Worthing mum’s bid to support children with asthma

Robyn, five, who has asthma SUS-160701-161211001
Robyn, five, who has asthma SUS-160701-161211001
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A mother is hoping to set up a support group for children who suffer from asthma – after coping with her daughter’s ‘frightening’ condition.

Kelly Murphy, whose five-year-old daughter Robyn has suffered with asthma since she was a baby, said there are no groups to support asthmatic children, only adults.

Robyn, who attends Bramber Primary, has been in and out of hospital over the past few years and is receiving specialist care at the Royal Alexandra children’s hospital in Brighton.

“We moved here three years ago from south east London in the hope that living near the coast would help improve things,” said Kelly.

“It did for over a year but unfortunately Robyn became critically ill with pneumonia in November 2014 and was in hospital for nearly two weeks, one of which was spent in intensive care at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London.”

While the pneumonia was not caused by the asthma, it became more difficult to control.

However, with the help of the ‘wonderful’ team at children’s hospital and the ‘vigilant’ team at Broadwater Medical Centre, Robyn’s asthma is becoming more manageable.

Kelly has also received support from Asthma UK – which arranged for a volunteers from Worthing to visit Robyn’s school to give an assembly for children.

However, despite the support, Kelly noticed there was no group specifically for children in the area and decided to set one up.

Kelly said: “The aim of the group is for parents and children to meet monthly and chat, learn, gain confidence and not feel alone.

“It is so frightening when you child is suffering from asthma, you are constantly monitoring and being on guard for your child’s breathing as well as having to think about day to day things and what may cause them to have an attack.

“Robyn’s school has been very supportive and have taken on board how to manage her asthma, as I know they do for any child there with health concerns. It gives me peace of mind when she is at school and I like to think other patents of asthmatic children at other schools experience the same.

“If this is not the case we need to look into raising awareness and this is where Asthma Uk can be of help.”

Kelly said the group would enable children with asthma to meet up on a regular basis so they do not feel isolated and different to other children.

“This would not be a group offering medical advice, I would always direct anyone with concerns to their GP or the Asthma UK Helpline.

“But I would look at having guest appearances from children’s yoga teachers, help with relaxation techniques and organise a visit from an asthma nurse to help with inhaler techniques,” Kelly added.

She said ‘above all’ it would be a change to meet other children in a similar situation to have fun and gain confidence and self esteem and is looking forward to hearing from other parents.

The NHS describes asthma as a respiratory condition marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, which causes difficulty breathing.

Experts say it is usually connected to allergic reaction or other formers of hypersensitivity.

To register an interest in the group email kelmur73@hotmail.co.uk.

To find out more about asthma UK visit www.asthma.org.uk.