In March 2010 Ross woke up one morning and said he needed to see a doctor - which surprised me as he would never admit to being sick. Tests revealed that Ross had extensive emphysema. A year later Ross's condition had deteriorated and he was on supplementary oxygen 24 hours a day/ seven days a week.
Ross needed lots of care and encouragement but he was very determined.
It was the worst possible time of my life. Ross's health deteriorated and he was listed on the transplant waiting list.
We had two false alarms but he finally received his transplant.
The day after his surgery, Ross' ventilator was removed and he was finally breathing on his own with his new set of lungs. I called this a 'Gift of Life'.
Ross had his first walk that afternoon and his first solid meal early that evening. He was still in ICU but was talkative with his usual sense of humour. He was in high spirits and on his way to recovery. No more COPD, no more oxygen tubes, no more struggling to breathe!!
Being diagnosed with COPD really 'sucks'. Before this, I felt on top of the world, happy, healthy, fantastic work, a wonderful partner and two young girls we were fostering in the Philippines.
One night I had problems breathing and I felt like I was drowning. Our GP recognised I was suffering from COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
After I was placed on the transplant waiting list, I had two false alarms and once made it as far as pre-op before it was decided that the lungs would not be suitable.
One night I felt really bad, but just after midnight we had another call. We were at the hospital at 1.30 am and I was operated on by 11.30 am. The procedure went well and was much shorter than expected. I woke up the next day in ICU and I could BREATHE!
Mhar was there every day. The lung transplant team attributed my rapid recovery to the adherence of the COPD Management Plan and the support from Mhar.
Most times the COPD plan and the medication will allow sufferers to maintain a decent quality of life. A lung transplant is the last resort and it is to be remembered the new lungs are only 'on loan' - a gift from the donor and donor family.