She suffers badly from asthma and takes a whole suite of drugs to try to make breathing easier but the smog over the summer was just too much even with extra inhalers meant to relax her constricted airways.
"I just found it very hard to breathe," she said - so she and her mother and father sought refuge with relatives on the Central Coast.
"The whole time, she was freaked out because normally her asthma is manageable," her mother Carly Long said.
"Because the fires were so dense, the smoke was constantly triggering her asthma," the mother said.
Asthma Australia has now produced a report on the health impact of the bushfire smoke in December and January when the fires were at their height.
The report tells of ongoing pain and even of deaths.
Of the 1528 people in the ACT who responded to the association's survey, 95 per cent of asthma sufferers reported increased difficulty breathing during the smoke and 72 per cent of non-asthma sufferers also reported worsened breathing.
A separate report, in the Medical Journal of Australia, estimated that bushfire smoke was responsible for 89 attendances by asthmatic people at emergency departments in the ACT.
This was on top of 31 ACT deaths which the researchers thought wouldn't have happened without the fires and smoke. There were an additional 82 hospital admissions for heart problems and 147 respiratory admissions in the territory.
Nearly all the asthma sufferers used their inhalers more in an effort to boost the intake of drugs designed to ease breathing.
Asthma Australia chief executive Michele Goldman said the impact of smoke exposure was largely invisible and underestimated - but she felt the health consequences needed to be taken seriously.
The organisation wants air quality to be given much more attention in future. There should be more testing stations, some of them temporary for when conditions are particularly bad as they were during the bushfires.
It also recommended an "air smart" campaign addressing the dangers of smoke, much like the SunSmart campaign raised public awareness of skin cancer.
"We're seeing the intensity and duration of fires increasing, we're now starting to understand the true health impacts of exposure to smoke," she told an inquiry in the NSW parliament.
The Medical Journal research estimated that across the ACT, NSW, Victoria and Queensland, there were 417 deaths, 1124 hospitalisations for heart problems and 2,027 for respiratory problems in the fire-ravaged last quarter of 2019 and first quarter of 2020.
Asthma Australia cited the case of an asthmatic teenager who died in northern New South Wales.
Courtney Partridge-McLennan went to bed for the night in Glen Innes and bushfire smoke then enveloped the Northern Tablelands town.
The 19-year-old was found dead in bed the next morning with her phone torchlight on and her reliever medication close by.
"She did not have time to ask for help," her sister Cherylleigh Partridge told the parliamentary inquiry into air quality.
"I believe that she probably woke up mid-asthma attack," her sister said.