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My Son Wrote “Help Me” on the Bathroom Mirror During an Asthma Attack

 

On Feb. 17, 2018, Javan Allison took a shower and wrote “help me” on the steamy bathroom mirror with his finger. He was struggling to breathe and having a severe asthma attack.

“We took him to the emergency room and they could not get him to breathe,” remembered his mom Monique Cooper-Allison. “Normally, we would catch his asthma attacks and be in the emergency room for a couple of hours. This time, he was in the ICU for a week.”

Javan spent a week in the ICU after a severe asthma attack

Javan spent a week in the ICU after a severe asthma attack.
Photo credit: Monique Cooper-Allison.


During the week in the hospital, Javan and his parents talked a lot about how he feels during an asthma attack.

“Mommy, I feel like an astronaut in outer space,” Javan said. “As I try to get closer to the moon, my cough gets worse. There is a pain in my chest as if a small meteor rock cracked my helmet. I need oxygen.”

Javan and his parents recognize all too well that asthma is a life and death situation. He was 2 years old when he had his first asthma attack. He collapsed, and they took him to the emergency room.

Asthma is a chronic illness. For most people, asthma can be managed with proper treatment and care. Yet, it is a serious condition and can be life-threatening. Each day, 10 people die from asthma. AAFA needs your support so we can continue to save lives and reduce asthma deaths. Families like Javan’s need the support and education that AAFA provides.

Thanks to your support, Javan and his parents have learned a lot about how to manage his asthma. Every day, twice a day, he uses a long-term control inhaler and every two weeks he gets a shot. They diligently avoid his triggers, watch the weather and rely on information from AAFA. And he always carries his quick-relief inhaler.

Javan makes sure to use his long-term control inhaler twice a day

Javan makes sure to use his long-term control inhaler twice a day.
Photo credit: Monique Cooper-Allison


Today, Javan is 10 years old. In addition to asthma, he has eczema and several food, pet and environmental allergies. He loves to play football, baseball, basketball and runs track. He likes to build things with his hands, and his favorite subject is math. And he is a big supporter of AAFA.

You can help AAFA continue to improve the lives of adults and children living with asthma. Please join with us and give generously before the end of the year. Donations allow us to offer life-saving information, support, advocacy and research.

DONATE NOW

If you prefer to mail a check instead of giving online, please postmark your gift by Dec. 31, 2018, and send it to:

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
8201 Corporate Drive, Suite 1000
Landover, MD 20785

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  • image13: Javan spent a week in the ICU after a severe asthma attack
  • javan inhaler: Javan makes sure to use his long-term control inhaler twice a day

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the largest and oldest nonprofit patient organization dedicated to asthma and allergies. Our online community includes public blogs. To post a comment, you will need to register or sign in.

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Comments (11)

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Feels like it was yesterday when Javan wrote help me on the mirror. We love this, it is great to see aafa helping people with asthma all over the world. I too have asthma and it makes it a little easy for me to help my son in what he need to know about Asthma. Thank you again AAFA. 

Monique Cooper

Monique, thank you for sharing your son's asthma journey! 

Melissa

Grace: seasonal allergies, asthma

Josh: allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, asthma

Bekah: allergic to most foods, currently eating peaches, pears, apples and bacon, asthma, g-j tube fed, portacath for hydration

Will you help us raise visibility for our work by posting a brief story of your experience with us on GreatNonprofits?

Thank YOU, Monique and Javan! He is truly a remarkable kiddo and a leader in the making, and I'm hoping that his worst times are behind him!

I was out in the cold weather and came in and had to use my emergency inhaler. My husband doesn’t believe the weather has any thing to do with asthma. Is that true? I read that Javen parents said they watch the weather. Thanks Jeana 

Jeana Shchuchinov 

Hi Jeana! Weather can definitely affect asthma! Here is a list of asthma triggers.

Melissa

Grace: seasonal allergies, asthma

Josh: allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, asthma

Bekah: allergic to most foods, currently eating peaches, pears, apples and bacon, asthma, g-j tube fed, portacath for hydration

Will you help us raise visibility for our work by posting a brief story of your experience with us on GreatNonprofits?

Hi Jeana - I hope your emergency medicine helped.

Cold weather can be an asthma triggerDry and/or cold air is a trigger for airway narrowing (bronchoconstriction). One thing that helps is to wrap a scarf loosely around your mouth and nose. That helps warm the air before it gets to your lungs. We've actually been talking about this on the support forum - Managing your Asthma and Allergies in the Winter.

Jeana posted:

I was out in the cold weather and came in and had to use my emergency inhaler. My husband doesn’t believe the weather has any thing to do with asthma. Is that true? I read that Javen parents said they watch the weather. Thanks Jeana 

Hi Jeana, cold weather has a lot to do with Javans Asthma. Matter of fact, the change of weather period. When it rains and then gets cold, or when it’s hot and then rain, or when it gets cold alone. Javan body also heats up fast so if we cover him up in layers, we teach him to take it off in school if he gets hot and to not wait too late until he sweats because then the wind may hit him and he will get sick. Have your husband go with you to the doctor and ask the doctor questions while he’s there. 

Monique Cooper

This story brings tears to my eyes. Keep on going!!!! I am so proud of you Javan! You are brave. Not only do you give me courage and strength, you give it to countless numbers of others who struggle with asthma. ❤❤❤  Debbie

Live for today. Look forward to tomorrow!

Deborah Bartlett posted:

This story brings tears to my eyes. Keep on going!!!! I am so proud of you Javan! You are brave. Not only do you give me courage and strength, you give it to countless numbers of others who struggle with asthma. ❤❤❤  Debbie

Thank you, Javan is a warrior! I have Asthma as well so, i'm able to help Javan and educate him on the do's and don'ts 

Monique Cooper

Monique Cooper-Allison posted:
Deborah Bartlett posted:

This story brings tears to my eyes. Keep on going!!!! I am so proud of you Javan! You are brave. Not only do you give me courage and strength, you give it to countless numbers of others who struggle with asthma. ❤❤❤  Debbie

Thank you, Javan is a warrior! I have Asthma as well so, i'm able to help Javan and educate him on the do's and don'ts 

That is wonderful Monique!

Live for today. Look forward to tomorrow!

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