Zoey Bell
Etowah County
Feature Story
A persistent case of bronchitis first brought 5-year-old Zoey Bell from her home in Gadsden to see pulmonologists at Children’s of Alabama. “She had had a lot of problems before she was diagnosed and had chronic, recurring bronchitis,” said her mother, Miranda Bell. “We had been battling that for a year and she was really sick.”

Doctors in the Pulmonary Medicine Clinic diagnosed Zoey with asthma. “It was a relief to know what was wrong with her,” Bell said. “The doctors and nurses were just wonderful. They gave us a pamphlet that showed how her lungs worked and explained that her constant stuffy nose and cough were because her bronchial tubes were inflamed. They went step-by-step in their explanations and set her up on a controller medication and a rescue inhaler if needed.”

Today, Zoey is an active first-grader who enjoys school, Girl Scouts and playing with her older brother, little sister and her cousins. “We’ve explained to her that there are no limits on what she can do,” Bell said. “She just has to be careful not to get short-winded or in a situation where she can’t breathe.”

While her mother and her teachers at school keep a watchful eye on her, Zoey has also learned to recognize the warning symptoms of a potential asthma attack. “If she does, she knows she needs her inhaler and she’s learned to do it herself if she needs it,” Bell said. “We have inhalers at home, at school and in the car so she always knows where one is.”

Zoey’s medications are helping to control her asthma and she visits the Pulmonary Clinic every three to six months. “Zoey loves to go to Children’s,” Bell said. “It’s a drive from Gadsden, but I’d rather go where she can be treated by the doctors at Children’s.”