Saturday, May 23, 2009

Life - Liberty - Freedom


You've heard of high blood pressure (hypertension), a common condition that affects the way your blood flows through the arteries in your body from the left side of your heart. A less common type of high blood pressure, called pulmonary hypertension, affects only the arteries in the lungs and the right side of your heart.

Pulmonary hypertension begins when tiny arteries in your lungs, called pulmonary arteries and capillaries, become narrowed, blocked or destroyed. This makes it harder for blood to flow through your lungs, which raises pressure within the pulmonary arteries. As the pressure builds, your heart's lower right chamber (right ventricle) must work harder to pump blood through your lungs, eventually causing your heart muscle to weaken and sometimes fail completely.

As many of you know I volunteer for the PHA Help Line -- yesterday I received a call from a soldier and I thought of the above.

He wants to decorate his 1999 Malibu in memory of his wife who died 4 years ago after struggling for 5 years with PAH. He called to ask for permission to use the PHA logo along with the website, the flame of hope and the purple ribbon would go from tip to stern. He also wants to put PATHLIGHT on the side overlapping the doors. It would be a PHA logo in motion.

He told me how he put on over 300K miles on this car -- his wife's car -- driving her to and from appointments first to Duke when they lived in NC, then when they moved to KY to the Univ of KY. We talked of treatments the care involved and the grief that can follow.

Since her death he has continued to donate $100 per month to PHA in her memory. He is now stationed in Afghanistan and as we spoke I could hear the roar of the jets as they flew overhead. When he returns from Afghanistan this December, he will start decorating the Malibu and raise awareness about pulmonary arterial hypertension.

He also mentioned how he has educated the medical staff there about this disease to the point that one of the nurses who was going for an additional degree did her paper on PAH... He is such an advocate for all of us in the PH Community. He made me proud I had the opportunity to speak with him.

Let us truly appreciate, especially this weekend ~ Memorial Day Weekend, how our soldiers go above and beyond the call of duty not only to protect us but also to be such advocates for our cause.

Let's remember to pray for those in uniform. In memory of those who have died so that we may live the life to which we are accustomed to living and in honor of those who still defend those rights and our liberties -- both who have paved the way for our freedom.

Every day should be a day of rememberance to those in uniform -- A Memorial Day of sorts but more.

Merle - Now is a time to SMILE -- to show our thanks -- and remember it's contagious

Since December 2000 in an effort to help Americans
remember the true meaning of Memorial Day the
"National Moment of Remembrance" asks that at
3 p.m. local time ALL Americans pause for moment
of silence in remembrance and respect.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Wow...Merle..that is an awesome story...Thx for sharing...Are you keeping in contact with him??

Yes..we should thank our Soilders everyday...

Hope you have a great week ahead...

Hugs:))
Jen