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LUNG FORCE Heroes

Maria R

My name is Maria and I was diagnosed with Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD). My story begins back in 2008. I was getting sick a lot with pneumonia and colds. At first, they diagnosed me with Lupus because I had a butterfly effect on my face. Then they thought I had Sarcoidosis. With further testing I was diagnosed with ILD. It took two years of testing to confirm the diagnosis - I also suffer from Sjogren's Syndrome. In 2003 my life took a turn for the worse. I was feeling sick and I asked my husband to take me to the hospital. He was surprised - "You want to go to the hospital? You never want to go." I was seen in the ER and was put on oxygen. Seeing that I was mostly stabalized, my dear husband said he would go home and come back the next morning. Well, by 1 am in the morning I called my husband to inform him to come back because they wanted to do a tracheal intubation to me and I would not allow them to do it till my husband came back. I was put in an induced coma, because I got so ill I could not breathe on my own. From my understandig my family was informed that i had a 5% chance of surviving and to start making plans for my passing.

These are the words from my daughter and family wrote on Facebook as they prepared:

"Good morning Facebook. I think it's only right today to further express the importance of the LUNG FORCE walk presented by the American lung association. Usually I wouldn't talk about it but 3 years ago today my family and I lived a nightmare. Today marks the fateful day mom went into the hospital and in the middle of the night a frantic phone call alerted me that she had to be induced in a coma. She had become so ill that she was unable to breathe on her own even with assistance of the oxygen in the hospital so shortly after my family and I left the phone call that would change everything was made. Scary is an understatement and worried will not ever be able to describe what those weeks felt like. Religiously with my father and siblings our family time became watching her fight for her life. With God's grace she overcame that terrible ordeal but her fight wasn't over. Mom went through rehab and watching her get her muscles strong again was another heartache. Learning to use her normal motor skills, talking, eating, writing, walking. However no one but mom herself had to go through it and that is why we are walking. Her journey isn't over and her strength is a testament to the will power of an individual to stay positive and most importantly live their life to the fullest. Please help us and others like mom."

Thank you for listening to my story . I hope it helps someone else . Always stay positive, life to short, live it to the fullest everyday you are breathing is a blessing.

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