Asthma Patient Sharon’s Journey
Sharon who suffers with severe asthma, has been taking part on one of our clinical drug trials for the past two years. Here in support of World Asthma Day she talks to research nurse Liz Dark about her journey.
“I was diagnosed with late onset asthma after having a bad chest infection twelve years ago, prior to that I had been fit and well and had never smoked.
Following my diagnosis of asthma I was in and out of hospital every three months. I remember very clearly spending a new year’s eve in a hospital bed listening to the fireworks.
I have spent three Christmases in hospital and have been in intensive care three times. Things that I had previously taken for granted I found a massive struggle, even things like walking upstairs and cooking for my family was so tiring and upsetting to me. My work was also greatly affected. Having had so much time off work I was warned I could lose my job. This caused me a lot of mental stress and anxiety.
At an out patients visit I was approached about taking part in an Asthma research study. I had my first visit booked but I was so unwell on the day that I ended up in A & E and the appointment had to be rescheduled. I really wanted the opportunity to take part in the study but I knew it was touch and go as to whether I would fit the criteria with my asthma being so bad. However, I did get into the study and I had my first injection of the study drug on 4th March 2015.
Within two weeks I started to feel better with my asthma and I have never looked back. I am still taking my asthma inhalers, but I no longer require the regular oral steroids which I had taken daily for the past twelve years. My nebuliser is now sat redundant in a drawer, I am sleeping well and no longer need time off work. My work colleagues have all commented on how well I am and I do feel like I am much more productive at work.
I have experienced some joint aches, but this usually settles within two days of having my injection. However, the side effects of the steroid tablets that I used to take daily are much worse than these joint aches and I feel that this is a small price to pay for the quality of life that I have now.
I feel that taking part in the trial has helped me and I have learned a lot about my type of asthma. I feel that being in this study has truly given me my life back.”