Ethan’s Story

Bronchiectasis

For four years Ethan’s parents struggled not knowing what was causing their son’s horrific cough and difficulty breathing.

Story told by Ethan’s mother, Lauren

From about the age of 12 to 18 months, Ethan had a really persistent cough that wouldn’t go away.  It was quite challenging to hear your kid cough copious times during the day and not know why.

“He would wake himself up, several times a night and would often come into our room and say, “mommy I can’t breathe”. 

At this point, Ethan was going to day care four days a week and I had a lot of parents and teachers come up to me constantly and tell me I needed to take him a GP because he was really unwell.  It was quite tricky at the time trying to juggle time off from my studies. It was really tough on our family as well with the constant night waking, trying to give Ethan medication as quickly as possible to help him relax and breathe.

We went to the GP several times, almost on a weekly basis and she just said it was likely to be asthma.  We got preventative medications to try and combat his cough but Ethan received no real relief or improvement from that medication.

It just so happened that we were at his four-year immunisation appointment and the GP there thought it might be something else. We were referred to the Queensland’s Children’s Hospital, and from there Ethan was diagnosed with bronchiectasis through a bronchoscopy procedure in August 2018.

Bronchiectasis has impacted Ethan’s life but we try to get him involved as much as possible, I would hate for him to sit on the side lines , that’s not what life is all about and he’s a beautiful little boy and I want him to run around and enjoy life and just have the best life and we just try and encourage the best way we know how.

He is the best little brother, big brother and the most beautiful son as well. He’s always there to help and to give kisses and hugs along the way, and look don’t get me wrong, he’s got his moments, and he can be an bit feisty at times but we encourage that too because it’s good to be himself and to show his true passion of who he wants to be and who he is in life as well.

I hope that with more research, we can find treatments that will help children and adults with this disease to live the best life they can and that hopefully one day we can find a cure. It’s also really important to increase awareness about what the disease is and how it affects people. We have to constantly tell people what bronchiectasis is, what happens, what Ethan experiences on a day-to-day basis and what we experience on a day-to-day basis, because people have no idea.

“My hopes and dreams for Ethan are to be healthy and happy, and to live long and to have a beautiful life.”

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