A patient's view: Specialist care for severe asthma
Royal Brompton asthma patient, Jason Searle, made a heartfelt speech about the difficulties of living with the condition at the House of Lords in July.
Jason spoke to Peers and Health Minister Earl Howe at the launch of Asthma UK’s severe asthma report to raise awareness of how serious the illness can be. He used the event to thank everyone at Royal Brompton involved in his care for ‘literally saving my life’, saying that there is no better place in the world to be treated.
Says Jason: “Speaking in public about how asthma has affected my life was a very emotional experience and I broke down in tears halfway through when I caught sight of clinical nurse Suzie Regan. She had to carry on for me, reading from my notes.”
Jason has suffered from severe asthma since he was three months old but it was never controlled satisfactorily during his childhood and got worse in his teens, severely restricting what he could do and forcing him to give up playing sport.
When he reached the age of 20, his local hospital in Essex referred him to Royal Brompton, which he says was a turning point in his life.
“For the first time I felt able to talk to people with specialist knowledge who really understood my condition and how it affected my life,” says Jason.
Jason spent 10 days undergoing a series of tests to help the team understand more about the nature of his asthma and how best to treat it.
“Following tests at Royal Brompton, my medication was changed and I was put on steroids permanently,” Jason explains. “I was involved in my care right from the start and had all my questions answered. The nursing team have always been very honest with me which I am grateful for and I have been given lots of practical advice which has helped with day to day living.”
As well as regular reviews of his medication and treatment plan, Jason gets remote support from the team via e-mail.
He says: “I will always have severe asthma, but the care and respect I have received from staff at Royal Brompton has helped me deal with my condition and manage it successfully.”
Read more details of Royal Brompton's asthma and allergy services.