Lobbying and education weren’t the only activities on the agenda for the Allergy and Asthma Network’s 30th anniversary, celebrated this kickoff week for Asthma Month. A reunion, 30 years in the making, punctuated the events, where AARC also played a role.
30 years ago, Adrienne, the newborn daughter of Al Keith was placed on a ventilator shortly after her birth. During the ensuing days, Keith watched as the respiratory therapists and other members of the clinical team managed his daughter with care and compassion. One of those RTs, Peter Wang, became a close confidante of Keith’s as Adrienne struggled for life.
Sadly, Adrienne lost her battle after a few days and shortly thereafter Keith moved to Chicago to continue with his education. But the impression Wang left on Keith was great; so great, in fact, that Keith was inspired to become a respiratory therapist himself.
Each went their separate ways, until May 6, 2015 when a surprise reunion was orchestrated by Tonya Winders, executive director of the Allergy and Asthma Network. AARC helped by tracking down Wang, who works at Kaiser Permante in California. Wang was in on the reunion, but Keith was totally taken by surprise. Winders arranged for the meeting for Keith, who has been a long-time volunteer with The Network.