Meet Our Partner:
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is collaborating with the American Lung Association to raise awareness of TBM, an airway disease causing chronic cough and infections.
What is TBM?
Normally, the central airways (the trachea and bronchi) remain open when you breathe. With TBM, the airways collapse. The condition is rare and often misdiagnosed as a more common lung condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma or cystic fibrosis.
Breathing Easier: Sandra's Story
If you’ve had a chest cold, you know how frustrating a bad cough can be – especially when it lingers for days or weeks. But for Sandra Rocha, a chronic cough didn’t just last for days, her chronic didn't just last for days - it lasted decades.
“Throughout the years, the cough was really persistent,” Sandra says. As a child, her doctors diagnosed her with an allergy to cold temperatures. Desperate for relief, she moved with her family to Florida. But the cough didn’t improve.
After years of suffering, she came across information online about a program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to treat a little-known disease called tracheobronchomalacia, or TBM, which causes the airways to weaken and collapse. Before long, she was in Boston to meet with BIDMC’s experts, hopeful for an answer at last.
“When we first met her, we had her cough,” recalls Dr. Sidhu Gangadharan, Chief of Thoracic Surgery and Interventional Pulmonology at BIDMC. “We could hear just from the sound that she very likely had the type of collapsing airway that our treatment does very well to take care of.”
To learn more about TBM and its symptoms and possible treatments, please visit Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.