The Joplin tornado of May 22, 2011 brought to an end my regular trips to pulmonary rehab on the ninth floor of Joplin’s St John’s Hospital. I began attending this pulmonary rehab on August 12, 2000 and have continued three times a week through May 21, 2011, the day before the destructive tornado. I did have a break of six months while I was in St. Louis attending rehab at Barnes Jewish Hospital where I had a double lung transplant on June 15, 2004.
I had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a deadly disease, which has no known cause and no known cure. A lung transplant is the only way to survive this disease. Exercising at St. John’s pulmonary rehab contributed greatly to my surviving long enough to receive a lung transplant. Since returning home in October, 2004, I have faithfully continued my exercise program at St. John’s. This program has been a major player in enabling me to maintain relative good health in these seven years since my transplant.
I want to express my appreciation to the respiratory therapists, Christine Barnes, director, and her assistant, Tina Williams, and other therapists. They have conducted themselves in a professional yet personal manner. They are competent, friendly, and encouraging. Over the last almost eleven years I have seen many people greatly improved by participating in pulmonary rehab.
St. John’s Pulmonary Rehab has made a significant contribution to my life and I am grateful. I do not know what the future holds for St. John’s. I did not want to lose the well-being I have gained so I wanted to continue in an exercise program. On June 6, 2011, I will begin physical therapy for my pulmonary health at McCune Brooks Hospital in Carthage, Missouri. After one week I was dismissed from the program because McCune Brooks does not provide maintenance. As of June 23, 2011 I am going to pulmonary rehab at Via Christi Health in Pittsburg, Kansas.