Heartfelt Letter from Husband after Losing Wife to Asthma

Many of you have probably read the New York Time’s article about the young woman, Laura Levis, who died from severe asthma. Her husband, Peter DeMarco, sent a heartfelt letter to the hospital staff who cared for his wife. Grab a tissue, because it will bring tears to your eyes!
My first thought was, “I wonder what happened?” As the mother of 3 children with asthma, and an asthma sufferer myself, asthma can sometimes scare me.
I’ve had some sudden and severe asthma attacks. And my two youngest children were hospitalized a LOT when they were little (thanks to pneumonia.)
A couple of those hospitalizations were in ICU – with the usual oxygen and steroid IV, but they added a heart monitor and a “crash cart”  next to my son’s bed.
The thing people don’t realize about asthma is that it can be deadly – but it’s very rare.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) says that 10 people die in the U. S. each day due to asthma.

AAFA also says, “Many of these deaths are avoidable with proper treatment and care”
So, how do you control asthma? And hopefully, prevent a hospitalization? Read the Mayo Clinic article. They explain how to track symptoms, monitor how your lungs are working, adjust your treatment plan and work with your doctor.
Everyone with asthma is different, and what may work for one person may not work for another. We have tried a LOT of different types of asthma medicines, different doses, inhalers vs nebulizers. Allergy shots to control the allergies that would sometimes trigger (or cause) an asthma attack. And made changes to our home to make it allergy and asthma friendly.
It makes me tired just thinking about all of the things we tried to control our asthma! All three kids and I are on different medicines and have different doses.
I’m not afraid to call the doctor and say, “I don’t think this medicine is working.” I’m waking up at night coughing, I’m using my rescue inhaler too often, my lungs feel tight most of the time, etc.
Our doctor is always willing to listen to our lungs, change a medication, order a chest x-ray, etc. He values our input in how we feel and wants to keep trying until he finds the right treatment plan for us.
So, can you prevent hospitalizations or deaths? Not always, but you can try. And like Peter DeMarco, I always dropped off a thank you letter to the pediatric hospital staff (along with a couple dozen donuts.)
My letters were different because my kids survived their asthma hospitalizations. I hope I never have to write a letter thanking the staff for caring for my kids who didn’t survive an asthma attack.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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