A young woman, whose asthma means that even going for a walk is fraught with danger, is reaching out to primary school children with the condition, to help them keep it under control.
Hayley Coombs, 27* from Bath, was first diagnosed with asthma at the age of 14 after having breathing problems during a P.E. lesson at school. At her worst she was regularly in and out of hospital.
‘My days are affected massively. I sometimes need a wheelchair to go places and I can't go out without taking my nebuliser and inhalers.
‘I used to be very active - teaching dance and working as a lifeguard. Unfortunately I had to give it all up.
‘When I have an attack I usually become wheezy and my chest feels tight as if someone is standing on it.
‘I have had numerous intensive care admissions plus two attacks which caused me to be placed on life support.
‘My hope is that sharing my own story will raise more understanding of asthma and help others living with the condition.’
With Fixers, Hayley has helped to create a story book aimed at 4-6 year olds, which explains more about asthma and how it can affect young people.
Click below to see the story book:
She says: ‘The idea came from wanting to ensure others are getting the correct treatment and that they are not frightened of new medication such as inhalers.
‘Although it’s aimed at children, I also thought parents, teachers and nurses could learn something they didn't already know that could be helpful in a child's care.’
Hayley, who plans to share the resource in children’s hospitals and primary schools, says she one day dreams of becoming a nurse.
‘They make such a positive difference and I have always wanted to help others. Plus I'd like to give back what they gave me,' she adds.
‘I hope my campaign can help sufferers to feel less anxious. If I help just one person feel better then I will be proud.’
Hayley's resource was launched during Hereford Hospital's voice of the child group - which consists of young people who have had or are having treatment on the children's ward.
One person who attended the event said: 'It's great that Hayley is telling her story about asthma. It's good that the book shows pictures of all the equipment people with asthma use, as it will help children to understand and recognise it.'
*NOTE: Some Fixers exceed the age range of 16 to 25 during the course of their project.