My Story: Elizabeth and Severe Asthma

Diagnosed as a baby, Elizabeth has been living with severe asthma her entire life. In this video, she describes the severe asthma attack that was the turning point in her treatment.

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[MUSIC PLAYING] ELIZABETH: I've been living with asthma my whole entire life. [MUSIC PLAYING]
I was first diagnosed when I was a baby. The one thing that I like people to know about asthma is that it's real, that it's life threatening,
that it shouldn't be something that you take lightly. Asthma feels like you're breathing through the size of a pinhole.
It's an absolutely awful feeling. The one thing I would tell people is to be kind because it's an awful feeling
to have people think that you're faking it. They think it's not as bad as it looks. And it truly is because it nearly took my life.
My worst asthma flare-up was August 24, 2014. I thought I was going to die because I
was like, if I don't get to the hospital, I'm not going to make it. I later found out that I had gone into cardiac arrest
and flatlined, and they brought me back. That was the turning point in my life with asthma.
I'm going to take better care of myself, and I'm going to start taking the proper precautions.
The last 20 years of my life, I've not let it become me. I'm not my illness. I really think that people should be proactive in their search for their own care.
I feel like there's more options to regulate your asthma now than there was when I was growing up.
I love creating. That is my pillow of support. I'm an artist. So in the bad days, on the good days,
you can find me painting, illustrating, anything that involves my hands and colors.
That's how I stay happy, and my children and my husband, of course. But I also know that there's a silver lining at the end of the tunnel.
Make sure that you have a support system. Take care of yourselves. Don't let this illness define who you are because it
doesn't define who you are. It just enhances you that much more. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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