Report by Dani Crawshaw
Pulmonary fibrosis is a serious lung condition which is incurable. An estimated 70,000 people are affected by the disease in the UK. Yvonne Smith, from Nuneaton, is one of them.
Yvonne says her diagnosis last June was a shock to her, and her family. She says the life expectancy of 3-5 years ‘changes the way you look at life.’
If I’m having a really bad day, my lungs won’t work properly. I can be tired throughout the day and I can’t do tasks. I have to really take it easy. Sometimes it’s a struggle to even get washed in the morning.
To make matters worse, Yvonne also contracted COVID-19 earlier this year. After weeks of recovering, luckily her lungs weren’t damaged any further. But the pandemic has meant that she’s missed out on treatment and face-to-face support. It has left her feeling as if ‘she is on her own in a little bubble’ and if you need help ‘you’re the one who needs to reach out for it.’
You’ve got to search a lot harder. Then you might find somewhere to support you but you then find out they’re not available at the moment.
A report from the Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust says a third of their patients have had their treatment programmes halted. This is despite the expected rise in respiratory complications as a result of the virus.
Yvonne hopes to raise awareness by speaking out about the disease. Also now, with the promise of a vaccine, she hopes that she’ll be able to get the right treatment soon.
To view the interview and write-up online, click here.