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Words can not express the gratitude that Marie Osmond has for the staff at the Children’s Hospital for Wales after they saved her five-year-old son Stephen’s life during a severe asthma attack.

“I was in my bus touring, and he stopped breathing and turned blue and his machine didn’t work,” said Marie. “I remember I said a prayer, and we drove probably 100mph down the road in a bus, and there was a children’s hospital. They rushed him in there and they saved his life.”

She and her brothers plan to show their appreciation with the support of the Noah’s Ark Appeal to purchase new state-of-the-art equipment for the hospital to help make it one of the best hospitals in the world. Marie Osmond is co-founder, along with John Schneider, of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, a project of The Osmond Foundation. The initiative has raised over $3.4 billion since 1983 for children’s hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Children’s Hospital for Wales joins Bristol and Dublin hospitals in becoming a partner. In 2009 they will have the opportunity to nominate a “champion child” to go to Disney World. Each year one child and their family is chosen from each of the children’s hospitals in the Children’s Miracle Network to represent the hospital at Disney World.

Marie Osmond also has asthma, which may have caused her to faint during the reality show “Dancing With the Stars”. She said, “Right at the beginning I started getting light-headed. And the only thing I could think of [is] I have allergies, there’s almost half a million people being evacuated, the air quality is terrible – and I just couldn’t get my breath.”

Over 6.8 million children under age 18 have asthma. Asthma is the leading cause of school absences and the third leading cause of hospitalizations for children. The cost of treating these children is over $3.2 billion a year. American Lung Association Asthma Clinical Research Centers are involved with working on asthma prevention and treatments. Many communities have developed asthma-friendly schools and emergency plans to educate school staff and students with helping someone during a severe asthma attack.

If you would like to make a difference in a child’s life, contact www.noahs-ark-appeal.org. For more information about asthma, contact a Local Lung Association in your area at 1-800-LUNGUSA.

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