Life before emphysema was full of care-free adventure for Christa and her family. Christa enjoyed camping, hiking, and canoeing with her husband, and fully immersing herself in all that nature has to offer. However, after years of adventuring and outdoor activities, Christa was faced with symptoms that would soon begin to make these hobbies a challenge.
She was frequently out of breath, experienced chest tightness and back pain, and no longer felt that she was getting enough oxygen. She describes the symptoms as “jumping into the deep end of the pool and not thinking you’re going to get to the top to catch your breath.” As time progressed, many limitations were put on her daily activities and Christa came to the challenging realization that she could not do what she used to. Her diagnosis of mild to moderate COPD and Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency* was difficult news for an independent person who did not like relying on others for help.
Christa’s diagnosis and worsening symptoms led to an active search for treatment options. She was prescribed inhalers, put on oxygen therapy, and went to pulmonary rehabilitation to get needed relief. With the final surgical option of a lung transplant offered to fully relieve her symptoms, Christa was determined to find a minimally invasive treatment. She heard about the Spiration® Valve System through her pulmonologist, but was nervous about the procedure because of prior failed attempts to get to the desired result. To avoid any false hope, she even avoided informing her family, before going through the series of non-invasive tests to determine if she was eligible for the procedure, just in case she did not qualify.
Thankfully, Christa’s doctor determined that she was an eligible candidate for the Spiration® Valve System. After a successful procedure and noticeable improvements soon after, she felt like she “finally had her life back.” Now she can walk longer distances without taking breaks, run the vacuum, take a shower. Christa looks forward to the time she is going to spend playing with her grandchildren playing and watching them grow up. She cannot wait to get back in her canoe and explore the local rivers again.
Christa could not be more thankful for the improved quality of life she experienced, the ability to resume some of her favorite outdoor activities and spend time with her family, without worrying how she will feel throughout the day. She “feels like herself” again. #BeYouAgain