Samantha and her son Patrick were struggling with asthma for years. Patrick was just 18 months old when Samantha first heard the warning signs of his asthma. She held his tiny body as he wheezed and gasped, trying to suck air into his wet lungs. Having asthma herself, Samantha rushed him to the emergency department, where he was admitted immediately and put on oxygen. It started a nightmare affecting every corner of their lives for six years.
Diagnosing asthma in young children can be challenging because they are often treated based solely on the symptoms they display. It means parents like Samantha are left helpless and reacting to life-threatening attacks in real-time, while their child spends time in and out of hospital. As a single mum, Samantha was exhausted. Barely able to sleep due to Patrick’s breathing, she began suffering from chronic migraines herself. The daily juggle of keeping Patrick safe and managing when he was in the hospital or missing school, with a full-time job and her other children to care for, was taking its toll – Samantha knew something had to change.
We are acting now to help kids like Patrick lead normal lives again.
For years, Samantha called Patrick ‘the chilled one’, in the family. While his friends would spend hours playing and running around, Patrick would prefer to just watch or spend time on the couch. In reality, Patrick was not getting enough oxygen into his body, leaving him constantly exhausted. As the years passed, and the GP and emergency department visits continued, Patrick was still never officially diagnosed with asthma.
A desperate late-night web search led her to Asthma WA
And soon after, an appointment with our respiratory specialist Dr. Steven Oo and Clinical Nurse Educator, Kate Hipwell led to the diagnosis Patrick so desperately needed. Today, Patrick is a different child. We are proud of the impact we make in the lives of people like Samantha and Patrick, but our services are free, and we rely on donations from kind-hearted people like you to continue our work.
Patrick was just one out of many children waiting for urgent lung function testing at our Children’s Asthma Hub. We believe that every child deserves the right to breathe easily like Patrick.