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    Dylan's story about managing his asthma

    To see energetic eight-year-old Dylan shooting a basketball or running for a touchdown on the football field, it’s hard to imagine anything slowing him down. But four years ago, an unexpected medical condition stopped him in his tracks.

    Dylan didn’t know why, but suddenly he couldn’t keep up with his preschool buddies. When he ran, his chest ached and felt tight, and breathing was a struggle. At the age of four, he wasn’t able to clearly communicate what was happening. So his parents, Brenda and Darrell, concluded that a cold virus was causing his tiredness and breathing difficulties.

    Soon after, a frightening episode of breathing problems left Dylan choking and gasping for breath his condition was officially diagnosed: severe asthma. “There was no history of asthma in our family, so we didn’t recognize the signs and symptoms,” says Brenda.

    Their distress evaporated when they took Dylan to see Lloyd Takao, M.D., a pediatric asthma specialist at Alta Bates Medical Group in the East Bay. “Dr. Takao has asthma himself, so he could relate to what Dylan was going through, and that comforted all of us,” Brenda recalls. Dr. Takao put Dylan on asthma medications and today his condition is well controlled.

    “Dylan used to get angry about his asthma. He’d try to keep his asthma attacks a secret because he didn’t want to stop playing to use his inhaler,” Brenda says. “Dr. Takao was great. He helped Dylan understand that treating his symptoms immediately would allow him to keep running and playing with the other kids.”

    “When people think about health care, they often think about red tape and inconvenience,” observes Brenda. “Our experience with Sutter has been the complete opposite. They treat you with care and concern and make things as easy as possible.”

    With his asthma controlled, Dylan is now the star of his basketball and football teams.

    “We’re Brenda, Darrell and Dylan, and that’s our story!”