"(Back like) ten years ago when I was living in Arizona....very ill one winter.....went to a doctor, a lung specialist, and he informed me that I had terrible lungs and that I should quit smoking. And I did.....overnight. And I moved back to Iowa a year later, and thought I was fine, and had my own business... was living a good life, and became very ill again in the wintertime, and found that I had to give up my business. I had no strength; I certainly had no energy.
I was recommended to a lung specialist in my hometown, and he knew right away that I obviously needed some help. And he said he had heard of this type of surgery -- lung reduction surgery -- and sent me to a specialist in Springfield, Illinois, and I had the surgery. My first surgery was in May of 1995, and it is absolutely the most life-altering experience possible. I don't think that I would certainly be sitting here today talking about it, as easily or perhaps at all, if I had not had this surgery. It's a relatively easy surgery to have. Hospitalization was nine days during my first surgery, seven days three years ago when I had my second lung operated on.
It's just so good that I'm not even sure how I can tell you how good it has been, because there is no comparison to what I can do now to what I could not do before I had the surgery. I couldn't climb stairs, I couldn't take walks, I couldn't go to the grocery store, and now I do all of those things. I walk three miles every day with a friend of mine, and I enjoy any activity that I want to. I go out in all kinds of weather. I can wash my own car. I can lift children -- my grandchilden -- before, I could not do that...it took too much strength, too much energy.
I consider my life to be extremely full because I had the lung reduction surgery. There's just no way to tell you what a difference it can make in your life. I don't know what else to tell you....it's just an amazing.....it's an amazing thing to have done. I would highly recommend it. If you qualify, if you're a good candidate, run don't walk to your nearest surgeon who can do this."
For additional information, please contact
Theresa M. Boley, R.N., M.S.N., FNP-CS
Stephen R. Hazelrigg, M.D
Professor and Chair
Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
SIU School of Medicine