Byford resident Keith Munday had no idea asthma could be fatal until his 20-year-old daughter Fallon died from the disease five months ago.
Mr Munday has since dedicated himself to raising awareness about the illness and will hold a fundraising event in Fallon’s honour at the Byford Tavern this month.
He said Fallon had been diagnosed with asthma when she was in her early teens and while she had been taken to hospital a couple of times it had never been severe.
But in September last year Mr Munday, who was in Augusta with his wife Leonie, received a call from his youngest daughter Chloe, who told him Fallon was having an asthma attack and needed an ambulance.
“It just came on really quick and her sister rang the ambulance straight away and then called us to ask if that was ok,” he said.
He said the ambulance arrived but paramedics were unable to revive Fallon.
“We got the call that she had passed away when we were on this side of Margaret River,” he said.
“We drove home from there and it was the longest drive of my life.
“Up until September we didn’t know you could die, not really.”
Mr Munday said he still relived the events of that night.
“I know what I see in my head and what actually happened are two different things but I just saw Fallon dying in Chloe’s arms, she wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else if she had to go,” he said.
“Like I said at the funeral, if Chloe’s love could have saved her she would have lived forever.”
Fallon was cremated two weeks after her death, on what would have been her 21st birthday.
Mr Munday had since realised the lack of awareness surrounding asthma, particularly amongst young people who frequently underestimated the severity of the disease.
“The problem is that a lot of the kids who die aren’t using their preventative, more so than just your everyday puffer,” he said.
“That’s probably because you can go to your chemist and get your everyday puffer straight from the shelf but you actually have to go to and get a prescription for your preventative.
“We did harp on to (Fallon) go and get a preventative and we’d say to her, ‘make sure you’ve got a puffer in your handbag, in your car and at your friends’ houses’ but she often didn’t buy them.”
According to the Asthma Foundation WA, one in 10 Australians have asthma and one person dies every day as a result of the disease.
Asthma is the number one cause of hospitalisation amongst children.
In a bid to raise awareness Mr Munday will take part in an event every month including the Asthma Freeway Bike Hike in April.
He and a friend will also wax their body hair at the Byford Tavern at 5pm on February 27 with the goal of raising $5000 for the Asthma Foundation WA.
“I just want to do something different to draw attention to it,” he said.
“It’s in a public place so my shorts will stay on but I’ll be waxing my back, legs and chest.”
“Getting waxed may not be that clever but at least it’s different and we’ve already got a few donations come through, including from Fallon’s work and friends.”
Mr Munday said the events were also about keeping his daughter’s name alive.
“She was too out there for people to just forget her and it’s something I won’t have, not while I’m around,” he said.
“She was just a really good, fun person and everybody loved her, she had a good sense of humour.”
For more information about the event or to donate visit facebook and search ‘Keith’s going bald bar his head, pits & bollocks’.
For more information about asthma or to donate to the Asthma Foundation WA visit asthmawa.org.au or call 1800 278 462.