border, obviously showing his love for his co-worker. Why would dying of asthma be different than dying from being shot?"

Graced: "This man - and his comrades in real journalism - have been responsible for bringing the truth to the world when hideous regimes would have it hidden. Thank God he had the courage and desire to show the rest of the world the problems that exist. Rest in peace, and condolences/prayers to his family. And a heartfelt thanks to the photographer who made the trek with his body."

Some of the commenters noted the death was not a result of violence or conflict.

svscnn: "He wasn't 'killed' by anything other than a congenital lung disease."

Another reader said they don't agree with everything they see in the newspaper, but they still respect Shadid's work.

upsetinCA: "The life lost of a reporter trying to shed light on the darkness of the situation in Syria is very sad. Some of us know how to separate the two. Thanks ... RIP Anthony."

The same reader added:

"Asthma can kill. Most attacks are minor, but I've had friends and family hospitalized because of severe attacks. Your airway muscles freeze. I don't see how you can say it's not fatal when a person's body is starved of oxygen. Put your head underwater for 10 minutes and tell me how it goes - same thing."

Indeed, many people responding to the story talked about the challenges of asthma.

RationalDoc: "Horses can be a strong allergen for some people. I have patients in my practice who cannot get near them. He may not have previously been diagnosed with this particular allergy which triggered his previously known asthma. And, his first exposure may have caused a further sensitization such that his second exposure was all the more fulminant."

lokester: "Thanks, Doc. I have very little experience with/knowledge of acute asthma. I've always wondered when patients who are aware of their condition, and presumably in possession of medications to stave off emergency attacks, die as a result of an asthma episode. Are sudden attacks which resist emergency treatment a real possibility? Could a patient like Mr. Shadid suddenly experience so profound an attack as to expire in spite of his access to medications?"

This Canadian reader shared their condolences.

MarcfromNB: "Reminds me of my own condition I suffer, though I keep in good shape and think mine is relatively mild, you never know. There is a reason the military doesn't let people with asthma in, even though I would've loved to have been in the army. Guess I will have to settle through servitude through science then ..."

Location makes a difference, according to this reader.

BOBDELROSSO: "If he had the asthma attack in New York, he would probably still be alive today. "

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

Post by:
Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com • Syria • World
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. banasy ©

    Not her.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      Hi all, Patrick called me and told me about trolls. I was out for dinner and drinks and he, a very peaceful guy, was shouting! His New Orleans accent was in complete form. He lost that years ago.@banasy, that was Patrick at 11:14 throwing the bait at the fake Tori. Glad his various numbers are in my phone. LOL LOL

      February 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

      Good morning, dazzle ©.
      Patrick introduced himself to me on another thread, but I was asleep and didn't see it until this morning.
      I missed all of the evening's trolling excitement.

      February 18, 2012 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @Joey, how are you today? @Patrick mostly blogs on anything food and wine. I got on late last night after the trolls had their fun. I hope you have a beautiful day...

      February 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Poor Patrick.
      Talk about baptism by fire....

      February 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @banasy,Patrick thought he was losing it when fake Tori showed up. I didn't see if he showed up today. He was to spend time with his mom. He liked meeting you! He could still be waiting for hamsta.

      February 18, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    I knew that. But I got sucked in anyway.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy ©

    No t me.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy ©


    February 17, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy ©


    February 17, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dazzle ©

    Not Patrick at 11:36

    February 17, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. billie S


    February 17, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JoeVa

    First, asthma isn't consistent. I have it. I'm a former photojournalist. Asthma attacks are usually set off by a combination of triggers. I've been around cigarette smoke and been fine, then been around smokers and had an attack come on. Anthony led a life around the field. To argue "well, he should have stayed in NYC" is just silly.

    Second, the argument that reporters shouldn't go to "Arab" countries is EXACTLY why it's so critical for western and US media to go to hot spots and areas of the world like that–because so many Americans are ignorant and uninformed of what is going on. For instance, I was in Beirut during their Civil War and America (as a country) was really quite popular even with Muslim and Palestinian fighters. Or the degree of complexity in what was going on (how events were often driven by local details)... What so many Americans believe to be true about the world is often out-of-date or not completely accurate. And good guys like Anthony Shadid need to keep going to places like Libya and Syria. The world is a poorer place with his passing.

    February 18, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. gung hoe

    Mourning JIFFER Been trying to find ya probably working out.But anyways that asthma some bad stuff.Dam near killed me as a kid,they said i outgrew it.Had it so bad my chest is deformed from it.One side is bigger than the other.But havent had a asthma attack since I was about 5

    February 18, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. MourningInSF

    During the past 24 hours, I have seen several interviews that Shadid (RIP) gave on NPR and other stations and I cant help but be amazed by not jus the bravery but above all the dedication with which Shadid followed his calling. A great role model for kids of today. Most people would give up after one life threatening incidence, and my hero went to the battlefield again and again because he wanted to bring out the story of human experience behind the breaking developments that most other news channels focus on. America has lost a fine son today, and we have lost a humble, dedicated professional who was our eye into the turbulent arab world of today. My condolences to his family and congratulations on raising/supporting a distinguished human being whose contributions will long outlive his days on this earth.

    February 18, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. chrissy

    @ mary, and i miss the days when philip was civil to people! Reading his posts nowadays just triggers a migrane!

    February 18, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chrissy

    Also if you want them to have a conversation without interuption from other bloggers, a public blog site aint the place for it to happen! I would suggest a room, maybe DAYS INN!

    February 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I miss those days, also.
      They were before a certain poster entered the fray.
      And I'm not talking about JIF.

      February 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    Yea banasy, thats EXACTLY, what i was thinkin earlier. That poster turned him into something a lil less human.

    February 18, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ♔Mmmmm♕

    people report on a lot of things of war but rarely report on the stench of war...when those atrocities become airborne im sure it would put any asthmatic at risk...

    February 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      The stench of war. Accurate.

      February 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. chrissy

    lmao @ dazzle, now THAT conversation is one i would LOVE to be a spectator to. I can only imagine how it would go.

    February 18, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
1 2