Tough Season on Asthma Sufferers

Tough Season on Asthma Sufferers

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Ed Yeates Reporting It's been a tough season on asthma sufferers. One of the state's largest pediatric clinics says allergies, smoke from wildfires and heat related ozone levels have almost doubled its caseload.

11-year old Andy Gallardo is doing everything he can to breathe. He's had asthma since birth, but never as bad as this summer.

Andy Gallardo: “It’s been the worst I’ve ever had since I was a baby.”

R.N. Stacy Jorgensen who coordinates asthma treatment at Wee Care Pediatrics says the clinic here is treating twice as many patients as it did last summer.

Stacy Jorgensen, R.N. / Wee Care Pediatrics: “We’ve had kids as young as six months old who’ve been having problems, all the way up to kids 18,19, 20-years old coming in with their asthma flared up.”

Jorgensen says even kids whose asthma was fairly well controlled have been hit hard this summer. Some have even required emergency care in E.R.'s.

While other children have been running an playing outside at will for the past month, Andy has had to stop and catch his breath almost continually.

Andy Gallardo: “It’s been hard on m lungs as to where I cannot breather very well.”

Yolanda Gallardo, Andy's Mother: “They told us to give him the inhaler every time before he went out to play.”

Andy's parents Ralph and Yolanda said it was bad enough, but got even worse after the Farmington fire broke out. Smoke, allergies, ozone and more are together a hard brew for their son to inhale.

Peter Silas, M.D., Wee Care Pediatrics: “When the air gets really smoky, when there are particles in the air, it really sets people off who have asthma. They start breathing a whole lot worse.”

Though it's unlike what you might expect a kid to say, Andy tells KSL this is one summer season he hopes will end soon.

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