Today I Can, maybe tomorrow You Can too!
Thelma Foley is 77 and lives close to the sea cost in North Dublin. While always a smoker, a number of years ago Thelma was experiencing numerous bouts of Bronchitis and so, decided to quit for good.
Only one year down the line, Thelma was faced with a diagnosis she was afraid was going to change her life forever. COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is the umbrella term for chronic lung disease and symptoms include breathlessness and chest tightness which can result in difficulty doing daily tasks.
Thelma’s COPD diagnosis caused her great anxiety. She worried about being able to breathe or get out and about. In order to help her cope with symptoms, Thelma has had to use numerous different medical equipment including a nebuliser, portable oxygen and oxygen tubes installed in her home.
One day, Thelma was informed by her pulmonary nurse about a community based, pulmonary rehabilitation programme called Exercise, COPD & Me run by Siel Bleu. Along with her friend Mary, whom she met in hospital, Thelma started attending the weekly exercise classes and has never looked back.
Prior to the programme, Thelma was “in and out of hospital” and now “I can keep myself out of hospital”.
In the last number of weeks Thelma has been informed that she no longer requires oxygen at rest. Her pulmonary physiotherapist and nurse attribute this to the exercise classes.
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