On Thursday, two time Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist, Anthony Shadid died at the age of 43. Known for his work with major newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe, Shadid died in Syria of an apparent asthma attack.
_Shadid was no stranger to peril, reporting throughout the Middle East from Libya to Iraq, Syria to the West Bank. Over the course of his career, he had been arrested, roughed up and even shot once, so while reporting in an area of the world that has seen more than its fair share of violence, for many it was shocking to hear of his passing because of an asthma attack.
_The week prior to his death, he had suffered an asthma attack, and this time, as with last time, it appears to have been linked to the horses they were using to meet guides and access Syria. Though Shadid had his medication on hand, the attack appears to have been so acute that the medications he had on hand were not enough to treat his condition.
_While over 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, asthma related fatalities hover around 4,000 annually. Unfortunately, the commonality of asthma has somewhat desensitized people to the potential severity of an asthma attack, yet for those who struggle with asthma, the feeling of suffocating, of not being able to draw air into their lungs is all too real.
_In addition to the family, friends, books and articles Shadid leaves behind, his passing should at the very least serve as a reminder to all who cope with asthma. If not taken seriously enough or treated adequately, something as benign as an asthma attack can potentially become a matter of life or death.