Sophie is 15 years old, lives in Kerry and is studying for her Junior Cert.
She’s worried about missing school time. Sophie was diagnosed with asthma as a child. She has missed huge amounts of time at school, and finds Autumn and Winter really challenging with the temperatures and the old and the flu season. For her, asthma is an absolute constant in her life. She has been hospitalised three times in the last year, which would make her a candidate for Xolair but it’s not available to her in Kerry. Sophie’s asthma is really hard to manage. Her parents give her physio to help her clear her airways. She takes her preventer and reliever medication religiously. She’s very regularly prescribed weeks of steroids, which she hates, but she takes them as they’re the only thing that can help. She knows her asthma triggers include dogs, dust and cigarettes and she’s careful about those. They had to give her childhood pet away and she won’t stay over at friends’ houses if they have dogs. She knows she can’t manage it. Her parents removed all the carpets in the house after one particularly awful Winter for Sophie. She’s never really been able to exercise or to do PE. She’s always had a note from her doctor. She walks around the perimeter of the PE Hall while other people participate. Her friends are very understanding of her asthma and the limitations it puts on her. She’s missed out of discos and school trips because she was in hospital or in bed sick.
WHAT DOES SOPHIE NEED?
- Access to Xolair or other severe asthma treatment suitable for her
- To have a normal life
- To be able to sit her exams
- etter specialist services in her area
- Financial support for her family with GP visits, hospital stays and the cost of medication
- Peer support
- Teacher involvement/ awareness
- Help with exercise so that she can enjoy being active
- In the long term, support for Sophie’s planned transition to college and living away from home