This piece was written by Kelynn Brewer:
That trip to the emergency room was the longest drive I’ve ever taken. I had received a phone call from my oldest son telling me my 3 year old was “having a hard time breathing.” When I rushed home, I found my baby boy on his hands and knees trying to find a position to help him breathe better. Upon arrival at the hospital, he was given nebulizer treatments and steroids to help “open up” his airways. After 4 hours, we returned home with orders to continue nebulizer treatments and a steroid taper. It took him over a week to get back to “normal.”
My youngest son was diagnosed with asthma at the age of 18 months. I had plenty of experience with asthma and I definitely didn’t want to see my son suffer with it. My sister was diagnosed with asthma when she was two years old. She has spent most of her life in and out of emergency rooms and hospitals. She was put on a breathing machine when she was only eight! Talk about scary, and now all three of my children have asthma. For my older two, their asthma is very well controlled, but Kameron, my 9-year-old, continues to have regular flares and symptoms.
We’ve had many trips to the emergency room and same day office visits due to his asthma attacks. He was placed on his first dose of prednisone before he could walk.
Through the years, Kameron has had his ups and downs. He started on inhaled steroids at the beginning of June this year. He has done fairly well since then. He had to remain in the house during the majority of the summer vacation because of high humidity and heat. The amount of soot in the air doesn’t help matters at all. Just one whiff of this air causes a coughing frenzy.
Please take a moment to let the EPA know how important it is to have strong soot standards. Keeping these small particles of charred material out of the air will mean fewer asthma attacks and healthier kids. For me, it will mean Kameron can spend more of his summer outside and less time in the house waiting for the air to clear.
Kelynn Brewer, RN, BSN is the Clinical Coordinator for the Asthma Center at Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Institute. Thank you, Kelynn!