Daughter spearheads 50th support group for pulmonary fibrosis in memory of her father
Breathing in and breathing out is the most natural thing in the world, unless you suffer from the devastating lung disease, Pulmonary Fibrosis. It gradually destroys the lungs, making breathing impossible.
On Thursday 22 February, Northwick Park Hospital, in Harrow, North-West London, is launching a support group for anyone with or affected by Pulmonary Fibrosis. The most common form of the disease, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), kills over 5,000 people a year in the UK – many of them within three years of diagnosis.
This is the 50th patient group in the UK and is supported by the UK charity Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis. It is being spearheaded at the hospital by Dr Arnab Datta, Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine and Sandeep Bansal, a pharmacist. Watford-based Sandeep’s father died of pulmonary fibrosis in 2016.
Speakers at the support group meeting include; Dr Datta, Consultant Physiotherapist Maria Buxton and Steve Jones, Chairman of Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Speaking about her father, Sandeep says:
Seeing Dad suffer the way he did has motivated me to do something to help others who have pulmonary fibrosis so in the future they won’t have to go through what we did.
The thing we all struggled with most was the lack of awareness of Pulmonary Fibrosis. Having the feeling that you just can’t breathe is enough to frighten even the strongest of people. Dad started to become seriously ill in December 2015, but earlier that year Mum had been diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. When Dad needed around the clock care, Mum did not hesitate. My parents lost their battle within months of each other. We are a Punjabi Sikh family who believe in sharing the good times as well as the sad times. Watching my Mum rise to the challenge has inspired me to take this step. If she was able to help make our Dad’s life better whilst being unwell herself, then surely I can continue her good work.
Steve Jones from APF says:
When APF started 5 years ago, there were just a handful of support groups in the UK. We are proud to have worked with health care professionals, patients and families to grow that number to 50, with more to come. As a patient, I know how valuable the support of others is improving the quality of life of patients suffering from this devastating disease. Pulmonary Fibrosis affects all the family and to see the child of a patient so dedicated to helping others affected by the disease is inspiring.