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I have severe COPD ( chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.) My lung function currently ranges between 18% and 24%.
24 years ago i ran into a room to close a Chlorine Gas cylinder that had been inadvertently opened , I did this so that the children in a play area could be timeously evacuated from the creche, which thankfully happened without any harm to any child. At that time being super fit my intention was to hold my breathe for the duration of time it would take me to run into the room , close the cylinder and get out, unfortunately i could not hold my breathe long enough and as a result my lungs got burnt by the chlorine gas.
The Dr. at the hospital said at the time that there was nothing that could be done to repair the damage but because i was young and very fit it would only possibly affect me when i was an old man . Any way within 2 weeks i was back, running, swimming ,etc. without any problems.
About 8 years ago i started feeling breathless without much effort, put it down to the fact that i was getting older...
To make a long story short,within two years i had been diagnosed with severe COPD , spent many months in hospital, got medically boarded as i couldn't work any more and was permanently on oxygen at home. I urgently needed a Bi- lateral lung transplant, but due to being so inactive and on so much medication i was too over weight to be listed for a transplant.
My life of hell began, i could do nothing, little things like brushing my teeth were exhausting,constantly having these terrible attacks we call them exacerbations...... i find it difficult to explain it is the most terrible thing , you just don't get oxygen, you breath in but you just don't get air....you suffocate and you just don't know when you will get your breathe back......or if you will this time.
Just over two years ago i woke up and my pity party was over, i decided to fight this horrible disease with everything i had , i served my country, first in the infantry and then as a Marine being tough and fighting against all odds was something i understood. So i started , just by tensing my muscles and did breathing exercises, two months later i managed to walk on the treadmill for 2 minutes without stopping, and then did a bit more every day, it wasn't all plain sailing many days i was just to ill to do anything , BUT I NEVER GAVE UP... i have lost a total of 34 kg i can now walk between 3 km and 5 km every day.
Although i have lost enough weight to be listed for a transplant, i due to lack of finances no longer have private medical aid and our state hospitals do not do Lung transplants.
The reason i am asking you to PLEASE HELP ME BUY TIME is this, my life is spent breathing through a long straw( that's what every day feels like to me) its not something you get used to, it is what it is......BUT lately it feels like every now and again something is blocking that bit of air that i get through my straw.
This campaign is so that i can go onto a private medical aid like Discovery Health as they do approve Bi -Lateral lung transplants.My previous campaign was to raise enough money for Pneumerex coils to place into my lungs, unfortunately we have determined that this procedure will no longer be suitable for my lungs.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and if i may ask you that if it is not possible for you to assist if you would please be so kind as to forward my campaign on to all your family, friends and business contacts it would mean the world to me.
Thank you, and breathe easy
Letter confirming my medical condition