From John Terranova, Father of Marcus
I would like to take this opportunity to express my endorsement and support for the initiative being taken by both Jarrad and Courtney to raise awareness of the potential risks associated by school teachers and carers not correctly identifying the symptoms presented by Asthma, Allergies and Anaphylaxis.
Three years ago, my eight year old son presented with symptoms of wheezing and shortness of breath whilst still in afterschool care. Marcus had suffered from asthma and allergies which had been treated by a GP. When he approached the carer he was short of breath and he was administered and inhaler to treat his asthma. When this was not working, medical assistance was called, but to no avail. He went into cardiac arrest and passed away. What had happened was Marcus was having an allergic reaction to something he had eaten in after-school care. No one suspected Marcus was having an anaphylactic reaction and so was not being treated accordingly.
I came to know about the work being undertaken by Jarrad and Courtney through a newspaper article which outlined the plan to raise awareness by using wristbands to identify medical conditions that are life threatening. I thought this was a fantastic idea and contacted them to express my support. What touched me was that my son was an inspiration for the work they are doing. Loosing Marcus changed my life significantly, and still every day I grieve and feel pain inside my heart. No other parent should feel this way, and with the efforts by Jarrad and Courtney, they will no doubt help to raise discussion and awareness that can help prevent further loss of life.
I strongly believe any child with a medical condition is going to be at risk of miss-diagnosis when carers and teachers are not aware of a child’s medical condition. Often it can be too late as was the case with my son. If Marcus was wearing an allergy band, the afterschool carers would have used an Epi-pen first and then the asthma medication secondly. That is why having a system – “See and Save” in conjunction with and education program should be mandatory in all schools and afterschool care facilities. Raising awareness is crucial to helping save future lives.
I am positive my son would be here with me today, if he was treated for the allergy first. If Marcus was wearing a wristband indicating an allergy condition, and the carers acted accordingly based on instructions to treat the symptoms of anaphylaxis first, Marcus could have been administered the lifesaving adrenalin he needed.
I appreciate the time and effort being taken by Jarrad and Courtney to educate schools on the issues and concerns pertaining to Asthma, Allergies and Anaphylaxis awareness. Their continued drive is an inspiration to me and others who understand the seriousness of the risks by not being vigilant when it comes to caring for your child. Our children are our life. We all want great things for our children. I can only dream of what a wonderful person Marcus would have become.