My wife's battle with Pulmonary Hypertension – Bravelets

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My wife's battle with Pulmonary Hypertension

Posted on April 13 2015

My amazing wife and partner Julie Anna Lee was a healthy, loving, energetic 24 year old when I met her. She had played soccer her whole life and loved the outdoors and staying active. On December 10, 2012 that all changed. She collapsed after walking on the beach with a friend and was rushed to the hospital. Fast forward two years later and multiple hospital stays, misdiagnoses, and confused doctors she was finally diagnosed with Stage Four Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and she was told without treatment that she had less than six months to live.

PH is the constriction of blood vessels in the heart and lung circuit, causing an increase in pressure in the heart. This in turn causes the heart to work extra hard to move oxygenated blood throughout the body. There is no cure of PH, only treatments to help slow the disease. These treatments are very complicated and have many side effects of their own. Julie currently has a permanent catheter that was implanted into the vein leading to the right side of her heart. She connects medication to it outside of her body and carries a pump that continuously gives her medicine.

PH needs awareness, as many people go misdiagnosed and unfortunately pass away from their heart giving out from being overworked before ever being diagnosed. With increased funds and awareness, new treatments are on the horizon to help PH patients have the best quality of life possible, and hopefully one day, a cure.
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