May is Asthma Awareness Month. The chronic condition can be debilitating, but managing asthma symptoms can lead to a better quality of life.
“Jump on my trampoline. Play in my playhouse. Pick flowers and make dandelion chains," said Hattie Campbell.
Those are just some of seven-year-old Hattie’s favorite things to do. When Hattie was born, she had stomach problems, and her parents say doctors found her asthma was made worse by those problems and colds.
"The problem with asthma is there are some kids that outgrow it and can become cured but many kids with asthma, there is no cure. It is a chronic, lifelong illness,” said Dr. Jeremiah Lysinger, Hattie’s doctor and Billings Clinic’s pediatric pulmonologist. “So our whole goal is to control their symptoms, allow them to have normal activity, normal participation in school and improve their quality of life."
Doctors say asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization in the United States. Now, Hattie is managing her asthma symptoms through medication. Doctors provided her parents with the tools to deal with her asthma attacks.
"Hattie’s not just an asthmatic, but Hattie is a beautiful joyful child," said Annie Campbell, Hattie’s mother. "And now, although we do go to the ER and the hospital for colds, it doesn't seem to be as severe or as scary as before she got on the maintenance meds. It’s helped tremendously."
Most of all, Hattie can do what she loves. "Nature is outside and everything fun,” she said. “You can explore, climb trees, and all sorts of fun things."
Doctors say some symptoms of asthma include chronic night time coughing and coughing and wheezing with activity.