The family of a 32-year-old Oahu woman who died unexpectedly this month wants to raise awareness about the dangers of asthma attacks.
Bryce Graham had been with Nikita for 18 years.
They had two boys Chauncey, 13, and Caleb, 9.
The family says she was a woman of faith and loved her family and loved helping others.
Bryce says Nikita was diagnosed with asthma at a young age.
Dr. Kalani Brady from John A Burns School of Medicine says asthma is very common Hawaii.
“It’s more common [in Hawaii] than on the continental US,” he said.
“It is treatable but of course there are factors that make asthma worse in Hawaii and smoking is probably the worst factor to make it worse,” Dr. Brady adds.
He says the volcano activity on Hawaii Island makes asthma worse for asthma suffers.
Nikita struggled with asthma attacks for years, but she was a fighter.
But on Monday, Jan. 14, Bryce woke up around 2 a.m. and tells KHON2 that Nikita was having trouble breathing.
It got so bad, she asked him to call 911.
“They brought her into the ambulance and I remember she was screaming and she was like ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t take anything in,’” he said.
He says rescuers had to put Nikita into an induced coma because her heart had stopped.
The four to five minutes of not being able to breathe did damage to her brain.
She would remain in the hospital for a few days because there was bleeding in her brain.
Doctors broke the news to Bryce that his wife’s condition was getting worse.
On Thursday, Jan. 17, Bryce walked downstairs of the hospital to take a breather.
“My mother-in-law came down crying saying, ‘She passed away Bryce, her heart stopped.’” “I knew, when she went, I felt it,” he said. “She was my best friend.”
The hardest part was breaking the news to his two boys.
“To see my oldest son grab his mommy’s hand saying, ‘Mommy, please wake up, we have to go to home already, we have to go home,’ is something I will never forget ever,” he said.
Bryce’s advice to the many others who suffer from asthma…
“Don’t overlook it, I really think it’s a disease, not just some repertory problem—it does take lives,” he said.
Dr. Brady agrees.
“It should be treated aggressively because as we found out, unfortunately, it can kill it’s a deadly disease,” Dr. Brady said.
He encourages people who suffer with asthma to carry a rescue inhaler.
“If you have an attack, you can break the attack with a rescue inhaler,” he said.
Bryce and Nikita’s 8th wedding anniversary would have been on Valentine’s Day.
Bryce said Nikita was an organ donor. Her kidney’s helped save two people in Hawaii and one person in Oregon.
A Go Fund Me has been started to help the family with funeral costs.