EASY BREATHING: Kitty and Stephen Robertson with their sons Josiah, 7, Chakotay, 5, and Jesse, 10.
EASY BREATHING: Kitty and Stephen Robertson with their sons Josiah, 7, Chakotay, 5, and Jesse, 10. Kate Darvall

South Burnett gives youngster a breath of fresh air

KITTY Robertson has been in and out of hospital with her five-year-old son Chakotay, but since moving to the country for the fresh air, says their lives have changed.

When Chakotay was born with lung disease, Kitty said he spent the first two years of his life "constantly in hospital".

"There were a few medical issues going on, just one of which was lung disease," she said.

"Basically for him it means air pollution plays a massive havoc."

Kitty said Chakotay was hugely sensitive to everyday smells other people might not even notice.

"Air pollution, smokers, even things like perfume," she said.

If her son's health was to improve at all, Kitty said she knew she would need to make some big decisions.

"You can't see your kid suffering like that time and time after time," she said.

"I just couldn't do it any more."

When Chakotay was three-years-old, Kitty started her journey towards a healthier and happier life for her family.

Since moving to Murgon almost two years ago, Kitty said her son was a different boy.

"I can't even begin to explain how amazing it is," she said.

The Lung Foundation of Australia said studies found people living in highly polluted areas experienced worse lung function than those in clean air.

It also said lung cancer and disease was more common in cities than in the country.

Kitty said improvements to Chakotay's health exceeded both hers and doctors' expectations.

"He's not been in hospital for two years," she said.

"When we were living in Caboolture he was in every 14 days."

Kitty said the improvement to his health allowed her son to be a normal child.

"When you have a kid you always want them to be happy and healthy and do all these things," she said.

"When I get to see him playing outside, it's the most fabulous feeling.

"Even seeing him climbing a tree or on his skateboard."

Before the move, she said Chakotay's illness delayed almost every stage of his development.

"His ability to walk, crawl, everything," she said.

"But now he's catching up."

Kitty said the clean country air allowed her son's health to rebuild.

"His immunity is getting better because he's not being flooded with antibiotics," she said.

Kitty said her son's improvement also astounded doctors.

"Specialists can see how well he's doing, their minds are just blown," she said.

Although her family gave up a lot for Chakotay's wellbeing, she said he was the light of their lives.

"He's honestly the strongest kid you will ever come across, he's my inspiration for everything," she said.

And despite his suffering, she said his strength and love for life overcame it all.

"He loves butterflies, bugs insects, he's passionate about them," she said.

"It's surprising because the outdoors is the one thing he struggles with most."