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April M

My story started a few weeks ago. My 85 year old grandfather has been having some breathing issues for a while and his primary physician wrote it off as "he's getting older and he's a former smoker." I am in the medical field myself, and had pushed for a chest x-ray, pulmonary evaluation, etc, to no avail. The doctor ignored my request and again he chalked it up to age and he's smoking history. My mother took him to his physician a few Mondays ago and asked that he be placed on oxygen due to the trouble he was having breathing. It had gotten progressively worse over the past few weeks. They finally agreed to do oxygen at home and some meds.

The next day my mom took him to the ER, where he was admitted with pneumonia, COPD, and a baseball sized mass on his right lower lobe (they did an x-ray and CT scan which showed this). He was put on oxygen but his stats weren't rising. So he was then switched to BIPAP which is a constant flow of high force oxygen via a face mask. His stats were rising. But over the next 2 days, he was unable to be off the BIPAP machine, and with the new diagnosis of cancer, he didn't want to pursue treatment. He passed away 3 days after being seen in his pcp's office being told "your lungs sound fine" and no chest x-ray being done. I am very brokenhearted not having my grandfather here and the lack of interest shown by his doctor, who took an oath to protect him, discouraged me. My grandfather had 2 sisters that also passed from lung cancer and with his smoking history and respiratory issues, he should have been evaluated years ago. Maybe this could be been prevented, maybe not. My point is, his life had value, even at 85, and he shouldn't have suffered like this. I am glad he is now at peace and not suffering any longer. I vow to bring awareness by walking for my grandfather. I love you Pop and I will miss you always.

First published: May 5, 2016

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