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Welcome to Raising Califorina where you will be taken behind the scenes to peek at the lives of a Southern California family. You will have access to never before seen footage and exclusive interviews that will give you insight on what it is like to be a kid in California!


The Anatomy of a Moderate to Severe Persistent Uncontrolled Asthma Attack

The youngest member of the Raising California family, who is four years old, has asthma. His first attack ocurred at 18 months of age which led to being hospitalized for three days with severe respiratory distress/pneumonia/lung infections.

Below is a picture of him in the hospital at UCLA Santa Monica with pneumonia at 18 months.

Since then, he has had numerous attacks which have resulted in three additional hospitalizations with severe respiratory distress/pneumonia/lung infections with the longest hospitalization lasting for 4 days. That's right, he is only 4 years old and has already been hospitalized with pneumonia four times. He has been diagnosed with Moderate to Severe Persistent Uncontrolled Asthma. Sounds scary, doesn't it? Well, it is. In order to explain how severe Asthma can be, I have decided to chronicle his last attack and hospitalization to demonstrate the extreme nature of Moderate to Severe Persistent Uncontrolled Asthma. We hope that we can help others by telling our story.


According to the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, moderate to severe Asthma has the following criteria:

Moderate Persistent. At this level, asthma is starting to interfere more with daily living. Symptoms are cropping up every single day, and you need to use a quick-relief inhaler daily (if you have one). Asthma attacks are occurring at least twice a week and often interfere with activity. They may last for days at a time. You are probably also waking up 1 or more times a week with symptoms. Peak flow rate varies by more than 30 percent.

Severe Persistent. This is the most severe form of asthma and at this level, symptoms are basically continuous. Activity is severely limited and asthma attacks and night symptoms are frequent. Peak flow varies by more than 30 percent.

(Click here to read the four classifications of Asthma, including mild intermittent and mild persistent Asthma)

The Timeline

We were gone on a trip to St. Louis to visit family.

On Wednesday we decided to visit the St. Louis Children's Museum also known as The Magic House. This is a very hands on, experiential museum designed to delight the senses as well as educated children of all ages. We had a wonderful time.

Everything seemed fine until our youngest son woke up at 10 pm Friday night
with a severe sore thoat which kept him awake all night.

The next day on Saturday, he said his throat felt better, but began to have a runny nose. I gave him an Albutertal treatment at 8pm Saturday night as a precaution. (Albuteral has been prescribed as needed when he appears to have contracted a virus that might trigger an asthma attack). Around midnight Saturday night, he began to cough. I gave him a treatment at midnight.

He needed another at 3am, 6am, 8am and then again at 9am on Sunday morning. This is when I paged his doctor in L.A. and made preparations to take him to the emergency room. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and hospitalized for two days.

Here is a picture of him struggling to breathe while on oxygen and IV antibiotics:

So, as you can see, he went from being perfectly healthy with no symptoms of a virus or asthma to fighting for his life in a matter of hours. After back to back Albuteral treatments in the ER didn't help, he was admitted to the hospital where he was placed on oxygen, received Albutertal treatments every two hours, had two different types of antibiotics administered through an IV and recieved oral doses of Prednisone. He also recieved Qvar via inhaler. His oxygen saturation hovered at 88 for the first 24 hours (dipping down to 86 on several occasions) then slowly inched it's way up to 93 the day that he was released.

To learn more about Asthma, Asthma medications, Asthma triggers, Asthma Action Plans, Treatment and to understand what an Asthma attack feels like, go to FamilyDoctor.org to see videos and to print an Asthma Action Plan. Click HERE now!

Click here to read about how toxic mold started this nightmare. There is also additional information HERE.

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