Monday, September 5, 2011

1 in 30 - Bokoshe, Oklahoma :

Every day in America:
40,000 people miss school or work due to asthma.
30,000 people have an asthma attack.
5,000 people visit the emergency room due to asthma.
1,000 people are admitted to the hospital due to asthma.
11 people die from asthma.

Yes, that is every day...

The annual cost of asthma is estimated to be nearly $18 billion.

Among children ages 5 to 17, asthma is the leading cause of school absences from a chronic illness. It accounts for an annual loss of more than 14 million school days per year (approximately 8 days for each student with asthma) and more hospitalizations than any other childhood disease. It is estimated that children with asthma spend nearly 8 million days per year restricted to bed.

Staggering facts when we see printed numbers.  Even more staggering when we see real faces of children suffering with asthma.

I had the opportunity to spend a Sunday afternoon recently with Evelyn Davis in Bokoshe, Oklahoma.
Evelyn is a retired school teacher.  She began her teaching career in 1948 at Bokoshe Elementary School.  She taught 2nd and 3rd grade for thirty years.  Evelyn shared her concerns with me regarding the increasing cases of asthma in the children of Bokoshe.  "In over thirty years of teaching, I remember only one child with asthma.  That is one child in thirty years!  Today, in the 6th grade class there are nine children out of seventeen suffering from asthma.  Our children are breathing air filled with coal ash everyday in our community.  It is making them sick."

The asthma related death rate for children under 19 years old has increased by nearly 80% percent since 1980.

To date no medical studies relating to asthma have been conducted in Bokoshe, Oklahoma.  To date no air quality monitoring studies have been conducted in Bokoshe, Oklahoma.  Evelyn along with the children know it is in the air they breathe in Bokoshe, Oklahoma.

be strong, be safe, Carlan