Stories about: asthma

Andrew’s story: Gold medalist kicks aerodigestive problems

With his asthma under control, Andrew holds the American flag after winning a gold medal
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE WARREN FAMILY

Last November, Andrew Warren stood on the podium in front of the American flag, grinning proudly as the medals around his neck glinted in the light. He had traveled to Orlando, Florida from his home in upstate New York to compete in the Karate and Kickboxing World Championships — and he delivered, taking home both a gold and a silver medal. It was an incredible accomplishment for a teenager once so ill that he made nearly three dozen visits to the emergency department before he was 6 years old.

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Spring health cheat sheet

Health & Safety Series As the spring weather approaches, many common winter infections recede. However, warmer temperatures can introduce a new set of health challenges.

As trees and flowers bloom and grass grows, susceptible children will start to display symptoms of seasonal allergies, triggering flares of asthma and eczema. And, As children spend more time outdoors, parents also need to watch for exposure to ticks, poison ivy and excess sun.

Here are a few tips to keeping your child healthy this spring.

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Experience Journal: Asthma

childhood asthma

Asthma is the most common chronic medical condition in the U.S., affecting nearly 10 percent of the population. The rate can be even higher in children; some Boston public schools report rates as high as 16 percent among students.

Children growing up with asthma often face difficulty breathing, and they may feel isolated from their peers. While this condition can be disruptive to a child’s life, it can be well controlled with proper medical care.

exprience-journal-logo-5 The Asthma Experience Journal, created by the Boston Children’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry and the Allergy and Asthma Program, includes stories and personal experiences that represent the collective wisdom of children, young adults and families living with pediatric asthma. In this Journal, patients and families were interviewed about their experiences with asthma from dealing with medication to coping with physical and emotional challenges. Here are some of their stories in their own words.

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Nursing, full circle: A lifetime of care for Jacky

nurse-asthma

Jacky Steiding has worked at Boston Children’s Hospital for 24 years — first as a clinical assistant and now as nursing clinical coordinator of the Boston Children’s Division of Pulmonary and Respiratory Diseases. But her relationship with Boston Children’s goes back much further, to before she can even remember.

“I spent many evenings in the emergency room at Boston Children’s,” says Jacky, who was diagnosed with asthma as a young girl and struggled with the condition her entire childhood. “My mom wouldn’t take me anywhere else.” She remembers her mother’s hand rubbing her forehead and the nurses’ calming voices, assuring her she would be all right.

Jacky with her grandmom and dad

Over time, she came to think of Boston Children’s as a healing space — “my safe place that helped me breath again.”

That feeling of being safe stuck with Jacky.

When she was planning for college during senior year of high school, Jacky asked for guidance from her history teacher, Mr. Marston. She told him about her struggles with asthma and that she wanted to help children feel safe. He suggested nursing school.

“In hindsight, nursing was my calling,” says Jacky. “But I didn’t realize it until that talk with Mr. Marston.”

Pursuing nursing was the right decision for Jacky.

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