A 10 year old we can all take inspiration from who gives his best in everything he does – especially sport – and never lets his asthma get in the way. At Waikato Hospital, we’re very proud of Lachlan Bullen’s achievements.
Lachlan, a Waikid and pupil from Rototuna Primary, recently won the 2018 Waikato Asthma and Respiratory Trust Award which recognises achievements of young people with asthma who do well in any sphere, be it academic, sport, social or community activities. The award was established in 2015.
Waikato DHB’s paediatrician Alex Wallace has been Lachlan’s doctor since first meeting him in the resus bay in ED, 2015 saying “Lachlan has quite serious asthma, bad enough to get him into the ICU a couple of years ago.
“But he and his family have worked really hard on managing his asthma since then, and he’s now doing much better. As a result his school teacher nominated him for the award.
“I think this is a great example of how patients and families can turn their health issues around and thrive when they are well supported and motivated to do so,” says Dr Wallace.
Lachlan’s mum Janice Bullen says: “As parents to a child who is a brittle asthmatic we understand how heart-breaking and stressful it can be to watch your child struggle and feel like you have no control over it. But it can be managed with an up to date asthma plan that is free from your doctor. Make sure you give copies to everyone who needs them including school, sports team, family and always have one in your child’s medication bag.
“Consistency is the key so if your child needs to take an inhaler daily, do not miss a dose even if you don’t think they need it!
“Always have spare inhalers and spacers in every car, handbag or schoolbag for those rushing out the door moments.
“Lastly talk about it, get your child to talk about it to friends and teachers so that those around him know the triggers and can help when needed,” Janice says.
Lachlan wants to try everything. He plays soccer, does 17km bike rides with his Dad, climbs the Hakarimata’s and has competed in the last four Weetbix triathlons. He also does swimming lessons once a week which is great for asthmatic children. If he can’t participate in an activity, he’ll be sure to cheer his team on from the side.
His mum continues to say: “I know to some people this may seem normal as this is what most kiwi kids do but for Lachlan these things are treasured because of his asthma and as his mum it’s awesome to watch him complete these things.
“We know the more active Lachlan can be the better it is for his health and all of this is possible because we follow his treatment plan and know his triggers and how to try prevent them. It’s not always easy but having some great doctors, support and an up to date plan and medication Lachlan has not been back in ICU since.”
For more about children and asthma contact your doctor or get in touch with www.asthmawaikato.org.nz.