Asthma in Children: Jordan’s story

Jordan McCarthy-Simmonette, 10 when interviewed, was diagnosed with asthma when he was five. He and his mum Karen explain how they’ve coped with his condition.

Jordan MKaren on Jordan’s asthma:

  • “We found out that Jordan was asthmatic when he was five. He would regularly wake up during the night with a cough, which disturbed his sleep.
  • “Our GP did a few tests and thought he had asthma. We didn’t know much about it at the time. There was no asthma in my family, but there are allergies.
  • “He was given a tablet to take at night for his cough, and put on a low-dose brown preventer and blue reliever inhaler.
  • “Winter is always the worst time for Jordan. He starts coughing and has shortness of breath.
  • “There was an asthma nurse attached to our GP surgery. Jordan visits her every six months, but if we’re ever concerned, we know we can go there any time.
  • “It’s important for a parent to explain to their child what having asthma means, and what it will involve. It’s not going to spoil their life, and they can continue as normal if they’re sensible about taking their asthma treatment. You can always get reassurance from the doctor, which is equally important if you need reassuring as a parent.
  • “Now, Jordan only uses the brown inhaler in the morning and at night, and he rarely has to use the blue one. He is very athletic: he does karate three or four times a week, is a good swimmer, goes to cub Scouts and is very healthy. His lung capacity has also improved.
  • “We take his inhalers wherever we go. If you’re going on holiday, get your prescriptions on time.
  • “He’s only had to go to hospital twice. He started to get a blue tinge round his mouth a couple of years ago, so I rang NHS Direct and they sent an ambulance.”

Read more about asthma in the cold.

Please note NHS Direct closed in March 2014, for non emergency health advice call NHS 111.

Jordan on his asthma and karate:

  • “I started karate when I was six. I had been diagnosed with asthma about a year before. I always thought I’d be able to do karate, and I’ve never had any problems. I take one puff of my brown preventer inhaler in the morning and two at night.
  • two kids sparring“I’m going to take my black belt sometime this year. I train four days a week for an hour each day, I do stretching every day and I practise a lot.
  • “There’s nothing in karate that I can’t do. I can do the same as everyone else. Asthma hasn’t stopped me doing anything.
  • “After black belt, there are five more dans [levels] in karate, so I’m going to keep working my way up.”

Read 10 fun ways to get fit for more ideas including karate.

*Photo credit: Aka Hige; CC license

About the Author

NHS Choices ( is the UK’s biggest health website. It provides a comprehensive health information service to help put you in control of your healthcare.


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