Scott Donaldson opens up about his son's asthma

  • 04/07/2018

Intrepid Kiwi Scott Donaldson has just spent two months at sea, raising awareness about something that affects 120,000 kids in New Zealand.

Hundreds of people gathered on New Plymouth's Ngamotu Beach on Monday evening to welcome him home after he became the first person to kayak across the Tasman solo.

In his 62 days at sea he battled freezing conditions, got creative with duct tape to repair his kayak and grew an epic beard.

But soon after his triumphant return, the kayaker's son Zac suffered an asthma attack and the family had to rush to Taranaki A&E.

Now the beard's been shaved and Donaldson's back on dry land, and he's ready to talk about the condition that afflicts one in seven Kiwi kids.

The entire purpose of his epic voyage was to raise money and awareness of asthma, which costs the country $6 billion each year.

Zac responded well to medication and has recovered from his attack now, but his father (who also has asthma) says people should learn more about it so they can be prepared.

"To someone who hasn't had it and doesn't know about it, and they came across a child who has asthma, I imagine they'd be terrified. They can't breathe."

Donaldson likens the condition to having poor muscularity, saying lungs are just "another muscle".

"People have different strengths and weaknesses. Some people have big quads, some people have big shoulders. Asthmatics have weak lungs."

However he says there's no need to feel sorry for people like him and his son.

"We don't suffer from asthma, we have it and we deal with it."