Ryan’s Law was named after local child, Ryan Gibbons, whose death from an asthma attack helped push for new laws in Ontario schools.
May 18, 2023 / TORONTO – Today, MPP Flack rises at Queen’s Park to mark the eight-year anniversary of the passing of Ryan’s Law and to recognize the advocacy work of Sandra Gibbons and the Lung Health Foundation. The Members’ Statement by MPP Flack will commence at 10:15 am.
Gibbons is the mother of Ryan Gibbons, a 12-year-old student from Straffordville who suffered an asthma attack and passed away when he was unable to access his emergency inhaler because it was locked in the principal’s office.
“Ryan’s death was totally preventable, and I wanted to do everything that I could to ensure that no family would have to suffer what my family went through,” said Sandra Gibbons. In 2015, Gibbons and the Lung Health Foundation worked with MPP Yurek to develop and pass Ryan’s Law, which provides better protection to students living with asthma in Ontario.
Ryan’s Law mandates that students should be allowed access to their inhalers and that schools must develop and maintain asthma policies and procedures to better protect asthmatic students – helping prevent more tragic deaths, like Ryan’s.
“In honouring the anniversary of Ryan’s Law and the tremendous advocacy efforts of Ryan’s mom, Sandra Gibbons, and the Lung Health Foundation during Asthma Awareness Month, we can continue to ensure that approximately 400,000 students with asthma in Ontario’s schools are protected by Ryan’s Law,” MPP Flack said.
Asthma is a chronic (life-long) condition that makes it harder to breathe. This is because the airways in your lungs are more sensitive and get filled with mucus or tighten up when you’re around triggers, making it harder for air to pass through and can in some instances, lead to death.
Approximately 1 in 5 children in Canada are living with asthma.
“While asthma can’t be cured, with proper treatment, people with asthma can lead normal, healthy, active lives. At the Lung Health Foundation, we are committed to working with advocates, like Sandra Gibbons and elected officials like MPP Flack to improve living conditions for Canadians living with asthma and other lung diseases. We want to ensure that no one ever loses a loved one to asthma,” said Jessica Buckley, CEO of the Lung Health Foundation.
About the Lung Health Foundation:
The Lung Health Foundation is dedicated to ending gaps in the prevention, diagnosis, and care of lung disease in Canada. We invest in the future by driving ground-breaking research, and we give patients and their families the programs and support they need today.
If you would like more information on asthma or asthma management, call the Lung Help Line at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864). Whether you’re calling about yourself or someone you care about, certified respiratory educators offer free information and guidance on a variety of lung health concerns and offer free one-to-one support.
Visit www.lunghealth.ca for more information.