A DESPERATE woman has described “feeling like a prisoner in her own home” after running out of vital oxygen tanks she relies on to survive life-threatening asthma.

Kerry Johnston, 46, suffers type 2 brittle asthma – causing sudden and severe attacks unless she is hooked up to an oxygen machine.

The Southend resident uses portable oxygen cylinders to go outside, but has now run out and is petrified of leaving her home in case she has serious problems with her condition.

Previously, Kerry received portable oxygen tanks from the NHS, but claims her prescription was cancelled without her knowledge.

When the Echo covered Kerry’s fears about running out of oxygen tanks in May, the Essex Partnership University NHS Trust said it cannot comment on individual cases, but insisted staff are committed to the best possible patient care.

Now, Kerry has created a GoFundMe page to try and secure her a portable oxygen concentrator machine, which will allow here to “do simple things people take for granted” again.

Desperate - Kerry JohnstonDesperate - Kerry Johnston (Image: Kerry Johnston)

Kerry said: “I now feel like a prisoner, I am trapped in these four walls and I cannot do anything or go anywhere, it feels like a prison cell and that I am being locked away.

“Without oxygen, I could suffer a life-ending asthma attack, I could be in my car with no way of knowing I am in trouble. When it happens, I can’t call out to anyone. It wouldn’t help whether it was in public either, it can be fatal for me.”

Kerry added that the amount required to pay for the portable machine, £6,000, would force her to “skip bills and not get food” just to be able to afford it.

She added: “Getting a portable oxygen machine would give me back that freedom and interaction with people I have lost. Not seeing people is extremely isolating and when you live alone, that is more apparent.

“I haven’t seen another person since last week. Things people take for granted like meeting in a coffee shop I cannot do.

“The last time I went out was Thursday, I had an appointment and my blood oxygen saturation was dropping to 91, when it hits 87 I should be in hospital. There needs to be more understanding of the implications an attack with my condition can have.”

A spokesperson for Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) said: “We can’t share information about care and treatment of an individual patient, however we regularly review the care and treatment of those using our services and where patients have been assessed as no longer clinically requiring oxygen support services we support discharge from the service in a planned phased way. 

"We would urge anyone with concerns about their care to contact us so that we can provide the support that they need – our staff are focussed on providing the best possible individual care at all times.”

 To help, visit www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-kerry-to-go-out-again