Usman was just ten years old when he was diagnosed with Asthma. Despite his condition, he enjoyed a variety of sports including football, cricket, cycling, and swimming. However, ten years ago, Usman fell ill and contracted Pneumonia, causing his Asthma to develop into a severe form called Bronchiectasis.

Usman’s lungs function at about 20%, leaving him breathless and limiting his oxygen intake, which can leave him feeling tired and lethargic. Living with Bronchiectasis has been quite a challenge for Usman. On the bad days, he struggles to get out of bed, while on the good ones, going up and down stairs is more manageable. Usman is no longer able to participate in the activities he once enjoyed when he was younger, and it also forced him to change his job. These changes took a toll on Usman’s mental health, especially during the pandemic when he had to isolate from his wife and three children to avoid getting the virus.


It was during these difficult times that Usman discovered a Facebook group where people living with similar conditions shared their success stories. Reading about others gaining control of their condition inspired him to take steps to improve his health, not only for his own sake, but to be able to support his family and care for his elderly parents.

Once the pandemic restrictions eased, Usman was proactive and joined a men’s support group organised by One Voice. He contacted his physios who taught him new breathing techniques, giving him the confidence to take control of his situation. He started taking short walks of a few hundred metres several times a day to visit his parents and neighbours.

For Usman, being active and walking short distances has been life-changing. It has allowed him to continue to breathe naturally, without relying on an oxygen tank, he is able to work, support his family and live a happy, fulfilling life.