Andrew Wilkinson joined Asthma WA in early 2022 as Partnerships Executive. With much passion for the Asthma WA cause, Andrew has shared his personal story about his experience with asthma with many. Andrew has six passion projects and greater awareness of asthma and keeping kids with asthma out of the hospital is one of them! This is his story in his own words:
Here is a pic of me aged 4 prior to my first asthma attack, bound for the northwest of WA. Dust mites from the pillow was suspected as the cause. While on this holiday I experienced my first asthma attack, and my mum and cousin rushed me from Exmouth back to Perth – I think breaking the unofficial land speed record in the HK Holden Premier while I rolled around unrestrained in the back gasping for air. Straight to PMH in an oxygen tent and then one of the early users of Ventolin back in the early 70’s. I still feel funny watching ET (the scene when ET is in the plastic tent that surrounded Elliot’s house gives me a shudder or two).
Anyway, my asthma journey has come a long way since the 70’s and I am thankful for every scientific advancement and caring health professional who has got me to this point in ‘reasonably fine’ shape. Not that I take anything for granted. I swim twice per week and Wheezy Walk has got me moving on the land again and I’m loving counting my steps.
Fortunately, both my children have shown no signs of asthma. I remember a number of times where my mum and dad were brought to tears thinking they could lose me, watching me struggle for my next breath. I really couldn’t bear going through that with my kids.
I have six passion projects and I am lucky to have already worked at one, Foodbank WA and now Asthma WA. I also have other passions including fountain pen collecting – getting inked for me on the weekend means refilling my fountain pens with ink ready for the working week ahead. And on the weekend, I love hunting down the best coffee spot in Perth with my wife, the best hamburger with my son and the best place to kick the soccer ball with my daughter. Chico our latest family edition too is helping me keep my Wheezy Walk steps up and he is a benefit of COVID that keeps on giving.
Being part of Asthma WA, I know now more than ever during these COVID times, having your lungs in tip-top condition is paramount, let alone for those with comorbidities such as asthma or COPD. It is critical to secure ongoing funds so Asthma WA can continue providing lifesaving and life-changing services to those who already access us, but also to promote more widely to those experiencing respiratory issues for the first time who may be unaware of what services we can offer or that we are here to help.