This Morning presenter Matt Johnson hasn’t let asthma beat him
Welsh Daytime TV presenter Matt Johnson has highlighted the seriousness of asthma and the importance of using asthma medicine after speaking to Wales Online, describing how he almost collapsed ‘in the middle of nowhere’ whilst out running. “I had to stop because my chest was so, so tight,” Matt revealed. “I was halfway through my run, in the middle of nowhere and I really panicked. The more I panicked, the more it got worse. In the end I managed to calm down a bit and eventually it got better.” However, it is not only physical exertion that triggers the 30-year-olds asthma symptoms; the handsome presenter from Caerphilly even admits that he sometimes struggles when on screen to millions around the UK. Recently, a comical comment from fellow presenter Eamonn Holmes particularly left the Welshman gasping for air. Matt commented: “Weirdly, when I laugh really hard I get a very tight chest. The other day Eamonn Holmes made me laugh on the This Morning set because I tried to get him to join a nudist beach club and he gave me a very good reason why he shouldn’t. I laughed out loud and my chest got very tight.” Interestingly, and a subject Medical Specialists Pharmacy have previously touched upon, Matt used to be almost embarrassed to get out his inhalers to use and says the condition was ‘uncool’ in school. His experience whilst out running and without his medication has left him taking his condition a lot more seriously however. He says: “I can happily take my inhaler anywhere in front of anyone and always have a puff before a live broadcast just in case. I keep on top of my asthma now because the thought of having a severe attack is terrifying.” Asthma is a long-term respiratory disorder, where the air passages within the lungs unexpectedly become inflamed, narrowed, and swollen. This then prevents airflow into and out of the lungs. Attacks occur often in response to an allergen, cold air, exercise, or emotional stress. It is thought that there are 5.4 million people in the UK currently receiving treatment for asthma. This equates to 8.8% of the total population (62 million estimated in 2010). In addition, it affects a staggering 300 million people worldwide. From this total, there are a huge number of celebrity figures who have asthma and in recent times, many have spoken out about their experiences battling the condition in order to raise awareness. In February, Olympic hero Laura Trott gave a detailed account on her asthma and there are many other celebrities with asthma such as David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Paula Radcliffe, Bradley Wiggins and Rebecca Adlington. All of these famous faces did not let asthma overcome them, and with proper management of their symptoms and making sure to use their inhalers, all achieved their goals without letting asthma hold them back. You don’t need to take our word for it though, Matt continued: “When I grew up asthma always seemed like something that was a geeky, uncool thing to have. So if me running around the place shows people that I’ve got asthma but life goes on, then that’s wonderful. I remember at school people thought it was an uncool thing to have. Some kids suffer with it really badly but it’s not much fun to have it made into a joke. Some people are so disabled by their asthma, physically but mentally. Many people think, oh I can’t take part in exercise – I’ve got asthma. But you only have to look at someone like Bradley Wiggins or Laura Trott who have asthma but went onto win Olympic gold medals at London 2012. When you think of people with asthma like me from daytime TV, world class athletes and someone like One Direction’s Harry Styles , who was seen taking his pump at the side of the stage and then carrying on with a huge concert, then surely that’s inspirational enough.” The presenter is due to host charity Asthma UK’s ‘Breathtaking Ball’ in London on Friday to raise awareness and funds for asthma.