The Peterborough Telegraph Education Awards saw a special recognition award given to a very courageous school pupil.
Naomi Shinn was nominated by her nanny – who wanted to share her grandaughter’s story and recognise the bravery and courage she has shown.
Naomi’s story started last year as she was beginning secondary school and was understandably very excited about doing so.
In August 2014 she began to suffer with mild asthma and hayfever, however this dramatically turned into something terrifying and life-threatening – the attacks got worse and in a short of time she had over 40 attacks.
She was taken into hospital by ambulance on 22 occasions - some attacks being worse than others and Naomi needed back-to-back nebulisers for days.
While taking substantial medication to keep things under control, Naomi spent a week in Addenbrookes Hospital where she was diagnosed with uncontrolled brittle asthma.
Due to the frequency of the attacks, hospital admissions, recovery time, and medical appointments, Naomi was frequently absent from school – falling behind with school work and struggling to keep up.
The effect of the large amount of steroids she was taking resulted in weight gain which knocked her confidence and along with the asthma prevented her taking part in PE and dance.
Despite all of this pressure she still worried about her studies and asked for her school work to be sent home so that she could catch up.
On Christmas Eve she suffered a very bad attack and had to be taken straight into emergency care.
After several hours, she was allowed home, however, early on Christmas Day she collapsed, went into respiratory arrest and was taken into hospital where she was transferred to a high dependency unit. She woke up on Boxing Day and was allowed back home to celebrate Christmas. In March this year after still having attacks on a regular basis, Naomi decided to help raise awareness for others with asthma, especially brittle asthma, and her mother Nichola set up a Just Giving page.
Naomi, using her own words, made a video on social media to reach others on her journey and to help raise money. It was a massive hit and reached over 25,000 views and she raised £300.
People from all around the country contacted Nichola to say how moved they were
One person contacted Naomi’s mother to ask if she could make our nominee a personalised inhaler and box to keep it in as her way of showing support.
Months later the video is still being viewed and donations are being given and Asthma UK has requested permission to post the video its site.
Despite everything that has happened to Naomi in just one year, she continues to smile, manages to catch up on her school work in her spare time and has reached her targets and goals in school and has even gone up a level in maths.
Her nan described her as: “Selfless,courageous, determined, and inspirational.”
Naomi’s brittle asthma is more controlled now than it was and she hasn’t suffered an attack since March due to her persistence and determination.”