“For me, the valves are a blessing from God. I can’t imagine going through life any longer the way I was before them.”
Age at Treatment: 77
Hospital: Advent Health Tampa – Florida Medical Clinic
Date of Procedure: August 2020
Life Before Zephyr® Valves:
I was fortunate enough to have a job I loved and looked forward to going to everyday. I spent 36 years working as an engineer for CSX Railroad. I spent my days on the train seeing parts of Florida many never get to see. On my days off, I enjoyed fishing, hunting, and spending time with my family and dogs. But as my breathing became worse, the activities I loved to do started decreasing.
I was diagnosed with severe COPD/emphysema at age 62. Even though I quit smoking 24 years ago, the habit still had a severe impact on my lung health. I was using multiple inhalers multiple times a day. It felt like I was living on my rescue inhalers. It never left my side. In the beginning of my diagnosis, I used oxygen only at night, but that soon grew to be an all-day thing too. I was really scared to do anything, even simple things like walking out to my truck, because honestly I was scared I was going to die.
When you have COPD or emphysema, it feels like you are living in a bubble. You are strapped to your oxygen and the activities you loved so much are taken away. Sometimes my breathing was so bad that I couldn’t even catch my breath enough to take my rescue inhaler. My breathing got down to 25% and that is when Dr. Juan Cevallo referred me to Dr. Nathan Do’s office and started my testing to get the Zephyr Valves.
Life After Zephyr Valves:
After doing all the necessary testing, I was told I was a candidate for the Zephyr Valves and I received my very own set in August 2020. The procedure was quick and relatively painless. My throat was a little sore from the bronchoscope, but it was so minor, I didn’t even need to take a Tylenol®. I was in the hospital for the required three days, and every morning and night I got a chest x-ray to make sure the valves were in the right places and they were working properly. Like clockwork, at 6:50am, he came into my room and listened to me breathe. The first morning he heard a small buzzing sound which just meant one of the valves hadn’t settled in yet. By the second morning though, I was in the clear. Once Dr. Do gave me the go-ahead, I was walking laps around the hospital floor.
I had follow-up appointments with Dr. Do after two weeks, one month, and six weeks after the procedure. He said everything was working properly. I was so excited to get the green light to get back to what I love to do! I am not able to run a marathon, not that I would want to anyway, but I am back in my boat fishing, and enjoying the outdoors with the dogs.
I only use my oxygen at night rather than every day. I take one puff from my rescue inhaler and two puffs of Symbicort® in the morning. After that, I am ready to take on the day!
For me, the valves are a blessing from God. I can’t imagine going through life any longer the way I was before them. I want everyone to know about the Zephyr Valves because they changed my life for the better, and I know they can help countless more.
My beautiful wife and I can’t wait for what the future holds.