Thing, a character in The Eye of the North by Sinéad O’Hart, has a chronic illness which causes trouble breathing.
From the publisher:
Emmeline Widget has never left Widget Manor – and that’s the way she likes it. But when her scientist parents mysteriously disappear, she finds herself being packed off on a ship to France, heading for a safe house in Paris. Onboard she is befriended by an urchin stowaway called Thing. But before she can reach her destination she is kidnapped by the sinister Dr Siegfried Bauer.
Dr Bauer is bound for the ice fields of Greenland to summon a legendary monster from the deep. And he isn’t the only one determined to unleash the creature. The Northwitch has laid claim to the beast, too.
Can Emmeline and Thing stop their fiendish plans and save the world?
UK publisher: Knopf (2017)
Author represented by: Polly Nolan of Greenhouse Literary Agency