Reposted from Kidspot with their permission.
For most of Kristy’s life, Christmas was the happiest time of the year. But in 2016, those beautiful memories with her eldest sons, Ned and Lochie, were shattered into a million devastating pieces.
Close to midnight on Boxing Day, Kristy woke up to an unfamiliar sound from Ned’s bedroom.
“He woke up coughing, like he was going to throw up,” the mum from Cotswold in rural Victoria, tells Kidspot.
“Then he vomited. He wanted to go outside for fresh air. I thought he might have been sick with a virus.”
Devastatingly, it was something far worse.
As a long-time asthma sufferer, the 14-year-old immediately administered his Ventolin inhaler, which had always helped his symptoms previously.
This time, however, it just wasn’t enough.
“He said, ‘Mum, I can’t breathe’,” Kristy remembers emotionally.
“As I walked back out to him, he had collapsed near the car”
Kristy rushed back inside to call an ambulance, and when she returned just seconds later, her worst nightmare lay tragically in front of her.
“As I walked back out to him, he had collapsed near the car.”
The 43-year-old, who was then studying to be a registered nurse, made every attempt to revive her son with CPR.
“I was talking to him, saying, ‘C’mon mate. Come back’.”
Tragically, when the paramedics arrived 30 minutes later by road and then by air, all hope was lost.
“It all happened so quickly,” the mum-of-three says, fighting back tears.
“They said there was nothing they could do. I just told them, ‘Keep trying, don’t stop’.”
“I went into shock… I remember throwing up. It was horrible”
Kristy’s beloved son took his last breath as the clock ticked over to December 27, 2016.
“I went into shock… I remember throwing up. It was horrible.”
Compounding their inexplicable grief, Kristy’s husband and the boys’ stepfather, Kenny, lost his own mother from cancer just two days later.
The family would have two funerals in the one week after Christmas that year.
“My boy’s asthma was classified as ‘mild’ by doctors”
Ned was two years old when he first showed signs of having asthma.
“He was chesty, wheezy and really short of breath and I took him to hospital and he was diagnosed then and there.”
His asthma was classified as “mild” by doctors, and throughout his life, he was able to manage his symptoms – which were usually seasonal and never again required hospitalisation – with medication.
“One severe asthma attack can take someone’s life at any stage””
Until that fateful day, the energetic boy didn’t let his illness get in the way of anything he wanted to do – he played AFL and was a keen horse rider.
In memory of her adored son, Kristy is devoting her time in being an advocate for the condition in the hope that other families will not endure the same pain she and her family have suffered.
“Asthma is an illness that people can live with all their lives, but one severe asthma attack can take someone’s life at any stage,” she says sadly.
“We need to make sure we take it seriously and better educate ourselves and have an emergency plan.”
Since Ned’s passing, Kristy has raised almost $80,000 for Asthma Australia. Each year, she holds a family friendly event, Race Ya, in Ned’s memory to further her goal in finding a cure and raising awareness of asthma education.
Find out more at Kidspot here: https://www.kidspot.com.au/