06 June 2013 | News
Gary and Noah’s Story - Fighting Asthma
How Gary raised over€1,200 for the Asthma Society of Ireland
Gary (aged 29) is from Wexford and he has asthma. He was diagnosed when he was 4 or 5 years of age. Gary's asthma was a problem when he was a child but as an adult it is well managed and he doesn't really worry about it at all. He takes his controller inhaler regularly and only needs his reliever inhaler if he is playing sport and occasionally when his symptoms worsen.
Gary's son Noah (nearly 4) had a bad cough in November last year and it didn't seem to go away, even when he took medicine. The cough was persistent so they took Noah to see their Doctor and he was put on an inhaler shortly after Christmas. Noah's doctor explained how to take the inhaler and that it was better for children to use a spacer device. Children should always use a spacer with their inhaler as they make inhalers easier to use, and they increase the amount of medication that reaches the airways as well as reducing the risk of side effects such as oral thrush.
Gary and his wife googled 'spacer devices' to find out where to get one and the Asthma Society of Ireland website came up in the search results. They saw that the Asthma Society offered spacers at a reduced cost so they phoned the office and ordered one. When they phoned they found out about the Asthma Adviceline and spoke to the asthma nurse specialist to get some more information as Noah had just been diagnosed. Gary said that although he had asthma himself he had forgotten a lot of the information and the asthma nurse gave him loads of practical advice which was brilliant.
She gave him tips on washing bed clothes at a high temperature once a week and on keeping soft toys to a minimum as the house dust mite is a trigger for Noah. One of the most crucial tips she gave him was about the importance of an asthma management plan to help monitor and control Noah's asthma. Gary had never heard of an asthma management plan before and the nurse posted one out to him. Gary said that the kids' management plan 'My Asthma Plan' was colourful and fun for kids and a great way to help keep an eye on Noah's condition and make it fun and not so scary. The nurse also talked to them about the importance of having a planned time for Noah to take his medication and suggested that they try to make a game of it so it's fun and Noah is relaxed when he takes his medication and not scared by his asthma. Gary said that after receiving great information and advice from Asthma Adviceline he felt he wanted to do something to support the Society and help ensure that other people could get the same support that he and his family had received.
He hadn't really done anything for charity before apart from supporting friends or putting money in a bucket. He decided to run the Wexford half marathon and raise some funds at the same time. He also held a dress down day at work and a raffle, and when he asked local businesses to donate prizes everyone helped out and they raised over €1,200 in aid of the Adviceline.
Gary said the asthma tips from the Asthma Society of Ireland were so simple and practical when he heard them and it was just great to be able to talk to someone about it and to get that support and advice over the phone. They were really worried about Noah's asthma when he was first diagnosed but now he's come on in leaps and bounds. He's feeling great.