Lung Transplant Fund

This is my Aunt Paulette Scruggs Whitaker and over the past several years she's been diagnosed with and has suffered from conditions such as Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, Congestive Heart Failure and currently Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Right now she has less than 19% use of her lungs and at this time she's preparing for a lung transplant. Paulette used to be filled with so much energy, life and laughter but now we see this all dwindling away. We can see that her spirit is broken and with being replaced with medications and the use of an oxygen machine daily, she is no longer herself but her fight is still strong. Paulette is the mother of one amazing son named Roman and would like to be able to further her life and spend more time with him. Paulette was an employee of U.S. Airways for many years and had to leave her employer upon diagnosis of her conditions. The funds that we are hoping to raise will assistance with not only her surgery but will also assist with her post surgery housing while in Cleveland, medications and the needed care after her surgery. We are asking for your assistance financially as well as prayerfully so that my Aunt Paulette will be able to recover and get her life back to normalcy. Thanking you all in advance. God Bless!!

Paulette's niece Merdeka & Family

What Is Sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis (sar-koy-DO-sis) is a disease of unknown cause that leads to inflammation. This disease affects your body’s organs.

Normally, your immune system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. For example, it sends special cells to protect organs that are in danger.

These cells release chemicals that recruit other cells to isolate and destroy the harmful substance. Inflammation occurs during this process. Once the harmful substance is gone, the cells and the inflammation go away.

In people who have sarcoidosis, the inflammation doesn't go away. Instead, some of the immune system cells cluster to form lumps called granulomas (gran-yu-LO-mas) in various organs in your body.

What Is Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension?
Pulmonary hypertension is a life-threatening condition that gets worse over time, but treatments can help your symptoms so you can live better with the disease. It may take some planning, but plenty of people who have it find ways to do all the things they love, just as they did before they were diagnosed.

Having pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) means that you havehigh blood pressure in the arteries that go from your lungs to yourheart. It's different from having regular high blood pressure.

With PAH, the tiny arteries in your lungs become narrow or blocked. It's harder for blood to flow through them, and that raises the blood pressure in your lungs. Your heart has to work harder to pump blood through those arteries, and after a while the heart muscle gets weak. Eventually, it can lead to heart failure.

What Is Heart Failure?

Heart failure does not mean the heart has stopped working. Rather, it means that the heart's pumping power is weaker than normal. With heart failure, blood moves through the heart and body at a slower rate, and pressure in the heart increases. As a result, the heart cannot pump enough oxygen and nutrients to meet the body's needs. The chambers of the heart may respond by stretching to hold more blood to pump through the body or by becoming stiff and thickened. This helps to keep the blood moving, but the heart muscle walls may eventually weaken and become unable to pump as efficiently. As a result, the kidneys may respond by causing the body to retain fluid (water) and salt. If fluid builds up in the arms, legs, ankles, feet, lungs, or other organs, the body becomes congested, and congestive heart failure is the term used to describe the condition.
What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?
COPD is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is caused by damage to the lungs over many years, usually from smoking.

COPD is often a mix of two diseases:

·         Chronic bronchitis   (say "bron-KY-tus"). In chronic bronchitis, the airways that carry air to the lungs (bronchial tubes  ) get inflamed and make a lot of mucus. This can narrow or block the airways, making it hard for you to breathe.

·         Emphysema   (say "em-fuh-ZEE-muh"). In a healthy person, the tiny air sacs in the lungs are like balloons. As you breathe in and out, they get bigger and smaller to move air through your lungs. But with emphysema, these air sacs are damaged and lose their stretch. Less air gets in and out of the lungs, which makes you feel short of breath.

COPD gets worse over time. You can't undo the damage to your lungs. But you can take steps to prevent more damage and to feel better.
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Paulette Scruggs-Whitaker 
Syracuse, NY
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