Puppets with funny names and a respiratory therapist with a theatrical bent, a new program developed at Pikes Peak Regional Hospital and Surgery Center helps children control their asthma.
“Sneezy and Wheezy are two friendly and asthmatic monsters,” said Azur Morris, puppeteer and respiratory therapist at PPRH. “They’re brothers and one has had asthma since he was born and the other just got it.”
A puppet road show, Sneezy and Wheezy have a dual purpose, to entertain and provide information about asthma. The show/program is for elementary-school children and is designed to teach them how to identify asthma triggers.
“With these programs we really want to educate people in Teller County about asthma,” Morris said. “Because children do die every year from this disease.”
Morris, who also has asthma, shares her story about how she manages her disease, and about the successes she has had that keep her out of the hospital.
In a show-and-tell performance, Morris offers the free program in a variety of venues such as church groups, schools, or scouting organizations.
“We started this program because there are a lot of children in the county who have asthma,” she said. “And we have children who have asthma symptoms because we are at high altitude.”
During the performance, Sneezy and Wheezy talk about their breathing techniques and other tools to help children manage the disease.
In the past few years, asthma has increased in both children and adults.
“We are seeing RAD, Reactive Airways Disease, which is allergy-induced asthma,” Morris said. “Many of them have never had asthma before and suddenly develop symptoms.”
The program is effective for children with the disease as well as their parents, siblings and friends.
Developed by the cardiopulmonary depart at PPRH, the program is funded by the Ute Pass-Woodland Park Kiwanis Club with donations to the Pikes Peak Regional Medical Foundation.
For more information about scheduling the program, call 686-5701.
Morris talked about Sneezy and Wheezy on Teller Life Oct. 13 at TellerNetcast.com. The show is archived at the site.