Wimblington mum calls for better awareness of asthma after son dies of an attack in front of her
A brave Fenland mum is calling for greater awareness of the dangers of asthma after her son died from an attack two years ago.
Nicki Davis, 49,from Wimblington, lost her eight-year-old son Bailey, a twin, to a fatal asthma attack in March 2017 and is now campaigning to raise awareness of the seriousness of asthma.
She said: “Bailey was such a kind, loving son and was inseparable from his twin brother, Mason. His asthma was mild, and it didn’t get in the way of him doing the things that he loved but in March 2017, after a day at school, everything changed.
“He came into my room and said: ‘Mummy, I can’t breathe properly.’ I helped him take a couple of puffs of his reliever inhaler but suddenly, like a flick of a light switch, he collapsed.
"I screamed for help whilst trying to do CPR and my friend heard and rushed to help, then called the emergency services. The paramedics were working on him for over an hour, but they couldn’t revive him in hospital. Bailey died in front of me, at just eight years old.
“No-one should have to go through what we have. It’s appalling that in this day and age people are still dying from asthma. How many more lives have to be cut short before people realise how serious asthma can be? Everyone with asthma should get basic asthma care to keep them well. It could save lives.”
Nicki added: "At the top of this ladder are certain condition cancer, Alzheimer's, dementia, it also could be anything, but to me at the bottom of this ladder is asthma and we have got to get from the bottom rung to the top rung this where asthma needs to be, asthma needs to be more publicly aware that it is potentially fatal and in Bailey's case it was fatal."
She said statistics show three people a day are dying from asthma in this country, that figure is made even more shocking when compared to Norway, where just three people a year die from an attack.
"We need to learn from Norway, find out what it is they are doing right, and what we are doing wrong. One of the main things is for everyone to have an annual review with their GP. It takes just five minutes, you blow into a tube and the nurse takes it from there. It is a simple procedure but could save a person's life, people should take asthma seriously and ensure they get an annual review and make sure they also have an asthma action plan," added Nicki.
Deaths from asthma attacks are the highest they have been in the last decade and have increased by more than 33 per cent over the last 10 years, according to Asthma UK’s analysis of data from The Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Asthma UK is now is calling on the NHS to take urgent action including addressing the lack of basic asthma care.
More than 1,400 people died from an asthma attack last year, an eight per cent increase compared to 2017.
Asthma UK says a lack of basic asthma care may have contributed to the rise as 60 per cent of people with asthma in England and Wales - an estimated 2.9 million people - are not receiving basic care as recommended by national guidelines.
Kay Boycott, chief executive of Asthma UK, said: “It is completely unacceptable that thousands of people with asthma in England and Wales have died needlessly from asthma attacks.
“It’s been five years since the National Review of Asthma Deaths found that two-thirds of deaths from asthma attacks could have been prevented with basic care, yet we are still seeing tragic cases of lives being cut short.
“The same mistakes are being made again and again because essential recommendations have not been implemented. This lack of action is costing lives and devastating families and communities.
“The NHS must act now to ensure that everyone with asthma in England and Wales gets basic asthma care which includes a yearly review with their GP or asthma nurse, a check to ensure they are using their inhaler properly and a written asthma action plan. The NHS needs to ensure that all healthcare professionals are providing this care to patients.”
To find out more about basic asthma care visit: www.asthma.org.uk/basic-care