Last updated on 19/07/2023


“After speaking with an Asthma Educator, I’ve noticed a huge difference. I haven’t had pneumonia since.”   

Katrina shares her #asthmastory   


I was diagnosed with asthma in 2018. I never had asthma before. It was all brand new. 

One day I couldn’t catch my breath and had to leave work. That afternoon I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with asthma. At the time I didn’t realised how serious it was. I am still learning how to manage it effectively. But the information from Asthma Australia and my Doctor has really helped. 

I recently had a pretty scary asthma attack. I was in Canberra for work and was staying at a hotel only a few blocks away. I thought I could walk to work. When I arrived, I was so breathless. My colleagues almost called an ambulance. It was really frightening. I saw how quickly it can escalate. 

I have had a few other close calls. 2019 was a shocking year. Just awful. My asthma was out of control. That year I had pneumonia twice. 

After having pneumonia for the second time – I decided to call 1800 ASTHMA. I found out about 1800 ASTHMA through twitter. I saw an ad about it and read some more information about it on the Asthma Australia website. 

Then the bushfire smoke followed in 2020. In Canberra, the smoke was at such a toxic level. 

I was becoming desperate. I was just so sick. I’d taken so much time off work. I was really struggling.  I wanted more information on how to manage my asthma so I could feel healthy. 

The first few calls gave me a chance to ask an Asthma Educator my questions like; What is asthma? What is it doing to my lungs? Why do I keep getting pneumonia and bronchitis? My Asthma Educator asked me questions to find out what my triggers were. She also asked about my lifestyle and medical history. 

I learned how to recognise when I was having an asthma flare-up. When I needed to take medication to stop it getting out of control. When I had bronchitis that led to pneumonia, I should have increased my preventer medicine sooner. 

I set a goal to increase my daily physical fitness and exercise. I’ve since got a puppy. He has really helped me to keep active. 

I’m doing better at managing my asthma after speaking with an Asthma Educator. I’ve noticed a huge difference. I’m more aware of the signs of when a flare up is starting. I’m also getting better at avoiding colds and bronchitis. I haven’t had pneumonia since. My asthma control test also improved. 

When I lived in Canberra, the pollen was really bad. I used the AirRater and Canberra Pollen apps to manage my triggers. There’s now a new Asthma Australia app called AirSmart which I’ve started using. It helps me check the air quality so I can be prepared for high pollen levels and other triggers. I recently moved to the coast. The weather is better, and there is less pollen. 

I got COVID-19 in 2022. I noticed I had it when my asthma flared up. But luckily, I kept my vaccinations up to date and only got a mild illness. Because I had more information about asthma, I felt better prepared. I had the medications I needed to help prevent it from getting worse. 

I think it’s important for people to donate to Asthma Australia to fund asthma research and to provide asthma education. These activities have helped me and will help others in the future. We need resources like 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462)! 

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Asthma Australia would like to thank Katrina for sharing her #AsthmaStory and being a voice for people with asthma. Do you have a story to tell? Become an Asthma Champion.