How a 12-year-old boy’s death after an asthma attack led to a change in the law

More than 25 million Americans have asthma, with over 3 million children.

Inhalers are a lifeline for most asthma sufferers, and it’s reassuring to know that if they feel an attack coming on, their inhaler may frequently prevent it from becoming more serious.

Because asthma is so widespread, we frequently overlook the fact that it may be fatal, and if the sufferer does not have their inhaler with them, stress can exacerbate the symptoms of an attack.

Several reminders to bring his inhaler

Ryan Gibbons, then 12 years old, had an asthma attack at school in 2012, but despite his parents sending him to school with an inhaler, it wasn’t available to him when he needed it the most.

After an asthma attack, Ryan died tragically at his school in Ontario, Canada. Despite his mother’s concerns and a doctor’s note, his school refused to let him have his inhaler with him.

Sandra Gibbons

“You would give him an inhaler, but he would get caught with it, and it would be taken away,” Sandra Gibbons, his mother, told CBC News Canada.

“After that, I’d get a call.” As a result, it was aggravating. I couldn’t figure out why. I didn’t understand the policy required the prescribed medication to be present in the office.”

Ryan had an asthma attack while playing soccer with his mates. He couldn’t use his inhaler because it was kept in the principal’s office.

Ryan’s worried mother had raised the problem of him not being permitted to bring his inhaler to school several times, but it was still confiscated.

Sandra Gibbons

Following Ryan’s death, his bereaved mother started a petition to the government to amend the legislation.

Three years later, her efforts paid off, and Ryan’s Law was established in Ontario, making it unlawful for schools to keep inhalers away from asthmatic children, according to CBC News.

Sandra Gibbons

Rob Oliphant, president and CEO of the Asthma Society of Canada when the law was approved, claimed that as an asthma sufferer himself, he knew how frustrating it was not to have his inhaler available.

“Not only do their triggers impact their lungs,” he continued, “but the stress of not having a puffer on hand can compound it and make it worse.”

Even though the years have passed, we must remember and commemorate Ryan.

Please spread the word about how important it is for children with asthma to access their medication. Nobody should have to go through this.

Please tell your friends and family about this and keep visiting us; BE POSITIVE, BE HAPPY, and learn more about OUR LIVE STORY.

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