Former truck driver who loves spending time with his wife and their 23 grandchildren
Age at Treatment: 67
Hospital: Lung Institute at Columbus Regional Health
Date of Procedure: June 2, 2020
Life Before Zephyr® Valves:
I was a truck driver for Walmart for 28 years. In December 1999, I was on a run and felt like I was coming down with the flu, so I went home and rested. Well, it wasn’t just the flu because a week later I was in the hospital with only 10% lung function, placed in a drug-induced coma, and hooked up to a ventilator.
I was diagnosed with emphysema complicated by bronchitis. I quit smoking right then and with the use of inhalers, my stamina built back up. After three months, I returned to work and was able to continue for several years until 2017 when I had five exacerbations and my lung health really declined.
In 2017 my mom was sick and I had to go to Iowa to care for her. The stress of the situation coupled with the humid weather put me in the hospital for a week when I got home. I had only been using oxygen at night, but after this flareup I needed it 24/7. Regulations prohibited me from having an oxygen tank on my truck, so I had to take a leave of absence from work, eventually retiring completely.
After 2017, the disease stole my life as I knew it. I went from driving a truck across the U.S. to struggling just to walk around the house. Working on cars was my hobby and I couldn’t do that anymore. I had to sell my 1969 Chevelle. We downsized our home because I couldn’t care for our two-acre property anymore. It was a very difficult time.
When I heard about valves I had a lot of questions. Dr. Sharma was honest and explained that I wasn’t going to get rid of the disease, but this treatment was a chance to breathe better. I did not hesitate to try this.
Life After Zephyr Valves:
I received five Zephyr Valves and had no complications. I went into the procedure at 8:00 a.m., was done in under an hour, and was in my room calling my wife at 10:30 a.m. She could tell right away that my voice was stronger because I was already breathing easier.
After four months I was shocked at how good I was breathing. I can have long phone conversations, walk outside to get the mail, change the bedsheets, and do it all without oxygen. Before valves, taking a shower was very scary. I had to turn my oxygen to 4.5 liters, and it still wasn’t enough. Now I shower without oxygen.
Pulmonary rehab has been an important part of my valve journey. The rehab helped me be in the best shape for undergoing the treatment and to breathe deeper and build up my exercise endurance after treatment.
Life is easier for me and for my wife. She worries less now. She works over 100 miles away and doesn’t come home until the weekend. She doesn’t have to worry about me being alone during the week anymore.
My wife and I have five kids and 23 grandkids between us and now that I am feeling better we are looking forward to spending as much time with them as we can.
Learn more at uspatients.pulmonx.com
Results may vary.
Complications of the Zephyr Endobronchial Valve treatment can include but are not limited to pneumothorax, worsening of COPD symptoms, hemoptysis, pneumonia, dyspnea and, in rare cases, death.