Australian cricket legend Michael Clarke and his wife Kyly have relived the terrifying moment their three-year-old daughter suddenly struggled to breathe.
Speaking to A Current Affair, the couple broke their silence on their private challenge with parenthood – and Kelsey-Lee’s medical episode in late 2018.
‘All I could see, hear and feel was that she was having trouble breathing,’ the former Test captain said.
‘I think the scariest part for me was the unknown. I didn’t know exactly what was wrong.’
As first-time parents, Michael and Kyly said they were initially unsure about what to do as their daughter gasped for air, but quickly decided to rush her to hospital.
‘I think you rang the ambulance and in the mean time I said ”nah, I’m not going to wait for the ambulance, get in the car”,’ Michael said.
Kyly said: ‘We were really shocked. Obviously we weren’t confident parents because she’s our firstborn. She’s only young.
‘I guess you need time being a parent to wise about these things and understand what they are.
‘We just looked at each other and thought best case scenario is to rush her to the hospital … she just couldn’t breathe properly.’
Their daughter, who they described as ‘extremely energetic’ and ‘very caring’, had suffered a severe asthma attack, a condition she was diagnosed after arriving at hospital.
Doctors prescribed Kelsey-Lee Ventolin, which she was told to take six puffs of each day.
‘The great days – there’s nothing better in life, but the other part is quite scary,’ Michael said.
The cautious parents have also learned of a digital device – Respiri – which helps monitor those with asthma and detects early warning signs of an attack.
Michael and Kyly said the technology, which measures wheezing – a symptom of asthma – has given them the peace of mind they need.
The daily results obtained from using the device are stored in an electronic diary and can be sent to the doctor.
‘Now if I feel if something is not right, I’ve got an option to get some information into my brain before making a decision,’ Michael said.
‘Do we need to give her the puffer? Is she going to be fine and she doesn’t need anything, no medication?
‘Do we need to take her to the GP, or do we rush her to emergency? Now we have some options.’
When asked what the future holds for the family, Michael responded: ‘A healthy, happy little girl.’
The new technology, which costs $300, is not yet approved by the Therapeautic Goods Administration – an Australian government health department which regulates medicine and medical devices.
Michael, who led Australia to their 5th Cricket World Cup Triumph and a first-time dad, says one his challenges is convincing people he’s ‘no different to any other 38-year-old’.
Asmtha – a condition where the airways narrow and make breathing difficult – affects one in 10 Australians and 339 million people worldwide.
About 225,000 people in the world die from asthma every year.