Jody Dawson - Breathing Easy Since 2014
On May 24, 2014, we lost a dear PHriend, daughter, mother, and sister to Pulmonary Hypertension. Jody was a PHighter, and a lover of life. While we all were so hopeful that Jody would get her “new to her” lungs, they just didn’t come in time. Below is her story as she wrote it for our inaugural 5k – which was held 6 weeks before she left us to fly with the angels.
It's hard to believe that almost 4 years ago I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. I had just turned 30 and was ready to start life. I have a son who at the time was 8 years old. I am thankful that I got to enjoy his early childhood. It just happened out of no where. One day in August, I just couldn't breathe. I had been experiencing shortness of breath and I was having a harder time going up hills and stairs, but I just thought; well, maybe it's time to lose weight. I would have never dreamed or even heard of PH.
I would have never dreamed or even heard of PH.
So that night in the ER tons of tests were done and I saw a ton of doctors that whole week. At the end of the week a cardiologist came in and explained to me that they thought I had PH, and he wanted me to go see a doctor at AGH named Dr. Benza. That's when the journey began. I went and met Dr. Benza that following week and was set up for every test possible including a right heart cath. I was so scared, I kept thinking the whole time that this can't be what I have.
When the results came in, and I did in fact have PH. But how did I get this??? Well it turns out not only did I have PH, but, I also had Lupus and Scleroderma. They believe that the Scleroderma is what caused my PH. I was started on Revatio right away and then added Letaris. These meds still weren't improving my symptoms, so we added IV Remodulin and Oxygen and I have needed all of these ever since January of 2012.
Now moving forward to life today. I am currently being placed on the lung transplant list. My heart is having a harder time with all of this now. I retain a lot of fluid due to the right sided heart failure. I am scared to go on this journey, but with great family and friends, and most of all God, I will make it! I have been through a lot these last few months, and without a doubt I'm a PHighter. You learn to adapt to the changes and face everyday with hope. You can never lose hope. My PH family has been the most supportive people I know. They have been there for me through this entire journey and I love them!! So as the days go by I cherish every day and moment I can. Another really important thing I do all the time is laugh!!! Never miss a chance to be with the ones you love.
I cherish every day and moment I can.
Thanks for taking time to read my story! All my love, Jody.