Jim's Story

Pulmonary Rehab Hails a Hero

Pulmonary Rehabilitation sustained Jim Howe until he received the call of his life. Diagnosed in 2005 with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a serious and irreversible progressive disease with no cure, the Parma man knew his days were numbered. When his condition deteriorated, pulmonologist Daniel Iltchev, MD referred Howe for a double lung transplant.

But first, Howe was told to lose 30 pounds and was advised to continue conditioning his lungs for this massive surgery by attending Parma Hospital’s outpatient Pulmonary Rehab. “You want to present the transplant team with the best body you can,” Howe was told.

“We were truly at a point where he was going to die, or he was going to have a transplant,” said his wife, Linda. “Now, he’s got a life.” Three months after his transplant, Howe returned to Pulmonary Rehab without his customary oxygen tank in tow.

“They were very important in keeping his spirits up and being a support system,” she said. Respiratory therapist Joe Scur was inspired by Howe’s determination and upbeat attitude. “The word ‘hero’ is thrown around,” said Scur. “But for someone to go through all of that and still maintain a sense of humor – it’s remarkable.”

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