Our eldest daughter has a form of asthma. Luckily for her, it is a mild case, presenting as seasonably exacerbated cough and has been manageable to date with medication such as inhalers and Montekulast. You may not be familiar with the latter term, which is more uncommon that the blue and brown inhalers that have been commonplace in the UK for years.
Our daughter first was prescribed Montekulast as a one year old, and these granules spoon fed with yogurt were the reccommended medication for her cough presenting form of asthma then, and five years on, this remains the case.
As we see her off to school each day it’s reassuring to know that her inhalers are at school should she need them, but we haven’t ever really had to worry too much as thankfully her asthma hasn’t impacted her ability to lead a normal life.
Sadly that isn’t the case for every parent, or for every child. I was asked to introduce all of you to Alfie, an incredibly brave young man who is using his severe asthma condition to help identify the optimal treatment for Asthma at Alder Hey hospital.
Ten year old Alfred has lived with severe asthma since birth and has recently begun a research study at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to look at ways to help the condition.
Alfred’s treatment includes permanent steroids, prescribed the highest level of seretide and taking both montelukast and theophylline tablets in addition to the injections which are given as part of the study. There are many triggers that set off his asthma, including all pets, grass being cut and his chest is often tight at night.
Alfred in on the autistic spectrum and in addition to the severe asthma, he has esophagitis -‐ a reflux condition which means he’s on even more tablets and is also tube fed. He is a chatty and clever young man and he loves reading and his dinosaurs!
To imagine living with asthma which is triggered by so many everyday things is just unimaginable. His ability to cope with his autism, asthma, esophagitis and yet still give by taking part in this Alder Hey research is just mind blowing.
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is a major national children’s hospital and NHS foundation trust located in the suburb of West Derby; in the city of Liverpool, England. Providing essential care to children with life changing and life threatening conditions day in day out, the hospital is supported by the Alder Hey Children’s Charity who strive to make the hospital a world class, patient friendly hospital for its 275,000 annual visitors.
Just because you or I don’t live in Liverpool doesn’t mean we will never reap the rewards of a hospital like Alder Hey. Their aim is to be a world class centre for research, innovation and education, and we aim to pioneer and develop new treatments for children and young people.
This is made possible by a comprehensive range of paediatric specialist and general clinical services, its expert healthcare professional workforce and its extensive access to a supra-regional population of children and young people. At any time there are over 100 clinical research studies taking place, ranging from observational studies to complex, interventional clinical trials supported by the NIHR Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility.
There are so many ways to support Alder Hey hospital. One of their more unusual campaigns running currently is ‘adopt an Alder Hey Roost Creature’ which will reside in the hospital for life. These individually made little creatures are hand painted by artist Lucy Casson and you can choose your own creature from the website.
However much you can give, whether it be by fundraising, an online donation, buying a lottery ticket or even a small item from the Alder Hey gift shop (available online), it’s nothing compared to what young Alfie is giving. But, I want Alfie, and Alder Hey to know I’m right behind him.