Tino's Story: A Christmas Emergency that Changed Everything

01 Dec 2023
The festive season should be a time of joy and celebration, but for Nadia and her youngest son, Valentino, Christmas two years ago was marked by fear and anguish.

"Tino was a healthy, sporty kid until around the age of 8 or 9," Nadia recalls. "But then, everything changed."

Tino's health took an unexpected turn, leaving him frail and unable to grow. "He was like a transparent skeleton," Nadia remembers. "For years, he didn't grow at all. His body was starved of oxygen, and his mobility drastically declined."

The heart-wrenching turning point occurred on Christmas Day two years ago. Tino, feeling unwell after a family cricket game, suddenly had a severe asthma attack triggered by an approaching thunderstorm.

"We almost lost him that night," Nadia recounts, her voice still heavy with the memory. "His breathing became so laboured that we knew his heart might stop. It was terrifying." Despite being prepared with emergency medication, the local ambulances were tied up during the holiday period, leaving Tino's life hanging in the balance for 15 very long minutes.

"Tino's asthma doesn't respond to typical treatments," Nadia explains. "We've been through this ordeal several times. It's always a battle for his life."

Tino has a number of complex medical conditions. One is the unusual form of asthma he has. Another is an allergic immune deficiency, necessitating complex monthly treatments as preventive measures. He has three subcutaneous injections of a special, cutting-edge drug for his asthma and an intravenous infusion of immunoglobulin for his immune system.

It takes hours, but Tino says he doesn't mind "because it's better than every week".

"And it's fun," he says. "We play board games and ball and stuff like that the whole time."
Today, Tino's progress is a testament to the invaluable medical research that aims to enhance treatment options. "A year ago, Tino struggled to spend a few minutes outside without hospital visits," Nadia explains. "But now, he's playing basketball, riding his bike, and attending school. He's growing, developing, and thriving."

These positive changes in young Tino's life, and for so many other children like him, are brought about through a spirit of giving when we come together as a community to make a difference.

Amidst progress, Tino and Nadia know their journey continues, and they remain grateful for the support they've received. "Your generosity has made a significant difference," Nadia acknowledges Canberra's community. "We spend too much time in hospitals, but your kindness makes it a little easier."

As we approach this Christmas season, consider making a difference in the lives of children like Tino. Your donation improves hospital experiences and fuels crucial research aimed at better treatments and brighter futures, like the drug that helps Tino keep his asthma at bay.

Tino's story is a reminder of resilience and a call to action.

Together, we can make a meaningful impact this December. Join us in supporting kids like Tino so they can experience the joy and wonder of the holidays outside hospital walls.

Donate now and be a part of creating a brighter tomorrow for these courageous young souls.