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.

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Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com • Syria • World
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    I was hospitalized several times terrible childhood asthma, and even later it returned for brief periods. I believe that I finally willed it out of my body with determination and meanness.
    There are medications that will abort a life-threatening attack. No asthmatic person should travel without a supply.

    February 17, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hope

    I've heard of competitive runners passing in a matter of seconds with their inhalers in their pockets.
    My thoughts and prayers to Shadid's family and to his many friends. Foreign journalists working behind the lines of war and in countries in a state of crisis are heroes who deserve our utmost respect... their lives are on the line everyday, too.


    February 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hope

    I've heard of competitive runners passing in a matter of seconds with their inhalers in their pockets.
    My thoughts and prayers to Shadid's family and to his many friends. Foreign journalists working behind the lines of war and in countries in a state of crisis are heroes who deserve our utmost respect... their lives are on the line everyday, too.

    February 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fernace

    I have practically lived in the forrest w/all its vegetation, but did not acquire allergies or lung problems til I moves to a city w/lots of Chemical Poison output! No wonder asthma is one of the "adult onset" chronic illnesses constantly being diagnosed! Green energy, people, if not for ourselves, for those who inherit the planet!!

    February 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Puzzled

    was it syria or asthma that killed him?

    February 17, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. chrissy

    Same here fernace! Its the carbons i think, i had never had an asthma attack my whole life til moving to the detroit area 9 yrs ago!

    February 17, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    The same with me. I attribute my lifelong chronic bronchitis and continuous bouts of pneumonia with living the first 18 years of my life in Detroit.

    February 17, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ♔Mmmmm♕

    did y'all city dwellers know cockroach feces can trigger asthma attacks?

    February 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ♔Mmmmm♕

    did y'all city dwellers know roach feces can cause asthma attacks?

    February 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat) ©

      Former city dweller. Thenk you veddy much.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      I do now!

      February 18, 2012 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mary

    @ Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™ and Philip, I really miss the days when you two would go back and forth on any given issue with out any interruption from another blogger.
    The both of you were always worth stopping to read.

    Maybe one day again.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Probably Mary.

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

      I miss those days, too.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    Well hello TORI©
    Good to see you here.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Patrick

    @Tori, you are an imposter and don't have a younger brother.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Patrick

    @Tori, I asked you where have you been? How's your parents?

    February 17, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy ©

      Not Patrick.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy ©

    Not me.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy ©

    Not TORI©

    February 17, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
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