Reanne Kennedy with sons Dominic and David, and their new vacuum cleaner.
Reanne Kennedy with sons Dominic and David, and their new vacuum cleaner.

Helping hand for dedicated mum

REANNE Kennedy often struggles with the day-to-day realities of dealing with asthma, but this week she received a helping hand.

The mother of four has two sons who are asthmatics and says that sometimes means having to put the needs of her other children aside in order to make sure an ill child has constant, full-time care.

“The paramedics drummed it into me that an asthmatic child can easily die,” Ms Kennedy said.

“They can go from breathing okay to not breathing at all very quickly.”

For Ms Kennedy that has meant sleepless nights, constant medication, trips to the emergency department, ambulance trips and hospital stays for Dominic, four, and almost three-year-old David, made even more difficult by her separation from her partner.

“Most doctors won't diagnose asthma in children before they turn two,” Ms Kennedy said.

This week her stories of dealing with asthma, published on the Kids Breathe Better website – kidsbreathebetter.com.au – have earned the Boambee East family a brand new vacuum cleaner.

Her son David was among 500 children selected by a panel from Asthma Australia to receive a Dyson HEPA vacuum cleaner to help manage his asthma and Ms Kennedy, who vacuums daily, has already put it to good use.

The Asthma Foundation's Kids Breathe Better program is supported by Dyson and Harvey Norman.

Asthma Foundation spokesperson Michele Goldman said she was not surprised by the information coming from families, which included diagnosing difficulties, the emotional toll and for some children, reluctance to admit to having asthma because of the stigma attached.

She said people were not taking asthma seriously enough, children did not ‘grow out' of it and recent statistics should be a wake-up call.

The Australian asthma toll has increased in recent years, with more than one person a day dying from the disease.



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