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My Story: My Son Struggled Every Time He Played Outside

My Story: My Son Struggled Every Time He Played Outside

My name is Jamelah Martin. I am currently enrolled in Mercer University’s Public Health Program. I’m a wife and mother of four wonderful children.

My nightmare with respiratory issues began with my eldest son. My son struggled with asthma and other respiratory issues every time he played outside. On one occasion I received a call from the school nurse that my son was having difficulty breathing and needed to be taken to the hospital. It was one of the worst calls I’ve ever received. Fortunately, my son recovered but continues to have respiratory issues when he plays outside.

A few years later, my youngest son was born. Once he was old enough to play outside my nightmare reemerged and this time it was much worst than before. There were many nights that I held my son as he struggled to breathe. We tried everything — breathing treatments, medications, and more. There were many nights I didn’t sleep at all.

Prior to moving to the city, no one in my family had asthma or other respiratory related issues. However, it wasn’t long before we noticed how the poor air quality affected our health. My husband also experiences respiratory issues occasionally as well.

I long for the days I had as a child when I could go play outside without any fear of what effect it would have on my ability to breathe. I long for the days in which I can drive with my windows down and enjoy the fresh air. I long for my own children to experience those things in which I took for granted. I want my children to breathe clean air.