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Dominic B., PA

So, like many others, I've experienced what is known as a spontaneous pneumothorax-collapsed lung. Unfortunately, this has been a consistent problem with me and many others as I'm finding out. So the first occurrence took place in 2007 when I was experiencing a sharp pain in my chest area. As being a healthy 27 yr old, I chalked it up to bad indigestion. How wrong I was. After experiencing severe difficulty walking and breathing, I finally went to the ER at my local hospital. 

An initial X-ray was taken confirming a total collapse of the right lung and almost immediately four doctors walked in and went right to work. It was determined that I was born with what are referred to as "blebs," which are tiny air sacs that develop on the lung and can rupture at any given time. Sometimes they may heal on their own and other times, medical treatment is needed.

A chest tube went in to evacuate the air which worked and then observation. When the chest tube was clamped, the lung went back down again. The procedure of pleurodesis was then administered with zero success-the lung would not stay up. Finally, I underwent the thoracic surgery in conjunction with the VATS procedure. Success! The lung has stayed up ever since.

Despite the excruciating pain and recovery process, I have not had another episode on my right side. Through patience and perseverance I was able to resume my normal activities and live a normal life. For example, I went from walking as a toddler, taking baby steps for three weeks to running a two miles in 13 minutes within six weeks of discharged from the hospital. 

I've had such a phenomenal support network including my parents, Maryanne and Joe, my brother Joe, my Uncle Bill, many friends and especially my now wife Shannon who has been my shining light!

Unfortunately, this has not been the end of this saga. I've most recently experienced two other episodes on my left lung which so far have only required the use of the chest tube, which has successfully worked. Different symptoms were experienced during both occurrences but fortunately, recovery has been great. 

If you're experiencing any type of breathing/pain in the chest area, please seek out medical attention, this is a serious condition that can only get worse without treatment.

I hope by sharing my experience that it will assist other patients of this issue that complete recovery is possible and not to lose hope, you can still live a normal life.
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