Oscar's five-year life has been regularly hampered by severe asthma.
On his second birthday, he was so sick he did not respond to any remedy, leaving his parents fearing the worst.
"I'll never forget how his little chest rose and descended in desperate movements, trying to fill his lungs with air," says his mother, Carla.
After 57 emergency trips to the hospital with her son, Carla is accustomed to the routine, but never ceases to worry.
"Within 30 minutes, he can go from coughing and looking in peace to coughing and gasping constantly …
"What we go through is very distressing," she says.
"We've been told there's nothing they can do for him."
According to Asthma UK, it is difficult to know how many life-threatening asthma attacks happen every day in the UK because not everyone looks for treatment for them and can be difficult to define.
But they estimate that someone in the UK has a seizure every three seconds and many of them could be avoided if people heed the warning signs and get help quickly.
That was based on asking 10,000 people with asthma to report how many attacks they suffered last year.
Asthma is a long-term condition that affects the airways – the tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs – causing them to narrow and make breathing difficult.
It affects 4.3 million adults and 1.1 million children in the UK.
Last year, 77,855 people were hospitalized with an asthma attack – and 1,250 died, about three people a day.
Most are from older adults, the charity says, which may not pick up the signs and ask for help.
Asthma UK says you are having an asthma attack if:
- your blue reliever is not helping, or you need to use it every four hours
- you're gasping a lot, have a very tight chest, or you're coughing too much
- you're out of breath and find it difficult to walk or talk
- your breathing is getting faster and it seems like you can not breathe properly
The charity offers health advice on their website and has emergency advice to follow when you have an asthma attack – for adults and children.
According to him, the best way for people to get well with asthma all year round is to take the preventive inhaler every day, so that the protection in the airways is built over time.
"Asthma attacks can be really scary, but some people do not seek help, despite the advice to do so.
"But people never think it's as bad as it is," she says.
She says there may be a spike in asthma attacks during the winter, linked to coughs and colds, but the triggers vary from person to person and may include pollen.
& # 39; Feeling helpless & # 39;
In the case of Oscar, the symptoms are usually obvious in that he can now tell his mother when he is having an attack.
But he can deteriorate very quickly and now he's at school, the family is putting their trust in someone else by detecting the signs and acting fast.
Constant concern has affected everyone, including Oscar, who sees a psychologist because of the trauma of so many hospital appointments and procedures.
"I'm worrying all the time," says Carla.
"Will the school call me? Should I leave?
"We can not go on holiday abroad because we need to be near a hospital and we lost thousands of pounds on canceled trips because it was too bad to go."
But the worst feeling is helplessness, she says.
"He may be coughing all night, but there's nothing you can do."