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Maggie Bartlett’s Story

3 September, 2021

I was diagnosed with IPF in June 2018 after waiting 18 months for a diagnosis, my husband and I had thought there could be a possibility it was IPF but nothing prepared us for the blow when it was confirmed. A long dark tunnel with no light at the end, but we picked ourselves up and set to finding out as much as we possibly could about this dreadful disease. A very dear friend who has MS said “ Maggie knowledge is power, own the disease don’t let it own you”.

Three years on and we have met so many wonderful people whom have given us support love and hope & we have made lifelong treasured friends with some.

I did a Pulmonary Rehab course which totally changed our lives, it gave me confidence and a sense of well-being both mentally & physically, I am passionate about people getting PR it’s just amazing.
My course ended and I thought right what am I going to do, luckily I have a small gym locally and even better a PT who listened to me and understands my needs when exercising. I would never have thought I could push myself as I do and we even box, which is great fun.

I am now on ambulatory oxygen which I pushed for at hospital because I knew if I wanted to carry on walking and going to the gym I needed to protect my heart and other organs and also live as full a life as possible. I was conscious of it at first but I am now really proud of my ‘tank’ and quite often it gives me an opportunity to talk about IPF and therefore raise awareness, I could do with an inflatable soap box sometimes!

It isn’t a breeze everyday my husband and I both struggle to keep positive sometimes, it’s a hard task for him as I know he feels helpless and hates seeing me coughing or breathless or having to stop something I have enjoyed but can no longer do. But we have amazing friends and family & support groups whom all give us the lift we need.

Raising awareness and promoting PR are my main passion and along the way hopefully this will raise funds for the PF Trust.