10 years ago I was busy running my own engineering company and working as a lay-preacher at the local church when I suffered a massive heart attack. I was admitted to hospital for surgery and was told that I should stop working. During my time in the hospital I noticed that there was a shortage of nebulising machines on the ward. The people suffering from breathing difficulties were sharing one machine. Nebulisers are expensive and there was obviously a shortage. Years earlier I witnessed my older brother struggling to breathe and eventually lose his life at the age of 28 following an asthma attack. This had a profound effect on me and I had intended to help people with asthma on my retirement. However, my retirement came earlier than expected and I set up the Charity Asthma Relief from my hospital bed. The immediate challenge was to provide nebulisers to people that needed them. And now, far from giving up work, I am working harder than ever, running a 24-hour help line, maintaining and cleaning nebulisers and air purification systems, talking to groups about the condition, fund-raising and packing and delivering machines.
To date the charity has focused on helping people with existing breathing problems in the following ways:
Supplying over 1000 nebulisers to individual asthma sufferers, (including, two 10 month old babies) hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, a hospice, Macmillan nurses, and nursing homes for the elderly.
The charity has enabled patients to return to home after spending long periods in hospital ( by supplying a nebuliser in the home) and Asthma Relief has made it possible for people to go on holiday for the first time in many years by supplying battery operated nebulisers.
I have produced 2 papers on asthma; One on Brittle Asthma and another called Asthma in the Workplace which is currently in use at our local Council. The document advises workplace nurses and first-aid practitioners in how to handle an emergency situation involving a person with breathing problems.
Asthma Relief (with the help of a retired doctor) is carrying out a trial on an Air Purification System. A local lady who suffers from brittle asthma (a particularly difficult condition to treat) has noticed a big improvement in her circumstances since using the machine. Due to this improvement she has been able to have a holiday. The number of times that she has been admitted to hospital has also been dramatically reduced by over 50%
The charity runs a 24-hour telephone help-line (01793 524004) so that I can be contacted at any time if anyone needs help concerning their condition. We also make provision for maintaining & servicing the machines ourselves.
Asthma Relief has a web-site offering advice and information ….. Www. AsthmaRelief. Org. Uk
Registered Charity Number: 1063965
Phone number: 01793 524004View charity accounts on the Charity Commission website