Zoey loves to dance hip hop in front of her mirror, usually wearing sunglasses, nail polish and a stylish purse. “But when her chest hurts and she can’t breathe,” her mom, Tequila, says, “she has to lie down for the rest of the day.”

Zoey missed a lot of school — and Tequila missed work — as Zoey’s asthma attacks became more difficult to control. Dr. Sahira Long, her primary care doctor in the Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health at Children’s National Hospital, recommended they visit our IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic for help. “Dr. Long has seen Zoey since she was a newborn and knows her like the back of her hand,” says Tequila, also Dr. Long’s patient as a child.

Dr. Candice Dawes, assistant medical director at our Children’s Health Center in Anacostia, collaborated with Zoey’s school nurse to make sure she got her medications on time. She also talked to Tequila about potential asthma triggers in their apartment, which had an old carpet and a mouse infestation. The hospital’s pro-bono legal partner helped Tequila convince her landlord to make changes. Zoey is now 8.

“The effort Children’s National put in helped me so much,” Tequila says. “Zoey’s asthma is much more controlled now and my baby can dance. She can go to school and be with the teachers and friends that she loves. She’s able to be a kid again.”

A young patient at Children's National Hospital.

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A young patient at Children's National Hospital.