4.95 Million People Die From Treatable Infections Annually

A new project, The Global AMR Diary, launched Tuesday. The release is linked to the publication of Diary of a Dying Girl, by Mallory Smith, who died from a superbug infection in 2017. I wrote about Mallory’s story and the need to develop phage therapy to combat AMR two years ago in “Salt in My Soul: Poignant Film Calls Attention To The Need For Phages For Antibiotic Resistance.”

Mother’s loss launches global effort to fight antibiotic resistance

In the years since Mallory's passing, the journal has become a source of solace for Shader Smith as she has traveled the globe speaking about the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. It is also now the inspiration for two new projects she hopes will spark greater understanding of the public health crisis that ended her daughter’s life prematurely and could claim millions more.

Her Daughter Died From a Chronic Illness: She's Sharing Her Diary

Shortly after Mallory's death, her grieving mother read the thousands of diary entries in Mallory's computer. Shader Smith would posthumously publish the entries as "Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life" in 2019 and the not-yet-released "Diary of a Dying Girl" on May 7.

"[Finding the entries] was really devastating," Shader Smith says. The more she read, the more she realized that her daughter was suffering as much as she was living. The brave face Mallory put on, adopting the mantra "live happy," was just one side of her lived experience. These entries were the space where she told it all — as Mallory wrote, "the letdowns, the uncertainties, the anxieties, the loneliness."

Diary of a Dying Girl, adapted from Salt in My Soul

Mallory Smith knew she was dying from a young age—you can prolong life to some degree after a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, but it is a progressive and fatal illness. This collection of her detailed diary entries describes the beautiful moments in her life (love, vacations, finishing high school, and going to college,) as well as the medications, hospitalizations, failing health, and uncertain wait to see if she could be cleared for a lung transplant.

Diary of a Dying Girl, adapted from Salt in My Soul

This moving, heartfelt YA adaptation of Smith’s adult memoir, Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life, is based on diary entries Smith kept from age 16 until her death at 25 from cystic fibrosis, an often invisible disease. In middle school, she contracted Burkholderia cenocepacia (B. cepacia), a deadly bacteria known to infect those with cystic fibrosis.

Diary of a Dying Girl, adapted from Salt in My Soul

In this adaptation of her memoir for adults, Smith, who died in 2017, chronicles life with cystic fibrosis from age 16 to 25.

For Smith, a Jewish girl from California, time is “the meanest of forces.” Inextricable from her accounts of sports, dating, Hawaiian vacations, college at Stanford, and post-graduation freelance writing is the fact that her future is altered and shortened by CF, a progressive genetic disease that affects the lungs and other organs, and Burkholderia cenocepacia, a deadly bacteria that further compromises her lungs.