Wednesday 21st November was World COPD Day and Belfast Man Paddy Lynas marked it with a double celebration. The father of two celebrated his 70th birthday on 11th November and is also celebrating the amazing fact that his health is now better at 70 than when he was first diagnosed with a respiratory condition, 8 years ago.
“I was diagnosed with respiratory disease when I was 62 years old and was told there was no cure. To be honest, I thought my life was over. I felt very low because of my diagnosis, the resulting loss of my job and the death of several close family members. But now eight years later, I have just celebrated my 70th birthday with my wife, our two children, family and friends. I am off all medication and in 2015 I was officially discharged by my respiratory consultant, even though I was told my lung condition would never improve. I have walked marathons and even climbed Slieve Donard!
I put it all down to the help I received from Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke so, to celebrate World COPD Day, I would like to tell others living with a respiratory condition that there is help out there. If it hadn’t been for NICHS, I simply wouldn’t be here today. They saved my life!”
Pauline Millar, Head of Respiratory Services, NICHS
“Figures released by the Department of Health show the number of people living with COPD in Northern Ireland has risen to over 40,000 people. This is an alarming increase of almost 1,000 people in one year. As well as problems with breathing, they can also experience problems sleeping, feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety or depression, and can become isolated from family and friends as a result.
Last year NICHS launched its new Breathing Better programme which aims to improve patients’ confidence and give them a greater sense of control over their condition. Previously patients took part in a number of treatment plans delivered by different areas of the health service and voluntary sector. Breathing Better pulls these plans together into one coherent, co-ordinated pathway which marks a significant step forward for respiratory support in Northern Ireland.
Our message to people on World COPD Day is that we are here to support people with long term chest conditions. Paddy has seen a huge difference in his life and we can make a massive difference to other people’s lives too.”
If you or a loved one has a long term have a long term respiratory condition, you can get more details about support services in your area on www.nichs.org.uk/supportservices. Alternatively you can contact NICHS on 028 9032 0184, firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.nichs.org.uk/request-a-callback.
What do you think of Paddy’s story? Do you live with a respiratory condition? Have you heard of the NICHS’ Breathing Better programme before? Share your views in the comments section below!
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