A TEENAGER who suffered from asthma throughout her childhood has helped create a new website to support youngsters with the condition.

Samantha Berry, 18, from Consett, was diagnosed with the respiratory disease as a three-month-old after she was admitted to hospital with bronchiolitis.

She was referred to the asthma team at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle when she was eight.

Now experts at the hospital are launching a new website to improve support for children and young people in the North-East.

The Beat Asthma website (www.beatasthma.co.uk) will provide information and education to help families, schools and health professionals to work together to ensure children and young people living with asthma receive the best care and support.

Dr Jen Townshend, the consultant paediatric respiratory physician who led the project, said: “People do still die from asthma so it is essential that children, young people and their families, as well as the healthcare professionals involved in their care are able to access clear information to educate and empower them to manage asthma.”

Samantha has recently made the transition to the adult asthma service at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and has worked closely with the team during the development of Beat Asthma, acting as one of the editors of the website.

She is now studying for her A-levels at Consett Academy and hopes to go to university to train to be a nurse.

She said: “I have had such amazing care from the doctors and nurses who have looked after me.

“They always made sure that I understand what each of my medications does and what it actually means to have asthma.

“By training to be a nurse, I hope I can give a little something back and care for people the way I have always been looked after.”

Samantha’s mother, Linda, added: “The website is brilliant.

“I only wish there had been something like this around when Samantha was initially diagnosed. You can access the information you need right away and wherever you are.”