30 Days of PH: Never Give Up and Keep On Shining

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by BNS Staff |

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Photo courtesy of Justin Anthony

Day 29 of 30

This is Justin Anthony’s story:

It was the Easter holiday of 2007, and I made my way to my hometown of Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa. I’d been a student at Wits University, and always loved going home on holiday to spend time with my family and friends.

However, this holiday was different. It marked a point that would change my life forever. It was the first time I experienced shortness of breath.

My symptoms began to worsen, but it wasn’t until 2013 that I finally was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary hypertension (PH).

It was hard for me to process being diagnosed with a rare condition, which currently has no cure. However, I was not going to let my ill health stop me from achieving my dreams.

In 2016, I was blessed with an incredible opportunity to move from South Africa to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to continue in my profession as a teacher. I met my beautiful wife, Junevia, and we’ve been married for five years. She has been my pillar of strength and has helped me so much in my fight against PH.

Once in the UAE, in February 2017, I visited one of the world’s leading hospitals, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, where I continue to follow up to this day. Though not every medication I’ve been on has worked, I’m grateful to have better access to medical resources and a great team of specialists.

I currently am on a hospital bed writing my story. I had to be rushed to the emergency ward as the new medication I’m on does not seem to be working as effectively as my specialists had hoped.

The UAE has been my blessing, giving me a second shot at life. As I wait to get onto a transplant list, I know it’s all part of God’s master plan for my life.

My encouragement to you today is to never give up and keep on persevering, no matter how difficult it gets. PH is rare, but so are diamonds. Keep shining!

Pulmonary Hypertension News’ 30 Days of PH campaign is publishing one story per day from someone who has been affected by the disease for PH Awareness Month in November. Read the full series for more stories like this, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #30DaysofPH.