I am a patient, former nurse and Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Lead at the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR). I originally studied Sports Science, as my passion was sport. I have been fortunate to play lacrosse for Scotland and since my health declined I have been able to stay involved and coach lacrosse at Universities and the U19 Scotland Women’s Team.
After changing to a career in nursing this was also stopped short due to severe life-threatening asthma. I have since dedicated my life to raising awareness of severe asthma, fighting for better treatments for severe asthma as well as involvement in research. My involvement in research has presented a range of opportunities to me such as being a co-author, co-applicant, speaker, researcher and many other roles.
Most of my involvement is with AUKCAR where I also facilitate SPEAK Asthma, which is the children and young persons’ group attached to AUKCAR to ensure that the voices of children and young people are heard. I am also a member of the Chief Scientist Office Patient Advisory Group (PAG), European Lung Foundation PAG, Asthma UK Research and Policy Group, writer for TEVA Life Effects Platform, Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility PAG, Edinburgh Intensive Care PPI Group.
I am not only involved in research I also help run ICU Steps a support group for post ICU survivors and I also host web chats for people living with severe asthma.
I share my experience of living life with severe, life-threatening asthma on my blog and raises awareness about how severe asthma can be.
Paulette Nyahay by profession is a Sign Language Interpreter. Although she has retired from her freelance work, she continues to volunteer her time with the deaf community and interprets the services at her church. She is married with two adult daughters and three grandsons. Paulette is a longtime asthma patient and knows a lot about coughing. She has been in and out of the hospital numerous times. Throughout years of medications, and surgery to remove polys on her vocal cords, she developed a cough that was different from an asthmatic cough. The laryngologist diagnosed her with chronic cough as well as neuropathy of the throat. At the time, she had never heard of this but did her research and found there are others that have the same symptoms. She had to distinguish what was an asthmatic cough versus a laryngeal cough. This chronic cough can range from a tickle or a clearing to over stimulation from the throat, roof of mouth, and even the tongue. Through the years, it got progressively worse. The coughing has caused anxiety when out in public and fear because the cough can be so strong that it sometimes feels like you will not catch your breath. With the help of her doctors and knowledge about her condition, she has the power to work through a daily life of coughing.
Her heart’s goal is to make aware that this is a real issue and there is help out there with medications and support. Knowledge gives power.