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Jordan's Story: The Importance of Asthma Education

Hf13 jordan feature
WCH News
Posted 17 June 2024

Asthma affects one in nine Australians, with children being particularly vulnerable. 9 year-old Jordan’s story explains how even mild symptoms can quickly escalate into life-threatening situations and how important asthma education can be.

“Jordan is a bright, bubbly, kind, caring almost 10-year-old that fought to come into this world at 34 weeks . He loves his video games, enjoys hanging out with his friends he'll help anyone that was in need of help.” says Mum, Lisa.

She recalls a day in October 2022 when Jordan’s grandmother took him to the Lyell McEwin Hospital after noticing he was wheezy. It was here that he was first diagnosed with asthma.

"Thankfully, Jordan had never had an asthma attack," she says.

However, that changed in March this year, when Jordan came home from school displaying similar wheezing symptoms.

Later that night, Jordan developed a cough and his wheezing became more severe. Lisa put him in the shower for steam, which helped initially, then she stayed by his side as he slept.

Just after midnight, Jordan’s condition worsened.

“He gave me his hand to hold, and I noticed his hand turning whiter than normal. While I dialled 000, he started to become clammy and in 4 mins 46 seconds my child became unresponsive,” Lisa recalls.

Jordan had a severe asthma attack that collapsed his lungs and he was admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH). He was put on a ventilator and a drainage tube inserted into his lungs.

His recovery journey involved respiratory support and asthma treatment, alongside his rainbow bear that PICU nurse, Cathy, had bandaged and given its very own hospital tag.

Lisa says, “WCH were beyond amazing. There aren’t enough words to say how incredible the team was that Jordan had from start to finish. They went above and beyond.”

“They talked us through absolutely everything that was happening, had happened, and what they are looking at doing. I can't thank the medical team at WCH enough.”

While Jordan was in hospital, Lisa underwent asthma education with our respiratory specialists and now feels much more equipped for the future.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Kate, the asthma nurse consultant, who helped me understand Jordan's asthma so much more,” she says.

Kate helped Lisa with healthy habits, sleep hygiene, taking a preventer every day, ensuring communication with his school, and the importance of basic life support training.

“Until Jordan’s asthma attack, I didn't know how life-threatening asthma can be. I was unaware of the latest techniques and procedures I needed to follow when asthmatics become short of breath,” says Lisa.

"Not only did she talk me through everything, but she also kept in touch and answered any questions I had. She eased my fear of caring for Jordan's asthma at home by myself with the information she had given me.”

Lisa shared her reassurance from the experience:

“For any parent or caregiver out there with a child with asthma, you’re not alone. There’s an army of support out there to help you.”

If you suspect your child has asthma, seek advice from healthcare professionals and stay informed about the best practices for managing the condition. For more information, go to:

Asthma Management

Winter can be particularly challenging for children with asthma. Here are key tips to manage asthma effectively:

  • Flu vaccine: Ensure your child gets an annual flu shot to help prevent respiratory complications.
  • Know the triggers: Be aware of your child's asthma triggers and avoid them where possible.
  • Wood fire awareness: Be mindful of wood fire particles, smoke from wood heaters, and other woodfires or fireplaces as they can trigger asthma symptoms.
  • Regular GP visits: Book a GP appointment every six months to review your child's asthma.
  • Asthma action plan: Ensure you have an up-to-date asthma action plan for home and school/childcare.
  • Supervise puffer use: Always supervise your child’s use of their asthma puffer to ensure proper technique.