Noah was seven years old when he developed a persistent cough after a winter respiratory infection. He was referred to Riley, where he was evaluated and treated by pulmonologist, Dr. Michelle Howenstine. He went through a series of Pulmonary Function Tests at the Riley Outpatient Center. During these tests, he had a clamp on his nose and then had to forcefully exhale from his mouth into a tube which was connected to a computer. Normal tests are scored out of 100 percentage points, but several of Noah’s scores were in the 70’s! Noah’s parents were surprised to learn that he had asthma because he had never experienced a shortness of breath.
These tests were challenging for Noah, especially since he was already compromised by his obstructive cough. The technicians were so encouraging to him, and after the first series of tests, which lasted almost an hour, he received stickers and his choice of a matchbox car from the prize box. The prize box was filled with wonderful items from Riley Cheer Guild, and this small token relaxed Noah and gave him a sense of accomplishment after the testing. This experience helped to prepare him for follow up appointments and calmed his nerves about returning for future tests.
Noah continues to see Dr. Howenstine a few times each year and is a pro at his Pulmonary Function Tests now. The support from Riley Cheer Guild helps to create a safe and encouraging foundation for Noah as he continues to cope with this chronic condition. His mom said, “Our family appreciates the dedication of Riley Cheer guild volunteers and donors who pay close attention to the small details that can turn a stressful situation into a positive experience”!