Shane O'Brien, a loving and devoted husband and daddy, a son, a brother, a mate, a neighbour, a work colleague, fellow sportsman and an ASTHMATIC, a condition that killed him October 2001.
At age 35 Shane had it all. Life was 'very normal', a fulfilling and challenging job with BORAL AUSTRALIA as Maintenance Manager with many future prospects. But most of all, the most important part of his life, his family.
A terrific family man who always put his wife and children first, a life that he had all mapped out. Life couldn't have been better enjoying a pram walk every night with Paddy (then 2) and Tom (then 6 months), talking proudly about them growing up, kindergarten, school, junior football, holidays and so much more. Now so completely different, something he, Bridgette, Paddy and Tom will never experience as a family, life is changed forever without him.
Shane has had asthma all his life. Asthma was very much part of his everyday life, regular visits to the G.P, preventer's and ventolin part of his daily routine. Until one trip to a clinic where he wasn't a regular patient proved potentially fatal. A G.P not familiar with Shane’s history prescribed him an anti-inflammatory that he reacted to, closing his airways and in four hours leaving him in an intensive care unit on a life support machine for 2 days. With the right treatment and medication Shane recovered. This was a wake up call to Shane and Bridgette, now realising that his Asthma had to be treated seriously. Unfortunately, Shane's asthma triggers couldn't be determined and 10 months later had he had an extremely bad asthma attack – his last one. At age 35, Shane died leaving so many broken hearts and dreams behind. We will never know if this could have been prevented.
What's now been done is a foot forward to rebuilding a life without Shane for Bridgette and their boys. A foundation in his memory the "Shane O'Brien Memorial Asthma Foundation", formed in March 2002. The committee is made up of 9 close friends aiming each year to raise funds to aid the Victorian Asthma Foundation with Asthma awareness as well as upgrading equipment, this year donating a spirometer to the Geelong Hospitals Accident and Emergency. This year’s fundraiser was a Dinner in October raising just over $33,000. This was the first of many events the committee have planned. The Shane O'Brien Memorial Asthma Foundation continues working closely with Asthma Victoria on all their endeavours.