Little 7 year old Teddy was one miserable fellow when his mother brought him to the office on a hot summer afternoon. He had been suffering from pertussis or whooping cough for a number of weeks - and suffering was the operative word. Every hour he would have a very violent and loud fit of coughing. He would literally jump into the air with the force of the cough and, because Teddy felt like he was choking, he would desperately stomp his feet. Then the fit would end in a spasm of vomiting or retching.
If you've ever witnessed a bout of whooping cough, it can be pretty scary. In infants it can be dangerous because they actually can suffocate.