Tony Holmes’ story

“I was diagnosed with IPF in March 2013 after undergoing a VATS lung biopsy in December 2012.

In some ways it was such a relief, because at long last I knew what was wrong with my lungs, why I cough, why I get breathless. My consultant, Dr Paul Beirne explained to me everything about this terrible lung disease, how it is progressive, and the fact that there is no cure.

I feel like this disease has taken over my life, but I do not worry about the consequences of having IPF yet. I still work full time at a brewery, I still go to the gym regularly and do 30 minutes cardio-vascular exercise, usually on the rowing machine and the cross trainer. I have given up running on the treadmill though.

My consultant was very pleased that I am still exercising, and I also see it as my own way of monitoring how the IPF is progressing as I keep records of my times/distances I achieve on the gym equipment.

I often get people asking me how I feel, and to be honest most of the time I feel great, but I do wonder what I will be like in ten years time. I am 56 now, and I officially retire at 66, and I want to enjoy my retirement and be as healthy as possible.

I have joined the Pulmonary Fibrosis UK group on Facebook, registered on the British Lung Foundation website, and I think it is great to read other people’s stories that are affected by IPF, and also to share my own feelings and concerns.

At my diagnosis my consultant told me about a research study being led by Dr Gisli Jenkins which may help in understanding why people do or do not develop Lung Fibrosis. I have volunteered to take part in this study and hopefully the research team will get some positive results.

So for now I am just going to carry on with my life as I always have done, and that is work hard, play hard and exercise hard, and enjoy a good life.”