Knowl­edge needed to live and breathe

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Morgan

Most of us take for granted the fact that we can breathe with­out giv­ing it a sec­ond thought.

But it can be a chal­lenge for Jack An­der­son.

The 13-year-old, who has suf­fered from asthma since he was two, con­trols his con­di­tion with med­i­ca­tion and by keep­ing fit.

But there are cer­tain things that can set off an at­tack.

“If I go to a friend’s house I can’t stay the night if they have cats,” he says.

“I can’t have any an­i­mals apart from fish or mice.”

Play­ing sports such as ten­nis helps but Jack has to make sure he doesn’t push him­self too hard.

“Some­times I can get re­ally wheezy,” he says.

But the Mt Eden res­i­dent al­ways makes sure he has his in­haler nearby in case he needs to have a “se­cret” puff.

Jack’s mum Sarah says he has been able to self-man­age the con­di­tion for sev­eral years now.

“He’s re­ally re­spon­si­ble and al­ways makes sure he’s got his in­haler with him.

“When he was younger he had to go to hospi­tal a few times. We had to make a call about whether to get more ef­fec­tive treat­ment.”

Sarah says the fam­ily have good knowl­edge of how to deal with an asthma at­tack. Her hus­band Brian is a doc­tor in the pae­di­atric unit at Star­ship hospi­tal, while she is a for­mer nurse.

Brian has also suf­fered from chronic asthma since child­hood.

“We are used to it be­cause we’re a more med­i­cal house­hold,” Sarah says.

How­ever Sarah says ini­tia­tives such as the Asthma Foun­da­tion’s Bal­loon Day, this Satur­day are a great way to ed­u­cate fam­i­lies who don’t have med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als in the house.

Asthma Foun­da­tion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jane Pat­ter­son says the aim of the day is to help fam­i­lies af­fected by the con­di­tion in any way pos­si­ble.

“Im­proved ser­vices for peo­ple with asthma would give many more peo­ple the chance to live health­ier, hap­pier lives.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on Bal­loon Day events visit www. asth­mafoun­da­tion.org.nz.

Photo” JA­SON OXENHAM

Asthma ace: Mt Eden res­i­dent Jack An­der­son plays sport such as ten­nis to keep his asthma un­der con­trol.

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