As early as she can remember, 25-year-old Kelly Rook has been asthmatic. Yet she’s the first to admit she hasn’t managed it well over the years.
MICA Paramedics Carina & Mark reunite with Kelly, who suffered a life-threatening asthma attack.
“I guess I just got a bit lazy with my routine. I had preventer medication I was meant to be using regularly, but I didn’t use it much. I had a few attacks over the years but a quick visit to the hospital and I’d be fine,” Kelly said.
Last night’s episode of Paramedics on Channel 9 shares the harrowing story of Kelly’s fight for life when she suffers a severe asthma attack at her family home one afternoon.
A few hours earlier, Kelly had been wheezing and struggling to catch her breath, fighting what she thought was a head cold. After a trip to the GP and a hot shower, Kelly thought she would be okay, but suddenly went downhill.
“The second attack came from nowhere. The last thing I remember is trying to get outside for some fresh air, and everything went black.”
Paramedics shows what happens next. Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance (MICA) Paramedics Mark and Carina work quickly to open Kelly’s airways and help her breathe, while her frantic mother watches on helplessly. It’s touch and go whether Kelly will survive.
Kelly was one of the sickest asthma patients that MICA Paramedic Carina had seen in her career.
The asthma attack was triggered by a serious bout of pneumonia, and after three days in a coma, Kelly awoke, surrounded by her worried family. Fast forward to today, and she is doing superbly, planning her upcoming wedding and making the most of her new lease on life.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to tell my story and show people how important it is to have a good asthma plan in place, especially around winter with all the cold and flu bugs around, and spring time when there is a risk of thunderstorm asthma.
“I didn’t have a handle on mine and nearly lost my life.”
Kelly has now put her asthma plan in place, which includes taking daily preventer medication and antihistamines, and a nebuliser has been purchased for home. She has also stopped smoking.
“I’m running for the first time in my life! It feels great.”
Watch Paramedics on Channel 9, Thursdays 8.30pm.
Catch up on Kelly’s story on 9Now.
October – December is grass pollen season in Victoria, bringing with it an increased risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma. Time to get your asthma action plan in place.