Manage your asthma so you can live your life

Missing her recent swimming sports and Walkathon are just two of the downsides of having severe asthma and allergies for Aalyana Losefa And while Aalyana does get disappointed when she misses out she understands that being well is most important

Aalyana is one of the nearly 300000 children in New Zealand with asthma quotAalyana has never known anything different shes always had severe asthma and very bad allergiesquot says her mum Alesha

Aalyanas been a regular visitor to Starship hospital since she was born She received her first dose of prednisone a steroid used in severe episodes of asthma when she was just 3 months old

She has already missed about one third of the first term of school this year due to hospital admissions Its important to Aalyana to do well at school Alesha takes school work to Aalyana in hospital and she also attends the Starship School while shes in hospital to ensure she doesnt miss out

The mature way she manages her condition and her amazing attitude to life despite her everyday challenges are what made Aalyana one of the 2009 Supreme Achievers at the Asthma Foundations Achievers Awards The Foundation were so impressed with her that they asked her to return to speak at the 2011 Achievers Awards at Government House in Wellington

Asthma Awareness Week is this week and the Asthma Foundation wants New Zealanders to know what its like for children and their parents when they are hospitalised by asthma

quotWe want to tell New Zealand about what asthma does to people when it turns ugly Seeing your child hospitalised because they are unable to breathe is a terrifying experience both for the child and the parentsquot says Angela Francis the Chief Executive of the Asthma Foundation

Our children with asthma have 550000 days off school every year In 201011 46 percent of the admissions to hospital for asthma were for children These figures are too high we want all New Zealanders to join together to quotkeep our kids out of hospitalquot

What does having asthma mean for Aalyana and her family

quotAs a family we need to be aware of all the small things that trigger Aalyanas asthma and plan accordingly For example Aalyana is unable to be home if the lawns are being mowed These things are learnt and take timequot says Alesha

Having an excellent relationship with their GP and school means that Alesha is comfortable that Aalyana is being looked after while she is away from home We have an effective action plan that the school follows if there is an attack at school Alesha reports that quoteveryone has a clear understanding of what needs to be done if Aalyanas condition worsens and this gives me confidence that the right things will be donequot

quotBeing a 10 year old girl Aalyana is always keen to give things a try and I love the fact she participates as much as she can She has a good understanding of how far she can push herself and as she has lived with this all her life she knows her limitsquot

When asked how she encourages Aalyana to lead a full and normal life Alesha says quotfiguring out what their triggers are and rather than preventing them doing something work with your school and health team to find a way to do it that works Even though it can be hard you need to support them As Aalyana says quotits important to manage your asthma so that you can live your life not let asthma rule your lifequot

Date : 02 May, 2012
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