Leah loves math and art and playing football and softball, but found she was struggling just to breathe. She also enjoys spending time with her little eight-year-old brother Freddie at lunchtime, “that’s the only time we get to play,” explained Leah.
When Leah had asthma attacks her chest hurt and she couldn’t get enough air.
“It affects me when I play sports,” said Leah. “I get dizzy and it made me stop what I was doing and visit a nurse.”
There were days when Leah had to miss school, because the asthma just wouldn’t go away.
On the brink of being homeless, Leah’s grandmother Lillian took her in when her mother lost her job. Unfortunately Lillian did not have insurance to help Leah access the asthma medication that she so desperately needed.
Lillian found help at the Martinez Elementary Clinic, which reopened in February 2014 through the support of United Way of Southern Nevada and its Women’s Leadership Council.
“The asthma is something I dealt with in my own children,” explained Lillian. “But hers seems to be a little more severe.”
Lillian explained the Martinez Clinic welcomed Leah and was swift to treat her and provide access to asthma medication.
“Everybody’s so awesome here! I don’t know what I would have done without their help,” said Lillian. “Basically I would have not paid my mortgage so I could get her into the doctors.”
According to Lillian the process of finding help at Martinez was seamless and easy and Leah’s doing much better.
“She went for a follow up and she is doing well,” said Lillian. “They are ready to take her for anything that I need help with, so it’s very important to us.”
Leah now knows that if asthma attacks, she is prepared and she can continue on with her life without the fear of an asthma attack.
“Now I know the medication is there when I need it,” said Leah.