Tameside parent urges others to get asthma help and support

HAVING an action plan to manage her asthma has been life-changing for a three-year-old girl from Tameside.

Amelia-Rose McLaughlin was diagnosed with brittle asthma after visiting hospital several times with breathing problems.

Her first visit was when she was around three months old and Amelia-Rose’s mum Sophie Hafford estimates her daughter was in and out of hospital every other week, before the underlying cause of her illness was discovered by doctors.

Brittle asthma is a rare and serious form of asthma which can be life-threatening if it’s left untreated and people aren’t aware of the symptoms or what can trigger it.

Amelia-Rose McLaughlin

Since Amelia-Rose has been diagnosed, Sophie has worked with the children’s team at Tameside Hospital to put an asthma action plan in place.

It has helped to manage her condition to the extent that she hasn’t been admitted to hospital for a lengthy period and her health has significantly improved.

“When Amelia-Rose’s problems first started, we assumed it was bronchiolitis but as it continued to get worse, we realised we needed to get to the bottom of it,” Sophie said.

“After lots of different tests she was diagnosed with brittle asthma, and Dr Block (Consultant in Children’s Services) and Amy Gray (Paediatric Respiratory Specialist Nurse) immediately worked with us on an asthma action plan.

“This included trialling Amelia on a new medication and helping me understand how to manage things on a day-to-day basis.

Amelia and Sophie

“The asthma plan was very useful as I knew nothing about treating the condition. It has come in very handy as I know the symptoms and understand when to get her the help she needs at the right time.”

Sophie is appreciative of the support her and Amelia-Rose have received from the Ashton-based hospital, and wants to highlight the importance of having an asthma action plan to other parents.

“It has been a learning curve but without Amy and Dr Block, we wouldn’t have got to where we are now. Amy is really responsive, she is always there when I need her and has shown us the proper techniques about how to use an inhaler,” she said.

“The staff on the Children’s Ward have been amazing with Amelia-Rose. On every admission, they have put no less than 100 per cent to give her the best care and also looked after me when times have been hard watching my daughter go through what she has been through.

“If your child has asthma, please go and get the help you need. We nearly lost Amelia-Rose, but the help and advice we have received has made such a massive difference. “Nobody else I knew was suffering with or spoke about asthma, but speaking to the professionals has made all the difference. I feel more confident because I know about it.”

This week is Ask About Asthma week, an annual awareness campaign which aims to raise awareness and inspire change in the way children and young people’s asthma is managed.

The awareness week is being backed by Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and Tameside Council.

Dr Robert Block, Consultant Paediatrician and Asthma Lead for Tameside and Glossop NHS ICFT, said: “Amelia-Rose’s case highlights how important it is for children to have a clear plan in place when dealing with asthma. By having a plan drawn up, people are up to four times less likely to have to go to hospital for asthma-related issues.

“An action plan may contain certain medications that can help, offer good lifestyle advice and information on when you may need to seek medical help in the appropriate place.

“Asthma is not life-limiting. With the correct care in place and by taking certain precautions, children and young people can live happy, healthy and active lives.”

For more details on asthma, action plans and advice for parents and carers, visit: https://www.transformationpartnersinhealthandcare.nhs.uk/programmes/children-young-people/asthma/ask-about-asthma-2023/your-asthma-care/


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