If you are one of the 3.8 million Canadians with asthma, you know just how distressing it can be, although most people learn to cope with their condition.
The sudden death of a young actor in November 2019 shocked her friends and family. The 13-year-old Laurel Griggs took medication for asthma all her life.
Griggs was familiar to many theater fans as a rising Broadway star and had appeared in ONCE and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. After complaining that she just didn’t feel well, she was rushed to a New York hospital. Sadly she died there.
Her family had been regularly assessing her condition since she had a serious asthma attack three years ago.
An asthma specialist at an Ottawa hospital pointed out that asthma should always be taken seriously. Those with asthma should not become complacent about their condition.
In all probability, asthma is largely determined by a combination of genetic factors, although doctors still don’t know for sure.
Asthma is a chronic disease where the lungs don’t receive the full amount of air, because of the muscles around the airways swelling and becoming inflamed.
Almost 19% of children under 17 have asthma. If your child has asthma, it’s especially important to treat the condition seriously and take them to the doctor if you feel a visit is justified.
Children aren’t always able to accurately let an adult know how serious their condition is; understanding the symptoms, preventing episodes, and having a comprehensive care plan in place are all essential, as the tragic case of Laurel Griggs illustrates.