Life with Severe Asthma: Kylee’s Story

April 10, 2019

No parent dreams of spending the first year of their baby’s life in and out of the ER, but that was life for Natasha and her little girl Kylee.

Sometimes by the time they returned home, Kylee would have another asthma attack and they would have to turn around and return to Humber. Pictured: Natasha, Kylee, and Kylee’s big sister.

Kylee was only 8 months old when during one of her visits to Humber’s Emergency Department she was diagnosed with severe asthma. She also had several allergies, most of which exacerbated her asthma.

Their Emergency visits were frequent. Sometimes by the time they left the Hospital and returned home, Kylee would have another asthma attack and they would have to turn around and return to Humber. Sometimes sensing a second asthma attack, Natasha would stay at the Hospital and walk the hallways with Kylee until it happened and they would return to the ER.

In the 5 years since she was born (a Humber baby at the Finch site), the staff and physicians at Humber River Hospital have become like family; a village that have helped keep Kylee well. She has grown especially close to her nurses, her paediatric respirologist Dr. Tania Samanta, her paediatrician Dr. Jay Dahman, and Mary Magni a clerical associate in the Paediatric Outpatient Clinic.

Kylee can be completely healthy one minute, and in an emergency medical situation the next. In the beginning, Natasha was constantly worried. Now, she knows that at Humber people will look after her.

“Sometimes when we were at the Hospital the staff would tell me to go take a walk, get some fresh air, and have a minute to myself,” says Natasha. “I can relax knowing that Kylee is in good hands here.”

Dr Tania Samanta

Dr. Tania Samanta checks Kylee’s lungs, while they wear matching tutus. Dr. Samanta was instrumental in getting Kylee approved for the highly specialized medication that allows her to live her life.

Dr. Samanta gave Natasha a letter that she can use in the Apotex Emergency Department, emphasizing the urgency of Kylee’s situation and instructing the healthcare team with what medicines to use. It has helped Natasha be an even better advocate for her daughter’s care.

Kylee is now on a new, highly specialized medication that helps her manage her asthma, and comes to the Hospital every other week for a shot. This medication has reduced the number of Kylee’s ER visits, and has also reduced the number of daily medicines she has to take, improving her quality of life in more ways than one.

Her care team has also worked with her school to help limit Kylee’s exposure to allergins and other triggers for her asthma attacks.

“The medication we can give Kylee means she doesn’t have to live at the Hospital,” says Dr. Dahman. “She can be a kid.”

“It has been amazing to be part of Kylee’s journey,” says Dr. Samanta. “Kylee’s mom Natasha is her biggest champion. She is always there for her. Nothing stands in their way.”

“I can relax knowing that Kylee is in good hands here,” says Natasha. Pictured: Kylee and three of her nurses, Rachael, Kresta, and Bobbak.