Arei Watermark

Sometimes it’s tough being the first-born - the first at anything in life really

Arei Watermark

Find out more about Areiawa's story...

Sadly, at just two and a half years old, Areiawa Hooper’s life was cut short. 

In the early hours of June 3rd 2013, she collapsed into her mummy’s arms and breathed her last breath. Renarda and Matt’s hearts were broken. Unknown to her parents at the time, their beautiful daughter, their first-born, had suffered an acute asthma attack. 

“It can be harder to diagnose asthma in a young child because of their smaller airways. In our baby’s situation, the visual sign of eczema and a family history of asthma were also ruled out,” Renarda tells us,  “Arei had never been diagnosed with asthma, leaving us unaware of potential triggers and signs of an asthma attack. Arei wasn’t premature, though people asked. She took her time coming into the world at 41 weeks. She was followed by sister Milan (now three and a half years old) and brother Enzo (two).” 

“Doctors think Arei getting a viral infection was her trigger. That’s the thing we didn’t know about at the time. Now that we know what to look out for, we’ve been very vigilant with Milan and Enzo.”

Areis Letter 2

“The guilt of not being able to save our little girl will always haunt us, but we are determined to help raise awareness of the importance of diagnosing this silent killer. It really has been such a struggle knowing we could have received so much support if we had the chance.”

Asthma is the second leading cause of health loss for 5-14 year old children in New Zealand, but with early detection and management, it needn’t be a burden for life.

The 2017 Child and Adolescent Asthma Guidelines for Health Professionals will provide guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of asthma, they will see optimum outcomes for patients. Implementing the guide nationwide will mean all children and adolescent patients will receive the same level of care and up-to-date information, GP’s will be better able to help parents identify and manage any concerns they may have about their child’s respiratory health, especially in those all-important early years of life.

Arei Christmas Appeal 3

With your support, you can help us get these vital resources into the hands of doctors and concerned families in 2017. 

“Because of Arei’s story, other kids have had a chance to live long, happy and healthy lives. Parents have looked into it and doctors have been quicker to diagnose,” Renarda says.

Asthma in children maybe prevented and treated if caught early. You too can help us raise awareness through your support of this Christmas Appeal. Whatever you are able to give, please do so.

Arei Watermark

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