Friday 22 June 2018

'The ambulance crew tried everything but it was too late' - heartbroken mum on the pain of losing her son to asthma

Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

The heartbroken mother of a man who died after a severe asthma attack has made a moving video to highlight the fact that the condition can kill.

Donna Green tells how she lost her 21-year-old son last January 31st, in a powerful video that has been viewed 90,000 times in just 17 hours.

Donna Green
Donna Green

In the early hours of that morning, Tiernan took an acute asthma attack.

“Around 3.30am, Tiernan came to our bedroom door. He was finding it very hard to breathe. Our son was very pale and his lips and ears were blue.”

“To stand and watch your son try and fight for his life was so scary.”

Without any CPR training, Donna’s inner strength kicked in and she was able to work on her son.

“I knew our son so wanted to live and needed help.”

“As my husband was on the phone to 999, I worked so hard on Tiernan till the ambulance crew came. And yes Tiernan was still with us at this point.”

Tieran, 21, who died last January.
Tieran, 21, who died last January.

“The ambulance crew tried everything to keep Tiernan here but it was too late. His attack was too far gone.”

“What were we going to do? Our six foot, four inches tall son was gone, just like that.”

The heartbroken mother, from Derrymacash, Co Armagh, who made the video to raise awareness about asthma, told how she will never get to see her beloved son get married or be a father.

“Tiernan had so much to live for. He so enjoyed his life with his family and friends.”

“It hurts me so much that Tiernan never got the chance to marry this lovely lady (showing a photograph of his girlfriend), or become a father. They had over five years of love and laughter.”

“Asthma kills,” Donna said. “Don’t have family, friends, loved ones have to go through what we did when it can be prevented.”

Ireland has the fourth highest prevalence of asthma in the world. More than 1 person a week dies from asthma, according to the Asthma Society of Ireland.

“We truly believe that if Tiernan kept taking his proper medication at the right times... he would be still with us,” the grieving mum said.

“We were informed after his passing Tiernan used his blue inhaler 30 times that same day, and never did he use his brown inhaler once.”

For more information call the National Asthma Adviceline on 1800 445464, or see

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