Mia Payok is just like many other 7-year-olds, except sometimes she struggles to breathe. Mia has asthma.
“It’s kind of scary,” Mia says.
For the past few years, Mia’s mother, Nadja Payok, has worked with doctors to determine what’s behind the breathing problems. The CDC reports nearly 7 million children have asthma in the U.S.
“It’s been really hard because there is so much uncertainty and no real answers to the questions,” Nadja says, “I feel kind of helpless, but I have to stay calm so that she doesn’t get too anxious.”
Mia recently started seeing Beaumont Children's Hospital Pediatric Pulmonologist Wan Tsai, M.D.
Dr. Tsai says, “The first thing we try to do, even from birth, is to figure out what her respiratory pattern has been. Is she a child who has lots of colds, run of the mill colds, but somehow seem to be prolonged much more than the usual colds?”
Dr. Tsai immediately made Mia and her mother comfortable and confident that treatment was available. She spoke to Mia directly while mom listened.
“She shows me pictures and she tells me about it and actually explains it,” Mia says.
After treatment from Dr. Tsai, Mia's asthma symptoms have improved.
Nadja adds, “It was nice that she was actually talking through with Mia because then she understood it a little bit more and it answered the questions that I couldn’t answer for her.”
Since Dr. Tsai started treating Mia, the little girl says her asthma symptoms have improved.
“I came off the field and I did my inhaler and it helped right away,” Mia says.
Mia is an avid athlete. Now, her breathing issues are not holding her back anymore.
“She’s been able to move up the ranks in what she’s been able to do with gymnastics and we’re really pleased about that,” Dr. Tsai says.