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'Whatever I did wasn't good enough': man raising awareness of asthma danger

Imogen was just 17 when she died. Credit: ITV Border

Many people are unaware of how dangerous asthma can be... that's why Michael Edwards has been raising awareness of the condition.

His daughter, Imogen, died following a huge asthma attack when she was just 17.

I phoned her round about twenty to five as I always did, because she'd finished school and I could hear the telly in the background and she's had a bath and she was sitting eating food.

I said oh you're doing fine and she said yes I'm sitting watching the telly dad, just waiting for you to come home.

I then left work, and at about ten to six a text came through for me saying please try and come home quick, with kisses after it as always."

– Michael Edwards

Michael arrived home to find Imogen had suffered a massive asthma attack.

He called 999, and drove Imogen to the bottom of the hill near their home in Wallaceton to wait for the ambulance.

It was then that she collapsed on me, she got out of the car and obviously it seems like an eternity but it wasn't - they were probably here in about ten minutes from Thornhill.

Basically she went and I caught her and laid her down, tried to do what I could you know, tried to give her CPR obviously.

When she had her attack initially it was on the floor in the front room, she looked very white and it can be so sudden. And that time I did CPR and her breath came back... but this time whatever I did wasn't good enough and I failed."

– Michael Edwards

Michael is now doing whatever he can to raise awareness of the condition.

He's known at his work and in his local community for his trademark long hair, but is having it all shaved off to raise money for Asthma UK.

Whatever I can do to try and help people... it's the best thing I can do and it will be a great memorial testament to Imogen."

– Michael Edwards

Dumfries man's asthma warning

Michael Edwards had his hair shaved to raise awareness. Credit: ITV Border

A man from Dumfriesshire is warning people about how dangerous asthma can be.

Michael Edward's 17-year-old daughter, Imogen, died from the condition in February last year.

Imogen Edwards. Credit: ITV Border

He's had his trademark long hair shaved for charity to raise awareness, and money for charity.


'Asthma is a significant problem for children in Cumbria'

"Asthma is a significant problem for children in Cumbria with nearly 200 admitted to hospital each year.

"This represents a large number of days lost from school for some children and many of these admissions could be prevented if inhaler technique was improved.

"Many children forget to use their inhalers when they are symptom free, but regular use, especially in the cold weather is important in preventing the airways from becoming tight and making breathing difficult."

– Mary Kiddy, Consultant Nurse for Public Health & Professional Head of Nursing

Health warning to young asthma sufferers

Nykola Goodwill, School nurse, Carlisle Credit: ITV Border

Nykola Goodwill is a school nurse based in Carlisle and her daughter, Cat, has had asthma since she was a teenager.

She did not take her medicine regularly or properly, and suffered a major asthma attack three years ago.

Nykola and her family were unsure of what do.

She said:

"Prior to this she had never had anything other than a bit of a cough and even though

"I am a nurse and should know better but we knew nothing about asthma.

"We waited far too long to get help and by the time she got to hospital she was in a bad way.

"It has taken the last couple of years to get her asthma back under control and she has had a few more admissions since into hospital.

Cat Goodwill has suffered a massive asthmas attack three years ago Credit: ITV Border

Nycola continued:

"Our own experience was frankly terrifying we saw a very rapid and out of the blue deterioration in our daughter's asthma and it was all preventable.

"When I came back to work I began looking at improving the service we offer to schools and their pupils."

The Cumbria Partnership Foundation NHS Trust is now working with school nurses and parents to raise awareness of asthma, to ensure the correct medication is taken.

'One in ten Cumbrians has asthma' says Asthma UK

Asthma UK estimates that 1 in 10 Cumbrians has Asthma, and 172 children were rushed to hospital with asthma related breathing difficulties in 2012.

Figures show that while the number of emergency admissions in Cumbria is going down, the length of stay in hospitals is increasing.

Health professionals say that children are being admitted because their condition has seriously deteriorated, due to poor management of their medication.