In September of 2013 our mother, Debbie, underwent a 6 way heart bypass surgery at the age of 47 years old. She also had a lung biopsy as part of the procedure. Only weeks after, she suffered 3 collapsed bypasses and began experiencing severe rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis pain. After two years of doctor's appointments, multiple extended admissions into the hospital and many tests later she had a second lung biopsy perfomed. Immediately following this procedure, her lung collapsed.
Debbie had worked as a teacher's aide with the Saratoga Springs City School District for the last 7 years. This job was one of the most rewarding and fufilling things she had done in her life. Because of the rapid deterioration of her health she had no choice but to resign in November of 2015. She could no longer physically work.
In December of 2015 she was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. This is a disease most know little about. The lungs become deeply scarred and with this tough tissue, it makes it very difficult to breathe. The cause is unknown. There is no cure. Sometimes medications and therapies can be used in order to slow down the process and aide in comfort. Some qualify for a transplant. In February of 2016 Debbie met with a Pulmonary Specialist at Mass General Hospital to learn more about her condition. At this time there wasn't a care plan in place and her symptoms were not that pronounced. We knew that she had IPF but she wasn't sick enough to be placed on the lung transplant list. Less than a week later after her visit to Mass General she was admitted into Saratoga Hospital due to physical complications from the IPF. She spent most of February and March admitted in the hospital due to her collapsed lung. Since this time she has also had two more surgical procedures (including the insertion of chest tubes), had to endure double pneumonia, was transferred to Albany Medical Center, contracted MRSA and has had to begin oxygen therapy. Our Mom will be 50 years old this July.
Right now, Debbie has been a hospital patient for the last 10 weeks. She is so close to being at a point where she can be transferred with her oxygen and chest tubes still in place, to a pulmonary rehabilitation facility closer to home. Hopefully this transition will help her gain more strength to be able to finally go home. There was a short time ago where we wondered if "this was it", "couldn't she just go home one last time?" "what about that summer vacation we were planning?" Surgery is not an option. A double lung transplant will never happen. We thought we had more time.
Debbie and Andy have been together since middle school. 34 years of marriage and still counting. They are good, kind, responsible people who value family more than anything else. Our father Andy, is a full time construction worker. Health insurance was provided through Debbie's employment. We are looking to raise funds to help pay for the cost of private health insurance.
We would like to thank anyone viewing this for your consideration. Please pray for Debbie and Andy. To those who wish to donate or already have, thank you. Words can not begin to express our gratitude. If you would like to learn more about Pulmonary Fibrosis, please visit http://www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org/ Early diagnosis is the best chance of enjoying the quaility of life remaining and to offer those who qualify the best chances of lung tranplant procedures.
#pulmonaryfibrosis #pfwarrior #makeeverybreathcount
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