John Hunt, MD, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology and both a Pediatric Pulmonologist and an Allergist/Immunologist. He is one of the very first doctors in the United States trained in both pediatric subspecialties that care for children with asthma symptoms. His perspectives on childhood asthma formed under the mentorship of the best medical minds in the world. He grew up with asthma himself, and has two asthmatic children. Dr. Hunt focuses on the specialness—the individuality—of each child. And that makes all the difference.
Dr. Hunt is co-founder of Trusted Angels Foundation, which works in West Africa. Proceeds from the sale of his books support young people in one of the poorest places in the world. He is also the author of two novels, Higher Cause and Assume the Physician.
From the Introduction to “Your Child’s Asthma–A Guide for Parents”
It is fair for you to want to know about the doctor who wrote this book.
I was fortunate to be trained in both of the two pediatric subspecialty fields that separately provide care to children who have asthma. I thus became both a pediatric pulmonologist (lung physician) and an allergist/immunologist. My mentors are brilliant and wonderful physicians who have generously shared their wisdom with me. I had the honor of working with some of the best minds in asthma when I was the chairman of the Asthma Diagnosis and Pharmacotherapeutics Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. My academic career took me through a position as a tenured associate professor of pediatric respiratory medicine at the University of Virginia—a highly respected center of asthma research and clinical practice. During that time I was an author of one of the influential European pediatric asthma guidelines.
Although I have lived asthma professionally for more than two decades, what may be more important is that I have lived it personally as well.
I had severe asthma as a child myself. My children have asthma now. So, in that way, you and I are floating in the same boat.
I hope to be an advisor to you, a source of information, and a provider of reassurance. I hope to assist in improving your child’s (and your) quality of life, and in decreasing unnecessary worry. It is my desire to empower you. A key component of empowerment is knowledge.
This book is about diagnosing, understanding, and treating the individual child with asthma—your child with asthma. I will repeat over and over again the core concept that your child is an individual. Other concepts are also occasionally repeated in two or more locations in the book. This repetition serves to incorporate the concepts into the various different contexts that you discover may be relevant to your child’s asthma.
I wrote this book from the perspective of an allopath, which is the type of doctor I am. MD’s are allopaths. I am not a naturopath, nor a nutritionist, nor a homeopath, nor any other alternative or complementary practitioner. All of these other professions have much to offer. I urge you to hear the suggestions of other professionals as well as my thoughts, and determine for yourself and your child what combination of the various medical philosophies seems most true and makes the most sense to you. I am confident that this book you are reading now will provide you critical knowledge to help you put other professionals’ suggestions, and the suggestions of your doctor, your grandmother, your mother-in-law, and your neighbor’s cousin’s girlfriend, all into context.
It is also important to note that this book is not based on published asthma guidelines in the United States. Guidelines in medicine are compilations crafted by experts in which data are considered and treatment methods developed for optimization of average population outcomes. This book, however, is focused on helping you figure out what is going on with your child, not the average child. Unlike the experts who wrote the guidelines, you know your child. And that is so incredibly important!
As a result of years of consideration, I have learned to define asthma a bit differently than the writers of the US guidelines have recently defined it. My preferred definition of asthma eliminates some of the confusion that currently exists in the field of asthma.
I am a pediatrician. Part of my brain (perhaps an insufficient part) maintains a childlike view of the world, along with a willingness to use vocabulary that is perfectly descriptive yet entirely nonmedical. I will, without fear or hesitation, use the terms “booger” and “snot” (and whatever other phrases make sense at a given moment), and I may even define them. If the use of such language offends, I submit to you my sincere apologies.
I invite you to keep an eye on my website, www.childasthmaguide.com for helpful information, updates, hints, reassurance, suggestions, and to learn about new discoveries.
Best to all!
John Hunt, MD