30 Days of PH: A Message of Hope for All With Pulmonary Hypertension
Day 30 of 30
This is Lauren Thompson‘s story:
My name is Lauren Thompson, and I was born on Jan. 8, 1995. I was a pretty normal child until the age of 7, with surprisingly no symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension. So, at least, we thought.
I played in one season of soccer and, at its end, had my normal pediatrician appointment. That was the moment when my journey started. I was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension in May 2002. The doctor gave my family the news and told them I had six months to live.
I, thankfully, have the most amazing family and they advocated for me to get another opinion. That’s how we found Dr. Dunbar Ivy at Denver Children’s Hospital. He gave my family hope that I was not going to die, and PAH treatments could help me. I started with Flolan, carrying the pump in a backpack. In sixth grade I switched to Remodulin, until I eventually got off a pump therapy for four years and tried Tyvaso. But Tyvaso didn’t work well for me, so for the past 10 years I have been back on the Remodulin pump.
At 27, I now have been living with pulmonary arterial hypertension for 20 years. I am here to tell you that you can do this! For sure, I have had my setbacks, letting my mental health and a lack of hope get in the way of taking care of myself. I share this to remind you that your feelings are valid.
We are dealt a disease we didn’t ask for. We not only juggle work, house chores, and normal human tasks, but we also must have the capacity to continuously go to doctors, order medications each month, deal with insurance companies, and other things you may have to do to survive. All these survival responsibilities can feel exhausting.
I want to bring this message of hope: you are enough! You’re loved, and there is a PH community here to help and support you! Make sure you reach out to us!
Pulmonary Hypertension News’ 30 Days of PH campaign will publish one story per day for PH Awareness Month in November. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #30DaysofPH, or read the full series.