In 2023, in the town of 100 Mile House, British Columbia, at just nine years of age, Carter’s Vigh’s vibrant life was tragically cut short by a severe asthma attack.

“Carter was incredible,” said Carter’s mother, Amber. “He was the happiest kid you’d ever meet. At school, he was the kid who always welcomed new kids and stood up for what was right. He was friends with everybody.”

“Carter embraced life to the fullest. He loved soccer, race cars, and the thrill of dancing and singing. He knew the words to every song – appropriate or not.”

“Above all else, Carter loved his family. His brother Daxton was his best friend, and his sister, [Cadence], was his icon.” Living with a severe form of asthma meant that Carter was no stranger to hospital visits, yet his family spared no effort in ensuring his condition was well managed.

“Everywhere Carter went, he carried his brief-kit, a lunchbox containing his medications and devices, which served as a constant reminder to everyone in our community of Carter’s condition.”

Mindful of Carter’s disease as they always were, and well aware of the looming wildfires that were causing harm right across Canada, on the day on which Carter lost his life, his mom had checked the Air Quality Health Index before he headed to the water park with their summer camp.

She recalled the reading indicated a low risk, however, they would later learn that this reading was based on air quality measurements taken nearly 100 kilometers away in Williams Lake, B.C.. Later that evening after returning home, Carter began coughing, which as the night went on, it only worsened.

Despite his parents’ best efforts and the efforts of the hospital staff, nothing was successful in alleviating Carter’s condition.

Tragically, later that night, Carter took his final breath.

In the wake of their unthinkable loss, Carter’s parents, Amber and James, have turned their grief into action. Determined to prevent other families from enduring similar heartbreak, they have founded Carter’s Project.

The project’s mission is to ensure every community in British Columbia and Canada has access to reliable air quality monitors and purifiers, and to educate people across the nation about the dangers of wildfires, particularly the dangers it imposes on those living with asthma.

“We are starting in British Columbia; we want to take Carter’s Project right across Canada. We want to guarantee every individual has access to the latest, precise air quality data. We want to ensure that no family has to go through what our own did.”

How Air Quality and Wildfires Affect Your Health - webinar for people living with asthma

Join respiratory experts, Dr. Emily Brigham, Associate Professor, UBC, and Dr. Chris Carlsten, Director, Centre for Lung Health, to: 

  • Gain insights into the impact of air quality and wildfires on respiratory health. 
  • Get practical strategies for managing asthma on days with poor air quality, minimizing exposure to indoor and outdoor pollutants, and protecting your lungs during wildfire season. 
  • Learn about lifestyle changes that promote better lung health and the importance of regular check-ups and medication adherence. 

Useful Resources

Wildfire Advice for People with Asthma

Wildfire season advice, information and resources to keep safe and well.

Your Asthma Action Plan

Your Asthma Action Plan will help you recognize when your asthma is worsening and when you should seek help.

Asthma Action Plans for Kids

Your Asthma Action Plan for Kids will help you recognize when your child’s asthma is worsening and when you should seek help.

Asthma Canada's FREE Asthma & Allergy HelpLine

If you have questions on managing your asthma and allergies during wildfire season, please contact our free HelpLine at 1-866-787-4050 or info@asthma.ca. Our team of asthma and allergy experts will happily assist you with your asthma control and help put your mind at ease.

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Support Canadians Living with Asthma

Over 4.6 million Canadians are living with asthma, a condition that worsens for many during wildfires. Your generous contribution will enable Asthma Canada to not only heighten awareness and deliver vital education on such critical issues but also advance our efforts in research aimed at ultimately finding a cure for asthma.